5th Grade Teachers

Debby Hoarty 
Language Arts & Social Studies  
Website  |  ltunstall@magellancharter.org

Bettie Goodwin 
Language Arts & Social Studies  
Website  |  ltunstall@magellancharter.org

Sharon Sakash
Math 
Website  |  ltunstall@magellancharter.org
 
Amy Grant
Science | ltunstall@magellancharter.org














Magellan fifth graders are taught the core curriculum and essential skills necessary to prepare them for middle school and beyond.  
The instruction and modeling of many important study skills such as time management, the use of organizational strategies and creating mnemonics are integrated into the school day as well.  Personal responsibility, respect for self and others, and integrity are encouraged. Fifth grade students are taught via a variety of learning modalities, and hands-on activities are an important part of each student’s learning experience both in the classroom and on field trips. Art, drama, music and public speaking are incorporated in classroom lessons.
Additionally, technology is integrated in all curricular areas. 
Interactive and experiential learning opportunities abound in fifth grade! In math, for example, every child makes their own version of an abacus early in the year. With this foundation, they then go on to create even more complex original models that demonstrate a wide variety of mathematical concepts including fractions, decimals, geometry and more. Combining language arts and social studies classes gives the students ample opportunity to be creative with building visuals to demonstrate everything from vocabulary words to colonial crafts. Students are taught how to research effectively and then go on to use their research in imaginative ways that include making and narrating slide shows, writing and performing plays, developing musical numbers, and giving speeches as historical characters (dressed in costume, of course!).  Finally, in science we are always looking for that connection between the information in our notes and the “real world” that we live in. By demonstration and investigation, we try to create that “Ah ha!” moment and allow the students’ natural curiosity about the world to take over and lead them in new and exciting directions. Students carry out experiments and become familiar with the scientific method, but are also encouraged to design and carry out their own research in an area that they may have a particular interest. As a result of our commitment to providing hands-on and experiential learning opportunities, we take a number of field trips throughout the year to support the curriculum. Local excursions might include museums and places to see the arts. We also embark on an all-day trip to a colonial re-enactment village where students participate in a multitude of colonial experiences. There are also two overnight field trips which focus on individual growth, 
solving group challenges and environmental awareness. In addition, several professional groups perform at Magellan for our students each year. “Poetry Alive!” is always a favorite! Please read on for a quick summation of the “nuts and bolts” of each area of the fifth grade curriculum. You may contact an individual teacher with questions or go to the NC Department of Public Instruction website to look at specific goals and objectives within the subject areas.


Language Arts:  
In language arts there is an increase in the reading of nonfiction and informational texts. Students will be delving into texts so that they can answer questions accurately and explain how the text supports an answer. Information will be analyzed explicitly to make reasonable inferences from the text, and students must be able to work together, or collaborate, positively on projects and other tasks. Learning how to communicate effectively in formal and informal situations is a goal as students contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of the group. In writing students will produce argumentative, explanatory, persuasive, and narrative writing to develop a range of writing abilities.  


Social Studies:  
The social studies curriculum focuses on change and continuity in United States history.  Students begin the study of U.S. history with Native American groups indigenous to the United States before the arrival of European settlers and conclude with the Civil War and Reconstruction period.  Students are asked to make connections between contemporary issues and their historical origins as they learn about geography, environmental literacy, civics and government, economics and financial literacy, and culture throughout history. 


Math:
 In mathematics, the Common Core State Standards develops a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. Together these skills support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts throughout K-12 grades and college.  Students will be asked to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. They will model problems using appropriate tools, and then critique their work, as well as their classmates, to see if the answer makes sense.


Science: 

In fifth grade science, we follow the North Carolina Essential Standards. The year is divided into five units: Energy Conservation, Transfer and Properties of Matter, Ecosystems, Genetics and Functions of Living Organisms, Earth Systems and Weather, and Physics and Forces of Motion.


Learning is inquiry based. Science journals are used throughout the year as a way for students to document their investigations. Instruction revolves around making connections between concepts. This is accomplished with lots of hands on activities  and modeling. Students also use math and basic engineering principles to assist them in their understanding of  ideas. Students are encouraged to go beyond what is being taught by researching areas of interest.


Within each of the areas of study, specific objectives  build on previous years. This will create a strong foundation and awareness of science and math for years to come.