5th Grade Curriculum and Policies

Fifth Grade Curriculum Outline and Policies

   Curriculum Outline


Curriculum for Religion is based on the newly created & adopted Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) standards for Religion. Students will gain an understanding of the Sacraments & how the Church celebrates Christ’s saving action in our
lives. Themes in the fifth-grade curriculum include: Creation, God, Jesus is a Sacrament; The Church is a Sacrament, Christian Morality, The Eucharist & Salvation History. Stewardship projects are incorporated into our religion curriculum. A major component of the education at OLG is the focus on Catholic Social Teachings.

Service Project: The Over 65 Luncheon (x2):

The fifth-grade service project consists of hosting the Over 65 Luncheon two times a year to the senior members of our parish & surrounding
community. The fifth graders & their parents prepare, host, & serve the meal. This year, our first luncheon will be on Sunday, November 18th. Our second luncheon will be in the spring, the exact date is yet to be determined.


This year the Office for Catholic Schools is adopting the ACRE test. This is a standardized religion test for 5th and 8th graders and is again administered in high school. The test evaluates the strength of a school’s overall religion program & the new curriculum standards and will be administered in May.

ELA: Reading/ Literature:

Curriculum for ELA Reading & Literature is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA). Students will be reading from a variety of genres, including but not limited to, fiction, non-fiction, poetry & current events. Reader’s Workshop & literature circles will both be used throughout the year, as will magazines, online resources & ties into other areas of the curriculum. Students will describe & connect the essential ideas, arguments, & perspectives of text, recognize & use new vocabulary, & monitor comprehension through the use of connecting, questioning, summarizing, inferring, visualizing & predicting. Students will critique text using personal reflections & written responses. ELA Reading and Literature is incorporated throughout the curriculum and is directly connected with ELA: Language Arts.

ELA: Language Arts (Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Grammar):

Curriculum for ELA Writing is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA). Students will write multi-paragraph expository, persuasive, & personal narrative essays that include an introduction, body paragraphs, & a
conclusion. Students will apply prewriting strategies to choose a topic & generate ideas, compose well-organized writing, & focus on a central idea for a specific purpose & audience. Students will use effective voice, word choice & a variety of sentence structures & lengths. Students will write effective introductions, conclusions, add details to support ideas & enhance writing. They will edit writing for clarity & correct grammar, & proofread for spelling, capitalization, & punctuation. In fifth grade, students will actively research and write reports based on current events and historical time periods depending on the subject area. Students will also be using the following texts:

  • Daybook of Critical Reading & Writing
  • Spelling Workout
  • Vocabulary for Achievement.

ELA curriculum is incorporated across the curriculum in all subject areas, especially with Literature/ Reading.


Curriculum for Mathematics is based on the CCSS for Math. This is OLG’s third year using Math in Focus (grades K-5). In addition to Math in Focus, fifth-grade students will be introduced to an online math supplemental & enrichment program, TenMarks (grades 5-8). Students will master whole numbers up to 10,000,000, & whole number multi-digit multiplication & division. They will study addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, estimation & rounding of fractions & mixed numbers, as well as expressing them as decimals. Fifth graders will study & master patterns & numbers with symbols through Algebra will learn how to recognize, write & evaluate simple algebraic expressions, & will be able to apply their knowledge to real-world situations & problems. Students will learn about area, & how to find area within rectangles, & triangles, & will also learn about surface area & volume, & the properties of triangles & four-sided figures. Students will learn, be evaluated & master decimals, understanding them through thousandths, & will be able to convert them into mixed numbers & fractions. Students will master the multiplication & division of decimals & will be able to provide logical reasoning when solving real-world problems. Fifth graders will be converting metric units & will have a cross-curricular tie to science. In addition, students will study & be assessed on graphs & probability & will be able to apply their knowledge to real-world problem-solving.


Students learn about Earth, Life & Physical science through hands-on approach, using Full Option Science System (FOSS). Students will be investigating Food & Nutrition, Landforms, Living Systems & Variables. The best way for students to learn important scientific concepts & develop the ability to think is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, & analysis. Much of our science curriculum is incorporated into other areas of curriculum, including a tie into Food and Nutrition in PE and Spanish class, and a connection with literature as well. Students will be completing many hands-on projects at school, and this year will be completing various small projects at home to help bring the science curriculum further to life.

Social Studies and Current Events:

Students will learn about American history, early exploration, the 13 original colonies, and events leading up to the American Revolution, establishing a new government, the Constitution, & the basic structure of our present government. Students will gain a better understanding of the American Revolution by using a problem-solving approach called Storypath. Many our ELA standards are tied to social studies, and a few of our novels are based on the time periods we cover in history. Students complete a Colonial America Research Report and Presentation* that covers multiple ELA standards including research, writing and speaking. Fifth graders also focus on current events in the United States and around the world, and make connections between our religion and ELA curriculum. *Colonial Am. Research Report and presentation will be due & presented the week before Easter vacation.

Homework and Planners


Students can expect homework most nights, though the amount of homework varies day to day. Homework is based on classwork and is typically a continuation of what we are working on. Unless specified, homework is always due the next day and is turned in every morning into the alphabet slide (alphabetizer). Homework is graded on completion and effort (neat, organized, all problems attempted, all work shown). Homework is written in Student Planners every night and will require a parent signature if homework is frequently forgotten or late. It is our goal to teach students to be responsible & independent. Students are expected to come to school prepared and ready to learn each day. Homework is worth 1 point per assignment. While it may not seem like a lot, it adds up!


Planners are new for 5th graders. They are the same planners that the middle school students use, and it does take time for students to adjust to having to write down all of their homework. To help with the process, here is how it works in the 5th grade. Homework is written daily on our homework board, after the completion of each subject. The homework is written in the same place every day and is not erased/ added to until the following day, or until the assignment is due. While homework packets are great, it will not help to prepare 5th graders for middle school. This is one easy way to help them to learn responsibility and to hold themselves more accountable.

September: Students will spend the last 15 minutes of class copying the assignments on the board into their identical planners. I will be copying it into my identical planner on the document camera.

October: Students will be expected to copy the homework from the homework board, without modeling on the document camera.

September- October: Students must have the teacher sign their planners every afternoon before they may go home. Parents, check to see that your children have had their planners signed.

November- June: Students no longer have their planners signed, and are expected to have their homework, tests and assignments written down. If an assignment is late/ not turned in, planners must be signed again, and the parents must also sign this time. Length of time depends on student’s response and rate of reliability and responsibility.

Classwork, Quizzes, tests, and Projects


A great deal of classwork in fifth grade is done in subject notebooks, hands-on activities, discussion, and group work. Students take notes in every subject area and are responsible for their student notebooks that are periodically checked throughout the trimester. Students are expected to keep their notebooks organized, neat and up to date (including table of contents). If a student is absent, they are required to get the notes from their peers. Students will receive 1 point per day for preparedness in each subject area simply by completing their classwork and bringing them to class each day. Frequently, notebooks are allowed to be used on tests and quizzes, especially in ELA. Students are encouraged to take their notebooks home to help on assignments and studying.


Students can expect to have quizzes in all subject areas nearly every week. Quizzes range from two to fifteen points, depending on the subject area.

Pop Quizzes:

are occasionally given when required reading has been assigned in ELA, Religion, Social Studies or Science. These quizzes are typically just a few points and evaluate the completion of independent reading homework, and independent comprehension level without discussion or collaboration in class prior to the mini-assessment.


Tests occur in all subject areas and vary in point value. They occur at the end of a unit and will assess comprehension of the material. In class, reviews occur before every test, and review or practice tests will be sent home to help students prepare. Students will have prior knowledge of all tests and will know ahead of time when they will be assessed. Occasionally, students will be allowed their notebooks, or a notecard for tests, depending on the subject area and content of the unit.

Projects and Presentations:

Projects occur periodically throughout the year in most subject areas and may, from time to time, serve as a replacement for a written or oral test as a formal assessment. All projects vary point value. All projects are graded on a rubric and will be given specific guidelines ahead of time. All projects will be given plenty of time for completion, and due dates are expected to be upheld as they will be communicated in advance. Formal and informal presentations are often done for the projects, and frequently throughout the school year in all subject areas.

Parent/ Sibling Attendance for Presentations:

Due to the limited space in our classroom, and the frequency of which students will be presenting in fifth grade and in middle school, parents are asked to only attend the Colonial America Presentations that take place in the spring, to which a schedule will be provided when the project is assigned. This will allow parents to see how much their students have grown and also help with the transition to middle school, where parents seldom attend presentations. Out of respect for other teachers and students, we ask that siblings do not miss class to attend presentations unless specifically invited by the teacher. Please encourage your children to practice presentations at home for a family viewing opportunity, and realistic rehearsal!

Specialists and School-Day Extra-Curriculars

Fifth Grade Specialists:

Specialists have their own curriculum. Specialists include Spanish, PE, Art, Music, Second Step, Band, and Library. This year, the Technology class will be incorporated into Library and will also be co-taught in all classrooms Pre-School- 8th grade by Mrs. Sommerville and the homeroom teacher. It is collaboratively planned to focus on coursework being covered within the homeroom; integrating technology in various manners, including introducing students to Microsoft 365 and Google and digital citizenship.

Beginning Band:

Fifth graders are eligible to participate in Beginning
band. Band is on Wednesdays (12:30 – 1:15) & Fridays (10:30 – 11:15). Please help remind your student to bring his/her instrument these days. Band is a graded class.

Safety Patrol:

Students will have a detailed schedule that will be for a week at a time. The schedule will also be posted on the website. For the safety of our students at OLG, it is very important that students are at their post by 8:15 A.M with Ms. Heidi or a designated adult. Please meet at the office before going to the corner.

Fourth/Fifth Grade Chorus:

Students have the opportunity to participate in the 4th /5th Chorus. Chorus is optional for fifth graders and is held on Wednesdays from 11:15- Noon. Students who participate in Chorus will miss 15 minutes of class, & will eat lunch with the fourth-grade class. They may go to recess as soon as they finish eating.

Communication and Student Expectations

Parent Communication:

It is essential that parents & the teacher work as a team, & communicate often. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the teacher first. Please check the website and your email for weekly newsletters, special information & information regarding projects & deadlines.

Tests and quizzes will be on the website, as well as a schedule for reoccurring assignments such as spelling and vocabulary. General homework will not be listed on the website to help students rely on their planners and create positive habits. However, if your son or daughter has projects, & projects often require parent participation, those dates will be posted ahead of time.

The most efficient way to contact me is via email at cloose@guadalupe-school.org

Please feel free to contact me at any time, and I will respond as quickly as possible. A newsletter will be sent home weekly via email, outlining the events of the week, and any major curricular updates or long-term projects. It will also be posted on the website.

Rules and Covenant Classroom Expectations:

Students are expected to always do their best, and be positive role models for their peers and other students. Students are held to their Classroom Covenant that they developed as a class, and to the three basic rules of 5th grade: Honesty, Respect, and Kindness. Together as a team, the class brainstormed what the rules entailed and meant to them, and have all had buy-in to what we stand for and want as a class this school year. A copy of the Classroom Covenant and student-initiated sub-points to the rules will be sent home the third week of September to be signed and returned.

Fifth Grade Incentives and Consequences


Fifth graders have the opportunity to receive tickets when they demonstrate positive behavior, follow the classroom rules and live by our covenant. A raffle is done at the end of each trimester.


Students are held to the OLG Behavior policy in addition to our own classroom covenant and rules and expectations. In fifth grade, students are given ample opportunities to make positive choices and make better choices if and when the student chooses a less positive behavioral choice. Students are always given a warning, unless a severe infraction of personal or peer safety is at play, prior to receiving a more severe consequence. Unlike lower grades, where there are card turns, etc. the fifth-grade consequences consist of a five-step regime, as follows:

  •  1st: Warning.
  •  2nd: One on one meeting with the teacher discussing more positive choices, 
apologies if necessary, or further explanation           of the situation.
  • 3rd: May vary depending on the circumstance but may entail                                                                                                            o Loss of partial/ full recess                                                                                                                                                          o Cleaning of school environment (ex. If you throw food in the lunch room, you will be asked to sweep up the area,                    and other areas)                                                                                                                                                                        o If caught cheating: receive a zero on an assignment or test.
  • 4th: Meeting with the student and Mr. Kramer and/or Ms. Heidi
  • 5th: Meeting with parent, student, Mr. Kramer and/or Ms. Heidi                                                                                                          *Steps 4 and 5 may alternate depending on the incident and circumstance.


In the unlikely event that a student fails to respond to positive choice options listed second, students will be required to complete a think sheet letter that will be sent home to be signed by the parents and returned the following day. Failure to return the signed think sheet will result in continued loss of recess until it is returned. ** Depending on the severity of the incident or behavioral choice, steps 1-3 may be bypassed directly if deemed necessary or in need of immediate response by the teacher, staff, or supervising adult. ** 
Parents will be contacted via email or on the phone if an incident occurs during the school day that leads to any consequence requiring a Think Sheet Letter.

Cell Phones: Please review the cell phone policy with your students in the Student Handbook. This is new to Pre-K-5, no longer limited to middle school. This will be enforced at all grade levels and by all staff and faculty members.

Important 5th Grade Dates:

  • –  Sunday, November 18th: Fall Over 65 Luncheon: Students must be in 
attendance (part of their religion grade). Noon- 3pm.
  • –  The date is yet to be determined for the Spring Over 65 Luncheon: (same as above)
  • –  Colonial America Research Presentation: Exact Date TBA based on class material, tentatively beginning on March 25th. (
Students will be assigned their specific colonies no later than March 1st.)

Field Trips:

  • -Fall: To be Determined
  • – Spring: Tentatively Museum of Flight (Foss Variables Unit on flight and aviation). 
*If you are interested in possibly chaperoning for a field trip, please let me know. Your VIRTUS and background check must be completely up to date with the office — no exceptions.

Keeping the End in Sight: End of the year goal

By the end of fifth grade, students will be able to work independently and collaboratively with their peers. Students will be responsible for their materials and will establish positive study habits. Students will be able to model our SLE’s and be positive stewards of our faith. Students will be academically and socially prepared for middle school and will have developed a strong toolkit for success in middle school.

Specialist Curriculum Summaries


P.E. days are Mondays and Wednesdays. Please make sure your child wears or brings appropriate shoes for running; shoes that tie or Velcro, secure on the feet with good tracking soles. Please, no boots, flats, Tom’s, backless or heeled shoes. Girls should wear shorts, tights or leggings with their skirt. Students can remove their sweater or sweatshirt as they heat up so, please make sure they have their names on them. Questions? Contact Mrs. Powell @ dpowell@guadalupe-school.org.


Fifth-grade students are scheduled for the library on Tuesday afternoons. They will be allowed to check out up to 2 books at a time which will need to be returned or renewed each week. In addition to the opportunity to check out books, they will also gain skills with library and database. Students will begin with a review the Dewey Decimal System and move into learning about search queries, how to use advanced search features and access the online OLG library catalog, as well as, the SPL databases. If you have not done so already, please go to the local library and request a library card for your child so they can take advantage of the online database and research tools available through the Seattle Public Library. Questions? Contact Mrs. Sommerville @ bsommerville@guadalupe-school.org.


See additional document regarding Spanish curriculum. For questions related to Spanish curriculum or instruction, please contact Senora Brodahl directly at mbrodahl@guadalupe-school.org

Second Step:

Second Step is a social skills program created by The Committee for Children that is taught in grades 1st through 5th. Ms. Heidi teaches the class on Thursday afternoons to fifth graders. For more information regarding Second Step, you are encouraged to visit info@cfchildren.org, the Committee for Children’s website. Please feel free to contact Ms. Heidi for further questions @ hehrenberg@guadalupe- school.org

Additional Specialist Contact Information:

  • Music and 4th /5th Grade Chorus: Ms. Ann Sager: asager@guadalupe-school.org
  • Band: Miss Frances McKamey: McKameyF@kennedyhs.org
  • School Counselor: Ms. Heidi Ehrenberg: hehrenberg@guadalupe-school.org
  • Art: Nat Herridge (Smart with Art): nathalie@smartwithart.net