When students enter St. George’s Fifth Grade classroom, they know it is a positive learning environment that welcomes the expression of ideas and opinions. There is no “fear factor.” Students know they can openly discuss topics, make judgments, and justify positions without fear of ridicule. Everyone’s ideas are valued. The atmosphere in our room generates students who love to read, write, and learn.
The fifth grade language arts are divided in several subsets of subject matter: grammar, spelling, vocabulary development, reading comprehension skills, and writing and literature appreciation in all genres. Students will participate in small guided reading groups while learning comprehension skills and strategies. Literature circles, in which the students discuss their reading experiences, are another form of reading instruction utilizing class novels and independent reading. They also practice the skill of socializing while listening to and accepting others’ interpretations of literature. A goal of fifth grade language arts is to apply all knowledge in this area to other subjects as they read, write, and discover through language. Some of the fifth grade literature selections include The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Tuck Everlasting, Hatchet, and Charley Skedaddle.
Fifth grade research skills are taught as an integrated project unit utilizing language arts skills and other content area topics to produce a documented research article using MLA style.
Fifth grade technology labs provide a time for students to perform and create using the technological skills they have learned through Microsoft programs along with other web-based media. Integrating technology into every curriculum area allows students to apply their knowledge and produce meaningful documents and presentations.
Fifth grade social studies focuses on American history, beginning with the Native Americans and continuing through the events of the Civil War. Each stage of learning in our history is experienced through an interactive approach which engages the students’ knowledge and emotions to help them understand the true experiences of the American men and women who have lived before us. The goal of the history program is to have students relate historical events to similar experiences which they can relate to in an attempt to make history come alive for them. Fifth graders truly experience history with an end of the year production of a Living Wax Museum in which students “become” a historical figure that has been studied during the course of the year and present a speech to visitors to the museum.
Fifth grade Everyday Mathematics provides students with opportunities to practice skills through games, instructional design that revisits topics regularly to ensure long-term understanding and depth of knowledge, and activities that engage all students while making math fun. Students in fifth grade focus on three critical areas:
-developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators, and understanding of multiplication of fractions and division of fractions
-developing fluency with whole-number and decimal operations, extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimals into the place-value system, and developing understanding of operations with decimals to the hundredths,
-developing an understanding of volume
-Students are taught by allowing them to discover through labs, experiments, and activities utilizing the scientific method to guide them.
-Topics include earth, physical, and life science units such as space, ecosystems, simple machines and motion, matter and energy, cells and genetics