At Saint Joseph School, it is important for students to embrace our Catholic Identity in all aspects of their daily lives. From daily prayer and mini-retreats to larger service projects, students live our mission of faith, virtue, and humility. As part of the faith formation, grade five begins the year discussing the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. Next, we discover how we are called to live as people of God and look for ways we can grow closer to God and live as members of the Church. To understand the human and divine nature of Jesus, we read the parables and miracles, as found in the Gospels, and how they relate to our own lives. Throughout the year, we have thoughtful discussions with our clergy to help students along their faith journey. A large focus of the curriculum is the study of sacraments. As we share our journey of faith, we help prepare students to participate in the monthly Masses as well as to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.
The Grade Five math curriculum, Progress in Mathematics, is a standards-based curriculum, designed to enhance and ensure students receive a well-rounded and solid understanding of important math concepts. It provides step by step instruction that leads to conceptual understanding, supports the development of higher-order thinking skills, and integrates strong problem- solving opportunities. The 5th grade sequence reviews and extends prior learning with an emphasis on place value and operations with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Additional topics include probability and statistics, geometry, measurement, and proportional reasoning. Additionally, enrichment opportunities are routinely integrated from a variety of sources including: NCTM, Greg Tang Math, Generation Genius, and IXL. The key to a successful year in grade 5 math is arriving with a strong grasp of and fluency with number facts: multiplication and addition.
The curriculum in fifth grade focuses on American History. The text, Building our Country, incorporates not only the necessary history but important reading skills and text structures as well. Along with the curriculum topics that are covered, there are many important skills that are practiced including: note-taking, highlighting, organizing notebooks and materials, time-management, how to work in a group, test preparation, and reading different types of maps and charts. Students take part in many hands-on projects, read non-fiction materials, read and respond to articles, take part in literature discussions about related historical fiction, participate in guest presentations, and go on at least one related field trip.
Each unit is guided by an essential question. Within each lesson, there are additional focus questions. The main curriculum topics for social studies are:
- The First Americans
- Age of Exploration
- Settlements Take Root
- Life in the Colonies
- The American Revolution
- A New Nation
- The Young Nation Grows
- Moving West
- Civil War and Reconstruction
Our Interactive Science curriculum provides opportunities for multi-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards and many of the components that make up the MA Science and Technology Curriculum. Throughout our curriculum, students have opportunities to research, investigate, and write about their observations and deductions from the many hands-on activities. In the fall, we have an engaging visit from a local meteorologist, who shares her experience to help us understand the complexity in gathering data and forecasting the weather. STREAM experiences are introduced each term to increase exposure to the engineering design process. These experiences provide an extension of students’ understanding of complex math and science concepts in a way that makes sense to them. Lastly, our science curriculum strives to find the synergy between faith and reason. As we move through the curriculum, we illuminate the contributions by notable Christians that led to many advancements in all areas of science. The main topics studied are:
- Water cycle and weather
- Weather patterns
- Classifying organisms
- Interactions in ecosystems
- Forces in Motion/simple machines (Rube Goldberg project)
The grade five language arts program (ELA) offers an integrated curriculum that includes grammar and writing instruction combined with genre-based reading and literature units. Voyages in English provides explicit grammar lessons with a paired writing, including narrative, opinion, and expository writing. This approach helps students build rich layers of knowledge. Students employ many comprehension strategies to assess their understanding when reading complex texts, both in ELA and content areas. Pairing literary techniques, comprehension strategies and more complex writing skills allows fifth-grade students to develop strong abilities to communicate their knowledge in both written and spoken forms.