The fifth-grade curriculum is designed and presented with emphasis on organization and study skills. This is accomplished through the use of an organized folder for student work, class webpages, and the use of calendars for planning and executing long-term assignments. Students are guided to the efficient application of a system for the recording of class notes and test preparation. Students develop skills with the use of both hardbound and electronic reference materials, such as the dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, almanac and encyclopedia. The technology lab, SMARTBoard, Internet and 1:1 laptops are used for researching topics of study and for aiding in the development and creation of projects.
In Language Arts, we emphasize the development of advanced reading comprehension skills. Through guided reading, teachers model and guide use of effective reading strategies and comprehension skills. Students are taught the conventions of good writing, which include punctuation, grammar and strategies for accurate spelling. The writing skill that is a focus in fifth grade is self-expression which is applied throughout a selection of genre.
Math In Focus: Singapore Math helps fifth-graders students build solid conceptual understanding of math principles, which are then applied to unique problem solving situations. The program makes use of a concrete-pictorial-abstract progression bringing depth to understanding and number sense. Students use various types of bar modeling to visually illustrate the analysis of multi-step word problems. This process allows students to later articulate their thinking through conventional algorithms.
Social Studies begins with understanding the reasons European countries explored and claimed land in North America. The curriculum includes the study of colonization, slavery, tension among the colonies, and unity of 13 colonies in their fight for independence. Students experience social studies through innovative teaching practices that include dramatic role playing, creative simulations, research, group projects and writing activities.
By the time students get to fifth-grade science class, they have progressively improved their abilities to conduct scientific investigations independently and in small groups. They are making careful observations, measuring with greater accuracy and using evidence to support their thinking. Units of study include: Atoms, Elements and the Periodic Table, Characteristics of Life, The Engineering Process, Cells and Body Systems and Pond Ecology.
Capstone is a culminating project focused on a personal topic of interest in which our students are expected to use their repertoire of Lower School academic skills and experiences to complete a fully integrated paper and presentation. This significant experience highlights media research, English, literature, technology skills and public speaking.