Fifth Grade CurriculumOverview
During fifth grade the students are working toward developing proficiency in language arts skills and strategies. They are applying these skills and strategies across the curriculum. Throughout the year, the students are working toward becoming more independent.
The teachers expect students to be able to independently make predictions, draw conclusions, make connections, identify the main idea, summarize, and other related reading skills. These skills are repeatedly reinforced throughout the school year during whole and small group instruction, read-alouds, and independent reading. Students are assessed on an on-going basis using both formal and informal measures. Informally, students may be assessed based upon small and whole group discussions, active participation during read-alouds, and student/teacher conferencing. An example of a formal measure is the quarterly assessment which gives them the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the skills and strategies based on the reading skills that were emphasized during the quarter.
Students will have the opportunity to read a variety of materials. The reading anthology in the classroom is comprised mostly of excerpts from trade books and short stories (i.e. Wolves by Seymour Simon and Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars). Students also self-select books for independent reading time. Other materials that teachers use are read-alouds, novels, and non-fiction periodicals.
Students across the district participate in the Reading Counts program. At the beginning of the year, goals are established in both school and classroom to motivate children to read on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to choose books that are at their reading level- not too easy and not too hard. Upon completion of a book, students take computerized comprehension quizzes and are rewarded for their progress.Writing
During writing, fifth graders focus on using the writing process in order to develop their pieces. Students spend time brainstorming, organizing ideas, writing rough drafts, revising/editing, conferencing, writing a final draft, and publishing. During mini-lessons, teachers emphasize how to effectively write in the narrative, informative, and persuasive modes. Some of the ways that writers are encouraged to hone their craft is through use of effective dialogue, literary devices, elaboration, and illustrative details.
Students’ writing pieces are assessed in five writing domains: focus, content, organization, style, and conventions .
· Focus- To stick to the topic, make a point, and effectively communicate in the mode
· Content-To develop pieces with precise, specific, and well-developed details, explanations and reasons
· Organization-To use transitions and to group related ideas together by time, space, subject, or order of importance
· Style-To write with a variety of sentences, strong verbs, literary devices, and voice
· Conventions- To use correct punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, grammar, and spelling
During fifth grade, students are required to take the PSSA in writing. This assessment requires them to effectively write to the prompt which is provided. It also assesses the students’ ability to revise and edit sample pieces by responding to multiple choice questions. At the district level, the students write in response to a prompt in the fall and the spring.
Spelling is a part of writing. Students begin a unit with a pre-test. After the pre-test students identify the spelling pattern(s) for the week and words that they need to practice. During the week, students make connections with their spelling to thinking, vocabulary, reading, and writing. Making connections like these helps students achieve real spelling success, not just correct spelling in isolation. Therefore, during the formal weekly assessment, students write their spelling words in sentence form. The expectation is that students apply conventional spelling across the curriculum.