Fifth graders are all about hands-on science. Mr. Gragen, their fearless leader, encourages exploration and problem solving skills through a myriad of STEM acivities: Estes rocketry, Matchbox speedometrics, Eco-engineering, robotics, bridge building and simple machines/hydraulic machine construction. In math, 5th graders use the Eureka/Engage NY model and focus on math games, problem solving and fluency. 5th graders build their Literacy skills through Megawords workbooks which help them with decoding, spelling and understanding words and Wordly Wise which encourages systematic academic vocabulary development. They explore literature in many ways; from chapter books to graphic novels to "deceptively simple picture books." 5th graders also work hard on developing their writing skills and, by the end of the year, will have written several types of essays; reports, narratives, procedural, persuasive and personal. In social studies, 5th graders study current events and use "Kids Discover" magazine to spark discussions and learning. 5th graders are also lucky enough to be given to opportunity to stay at Camp Keewaydin for an entire school-week in which they learn about the natural world, stay in a cabin with their peers (over-night!), and test their physical stamina in various outdoor adventures.