Important Information

Monday, October 1st, the students were all given an October Book It Calendar.  The students are responsible for reading a total of 380 minutes for the month of October.  This is equivalent to 19 days of 20 minutes of reading.  Please encourage your child to do their reading at home.  This reading log is to be turned in with a parent signature on Thursday, November 1st.  Completed and signed reading logs will be rewarded a free personal pizza coupon.  Happy Reading!

Click the link for a copy of the October Book It Calendar. I also have extra copies in my classroom. Oct Book It-ymm8r9 

Also, on Tuesday, October 9th, we will take a reading common assessment.  This will assess the students over the skills we have focused on so far this school year; context clues and story elements/characters.  Please encourage your child to use strategies, which we will review on Monday, and do his/her best on this test.  Thank you for all you do to support your child/children in their education.

Remember that Friday, October 5th, is an early release day for elementary students at 1:15.

Old Yeller

In our Old Yeller unit, which we recently started, we will work with new vocabulary words, complete a character study, and learn about idioms.

romp – an energetic and noisy way to play

strained – stretched to the limit, either physically or mentally

shouldered – balanced something across the shoulders to make it easier to carry; carried the weight

lunging – making a sudden forward movement

wheeled – turned quickly

frantic – wild with excitement or worry

picturing – creating a mental image of something

bounding – leaping

checking – limiting or controlling something

stride – the rhythm of your walking and the length of your steps

image by Journeys

image by FreeFigurativeLanguagePosters.pdf and Pinterest


5th Grade Parent Orientation

Thank you so much if you were able to attend our parent orientation! We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules.

If you were not able to attend, we explained to parents an idea of a typical day in 5th grade. If you are subscribed to our blogs, the Remind, Skyward, and look at your child’s planner frequently, then you are receiving the most important information regarding your child’s education. If you are not subscribed, our blog and contact information is inside the front of your child’s planner.

We also spoke about 5th grade being an SSI year, which means the students must show success in math and reading, including STAAR testing this year, to advance to 6th grade. We are sending home a brochure regarding this information this week, so look for that to come home with your child soon.

Weslandia Unit


Click here for a video/audio recording of Weslandia               

outcast – a person cast out from home or friends

civilization – the ways of living of a people or a nation

tormentors – people that annoy or cause pain                                                                  

staple food crop – most important crop grown in a civilization

rind – a firm outer covering of a plant

tubers – thick part of an underground stem; potato

aromatic – pleasant smell; aroma

devise – to invent

innovator – a person who introduces new ideas, methods, or devices

complex – made up of a number of parts; hard to understand

envy – desire to have what another person has

bedlam – a state of disorder

scornful – having an attitude full of reject

grudgingly – unwillingly; not wanting to


Our Weslandia vocabulary terms help us to better understand this great story by Paul Fleischman.  We will review the vocabulary terms all week. We will review the different genres of literature and predicte the genre of Weslandia based on the cover.  As we read the book we will confirm our prediction.  After reading we will use a fictional story formula (who, wanted, but, so, then) to summarize the story.  We will also complete a story map and a cause and effect activity based on events that take place in the story.  We will finish our Weslandia unit by completing a flip chart, recognizing the author’s usage of figurative language in a station next week, along with other stations that will include a focus on context clues, story elements, Quizlet, and our Weslandia vocabulary. Continue reading

Parent Orientation


Parent Orientation has been scheduled for the parents of intermediate students on Monday, September 10th,  from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. We have enjoyed getting to know our students and establishing a climate of self-worth coupled with a strong work ethic.

The orientation will begin at 5:30 in the elementary cafeteria with a brief meeting. Parents will then be dismissed to the following areas:

  • 3rd Grade – Library
  • 4th Grade – Remain in the Cafeteria
  • 5th Grade – Computer Lab

Parents, please mark your calendars and make plans to attend.

Be sure to go to our Facebook Page and “Like” White Oak Intermediate to keep up with the most current information about our campus.

A Package for Mrs. Jewls


This week (8/27) we will be reading a humorous fictional selection entitled, A Package for Mrs. Jewls, an excerpt from Wayside School is Falling Down.  We will continue to focus on story elements, such as characters, setting, plot, conflict, and solution, with more practice summarizing the selection, and adding a vocabulary study.  Listed below is the vocabulary we will focus on this week.  Students will take a comprehension quiz this Wednesday and a vocabulary quiz this Friday.

shifted – moved or changed position

struggled – tried but still had difficulty

wobbled – moved unsteadily from side to side

staggered – walked very unsteadily

interrupted – stopped briefly

disturbing – upsetting

specialty – a featured item or attraction

squashing – crushing or flattening

collapsed – fell down

numb – having very little sensation or feeling

Letter to Parents

August 27, 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a wonderful year in 5th grade at White Oak. I am so excited to get to know your child this year and to work with them in reading. I have high expectations for your child and their reading progress for this school year. In order for your child to achieve these high expectations, we will need to work together. Please ensure that your child reads at least 20 minutes, four to six days a week outside of school. With our busy school day, we don’t always have an opportunity to allow them to read independently.

Knowing their independent reading level is important as well. With the help of Mrs. Bybel, Mrs. Craven, Mrs. Anderson, and Ms. Smith, we will be conducting DRA testing to help determine where their independent reading level is. This testing will occur over several days. DRA testing involves the student reading a book with a teacher and answering questions before, during and after reading; testing fluency and comprehension. This data helps guide our reading instruction in our classrooms, especially for small group instruction, and allows the student to know what level they should be choosing books to read independently.

Our reading testing will be completed in a few weeks. I will be sending home your child’s testing results at that time. If your child tested at a 50 or higher at the end of 4th grade, then they will not be tested at the beginning of this school year, as they are already on or above level.  Thank you for all you do to read with your child at home!  Together, we will make this an amazing year!


Mrs. Owens

[email protected] (email) (blog)


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Today I came to school in a dress and shoes that were too big for me.  I had the attention of the students, as they thought I had lost my marbles.  I discussed with the students that it is important to choose books that “fit” them.  Choosing books that are too big or hard can become frustrating and books that are too little or easy will not be challenging enough.  To help students know what the right “fit” of book for them, we will need to determine where their independent reading level is, both in fluency and in comprehension.  Please look for a note in your child’s take-home folder (sent home 8/27/18), which will explain our DRA testing.  Once DRA testing is completed, I will send home another letter explaining your child’s independent reading level.  By practicing reading within the student’s independent reading level each night, we should see improvement in your child’s reading level and in their confidence.  Thank you for your support!  Happy reading!

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YOU ARE SPECIAL! by Max Lucado

Wow!  What a great beginning of a school year!  I am amazed at what a great group of young men and women of honor we have in this fabulous bunch!  We have started the school year with a focus on how we want to be treated and, in return, how we should treat others.  We shared a wonderful book by Max Lucado entitled You Are Special.  In my class, we used the book to review reading skills such as characters, relating to the characters, summarizing, story plot and setting.  We also compared and contrasted the text version to a dramatic version. This is just the beginning of our journey!

Flocabulary – Five Things (Elements of a Short Story)

Setting, that’s like where it’s going down,
Could be the train compartment, a castle or a town,
Could be the Arctic winter – like To Build a Fire,
The temperature’s dropping, excitement is getting higher,
Setting sets the scene so the scene seems set,
Could be the Italian restaurant where we met,
Setting gives us the where and the when,
Could be modern day, the future, or way back when.

Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme,
Setting, yes these are the 5 things
That you’re going to be needing
When you’re reading or writing
A short story that’s mad exciting. (x2)

Plot is the action, the quest for satisfaction,
What’s going down, what’s going to happen.
Four men at sea in an open boat,
Rowing and hoping that they can stay afloat. The plot:
They have to make it to the beach,
But the waves are big, and the shore seems out of reach,
Plot is a series of events… like Lemoney Snicket,
It could be crazy, wild or straight wicked.

Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme,
Setting, yes these are the 5 things
That you’re going to be needing
When you’re reading or writing
A short story that’s mad exciting. (x2)

Knock knock, who’s there? Oh, it’s the characters,
The people in the story who carry out the action.
Characters can be pretty, tiny or clean,
Characters can be silly, whiney or mean,
Juliet is a character, and so is Romeo,
Pokemon has characters and so does Yu-gi-oh,
Characters could be dogs, lions, or hippos,
JK Rowling chose Harry Potter. “Why?” Who knows!

Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme,
Setting, yes these are the 5 things
That you’re going to be needing
When you’re reading or writing
A short story that’s mad exciting. (x2)

Uh-uh! Put your snack back in your backpack we’re not finished!
Something gone wrong! That’s the conflict kids,
A struggle in the plot, now who’s on top,
Could be a fight for money, like some robbers and cops,
Could be an internal conflict – a struggle inside,
Like I don’t want to tell the truth but I don’t ever want to lie,
Flick something in your eye, now you’re conflicted,
What created drama? The conflict did.

Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme,
Setting, yes these are the 5 things
That you’re going to be needing
When you’re reading or writing
A short story that’s mad exciting. (x2)