|Fifth Grade Curriculum|
MATH & ALGEBRA
Algebra in fifth grade covers a wide range of ability levels from pre-algebra to solving complex equations. Students are grouped according to ability and there are usually two or three groups within the class. The Key to Algebra series by Key Curriculum Press provides a set of ten workbooks that build on each other and provide concentrated practice and repetition for different concept areas. Workbook study is combined with group activities which explore practical applications of algebra.
A geometry unit is taught while students learn a computer program called LOGO. Students learn about shapes and angles while they create geometric drawings. Basic geometry is introduced and students work towards formal proofs involving an understanding of congruent shapes.
Fifth graders continue to
work in math groups at their own levels. All math groups cover the basic
concept areas that are recommended by the California State frameworks for
different grade levels. The upper math group uses Sadlier Oxford Progress in
Math and the Connected Mathematics curriculum for most of its work. The Connected Mathematics series presents number concepts in a rich verbal
context designed to develop meaning through computations. This curriculum
provides many opportunities for students to see how numbers can be used to
solve every day problems. The program emphasizes student interaction and
discussion and is designed for group and individual learning.
Students learn to use a hands-on inquiry approach to science. The scientific method continues to be emphasized throughout all course content. Students learn to use models, keep records, and devise investigations. Curiosity, respect for evidence, perseverance, and flexibility are encouraged. Topics of study include: water, properties of matter, forces, electricity and magnetism, wave energy and ecosystems. All students participate in the school science fair.
receive an additional science period in our Life Lab each week. Life Lab is a
garden classroom and living laboratory that teaches environmental sciences and
stewardship. More information can be found on the Life Lab curriculum
READING & LANGUAGE ARTS
The reading program includes a study of contemporary fiction, classics, short stories, biographies and students’ choice. Students are encouraged to read critically and to develop their own opinions about writing style, characterization, and motivation. Reading materials include: Sees Behind Trees, Skellig, The Trouble With Lemons, and 2 books of choice.
Students follow a spelling program that involves essential words at their reading level. Weekly spelling tests are designed to emphasize studying and testing skills in addition to the importance of proper spelling.
Vocabulary is drawn from
the class’ current reading and current spelling words. Advanced students are
challenged to work above their grade level in spelling and vocabulary.
Students have weekly writing assignments that focus on organizing ideas into paragraphs. Students are encouraged to write on different topics, including personal narratives, literature, and curriculum areas. The topics are chosen to generate interest and to involve the students in the writing process. Longer writing projects include book reports, short stories and topical reports.
also develop research skills such as note taking, outline writing, and
questioning strategies that they use in other subjects as well. They explore
literary genres, including poetry and short stories. Technical writing
skills—punctuation, grammar, capitalization, logical organization—are developed
through specific assignments and editing.
SPEECH & FILM
Public speaking skills are developed through oral presentations to the
class and during class meetings. As a part of the creative writing process,
students are encouraged to read what they have written. During speech and film
class, students practice reading scripts, poems, and acting out skits which are
then filmed. The students enjoy watching and critiquing themselves. Being
filmed motivates the students to try new speaking roles and to develop
characters. As the year progresses, students become involved in writing and
acting in longer film projects.
Students in fifth grade
continue their study of Latin and Spanish. Latin’s highly structured grammar is
ideal for developing and reinforcing the syntactical concepts used in English. Knowledge
of Latin word roots also helps students expand their vocabulary, especially in
scientific and mathematical areas. In Spanish, students are learning
to conjugate verbs and create sentences. They write letters to pen-pals
and create family albums.
All students have weekly classes in art, drama, music and physical education.
Jenny Jaeger joined Spring Hill School in September 2011. Prior to this, Jenny taught sixth grade at Georgianna Bruce Kirby Prep School. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and psychology form the University of Wisconsin -- Madison and a Master of Arts in Teaching from National University. Before teaching in the classroom, Jenny spent five years working in the field of outdoor education at various locations in North America. Jenny runs the annual school Science Fair and Invention Convention.
Life in Grade 5
Fifth graders are always excited about their creativity class. The class provides them with materials to create things they imagine. The last creativity class was connected to the current science unit on electricity and magnetism. Students assembled an electric car and then used glue guns and miscellaneous objects to decorate them.
One of our next creativity projects is making gourd masks. There are masks around the classroom, and students look forward to making their own. This will be an ongoing project for several weeks. The students' masks always reflect a wide range of styles and imaginations.