Bridget Rutherford and Michael McDonald, 5th Grade Teachers
The fifth grade curriculum emphasizes learning strategies: how to prepare reports, how to outline, and how to organize and prioritize for long-term assignments. Unique themes integrate content areas, and students use the library and computers as resources for both regular topics and special research work. Cooperative group skills become a focus with the students working together on small, short-range projects and on yearlong ventures.
The language arts program includes a rigorous study of grammar and structure as well as vocabulary and reading comprehension. Students read award-winning selections of children’s literature and classic literature for classroom activities and as choices for book reports. Writing is an integral part of the language arts program. Various content areas incorporate paragraphs, essays, and letters.
Mathematics continues to emphasize both problem solving and computational skills. Building on the fundamental algorithms, the children extend their study to include equation solutions and functions. The objective of the science program is to have the children gain a thorough understanding of the scientific method of investigation, culminating with a “science fair” project.
The social studies program focuses on historical people, places, and events that had a profound effect upon society, both American and the world. The study of geography strengthens knowledge of cultural awareness and regional diversity, culminating with the comprehensive, World Culture Day project. An end-of-year, three-day trip to places of historical interest pulls together the study of American history.
Because educating the whole child is such an important aspect of Wheeling Country Day School, students are both challenged and rewarded with the opportunity to assist their community and become better citizens for tomorrow. They represent the school sponsoring various fund raisers for charity and as campus guides. Fifth graders mentor younger children in the school with special programs designed to create leadership skills. They follow classes throughout the year and talk to them on topics ranging from decision making to responsibility.