Fifth Grade

5th GradeTeacher:  Mrs. Kelly Vasilakos
Contact Information:  kelly.vasilakos@bdms.org

Fifth grade is a very exciting time for the students here at Bishop Dunn. We focus on creating a positive learning environment where all children can gain confidence and work to reach their full potential.  The children consider their role as a student with the right to learn in a classroom that is safe, respectful, and caring. This leads them to think about their responsibility in helping to foster such an atmosphere both in the classroom and out in the real world.

Mathematics: The fifth grade curriculum focuses on fractions, decimals, geometry, measurement, word problems, and an introduction to algebra. We are common core aligned. Students will be required to complete computation problems each night. Students should continue to practice their multiplication facts. We will be using manipulatives and the Interactive White Board during math instruction.

Social Studies Fifth grade focuses on United States History. We begin with Revolutionary War and end with the Civil War.  The topics include: causes of the American Revolution, Branches of Government, the Constitution, Moving West and the Civil War.   There are many opportunities for students to demonstrate learning through oral presentations as well as creative group projects.

Religion: This year we study the Holy Days of Obligation, the Mysteries of the Rosary, and the Seven Sacraments. We act out our sacramental celebrations when we finish studying them. Our religion text is Sadlier We Believe and the website is http://www.webelieveweb.com/index.cfm.

Writing: In fifth grade we implement the Writer’s Workshop.  This workshop is designed to turn each student into an author who is able to share and be proud of their “published work.” Students will experience different types of writing and be assessed using a rubric.

  • This year I will be incorporating Image-Making Within the Writing Process into the curriculum which is an art-and-literature based approach to writing designed to support literacy skills in students with diverse learning styles.

Reading: This year we are continuing to implement the Reading Workshop Model.     Students will read for meaning and through the use of reading strategies they will become independent readers.   They will receive small group instruction that is focused on their strengths and challenges.  As a class, students will be exposed to different genres as well as gathering information through the reading of informational text.  Ongoing informal assessment will monitor your child’s progress through out the year.

Word Study -Vocabulary: In the fifth grade, our vocabulary series is Vocabulary Workshop Blue Level from Sadlier Oxford. You can find fun and exciting ways to study at the website at http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/vocabulary/index.cfm.

Vocabulary is assigned every two weeks and continues throughout the entire school year.  Students work on this assignment independently and be tested on every unit.

Science: We explore topics that are part of the fifth grade curriculum through discussion, lab experiments, and hands-on activities. Focus is placed on thinking like a scientist by hypothesizing and questioning how natural occurrences happen.

Topics that we cover throughout the year are:

  • Changes to the Earth’s Surface
  • The Solar System
  • Building Blocks of Matter
  • Processes of Living Things (plants and human body systems)
  • Systems and Interactions in Nature

S.T.E.M:   This year 5th grade will be teaming up with 4th grade to build their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M).  Each month we will focus on a new topic where students will work together in small groups to accomplish a goal and complete tasks aligned with state standards.  Students will collaborate  and learn how to problem solve using hands-on experience.