Welcome Fifth Grade!
Fifth grade is a very productive and busy year. Our curriculum covers a wide range of subjects including geometry, decimals, and fractions in math. In English, we concentrate on writing, grammar and parts of speech. Science brings the study of our earth, simple machines, body systems and ecosystems. Social studies covers geography concepts as well as United States history. In connection with our reading program, there will be a requirement to read books every nine weeks. We also learn new computer skills and work on various projects during the year to develop these skills.
Because we have a large amount of material to cover along with preparation for ISAT testing, fifth grade is a transitional year. Students will focus on good work habits, being responsible and working independently. Fifth grade is a year in which good listening skills and a conscientious work ethic will prove very valuable.
Mrs. Jill Veskauf
5th Grade Teacher
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." -Albert Einstein
Teaching Fifth grade is such a joy for me. This year marks my 30th year as an educator, and my ninth year teaching Fifth grade. I have taught in the district Challenge program and as a Third grade teacher in District 709, as well. Prior to that, I worked with students in a Title I Reading program and as a First and Second grade teacher. I am proud to have earned a Masters’ Degree at Illinois State University in Reading Education. Being an elementary teacher is a very important part of my life.
When I am not at school, I spend lots of time with my family and friends. I have been married for over 34 years. We have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. My oldest, Alaina, works as a hair stylist at a studio in Morton. She is married to Ryan, a Morton police officer. They are parents to Zoey and Jovi. My youngest, Drew, earned a journalism degree from Northern Illinois University. He currently is working for the Times Newspapers as the City Editor and the Pekin Daily Times as the Managing Editor. Drew was married to Bethany over this past summer in a beautiful ceremony in a barn! I enjoy scrapbooking, shopping, fishing, attending sporting events, and reading in my spare time.
I believe every student can learn. It is my hope that students in this classroom develop appropriate academic skills for his or her developmental level, as well as grow socially and emotionally as Fifth graders. I feel that students learn best when using familiar structure each day. It is my goal to teach and encourage use of organizational skills and tools to help insure success as learners. I expect students to work hard and do their best, and I will do the same. Most of all, it is my mission to help students find the joy in learning, creating, and knowing!
5th Grade Teacher
I have been teaching in Morton School District since 1993. I graduated from MacMurray College with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I have a Master’s in Educational Technology and recently finished a second Master’s in Early Childhood Education. I love teaching and find it challenging to keep my students’ engaged throughout the day. I have been teaching Fifth Grade for years now and have enjoyed getting to know my students each year.
I am married to Shane and we have four sons. Austin is 21, Gabe is 19, Cole is 17 and Owen is 13. Austin graduated from Morton High School, joined the Army National Guard and is presently a Junior at Western Illinois University. He plays lacrosse for WIU and he is majoring in Law Enforcement. Gabe is a graduate of Morton High school. He is presently a freshman at St. Ambrose, he plays lacrosse for the Bees and he is studying Nursing. Cole is a sophomore at Morton High School and plays football, and lacrosse. He is determined to lift weights every day and enjoys lifeguarding at the Morton Pool. Owen loves to play soccer, play Minecraft and enjoys swimming on the Morton Swim team. He is also attending Morton Junior High.
As a family we love to read, camp and fish. We love to spend time together and vacation as often as we can. We also enjoy sports and try to support our boys’ by attending as many of their events as we can.
My intention in the classroom is to fill students with a love for learning. I respect individuality while challenging each and every student to reach his or her potential. My students and I work as a team to ensure everybody has success in the classroom. I provide engaging lessons to keep student interest and also provide individual instruction to enhance their learning environment.
Mr. Jacob Stone
5th grade teacher
I am eager to join the Ward Grundy Elementary School staff this year as a fifth-grade teacher! It is exciting to return to my “home” school district; I am a proud 2012 graduate of Morton High School, and it is thrilling to teach in the same school district that set me up for lifelong success. The 2017-2018 school year will not only be my first year as a Grundy Gator, but also as an educator. I am proud of having earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEE) from Illinois State University. As an undergraduate student, I worked with kids of all ages ranging from infancy to 12 years old. My developing proficiency working with children comes from a wide variety of clinical placements and jobs I held while studying to be an elementary school teacher. This includes three years of volunteer experience in a second-grade classroom in MCUSD 709 and working as the first and second grade teacher at Pumpkin Place LTD. in Morton for a year. My work with children eventually lead to my time spent as a third-grade teacher at Tremont Elementary School in Tremont, Illinois where I student taught for a semester before graduating in May of 2017.
Although I love teaching, I DO try to have a life away from school. J In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising, watching the Morton High School Marching Band (I played trumpet, and mellophone back in the day), and exploring the latest forms of technology.
As a continuously developing teacher in the 21st Century, I strive to educate each of my students in ways that are most meaningful. Realizing that students learn through various educational styles, I believe the best progress occurs when teacher-centered learning and student-centered learning are combined in the classroom. Providing students with necessary instruction and allowing them to further explore new concepts permits them to better grasp the curriculum being taught. I believe utilizing these educational styles while recognizing each of my students as an individual with diverse learning needs will ensure my fifth-grade students grow to be lifelong learners. The best part of it all is that we can accomplish all of this while encouraging parental involvement, working as a team and enjoying our time together!
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think…”
- Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne)