Fifth Grade

At Aspen Country Day School, the Fifth Graders are part of the Lower School -- in fact, they are the leaders of the younger grades. We are the only school in the Roaring Fork Valley that extends its elementary program through the Fifth Grade, as we believe this is the most developmentally appropriate model for this age. 

Language Arts


Ramping up writing

Fifth Graders are in a transition year to prepare for the independence expected in Middle School. Literature selections become more complex and students learn to not only identify, but also to interpret literary devices such as metaphor, simile, personification, foreshadowing, etc. Students in the Fifth Grade also develop their ability to distinguish among topic, main idea, and supporting evidence in nonfiction, which parallels their expository writing development. Increasingly, students are expected to apply their language arts skills to investigate topics of interest and deepen their understanding of both literature and non-fiction topics. See all Language Arts

Mathematics


Reinforcing the foundation

Fifth Graders continue to reinforce mathematical understanding and develop their ability to think more abstractly about mathematical concepts. Instructional time focuses on three critical areas: (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions); (2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and (3) developing understanding of volume. See all Mathematics

Science


Investigating resources

The Fifth Grade Science students do an in-depth study of natural resources and spearhead the school’s recycling program throughout the year. They also learn to read and use topographic maps. They study our local landforms to develop their understanding of resource use, with a particular attention to the important Western issues of water and streambeds. Highlights of Fifth Grade Science include an deep dive into nutrition and weather, and an investigation of mechanical advantage through a study of levers and pulleys. See all Science

Social Studies


Exploration to civilization

Students study the beginning of human civilization in northern Asia and the crossing of the Bering Land Bridge, to the arrival and impact of European explorers on North and South America. Students explore the political, social, and economic structures of many Native American civilizations. Students also study the formation, functions, and structure of the United States Constitution, and what it means to be an American citizen. Students study the geography of the United States, and they learn how geography has shaped and influenced cultures and American civilization. See all Social Studies

Foreign Language


True literature study Begins

Fifth Graders develop their ability to write sentences and paragraphs in French or Spanish. They read quality literature and are expected to understand it well enough to discuss its meaning in English. Students become familiar with additional tenses and are introduced to irregular verbs. See all Foreign Language

Technology


Problem solving

Fifth Graders review the parts of a computer and how they interact, reviewing concepts of input and output and processing. They build on problem-solving skills and basic programming using  RoboMind Academy. Students continue working on problem-solving and communications skills by working with Lego Robotics to build a robot and program it to perform simple tasks. Students use Tinkercad by AutoDesk to develop an understanding of 3-D design. See all Technology

Art


2D intensive: printmaking & painting

In this last year before the Middle School Electives courses begin, the Fifth Graders spend time solidifying their skills in two-dimensional artmaking. They explore printmaking and shape and contrast in a project involving the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. They study color theory, line, and shape, improving their ability to draw from observation and use oil pastels. They mix colors and explore value in a larger-scale painting project. Students build props and make costumes for the All-School Play. See all Visual Arts

Music


Guitars, marimabas & more

In a Lead Guitar program conducted in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival & School, Fourth Grade students study classical guitar, learning stance, technique, treble staff note reading, and other musical symbols. In the late spring, students engage in African marimba unit, at the end of which they give a performance to Lower School. They explore syncopation, ensemble playing, improvisation and solo playing. See all Music

Drama


In this, the final year that students perform in the Lower School Shakespeare Festival, the Fifth Graders tackle something ambitious: Julius Caesar. This complex play, with its themes of political intrigue, morality, and loyalty, sparks many fascinating discussions among the students. The performance is a capstone to the Lower School Drama program. Students also engage in a variety of activities and games to improve focus and concentration. They learn about improvisation and help create their scene for the All-School Play. See all Drama

Physical Education


Fifth Grade students continue to refine skills in traditional team sports: volleyball, basketball, soccer, flag football, badminton, and hockey, with a focus on development of strategy and fair play. Fifth Graders participate in units on mountain biking and telemark skiing in preparation for their outdoor education trips. The school ski afternoons are a highlight for Fifth Graders, as they have the option to ski on Highlands. See all PE

Outdoor Education


Fifth Grade students spend three days in Fruita, Colorado refining their mountain biking skills on more advanced trails.  Students continue to develop their camping skills and their comfort in the outdoors. They also embark on a challenging hut trip to a backcountry hut, Vance’s Cabin. Students ski in along the trail with their own backpacks, and many help pull the sled with the group’s gear. They develop their understanding of the dynamics of snow and the snowpack, so they can become responsible backcountry skiers in the years to come. On this trip, they participate in their first nighttime ski. See all Outdoor Ed

Projects & traditions


Leadership is a major theme of the Fifth Grade year. The students take seriously their job as role models for the Lower School, and they throw themselves enthusiastically into their various projects, including the recycling program. They are developing more independence in their academic responsibilities and learning more about how to advocate for themselves with teachers and peers.
Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
Time to consider ACDS

Our PreK to Eighth Grade school in the mountains of Colorado

The Way School Should Be

With a balance of nurture and rigor, children become their best

The Power of Three

Rigorous academics, creative arts, outdoor education

A welcoming community

Our motto, de amicitia: in the spirit of friendship

Out into the wide world

Alums carry the Aardvark spirit far and wide

A culture of generosity

Many ways to help make Country Day's future even brighter

email page print page small type default type large type
powered by finalsite