Fifth Grade Overview
Fifth grade is the golden year, a nod to ideal physiology (symmetry, heartbeat-to-breath rhythm, sense refinement) and the golden age of Greece, when mythology recedes and democracy, logic and philosophy arise. Even the morning verse changes, shifting perspective from the sun to the student: “I look into the world, and see the shining sun…” The fifth grader now penetrates the world outside themselves with acuity. Exuding openness, enthusiasm, flexibility and harmony, students learn the Greek alphabet, take field trips to nurture the seasonal rhythm of life, and gain independence in language arts by creating their own composition.
5th Grade Curriculum at a Glance
MAIN LESSON BLOCKS
Mythology/History Ancient Cultures: China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Greece
Science: Botany I & II Geography United States & North America
Math: Introduction to Decimals, Freehand Geometric Drawing
Drama: Class Play
5th Grade Curriculum in Detail
LANGUAGE ARTS (4 skills classes per week & Main Lesson) – Ms. Franczak
Reading: Continued building of reading fluency and reading comprehension skills through assigned reading and reading aloud practice at home
Literature: 5th grade marks shift from Reading Groups to Literature Class. Now the class reads several novels and short stories together with their class teacher rather than in small groups with a Reading Helper. All literature books are accompanied by written comprehension work and class discussions led by the class teacher. Some months, students will read a book on their own and prepare a book report or project. Every student is expected to read 8-10 age-level classics over the course of fifth grade.
Writing: Continued practice on paragraph writing with clear topic sentences and supporting details. Expanded main lesson writings, story summaries, captions, descriptive paragraphs, creative writing, report writing, letter writing, poetry.
Writing: Continued attention on punctuation and capitalization conventions with goal of Conventions achieving writing that is free of punctuation and capitalization errors.
Handwriting Students write in cursive and continue to develop “their hand” with goal of having a fluid, relaxed motion by the time they receive their fountain pens midyear.
Grammar Students consolidate their understanding of parts of speech, learn to distinguish between simple from compound sentences, and active and passive voice.
Vocabulary: Intro to Wordly Wise Vocabulary Series with weekly unit work. Additionally, continued vocabulary building through main lesson-related vocabulary lists.
Spelling: Ongoing work with spelling rules; students also maintain personal spelling lists to improve their own editing skills. Self-checking – using dictionary or google – for misspelled words becomes part of the drafting process. Weekly Friday spelling quizzes.
5th Grade Singapore Math Workbook & Key Curriculum Series for fractions and decimals
Review: Four operations, long division, and fraction concepts covered in 4th grade
New Material: Introduction to decimals; finding averages; conversion within English system of measurement; & conversion from English to metric system; graphs – pie chart, bar graphs
Ongoing practice with 4 processes and times tables with speed and accuracy
Ongoing mental math, math games, story problems, developing problem solving strategies
CHINESE (First Semester) – Jennifer Carroll
Short dialogues, skits, and games build vocabulary, develop comprehension, & provide speaking practice
Reading of characters with Chinese phonetic alphabet
Writing simple pictograms and ideograms
Formulating sentences and having basic conversations in Chinese
Continued celebration of festivals
SPANISH (Second Semester) – Jenna Zapata
Continued work with reading, writing, oral comprehension, vocabulary building and speaking
Continued work with grammar, adding present tense verb chart
Geography of Mexico
MUSIC – Melissa Archer
Interval work with voice and recorder
Study of music theory including key signatures, dynamics, vocabulary
Recorder practice at home
Preparation for regional Olympiad which includes javelin, discus, Greek wrestling, relay, and sprints
Ball and Frisbee-handling skills
Learning to rely upon own strength, perseverance, courage
PAINTING & FORM DRAWING – Magda Paz
Painting: both plants and humans are portrayed through color exercises
Daily drawing practice in main lesson as part of lesson processing
HANDWORK – Cynthia Bower
Knitting in the round
Finishing techniques for knitting projects
Advanced skills like thumb holes, gussets, crowns of hats, cable stitching, and i-cords
Projects: hats, gauntlets, mittens, baby booties, pom-poms
WOODWORK – Michael McGlone
Chisel, mallet, and hand drill are introduced
Projects: mushroom-shaped container and student’s name chiseled into pine board
EURYTHMY – Holly Powell
Harmonious group movement to poetry and classical music
Staying centered while in the flow and feeling the self as part of the whole
Work with copper rods and balls to develop focus, stillness, balance, coordination
Wellness Program ( 4-6 per year)—Guided conversations to promote social/emotional awareness
Chinese Cultural Enrichment (2-4 per year)—Foods, customs, holidays, crafts, traditions
Science Fridays— Ecology studies: relationship of animal life to their environment