Ms. O’Farrell is the 5th Grade homeroom teacher and teaches Pre-Algebra for our middle school students. I am grateful to teach at St. Frances Cabrini. My entire teaching career has been in Catholic education.
I’m Ms. O’Farrell and I am excited to work at St. Frances Cabrini as fifth grade teacher.
5th graders enjoy being part of a group so they also seek a sense of belonging to the Church. They are very concerned with justice and fairness. They are beginning to see things from another’s point of view so are interested in service activities.
For most 5th graders, their peer group is very important to them. They are becoming increasingly independent of adults and turn to peers, reading, and television for information. Fifth graders are becoming more aware of the world around them and the individuality of others and of themselves as well. They are typically friendly and good-natured and enjoy group activities.
There can be a wide variety of physical maturity within a group of 5th graders and socially, emotionally and intellectually as well. Sensitivity to these differences is vitally important.
•Large muscles developing quickly
• Drawn to outdoors and physical challenges
• Handwriting may become messier than fourth grade
• Due to growth spurts, frequently hungry and can tire easily
5th grade students will work and learn in cooperative groups and students have many opportunities to earn rewards. A favorite is Moki bucks they can spend at class auctions. Students are challenged to “Read Across America” by reading 5000 pages (100 pages per state). We typically attend 2 plays a year in Olympia. Fifth graders also participate in the school Learning Fair for which we present research we have done on a state of our choosing.
5th graders look forward to being actively involved in service activities. Our first class service activity is to support sick children and their siblings at Mary Bridge Hospital. We make “busy bags” filled with activities children enjoy doing to help them pass the time while they wait for appointments. We also include a prayer for healing. In addition we are buddies with the 1st grade. We help them learn to play cooperatively at recess and attend assemblies and Masses with them. Fifth graders enjoy these activities – they learn to be selfless and models for others.
The best part of 5th grade is that through the generosity of our parents, our classroom (and all grades K-8) has an interactive white board! My class loves using it to learn. Fifth grade also has Learner Response Systems (some call them “clickers”) which are used to enhance our learning – it’s very up to date technology and we are fortunate to be able to have it.
Religion: The main focus in Religion is on Jesus’ life and the Sacraments. We also study the liturgy and prayers, and learn from Mary and the Saints how to live lives of faith.
Reading: The main focus in Reading is comprehension, vocabulary, and reading fluency. We analyze narratives, learn the difference between fact and opinion, cause and effect and word relationships. We also learn about the author’s purpose and perspective.
Language Arts: We focus on grammar (parts of speech) and writing effective sentences and paragraphs. The students also have weekly spelling words. We do several types of writing including: personal narratives, opinion pieces, research, how-to, formal and informal letters and short stories.
Mathematics: Our studies include math operations, problem solving, and estimating using whole numbers, fractions and decimals, algebraic equations and geometry. Our curriculum is Common Core aligned.
Social Studies: We learn about American history from the early colonies through the Constitution, the 50 states, map skills and citizenship.
Science: 5th grade is about living things and how they adapt to their surroundings; ecology, the earth - its resources and climate; astronomy. We also learn about life science including learning about living things, reproduction and change; adaptations and ecology.
Technology: Our school has a 28-station lab that we are able to use at least twice weekly. We are learning to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel programs to:
• Generate ideas and create original works using a variety of digital tools
• Locate and organize information
• Practice personal safety and ethical behavior
• Use a variety of hardware to support learning
• Select and use common and online applications
Other: PE, Music, Band (which is optional) are taught by specialists. In November, we will add Art classes once a week.