Academics by Grade
Grade 5 focuses on solidifying and practicing the basic skills that students need to use a computer for schoolwork and projects. By the end of Grade 5, students feel comfortable with the basic features of the computer, the suite of Microsoft Office programs, keyboarding, and project development and presentation using PowerPoint. During the latter part of Grade 5, student projects include learning Windows Moviemaker and programming a game. They also learn the basics of Excel, data collection, and formatting. Grade 5 students are expected to use their technology skills to create, write, and submit properly formatted, error-free essays and projects.
Reading instruction includes in-class reading and discussion of selected novels as well as individual choices and non-fiction literature. Grade 5 students exercise critical reading and vocabulary skills and the five major reading strategies: visualization, connection, prediction, main idea, and questioning. Students will be challenged to understand what they are reading, analyze the text critically, and be prepared to discuss points of view with their peers.
Writing includes focus on daily edits, spelling, vocabulary, and use of grammar and syntax through a variety of methods including diagramming sentences. Students write a great deal in different types of genres.
See the PK-Grade 12 English/Lanuage Arts sequence.
The Grade 5 fully-staged musical play is the culmination of the Lower School Dance and Music program and an interdisciplinary project of the Dance, Music, and Theater Departments, in which every Grade 5 student participates.
See the PK- Grade 12 Dance sequence.
Peer pressure, the importance of friendships, the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, bodily changes in adolescence, nutrition and exercise, social skills, and hygiene are major topics in Grade 5.
See the PK-Grade 12 Health sequence.
Students learn about ancient cultures, including Mesopotamia, Sumer, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Students also become aware of current national and international events. The interrelationships of countries around the globe are explored through a regular discussion of current events, thus introducing economics and politics.
See the PK-Grade 12 History & Social Studies sequence.
Computational fluency with whole numbers is a major focus in Grade 5. Students practice and experiment with basic number combinations and develop the ability to formulate efficient methods of computing. Problem solving in new environments begins the process of "transfer," the capacity for a student to apply a set of rules or concepts to a new situation. The classroom is a place where students begin to take intellectual risks as they try new approaches and strategies. Students solidify their understanding and practice with whole numbers and decimals, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, measurement, and integers.
Students are given an opportunity to participate in the MATHCOUNTS program.
See the PK-Grade 12 Mathematics sequence.
The program is divided into general music and chorus. General music focuses on areas like note-reading using the soprano recorder, rhythmic exercises using body percussion, and various singing and listening exercises that reinforce basic musical concepts, including pitch, rhythm, scales, keys, dynamics, chords, and form. In chorus, all Grade 5 students learn a choral repertoire and prepare music for performance. Singing in two-part harmony, singing in a world language, and using solfege syllables for scale identification are important aspects of the choral program.
Students may elect the Band or String Ensemble, which continues to be an elective class for those who wish to play a particular musical instrument. Band and String students learn more advanced musical notation and rhythms, develop rehearsal skills and musicianship, learn a variety of musical symbols and expression marks, develop an understanding of harmony and playing with different parts, and acquire the skills necessary to play in an ensemble. Students rehearse and play in two formal concerts each year.
See the PK-Grade 12 Music sequence.
Children play many types of team games, such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse, honing their basic throwing and agility skills. Grade 5 students take the "physical best" fitness test.
See the PK-Grade 12 Physical Education sequence.
Science begins with a study of the universe on a broad spectrum and works it way back to the human person. Children study types of galaxies, life cycles of stars, Earth’s solar system as well as Earth and its moon. As a culminating activity, students participate in a live teleconference with the Challenger Learning Center, where they work in teams to resuce a lost space shuttle.
Also in Grade 5, students study Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and their features, environments, and solar energy. The units culminate in a visit to the Sunship Study Station at McKeever Environmental Center, where they learn how to be effective "passengers" aboard Sunship Earth.
See the PK-Grade 12 Science sequence.
Building on the introduction to Social Science in earlier grades, the focus expands from the town and region where children live to the states, countries, and their global interconnection throughout the world. Particular attention is given to making life choices that serve the needs of people and sustain the Earth.
See the PK-Grade 12 Social Science sequence.
By the time children are in Grade 5, they have been on stage dozens of times. Goals in Grade 5 include self-confidence, the ability to speak memorized and ad lib lines, and comfort in front of an audience. Children continue to participate in weekly assemblies. All Grade 5 students participate in the fully-staged Grade 5 music and dance production in the spring.
See the PK-Grade 12 Theater & Drama sequence.
By the end of Grade 5, students can identify the styles of celebrated artists. They have studied stained glass windows of gothic cathedrals, cave paintings, and stylized figures, such as those of William Johnson. They will have used the following materials for drawing: graphite pencils, pastels, pen and ink, watercolors, tempera, acrylics, and craft clay.
See the PK-Grade 12 Visual Arts sequence.
Children can participate in simple conversations in the target languages, have a broad understanding of a variety of cultures where French and Spanish are spoken, and continue to build on relationships with students in other countries through web-based communication.
See the PK-Grade 12 World Languages sequence.