Welcome to the Fifth Grade!

This document is intended to outline the academic goals for the fifth grade, identify some of the primary resources that are used to instruct your child, the duration and frequency of instruction, and the outcomes that are targeted to be developed by the end of the year.

We recognize that students learn at different paces and occasionally in developmental “spurts”. With this in mind we focus on each child’s individual progress. This progress is monitored through periodic skills assessments, teacher observations and classroom assessments (an inventory of these assessments is available if you are interested). Instruction is regularly augmented by the classroom teacher, differentiation teachers and, if necessary Special Education teachers, for students that would benefit from additional instruction.

We hope that this document adequately introduces you to what you can expect over the next 10 months, but does not replace the opportunity to discuss with you directly the specific questions you might have in greater detail and specificity.


Fifth grade follows the Everyday Mathematics series which emphasizes high expectations for all students, concepts and skills developed over time and in a wide variety of contexts, balance among mathematical strands, concrete modeling as a pathway to abstract understanding, and collaborative learning in partner and small-group activities. Instruction occurs five times per week: three times for 65 minutes, once for 45 minutes, and once for 50 minutes. The essential skills for fifth grade are based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) focal points.
The essential math skills that are emphasized in fifth grade are:

  • Developing an understanding of and fluency with division of whole numbers.
  • Developing an understanding of and fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals.
  • Describing three-dimensional shapes and analyzing their properties, including volume and surface area.

Our goal is that students exiting fifth grade can:

  • Classify and compare numbers
  • Read and write numbers in different notations
  • Add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers
  • Find area, volume and surface area of objects
  • Plot points on a coordinate plan while being introduced to transformations
  • Read and create graphs and plots
  • Find measures of central tendency and landmarks of data sets
  • Apply the four steps of problem solving in a variety of contexts

Factors/divisibility/square numbers


Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals

Introduction to fraction multiplication

Order of operations

Exploring angles in isolation and in polygons

The four components of Language Arts—reading, spelling, grammar, and writing—are instructed, practiced, and developed through daily activities in fourth grade. Instruction is delivered explicitly and through the integration of language skills in other academic areas. Our weekly routine is designed to inspire appreciation of literature and writing through genres. We work on the following:
    • Writing mechanics
    • Oral speaking
    • Group and independent reading
    • Spelling concepts
    • Creative writing
    • Research projects


In fifth grade, reading instruction moves from being literal to being interpretive, using questioning and predicting, making connections, understanding character development and sequencing, and looking for images and conflicts. Our goal is that students exiting fifth grade can:

  • Read independently for information, analysis and pleasure
  • Decode grade-appropriate vocabulary
  • Use word-analysis skills
  • Use self-correcting skills
  • Draw on prior knowledge
  • Comprehend and make oral and written text-to-text connections, text-to-self connections, and text-to-world connections
  • Understand types of conflict (man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. technology, man vs. himself, man vs. society)
  • Read, listen to, and interpret messages from multiple sources
  • Demonstrate understanding and accurate application of content knowledge
  • Recognize the role of context, perspective, facts, and opinions in critical thinking
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen, contribute, value and integrate multiple points of view
  • Evaluate information for relevance, accuracy, meaning, and significance


Fifth grade uses the Write From the Beginning program and Nancy Atwell’s “Lessons That Change Writers” to practice the writing process. This practice includes planning, writing, revising, editing, and publishing. Fifth graders also write daily in journals and write in a variety of genres. A main focus is the finding of resources and the writing of research reports.

Fifth graders follow the three R’s for finding resources:

  • readability
  • relevance
  • reliability

Fifth graders follow seven steps to doing a research project:

  • get assignment
  • organize ideas (use thinking maps)
  • find resources
  • gather information
  • write a rough draft
  • revise and create
  • evaluate

Students have oral speaking opportunities through sharing work.

The Lyme School fifth grade science program is a general science program that is based on national science standards and that promotes the acquisition of skills to extend learning about our universe, our world, and our lives. The program is designed to help students build an increasing understanding of how scientific information fits together and how it relates to their experiences. The text is Scott Foresman Science, fifth grade edition. Classes meet five periods a week. A double period is used for a bridges design and build class during the winter months. Homework is assigned four nights a week and occasionally on weekends. Grades are based on 30% homework and classwork, 35% labs, and 35% exams.

Topics covered include:

  • Simple living things
  • Animals without backbones
  • Plant growth
  • Biomes
  • Classifying matter
  • Motion and forces
  • The solar system
  • Energy resources
  • Bridge building

Essential skills covered in the class:

  • Uses appropriate tools to make scientific measurements
  • Makes accurate observations
  • Designs and performs experiments using the scientific process
  • Evaluates results of experiments
  • Uses classification methods to identify organisms
  • Analyses and describes systems
  • Uses models to represent structures and concepts of living things
  • Understands the relationship of the structure and function of organs/organelles in living things
  • Works effectively in groups toward a common goal


Social Studies in fifth grade focuses on the study of New Hampshire, the states, National Parks and Historic Monuments of the United States, and the Middle Ages. These units of study are concentrated upon between two and three times a week for approximately 45 minutes. Our goal is that students exiting fifth grade can:

  • Understand time and chronology
  • Recognize counties, states, countries, oceans, and coastlines
  • Understand the importance of government
  • Understand key terms and concepts
  • Locate and use primary and secondary sources
  • Understand the three R’s for finding resources
  • Understand the seven steps to writing a research report

Social Studies topics are coordinated with Library Skills and Computer Literacy instruction.

  • Demonstrates understanding and accurate application of content knowledge
  • Connects experiences/conditions outside of the classroom to knowledge and concepts studied within the classroom
  • Seeks out and uses available, readable, relevant, and reliable resources
  • Uses written, oral and visual expression in a variety of settings
  • Reads, listens to, and interprets messages from multiple sources
  • Makes connections between separate facts, events, or experiences
  • Engages in activities
  • Understands role in larger community

In third, fourth, and fifth-grade classroom settings, as appropriate with grade level and developmental expectations, students should be working to develop and/or displaying the ability to
• sit at a work area to accomplish work in an appropriate timeframe
• make productive and positive behavior choices
• follow a set routine
• employ independent skills
• use appropriate listening, speaking, and discussion skills
• use cursive writing (at grade level)
• follow and employ effective work/study habits and directions
• organize personal materials
• employ an independent and productive work ethic, producing complete and timely products they can be proud of
• use resources appropriately
• use Thinking Maps as a tool to organize ideas and writing
• use research resources and processes
In grades 3–5, in group settings in the classroom, as appropriate with grade level and developmental expectations, students should be working to develop and/or displaying the ability to
• work productively and positively in small and large groups
• execute proper and successful behavior, with respect to assigned group roles
• share responsibilities of communicated input and productive output, in small and large groups