Kelly Cochran: “Being a part of The Academy’s learning community enables me to focus on my students’ needs and strengths, and to help them find academic success and social growth.”
In fifth grade at The Academy, I build on all of the concepts and practices that the students have been learning in previous grades. I challenge the students to meet our high expectations, encourage their intellectual curiosity, and help them grow academically and personally throughout the year. The class is organized to help each student address their needs and build on their strengths, as I am able to devote individual time to every child. As the school year goes forward, the students are increasingly expected to organize and complete assignments that are similar to those they will be working with in middle school and high school.
CORE SUBJECTS TAUGHT
We read a variety of books during the fifth grade, some tied to the history we study this year, and some for their literary value. Students learn to read, analyze, and write about literature, with oral discussions, comprehension activities, and oral presentations. These books include: Pedro’s Journal, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Johnny Tremain, A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, Hatchet, Sing Down the Moon, Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Streams to the River, River to the Sea, Shades of Grey, The Red Badge of Courage, and a short story collection.
This subject covers the Writing Process, as well as sentences, nouns, verbs, adjectives, capitalization, pronunciation, pronouns, adverbs, and prepositions. We also use a Wordly Wise workbook to encourage vocabulary development. The students will write research reports, a biography, as well as fiction. We will practice creating outlines, researching, taking notes, writing a first draft, revising, and making a final draft.
We use a spelling workbook that has new words for the students to learn each week. Each Monday they take a pretest, we work with the words all week in class and for homework, and then each Friday there is a spelling test. In addition there is an Academy Spelling Bee each year for students 1-5th grades.
We use the sixth grade version of the Houghton Mifflin Mathematics textbook. This book covers the California Standards for the sixth grade. These include: Operations with Whole Numbers and Decimals, Data Analysis and Statistics, Fractions and Number Theory, Operations with Fractions, Integers and Rational Numbers, Expressions and Equations, Ratio, Proportion, Percent, Applications of a Percent, Geometry of Plane Figures, Geometry and Measurement, Statistics and Probability, and Coordinate Graphing.
In fifth grade the students study United States History. We begin by studying some basics about geography, pluralism, and how history is researched and written. Next we study how Native Americans populated the Americas, European Exploration and Settlement, and Life in the English Colonies. We also cover the Revolutionary War, Life in a Growing Nation, The Civil War, and a final chapter that covers the beginning of the 20th century.
Students are asked to present their work in a variety of academic areas. All major projects and reports are presented to the class, as well as many other short-term assignments. With smaller class sizes, we are able to give students the opportunity to become comfortable while public speaking, and have the time to practice often and provide individual feedback.
ABOUT KELLY COCHRAN
Kelly Cochran holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Sonoma State University and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After working for three years at Bransford Elementary in Fairfield, California, he began teaching at The Academy. Kelly Cochran has been teaching fifth grade at The Academy since 2006.