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Mountain Discovery Charter School

Fifth Grade

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." -Arthur C. Clarke


The fifth grade is an important transition year as students move from elementary to middle school. They are leaving one identity and growing into another. Having the opportunity to learn skills needed to be able to make that shift with grace and confidence means becoming grounded in the shift of increased responsibilities needed by rising middle school students. It can be an awkward period for many, a time to explore ideas and learning how to participate in dialogue as young adults.


Some learning opportunities offered to her students spring from Ms. Janet's love of history and the outdoors. Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, the fifth grade’s major expedition has been a three day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to explore the area’s rich history during the Civil War. Students get a hands-on view of the past by walking through the Civil War section of the Chattanooga National Cemetery. While walking through the fields and woods where the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga occurred, an understanding of the fierce conflict emerges during the interpreters’ vivid account of the battle. Students see Chattanooga as it looks today from the top of Lookout Mountain and realize it is the same view of the Tennessee River that young soldiers, some not much older than the fifth graders themselves, saw as they fought for control of the mountain during the Battle in the Clouds. Walking on trails approaching Lookout Mountain that the soldiers themselves used anchors an understanding of that era in our country’s history.


While staying in the rustic lodge at the Cloudland Canyon State Park in northern Georgia, the students learn to work together in teams as cooks for the entire group of volunteer parents and classmates and be responsible for all aspects of meal preparation. We also take a step back in time exploring the geology in the park with Cloudland Canyon’s Education Rangers.


The rich variety of resources found in Western North Carolina offers unique activities and field trips throughout the school year that directly relate to the North Carolina Common Core Standards. For most students, learning though hands-on and participatory activities, whether on location in the Great Smoky Mountains, area trails and waterways or in area museums, make lasting impressions and deep connections to topics studied. These opportunities help anchor concepts and make learning especially exciting and meaningful.


Fifth grade is a big transition year for many students. They’re not quite middle school students yet but also, in their minds and bodies, don’t quite feel like they are in elementary school any longer either. Because of these changes, there is a lot of opportunity for growth. One aspect of growth is learning to take greater responsibility for learning. Some students from the terrific class of 2014 – 2015 made these observations about how they could contribute to their own learning and advice they have for the upcoming 5th graders.


Advice from 2015's Rising 6th Grade:

Always focus so you can be ready for your EOGs. NB
Try to always pay attention to the teacher. TV
Come to school on time! AL
Get good grades. MM
Always turn in homework on time so you won’t get in trouble. EB
Always turn your spelling home work in when it is due. CS
Try to always turn in your work on time! JScombo
Be a good listener. RM
Always pay attention (or you’ll do badly). AB
Follow your dreams for school. EW
Don’t make excuses for things you didn’t do. SW
Study and work hard to get good grades. CP
Try to focus and do the best you can. MG
In trying times don’t stop trying. SO
I hope you will try your best, 4th graders! DF
Everything is better when you do the best you can. IQ
Don’t cry because you got a bad grade; learning is the key to success! LH


"I Can's" From 2014-15

I can be as successful as I want to be as long as I try my best. MM
I can get a better grade by doing corrections. AB
I can pay attention to the teacher and take notes on important things. LHH
I can do my best if I pay attention to the teacher. TV
I can make my dreams come true if I try hard. EW
I can shine if I do my best and live my dreams. AV
I can be ready for middle school by being responsible. SW
I can be ready for Middle School because I learned a lot in fifth grade. CS
I can try to focus when the teacher is helping us learn. MG
I can turn in any assignments on the day they’re supposed to be due. EB
I can be better at paying attention to what the teacher is teaching. AL
I can try to do my best in all work. JS
I can pass my EOGs by being focused. NB
I can do well if I study, work hard, and pay attention. CP
I can excel at everything if I do my very best and work hard. IQ
I can be trusted to do work when it is assigned, and finish the work on time. RM
I can achieve my goals by trying hard. SO
I can pass this grade! DF


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