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.
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 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 Battle Creek Science materials to help teach about the world in which God is constantly interacting. This curriculum uses a “hands on” approach to science, in which students experiment in each lesson, work in a science group, and explore the concepts being taught while developing vocabulary, group working skills, and problem solving (which are all vital to doing science). We spend the first half of the year learning physics as based on Michigan Standards. Students learn Newton’s laws of Motion, forces, and how these concepts apply to our daily lives. We then apply these skills to the formations of rollercoasters, toy tops, and paper airplanes. The other unit we cover is “Systems and Survival” in which students study traits that keep living things alive. With the help of frogs and hermit crabs, we learn how God gave these animals the ability to live in a certain environment and survive. We study the five things each person needs to survive, and how those five things are found by both plants and animals.
Physical Education: Fifth Grade students receive two forty-five minute sessions 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 of game play.
Art: Fifth Grade students receive forty-five minutes of art instruction each week. In fifth grade, students are given a bit more freedom and choice to solve artistic problems. They are presented with a task and expected to solve it in their own creative way. They begin to internalize the concepts learned in previous years and use them in their own style.
Music: Fifth Grade students receive one forty-five minutes classes of music instruction each week. Curriculum from Music Express, ETM, Kodaly, Orff, and Essential Elements 2000 is used. Students read rhythms using half, quarter, eighth, and whole notes and read and notate notes on the treble and bass clefs. In addition, students identify and describe musicians and their music in various settings and cultures. Fifth Grade students also receive three forty-five minute classes of band in which they learn to play their band instruments. Band is mandatory for all fifth grade students.
Computers and Technology: Fifth Grade students receive one forty-five minute class of computer instruction each week. Students continue to practice keyboarding skills while using these skills to type classroom assignments. They use a variety of software to convey their classroom learning to their peers. World Book Online Encyclopedia and educational websites are used to develop deeper understanding of classroom instruction.