Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is a transitional time for students as they leave elementary school and look forward to middle school. It is a time of social and emotional growth. With that in mind, team building, cooperative learning groups, and providing a safe learning environment are key goals. High expectations in all academic areas are our primary focus.

In Grade 5, literacy instructional time should focus on three critical areas:

Reading Workshop: Students read a variety of self-selected and teacher-selected texts for extended periods. Students learn effective comprehension strategies that they apply to fiction and nonfiction text.

Writing Workshop: Following the Cambridge Public Schools Writing Curriculum, which is based on Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study, students write in a variety of genres. Each unit addresses particular standards that are directly related to the content, skills, and application of the unit.

Language and Word Study: Students explore the intricacies of language across multiple genres including literature, informational text, and poetry. They investigate and study the meaning and structures of words and the conventions and forms of written language.

The goals and objectives of the 5th grade year in Science are: to re-engage students with science investigations and science literacy skills that set consistent expectations for 6th grade and reviews core ideas that are covered on the MCAS.

To achieve these goals and objectives the focus will be:

  • Literacy skills in science: content vocabulary review, reading, writing, and talking
  • Core content review: life science, earth and space science, physical science, engineering and technology standards
  • Science practices: asking questions, designing investigations, developing and using models, collecting and analyzing data, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence

In Grade 5, instructional time should focus on three critical areas:

  • developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions);
  • extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and
  • developing understanding of volume.

Visit the District Math Department website to learn more >>
Visit the KLO Math Coach's Website >>

Key Pal Program
The grade 5 KeyPal Program is an electronic pen pal program in which all fifth graders from the Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School will be paired with employees from Draper Laboratory, IBM, and MIT for electronic communication via e-mail. The program provides adult role models, fosters the improvement of writing and computer skills, and increases career awareness through one-on-one virtual mentoring and face-to-face visits in the workplace and at the school. The program will be coordinated by Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) and Kennedy-Longfellow School staff members. 

Guided by classroom teachers, KeyPals will act as a responsive audience for several assignments from English Language Arts and science disciplines, thereby helping students to focus on task completion, content, and the mechanics of writing. While the KeyPal relationship will always be focused on a specific project as designated by the teacher in advance, KeyPals will also find that a friendly, mentor relationship will develop through their correspondence. A biography poem will focus in part on the adult mentor's work and career path. Other projects will include a historical fiction bookshare activity in which students and adults read the same books. Students may also share writing about their science curriculum in the spring.