Samantha Archibald and Ashley Conlan
The fifth-grade curriculum supports the needs of students to see themselves as competent and positive contributors to their school community. Reading and math skills and strategies are applied to social studies and science to study "real world" topics. Students learn to evaluate, research, and report new information using a variety of technology as they continue to grow as independent learners.
Fifth grade challenges our students to become avid readers and independent writers. Our program supports middle school students to become involved in literature and non-fiction reading using active reading strategies that engage their imaginations. Students keep detailed journals to make their thinking concrete and visible. Our school uses the readers' and writers' workshop model to instruct our students as independent learners.
Our fifth-grade mathematics program allows students to develop their own mathematical reasoning and use of communication skills in small groups and individually to build computational and problem solving skills. Students apply rules to probability and algebraic functions. Concepts of elapsed time, unit conversion, relative distance, force measurement, probability of events, and solving word problems extend their math to the "real" world.
Middle school science focuses on students designing their own experiments and learning the scientific method. The skills of observation, description, measurement, and communication are developed through the inquiry method. Science journals are used to develop a written record of students' discoveries in their work around light, sound, relative motion of the sun, earth, and moon as well as our sensory functions. Children explore how a real radio telescope works through the GAVRT NASA project.
The fifth-grade social studies program focuses on exploration and colonization of the Americas. The foundations of government, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are studied as the foundation of our modern society in the United States. Students are asked to connect their experiences today with their understanding of the influence of history on current events.
Fifth-grade students participate in weekly instruction in Art, Music, Physical Education/Health Spanish and Technology. Students may also participate in Band, Orchestra, and/or Chorus. The Physical Education Program includes swimming instruction.