5TH GRADE NEWS

LANGUAGE ARTS AND HISTORY:

What a delightful year with eight bright, funny, inquisitive minds! Never shy of speaking, these 5th graders have peppered me all year long with insightful comments and thoughtful questions about our lessons, books, and everyday life, from puns to rock bands. They are truly a remarkable group of students, and I am thrilled to teach them History and Latin again next year. What better way to end our year than hold our annual 5th grade Progressive Dinner and the Roman Feast & Carnival in the same week! Students had to dress up in their Sunday and best display their best manners on Tuesday, only to dress up as Roman deities and entertain the younger students on Friday. Of course, the students had to prepare for both, with a dining etiquette lesson for the Progressive Dinner and a deity research project for the Roman Carnival. Table manners, courtesy, analysis, writing, public speaking--we are always learning and applying multiple life skills at St. James!

MATH AND SCIENCE:

Unsinkable

The fifth grade students have been studying the Titanic in Language Arts, and we extended the investigations into our Science class with some fun learning activities. Students calculated the amount of salt needed to simulate ocean water to observe rust formation in fresh water and salt water conditions. They also made icebergs to better understand how ⅞ of the Titanic iceberg was hidden underwater. Of course we had to build our own boats out of foil to see who could hold the most marble “passengers” in an engineering design challenge. For our final week of investigations, we watched the film Night of the Titanic in our student-made planetarium and then ended the week with a Titanic escape challenge. Through teamwork and curiosity, we learned what it takes to become unsinkable!







Susannah Joyce
5TH GRADE NEWS

LANGUAGE ARTS AND HISTORY:

We recently completed an introduction to economics in easy to understand, 5th grade language. Students studied goods, services, and different types of resources needed to run a business. They also learned about opportunity cost-- what do you give up when you have a limited amount of capital to spend-- and they caught on quickly to this concept. To apply opportunity cost to the real world, we played an ice cream shop activity. Students were given $5.00 to spend on ice cream and a variety of toppings, all set at different prices. What type of sundae could they create with their $5.00? No one could pick everything on the shop list, and therein lay the opportunity cost. This little activity was a fun way to see opportunity cost in action, and enjoy a tasty treat during testing week!



Susannah Joyce
5TH GRADE NEWS

MATH AND SCIENCE:

Moving Right Along

The fifth grade students successfully completed their grade-level math standards well ahead of schedule, so we moved forward into sixth grade content. Here we extended our understanding of area of familiar shapes such as rectangles to derive the formula for the area of all parallelograms. We came to this conclusion through deep mathematical discourse and a great deal of hands-on analysis.

LANGUAGE ARTS AND HISTORY:

April is National Poetry month, and thus, it is the perfect time to study poetry. Poetry is an art, a form of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings both figuratively and literally. The most wonderful aspect about poetry is the freedom it offers. It is essential for students to study and write poems that contain a specific format, but it’s equally as important to encourage students to write about topics they love in any way they like.

Fifth grade has learned a variety of poetic formats so far-- from free verse list poems to haikus. This week, we are studying similes, practicing writing our own before writing a simile poem. I encouraged students to create original similes and invited them to share with the rest of the class. Another aspect of poetry-- it’s meant to be shared, read aloud, and celebrated!

By the way, Z. is wearing the Mr. Brilliant crown in the first photo because he made brilliant connections identifying metaphors, similes, and personification.







Susannah Joyce
5TH GRADE NEWS

LANGUAGE ARTS AND HISTORY:

It’s all about United States geography in the 5th grade! Students researched a state to create a “great state plate,” and then studied the locations of all 50 states to label them correctly on a blank map. Through a set of diverse stations, students have enjoyed interactive practice of the states’ locations. They have studied through a wooden puzzle, a write-and-wipe laminated map, a web-based game, and the fan favorite, the giant blank floor map. What a great way to appeal to each student’s learning style!

MATH AND SCIENCE:

Science & Engineering Festival

Our fifth through seventh grade students put a new twist on the concept of a science fair and hosted an interactive Science & Engineering Festival. Teams of students studied topics of interest and used their findings to create a hands-on exhibit to share with younger students. We invited younger grades to join us for our festival, and the cooperative learning experience was a great success. The students enjoyed pushing their limits to learn in new ways and share their findings with others.

Cardboard Planetarium:

Augmented Reality Sandbox:

Marble Run:

Mystery Architecture:

Crime Busters:

Write-It-Do-It:

Circuit Lab:

fest17.jpg

Herpetology:

Fossils:

Anatomy & Physiology:

Rainbow Paper:

















Susannah Joyce
5TH GRADE NEWS

LANGUAGE ARTS AND HISTORY:

Who wants some snacks?

It’s always fun to end our persuasive writing unit with an advertising lesson. Advertising is probably the most recognized form of persuasion, and our lives are bombarded by it, especially now that we live in the digital age. In their final mini-project, 5th graders were tasked with retaining the essential principle of persuasion-- convincing your audience to want what you have to offer-- and applying it to food. What better product to advertise than tasty snacks? What better audience than 4th graders?

Students paired off (with the exception of one sweet student whose partner was ill) and chose a snack well-liked by most children-- Fruit Gushers, Goldfish, Rainbow Chip Deluxe cookies, and Fritos. They conducted taste-test research to write their slogan and design three different ads-- a billboard, a magazine ad, and a video. Then, the class presented their ad campaigns, complete with product samples, to the 4th grade class. The 4th graders, suitably impressed with the colorful ads and creative videos, were most convinced by two snacks-- Goldfish (voted favorite) and Rainbow Chips Deluxe cookies (voted most persuasive ad). Overall, 5th graders have learned that persuasion is, indeed, an art form, and that they can write persuasively if they believe in their opinion, conduct solid research to support their opinion, and know their audience.



Susannah Joyce