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Fifth Grade

The fifth grade curriculum builds upon the completion of fourth grade at St. Mary’s, integrating language arts, math, science, and geography/history into units of fun, hands-on, and vigorous instruction.  There are also many cross-curricular connections to history, technology and science topics at this level. Chromebooks will be utilized in fifth grade for writing assignments, research, and other projects.

Language Arts
The program is designed to increase student communication skills through comprehensive course work in grammar, various forms of writing, literature, research, composition, spelling and vocabulary. Students will write complex essays using various modes. Students will read the classics, Shakespeare, legends and study poetry.  

Students will participate in one of two accelerated math programs.  Students enrolled in Course 1 will receive a thorough review of basic operations, fractions, decimals and integers.  They explore order of operations, exponential notation, algebraic equations and basic geometry.  Problem solving is emphasized throughout the year as well as the introduction to negative numbers and probability.  Students in Course 2 develop a solid foundation in the essential skills and concepts needed for further study in higher-level mathematics courses.  At this level, students apply understanding of the place value system to be proficient in all operations with rational numbers.

Fifth grade students spend more time in the science lab and continue to learn through a hands-on, inquiry-based approach.  Their course of study includes the classification of organisms, cell structure, chemistry (atoms, molecules, chemical and physical changes) and human endocrine & reproductive systems.

Social Studies/Geography/History
Fifth graders experience a balanced study of world and US geography, early civilizations, world history and American history.  They explore early American civilizations, European exploration, the Renaissance and Reformation, Russia, Feudal Japan, Westward Expansion and the components of the Civil War. 

Spanish becomes a core subject at this level in preparation for Spanish 1 in sixth grade.

What to Expect From a 5th Grader

  • Fifth grade (ten year olds) is the golden end of childhood. They are teeter-tottering between childhood and adolescence and are able to make more responsible cognitive choices, begin more serious research and long term project work, and are very receptive of factual information.
  • They become more comfortable with themselves, their teachers, and, believe it or not, their parents and even their siblings.
  • It is a great age to teach, re-teach, introduce and reinforce more difficult learning concepts.
  • Socially and emotionally they are more cooperative in nature and conducive to group activities.
  • They do become more concerned with friendships and fairness issues, yet they are generally satisfied with their own abilities and are happy, flexible students.
  • They still enjoy being noticed and rewarded for their efforts, and they are most eager to reach out and help others.

Ways to Challenge and Enhance the 5th Grader’s Experience

  • More theme based novel studies and independent readings
  • Longer more lengthy writing assignments, often with a research component
  • More descriptive writing
  • More detailed studies in areas of geography, history and other cultures
  • Advanced math in terms of decimals, fractions and word problems

Enrichment Classes                                              Special Events/Activities
Physical Education                                                   Goddard Youth Camp
Religion/Service Learning                                     Prayer Blanket Ministry
Health                                                                          Medieval Fair
Fine Arts (visual & music)                                      Special Olympics
Technology/Laptop skills                                      Shidler Elementary Service Project