Welcome to Fifth Grade
Fifth grade is a year of change as students begin the process of transitioning among academic teachers and adjusting to various teaching styles, which requires organization and responsibility to make this year successful. As a result, fifth grade reflects many of the standards established for the Middle School such as the grading system, and the policy of dropping one letter grade for each day an assignment is late. Quarterly, students set individual goals and strategies for accomplishing these personal goals. Fifth grade underscores a multisensory (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) approach to instruction.
Emphasis in fifth grade is placed upon writing by incorporating strong verbs, similes, descriptive words, correct grammar, spelling, and succinct language to convey ideas and thoughts. Implementing a writing program known as Four Square, students organize and produce multiple drafts prior to a final paper. Each student completes in class a descriptive paper, a persuasive letter, a compare and contrast essay, and a personal narrative or a short story. A research paper and project is developed on Native Americans using the MSA format. In addition, direct instruction in English grammar is provided stressing correct sentence structure, nouns, conjunctions, interjections, verbs, adjectives, capitalization, pronouns, adverbs, and prepositions. Further, students weekly have vocabulary and spelling to master.
Math is important in everyday life and is sometimes called the purest science. The basics of math are a number sense built upon a mastery of math facts. Nightly, on the computer site aaamath.com, students practice their facts. Daily, math is assessed to determine if a student grasps the concept. Areas of study incorporate place value, review of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division,measurement, fractions, decimals, geometry, ratio, percent, probability, algebra, integers, and coordinates. Math is incorporated into science and social studies classes when possible. Introducing math concepts through word problems provides students an application of math skills and the opportunity to solve problems using different math strategies. Math discussions and explanations are encouraged to provide multiple methods of finding solutions. Each student uses an erasable board and marker in class for guided and independent practice so work can be easily monitored. The class is divided into two groups of equal size to provide more individualized instruction.
Fifth grade students will explore the various elements of literature and reading through their Houghton Mifflin text books, as well as through novel studies. Students will complete monthly book reports or projects on novels of their own selection, as well as quarterly novel studies as a class.
This year we have purchased a new series of vocabulary books called Wordly Wise. We will use these books in reading class to develop vocabulary skills to be used in our daily language and writing. I look forward to the new series, as I believe it will offer students a better understanding of the words in each unit.
Students will also incorporate the foursquare method to create writing pieces in conjunction with their English class. Students will journal each class to encourage consistency of daily writing habits and the importance of “creative flow”.
Reading in the 5th grade will focus on the following concepts:
- • Inferring and drawing conclusions from the text
- • Understanding the various genres of literature
- • Recognizing the author’s viewpoint
- • Recognize story structure
- • Practicing fluidity of speech when reading aloud
- • Evaluating other forms of literature- i.e., newspapers, magazines etc.
- • Interpreting poetry and drama
The students will work to strengthen and deepen their prayer lives by cultivating the habit of personal prayer. To that end the students will memorize and recite with reverence formal prayers such as the Apostles Creed, the Memorare, the Rosary, the Prayer to the Holy Spirit, and the Acts of Faith, Hope and Love, et alia.
The students will also:
- • Define an associate the purpose and effect of each of the seven sacraments.
- • Become familiar with liturgical colors and their meanings.
- • Realize that the Mass, the Church’s principle act of worship, is a Holy Banquet and a Holy Sacrifice in which Christ is present.
- • Realize that we are created in God’s image and that through His gift of grace we can live as God intends.
- • Know the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
- • Be attentive to the possibility of God’s invitation to the priesthood and/or religious life.
Using the Scientific Method, students participate in lab experiments to develop science skills in observation, classification, estimation, measurement, inference, prediction, model development, and operational definitions. Students interpret data in various forms including graphs. Background information is provided through the study of materials in the areas of Life Science (classifying organisms, cells and human body systems, plants, and ecosystems), Earth Science (water, weather, and Earth’s surface and resources), Physical Science (matter, energy, motion, and electricity), and Space and Technology (stars, galaxies, solar system, and computers).Among alternate assessments and projects, students produce a yearly science fair project, travel brochure for trips to planets, cell models made from recycled materials, biomes, cotton cloud formations, and posters on organs and human body systems.
Social Studies incorporates American geography, history, government, economics, society, and culture. Using a strategy known as SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review), students learn to read and study information. Class presentations are power points of previously read materials imbedded with videos of historical events. Following the textbook, history includes the study of Native Americans, Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, explorers, the Thirteen Colonies, the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Civil War, Black History, and Reconstruction. With the MSA format, students choose a Native American tribe to research, write a paper, and present a project. To understand the past, students barter objects, produce colonial crafts, make an astrolabe to determine the latitude where they live, and act out historical events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Each year students participate in the Wax Museum where they research, dress up and present an American historical figure. To learn about our world, students summarize a current event bi-weekly.