Upper Elementary Curriculum
PURPOSEFUL READERS AND WRITERS
Developing inspired, sophisticated readers and writers is at the heart of the Upper Elementary literacy program. Whether joining in book talks with their peers, engaging in thought-provoking debates, or sharing research and expert viewpoints, students learn to apply literacy skills in meaningful ways.
Using a workshop approach to literacy instruction, our teachers and two literacy specialists foster a community of actively engaged and strategic readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Students are inspired to embrace a variety of texts to make connections to their world and beyond. We strive to build exemplary classrooms that are brimming with active learners, guiding children to become not just proficient but expert independent readers and writers.
Through our Upper Elementary literacy program, students:
- Gain a positive literacy disposition and love of reading and writing
- Increase reading stamina and self-selection of appropriate books
- Engage in advanced word work and vocabulary development
- Build fluency with increasingly complex text
- Develop higher-level comprehension skills and strategies
- Hone the writing process and write about reading
DOING THE MATH AND APPLYING IT
From 3rd through 5th grades, students move from conceptual understandings to mastery of specific math skills, and then are challenged to connect this knowledge to relevant experiences in their world. During these years, algebra, geometry, data analysis, and measurement standards are studied and absorbed through a wide range of visual, interactive, and digital experiences.
Using a framework of Pearson's enVision Math 2.0 and our full-time math specialist, we maximize student learning in our small, skills-based groups that provide a balance of support and challenge for all learners. Our coding curriculum is integrated into Lower School math classes, helping students gain fluency in the language of computer science and proficiency as participants and creators in the digital community.
Our upper elementary math goals include mastery of:
- Multiplication and division with whole numbers
- Multi-step problem solving
- Geometric shapes and their properties
- Operations with decimals and fractions
- Metric and customary measurement
ENGAGED CITIZENS GROW HERE
The Germantown Academy Social Studies program enables students to become knowledgeable participants in their world, as well as aware and appreciative of diverse cultures and viewpoints. They learn how histories and national identities are shared through music, dance, and traditional storytelling; participate in the processes that formed the foundations of our country; and develop research skills through identifying reliable sources and considering a variety of perspectives.
A critical part of the program is helping students understand their role in today's society and the difference they can make. Our curriculum and Community Service Organization encourage students to apply problem-solving techniques, as well as their time and talents, to both historic and current issues to make meaningful contributions in their community and around the world.
Our Social Studies program includes the study of:
- Cultures and cultural diversity
- The past and its legacy
- People, places and environments
- Individual development and identity
- Interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions
- How people create interact with and change structures of power, authority, and governance
- How people manage the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
- Relationships among science, technology, and society
- Global connections and interdependence
- The ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic