In this section you will find the most recent messages to families in a text only format. Previous messages are also listed below it.

These messages come from the "5th Grade Quest Chronicles" newsletter as well as more frequent email updates.


October 21, 2016 Email Message

Subject: Math, Science & Homework News from Room 502

Dear Fifth Grade Families,

I wanted to send you an update to keep you informed about what is happening in class. I hope it will be helpful to you!
Our first math test will be next Friday, October 28th over Unit One: Adding and Subtracting Fractions and Mixed Numbers. 
Your child's math homework this week is a two sided test review page. The answers to homework review page are attached to this email so that you can correct it with your child and discuss any areas of concern. Please consider using the videos in your child's Google Classroom  account to help remind him/her how to do any problems that cause confusion. I also have some good math links on our class website which might also help with practicing for the upcoming test.
If you have concerns about your child's readiness for the test, I am willing to give students extra help to prepare for the test after school this weekas long as it is pre-arranged. Please send me an email, and we can make arrangements together. 
In Science we have been studying the different kinds of variables used in science experiments and how experiments are generally set up. Next week we will begin a two week unit on Matter. Key concepts being taught are recognizing the different states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma) and how matter is conserved, even when it changes form or state.
Conferences are coming up quickly, so look for a conference slip to come home next week. 
In November our schedule varies quite a bit, so here are a few dates to keep in mind:
Thursday, Nov. 10th: NO SCHOOL (Teacher Planning Day)
Friday, Nov. 11th: NO SCHOOL (Veteran's Day)
Thursday, Nov. 17th: Early Release (conferences)
Friday, Nov. 18th: Early Release (conferences)
Monday, Nov. 21st: Early Release (conferences)
Tuesday, Nov. 22nd: Early Release (conferences)
Wednesday, Nov. 23rd: Early Release
Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thanksgiving Break
Friday, Nov 25th: Thanksgiving Break
As always, don't hesitate to get in touch with questions or concerns. I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend with your child!


October 11, 2016 Email Message

Subject: Picture Day & Fundraising Packet due tomorrow

Hello Fifth Grade Families, 
This is a quick reminder to let you know that picture day is tomorrow. If you plan to order pictures of your child, please be sure to return the picture envelope tomorrow. You can also order online at using Picture Day ID: LS226940Q0.
Also, if your child is participating in the fundraiser, Fundraising Packets are due tomorrow as well.
Thanks for helping your child remember these items!

October 10, 2016 Email Message

Subject: Homework Due Date

 Hello Fifth Grade Families
This is just a quick email message to let you know that I somehow put the wrong date on the top of this week's homework. It is due onFriday, October 14th, NOT October 12th as indicated on the packet.
I apologize for the mistake!
Mrs. Blanchard

October 4, 2016 Email Message

Subject: Test Message & Reminders

Hello Fifth Grade Families,
The purpose of this email message is mainly to test that I have all of your contact information inputted correctly. If you receive this message, could you please reply with a quick message saying, "got it". 
If this message is coming to the wrong email address or you would like to have class newsletters and information about your child sent to an additional email address, please let me know, and I will make the requested changes.
Finally, since I'm emailing anyway, here are a couple of class reminders:
  • Please have your child turn in their James & the Giant Peach field trip form by the end of this week. Our field trip will be next Tuesday, and I want everyone to be able to attend.
  • There is NO SCHOOL on Friday. This means that homework is due on Thursday, October 6th. "Friday" folders and new homework will also come out on Thursday for this reason.
  • If your child hasn't returned their Friday Folder yet, please have them do so tomorrow.
  • The math homework for Level 1 & 2 this week did not have answer keys on them. I will correct them as they are turned in, but if you have any questions about the problems, please let me know.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let one of us know. 
Thanks for your support. I look forward to getting lots of "got it" emails!
Mrs. Blanchard

September 16, 2016 Newsletter

Dear Families.

We have really enjoyed getting to know your children over the past two weeks. They are a fun bunch of students who are learning the class expectations quickly. With their positive attitudes and enthusiasm for learning, we know we are going to have a great year.

We’d like to thank you for filling out the student information sheets sent home on the first day of school. The information you shared has been very helpful in getting to know more about your children and their learning needs.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please be sure to get in touch!

Reading & Writing

from Mrs. Stuenkel

My 5th grade readers and writers have been settling into some solid routines the last 2 weeks.  I am learning about each student as readers,  as writers and as  individuals with unique personalities and experiences. In these past few days we have taken the time to build a strong classroom community where we focused on respect, responsibility, safety and kindness. 

In reading we are building on their abilities to sustain engaged reading in “good fit” books.  They are learning to discuss rich literature and to make thoughtful connections between texts. In writing we are developing skills to create powerful personal narratives.

Math & Science

from Mrs. Blanchard

The mathematicians of room 502 are off to a great start! We have started our year learning to think about numbers more flexibly and develop a positive math mindset. Fractions are our focus for September. We will be progressing towards using common denominators to add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers in the next few weeks.

In science we have  been learning about our brain. We learned about how self-talk affects our learning, how neurons grow when we do challenging work and make mistakes, and how our prefrontal cortex stops working well when we get really upset. This knowledge will help us make good decisions about learning this year.

 A note about homework

Homework begins next Friday. Each Friday students will receive a homework packet to complete and return the following Friday.  The packet will be in your child’s Friday folder and will consist of a reading & writing portion as well as a math portion. Students who do not complete their homework will stay in at recess on Monday & Tuesday the following week to finish it.

In addition to the homework packet, students are expected to finish assignments not completed in class at home in the evening.The homework packet will be the primary component of the “completes homework” category on report cards.


3rd through 5th grade Quest Rotations will begin on September 26th. Our focus will be on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Quest is held on Monday & Wednesday afternoons.

Pillows Welcome!

 In order to make independent work more comfortable, our classroom is set up with a variety seating options. We have a standing table, a low table that kids can use while sitting on the floor, 2 cozy chairs and we have 4 pillows to share.  As you can imagine, many kids like to use the pillows while sitting on the floor or on their chairs. If your child would like to bring in a pillow to keep in class for themselves, they are welcome to.  A square throw pillow works very well and can be found at thrift stores for just a few dollars.

 Enumclaw School District Responsible Use Policy for Computers in the Classroom

Be sure to flip this newsletter over to read the K-5 Responsible Use Policy for the computers and accounts used in our classroom. This policy has been discussed with students and each has agreed to abide by these rules.


September 6, 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to a new school year!

1 Mrs. Blanchard + 1 Mrs. Stuenkel  = 5th Grade Rocks!!!

Dear Families,

Welcome back to a new school year. We are over the moon to be teaching your 5th grader! Mrs. Blanchard and Mrs. Stuenkel will be job sharing this year. This will allow both of us to more deeply and thoroughly teach our subject areas.

Mrs. Stuenkel will teach Reading, Writing and Social Studies in the mornings as well as some Fridays. Mrs. Blanchard will be teaching Math, Science and Quest in the afternoons as well as most Fridays.

As parents ourselves, we know that you are an integral part of your child’s education. It is important to us that you be a partner in your child’s learning, and we welcome any input you may have about your child. By working together as a team, we can most effectively help your child succeed in school. Attached to this letter is a questionnaire to help us get to know your child better. Please complete and return it as soon as you get a chance.

We are looking forward to getting to know you and your child as we delve into a year of learning. We know we’re going to have a great year together!

Mrs. Blanchard & Mrs. Stuenkel

Meet Mrs. Stuenkel

I first began my teaching career in a small Native village in Arctic Alaska. After 4 years of adventuring and teaching in Noatak, my husband and I traveled around the world for a year. Our journey ended when we arrived in the great town of Enumclaw where we both began teaching in the Enumclaw School District. I was fortunate enough to teach 3rd grade here at Southwood.

My husband and I started a little hobby farm on the outskirts of town. Then before we knew it, we also started a family! It was then that I took a hiatus from teaching in order to spend more time with our kids. Today  I am so glad to be back at Southwood  and I am thrilled to be  your child’s 5th grade teacher.

Meet Mrs. Blanchard

Twenty one years ago, I began my career as a fifth grade teacher in the Auburn School District, taking a break nine years later to stay home with my family. In between, I have taught in a variety of positions from half-day kindergarten to supporting middle school and high school students in math. This is my fourth year teaching fifth grade at Southwood. The fantastic staff and students at this school make it a terrific place to teach!

Math is my passion, and I am so excited to have the time to work on additional credentials in math while teaching with Mrs. Stuenkel this year. I look forward to having an exceptional year of math and science learning with your child!

Parent folders

The PTA has purchased durable black folders to use for sending home notes and papers. Please look for these, remove the papers inside and send it back with your child to school the following day so we can use it again.  Thanks Southwood PTA for this great way to communicate!


There is a designated snack area out at recess this year. While we are providing a small snack this week, students will need to supply their own snack starting next week. Please make sure your child’s snack is healthy! Fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy proteins (like cheese or a hard boiled egg) or whole grain crackers are all good choices. Candy, chips, cookies, and other sweets or ‘junk’ food should be avoided.

Binders Needed Soon!

This year 5th graders will be using binders to organize their papers and homework. If you haven’t done so already, please supply your child with a 1 inch clear view binder (pictured to the right), a set of 5 dividers, and a pencil pouch. This will help students get ready for using binders in middle school next year.

Your child’s first homework assignment will be to design a picture for the cover of their binder. We will be sharing these pictures this week as a way to get to know each other better.

If this or any other of your child’s supplies are a financial hardship, please contact us, and we will assist you in getting them.