The fifth grade teachers at St. Joseph School use a variety of instructional strategies and methods to positively affect student learning. We believe that each student can learn. By becoming familiar with each of our students specific and unique learning styles, personalities, differences, and strengths we are best able to meet their unique learning needs.
Our aim is to teach to standards while differentiating lessons to ensure that each student meets or exceeds standards. We believe in creating opportunities for students to grow and learn both individually and cooperatively, in the class, and in the community.
Fifth grade is an important year academically, socially, and developmentally. At St. Joseph School we have spent years refining a well balanced program that enables students to grow academically while having ample opportunities to experience.
FIRST GRADE BUDDIES
The fifth grade loves to connect with our first grade buddies. Throughout the year, fifth and first graders meet to celebrate and learn together.
As with all grades at St. Joseph School, religion is integrated into the school year with students studying important aspects of the Catholic faith, participating in masses and prayer services, and contributing to community outreach. The religion curriculum in fifth grade includes units exploring community, sacraments, worship, seasons of the church, and Family life. Each grade level is responsible for planning and leading one mass each school year.
Language arts, reading, and writing are integrated in the new Houghton Mifflin series. This series is well aligned with reading standards and grade level expectations for fifth grade students. Students are held accountable to: understand and use different skills and strategies to read, understand the meaning of what is read, read different materials for a variety of purposes, set goals and evaluate progress to improve reading, and develop reflective thoughts and positive moral and religious values through reading. Thematic units provide relevancy, leveled material to meet a wide variety of learning needs, and ample opportunity to connect reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills. Independent reading and novel studies are required at the fifth grade level, in addition to in class instruction and reading.
Writing is integrated throughout the curriculum for 5th grade students at St. Joseph School. The six traits writing philosophy and the writing process are practiced with all writing assignments. Students begin the year learning about the basic structure of a sentence, various types of sentences, and the structure of a paragraph. As the year progresses, students are introduced to various writing genres: descriptive, persuasive, expository, narrative/journaling, creative-story, and report writing. Students have the opportunity to publish their writing in a variety of ways, such as Power Point presentations, oral reports, poetry, sketch book, and lab write-ups in science. In addition to the writing process, students learn about parts of speech, verb tenses, possessive nouns, and many other aspects of grammar.
The fifth grade math curriculum is aligned to the Common Core Standards, using the textbook Math in Focus.An integral part of the text is the use of math instructional methods used in the Singapore math curriculum.An example of this would be the overall lesson design of representing a math idea using a concrete-visual-abstract cycle to enhance deeper understanding.Differentiation occurs as students transition from one step of the cycle to another.Each topic covered emphasizes conceptual understanding, computational fluency, algebraic thinking, and real world problem solving.
Our emphasis in social studies is on early American history from early migration to North America through the Revolutionary War. In each unit geography, map skills, and historical concepts are emphasized with the over-reaching theme being cultural encounter. The culminating activity of our year is the Colonial Fair, which highlights what each culture contributed to the North American continent. At points, social studies is integrated with reading and writing through historical fiction both read and written.
Ecology is the focus for our fifth grade science curriculum. Students begin the year by learning about the basic ecological concepts and demonstrating their understanding. Students learn about basic ecological concepts through experiments, research, and a variety of hands-on activities.These concepts are reinforced at a week-long science camp at Camp Seymour. In addition, the fifth graders develop a relationship with the organization, Water 1st International, raising money to support the creation of sustainable water sources in developing nations.
Fifth grade students benefit from a variety of technologies available in the classroom. Each student is issued a chrome book to complete assignments, create presentations, record videos, conduct research, and fine tune skills using a variety of educational apps. Response clickers allow the students to participate in quizzes presented on the Smart Board. Once a week, classes visit the school computer lab where a desktop is available for each student. On the desktops, students practice world languages, create Power Point presentations, and publish written work.
An integral part of our religion curriculum is fostering a love of service. The fifth grade community is connected to Water 1st International, an organization that works to provide sustainable clean water in developing countries. Throughout the year the fifth graders conduct fundraisers - the most successful being an otter pop sale in May. Last year, we raised over $1500 for this important cause.