Fifth Grade
Saint Andrew's Episcopal School

Fifth Grade

Private Middle School Cupertino, CAOverview

Fifth grade marks an important transition year for students as they complete Lower School and prepare to be Middle School students.  The year introduces the concept of switching classes by having students move between the two teachers for social studies and science.  Beginning the second semester, students also have the added responsibility of taking their laptops home and back again each day for homework assignments.
In Math, the students' skills advance as they learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions and decimals. Our math program at this grade level is one more often seen in other school's sixth grade class.  With their laptops, students' math readiness can supported via the Internet by accessing the ALEKS math program.
United States history and geography are the focus in Social Studies. Students study the development of our great nation and the location of the states and capitals.
Our students scientific skills develop as they participate in complex science investigations, test their hypothesis and are introduced to meteorology, botany and learn about the world of chemistry. Students spend three days at Field School putting their skills and knowledge to work first hand while working together as teams.
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Providing service to the school, our fifth grade students constitute the “Green Team." They coordinate the school's recycling program providing education and materials pick-up all year long.
Language Arts
Daily oral language exercises review grammar and mechanics. Students learn to identify and correctly use all parts of speech. There is a continued emphasis on all steps of the writing process. Students begin to distinguish and write descriptive essays, well-developed expository and persuasive paragraphs using topic sentences, providing supportive statements with details and strong concluding sentences. Spelling and vocabulary work includes workbook curriculum as well words taken from the literature series. Students read an impressive selection of classics including Journey from Topaz, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, The Sign of the Beaver, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Where the Red Fern Grows.  In addition to exposing students to the proper use of similes, metaphors and other literary techniques, themes and ideas of the novels are integrated into other subject discussions such as social studies and science.  Students continue their progress with oral speaking skills including oral presentations as well as reading aloud.
Our fifth grade students advance their main skills with the four basic operations applied to fractions and decimals. They become confident at calculating ratios, proportions, percentages and statistics. Students are able to display and interpret data using graphs, tables and charts. They develop a connection of number sense and operation sense to algebra. Our students become proficient using mathematical tools such as protractors and the compass. Fifth graders classify and understand the geometry of polygons by measuring and manipulating angles and determining the area of polygons, circles and irregular figures. They investigate surface area and volume for solids.
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Studying meteorology, students discuss weather factors and patterns, the atmosphere, climate and change. As botanists-in-training, our fifth graders learn to classify plants, understand plant structure and compare and contrast plants and animal cells. The process of photosynthesis is explained and students conduct experiments and test hypothesis about plants and their environment. Science class also includes the study of mixtures and solutions and other basic concepts of chemistry.  They examine the structure of matter and the transformations that take place.  At our annual Science Expo, fifth grade students set up experiment stations then guide younger students through the activity.
Social Studies
Focusing on the Making of a New Nation, fifth graders Private Middle School Cupertino, CAstudy the age of exploration and life in the colonies. Students explore and discuss the causes and consequences of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the development of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. In geography, students learn the location of the 50 states and the names of their capitals. They also research a state and present their findings orally with a PowerPoint visual aid.
In Grade 5 there is an increase in the amount of time spent in developing oral and writing abilities. Special attention and time is devoted to phonetics and reading skills. Students continue to build their vocabulary and there is a visible progression of the usage of it. Grammar is emphasized. The following topics will be covered:
  • Spanish speaking country project
  • The seasons
  • Emotions
  • Numbers by 10’s,100’s etc
  • Months of the year
  • Days of the week
  • Personal pronouns
  • Question words
  • Using vocabulary words into paragraphs
  • Foods(more specific)
  • The verb to be
  • Reading short stories
Religion classes explore ideas about religion with others without being confrontational. They learn the importance of questions and that there may not be absolute answers in spiritual matters. Students also learn about other faith traditions.

By Fifth Grade, students are utilizing a variety of software applications to create projects that have curricular ties.  Students create documents, presentations,and charts. In addition, students transition from using Kid Pix Studio Deluxe 3X for multimedia projects to Power Point. Basic research skills are taught for electronic references. Advanced computer operations skills are also taught.

Students explore a variety of media and techniques. Projects are wide-ranging but include using clay to make tiles, learning to make a plaster sculpture, painting and glazing.
Physical Education
In Lower School Physical Education Class, students learn about their bodies through exercise, games and movement. Classes emphasize the development of healthy bodies through early introduction to nutrition and physical wellness.  Through distance running, exercise and team games, children develop cardiovascular endurance, strength, agility and flexibility.  Students also begin to learn concepts of teamwork and sportsmanship.
The fifth grade music program is broad-based, including theory, history and instrumental practice on various instruments.  The program include world music studies, intensive listening training, composition, improvisation, and interdisciplinary endeavors.
By the end of Fifth Grade, students will be able to use the card catalog to identify and select books as well as have sufficient knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System to browse the library shelves for books in their area of interest.  They will also learn how to compare story time book with others in the same genre, and recommend books to their friends.  Fifth graders will have a full understanding of various reference materials and feel confident knowing how to access encyclopedias, almanacs and atlases for classroom projects.

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