The grade 5 classroom is a striking reminder that grade 5 students are still children and yet children can do great things.
A variety of standing desks, regular desks, wiggle chairs, regular chairs, stools, and carpeted spaces are a physical representation of the flexible nature of our small, self-contained classroom. Mrs. Trainor urges students to grow as responsible citizens and critical scholars as they discuss and create in a lively, engaging environment.
The Sage Ridge day is split into 6, 1-hour class blocks with a morning break and mid-day lunch placed evenly between. Students take 8 classes and drop 2 each day.
Grade 5 students typically unload their bags into their classroom cubbies and then congregate in the Great Space to socialize. Lounging against the padded walls of the gym, they catch up, compare ideas, and joke about life together until class starts. They then move into their class to commence the day's activities.
Grade 5 students use laptop computers provided by the school for each student's exclusive use. These computers remain at school and allow students to engage in a wide range of technology-enhanced lessons and build their computer skills.
8-9 AM | History
Grade 5 history class focuses on the regions of the United States, the 13 colonies, and current events. Students learn through reading, writing, and diving into research techniques to truly understand life in the historical context. Projects are used throughout the year. Fall semester wraps up with a family history project in which students conduct their own primary research on ancestry. Second semester culminates with a Colonial Faire -- an annual favorite in which each student takes on a colonial persona and teaches attendees about the daily life, careers, and technology in this era of our history.
"History is fun. Exciting and interesting. We are focusing on the founding of Jamestown and other exclusive in-depth topics!"
9-10 AM | D-Block
Our self-contained, lower school classes use this time for what best meets the needs of their students. Once a week they attend the Lower/Middle School student-led meeting. Otherwise they engage in discussions about the school's pillars, deepen their understanding of social-emotional skills, dialogue about grade-level issues, or receive extra help. This time is an essential part of our program as it allows teachers to tailor the day according to what best serves the class each week.
10-10:25 AM | Break
Grade 5 students can exit their classroom directly onto the playground for snack and recess. Students typically play volleyball, run around, have fun, talk to friends, and be goofy. They all agree that this morning break helps them focus later on.
10:25-11:25 AM | Enrichment Classes
Grade 5 students switch enrichment classes each quarter. For 8-9 weeks each, students explore visual art, music, theatre, and computer science.
11:25 AM - 12:25 PM | Physical Education
Grade 5 also receives Physical Education as a class in their daily rotation.
Students report that physical education is super fun, mostly because their teacher and coach is awesome. "We get a good workout but have fun too," they say.
12:25-1:15 PM | Lunch and Recess
During lunch they eat and talk. Students say it’s easy to make friends and talk to people. They report that anyone can sit with anyone and quickly make a core friend group.
1:15 - 2:15 PM | Science
Science begins with a "warm up" slide projected onto the screen. Students write down their homework and complete an exercise to preview, review, or reinforce the concepts of the current unit. Grade 5 curriculum will cover measurement, data analysis, ecology, plants, and more. Their Outdoor Education week utilizing a lot of hands-on experiences with forest ecology, so Ms. Tammaro brings a lot of those concepts back into the classroom in the fall. The Sage Ridge schoolyard to conveniently located next to Thomas Creek so the students can easily participate in the Truckee River Snapshot with Nevada Department of Environmental Protection. In the spring, students spend 10 weeks conducting a long-term plant study with Wisconsin Fast Plants, learning about life cycles and plant reproduction.
2:15-3:15 PM | Math
Through the rhythm of teacher introduction, individual or group work, and then lesson summary, students master the use of decimals, ratios, fractions, volume and more in grade 5 math class. The small class adapts to student needs and uses a variety of models to convey quantitative concepts. Advanced math classes are also available for those who accelerate in this topic.
Two classes are dropped each day, but here is a glimpse at what else enriches the grade 5 experience:
Self-Contained Block: English & Writing
In a 2-hour block of time, students immerse themselves in the art and logic of written communication. During the writing segment, spelling and grammar skills are honed as students learn three types of writing: narrative, opinion, and descriptive. A variety of assignments engage students in expanding their capacity for connecting with readers through vivid and factual writing.
"In grade 5 I have creative freedom and I now get to make my writing my own. I’ve improved so much!" - Owen
Grade 5 reading class focuses on novel studies. Students read a collection of brilliant novels, engage in lively discussions, and write literary response essays. Class discussions focus on the elements of literature such as plot, protagonist, and antagonist. Students also learn to summarize literacy ideas and works.
After school many students stay for extended care study hall or participate in local extracurriculars, such as playing sports or an instrument. Homework is always a piece of what they do, but Sage Ridge students are also typical kids.