Grade five is a wonderfully exciting last year of elementary school. At Saint Joseph Elementary School, we change classes for Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics, while maintaining close homeroom contact.
ReligionIn grade five, the following areas of faith formation are emphasized and taught: Liturgy, Sacraments, Seasons of the Church, and Catholic Prayer. In each chapter of the We Believe textbook, we find four main faith statements. They start the day’s lesson and focus on what we will be learning about that day. In the We Gather sections, students gather in prayer at the beginning of every chapter. They gather to pray and focus on their lives as they begin each day’s lesson. In the We Believe sections, each chapter presents the truths of the Catholic faith found in the Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church. The content of faith is presented in ways that are age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and varied. In the We Respond sections, students are encouraged to respond in prayer, faith, and life. Each day they are invited to respond to the message of the lesson. This year we will learn about:
- The Blessed Trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
- Jesus, the Son of God, who became one of us
- The Church and its history and teachings
- The Mass and the sacraments
- Our call to be a disciple of Jesus
Our fifth grade mathematics program is a connected learning program. What this means is that we believe that when math is related to tangible applications in the world, students understand the material more easily. At every opportunity our goal is to connect each mathematical concept to an area of life students will be able to connect to and apply the new concept. We also believe that students face the least amount of road blocks when learning new math concepts when they have mastered their math facts from their prior grades. With this knowledge we also put an emphasis on the fifth grade math facts the students learn this year. On a final note we believe math is a fun subject when you understand the material and really no fun at all when you do not. With this mindset we strongly encourage the students to self-advocate getting extra help when they are struggling with a concept. The textbook series used to supplement our fifth grade math program is enVisionMath. This textbook series is aligned to the fifth grade common core math standards as a base and is supplemented by other teacher created resources as needed.
What I love about Saint Joe's is how Mr. Rodis makes math fun and how everybody is nice to you.
Social studies and science are taught by one teacher. Along with the curriculum topics that are covered, there are many important skills that are practiced in both content areas. Skills such as note taking, highlighting, organizing notebooks and materials, time management, how to work in a group, test preparation, and reading all different types of maps and charts are developed. Students take part in many hands on projects and experiments, read non-fiction materials, read and respond to articles, take part in literature discussions about related historical fiction, participate in guest presentations such as the Paul Revere House or The Freedom Trail, and go on at least one related field trip. We also have a visit from a meteorologist in science when studying weather and have a visit from a doctor when we study the human body systems. We are always open to parents and/or guests coming in to enhance the curriculum with their expertise in a related curriculum area.
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
Science also has guided questions for each unit. The main curriculum topics for science are:
- Water cycle and weather
- Weather patterns
- Classifying organisms
- Interactions in ecosystems
- Forces in Motion/simple machines (Invention Convention)
The language arts program (ELA) in grade five covers grammar, reading, and writing. Our grammar topics are sentences, nouns, verbs, adjectives, capitalization and punctuation, pronouns, adverbs, and prepositions. Students spend time learning grammar through mini-lessons, group practice, and individual practice. We focus on reading comprehension strategies, inferring, visualizing, questioning, making connections, synthesizing, and determining importance. As we read chapter books during the year, we focus on one of these areas and use an interactive reading notebook to practice each skill. Throughout the fifth grade curriculum, we enjoy taking the opportunity to write daily with the students. We write reflectively and creatively across the content areas, using the Collins Writing Program as an assessment tool. It is through this writing program that students work on focus corrections areas (FCA’s) every time they write in all subject areas. We also use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System three times per year in order to assess each students reading level.