- Language Arts
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
- Technical Arts
The theme in Grade 5 is Art and Communication. Students discover that artists translate thoughts, dreams, and experiences into art that others can understand. They learn that art can communicate social and political causes, personal feelings, historical records, and religious meaning. A connection is drawn between the establishment of the American nation and the art of that time. Students create works reflecting a growing ability to organize and compose elements in pictures, sculptures, and crafts. They grow in the understanding that art is a universal form of communication expressed and perceived in many ways.
The core of Grade 5 language arts is Guided Reading, which provides students with small group instruction tailored to the strengths and needs of the group. As participants of Literature Circles, students actively discuss topics such as understanding theme, character development, vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking with their peers. Students develop a strong understanding of essential grammar concepts, including prepositions and prepositional phrases, subjects and verbs, capitalization, and punctuation. As authors, students work on developing a “writing life” using Writing Workshop. Students focus on writing well-written sentences while developing their voices as writers in pieces such as memoirs and argument-based research papers. As part of their research, they learn how to find and use reliable Internet sites.
The Singapore Math curriculum uses a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to introduce new math concepts. Through bar modeling, students learn techniques of deriving, drawing, and manipulating information to represent a variety of mathematical concepts. Students build and deepen previous concepts, with an emphasis on fractions, decimals, and geometry. The curriculum instills confidence in math and critical thinking. Selected Grade 5 students have the opportunity to participate in an off-site, county-wide math competition for the first time.
Students become more familiar with the core sports offered in middle school: soccer, volleyball, basketball, flag football, tennis, and track and field. Students are also introduced to other complex games that require strategy, such as ultimate frisbee and pickleball. The first five-week swim unit is focused on lap swimming for fitness, and in the second five-week swim unit, students begin to play water polo. Social dancing is taught for five weeks during the spring term.
In Grade 5, religion focuses on the experience of God’s grace and presence in daily life. Students receive a Bible and learn to locate passages in both Old and New Testaments. In class, students discuss and reflect on the significance of scripture in their lives. Students become familiar with different forms of prayer, the liturgical calendar, and the symbols and practices of the Church.
Students prepare for a mission to Mars. Using the Full Option Science System (FOSS) program, Grade 5 explores engineering, modeling, and inquiry. Students learn the value and limitations of creating models while investigating the solar system, habitats, and atmospheres. Students research and use the scientific process as they ask questions like, "How will I get to Mars? How will I survive on Mars?"
Grade 5 social studies uses the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI) program and covers American history in an interactive and collaborative way. In-depth units about European exploration and the American Revolution culminate with overnight, living history field trips. Students build subject area study skills as they integrate classroom experiences, an interactive notebook, and the textbook. Students participate in a year round classroom economy in which they apply for and keep a job, pay rent for their desks, and earn and spend money. They later develop a business plan and design a product to sell at their Mini City.
Grade 5 Spanish emphasizes speaking, cultural awareness, and the techniques and skills needed to be successful in middle school Spanish. By the end of Grade 5, students are able to talk about activities they like and dislike; personality traits; school schedules and subjects; what they do during the day; and food, health, and exercise choices.
Technical Arts is a class that blends technology, design, and engineering. In the intermediate grades (4-5), students further their understanding of digital and physical tools with new and exciting projects. They learn about the Internet and the principles of navigating the web safely. New technologies are introduced, such as microcontrollers and electric components that allow students to create and code robotic inventions, as well as 3D design and 3D printing that enable students to imagine and develop new products. Students become proficient at keyboarding and develop a concrete understanding of basic computer programming and the design process.
Throughout the year, students develop the skills of innovation, collaboration, prototyping, and testing ideas to increase creativity in the technical arts and other areas of school life. Their efforts guide them to become “adaptive” learners, capable of embracing a mindset that will prepare them to become creative lifelong learners.