Welcome to 5th Grade Class!

Overview

5th grade is a very exciting year, most children are starting to realize who they are and who they want to become. It is a year when most children realize the effort they need to put into their education to achieve their most challenging goals. The central theme carried out in 5th grade is tolerance. Through our curriculum we focus on appreciation for various people, understanding others’ ideas, and realizing each others’ differences. Below is a list of each 5th grade subject and a brief overview of our curriculum.

Language Arts

Reading

This is a subject where we really focus and spend most of our time. We continue to emphasize comprehension, while taking it a step forward and really learning how to criticize and analyze.

Text Book: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Journeys

Reading Program: Accelerated Reader (see attached Information)

English

This is a very important subject that takes us from nouns, to verbs, to adjectives and more! In 5th grade we focus on sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and Capitalization.

Text Book: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Journeys

Writing

Along with Reading , Writing is another central focus in 5th grade. We really concentrate on organization and finding a focus in our writing. As you will see below, we do at least one writing activity in every subject.

Writing Program: Writing Traits

Major Writing Projects in Language Arts: Personal Narrative, Persuasive Essay, and Research Report.

Spelling

Through this subject we focus on word recognition, vocabulary, and concept development. Each child is expected to take a Spelling Pre-test every Monday morning. On the following Friday they will be tested. At this level they are expected to spell the word and memorize a definition for each word (they are given definitions at the beginning of the week).

Religion

In this subject we are recognizing and learning Scriptures that pertain to our sacraments. We dig into each sacrament finding it’s true meaning, signs, and symbols. We also focus on our Catholic Faith, this includes acknowledging attitudes, actions, and moral decisions. At this level the children begin to become aware of the need for reaching out to other people and showing positive actions.

Text Book – Christ Our Life   – www.christourlife.com

Projects: Contemporary Stations of the Cross

 

Math

In this subject there is a focus on Number Sense (estimating, identifying place value, identifying prime and composite numbers, the least/greatest common multiple, word problems, fractions, etc). We also learn basic Algebra and Functions (equations, coordinates, linear functions, graphs, etc). And finally we learn and understand Measurement, Basic Geometry, Statistics, Probability, and Mathematical Reasoning.

Children are tested at the end of each Chapter.
Text Book Go Math – Houghton Mifflin.  – www.K-6.thinkcentral.com

Social Studies

5th grade is a VERY important year when discussing History. Together as a 5th grade class we investigate, analyze, and question what made explorers come to our great continent, what technology they used, and who in the end won what we call our home, The United States of America!!! We also analyze and discuss what happen during the colonial time, the events that lead to the Revolutionary War, and eventually how we wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Projects: Explorer Project, 50 States Test, State Oral Report.

 

Science

In this subject we are taken through 3 major units. We look at Physical Science to learn different elements and how their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the world. We also learn about Life Science, examining plants and animals and our human bodies. We focus on their structures for respiration, digestion, waste disposal, and transporting of materials. Finally we look into Earth Science which includes water on Earth, properties of rocks and minerals, and our Solar System.

Text Book: Discovery Works

Projects:   Solar System and Star Constellation

 

Accelerated Reader Program

Overview

Accelerated Reader is a program that was developed from Renaissance Learning to accelerate growth in reading ability, foster a love of reading in all students, develop lifelong learners and critical thinkers, and to improve test scores.

What is Accelerated Reader?

A software program that helps motivate, monitor, and manage student reading practice.

Purpose

As you know reading skills are the most important skills we use throughout our lives. It is my goal to develop these students reading skills, as it affects every aspect of education. With this program we will spend about a half an hour a day silently reading. This will give me time to work with students individually, give immediate feedback, and monitor reading comprehension.

How it will work?

The students will be given a chart and a reading plan (each student has one so please feel free to look at it). On their reading plan they will be given a suggested reading level and a certain amount of points they have to reach within a six-week period. Every morning we will be silently reading for 30 minutes, allowing me to go around and work with students individually to monitor reading skills and comprehension.

This reading is to  be done in class and at home.

We are fortunate enough to have an incredible amount of Accelerated Reading books in the library, all of which have reading levels and points that your child understands. After they complete a book they will take a computerized test to evaluate their comprehension level. Every six weeks those test scores will be averaged and it will go into their reading grade. At that time I will send home their reading plan for a parent signature so you can see how they did and how they scored.

This program has an unbelievable success rate and I am very excited to be able to implement it with this class. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Accelerated Reader is somewhat hard to explain through a letter, but I wanted to at least make you aware of this. Like I said at the beginning, we have gone over this in class and the students understand it so feel free to have them explain it to you also.

IN-CLASS READING LIST

Here are books we will read and enjoy throughout the school year. Scroll down to view the complete list.
Summer Reading:
The Cricket in Times Square

By: George Seldon

Chester, a cricket from Connecticut, takes a ride in a picnic basket and winds up in a Times Square subway station. Here he meets two other friends and they embark on an adventure that provokes the true meaning of friendship, trust, and family relationships.

October/November:
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
By: Bette Bao Lord

Shirley Temple Wong is thrilled to be moving from her home in China to America.  She doesn’t speak English, the kids at school ignore her, and she feels very far from home.  Shirley overcomes many of her barriers and by the end of the year she has learned about the sport of baseball, and the great player Jackie Robinson, who becomes her hero.  Through him, Shirley comes to understand what it means to be an American and to strive to be the best that one can be.
(From Harper Collins Book Summary)

February/March:
The Sign of the Beaver
By: Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver is an historical fiction book based on American colonization in New England. Speare created a realistic story about a boy who is befriended by a Native American man and his young son. This is a survival tale about what two young boys go through during the creation of the United States of America. This book focuses on the differences between the Europeans and the Native Americans, while giving the children a vivid, realistic, and exciting tale of what our country was like in the 1700s.