Fifth graders are ready and eager to make connections between their real-life experience and new areas of knowledge. Discovering relationships among various branches of study is fostered by an interdisciplinary approach.
As independence develops, students are encouraged to exercise autonomy when selecting independent projects, and they develop unique solutions to problems.
Fifth graders experience a wide variety of literature in both independent book choices and in the selections read with large and small groups. A fifth grader’s growing ability to understand and communicate with others stimulates conversation as students work with partners, in small groups, and as a whole group. Students respond to what they read in student-led discussion groups and in blogs.
During debates and exchanges of views, students are able to learn how different people can understand and respond to a piece of literature in diverse ways. There is nothing like sharing ideas within a community of readers.
Student interest helps to determine the topics that frame academics. Interdisciplinary projects have dealt with the concepts of toys and play, the history and future of books, and developing content for a digital downtown walking tour. Projects that include art and music are always enriching.
As fifth graders begin to develop their abstract reasoning skills, mathematics is an exciting and interesting subject. They have developed many of math’s basic building blocks, and are now able to apply and combine them in increasingly complex ways. An ability to associate fractions, decimals, and percentages is a good example of their newly found skills.
Technology impacts individual progress in math as students play games and solve problems with a variety of applications.
Creative, hands-on projects are encouraged, and fifth graders work together to solve problems like, “How many containers would it take to fill the room with popcorn?” Three-dimensional constructions help fifth graders to discover or reinforce geometric concepts.
Written and oral communication are at the heart of many fifth grade activities. Whether expressing good reasoning in a compare/contrast essay that explains ideas formulated in a project, detailing steps used to solve a math problem, or writing a creative response related to a book, students learn to use language to communicate and to express themselves.