Grade 5

Fifth Grade Team
Mrs. Avery  @mrsaverybdmw
Ms. Collings
Ms. Hamel  @stephmhamel
Mrs. Hwang

Fifth grade is an exciting year of elementary school! Fifth grade teachers teach as a team and collaborate with one another to make the final year of elementary school a rich and fun experience. Throughout the year, fifth graders serve as role models to younger students and can take on leadership responsibilities such as safety patrol, student council and can lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance. We prioritize partnering with families to support students in this important year of learning and growing.


Throughout the year, we will use Illustrative Math and Learn Zillion and other materials to explore topics in algebra, number theory, geometry, data analysis, and measurement.  You will have many opportunities to explore concepts in-depth and develop your understanding using slideshows, manipulatives, games, and videos. Expect to solve interesting problems and have grand conversations in math class!


During Reader’s Workshop, we will read fiction and non-fiction independently and in small groups.  You will have the opportunity to participate in book clubs and research groups as well.  We will enjoy a large variety of “read aloud” and picture books, too.


We will experiment with a variety of writing styles and formats throughout the year.  Units of Study will include personal narrative, argument essays, literary essays, and informational writing. We may explore other genres as the year unfolds. We will celebrate our work in many ways.


Grade 5 students explore the big ideas of life, physical, and earth science through an inquiry-based, hands-on approach, with the following units:

  • -Weather & Water (Earth Science)
  • -Matter and Chemical Changes (Physical Science)
  • -Ecosystem Restoration (Life & Earth Science) (Life Science)


Our Social Studies curriculum is a survey of American history.  We include many voices in our study and strive to educate students in the histories of the Commonwealth, the United States, and the world. Based on fifth-grade foundational work, students will be prepared to make informed civic choices and assume their responsibility for strengthening equality, justice, and liberty in and beyond the United States.

Fifth-grade units include;

  • -American Revolution
  • -U.S. Government
  • -Westward Movement
  • -Immigration and Industrial Revolution

Pollyanna’s Racial Literacy Curriculum for Grades K-8 is designed to help students gain crucial knowledge about race in the United States, and enhance students’ awareness of their own racial socialization and skills for engaging in productive conversations about race and racism. The Racial Literacy Curriculum incorporates history, language arts, geography, and science to better understand the social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States. We believe that racial literacy is an essential skill set to develop, and the lessons serve as a vital toolkit for all students.

The 5th grade Racial Literacy curriculum is an effort to explore general patterns of immigration and the forced movement of people. 

Students will learn…

  • -More about the diversity of Native American cultures and civilizations before European colonization.
  • -About the diversity of African cultures and civilization before the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • -More about historical figures and communities that resisted.
  • -About the history of immigration and migration in the U.S, including a comparison of Ellis Island vs Angel Island


Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL is more than just a program or lesson. It is about how teaching and learning happens, as well as what you teach and where you learn.

There are a variety of approaches used to teach SEL including:

  • -Free-standing lessons designed to enhance students’ social and emotional competence explicitly.
  • -Teaching practices such as cooperative learning and project-based learning, which promote SEL.
  • -Integration of SEL and academic curriculum such as language arts, math, social studies, or health.
  • -Organizational strategies that promote SEL as a schoolwide initiative that creates a climate and culture conducive to learning.

At the elementary level, the Responsive Classroom Approach is used to promote well-designed practices intended to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities. The emphasis is on helping students develop their academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs.

Students develop their SEL skills across five competencies:

  • -Self Awareness
  • -Self Management
  • -Social Awareness
  • -Relationship Skills
  • -Responsible Decision Making
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