5TH & 6TH GRADES (INTERMEDIATE)
Waters 5th and 6th grades are departmentalized. Each of the five teachers specialize in a particular Core Area.
Our science curriculum is a student-centered, hands-on, multi-modal approach that is aligned with common core standards. In 5th and 6th grade, students are introduced to the Interactive Science Notebook, which is used for the organization of notes, vocabulary, informal reading reflections, homework, and journaling. Both grades will conduct an independent experiment for our science fair, which runs parallel with our first unit of study about the use of the scientific method.
5th grade students also study the inner workings of simple machines, manipulate the parts of the microscope and the put these practices to use exploring microorganisms. The connection between food and nutrition will be researched, along with investigations about alternative energy, emphasizing the sun and the solar system.
6th graders explore the Earth inside, out and all around, from the very beginnings to the outer reaches of the universe. We look at how rocks and minerals tell stories about how the Earth has changed and the processes that drive these changes, along with the climate and weather that affect us daily. We wrap up the year with a study of space science.
Students in 5th and 6th grade mathematics will go through units that are aligned to the common core state standards. Typically a day will consist of an introduction or review of an objective, working on problems led by the teacher in groups, teacher working with students individually and "math talk." This is when students develop an ownership of the vocabulary and justify, explain, represent, and explain why and how they solved a problem. It allows them to explore ideas, strategies, procedures and facts. Students are assessed bi-weekly and have unit tests on the 4th or 6th week. They will use technology, and math tools to work around and persevere in solving problems. Students are encouraged to "argue" their answers and find multiple ways of solving a problem using an "Open-Ended" Approach. They attend field trips to see math applied in the real world. Both 5th and 6th graders compete in a Math Jeopardy Tournament reviewing the entire year's content. The winners of the 6th grade will compete against the 7th and 8th graders. The 6th graders are invited to join "Mathletes." This is an after-school program in which advanced math is taught to compete against other schools in the state in high-level mathematics.
Besides the CPS core academic curriculum (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing), Waters students receive instruction in the following ancillary subjects:
Music - once a week
Drama - once a week
Art & Technology:These 2 subjects are all taught as studio-sized half classes (14:1) for more in-depth concepting on projects:
Visual Art - once a week, for a semester
Technology - once a week, for a semester
Phys Ed - once a week
Math Enrichment - once a week
Ecology - as an extension to the science curriculum, Kinder students enjoy 3 field trips in the garden for deeper study of grade-specific environmental subjects. Hands-on learning in this subject also occurs in or outside of class if it is applicable to the science unit being studied.