Reading Language Arts: We use the Houghton-Mifflin textbooks that integrate reading, writing, listening, spelling, vocabulary development, and speaking. Our Writer’s Workshop focuses on the expository, narrative, descriptive and persuasive styles of writing. We participate in three district level benchmark writing tests. Students will be studying the spelling list that goes with the literature story we are reading. They will log onto SpellingCity.com to complete activities and take a computerized test at the end of the week. By completing the weekly work and studying these words carefully, students experience success and increase their vocabulary.
Math: All fifth grade math students are using the same state and district mathematics curriculum. Homework in math will be assigned on a daily basis. Much of the work we do at this level is based on the assumption that students have already mastered their multiplication facts through twelve. A number of students are not proficient on these facts, and therefore, students will be taking timed multiplication quizzes periodically. All students who have passed three multiplication quizzes will no longer need to take the test. If your child has not mastered the multiplication tables, we strongly suggest that you work with them at home. Use flashcards and mental quizzing at every opportune moment to help them commit the facts to memory.
At-Home Reading: Each student is required to read on his or her own for a total of 150 minutes a week. Your child may choose to divide this reading time any way that fits into his/her schedule. A weekly calendar, indicating both the time spent reading and the pages read, will be due each Friday. This counts as 10% of your child’s reading grade.
Social Science: Fifth grade social science curriculum is all about the history of the United States from the native North Americans, through the exploration, colonization, Revolutionary period and Westward Expansion. We will also learn about the Constitution, and will memorize the names of the fifty states and capitals. Students will learn how to research through three different research projects. The first one is an in-class group project on the Native American Indians. Next is an independent project on an explorer. And finally all students will complete a State Report.
Science: Science in grade five focuses on scientific and technological problem solving and decision making as well as the skills of scientific inquiry: formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments and product design, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating the findings to others. Fifth-grade students actively investigate science concepts by predicting, observing, and recording the results of experiments, and they will generate ideas to solve problems. Specifically, students in the fifth grade learn about the life, earth, and physical sciences by exploring them within the framework of the following topics: “Ecosystems: Terrestrial and Aquatic” (characteristics and interactions); “Landforms and Oceans” (natural processes and the ocean floor); “Properties of Matter” (mixtures and solutions); and “Forces and Motion” (position, direction, and speed).
Physical Education: In the spring, all fifth grade students are required to take a state test measuring their fitness levels. Throughout the year our students will work on developing their upper body strength, flexibility, and endurance. Every week, the students will be tested on the mile run. Our emphasis will be on showing some improvement every time they are tested. Please make sure that your child comes prepared for PE every day with proper clothing and shoes. Students will not be excused from PE unless we have a parent notification and a note from a physician.
Grading Policy: Grades are made up of homework, class work, tests, quizzes, and projects. Homework is graded on effort. Therefore, a child who truly makes an effort, but does not score well on a homework assignment, still can earn most of the points based on the effort that was made. These scores will be averaged into the other categories of tests, quizzes, class work, and projects. Report cards are sent out three times a year. You will also receive a progress report indicating performance midway through each trimester. Our first conference will be in the fall. The grading scale is as follows:
90%-100% = A 80%-89% = B 70% - 79% = C 60% - 69% = D
0% -59% = F
Time Management: Major goals of fifth grade are to instill effective time management practices, to develop organizational skills, to teach responsibility, and to encourage self-reliance. Your involvement is necessary and valued to help your child become independently responsible and to make the transition to sixth grade easier. Organization is challenge for many fifth grade students. Try to familiarize yourself with your child’s organization in her or his binder, check it routinely to see that it is in order. This is where notes and reference materials are kept to be used to assist in completing assignments. Take unhurried time to review each section in their three ring binders. It should be very organized and neat. Catch warning signs early.