Hello My Name Is...

Steffanie Willis
Welcome to 5th Grade
English and U.S. History


Yearly Focus and Student Expectations-

5th grade is an exciting time for both me and your child! Since Kindergarten, he/she has been learning sight words, how to decode (sound-out) unknown words, and read with fluency. It is now time for your child to learn how to read for understanding and meaning. Therefore, you will begin to notice a transition in his/her reading as they begin to develop a higher level of thinking and begin to thoroughly understand what he/she reads. This will prepare our students for the requirements of both middle school and high school learning!

The overall objectives for this year, in both Reading and Writing, are as follows:


Aside from the traditional use of dictionaries, glossaries, and other reference material, your child will begin to create word meaning through the use of Context Clues during reading. This will allow him/her to determine the meaning of unknown words and understand what he or she is reading. This is the key to becoming a better reader!

Reading Fiction

Students will understand Story Structure by identifying Characterization, Plot Conflict/Resolution, Point-of-View, identifying Cause and Effect relationships, as well as, determining the author's Main Idea of the text and supporting that information with details from the story. We will also be focusing on reading strategies such as making Conclusions and Inferences from the story, as well as, making Predictions before and after reading.

Reading Nonfiction

Students will identify and use text features to organize and locate information, identify Structural Patterns in nonfiction text, identify Cause and Effect relationships, distinguish between Fact and Opinion, Compare and Contrast relationships, as well as, locating the Main Idea of the text and support that idea with details from their reading.

The overall goal of the writing program is for students to first learn how to construct a complete paragraph by creating a strong topic sentence and supporting that sentence with details.  Before the end of the first semester, your child will be able to construct a complete 5-paragraph essay and successfully pass the alternative writing assessment required by the State of Virginia. We will achieve this goal by using a formulated writing process, as well as, a comprehensive study of grammar and sentence structure.

As you can see, we have a busy year ahead of us! However, I have no doubt that we are going to have a wonderful school year! Please be sure to check this page regularly for information regarding homework assignments and special announcements throughout the year.  If you should need to contact me, please choose the "Contact Me" link on the left and send me an e-mail.  I will get back with you just as soon as possible!


5th Grade U.S. History studies, what I consider to be, the greatest time in the history of the United States of America. Beginning with a study of the continents, maps, and major rivers in the U.S., we will focus on the Native Americans of North America, the establishment of the original 13 colonies and the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States, government, and end with a study of the Civil War.

Although U.S. History is no longer a tested SOL subject for 5th grade students, we will have three major projects to complete during the school year. These projects are required by the State of Virginia to demonstrate growth and learning in the area of 5th grade History. These projects will require an in-depth study of the following:

American Indian Tribes of North America

American Revolution

Civil War

I will be sending home more information that explains these projects in great detail and ensure that each student has plenty of time to complete the projects when they are required.