Fifth Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: January, 2014


Fourth and fifth grade artists will continue to explore the Elements of Art in January but will be moving into the exciting world of sculpture! After a refresher in clay techniques such as creating form, using slip, scoring and attaching clay students will begin to explore the element of texture. They will learn several techniques as well as how to use a variety of clay tools to create uniquely individual clay sculptures. Once the clay is bisque fired in the kiln students will revisit glazing techniques and will learn new techniques to enhance the texture of their artwork.


This month Blue Group will complete our etymology unit. Students will research the meaning and origins of unfamiliar words they have encountered in their day-to-day lives. We will pool our data to determine what role Latin has played in shaping the English language. We will then use these connections to transition to an exploration of world language families, examining the relationships between Latin, English, and other related languages. At the end of the month Red Group will return to Latin and begin studying their first official list of Latin vocabulary words.


Fifth grade will be in the lab this month learning about the research process. They will review keyword searching, and dive into internet search strategies including how to evaluate websites for appropriateness and quality. We will revisit fact vs. fiction, extending our discussion to the nuances of misinformation.


Happy New Year! Fifth graders finished their handchime unit and are moving on to a brief unit on Music History. We will be refreshing our memories on the Renaisance, baroque and Classical time periods and focusing on the major composers and styles of the Romantic, Nationalist, and Modern time periods.


In Lower School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on our muscular strength with a focus on core. This year we will try for the first time in Lower School a 3 on 3 basketball tournament where students will be placed on a team based on skill level. The teams will compete against the other teams in class in games of half court basketball. The students will be working skill and teamwork, however students will be monitoring fouls and rules, so there is social interaction and problem solving throughout the entire class. The month ends with the introduction of jump rope and various jump rope skills as the class begins to prepare for our 3rd annual Jump Rope for Heart event in February.


Fifth graders finish their matter unit by exploring the difference between physical and chemical changes. They observe, perform and classify several reactions and determine if they are physical, or chemical changes. Students will then do a short presentation/poster about one aspect of matter before we move on to a new unit. The astronomy unit begins by finding out what students want to know about day and night, the seasons, the planets and the moon. We start observing shadows through out the day and drawing conclusions about what they notice. Through trial and error, we explore the direction the earth turns, and why the sun’s angle changes in the sky.


In January, 5th grade Red Group Spanish students will meet six times. Some of the time will be spent working on conjugation of regular verbs. The activities and tasks performed will assist students get a sense of the importance of, studying, practicing and utilizing verbs conjugated correctly to construct coherent language in oral and writing work. The topics / thematic vocabulary students will learn are sports and leisure activities. Other grammar work will consist of applying the GUSTAR structure to indicate likes and dislikes, identification / conjugation of ar, er & ir verbs, syntax and subject / adjective agreement work. Written work will consist of applying material we studied.