Fifth grade at Windham Elementary is shaping up to be a great year. Fifth grade teachers Bethany Goad, Carley Simmons, Grade Level Chair Savannah Dunaway, and Kimberly Newby are excited about this year and are looking forward to seeing the students make progress and meet goals.
This year the math curriculum is Engage New York. “It is common core math with a lot of models,” Dunaway said.
Students in the fifth grade are preparing for the future. “We are using college and career ready standards,” Newby said. “This is something that will prepare them for the next years of their education.”
Dunaway said that the students are really enjoying the science curriculum. “In science, we are doing a lot of hands on experiments. The students always enjoy that.”
The learning doesn’t stop there. In social studies the students are learning about the original 13 colonies. “They will be doing an in class project on the colonies, where they research the colonies and the date of statehood, state flower, bird, flag, tree,” Dunaway said. “It is projects that really get the students involved. Hands-on learning engages the students on many different levels.”
Students are also learning how to write narratives and informal letters. “It is something that we focus on in fifth grade. We live in a society where people are moving away from letter writing. We want students to have these skills,” Dunaway said.
All of the fifth grade curriculum works with the Leader in Me standards. “We are creating leaders. Students are able to get a foundation in standards of leadership early on. This will prepare them for leadership roles in the future,” Dunaway said.
Another major aspect of fifth grade is getting the students ready for the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program (ACAP). “The ACAP is our new assessment. It replaced the Scantron testing which previously replaced Aspire,” Dunaway said.
While the teachers focus on the academic and leadership aspects of fifth grade, students are excited about lockers. “Lockers are a big thing in fifth grade, it is the first year students get lockers,” Dunaway said.
This year fifth grade students will be running the school store. Students will have to fill out job applications and apply for the positions they want,” Newby said. “They will be selling items and will have to take money and give change. They will also have to keep inventory. These are real life experiences. They can even get fired’” Newby said.
Items available for purchase in the school store include notebooks, pencils, erasers, paper, glue, and folders.
An additional facet of fifth grade is the Student Lighthouse team. “They are students that are chosen as leaders from the fifth grade and they will serve as ambassadors, helping out when parents come, greeting, directing and assisting,” Dunaway said.
“We work as a team,” Dunaway said. “Our goal is to see these students excel and grow. We want to send them into sixth grade prepared.”