"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 schools. 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 the outdoors, at this point primarily hiking, whitewater and camping. For the first fifth grade overnight offered in the spring of 2008-09, students camped in the Nantahala Gorge, rafted 8 ˝ miles of the Nantahala River, participated in climbing the Nantahala Outdoor Center's Alpine Tower and trying the swing by choice events. Mindful of the importance of doing community service, students and parent volunteers also did a roadside cleanup of a section of Lake Fontana. This effort, coordinated with NC DOT, produced two pickups full of trash!
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 Standard Course of Study. 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 and businesses, 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 schoolers 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. The Class of 2013 – 2014 says…
To be a successful student and responsible for my own learning, I CAN…
Be to school on time and not be absent. E.B.
Turn in all my homework on time. T.O.
Make sure I did my homework, and put it in my backpack before I leave home. T.D.L.
Study for tests and EOG’s. G.L.
Make no excuses to why something is not turned in and it is not your parents’ fault. J.M.
Organize all of your items. Also, make sure you check your planner every day. J.B.B
I had to be more responsible moving into 5th grade because I knew there were going to be higher expectations. SM
We can be quite quiet when the teacher is talking. D.A.
I can be responsible by turning in my assignments on time, double checked, and with a lot of underlined proof. S.E.D
I am responsible for doing my fast facts with honesty. D.N.W
Get as much help as possible from teachers and phone buddies. C.Q.P
Always have your note book out. D.K.M.
I could pay attention more and not talk to friends or draw. NS
I can keep up with my work and my grades. K.F.
I can be responsible for my learning by not distracting anyone or being distracted. C.D
I could pay more attention in class. I could also double check my work. BS
I can listen to whoever is speaking and not draw on assignments. UL
I can help others when they need it (especially in my pod because they are close to me) and ask for help when I need it. C.K.