Dear Crocker Families,

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year! This is my 15th year in teaching and my 10th year teaching at Crocker Highlands. In my prior professional life, I was a Management Information Systems Consultant at Arthur Andersen (now Accenture). My family and I live in Oakland. My husband was born here. I have two children, Kaitlyn and Sean, who are now both in college.  I love this community of students and their families. You are smart, creative and generous with your time and talents.

The 5th grade year is an amazing passage. The curriculum is rich and interesting. In my classroom, we will be continuing our exploration of math with an emphasis on creative problem solving. In science, we will be investigating our “Water Planet,” “Mixtures and Solutions” in our chemistry unit, and examining “Living Systems” in our life sciences unit. This summer I had an opportunity to attend an institute on Weather and Climate Change at Chabot Space and Science Center. I plan to bring much of what I learned into our classroom.

In Ms. Oretsky’s classroom, 5th graders will be studying our nation’s history and enjoying literature and poetry. In both of our classrooms, we will be exploring several genres of writing, including poetry. We will also work towards being better members of our community and our world through a new curriculum called “Caring Schools Community.”

In all of our spare time (hee,hee), I will share my love of words and language in etymology and of the oceans in a physical oceanography course.

Please continue to visit this page to see what is going on in room 21.

Kate Spees