The fifth grade program presents an exciting year of change, responsibility, community, rigor and creativity. While simultaneously having fun and building foundations, students learn to be, above all, active learners. Students develop study habits, organizational skills, time management, long term planning, and basic school life skills that prepare them for their middle school career and beyond.
Fifth graders participate in many out-of-the–classroom experiences, including a team-building day to learn how to work with peers and solve problems effectively and efficiently. Students visit Arcosanti to learn about world ecology and the management of resources in a true “City of the Future” designed by architect and designer, Paolo Soleri. Learners also go on a Light Rail trip to learn experientially about our amazing public transportation system. The year culminates with a truly interdisciplinary assignment, The Magazine Project. During this four-and-a-half-month long project, students utilize all of the skills learned during the year in all subject areas to create an original magazine based on and in a chosen hero’s time period.
Fifth graders develop a greater understanding and appreciation of literary elements and style through a reading program that awakens students’ imagination, ideas, emotions, self-awareness, and knowledge. Summaries, character analysis, journals, essays, quote interpretation, evaluating themes, symbolism, and poetry are some of the writing forms that are developed throughout the year in connection with literature.
In fifth grade math, instruction is focused on the use and contemplation of numbers, including operations, decimals and fractions, algebraic representations, and integer relations; geometry and probability are also integrated. Fifth graders build cognitive skills via a program that encourages lateral thinking, improves reasoning and resourcefulness, promotes logic, engages students in active learning, and includes real world problem solving.