Fifth grade is a year of change as students move into the Middle School. Fifth graders grow and mature academically, socially, and physically as they move into a more departmentalized curriculum. Fifth graders begin to assume more responsibility for their learning, both at school and at home. Organizational, critical thinking, cooperative learning and study skills are emphasized through daily work, projects and some long-term assignments. Students continue to assume more responsibility for their learning as they gain the independence and the skills necessary to succeed in school.
Curriculum: The courses of study for fifth grade (except for technology) are listed under the appropriate departmental headings along with middle and upper school courses.
Technology: In technology classes, students continue to build speed and accuracy in keyboarding. Students learn to use technology as a resource for performing a variety of tasks. They also use on-line resources to support learning and research. Please refer to the specific department for other course descriptions and to the Intermediate School Curriculum Schema (see Curriculum & Instruction) for a snapshot overview.
Auxiliary courses include music, art, library skills, physical education, and research on the Internet within the classroom as well as during scheduled computer lab time.
Courses of study
Students in grade 5 are transitioning into middle school which includes physical, emotional, social, and cognitive changes. Students will combine prior knowledge with new information and refine their language abilities. They will write with increased awareness of grammar and usage as well as identify, understand, and practice new vocabulary. Fifth grade English is taught in conjunction with fifth grade reading. This course focuses on an in-depth study of basic grammar, vocabulary, and writing. Grammar includes the parts of speech, end punctuation, proofreading/editing symbols, subject-verb agreement, verb forms, pronoun antecedent agreement, standard usage, commas, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences. Vocabulary is expanded by learning the proper usage and context of new words. Writing skills are developed through daily journal writing and other writing assignments.
Reading 5 uses the Foundations and Frameworks, an instructional reading program with the goal of independent comprehension. Foundations & Frameworks addresses the following elements: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension. The units covered focus on these areas: sequence of events, character, main idea and supporting details, setting, drawing conclusions, problem solving and author's purpose, plot, and context clues. Evaluations include daily work, quizzes, tests, homework and monthly book reports.
This course is part of the Writer’s Stylus program, in which students work on revision skills within a variety of genres. Part of the program includes one-on-one instruction by working with a writing “coach.” The goal of the course is to enhance the student’s sense of writing style and mastery of grammar.
The fifth grade math program provides strong mathematical content, which is learned through real-life activities and manipulatives. The course, utilizing the Everyday Math Program, focuses on operations with whole numbers and decimals, fractions, percents, probability, geometry, measurement, introductory pre-algebra concepts, and graphing. A heavy emphasis is placed on problem solving and estimation strategies throughout each math concept. The program, based on the recommended National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards, provides a hands-on approach where student interaction and discussion is encouraged. Students learn a variety of calculator strategies and are introduced to the Excel Spreadsheet program for data collection and graphing. Evaluation is based on tests, quizzes, homework, alternative assessments, group work, and various projects.
American History 5
This course examines U.S. history from Native Americans to the Civil War. Special emphasis is on a cultural interpretation of America's history through the examination of people, events, stories and ways of life of each era. The emphasis in geography is placed on locating the states and their capitals east of the Mississippi River. The development of writing skills, critical thinking skills, study skills and test-taking strategies are integrated throughout the year.
The 5th grade Science course of study is an integrated program. Students will investigate life processes, interaction among living things, earth systems, the atmosphere and solar system, kinds of matter and forms of energy. This program hopes to engage students in posing problems and questions and guiding their inquiry into exploring scientific data. In addition, this program will expand on concepts learned and help the student apply understanding to the real world.