5th graders are taught core curriculum and essential skills to prepare for middle school and beyond.
The instruction and modeling of imperative study skills such as time management, organization, and creative mnemonics are integrated into the school day as well. Personal responsibility, respect for self and others, and integrity are encouraged. Fifth grade students are taught through a variety of learning modalities, and hands-on activities are an integral part of each student’s learning experience both in the classroom and on field trips. Art, technology, and public speaking are incorporated in classroom lessons.
Interactive and experiential learning opportunities abound in fifth grade! By demonstration and investigation, we try to create that “ah ha!” moment and allow the students’ natural curiosity about the world to take over and lead them in new and exciting directions. As a result of our commitment to providing hands-on learning opportunities, we take a number of field trips throughout the year to support the curriculum. Local excursions include museums and places to see the arts. There is also an overnight field trip that focuses on individual growth, solving group challenges, and environmental awareness.
In language arts, students engage in the reader’s and writer’s workshop model. This allows them to first collaborate and then move toward independence when practicing a variety of literacy skills. Students explore fiction in interpretation book clubs and fantasy novels but also delve into the world of non-fiction as they read and research integrated social studies topics. Throughout the year, students analyze information using higher level thinking skills and communicate their ideas clearly with peers. Collaboration is key, and students practice being a leader in groups, presentations, and activities. In writing, students learn how to effectively produce argumentative, explanatory, persuasive, and narrative papers. They use a critical eye to evaluate, change, and improve their writing, as well as provide and receive feedback from others.
The social studies curriculum focuses on change and continuity in United States history. Students explore U.S. history with Native American groups indigenous to the United States, Colonial America, The American Revolution, and conclude with the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Students are asked to make connections between contemporary issues and their historical origins as they learn about geography, environmental literacy, civics and government, economics and financial literacy, and culture throughout history.
In mathematics, the NC Standards develop a solid foundation in whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Together these skills support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts throughout the middle school grades. Students will be asked to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. They will model problems using appropriate tools. 5th grade standards include:
Write and interpret numerical expressions.
Analyze patterns and relationships.
Understand the place value system.
Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers, decimals and fractions.
Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
Represent and interpret data.
Understand concepts of volume.
Understand the coordinate plane.
Science is the process of learning about the natural world around us through observation, experimentation and exploration. In science, evidence is key. In fifth grade, we use investigative methods to find evidence. This evidence can assist us in finding the answers to our questions, but not always. Students in fifth grade will have the opportunity to do real world science through participating in Citizen Science projects such as Lost Ladybug and CoCoRahs. Asking questions, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data will help students make connections with what they are learning in class. The main units of study in 5th grade are: heat energy, ecosystems, genetics, cells, human body systems, weather and forces of motion. Within each of these areas are specific objectives that build on previous years and will help create a strong science foundation.