Fifth graders are introduced to a more sophisticated academic climate through the rotation of rooms according to subject area. Students visit with two core fifth grade teachers throughout the day, grouped by homeroom. This helps to prepare these early Middle School students for the changing of classrooms that will take place each period in sixth through eighth grades. In many ways, fifth graders are celebrated as leaders of the Elementary School while also paving their way for success in the Middle School.
Fifth Grade Curriculum
The math curriculum includes geometry, decimal place value, algebraic reasoning, problem solving strategies, multiplication by one, two, and three-digit numbers, division by one and two-digit numbers, measurement (metric and customary), graphing data, statistics, fraction number theory concepts, addition/subtraction/multiplication/division of fractions and decimals, and ratio/probability. Twice a month students participate in Math Centers: fun, hands-on activities that help students practice math concepts. Every day class begins with Daily Math Practice (DMP) exercises to sharpen basic math skills throughout the year.
Reading & Language Arts
Fifth graders use The Write Source, which combines grammar skills and the writing process. All written pieces begin with an outline, and writing projects are interspersed with grammar skill building. Students create their own autobiographies and learn sentence diagramming once they have mastered the parts of speech.
Vocabulary building, sequencing, predicting and comprehension skills are taught using the Houghton Mifflin reading series. In addition to theme-based reading units, students read and study one trade book each quarter. Students read one personally-selected book each month at home, and present a book report to the class. Each month a different genre is assigned, and the form of the book report is specifically tailored to the genre. Vocabulary is built through reading, as key words must be identified and defined by students in each report.
In Social Studies, students explore Native American tribes, early explorers, colonial development, the Revolutionary War, and the establishment of government in the United States. Students also learn globe and map skills and review states and capitals. Current Event reports are also given on a weekly basis. Note taking, graphic organizers, vocabulary builders, and comprehension strategies are all cornerstones of curriculum. The fifth grade team also strives to provide project-based learning experiences to accompany each unit of study. Some projects students prepare include the Native American tribe model home, Living Colonial Wax Museum, and “Road to the Revolution” news program using iMovie and student iPads. Fifth Graders use Type to Learn 4 to develop their keyboarding skills. SMART Boards and iPads are used on a daily basis to enrich classroom teaching and learning in every subject, every day.
Using the hands-on Delta Science program, fifth graders study Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. Topics studied include the human body, health, rocks and minerals, pollution, weather forecasting, and simple machines. Students conduct many experiments in class, learn to use graphic organizers, and build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. During our study of the human body, students listen to multiple guest speakers in the medical field. Each unit is also accompanied with a unit project such as the Geologist Fair, Invention Convention, and the Pollution Awareness Project.
Students play Hispanic Trivia to brush up on their knowledge of cultural customs, traditions, and famous people through the Spanish curriculum. Students begin the year by writing the date in Spanish (a review), matching Spanish greetings and selecting the gender of given nouns. Students learn to tell time, describe physical characteristics, and can recognize numbers through 1,000. Emphasis is put on orally communicating ideas, listening to stories and writing in Spanish. Other topics include sports, clothing, use of the formal (Ud.) vs. informal (tu) “you,” and conjugating verbs that end in -ar, -ir and -er.
In Religion, students learn about the Seven Sacraments with an emphasis on the Eucharist. Students also explore the parts of the Mass and, therefore, further their appreciation and understanding of the Catholic liturgy. Students participate in daily meditation and reflective journal exercises. Every K-8 grader at SFX School plans and leads several all-school liturgies each year. Students attend Mass once every week in the church.
Middle School students are issued an iPad for their personal use throughout the school day. As in all K-8 grades at SFX, Middle School students also benefit from a SMART/interactive White Board in every classroom, and check out other technology tools for targeted academic applications. Online resources are incorporated into all areas of curriculum.