In fifth grade, students are academically and emotionally ready to think analytically and take on complex challenges. A growth mindset is encouraged as teachers support students in generating their own thinking through the encouragement of responsible risk-taking and the completion of problem-based learning tasks. Flexible-leveled groupings in math, reading, and writing allow teachers to differentiate instruction and meet the readiness levels of all students.
Teachers begin to prepare students for Middle School by encouraging flexibility, practicing transitions, and beginning to change classes for different subject areas. In fifth grade, each teacher provides instruction in language arts to their homeroom classes, and students switch teachers for math, science, and social studies. Organizational strategies and study habits are refined in preparation for Middle School.
Students will perform I Know I Can, a play that integrates diverse literature, history, and music to create powerful and inspirational messages. As the highlight of the year, 5th graders travel to Yosemite for five days, confident as they leave the comfort of their home and classrooms. On the valley floor and on the trail, they expand on our science curriculum and strengthen their cooperative social skills.
- In math, students move from conceptual to analytical thinking as they discover real-world applications for fractions, decimals, algebra, geometry and problem solving.
- Language Arts reading centers provide an opportunity for students to read and discuss fiction, non-fiction, verse, graphic, poetry, and various primary sources. Fifth graders use a Socratic seminar strategy to generate more complex questions and apply comprehension strategies. Students become proficient at expressing their written opinions, and polish their essays and written reports
- Project-based learning is an important aspect of the science curriculum. While working in groups, students generate authentic questions, conduct research, and collect data, resulting in a culminating project where their findings are presented. A long-term STEAM project is also completed during the year.
- In social studies, history is brought to life through a series of simulations, research, and debates. Students develop their abilities to take notes, sequence events, summarize texts, understand cause and effect relationships, work with primary resources and other various materials. Students research and share current events weekly to understand what is going on in our present-day world.
Genius Hour provides students with time every week to develop a project based on their own interests. During this time, students think critically and flexibly, practice research skills, collaborate with peers, build a product, synthesize information, and revise products to increase efficiency or complexity.
Early philosopher, Socrates, modeled learning strategies through questioning, inquiry, and critical thinking. During seminar circles, students engage in meaningful conversations about literature to build upon each other’s ideas, better comprehend the literature, and synthesize the information to understand the world around them. Socratic discussion guides students to deeper understanding of what they read through peer conversations and extended writing responses.