• Classroom Update

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 1/13/2023

    Happy 2023!

    We are off to a good start this year!

    Here are some topics that we will continue to work on this month. 

    ELA: We are reading Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. There may be some reading homework with this book. 

    Math: We are adding and subtracting fractions. 

    Science: We are learning about Earth's patterns in space including what causes day/night and the seasons.

    Social Studies: We are learning about the Anishinaabe people and their interactions with Europeans in the 1800s. 

    Assessments: Students took the iReady diagnostic this week. They all did a great job! Next week students will take the STAR 360 ELA and Math test.

    Snack: We eat lunch at 10:55 every day so by 2:00 students are hungry! Many students bring a snack in their backpacks but I like to keep some on hand. We would greatly appreciate it if you would donate a non-perishable snack to the classroom. This could include but is not limited to single-serving chips, pretzels or popcorn, and graham crackers. Thank you!

    Counselor: This time of year, I usually see an increase in anxiety and stress as students start thinking about middle school. Ms. Scholle is spending about 15 minutes every morning in our classroom to check in with students. She is also available to meet with students as needed. If you feel like your child may benefit from talking to Ms. Scholle, you can reach out to her, or I can connect you. I'm also always here to help. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. Thank you!

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  • Week of November 14

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 11/14/2022

    Upcoming Events

    November 17: Ms. Scholle will be talking to us about anxiety and coping strategies

    November 18: Ms. Reynolds will be providing monthly social/emotional health lessons to our class

    November 23-27: Thanksgiving Holiday

    Upcoming Learning Goals:

    ELA: We are reading Esperanza Rising. Students will have reading homework with this novel. We are studying how characters overcome challenges.

    Math: We are studying place value and adding/subtracting decimals. I've attached some optional math practice that you can work on at home with your child.

    Social Studies: Students are researching a European explorer and the impact of that explorer's expedition on Europe and on the colonized country.

    Science: Students will learn about the 3 states of matter through a series of investigations.


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  • Week of October 17

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 10/14/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Here's a look at upcoming events and learning targets. 

    No School: October 20 and 21 

    Field Trip: We are going to Home Resource on October 25th from 8:45-11:15. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know. 

    Halloween: We will have a small Halloween party from 2:00-2:45 on October 31. Students can change into their costume for the party. If you would like to bring a healthy snack, please let me know. 

    Social Studies: We are learning about the Indigenous People who lived in the Americas prior to 1492. Students will be working a research project that may need to be completed for homework.

    Science: We are finishing our ecosystem unit. Students are describing the movement of matter and energy within an ecosystem.

    Math: We are working on division. We do not teach standard algorithm division in 5th grade. If you want to learn more about the partial products strategy, Check out this video

    ELA: We are starting to read Esperanza Rising. Students will have reading homework almost every night. 


    Please reach out at any time. 

    Thank you,

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  • Week of October 10

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 10/11/2022

    Happy October! Here's an update on what we are learning this month.

    ELA: We are working on writing a narrative story with a character who cares about their environment. 

    Science: We are finishing our unit on the movement of matter and energy within an ecosystem. Students are also learning about mountain lions in and around Missoula. 

    Social Studies: We will begin learning what the Americas looked like and who inhabited the Americas prior to 1492. 

    Math: We are working on double-digit multiplication and division.

    Field Trip: We are going to Home Resource on October 25. All students must sign the permission form before attending. I'm attaching the form here and will send home a copy on Monday. If you'd like to help with the field trip, please let me know. 

    No School: October 20-21

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  • Week of September 12

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 9/12/2022

    This week we are learning about...

    ELA: We will continue to read Night of the Spadefoot Toad. As we read, we are working on using text evidence to compare and contrast characters.

    Math: We will begin to explore the concept of volume as an attribute of solid figures. 

    Science: We are beginning our unit on ecosystems and exploring how matter moves through an ecosystem.

    Band/Orchestra: This week some students will start playing their instrument. I forgot to pass along the information about instrument rentals. Liddi Elrod at the MCPS Fine Arts Department can help you with instrument rentals. If they do not have an instrument, there are several places in town where you can rent. I am attaching the form with more information. I apologize for the mistake. Please let me know if I can help you find an instrument for your child.

    Purposeful People: Our character trait this month is RESPECT. We are working on defining what respect is and how respect looks at school, at home, and in our community.

    Field Trip: We are going to the Missoula Art Museum and to the Public Library on September 28. Please let me know if you are interested in coming with us.


    It's going to be a great week!

    If you have any questions, please contact me. 

    Katy Ellison
    5th Grade Teacher
    Rattlesnake Elementary School
    406-728-2400 ext. 4712
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
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  • Classroom Expectation

    Posted by Katherine Ellison on 8/31/2022

    Ms. Ellison’s Classroom Expectations


    Daily Assignments

    During the school day, students are expected to work on assignments. Students are responsible for putting forth their best effort on all assignments and finishing their assignments on time. Depending on the assignment, unfinished assignments will be assigned for homework.


    I will occasionally assign homework during the school year. To make homework manageable for you and your family, please prioritize homework.

    • Look at the due dates. Long-term projects can be completed over multiple nights. 

    • All reading assignments should be the highest priority. These assignments will need to be completed to participate in the classroom assignment.

    • Math assignments allow students a chance to practice what was taught in class. If you are in a pinch, shorten or skip math homework. It is okay to turn it in a day or two late as long as you communicate with me.

    • Use class time to complete assignments.  


    In the case of an absence, students are responsible for completing all missed work including notes, tests, and projects.

    If you are planning on being gone for an extended amount of time, please let me know as soon as possible so I can prepare assignments ahead of time. It is important to follow school policy when leaving for an extended amount of time. 


    Google Apps, including Google Classroom, Slides, and Docs, will be integrated into our classroom this year. Every 5th grader has an MCPS email address that allows him/her to access Google Apps. Google Classroom will be used during school and can be accessed outside of school from any location with the internet. Students will be able to watch educational videos about the subjects we are covering, turn in assignments, and ask me for help. In addition, students will learn how to respectfully and responsibly communicate in a safe online environment. Everything on school devices is closely monitored by myself, other 5th grade teachers, and the district.

    I will use our class website and weekly emails to communicate with families. Please let me know if you aren’t receiving emails. 

    Outside Learning Classroom

     The Rattlesnake corridor is a beautiful place to learn and explore during the school year. We will use the outdoor space as an extension of our classroom. We will visit Rattlesnake Creek, the school garden, and the Rattlesnake Outdoor Learning Area.  In addition, we will go on several field trips in and around Missoula during the year. 

    Breakfast and Lunch

    For the past two years, school meals have been free for every child in the United States due to the public health emergency. However, in June, the federal waiver for free school meals expired. This means that starting this year, students will no longer automatically receive free lunches. Breakfasts will continue to be provided for free for our K-5 students. 

    Money - cash or a check - may be dropped off at the front office of the school. Teachers and kitchen staff can also accept cash or checks. Please be sure to provide your student’s first and last name with every payment. Parents may also call 406-728-2400 ext. 3023 or ext. 3027 to pay via credit or debit card. 

    This first week of school, every MCPS student will receive a Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application to bring home. Every family should fill out this application and return it to their child’s school. In addition to saving money every week on school meals, qualifying families can receive waivers for the costs of the ACT/SAT and reduced fees for school activities.

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