5th grade is a year of transition at Stevens. Our students become part of our middle school program and developmentally, they are becoming more independent and learning to hold themselves accountable, which will contribute to their successes throughout their academic careers. Students have opportunities to positively contribute to our classrooms and school community. From our middle school talent show to Reading Buddies, fifth grade is a year of expansive growth.
See what your child will learn in each of the following subject areas:
- Social Emotional Learning
- Specials Classes
- Homework and Assessments
Fifth graders read many genres of literature that provide multiple perspectives in order for students to make personal connections. They are taught how to critically read a text by analyzing the literary elements and characters, in addition to understanding the author’s message and theme.
Students will also explore relevant current events that are occurring locally, nationally, and internationally, and will participate in discussions about the who, what, when, where, and why these events occur and the impact that they have on us, our greater community, and the world. Fifth grade is a year to develop critical thinking skills, analytical reading skills, speaking skills, and media literacy skills. This is also a time for students to reflect about their role in the community and what they can do to help our world become a better place.
Build Strong Content Knowledge:
- Establish a base of knowledge across a wide range of subject matter by engaging with works of quality and substance
- Refine and share their knowledge through writing and speaking
Respond to the Varying Demands of Audience, Task, Purpose, and Discipline
- Adapt their communication in relation to audience, task, purpose and discipline.
- Know that different disciplines call for different types of evidence
Understand Other Perspectives and Cultures
- Actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds
- Evaluate other points of view critically and constructively
Comprehend as Well as Critique
- Students are engaged and open-minded as readers and listeners
- Question authors' or speakers' assumptions and premises and assess the accuracy of claims and the soundness of reasoning
Sample Reading List
- Bridge to Terabithia
- Brown Girl Dreaming
- Esperanza Rising
- Ghost Boys
- The Hatchet
- Maniac Magee
- The Season of Styx Malone
- A Bone From a Dry Sea
In social studies, fifth graders start the year by studying the five themes of geography: place, location, human/environment interaction, movement, and region, and assess how these five components impact a civilization. Students learn about the various geographical features of the world and practice mapping skills. Fifth graders discuss the difference between prehistory and history, asking the question, “How do we know what happened in the past?” and “Who tells the history of the world?”
- The impact of geographical locations on a civilization
- Agriculture and technology, economy and trade, specialized labor and society, government and leadership, and religion
- What contributes to the rise and fall of a civilization
- Compare and contrast civilizations
- Impact of history on current events and the world we live in today
- Understand the differences between past, present, and future time, in addition to how events take place over time
- Historical Comprehension
- Demonstrate understanding of key concepts, casual relationships and historical timelines
Historical Analysis and Interpretation
- Analyze a variety of texts, primary and secondary sources
- Interpret and synthesize primary and secondary sources
Historical Research Skills and
Historical Issues: Analysis and Decision-Making
- Researches and presents topic of choice using notes and a variety of credible sources to make citations
- Correctly format a Works Cited page.
Units of Study
Peopling of the World
- Neolithic time periods
- Ancient Civilizations
Out of Eden
- The world around you: The present and the Local
- How we learn about History: The past and the global
With inquiry at its core, the science curriculum aims to guide students to collaboratively and independently investigate issues through observation, research, and experimentation. As students investigate real examples of science applications they discover the dependencies and tensions between ethics, culture, economics, and environment.
- Understand and explains scientific concepts
- Use structured processes to solve problems, gather information, and draw conclusions
- Record observations and thought processes, measure with accuracy and communicates with relevance, meaning and insight
Units of Study
- Solubility Chemistry
- Water Issues
Continuing with the Singapore Math curriculum, fifth grade math is organized into three major topics: whole numbers, parts, and geometry. Math class is organized into a structure in which students review the homework from the previous night, engage in a mini lesson about a concept, then practice either independently or in small groups, and then regroup to share their classwork.
Units of Study
- Place Value of Whole Numbers
- Factors, Multiples, Prime Factorization
- Whole Number Multiplication and Division
- Order of Operations
- Bar Models for all four operations
- Fractions and Mixed Numbers (the four operations and word problems)
- Decimals (the four operations and word problems)
- Area and Perimeter
- Area of a Triangle
- Properties of Triangles and Four-sided Figures
Social Emotional Learning
Classroom Advisory Program (CAP)
CAP is a time for students to engage in conversations and activities which build their understanding of their identities, asking questions such as “Who am I?” “Who do I want to be?” and “Who tells my story?” Other topics are discussed, such as what a community is and isn’t, how to manage friendships, manage conflicts, how to build respectful relationships, consent, what interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are, and digital citizenship. In February, fifth graders participate in health classes, in which they learn about puberty, learning about the biology behind puberty, and the physical changes that will occur during puberty. This is also a time to build empathy towards one another while they are going through this time of change in their lives. Students also explore the inequity girls and women face around the world in relation to puberty, such as access to education and resources.
5th grade is an exciting time for students as they select an Individual instrument (strings, woodwind, or brass) and have weekly small group instruction as well as orchestra practice. The year culminates with our much beloved Spring Concert, during which students demonstrate their skills for families.
- Vocal Technique
- Musical Literacy
- Music Appreciation
World Languages: Spanish and Mandarin
Beginning in 5th grade, students choose between Spanish or Mandarin as their World Language course.
Students learn Spanish vocabulary, grammar, culture and history through the lenses of different countries including Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Fifth grade students practice their speaking and listening skills three times per week.
- Meals and celebrations
- The body and health
- A healthy life
Cultural backdrop: Guatemala
- Identify foods by studying traditional Guatemalan dishes and comparing them with dishes in the United States.
- Explain the role of food in celebrations by describing birthday parties and the food served at those celebrations.
- Identify parts of the body by describing physical activities and describing ailments.
- Explain how to maintain a good health and healthy environment by discussing ways to care of their bodies and the environment.
- Basic strokes
- Pictographic words/phrases
- Origin of Chinese characters
Beginning in fifth grade, Electives are offered once per week to middle school students in mixed group settings. This is a chance for students to have choice and voice through personal selection and an opportunity to work with peers from other middle school classes. Offerings change from year to year and have included Photography, Creative Writing, Fiber Arts, Tinkering and Makerspace, The Art of Public Speaking, Healthy Habits and Nutrition, Service Learning, Theatre, Coding, and Ethics Bowl.
Homework and Assessments
5th graders can expect daily homework that is purposeful and helps students manage their time and workload responsibly. Students will be assessed in a variety of ways , including class discussions, homework assignments, comprehension questions, essays, end of unit tests, quizzes, and research projects. Stevens uses authentic observation, testing, and ongoing assessment to provide a comprehensive evaluation of each student.
In addition to exploring relevant curriculum connections through local day trips to museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, students participate in an overnight trip to the Poconos Environmental Education Center (PEEC) for three days and two nights focused on enhancing teamwork, leadership and self-confidence.