When transitioning from one grade level to the next, students are not the only ones to have some anxiety about what to expect. The staff at Blue Ridge Elementary realizes that parents often share the anxieties of school with their children and have begun having grade level specific sessions called Lunch & Learn.
The program is simply the parents meeting their child at school and having lunch while learning about the expectations of their child’s grade level, ways to help them learn, how to reinforce skills at home and how to embrace the challenges that arise with having a child in school.
The parents of fifth graders were able to enjoy some extra time with their child while parent liaison, Nicole Schnuknect and guidance counselor Trista Ragsdale discussed things that the fifth graders would be expected to do this year and ways to help them thrive and be prepared for middle school.
In math, they need to be fluent in their multiplication skills. For social studies, they must know all 27 amendments of the United States Constitution and they must know the classification of animals and their characteristics for science. This includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
One of the big questions that parents have is “What will my child learn in 5th grade?” Fifth grade is a year for putting all of the academic pieces together. Fifth graders are saying goodbye to elementary school and preparing for middle school. Curriculum varies from one school to another but common skills and concepts to be learned in fifth grade including coming up with solutions to more complicated math problems. This will include using multiplication, division, subtraction and addition…yes, all within the same problem. Math will also include some geometry such as learning the symmetry of shapes, roles of perpendicular and parallel lines and how to use formulas to calculate the volume of geometric shapes. Other math skills learned will include conversion of fractions, number plotting and features of data sets.
When reading, a 5th grader should be reading chapter books with relative fluency. They will be challenged to read different genres with a critical and interpretive eye. Parents can expect their child to be doing a lot of independent reading and writing book reports that analyze characters, plot and setting as they relate to the author’s purpose of writing the book. This will also provide the opportunity for your child to learn to back up their opinions using examples from the text.
Writing instructions relate closely with reading in a combined class known as Language Arts. Fifth graders will be writing in one way or another on a daily basis but will do so in a variety of ways. A good bit of emphasis is put on writing in the fifth grade because students often benefit from frequent writing to master the art of editing for punctuation, flow and clarity of thought. Fifth graders will build a writing portfolio of their best work that allows them to learn to evaluate their own work with a critical eye.
Science will be a fun subject for fifth graders. They begin to use hands on experiments as they explore the solar system, photosynthesis, the digestive system and the chemical properties of elements. Students will also learn the scientific method and report their findings in a factual manner.
Fifth grade social studies is focused on citizenship. Students learn about the history of the United States and are challenged to think about what they have learned to form an opinion on the cause, implications and different cultures of the colonies and people who founded them. The evolution of government and its branches will be discussed and the geography and unique features of each state will also be taught.
As any parent would want their child to do better, Schnuknect and Ragsdale also provided parents with a list of educational websites that children may use to practice their skills. These include
If parents have any questions regarding the progress of their child, they may contact their teachers directly to set up a conference.
FYN looks forward to all of the valuable information Schnuknect and Ragsdale have for the upcoming Lunch & Learn events to help parents and students adjust to the ever changing school environment and requirements.