The Academy – Fifth Grade
In fifth grade at Challenge Charter School, we have a jam-packed year full of Tom Sawyer, Mayan sacrifices, Sistine Chapel drawing, and algebraic expressions. As we navigate our Common Core and Core Knowledge aligned curriculums we reach each student through a balance of teaching techniques including singing, moving, acting, hands-on experimenting, and more traditional academic skills of note taking and lecturing. Students are held to the highest level both academically and behaviorally as they become role models demonstrating our Core Virtues for younger students on campus.
The fifth grade curriculum utilizes classic literature including Don Quixote, Little Women, Secret Garden, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and works of Shakespeare, as well as the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill reading program aligned with Common Core standards. These different stories provide a medium in which we teach students higher level analysis and comprehension. In addition, we integrate a rigorous grammar, spelling, and writing program for a total language arts approach. Students practice writing skills across the curricula and become much experienced in writing thesis-driven persuasive essays, as well as creative short stories, journal entries, and poems. We also use leveled readers to give each student additional fluency and language practice in a small group or one-on-one setting.
Our math curriculum starts by building on material practiced in fourth grade and gradually steps up to create a seamless transition into new higher-level math concepts that align with Common Core and Core Knowledge standards . Students use white boards, games, number cards, cubes, and resource material in their notes to problem solve and practice skills relating to number sense, geometry, and pre-algebra.
Social studies and science are guided by the Core Knowledge curriculum. Our social studies content is rich in cultural history, taking students back to the beginning of civilizations of the Americas, Japan, and Russia. We sail through exploration and the European Renaissance and Reformation, and travel across the United States in covered wagons to see how our country became what it is today. In science we start out small, with atoms and matter, and expand to include plant and animal cells and human body systems. These units aren’t complete without a wonderful selection of lesson-enriching field trips and integrated projects.
Past projects have included travel logs, cell and element models, ads for Westward expansion, ancient civilization masks, Renaissance and Reformation character sketches, ship and compass construction, and so much more! Field trips take us further into our Core Knowledge topics, and have included excursions to the Wells Fargo Museum, Benihana and the Japanese Friendship Gardens, Chase Field, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.