Grade 5


In addition to grade level course work, Fisher Island Day School provides the opportunity for eligible students to receive advanced instruction in language arts and mathematics through honors coursework. The rigor and demands of such classes are taken into account, and as a result, are weighted on the overall grading via quarterly report cards.

Additionally, in 2017, Fisher Island Day School introduced the Diploma of Distinction to recognize FIDS graduates who demonstrated exemplary performance in the areas of academic performance, conduct, citizenship, and attendance. The eligibility criteria for the FIDS Diploma of Distinction are listed below:

  • Eligibility: Graduating Grade 8 students.
  • Enrollment: Minimum 1 full academic year at FIDS prior to graduating year.
  • Grades: Cumulative average of 90% or higher for Grades 5 – 8.
  • Test Scores: Average of 7.0 Stanine or higher on ERB, starting in Grade 5.
  • Attendance: No more than 5 unexcused absences and 5 unexcused tardies per school year, starting in Grade 5.
  • Student Conduct: No suspensions beginning in Grade 5.
  • Contribution to School Life: Family giving of time and/or money; attendance at required parent conferences; involvement in the Parent Association (as a member, as a room parent); participation in the Gala; etc.
  • Financial Obligations: All financial obligations have been met.


Core Coursework (Required)

  • English – English 5; English 6 for honors students
  • Mathematics – Math 5; Math 6 for honors students
  • Science – Science 5
  • Social Studies – Social Studies 5
  • World Language – Introduction to Spanish

Recommended Electives

  • Art – Art 5
  • Mandarin Chinese – Mandarin Chinese 5
  • Music – Music 5
  • Physical Education – PE 5

Additional Elective Offerings May Include:

  • Broadcasting
  • Independent Study
  • Journalism/Newspaper
  • Keyboarding
  • Robotics
  • Sailing
  • Yearbook

Distinctive Fifth Grade Experiences

  • Cape Canaveral Trip


English: English 5

In fifth-grade English, students will begin an in-depth exploration of written and verbal communication. This course is designed to support students in using their language skills in clear and purposeful ways. The understanding and practice of proper grammar conventions, vocabulary usage, and the multi-step writing process will be woven together throughout the course as students become stronger in written expression. Exposure to various forms of

literature affords students the opportunity to analyze craft, author’s purpose, character arcs, and themes. Students will also practice reading strategies such as summarizing, inferring, and using textual evidence to support claims. Additionally, creative and cross-curricular projects will allow students to explore literature, vocabulary acquisition, and historical contexts in unique ways.

Suggested Grammar Workbook: Sadlier-Oxford – Grammar Workshop – Level Blue

Suggested Vocabulary Workbook: Wordly Wise Level 5

Suggested Novels: The Kite Fighters (Park), Freak the Mighty (Philbrick), Hoot (Hiaasen),

Counting by 7s (Sloan), and Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607 (Carbone)

Mathematics: Math 5

The fifth-grade mathematics curriculum promotes analytical thinking, problem solving, and abstract and critical thinking. Throughout this course, students will work toward developing mastery of many mathematical concepts and also focus on building confidence and persistence in their mathematical abilities and problem-solving skills. Using math with self-assurance facilitates utilizing problem solving and decision making in everyday life. A strong emphasis will be placed on connecting class topics to the real world and exploring global connections. At the conclusion of the fifth-grade course of study, students will be able to: understand and use the place-value system to solve problems; perform operations with decimals—addition, subtraction, multiplication, division; use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions; understand the relationships between decimals, fractions, and percents; multiply and divide fractions and mixed numbers; represent and interpret data using various methods; understand concepts of volume, area, and circumference; classify two-dimensional figures into categories, based on their properties; write and interpret numerical and algebraic expressions; and analyze patterns and relationships.

Suggested Textbook: Sadlier-Oxford – Progress in Mathematics

Science: Science 5

Learning to think like a scientist is the foundation of fifth-grade science. Students will focus on scientific investigations that validate scientific data using critical thinking, logic, and reasoning. Students will learn to use the language of science to communicate their understanding through group work, individual projects, and hands-on activities. Using their textbook as a primary source of information, students will practice skills that include reading, outlining, and studying vocabulary. These skills will be reinforced through many rich, online experiences. The main areas of study in fifth-grade science introduce students to life science, earth science, physical science, and engineering and technology. Included in the fifth-grade science curriculum is also an age-appropriate unit on human growth and development.

Suggested Textbook: Pearson – Elevate Science: 5th Grade Sciences

Social Studies: Social Studies 5

The fifth-grade social studies course is designed to give students a broad introduction to the growth and formation of present-day United States. Students will begin by gaining an understanding of various Eastern Native American tribes and how interactions with European explorers shaped cultures, ideas, and territorial ownership. The creation of the Thirteen Colonies and the diverse ideologies of Native Americans and European settlers will be explored. Following an in-depth study of the tensions that arose in the colonies, students will then explore the causes and effects of the Revolutionary War. The fifth-grade social studies program will culminate with the creation of a new U.S. government and the westward expansion that took place to grow the new nation.

Suggested Textbook: Pearson – My World Interactive: Building Our Country

World Language: Introduction to Spanish

This course is designed to transition students into the middle-school Spanish program. With the experience acquired in writing, listening, reading, and speaking Spanish during their elementary school years, students will be ready to be challenged even further. Learning Spanish becomes an authentic cultural experience. Fifth-grade students will learn new Spanish vocabulary, expressions, and appropriate Spanish grammar and concepts. Additionally, students will gain cultural insight to understand and appreciate Hispanic heritage. The course will stimulate students to reach a functional proficiency level of Spanish in order to understand and converse comfortably in everyday situations.

Suggested Textbook: ¡Descubre el Español con Sanillana! Level F – Practice Book


Art: Art 5

Building on their elementary art skills, students will learn about different art media and techniques and choose how to apply such work in the art studio via choice-based learning. Individual stations will be introduced weekly by the instructor during the first quarter. Drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, and printmaking will be explored. The fifth-grade art studio focuses on introducing these materials, along with the elements of art—such as line, color, shape, space, and texture. The essential goal is that over time, students will be able to select their own creations from the variety of artistic mediums and styles to which they’ve been exposed.

Mandarin Chinese: Mandarin Chinese 5

In Mandarin Chinese 5, students will learn basic Mandarin Chinese through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Participants will focus on pronunciation rules, character-writing skills through Chinese calligraphy structures, as well as reading and writing simple sentences with proper grammar. Students will explore Chinese culture through story reading (Confucius thought), Chinese poetry, cooking, Chinese clothing, tea ceremony, and arts and crafts. At the conclusion of the course, the students will achieve:

  • Insights into Chinese culture;
  • Ability to effectively communicate in Chinese; and
  • Ability to recognize 80-120 Chinese vocabulary words.

Suggested Textbooks: Easy Steps to Chinese Level 1; Mei Zhou Hua Yu Level 1

Music: Music 5

This course is designed to give students basic experience in all aspects of music—including music appreciation, music history, playing an instrument, critiquing, and composing.

Additionally in Music 5, students will focus on playing in an instrumental ensemble. Ukuleles will be provided, as well as recorders and melody bells. Performance etiquette and dance will also be covered, culminating in at least one song-and-dance performance each semester.

General instruction will be offered in both vocal and instrumental training.

Physical Education: PE 5

The physical education curriculum for Grade 5 stresses learning and practicing skills and game strategies for various sports such as soccer, basketball, flag football, baseball, tennis, and street hockey. Students in P.E. 5 will particularly focus on improving their long-distance running by working on proper breathing techniques and strengthening their overall endurance to improve the times of their individual runs. The P.E. program also emphasizes developing proper sportsmanship through friendly competition and incorporates cardiovascular fitness lessons, along with strength development. All students will participate in the FIDS Fitness Test, which gauges: individual strengths in long distance running; quickness/reaction speed; flexibility; upper-body strength; and abdominal strength. FIDS’s athletics, sports, and fitness activities provide more than just exercise and competition; the curriculum encompasses the virtues of kindness, courage, grace, persistence, discipline, and teamwork.

Additional Elective Offerings May Include:

  • Broadcasting
  • Independent Study
  • Journalism/Newspaper
  • Keyboarding
  • Robotics
  • Sailing
  • Yearbook