In fifth grade language arts classes, teachers utilize a variety of techniques to enrich the English/Language Arts curriculum. An emphasis is placed on reading comprehension skills through advanced novel studies in a variety of genres. Critical thinking skills are stressed in order for students to internalize main idea, recall facts, sequence, draw conclusions,
inference, and summarize. Students engage in class discussions when books or stories are being shared. Students write across all curriculum areas and use the writing process (pre-write, write, revise/edit, final product) in order to produce quality pieces, including creative forms of writing. Vocabulary instruction includes keeping a vocabulary notebook where students copy a Word(s) of the Day, along with the part of speech and the definition. Students are quizzed on the words in groups of ten, as well as possibly using the words in their writings. Students also discover vocabulary that is embedded within the novel studies and other reading materials. Grammar skills are reinforced through various specific studies, as well as identifying the parts of speech in sentences, similar to diagraming sentences. The speaking/listening Language Arts strand is incorporated through oral presentations, research reports, and book reports. Education beyond the classroom is encouraged as students engage in a variety of field trips that give purpose and meaning to the Language Arts curriculum. These include visits to The Barter Theater, East Hill Cemetery, as well as other venues that support a focal point of our studies.
Fifth grade mathematics instruction is taught with a variety of modaliites in mind. Concepts are taught using a problem solving approach and a spiral yearlong review. Students practice and review basic skills using classroom games throughout the year. Students learn about concepts such as patterns and data, algebraic thinking, prime and composite numbers, order of operations, multiplication, division, and understanding decimals and decimal operations. Real world projects are used as often as possible to make learning more meaningful as students explore the concepts of measurement with perimeter, area, and volume. Students learn about geometry concepts such as classifying polygons and angles. Fifth grade students manipulate classroom created data as they explore probability and statistics concepts and also create data to help them explore their understanding of fractions. Students work to apply their knowledge and problem solve as they explore adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Students work to apply fraction knowledge to understanding ratios, examining the relationships between fractions, decimals and percents, coordinate plane, and balancing equations.
Teachers use the Interactive Science textbook as a guide to science instruction. Project based and interactive learning groups are central to student understanding as we explore the science curriculum. Units covered are cells, classifying organisms, anatomy - structure and function, ecosystems, introduction to chemistry, forms of energy, and motion. Fifth graders participate in the Science Fair and work in teams on an annual STEM project.
Teachers use the Our Nation textbook as a guide to social studies instruction. A heavy emphasis is placed on interactive learning as students grasp concepts through cooperative learning, small group instruction, and project based learning. Units of study include colonization of America, The American Revolution, United States government, The Civil War, and Reconstruction. Special studies include drafting the Constitution, a classroom history museum, and studying another culture - Cuba. Enrichment includes The Grave Reviews project and a week-long trip to Washington, DC where students can experience history in the making.
In upper elementary Spanish classes, the teacher seeks to develop students' vocabulary,
pronunciation skills, and an understanding of the target cultures. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of a broad vocabulary and conversational skills. The formation of connections among words (words from the same root, cognates, etc.) is strongly encouraged. Grammar topics are reviewed and continue to be developed.
Students begin keyboarding lessons in lower school, and basic computer vocabulary and functions are emphasized. Projects in class are used to extend classroom lessons, whether it is building a presentation, writing a paper, creating a poster, etc. for a currently studied unit. Students are given assignments that continue to enhance and develop their technical skills and understanding by producing increasingly more sophisticated documents and presentations. Students learn more abstract ideas and terms while being introduced to more challenging software and the structure of networks. Netsmartz and Digital Compass age appropriate areas are used to teach and to engage students in conversation regarding a variety of topics in digital safety and citizenship.
Fourth and fifth grade students will continue to build their vocabulary of art terminology. Students begin to learn about different artists, art history periods, movements, and styles. They will discover how to create color schemes and use them when creating artwork. Students will learn how to use proportion and experiment with drawing 3-D forms.
The Sullins model for music education is built upon each student progressing in their knowledge per annum. Beginning in Kindergarten, students at Sullins are introduced to music through beat (steady beat), voice (whisper, talk, shout), rhythm (discovering the difference between beat and rhythm), pitch, patterns, introduction to instruments, dynamics, duration, and listening.
As their year at Sullins progresses, students will learn to sing in tune and on pitch with more consistency, learn to demonstrate a steady beat with more consistency, identify and read rhythmic notation, coordinate movement with music in the form of dances, more complex circle games, and creative movement.
Students will sing in tune and on pitch with more consistency, will demonstrate a steady beat with more consistency at different tempo, and will learn to sing and play simple two-part songs. Students will also be introduced to the concept of harmony and will learn to identify the following musical symbols: staff, treble clef, bar line, measure, double bar line, repeat sign, quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest.
The children will coordinate movement with music in the form of more complex dances, circle games, and creative movement.
Fifth grade students are familiar with the library and its procedures and are further encouraged to use the library more independently in preparation for the transition to Middle School. Students continue to strengthen research skills as well as develop a greater appreciation for many literary forms through independent reading and read alouds of chapter books.
Lower School curriculum focuses on team sports, cooperation, team-building, and individual skills. Sports include volleyball, soccer, baseball, tennis, football, basketball, and hockey. Students participate in bi-annual fitness testing, single and team jump ropes, and seasonal tag games. Fourth and fifth grade students complete the PE Central Challenge. As a culmination of Heart Health Awareness month, students participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart.