5th Grade

In 5th grade, students transform from elementary school students into middle schoolers. With this transition comes a great desire to feel autonomous and independent. As teachers and parents it is our role to support this process by providing clear goals and boundaries while offering a safe environment in which to make mistakes and grow.


Fifth grade concludes the art history timeline with the Renaissance artists, but continues to explore drawing and other techniques in depth. A large printmaking unit, as well as clay and wood sculpture introduces students to new media and time to try different processes. Drawing projects continue to build on concepts and skills learned in previous years, while students learn about new artists and time periods.

For children who have significant exposure to the Hebrew language beyond the classroom, 5th grade is a time of transition to middle school, where we not only build on their 4th grade classroom learnings, but help them begin to explore the differences and similarities of people here at home and around the world, and to integrate their understandings into the way they think, view others, and grow. As a result, all the stories, poems, written materials, and lessons focus on these lessons and help students broaden their understandings and ideas.

In the process, students:

• Read in Hebrew and grow as active, independent readers
• Continue to develop a love and excitement for the Hebrew language
• Strengthen their reading comprehension skills, pronunciation
• Expand their vocabulary
• Improve their writing skills, including writing sentences that incorporate the rules of the Hebrew language
• Learn to answer questions using proper grammar
• Learn to think critically through debating ideas in Hebrew
• Strengthen their relationship to Israeli culture and heritage through Hebrew


Hebrew written materials in 5th grade, all approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education, include:

• Hebrew poems and stories that relate to the year’s theme, like Ha`Barvazon Ha`mechoar (The Ugly Duckling) and Derech Ha`Chalon Shely (Through My Window)

• Simanium Baderech (Signs Along the Way), book and workbook that include stories, games, and grammar exercises

Two reading books – Rechokey Mishpacha (Distant Family Members), by Uri Orlev and Or Ve`Alecsandra (Or and Alexandra) by Yitzchak Noy to encourage reading, expression, writing, and verbal skills

We have a number of goals for our students in Fifth Grade Jewish Studies. We hope that Jewish learning and practice will be meaningful for our students and that they build significant connections between Jewish teachings and areas of General studies.  Our Rabbis say: The world stands on three things: on the study of Torah, on work (meaning the work of God, or T’fillah) and on acts of loving kindness.

It is our hope that during this year of study together our students gain an appreciation and deeper understanding of these three pillars of Judaism and that they share their understanding and enthusiasm with you as a family.

Enduring Understanding:

Delving into Jewish text provides Jews, both in the past and present, with the framework in which to make informed decisions.

Core Areas of Study (Content Knowledge):

  • T’fillah – (ex. Relationship with God, Birkat Hamazon, Ashrei prayer)
  • Text Study – (ex.The Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), Pirkei Avot)
  •  Mitzvot and Middot – (ex. Feeding the Hungry, Tzedakah)
  •  History – (ex. Golden Age of Spain, Jews of Colonial America)
  •  Chagim-Holidays – (ex. Symbols of Rosh Hashanah, Tashlich, Pesach Seder)
  •  Israel – (ex. The foundation of the Kibbutz, Co-existence)


Students will also have the unique opportunity to lead Thursday morning T’fillah, Kabbalat Shabbatand Havdalah for the fourth and fifth graders at least once during the year.


In 5th grade, literature exploration emphasizes higher-level analysis of the written word, such as author’s purpose, character development, dialogue, dialect, word choice, and symbolism. Emphasis is on discussion of the text which takes place in both written and oral formats. Students discuss and question their readings in small groups, with partners, with the entire class, and even one-on-one with teachers. Projects include genre study, author study, and individual research.


Writing takes many forms throughout the school day, including blogging, responding to literature, observations from science experiments, reflections on and explanations of solutions to math problems, creative writing, and formal informational and persuasive essays.  Building on prior skills, students strengthen their abilities to organize ideas, present and support an opinion or statement with specific examples and details, receive and respond to feedback about a rough draft, revise and add content to a piece of writing, edit for conventions, and write final drafts.

Our goal is to engage students in thinking both expansively and deeply about math. In 5th grade, learn that solving for an answer is not enough if there is no evidence of their thinking. Through collaboration, small groups, and individual assignments, all learners have their needs met. In addition to the core math curriculum students have the opportunity to participate in math olympiads. In 5th grade math, we focus on key areas, including:

• Prime, composite, square numbers
• Geometry
• Division
• Fractions, decimals, and percentages
• Data collection and analysis
• Area and volume
• Basic algebra

In 5th grade, students will get the opportunity to choose from four different activities to attend.  In the music classroom, students will begin to explore music technology through use of “Garage Band” and musical coding.  We will incorporate the iPads into the classroom. This class will be an opportunity to put together all of the musical elements into a modern form.  This class will last for approximately 10 weeks.

Students in 2nd through 8th grade can join Hausner’s choir program. Meeting twice a week for 25 minutes during lunch or snack break, students practice in preparation for two performances a year, one before Winter Break and one before Summer Break.  There may also be additional performances, as needed, i.e. Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day. Class includes singing voice warm-ups, learning fun pop tunes to sing for fellow students, and choreography to go along with the tunes. Students with all ability levels are welcome to join in this fun activity!

Fifth graders develop manipulative skills such as rolling a ball with accuracy towards a target, catching an object while traveling, and throwing and catching while increasing distance and maintaining control. Flexibility and movement are incorporated into dance, as well as the physical fitness test.

Students focus on strategies and skills that are used in a number of sports, such as the difference between offense and defense, spacing needs for offense and defense, and distinguishing between punting and kicking. To help with this development, students participate in a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, bowling, flag football, soccer, street hockey, and volleyball.

In 5th grade, students explore earth, biological, astronomical, and chemical sciences through various experiments and projects, with an emphasis on detailed observations. In this way, 5th graders incorporate their developing writing and analytical skills. In small groups, we participate in the school STEM fair, as a prelude to independent projects in middle school; we also create space books to share with 1st grade buddies.

Students in 5th grade integrate multiple technologies throughout the curriculum, including coding programs, videography, and document sharing, as well as utilizing resources in the Maker Space to enhance their own teaching and learning. Examples of this include sewing machines, Keva planks, LED circuits, and design/building with a variety of materials.

The theme for 5th grade social studies is U.S. history from Native Americans to post-Revolutionary War. Students explore the country, including its geography, Native Americans, the explorers and their motivations, Colonial America, the Revolutionary War and resulting new nation and Constitution.