Grade V

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


About Grade V

List of 10 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

    (Nine 50-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. The program provides students with meaningful learning experiences through discovery and exploration, complemented by the formalization of multiplication and division algorithms and skill work. Students work both independently and collaboratively in class. They develop skills in problem–solving, and further their ability to communicate and justify their reasoning. They are encouraged to represent their thinking in both oral and written form. Students make connections to mathematical ideas and to real-world experiences. The use of visual models, manipulatives, and technology allows students to move from concrete to abstract thinking in the ongoing development of mathematical ideas.

    The Fifth Grade math curriculum explores five major content areas: number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability/data analysis. Students are involved in cooperative and independent investigations that encourage estimation, reasoning, and deduction. Number work focuses on the further development of computational skills through a problem solving approach. Some highlights include the formalization of standard algorithms for multiplication and division as well as an introduction to the connected topics of decimals, fractions, and percent. The geometry strand introduces a real-world application of multiplication by asking students to investigate area and volume of 2-D and 3-D shapes and provides for exploration of shapes using rulers and compasses. Students are provided the opportunity to strengthen their logical thinking `through puzzles and challenges.  Within every unit, algebraic thinking is required. Students use informal algebraic notation and 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 procedure, 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 lean 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Technology In Grade V

    Today’s technology is well suited to support Shady Hill’s emphasis on creative, student-centered, project-based learning. Using the shared laptop cart, class sets of iPads and campus-wide wireless network, Fifth Grade students employ a range of software and internet-based programs that enable collaboration, research, data collection, digital storytelling, and mastery of skills. Examples of the types of software that students use over the course of the year include: Inspiration, iMovie, Garage Band, Comic Life, Keynote, Google Earth and Google SketchUp; as well as Internet-based programs such as Voicethread, Quizlet, Google Docs, and Sheppard Software. By integrating technology into the classroom and the existing curriculum, as opposed to teaching it as a stand-alone course, students are able to learn new ways to demonstrate their knowledge while gaining an understanding of the practical application of the tools themselves.
  • 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.
  • Music & Performing Arts

    (Three 50-minute periods over ten days)

    Each Fifth Grade class meets twice each cycle for 50 minutes of General Music. In addition, students may elect to participate in the school orchestra, chorus, or jazz band.
    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.
  • Middle School Community

    Middle School Assembly
    (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.

    Morning Meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays
    Weekly meetings of Grades V-VIII are student-lead 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.

Grade V Faculty

List of 13 members.

  • Aparna Agrawal 

    Studio Teacher
    University of Michigan - M.B.A
    School of Museum Fine Arts/Tufts Univ. - Masters of Fine Arts
    University of Mass - Amherst - B.A.
  • Melissa Carver 

    Director of Athletics and Physical Education
    Springfield College
    Lehman College - Master's
  • Mellisha Culpepper 

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

    V Gradehead
    State University of New York - Buffalo - B.S.
    Adelphi University - M.A.
  • Kirk Goetchius 

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

    Performing Arts Department Chair
    Harvard College - B.A.
  • Mr. Josh Horwitz 

    V Gradehead
    Harvard University - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '97
  • Felicia Kazer 

    Science Teacher
    Oberlin College - B.A.
    Boston Teacher's Residency/UMass Boston - M.Ed.
  • Heather Koerber Nunes 

    Mathematics Teacher & Tutor
    Harvard College - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '94
  • Jody Kopple 

    Library Director
    Earlham College - B.A.
    Antioch College - M.Ed.
    Pratt Institute - M.L.S.
  • Rico Marino 

    Physical Education Teacher
    Keene State University - Bachelor's
    Keene State University - M.Ed.
  • Heidi McCune 

    Physical Education Teacher
    California University of Pennsylvania - M.S.
    Loyola Marymount University - B.A.
  • John Segar 

    Middle School Shop Teacher
    Mass. College of Art
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