FIFTH GRADE OVERVIEW
The fifth grade continues the emphasis on writing begun in fourth grade using the Six Traits program and emphasizing writing for a variety of reasons and audiences. Grammar instruction is taken from McGraw Hill Language and various trade books. The fifth grade spelling list comes from Red Hot Roots and includes vocabulary instruction. Students learn poetry with a spring poetry unit that culminates with parents coming to school for a poetry reading. In depth novel studies are conducted throughout the year. The fifth grade novels are: Behind the Bedroom Wall, Hatchet, James and the Giant Peach, Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH, Chasing Vermeer, The BFG, The Twits, The Diary of Patience Whipple, Wonder. Language class also provides numerous opportunities for students to practice their public speaking skills, including chapel presentations.
The math curriculum encourages students to use multiple strategies for solving problems and understanding concepts. Fifth graders build their math skills through exercises emphasizing number concepts, place value, dimensions of geometric figures, whole number operations, fractions, decimals, algebraic equations and statistics. In addition, word problems build problem solving and reasoning skills. Classroom resources include Pearson Envision 2.0, Creative Mathematics, numerous trade books, teacher created materials, and manipulatives.
Fifth graders study American history from 1565 to the present. Content includes the colonial period, the Constitution, structure and function of our government, westward expansion, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and events in the 20th and 21st centuries. Geography is woven throughout the lessons. Classroom resources include Harcourt Social Studies Making a New Nation, Interact units, teacher created materials, and trade books.
Science is taught in a way that facilitates the development of questioning and inquiry through various labs and investigations. Science topics include: properties of matter, energy studies, the Earth’s surface, patterns in the sky, the structure and function of organisms, and natural cycles of the Earth. Resources include McGraw Hill Science, teacher created materials, and trade books. Students create lab notebook entries following the scientific method.
Health instruction focuses on spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. Concepts include personal health habits, conflict resolution, good decision making skills, basic body systems and their functions, disease prevention and transmission.
In addition to weekly Chapel services, Bible is a classroom subject. Using a non-denominational Christian curriculum, fifth graders learn about the Old Testament, memorize verses, study Bible stories, and participate in discussions and activities. The fifth grade class uses a teacher developed curriculum.
Fifth graders begin to explore the sight reading of music. They also explore voice, rhythm, and movement; and the students prepare music for presentations. Music curriculum resources are Texas Spotlight on Music and Music Express.
Students in fifth grade learn to create illustrations from direct observation, demonstrating the growth of technical drawing skills. Students become increasingly independent in choosing subject matter and drawing from illustrations, photographs or still life displays.
Library skills are intentionally taught at each grade level. Fifth grade students focus on categories and genres of nonfiction and fiction. They also master the Dewey Decimal System.
Spanish students participate in forty minutes of Spanish instruction two times a week. Spanish classes are conducted primarily in Spanish. Students at this grade level participate in Spanish projects that encourage them to take risks by speaking in Spanish, even if vocabulary and grammar concepts are incorrect.
Fifth graders experience a continued scaffold of skill development, fitness, and sportsmanship. They also work to increase their attention to strategies and rules of team and individual sports. Fifth graders may participate in our athletics program.
Technology is integrated into the core curriculum through various projects in each subject. Students learn how to use Google Docs for writing activities, presentations, peer editing and collaboration, etc. Students also regularly conduct online research for class lessons and assignments.
Traveling Classroom – Students take an overnight trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The class visits the Dallas World Aquarium, JFK 6th Floor Museum, Bureau of Printing and Engraving, Fort Worth Museum of Natural History, and Texas Rangers game.
Waco Hippodrome--Students visit the Hippodrome to see current children’s theatre productions.
Waco Symphony Orchestra—4th and 5th grade students attend a fall symphony performance.
A Few Extras
Jog-a-thon – Students participate in a school wide fundraiser by asking friends and family to pledge a donation amount for laps run around our track. During the day, kids cycle through many fun and exciting stations including bouncy houses, karate lessons, team building games, and more.
Native American Museum – Students create fun and informative book report projects and teach their peers and school community about a Native American group through special presentations.
Deck the Halls--Students in third through sixth grade carol at the annual Junior Service League Christmas event.
City Hall Caroling--Students in third through sixth grade carol at City Hall and are filmed for the local City of Waco television station.
Christmas Program – Students in 3rd through 6th grade perform a Christmas program for the school community.
Variety Show – Variety Show is a fun, school wide evening dinner event where classes perform a song and dance.
UIL – Student participate in various UIL events at the annual event hosted by ECA.
Spelling Bee – Students may choose to participate in our school wide Spelling Bee held each January.
Classic Track Meet – 4th through 6th grade students participate in traditional track meet against other area private schools.
Athletics – ECA offers an excellent athletic program that teaches students the skills needed to carry them to competitive high school sports programs.