Fifth Grade

Welcome to 5th Grade!

In fifth grade we pride ourselves on being a community of learners. Our approach to learning is student driven, with emphasis on student inquiry, discoveries and connections. Teachers expect 5th graders to take more responsibility for their education, asking questions when they do not understand something and devising strategies for learning that work best for them. The behavioral and academic requirements take another step up as the children are expected to think and be responsible for themselves. Self-control is stressed as the children learn to monitor their own behaviors as they move towards middle school.

Language Arts

All aspects of literacy will be taught through a balanced literacy framework for instruction, enabling all students to become independent and strategic readers, writers, thinkers and communicators. They will continue to develop an appreciation for literature by reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections across content areas. Students will increase communication skills by participating in a variety of learning experiences and will use online, print and media resources to prepare presentations.


In writing, students will plan, draft, revise and edit their writing to describe, to entertain, and to explain. Their detailed sentences consist of strong verbs, adjectives and adverbs; while also applying correct spelling and grammar skills. Students will write with voice and expression. Similes, metaphors and other figurative language skills are reinforced as the students begin to write with more purpose, keeping their intended audience in mind.


The Virginia Standards of Learning provide the foundation for fifth-grade mathematics. Problem-solving strategies, logical reasoning skills, and algebraic thinking skills continue to be developed and refined. Work continues with numbers and operations on whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students explore topics in measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability.


The fifth-grade standards emphasize the importance of selecting appropriate instruments for measuring and recording observations. The organization, analysis, and application of data continue to be an important focus of classroom inquiry. Science skills from preceding grades, including questioning, using and validating evidence, and systematic experimentation, are reinforced at this level. Students are introduced to more detailed concepts of sound and light and the tools used for studying them. Key concepts of matter, including those about atoms, molecules, elements, and compounds, are studied, and the properties of matter are defined in greater detail.

The cellular makeup of organisms and the distinguishing characteristics of groups of organisms are stressed. Students learn about the characteristics of the oceans and Earth’s changing surface. Fifth graders will take the Science SOL test in the spring.

Social Studies

The World Studies curriculum serves as a bridge between the study of the ancient civilizations in second and third grade and the world history courses in high school. The major focus is the interdependence of nations, with an understanding and appreciation of the cultures of others.

The course introduces students to regions of the world that are increasingly important to our country. The continent is international in scope, with an emphasis on geography and history, along with economic development, political systems and current world issues from selected countries. Students will study different regions of the world and apply concepts of geography, civics and economics to their everyday life.

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