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Lower School: Fifth Grade

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Fifth graders prepare for middle school by focusing on academic stamina, self-management skills, and self-advocacy. Because students are moving to more specialized subject matter, our co-teacher team includes a math/science specialist and a humanities specialist in each classroom. SPECIAL PROJECT

STEM

Solving a real-world design challenge

Moving to more advanced explorations We move to more sophisticated math problems involving decimals, fractions and geometry, concluding the year with an introduction to algebra. Students are encouraged to focus on concepts rather than on right answers and to articulate why they chose a specific problem-solving strategy.

Learning Experience

Fifth graders work on an adaptive design project in connection with their study of the human body. This process involves conducting a needs assessment, interviewing “clients,” concept development, careful construction planning, execution, and delivery of a finished product.

Our science curriculum focuses on three essential questions: How do all our systems work together to make us the amazing human beings we are? How does the brain learn? What scientific and engineering practices are essential for analysis, inquiry, and argumentation?

ARTS AND MUSIC

HUMANITIES

Becoming artists and performers

Interpreting and dramatizing the American journey

Whether they choose band, strings or chorus, music students learn ensemble skills, including blending with others, maintaining independent parts, and following a conductor—all culminating in live performances. In conjunction with the American Journey, students learn map-making skills in art class. They also complete a series of observational studies of the human figure.

Fifth graders explore the American journey in their English and social studies classes. Our focus is on the arc of history from the revolution to the struggle for civil rights. In a year-long project students conceive and produce a play that requires them to understand the impact that events have on the lives of real people. This develops writing ability, teamwork, speaking skills, confidence, as well as empathy, understanding, and respect.

ABOVE: Student “immunologist” teaches her

classmates how the human body fights disease. TOP LEFT: Fifth graders consult with first grade “clients” on design of ergonomic easels.

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Profile for Riverdale Country School

The Riverdale Learning Experience (2019)  

The Riverdale learning experience is influenced by many factors: the growing science of how children learn, the role of character strengths...

The Riverdale Learning Experience (2019)  

The Riverdale learning experience is influenced by many factors: the growing science of how children learn, the role of character strengths...