“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”.  

Melissa started her career at Premier Charter School as a 2nd grade teacher. Before City Academy, she taught in Rockford, IL as a 5th grade teacher for four years at Jackson Charter School. While at Jackson, she coached the Girls on the Run, ran a 5k with the girls, and tutored in the after-school program. Melissa has taught Kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade in her teaching career. When Melissa’s not at City Academy she loves running, camping in the outdoors, and playing the clarinet.

Melissa Jonff
Fifth Grade Language Arts Teacher
BS in Education, Eastern Illinois University


Inside the Classroom


In reading, we are shifting whole group instruction into small group learning. We are now focusing on writing summaries about short books, articles, and novels.   Student should have a nonfiction book and a fiction for class and homework use.  Please check planners for daily homework.

NEW BOOK:  We are now reading I am Malala. This book is such a great example of a memoir as well as the strength of our youth.  She is such an inspiration to all young students.  I am Malala is about a young girl who stood up for the girls in her country that wanted to go to school.  The book goes into the culture of Pakistan and how the Middle East struggled with the Taliban.  It also talks about her journey as a young girl during this time.  It is truly a book worth reading.

Our reading block schedule:

  1.  Read independently for 15 minutes while I come around and conference with each student.
  2. Center 1 choice work for 15 minutes- I will be giving instruction to a small group during this time
  3. Center 2 choice work for 15 minutes- I will be giving instruction to a small group during this time



We are starting a new unit this quarter.  We are focusing on writing a Memoir piece.  The students will have an ample amount of time to work in whole group and small group to gain the skills needed for this paper.  A memoir is a personal narrative that is in essay form.  It is a difficult piece to write, but the students will get the support they need for this writing piece.  I look forward to the final paper!

Social Studies:

We are focusing on learning about geography and map skills.

Weekly Homework

Reading Logs- These pages will go home on Mondays and are due the following Monday.  Each student should read 30 minutes a night.  Please sign these and have your child turn them into me each week.

Upcoming Deadlines

The new date for the Talent Show is Wednesday, March 6th. Auditions will take place the week of February 4th.

February 21st- African American Family Celebration – 5:30 p.m


Helpful Links


AR Quiz

Destiny Discover 

AR Bookfinder for Levels

IXL – use current user name and passwords

Readworks.com – sign in with your google account for group work


Have a question about fifth grade? Ask Ms. Jonff!

Have a question about the classroom? Ask Ms. Jonff!

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