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Grade V

There are four Grade V classrooms with 16 students in each class.

About Grade V

List of 9 items.

  • Grade V Central Subject: Modern & Ancient China

    Naturally embedded in any academic curriculum are human themes. In keeping with Shady Hill traditions, in all subjects we integrate themes regarding character, values, respect for self and others, and the responsibility children have as members of the community. Some of the topics include: taking ownership of one’s actions, resolving conflicts without focusing on blame, understanding other points of view, listening skills, and working cooperatively with others.

    We address these topics in the Grade V curriculum in several ways. In the study of literature, we look at how the protagonists’ choices shape their lives and the story as a whole. In Central Subject, we look at the Chinese culture from multiple perspectives. Group work is a constant exercise in being responsible for both one’s own work and that of the team. In addition, we conduct exercises and activities designed to develop fifth graders’ abilities as members of a community and as lifelong learners.
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  • Mathematics in Grade V

    (Ten 45-minute periods over 10 days)
    The Middle School mathematics program at Shady Hill School guides students in constructing new mathematical knowledge built upon deep understanding and prior learning. Fifth-grade math students began the year with four weeks of Inspirational Math curriculum based on the lessons, videos, and philosophy of Stanford University researcher Jo Boaler. Students became familiar with brain research that supports the belief that math is about thinking deeply, not about speed or judging performance, and that creativity and visual thinking are vital. 
    From the beginning, we emphasized that having a growth mindset, or believing in your ability to succeed, is critical. Students further explore concepts and strategies for thinking about geometry, multiplication, algebraic problem solving, data and pattern analysis, division, fractions, decimals, and percents. All of these concepts are introduced during the Weeks of Inspirational Math. 
    Through identifying patterns and challenging problems, students learned to think flexibly before formalizing algorithms in multiplication. When studying algebra, students learn to use number lines to model “jump size” and “steps” when solving problems and make posters after each day’s challenge to explain their problem-solving methods. The number line modeling in this unit segued nicely into the formal study of division, which culminates in learning the “short” division algorithm. We begin a study of fractions by taking a closer look at the big ideas in fractionals, fraction estimation, equivalence, size ordering, redistribution, and addition through making paper quilts and a two-week poster project: Sub Sandwich unit. Students use a real-world context of kids sharing sandwiches on a field trip to solve problems and create an extensive visual map of fraction equivalencies. Students also practice modeling fractions on number lines and pie graphs and learn strategies for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. In late spring, we introduce decimals by connecting them to what students already know and understand about place value. Percentages are studied as they relate to decimals and in the context of real-world use. At the end of the year, students revisit volume, area, perimeter, and the coordinate grid.  
    Students can strengthen their logical thinking through puzzles and challenges. They are encouraged to explore the beauty of repeating patterns found in mathematics.
  • Science In Grade V

    (Seven 50-minute periods over ten days)

    Fifth Grade Science begins with a study of simple machines.  Students perform experiments, complete engineering design challenges, and investigate models and simulations to understand the essential question, “How do machines change the nature of work?”  Students explore different forms of energy, focusing on energy transfers and how simple machines can make things more efficient. Engineering projects, like designing a catapult and building an original wind turbine, are included in many of the units to give students hands-on experience solving real-world problems with scientific concepts. Later in the year, students study crayfish and complete a unit on experimental design, learning how to ask investigative questions, create experimental procedures, collect robust data, and use data to draw conclusions.  In the spring they investigate acids and bases and learn about the pH scale. During this unit, students have ample opportunity to work in groups, follow a procedure, and make meaning from data. Segueing into a unit on water chemistry, students learn about the unique properties of water and look critically at the problem of ocean acidification. Finally, students take their learning outside to complete an in-depth investigation of the wetlands at Shady Hill. By transporting their knowledge of the pH scale and looking closely at the living things in the ecosystem, students learn how to assess the health of our wetlands. Fifth Grade science also includes a unit on puberty and human reproduction. Before this unit begins, families are provided with an overview of the topics studied, as well as a bibliography of possible resources. Throughout the year, students focus on science skills such as collaboration, science writing, and experimental design.
  • Physical Education in Grade V

    (Seven 50-minute periods over ten days)

    The Fifth Grade physical education program places emphasis on the development of both movement skill combinations and knowledge within the framework of games, individual, and team sports. A “Teach, Choose, Play,” curriculum is introduced for both team and individual sports as a transitional step towards interscholastic athletics.  Character education, critical thinking, and teamwork support the entire physical education program. Students are encouraged to use and expand their skills and understanding in increasingly complex and challenging situations.
  • Music & Performing Arts

    (Three 50-minute periods over ten days)

    In Grade V music, students develop musicianship skills through singing, movement, exposure to rhythm and tonal patterns, and learning instrumental ensembles on classroom percussion instruments. Making music as an ensemble, through listening and cooperation, is emphasized via the exploration of “Ensembles Around the World.” Specific units include bucket drumming, ukulele ensemble, Balinese Gamelan, Chinese luogu (gong and drum) music, Jazz, Celtic music, and Latin American music. In conjunction with a mid-year Chinese New Year celebration, students learn four or five Chinese folk or popular songs, and V Central Subject may also be reinforced with an exploration of Chinese Classical instruments such as the dizi, pipa, and guzheng, or with students composing using jianpu notation. Music literacy is developed through audiation, repetition of patterns, and use of rhythm and tonal syllables, as outlined in Feierabend's Conversational Solfege. Students sing on solfege with hand signs, using movable do and la-based minor, and use takadimi syllables for rhythms. In addition, students may elect to participate in the school orchestra, chorus, or jazz band.
  • Art Studio In Grade V

    (One 50-minute period per week)

    Fifth Graders have studio instruction with either Kirk Goetchius or Aparna Agrawal. While the classes complete different projects, students receive continued instruction in painting, drawing, ceramics, relief printmaking and sculpture, working from still-life, nature, and the imagination. Several projects incorporate the central subject of Ancient China, such as Chinese ink painting and clay models of bronze vessels. Through drawing and painting studies and experimentation with different media, students strengthen their observation and recording skills and gain familiarity and competence in many mediums.
  • Woodshop In Grade V

    (One 50-minute period per week)

    In Grade V, students move into the middle school shop. A design course prepares each student to create a piece of furniture, either a table or a bench. Students are required to consider both functional and decorative aspects of their designs as they bring their projects to life, and they are encouraged to collaborate and assist each other with their work. They are trained in the use of a wide variety of hand and power tools including jigsaws, drill presses, and the lathe. The furniture unit is followed by a bird carving project and free choice activities at the end of the year.
  • Middle School Community

    (One 50-minute Assembly per week)

    Assembly is a regular time designated for Middle School students, faculty and staff to build and maintain community. A variety of activities are scheduled during this time, from large group games and icebreakers, to classroom sharing and performances by visiting artists and outside speakers.

    (Two 10-minute Morning Meetings per week) 

    Weekly meetings of Grades V-VIII, led by Grade VIII students, provide opportunities for school and division related announcements, class sharing and brief performances. This informal blend of news, information and entertainment builds community spirit and Middle School unity. In addition, these meetings feature Eighth Grade “declamations” of original written compositions.
  • Library In Grade V

    (One 50-minute period per week)

    Students meet with a librarian to explore books and discuss a wide-range of issues around literature to support their independent reading. Time in the library is used to practice general library skills, develop basic research strategies, and share a love of reading with the group. In addition to regularly scheduled classes, students also visit the library as needed to work on specific research projects.

Grade V Faculty

List of 12 members.

  • Photo of Anne Moncreiff de Arrarte

    Anne Moncreiff de Arrarte 

    Grade V Gradehead
    Cambridge Rindge & Latin Sch.
    University of Pennsylvania - B.A.
    University of Alabama - Lima, Peru - M.A.
  • Photo of Mellisha Culpepper

    Mellisha Culpepper 

    Grade V Gradehead
    San Francisco State University - B.A.
    New York University, Steinhardt School - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Tracy Eisenberg

    Tracy Eisenberg 

    Grade V Gradehead
    State University of New York - Buffalo - B.S.
    Adelphi University - M.A.
  • Photo of Josh Horwitz

    Josh Horwitz 

    Grade V Gradehead
    Harvard University - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '97
  • Photo of Kirk Goetchius

    Kirk Goetchius 

    Visual Arts Department
    Connecticut College - B.A.
    Tufts University - M.A.
    TTC '86
  • Photo of Darin Goulet

    Darin Goulet 

    Performing Arts Department Chair
    Harvard College - B.A.
  • Photo of John Segar

    John Segar 

    Middle School Shop Teacher
    Mass. College of Art
  • Photo of Heather Koerber Nunes

    Heather Koerber Nunes 

    Mathematics Teacher & Tutor
    Harvard College - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '94
  • Photo of Mary Patterson

    Mary Patterson 

    Lower School Science Teacher
  • Photo of Jody Kopple

    Jody Kopple 

    Library Director
    Earlham College - B.A.
    Antioch College - M.Ed.
    Pratt Institute - M.L.S.
  • Photo of Melissa Carver

    Melissa Carver 

    Director of Athletics and Physical Education
    Springfield College
    Lehman College - Master's
  • Photo of Heidi McCune

    Heidi McCune 

    Assistant Director of Athletics
    California University of Pennsylvania - M.S.
    Loyola Marymount University - B.A.
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