Fifth Grade Curriculum Overview
At Monticello Academy, we believe in academic excellence as well as the emotional and social development of a student. The academic curriculum that we implement in our program is based on the California State Standards. Being a developmental based program, our curriculum is gauged in accordance to the educational level of each individual class every year as they progress from one grade level to the next. Our curriculum will vary year to year depending on the developmental ability and level of the upcoming grade. This overview will allow you to have a general understanding of what your child will learn throughout the school year.
Students will continue to focus on decoding words fluently and accurately through reading aloud narratives and expository text with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression.
Students will learn to focus on interpreting figurative language and recognizing meanings of frequently used foreign words with multiple meanings. They will also develop an understanding of shades of meaning in related words. Students continue to engage in extensive reading independently to further develop their vocabulary knowledge.
At this level, students are focusing on informational materials. They will learn to identify structural features of popular media and analyze instructional materials that use a compare-and-contrast organizational pattern. Students will learn to connect and clarify main ideas and identify their relationships to other sources and related topics, clarify the understanding of instructional materials by creating outlines, logical notes, summaries, or reports, and follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications. At the same time, they will continue to do expository critique.
Listening and Speaking
Students are expected to continue to engage in as a listener as well as a speaker by being able to relate the speaker’s verbal communication to the nonverbal message, identify tone, mood, and emotion conveyed in the oral communication, and restate and execute multiple-step oral instructions and directions. At this level students will learn to deliver well-organized formal presentations that employ traditional rhetorical strategies.
Literary Response and Analysis
Students will continue with the skills learned in fourth grade, but at a more complex level in that they learn to analyze the effect of qualities of character on plot and resolution of conflict and the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution. They determine how tone or meaning is conveyed in poetry through word choice, figurative language, sentence structure, line length, punctuation, rhythm, repetition, and rhyme. Also, they will learn to compare between first-person and third-person, autobiography and biography, and identify features of theme that are conveyed through characters, actions, and images. They will further learn to explain the effects of common literary device, such as symbolism, imagery, and metaphor.
When students reach this level, they will learn to advance their writing by selecting forms of writing that best suits the intended purpose, creating multiple-paragraph expository compositions, and using a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns. Students will continue to use research or technology to compose documents with appropriate formatting. They also will further develop their skill in revising their writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs by students being given time to revise and edit written compositions. This process will help students be prepared for research reports, term papers, or book reports. By this time, they will have learned about sentence structure (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentence), grammar (indefinite pronouns, present, past, and future tense), punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
By the end of fifth grade, students will have mastered the four arithmetic operations with whole numbers, positive fractions, positive decimals, and positive and negative integers. They can accurately compute and solve mathematical problems and apply their understanding to statistics and probability. Students will understand the concepts of mean, median, and mode of data sets and how to calculate the range. They will also take information to analyze data and sampling processes for possible bias and misleading conclusions. Furthermore, they learn to use addition and multiplication of fractions routinely to calculate the probabilities for compound events. Students conceptually will understand and work with ratios and proportions. They can compute percentages, such as tax, tips, and interest. They will know about pi and the formulas for the circumference and area of a circle. Students learn to use letters for numbers in formulas involving geometric shapes and in ratios to represent an unknown part of an expression. Lastly, they will learn to solve one-step linear equations.
The main focus for history-social science in the fifth grade program is the United States history and geography in relation to making a new nation. Students in the fifth grade program will study the development of the nation up to 1850, with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when, and from where others arrived, and why they came. They will learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. Students will recognize that ours is a nation that has a constitution that derives its power from the people that have gone through a revolution that once sanctioned slavery, that experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and that experienced a westward movement that took its people across the continent. Studying the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the War of Independence and western expansion is central to the students’ fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.
Students in the fifth grade will learn about chemical reactions and discover the special properties of metallic elements. They will distinguish between molecules and atoms and chemical compounds and mixtures as well as learning about the organization of atoms on the periodic table of the elements. Students will be shown how particular chemical reactions, such as photosynthesis and respiration, drive the physiological processes of living cells. They will add to what they have learned in the previous grade levels about the external characteristics and adaptations of plants and animals. Students will further develop some knowledge about the fundamental principles of physiology, in that they learn about blood circulation and respiration in the human body, digestion of food and collection/excretion of wastes in animals, the movement of water and minerals from the roots of plants to the leaves, and the transport of sugar generated during photosynthesis from the leaves to the other parts of the plant. Throughout the year, they will also continue their study about the hydrologic cycle (water cycle), the process by which water moves between the land and the oceans. Students will learn how the process influences the distribution of weather-related precipitation, which leads to the types and rates of erosion. They will also proceed to learn more about the solar system in that it contains asteroids and comets in addition to the Sun, nine planets, and moons. Students learn about the composition of the Sun and the relationship between gravity and planetary orbits.