5th Grade Team



Degrees and Certifications:

Jan Pembrooke

This is one of your 5th grade teachers,  Mrs. Jan Pembrooke.  Welcome to your last year in elementary school and the  best year ever !    I am so excited to learn with you and  to get to know you and your wonderful families.   Just like you, I am nervous and happy to start this new adventure of online learning.  I believe it is going to be a  year of personal growth and achievement for each one of us.   We are going to build a classroom of love, laughter and support. When I am not teaching I love to cook, garden, play with my 2 dogs, read and tell jokes.  I also like to walk in the neighborhood with my husband Mark.  I do not have any children and I am so lucky to have 24- 30 kids each year to borrow and spoil.  I have taught at this wonderful school - Parkwood - for about 34 years.   Parkwood is such a special place to me because of all the sweet students, supportive families, and wonderful teachers  that I have had the honor to know.



Degrees and Certifications:

Stephanie Smolen

Welcome to our class!  My name is Stephanie Smolen and I am excited to be your teacher this year!  Even though we are starting remotely, I am looking forward to building a great classroom community that is supportive, challenging in all the right ways, and full of important activities and lessons.  This is my third year teaching 5th grade at Parkwood. Before teaching 5th, I taught 4th grade at Parkwood for two years. Overall, this is my 13th year teaching. 

I live in Shoreline. My husband, Mark, and I have three grown kids. Our twin boys, Sam and Ben, will be 23 years old in September  and our daughter, Angie, is 19. They all graduated from Shorecrest High School. 

When the weather is nice, I like to spend time outside walking in the neighborhood with my friends, riding my bike, and hiking in the woods. This summer we spent some time at our family’s cabin at Priest Lake. It was really hot when we were there and it was great!  We swam in the lake, went on boat rides, and drove up a mountain to pick huckleberries. Huckleberry pie is my favorite dessert! What is your favorite dessert? 

I look forward to getting to know you, your classmates, and teaching 5th grade again with Mrs. Pembrooke. You will also get to meet Mrs. Tuilevuka, the new 3rd/4th/5th grade blended teacher. Although it will be challenging at times, remember that we are on this journey together! As you get to know me you will see that I love to learn. Learning new things is often challenging but always worth it. I promise to always try to give my best effort, listen to other people’s ideas, and learn from making mistakes. I think this is going to be an amazing adventure. I am looking forward to a fantastic, fun-filled, learning-filled year with YOU!


    We love supporting our Parkwood Panthers with the growth, increased independence, and greater responsibility that comes with being a 5th grader! We help students see their role in learning as a collaborative process through listening and being open to others’ perspectives in group work. Fifth grade is also a time for students to learn how some important responsibility habits like meeting deadlines, organizing materials, and advocating for themselves as learners can actually increase the depth and overall enjoyment of the learning process.

    In fifth grade we follow the Common Core State Standards, however we have specifically targeted some skills that are more critical for math success for this year and the years beyond. Please help us help your student by ensuring that they are experts in the standards below:

    5th Grade Math Essential Standards

    1. I can add and subtract decimals to hundredths.  For example, 20.81 + 467.3 = and 100.3 – 24.55.
    2. I can find quotients with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, and illustrate and explain the answer.  For example, I can compute that 9,984 divided by 64 = 156.
    3. I can use parentheses, brackets or braces to express, understand, and evaluate order of operations. For example, in (26+ 18) - 4  = 11 or 3 X 125 -- 25 +7 = 22, I know which computation to perform first, which one to do next, etc.
    4. I can add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers with unlike denominators using equivalent fractions.  For example, 2/5 + 7/8 = 16/40 + 35/40 = 51/40 = 1 11/40.
    5. I can recognize that a solid figure with n unit cubes has a volume of n cubic units.  For example, I can apply the following formula to find the volume of an object: V= l × w×h.

    Bridges in Mathmatics is our math curriculum. It is aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

    Through teamwork & discussion, students will build a strong foundation in mathematics.  This applies to new learning or building upon concepts previously taught. Our aim is for students to not only to know how to solve a problem but understand the “why”.

    Reading Skills in 5th grade:


    Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

    Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

    Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

    Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.


    Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.


    Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.


    There are multiple writing Common Core State Standards for fifth grade. While all of them are important, the standards below are absolutely critical to a Parkwood fifth grader’s writing success this year and beyond. Please help us support your child by ensuring they are experts in the standards below.

    5th Grade Writing Essential Standards

    1. I can write opinion papers that gives my point of view and reasons for my thinking.
    2. I can write papers to explain and inform my readers about a topic.
    3. I can write stories that develop real or made-up experiences using descriptive details and a sequence of events that makes sense.
    4. I can write clear and focused papers where the development and organization are appropriate for my purpose and audience.
    5. I can use a graphic organizer to create a topic sentence and organize my ideas and evidence for a paragraph.
    6. I can use evidence from grade level fiction or nonfiction reading to support my ideas.

    Students will expand their learning and use the scientific process to design and carryout scientific experiments.

    Topics will include:

    1. Ecosystems/Environments
    2. Food Chemistry
    3. Astronomy
    4. Motion and Design
    5. Stem Activities
    6. Coding

    In social studies, the main emphasis of study is the beginning of European exploration in North America through the American Revolutionary War.

    1. European Explorers
    2. Colonial Times
    3. Revolutionary War
    4. States and Capitals

    We have regular classroom meetings featuring routines and themes taken from the Second Step curriculum. These meetings serve as a supportive and safe place for our students to learn new social and emotional learning strategies and to ask for help in solving problems.

    Second steps includes a variety of lessons that help foster social and emotional learning. Some of the concepts include, compassion, empathy, friendship, kindness, self-control, community, and to be an individual who is aware of themselves and those around them.

    Our fifth grade students develop interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, and problem solving strategies throughout the year.