5-6 – Curriculum
The Study Guide is a weekly curriculum tool that lays out all the assignments and requirements for the week. The study guide helps the students and parents to organize work and mange time for the week so that assignments are completed on time. It is sent out electronically to parents so they are informed about what is due during the week and what is expected as homework.
Our Language Arts classes focus primarily on Authoring, Reading, Language Mechanics, and Verbal and Dramatic Expression. Students make their own independent reading choices, participate in literature circles, and discuss shared reading that is often connected to thematic units or current events. Developing our written, spoken, and expressive voice is core to this class. In authoring, we work through the steps of the writing process, explore elements of craft and structure in writing, as well as participate in writing conferences and ‘read-arounds’. Various hands-on projects provide an additional context for assignments to serve as real work in the community.
In math, students work on both basic skills and applications. The basic skills cover decimals, fractions and percents using the Key Curriculum Press texts. Students also have weekly math maintenance that keeps previously learned material fresh in their minds. This typically is done as homework and reviewed in class. Applications include hands-on project work utilizing key concepts using fractions, decimals and percents as well as measurement, statistics, geometry. Since the thematic curriculum is integrated, many times math will tie indirectly with the current theme, for instance reviewing statistics related to a social studies topic.
Science and Social Studies
These are taught in the context of interdisciplinary thematic units. While honoring the diversity of learning styles, students explore the curriculum through a wide variety of exercises and activities. Many of our thematic units are supported by guest speakers, conferencing, field trips, and projects.
Another important part of Theme Time is inquiry projects that we call Kid’s Query. Research and presentation skills are discussed as a whole group and practiced in the context of individually chosen topics of interest.
Bodyworks is our version of physical education. Outside sports include waffle ball and kickball in the fall and soccer in the spring. In the winter basketball and other indoor games are played in the gym. We do offer dance and or activities as we can. Emphasis is placed on learning games and sportsmanship. In the spring there is the Soccer Challenge which pits the 5th and 6th against the middle school.
Every student in our program is trained in Conflict Resolution and is expected to help mediate conflicts between peers and younger students. A month-long training session is held early every school year and this supplements the training that students receive in other programs in our school.
Clean up is every day from 2:45 to 3:00 and all students participate in keeping the rooms clean. They are assigned jobs for the semester and are checked at the end of the day. Clean up time ends with a closing at which time we remind them of assignments due and other announcements before being dismissed.