Curriculum standards are what all grade-level students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a school year.  Key standards of 5th grade education are highlighted below.  All K-5 teachers are implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ( in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.  Curriculum used includes Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, Envision Math, Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative (SVMI), FOSS Science Program, and History Alive Program. 

In 5th Grade, each student will…

Language Arts

  • Draw on a repertoire of ways to read closely, alert to how story elements interact and details that seem to represent big ideas
  • Participate in reading clubs to work with a novel that has nuanced characters and multiple subplots
  • Learn to read analytically, analyzing differences in perspective across texts
  • Investigate the ways nonfiction texts become more complex and learn appropriate strategies
  • Pursue independent inquiry projects
  • Analyze arguments, working in research groups to study a debatable issue
  • Learn how to compare the ideas and perspectives of many authors and how to formulate their own evidence-based, ethical positions on issues
  • Become immersed in the fantasy genre and develop higher-level thinking skills
  • Work on their habits as readers to build knowledge, study how authors introduce hard words and use strategies to learn new vocabulary as they read

  • Learn to apply their own writing techniques across the genres of Opinion, Information, and Narrative
  • Use their knowledge of the narrative craft to make their stories more thematic
  • Draw inspiration and understanding from mentor texts, historical accounts, primary source documents, maps, and timelines to write focused research reports
  • Grasp that form follows content, deciding whether to express their thoughts in narratives, in essays, or in a hybrid genre 
  • Learn to build powerful arguments that balance evidence and analysis to persuade readers to action

Speaking and Listening
  • Engage in discussions on grade-appropriate topics 
  • Summarize a text, information, or points made by a speaker
  • Speak clearly about a topic/opinion with main ideas or themes
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks


  • Writes and interprets numerical expressions
  • Analyzes patterns and relationships
  • Understands the place value system
  • Solves multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to the hundredths place
  • Uses equivalent fractions to add and subtract
  • Applies and extends multiplication and division with fractions
  • Converts like measurement units within a given system
  • Represents and interprets data
  • Understands concepts of volume in relation to multiplication and addition
  • Graphs points on the coordinate plane for real-world problems
  • Classified two-dimension figures into categories


  • Mixtures and Solutions
    • Learn about the properties, behaviors, and changes in substances – fundamental ideas in chemistry
    • Develop models to explain how something works
  • Earth and Sun
    • Focus on Earth and the Sun as a system
    • Collect and analyze shadow data
    • Observe changes in the Moon’s appearance over time
    • Explore the properties of the atmosphere, energy transfer from Sun to Earth, and water cycling in Earth’s atmosphere
  • Living Systems
    • Look at life at every level of organization – from the biosphere to individual organisms
    • Understand living systems – ecosystems, populations, and individual organisms
    • Appreciate the diversity and wonder of life on Earth
  • Participate in the science fair
  • Experience a “living lab” in the school garden

Social Studies

  • Study geography
  • Learn about pre-Columbian settlements
  • Examine exploration
  • Discover the Colonial Era
  • Investigate the causes of the American Revolution
  • Learn about Westward Expansion

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Learn about…
  • Self-awareness
  • Social Awareness
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Self-management
  • Relationship skills

Physical Education

The course is designed to create maximum opportunities for self-development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness, and confidence to enjoy an active lifestyle.
  • Develop social skills and positive behaviors as they relate to physical education
  • Value physical education and its lifetime importance
  • Increase skill proficiency in various activities and games
  • Improve self-esteem by participation in challenging activities
  • Build cognitive learning and problem solving through fitness journals, written work, and projects
  • Develop self-evaluation skills through assessment


  • Learn an instrument (woodwinds or brass) while furthering their music skills
  • Practice the instrument with correct posture and technique, as well as accurate pitch and rhythm
  • Develop musical vocabulary, understanding both the written and symbolic language
  • Respond to musical cues in an ensemble setting
  • Experience exposure to music that represents various time periods and cultures
  • Focus on responsibility and respect for their instrument and each other, discipline in practice and rehearsing, and perseverance during a challenge


The sequential skills-based program focuses on the appreciation and production of art, and the study of art history through…
  • Artistic Perception
  • Creative Expression
  • Historical and Cultural Context
  • Aesthetic Valuing
  • Connections, Relationships, and Applications


  • Develop their ability to understand others, analyze challenges, and reflect on their work
  • Apply design practices to more complex projects
  • Work on three different projects, one during each trimester, that are aligned with current curriculum
  • Incorporate a variety of technology:  littleBits, Sketch, Pages, Adobe Creative Suite, TinkerCAD, SketchUp, iMovie, DIY Electronics