Grade 5

Stowe Elementary School

Grade 5

(802) 253-4154

Katy Farber

Maddy Hulbert

Mike Rapoport

Curriculum Description


Welcome to the Stowe Elementary School 5th grade website. This website is the central location for students and their parents to access important information about what is happening in the 5th grade. Look for updates and additions to resources, forms and letters throughout the year. Of course your child's teacher is always available in person. Please feel free to browse through these pages to learn more about the fifth grade at Stowe Elementary School.

5th Grade Curriculum at a Glance

Welcome to the Stowe Elementary School Fifth Grade Curriculum at a Glance. This information about assignments and expectations in the fifth grade is given to you in the hope that we will work closely together toward a successful and fulfilling year for your child. Our fifth grade curriculum is closely aligned to the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. Keep in mind that this is just a brief overview to give you the big picture of what our year will look like. The central focus for the year is to allow students to take control of their learning and look for ways to expand that learning beyond the school-day through the use of personal learning plans (PLP's) and the individual exploration of passions.


The fifth grade uses the Reader's/Writer's Workshop model. This model emphasizes the connection between the student and the text they are reading, as well as strategies for writing across a variety of genres.


The curriculum has three major components: reading skills, comprehension, and appreciation of literature. Students read class books, explore different genres, and content related material. Students will define unfamiliar words, summarize material read and participate in literacy circles and book clubs to discuss the various elements of each selection. Independent reading is also an integral part of the reading program. Each fifth grader is asked to read a book every three weeks. Should students select a book that may take longer than the allotted time, an alternative schedule can be arranged with individual teachers. A favorite weekly activity is to read with our kindergarten reading buddies. The experience is enriching for all.


Students use the Writer's Workshop as a model for writing. This process includes a rough draft through to the final, published draft, "perfected" in content and grammar through conferences and revisions. We will explore many genres of writing. Types of writing genres include personal narratives, research reports, personal essay, arguments in research-based essays.

Word Study/Spelling and Vocabulary Development:

Using Words Their Way, students use a rule-based approach, focused on syllabication, spelling rules and derivational relationships. Most of this work is completed during class time and is integrated within our writing instruction.

Words Their Way is also used for vocabulary development. Students will practice vocabulary throughout the week applying newly acquired words to their writing.


Students spend time exploring mathematical concepts with a Common Core aligned math curriculum, which builds conceptual understanding and mathematical knowledge and skills using skills based activities. When a new concepts is introduced the learning approach will take students from concrete understanding, to a pictorial understanding and finally to an abstract understanding that can be generalized to other concepts and applications. These learning activities reinforce computation and reasoning skills and provide opportunities for application to real world problems. Supplementary materials further address problem-solving and computation skills. Students regularly explore, practice, and manipulate numbers using a variety of manipulatives.

Specific concepts:

  • Place value and decimal fractions
  • Multi-Digit Whole Number and Decimal Fraction Operations
  • Addition and Subtraction of Fractions
  • Multiplication and Division of Fractions and Decimal Fractions
  • Addition and Multiplication with Volume and Area
  • Problem Solving with the Coordinate Plane


Our science curriculum takes a hands-on inquiry based, place-based approach to learning. We start with our ecology unit, "The River Study". This study is a hands-on investigation of the West Branch of the Little River on the Stowe Recreational Path. This unit focuses on the concepts of adaptation and interdependence. The students are scientists as they investigate the ecological aspects and the health of the river. We also annually measure the shape of the channel and provide data to the Stowe Conservation Commission. The students will develop an understanding of how humans impact the environment and how the decisions we make can affect our watershed. Our hope is that students leave the fifth grade understanding what it means to be a good steward of the land. We spend time on Lake Champlain as well working with real scientists to collect data, analyze and make decisions about the health of our watershed.

The students will also get opportunities to solve real world problems using science and design through engaging learning opportunities.

Finally we wrap up our science with an engaging in-depth study of matter and its interactions and earths place in the universe.

Global Citizenship/Social Studies:

Early Explorers of North America, the growth of the thirteen original colonies and the causes and effects of the Revolutionary War are the themes of our Social Sciences curriculum. Students learn to examine primary documents, investigate evidence to support claims and gain a deeper understanding of how things that have happened in the past still impact us today. To deepen the students’ understanding of Colonial America and the importance of Lake Champlain during the Revolutionary War, we will visit the Maritime Museum in Vergennes and Fort Ticonderoga in New York in May. Throughout the unit we will be focusing on a deeper understanding of the geography of the United States. We will also have a year-long focus on current events using current media sources.

Design and Technology:

Fifth graders will spend time in the fall and spring exploring engineering solutions through a series of design challenges. The design process focuses on a collaborative team effort including: brainstorm, design, prototype, build, test, refine. Fifth graders participate in a Maker's Space during library where the students will explore STEAM projects that integrate into what we do in the classroom. These design experiences are highly engaging and offer opportunities for creative problem solving.


The fifth grade participates in the Stock Market Game. This game, sponsored by the University of Vermont, places students in teams of 2 or 3 and teaches them how to manage $100,000 in an investment portfolios. There are many learning opportunities and guest speakers leading up to the actual statewide game.

Fifth Grade Musical:

Each year the fifth grade produces and performs a Broadway musical. Through set design and creation to costume and prop making the fifth graders give two performances in the spring. One for the school and the other for their families. This has become a fifth grade tradition and "right of passage" that is truly one of the highlights of the year!

Personal Learning Plans:

All students in the fifth grade will create a personal learning plan (PLP) where they will have an opportunity to explore an academic and/or personal passion through authentic learning opportunities. The individual PLP's truly represent student voice and choice which is so important at this developmental stage in their education.

Unified Arts:

Fifth graders are actively engaged weekly in Art, Music, Spanish, Physical Education and Library.


The school guidance counselor works with our fifth graders on social emotional issues as well as identifying stereotypes and biases in our world.


Students in the fifth grade will have the opportunity to run for student council, join in chorus, band and even participate in project base service learning.

Homework Calendar, Assignments and Scores

Homework & Expectations:

The main purposes for assigning homework are to give the students practice in applying ideas, to reinforce skills learned in class and to prepare him/her for upcoming lessons or assessments. We take great care in finding a balance with homework as we strongly believe that time after school should be left to allow kids to be kids. Time will be allotted during classes to begin homework assignments. Students will also develop study skills by setting aside time and space to accomplish what has to be done in each subject area. They will be working on creative thinking, following directions, organization of materials, developing independence, persistence, responsibility and grit.

Each student has a Student Planner that is filled out in class daily. Please ask to see your child’s planner and have him/her explain the assignments to you. If your child is struggling to meet the homework deadlines, we will notify you through a homework reminder or a phone call.

Important Grade Information

Things you can do to help your 5th grader:

  • Encourage and provide time for reading a minimum of 30 minutes nightly.
  • Check in with them daily about homework, upcoming projects, tests and events.
  • Talk with them about what they are reading.
  • Practice basic math skills on a weekly basis.
  • Create time for your kids to have creative, unstructured play.