Welcome to fifth grade, taught by Mrs. Mary Nowak, at St. Timothy’s. An important theme for 5th grade at St. Timothy’s is service, and students entering fifth grade will have several opportunities to be of service to others. These opportunities include serving as school safety patrols, singing in choir, being altar servers, and attending Mass at local care centers with Father Meyer and the residents.
Fifth graders are also given opportunities to be leaders within our school in several different capacities, including assisting with indoor recess during inclement weather. During Lent, fifth graders are responsible for enacting the Living Stations of the Cross, an activity that is eagerly anticipated by the students. Band at the public school is an option for those fifth graders who wish to play an instrument. These students are bused to Maple Lake Elementary one day a week for large band, and the band instructor comes to St. Timothy’s to give band lessons on another day.
Fifth Grade Notes:
We use the Christ Our Life series, published by Loyola, and the main themes for fifth grade are the Mass and the Sacraments. We do a Respect Life unit starting in January. Fifth graders are eligible to be altar servers and sing in choir at our weekly Masses. They also have the opportunity to attend Mass at local care centers when our priest is the celebrant at those Masses.
Saxon Math is the Math curriculum used at St. Timothy’s. Fifth graders work on multiplying and dividing, fractions, decimals, and problem solving skills. We have structured our Math time to have flexibility among fourth, fifth, and sixth grades so that within those grades, students are able to work at their own level of proficiency.
We will use the Daily 5 model in order to experience reading at individual students’ levels, and also to give students choice in what they want to read. Mrs. Nowak attended a 2-day workshop this past summer, presented by “the 2 Sisters,” co-creators of the Daily 5 model, and she is very excited to use this model in the classroom. Students should bring to school 5 books that they are able and eager to read. These books will be kept in each student’s reading file in the classroom. Students are then able to replace the books they have read, either with books from home, the school or public library, or the classroom. We will continue to use our basal reader for experience with various genres and skills to enhance the reading experience. We will also read novels together that complement other areas of study, especially the Revolutionary War period of American History, as well as purely for the joy of reading.
The 6 Traits of Writing and Writers’ Notebooks are used as bases for teaching writing. Students practice their grammar skills as they improve their writing skills, and with daily paragraph editing and our English text. Various writing purposes will be explored, including personal narratives, opinion essays, research writing, and compare-contrast essays. Fifth graders will do research on national parks, and write a research paper on each student’s park of choice. To be a great writer, one must read, read, read!
American History up to the Civil War is the main focus of study, and we have an exciting new Social Studies program to help with learning. Students will also hone their skills with maps and identification of states and capitals of the United States. Lists of states and capitals by region can be found in the document section of the fifth grade webpage. During study of the Revolutionary War period, the class reads a novel entitled Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. We also work on our skills in reading informational text, with articles on explorers and famous Americans, such as Samuel Adams.
Students study Earth, Physical, and Life Science concepts during fifth grade. A project particularly enjoyed by fifth graders is planting and tending classroom gardens in the spring.
Fifth graders have weekly Spelling units, which include 25 basic words plus 5 challenge words. Each unit has a specific skill that is covered, and students complete a variety of activities followed by a test each week. Spelling lists can be found in the document section of the fifth grade webpage.
We will continue developing skills on the glockenspiels, learning to read more challenging rhythms, and singing more challenging solfege patterns. An especially fun element of fifth grade music is learning about the woodwind family and learning how to play the recorder!