Probably the biggest challenge fifth graders encounter is learning to make connections, develop big ideas, and extend all they have learned so far using their higher level and analytical thinking skills.
The Language Arts and Reading programs get into high gear this year as students read, write, read, and write some more! We use the Four Blocks Literacy Model to integrate both reading and writing. Students are learning to connect what they read to writing and what they write to what they are reading. Students focus on becoming better writers and readers, while analyzing different writers and writing styles. In addition to focusing on creative writing, we also focus on all forms of written forms of communication, including the study of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Through the Four Blocks model, students become aware of and learn to appreciate the writing that is all around them and then create their own, given the proper tools and using their own insight.
Solving real-life problems becomes a year-long focus in Math. Students learn beyond basic “number crunching” skills and that Mathematics is not to be feared! Students learn the importance of using Math to make life easier as they learn to find and use the Math in their everyday life. Students develop multiplication, division, estimation, probability and statistics, measurement, geometrical, and fraction quantity understanding.
Social Studies units are enhanced with biographies, oral history interviews, economics, and world geography. The Wax Museum and Market Day are typical annual favorites.
Science involves learning to question the world around us and learning the skills necessary to successfully investigate any question students might have. Big ideas include how different systems and cycles work together, how exactly “survival of the fittest” works and how animals adapt, how to identify short term and long term changes and causes of those changes to the Earth’s and the Moon’s surface, as well as learning the different types and properties of energy and matter.
The arts, music, physical education , and health projects add dimension to the understanding of core academic areas, and the interconnectedness of all learning. Students become more independent thinkers, developing individual methods of expression and style. The Talent Show in May is the highlight of their year…a goodbye gift to the entire student body.
Fifth graders in preparation for middle school also have many opportunities for growth throughout the year. There are many organizations students can join and special projects students can participate in.