In fifth grade, language arts and social studies are integrated. The integrated program features the cross-curricular skills of reading to enhance understanding of the world, writing to communicate key ideas and opinions, critical thinking to understand one’s place in the community, and speaking as a form of empowerment.
The language arts curriculum specifically focuses on vocabulary skills, grammar concepts, and analyzing texts. The social studies curriculum guides students in the study of U.S history through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students analyze and discuss varying perspectives on historical events. Our current event study ties closely with our historical studies, allowing students to reflect on why studying history through different lenses is vital to understanding our role in the community today.
Fifth grade math topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, decimal numbers, and fractions, and the course concludes with a study of basic geometry. Pre-algebra skills and problem solving are included in all units of study.
The goals of the Modern and Classical Languages Department are to develop language-competent, global-minded citizens. Fifth grade Spanish and French are proficiency-oriented courses in which students practice the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, in all modes: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.
Units of study are thematically based, enabling students to acquire new language skills through the medium of new information. By means of a broad array of input, including authentic websites, videos, print and maps, students develop language skills and cultural awareness.
Games, skits, songs, puppet shows, and other developmentally appropriate activities motivate student learning. The resources employed support the students’ transition from the Novice Low to Novice Mid proficiency level, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
In fifth grade science, students explore science as a process, making observations, measurements, inferences, and predictions about a variety of phenomena. The curriculum has been designed to encourage students to become working scientists, to make authentic connections to the world around them, and construct solutions using the engineering design process.
Topics of exploration include lab safety, measurement skills, water cycle, pH, matter, atoms, electricity, classification of living things and flight. As an introductory course to middle school science, the course reinforces study skills, note-taking skills, and non-fiction reading strategies.
All Middle School students participate in the fine arts every day. Students are offered opportunities in the visual and performing arts. Each student in fifth grade will study art, band, choir, drama, general music, and orchestra. This allows all students to gain a better understanding of the different performing arts opportunities at the middle school. The program concentrates on developing a basic knowledge of the arts and an appreciation for them.
All Middle School students participate in daily physical education. Focusing on individual improvements in physical fitness, students are asked to work on cardiovascular endurance and physical strength regularly. Additionally, students are exposed to a variety of sports throughout the year with the hope that they will be enticed to continue participating in Middle School athletics when the time comes.
Fifth grade health focuses on human growth and development. Topics discussed include the male and female reproductive system, pregnancy, and childbirth. Health is taught by the Physical Education instructors and occurs within the structures of PE class.
Fifth graders are taught regularly throughout the school year by our full-time Middle School Director of Counseling. The program is designed to help emerging adolescents learn important life skills. Several weeks are spent on topics such as values, friendships, cooperation, decision-making, and social skills. The goal is to increase the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills of the pre-adolescent and the classes are tailored to fit their developmental needs.
In addition, support groups are offered at all grade levels. Topics range from students who are experiencing a change in their family structure, students who are new to our school, or any other identified need. Students are invited to the group on a voluntary basis and develop skills to help them adjust to the changes in their life in a positive way. Students in these groups provide support for one another and are bound by the rules to keep all discussions in confidence.
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Grade 5 Highlights
PE is offered daily and students are divided into classes by gender.
The schedule is based on a seven day cycle.
Health is taught during PE classes and fifth graders are divided into separate groups, with one male and one female teacher per group. Classes are both gender specific and co-ed, based on the topic.
Purchasing of textbooks and materials begin in fifth grade.
Letter grades are given on many assignments, including tests and quizzes. These grades are used to calculate averages, which will appear as letter grades on report cards at the end of each quarter.
Fifth and sixth grade students and teachers attend School in the Woods for three days during the fall.