Grades 4 – 5
Holland Hall’s Fourth and Fifth Grade program provides a safe place for students to develop the necessary tools for success in the Middle School. While there is a common “Homeroom” time, most of the day sees the students moving between the four academic classes during fifty-minute periods. As the expectations for homework increase, teachers emphasize students’ organization and management of time and materials.
The central components of our Fourth and Fifth Grade program are:
READING — The fourth and fifth grade reading program was developed with an emphasis on Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and the Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading program. Teacher’s College Reading Workshop is a framework for teaching reading and a repertoire of strategies for enhancing students’ independence and skills as readers. The goal of Guided Reading is to teach students to independently use reading strategies at their instructional level. Guided Reading provides opportunities for teachers to work with small groups of children on text that closely matches the children’s needs, abilities, and interests.
WRITING — In writing, we work toward refining and expanding basic skills taught at the Primary level. The curriculum was developed with an emphasis on Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and the Fountas and Pinnell Writing programs. Through the teaching of conventional writing skills, children learn to communicate ideas effectively, both verbally and in written form. The writing process is taught as a tool that children will use throughout their life.
MATH — The fourth grade Math program promotes the understanding and enjoyment of mathematics through the development of higher-level thinking skills, problem solving strategies, the building of physical models, and the development of computational skills. In fifth grade, we work to strengthen problem-solving skills, to sharpen number sense, and to develop mastery in whole-number computation. Students are encouraged to look for connections to see patterns, and to appreciate the role math plays in real-life situations. Frequent activities with visual models help concrete thinkers begin to develop abstract reasoning abilities.
SCIENCE — In fourth grade Science, all of the basic science process skills are emphasized with a focus on following directions and recording information in various forms using journals, technology, and graphs. Use of the Scientific Method is taught within several units with direct instruction on drawing conclusions from data. Test taking skills are emphasized.
In fifth grade, we involve students in the search for scientific knowledge about their world through laboratory activities, class discussions, dissections, guest speakers, construction projects, microscope studies, and research. Emphasized skills include making and recording observations, measuring solids and liquids, using the scientific method, using the Internet as a tool and resource, experimenting, drawing and labeling diagrams, developing note-taking skills, learning to properly use microscopes, and reading for specific information.
SOCIAL STUDIES — The fourth grade Social Studies program seeks to help children understand the geographic, historic, and the civic literacy of our world, focusing on the regions of the United States. Knowledge of locations and their characteristics leads to greater understanding of local, regional, national, and global concerns. Extension activities, such as the unit on birds, are integrated with math, science, and language arts.
In fifth grade Social Studies, students examine the United States’ neighbor to the south, Latin America. With an anthropological/archaeological approach, students investigate the history and cultures of the indigenous people of this region. This course emphasizes art, literature, music and religion as means of insight into the daily living, language, customs, and traditions of these people. Students investigate the influences that helped develop America as a cultural “mosaic” and determine what “coming to America” truly means by looking into their country’s surge of immigration.
ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS are important components of our Fourth and Fifth Grade curriculum. They include Music, Visual Arts, Drama, Spanish, and Religious Education. Students also participate in Physical Education daily. Student Leadership and Dutch Buzz, the student newspaper, meet once every week as extra-curriculars. Before and after school programs are also available.
SPECIAL EVENTS include Outdoor Day, Engineering Fair, Field Day, B.E.A.R. (Be Enthusiastic About Reading) Night, writing and delivering of books to Crosstown Learning Center, trips to the Omniplex (OKC) and Tulsa Zoo, America Day, the Archaelogical Dig, the Mind That’s Mine Fair, the Fourth/Fifth Grade Track Meet, and cultural field trips including the Gilcrease Museum and the Oxley Nature Center.