Fifth-graders begin their year in grade 5 at Trinity Catholic Academy by “climbing the stairs” to the third floor where our middle school resides. Just two months previous to beginning fifth grade, these students were in a cozy, completely self-contained fourth grade classroom. Now they are being asked to be more independent and self-reliant by branching out to the classroom of our science teacher in addition to being in their own homeroom for the greater part of the day. This is done to introduce being responsible to more than one teacher, which serves as preparation for grade 6 when students will be exposed to a departmentalized model.
Our Reading program is a program that stresses literary elements, vocabulary, and critical thinking. Reading outside of the textbook is stressed, and so book report projects are assigned that cover a variety of literary genres. Coupled with that is our English program which is strong in teaching parts of speech, sentence structure, and writing skills. It is an irrefutable strength to be able to express oneself through the written word. To that end, much time is spent in developing a fifth-grader’s writing skills, and they are provided with many opportunities to do meaningful writing across the curriculum. In addition, we have a strong spelling and vocabulary program published that presents challenging words, not only for developing strong spelling skills, but also to provide opportunities to become familiar with synonyms and antonyms and how to use words in context.
Our math program, published by Sadlier stresses basic mathematical and arithmetical concepts as well as presenting many problem solving strategies. Practical, everyday applications for the concepts that are being taught are presented to students so that Math has meaning for the students’ own lives, now and in the future.
In Social Studies we concentrated on the history and economy of each region of the United States, studying the earliest people who occupied a region, the introduction of the first explorers to the area, a comparative study with people in a different part of the world, the major historical events that took place, and ending with a study of the region’s contemporary characteristics. The historical highlight of the year is our study of 19th century rural New England through our study of 1830’s Sturbridge Village. Each student takes on the role of a person who actually lived in Sturbridge during the 1830’s and pretends, to the best of their ability, to imagine what life was like for their role character. During a field study at Old Sturbridge Village, the time period comes alive as we visit the homes, places of business and places of worship, as well as places of social networking that are similar to those their role characters and family members would have had.
An integral part of attending Trinity Catholic Academy is spiritual formation. Fifth-graders examine sacraments as part of their curriculum. Students have the opportunity to understand how the seven sacraments operate in their lives and in the world at a level that they can understand. We examine basic precepts of the Church, scripture stories, the lives of important people within the Church and in the world, and then apply the lessons to be learned to our own lives.