Welcome to 5th Grade!
by Mr. Josh Englund
This is my eleventh year as a teacher at St. Mary's. I am not only a teacher, but I am also a school parent. My daughters Lily and Madelyn attended St. Mary’s Preschool, and are now in seventh grade and Kindergarten. I am very proud to be a part of St. Mary Star of the Sea school as a teacher and as a parent.
I look forward to meeting you and your child and I invite you to speak with me further about next year. Please call the office with any request to meet and I will be happy to contact you to set up to arrange a time to meet.
Contact Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let me take this opportunity to speak briefly about the Fifth Grade to let you know what to expect.
Fifth Grade is an important year in a child's development. This is their last year in the Elementary grades and they are starting to feel the freedom and responsibility of their growing independence. After Fifth Grade they will be entering the Middle School and they are excited for the future challenges.
Students in Fifth Grade are competent readers at this point and are discovering the diversity of different literature genres and beginning to express themselves in many forms of writing at a more advanced level. They will be introduced to structured writing that teaches narrative, persuasive, informative, and research report writing. This structured writing instruction will prepare students for the academic challenges of our Middle School. We also devote a significant amount of time on our literature program. This allows us to read four novels together as a class to practice our reading comprehension and discussion skills. Finally, our class will spend time memorizing, writing and reading poetry. The diversity of the language arts program is intended to create an interest and passion for reading and to develop the student’s linguistic skills.
Reading for comprehension in all subject areas is important. This is especially true for Social Studies. In the Fifth Grade our focus is on early American history. We will cover units on the first Americans, the Colonial period, the Revolutionary war, and the forming of our government. Students will be able to incorporate their learning into fun field trips, “Colonial Days,” and other engaging activities.
I like to incorporate hands on learning experiences as much as possible throughout the curriculum. Two subjects in which this is a priority are Math and Science. Our Math program has recently been upgraded with teacher training, new textbooks and the purchase of student manipulative kits with hands on learning tools for each child. In Fifth grade, students are introduced to Earth, Life and Physical science. This foundational knowledge is needed as preparation for the more in depth learning that follows in the years to come. Our Science program focuses on the NGSS standards and utilizes scientific inquiry based learning. Experiments accompany each area of learning and students are encouraged to make connections to current events and their everyday lives.
Along with a diverse and challenging academic curriculum it is a blessing to incorporate our Faith into our learning and our lives. The practice of religion at St. Mary’s is more than just our studies in Religion class, and one of the advantages of teaching in a Catholic school is that the teacher is free to utilize the moral teaching of the Church in our efforts to shape the character of the students. Religion Class itself is important, however, and in our Fifth Grade we focus specifically on the Seven Sacraments of the Church. Students will be expected to learn the process of the sacraments and they will explore the meaning of these sacraments in Faith and as they relate to their own personal lives.
I have very high expectations for my fifth grade students and am confident of achieving these expectations with teamwork and communication. While I expect students to take initiative and responsibility for their learning, success in school depends greatly on the support and guidance of all involved—teachers, parents and student. I look forward to working with parents to better enable my students to reach their maximum potential. Fifth grade is an important year for preparing children for Middle School and we will need a focused, positive attitude, and a bit of risk-taking in order to achieve our goals. The work is challenging, but very rewarding. I am truly excited for next year.