Fifth grade at Allendale Christian School is a year of becoming a team. We make a point to work together as a team to accomplish a common goal. As we work together, students become prepared for all aspects of their future: middle school, high school, God’s kingdom, teams, and the workforce. Students get a sense of responsibility, all while still enjoying elementary school in a loving environment.
Bible: We use the CSI Bible Curriculum entitled Walking With God and His People. Throughout the year, the use of readers’ theatres, reading the Bible, building models, creating devotions, illustrating scenes, using puppets and researching help us to develop not only a firm understanding of God’s kingdom, but also to apply the knowledge to our Christian lives. We start the year looking at Old Testament Covenants and continue into the people of Judah and the kings. We then cover the life of Jesus including His birth, ministry and parables.
Language Arts: We use a workshop approach to teaching when it comes to language arts. In reading, students will engage in literature circles that have books at their level, whole class books, and use their own independent reading books while being instructed in mini lessons. Conferences with students inform the teaching that occurs in the classroom. We also participate in writing units of tall tales, poetry, personal narrative, informative and much more. These units focus on the writer, meeting them where they are at and giving one-on-one time to help improve their thinking and writing. We also use Sitton Spelling curriculum to help students learn fundamental words and how they are spelled in context. Finally we use a curriculum called Easy Grammar to teach the structure and formation of our sentences to make sure they are done correctly.
Math: We are using the new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Math Expressions. Math is not full of tricks and hidden strategies, but is a well-organized system in which God operates. Students learn how our God is an organized God, who works within the system of math to help us better understand Him. Students work through decimals, fraction comparisons, fraction operations, geometry and so on as they see the real life applications of these skills.
Social Studies: We are using a mixture of the Harcourt Brace Social Studies and Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum . Both curricula cover Michigan standards for fifth grade. We start with early human history and cover it to the mid 1800’s. Simulations and projects are used throughout to help students better understand the people who experienced these events. Fifth graders are given the task to become the historian and figure out what artifacts were used for, what pieces of art were meant to portray from an event, the causes and effects from people’s decisions, and connect events that spanned over periods of time.
Science: We use the FOSS (Full Option Science System) that uses curriculum and kits to help students understand fundamental concepts within our learning of living systems, mixtures and solutions, as well as our solar system. We do a lot of hands-on learning with research and journaling that helps students feel like real scientists. Many students learn fundamental vocabulary for science and engineering and apply them correctly into real world situations. “The FOSS Program was created specifically to provide students and teachers with meaningful experiences through engaging with this active participation in scientific practices” (www.fossweb.com/what-is-foss).
Physical Education: Fifth Grade students receive fifty minutes of PE each week. Students know what each skill should look like and work on using it correctly in modified game play. They are also challenged to learn game tactics and strategy. Sportsmanship is required and reviewed often using examples during game play.
Art: Fifth Grade students receive fifty minutes of art instruction each week. In fifth grade students are introduced to more complicated techniques, and ideas of art making. They can begin to use their own experiences more in their work and begin to develop their own artistic style that tie in with the design Elements.
Music: Fifth Grade students receive band (45 minutes/ 3 days) and music (30 minutes/ 1 day) instruction. The mission of the music program at Allendale Christian School is to allow students to discover and develop the musical gifts that God has given them through an appreciation of, enjoyment of, and success in music. Every 5th grader will learn how to play a band instrument (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, or percussion). At ACS, we strongly believe that students should be exposed to band for at least two years to become well rounded and discover those gifts that God has given them. In band and music, students will develop the following musical skills through performance, composition, improvisation, and movement activities: performing a steady beat, reading pitches on the treble and bass clef, reading a variety of musical symbols, and performing contrasting parts. Students will also participate in the Annual Christmas Concert in December and the Spring Band and Choir Concert in May.
Library: Fifth grade students have one half-hour library class a week. In the library, students listen to a read-aloud book and have discussions on the book, aiming to meet fifth grade reading standards and allow us to learn about the story God is writing. They also have time to find, read, and check-out books they want to read independently.
Spanish: Fifth grade students have one forty-five minute Spanish class each week. Students practice basic greetings, and learn numbers 1-59, calendar, weather, clock, directions, and places vocabulary through songs, games, and interactive activities. They work on a city map drawing project. They also learn short Bible verses, songs, and prayers. Cultural activities are woven throughout the different units.