Welcome to Fifth Grade
In fifth grade the core subject areas are literacy, math, social studies, and science. In addition to the core subjects, the students receive instruction in physical education, music, art, life skills, and library skills. They may also elect to participate in band and/or chorus. During the course of the year, the elementary guidance counselor will work with students in small groups or as a whole class. Core Subject Areas: Literacy: The fifth grade Language Arts curriculum includes work on the “nuts and bolts” of the English language. Students work on vocabulary, English grammar, usage, and mechanics-including such things as parts of speech and punctuation rules. Literacy classes also introduce students to a variety of literature based upon thematic units and teacher book choices. It is important to remember that reading and writing go hand-in-hand. The more your child reads, the better writer he/she will become. Wordly Wise workbooks are used to systematize vocabulary and writing development as part of the core curriculum. Writing occupies a lot of the students’ time as they draft, revise and critique written pieces, both their own and that of fellow students. Following the Vermont Standards, student writing includes both fiction and non-fiction pieces. Students write responses to literature (Vermont Standard 1.7), reports (1.8), narratives (1.9), procedure pieces (1. 10), poetry (1.23), persuasive essays (1.11), and personal essays (1.12). Math: Students will participate in several units throughout the year developing strong number sense and basic computation skills using traditional and alternative algorithms. Students will also focus on data collection & analysis, geometry, measurement, and algebra concepts. Fifth graders’ math will look different from the math their parents were doing in school, but the students will be working hard to become strong problem solvers and deep thinkers. Social Studies : The fifth grade curriculum includes a study of basic geography and map skills, U.S. states and capitals and geography, and ancient civilizations of the eastern and western hemispheres. Science: Students will participate in seven major units during fifth grade science. Each unit is broken into smaller units that will be explored through student-led investigations, inquiries, research, and experiments. The major units and their sub-categories are: • Properties of matter: density, chemical change vs. physical change, mass of gas • Cells: basic structure & function of cells, cell differentiation, role of cell membrane • Human Body: heredity, interdependence of body systems, role of white blood cells, life cycles, and early human development • Ecosystems: energy flow in an ecosystem, local aquatic & terrestrial ecosystems, impacts on closed systems, decomposers, natural selection, the water cycle • Energy: light energy, sound energy, heat energy, electrical energy, magnetic energy, electromagnetic energy • Motion and forces: speed and inertia, gravity • Earth science: orbits of the earth & moon, eclipses, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, natural resources General fifth grade expectations: 1. Students will have roughly one hour of homework per night. 2. Long term assignments are regularly given, and students often need assistance with time management. 3. Attendance and punctuality are essential for students to succeed. Although students may be able to make up written portions of missed class work, valuable class discussions and instruction cannot be duplicated. 4. We consider preparation for class essential to the learning process.