Jefferson Middle School

5th Grade

Curriculum Guide 2020  – 2021

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Fifth Grade Required Courses

English Language Arts-

The fifth grade ELA curriculum combines reading with language and writing skills. Students read a variety of literature as well as informational texts with an emphasis on science and history. To enhance the comprehension of complex texts and improve the ability to craft responses in both written and spoken forms, the curriculum includes the study of vocabulary and the conventions of Standard English. The reading and writing connection is strengthened as students learn to apply essential reading skills when writing informative, opinion, and narrative essays.


Standard – The curriculum includes number theory, computation, algebraic thinking, problem solving, data analysis, measurement, and geometry. Fifth graders are expected to know multiplication and division facts through the twelves tables prior to the start of school.

Advanced- The curriculum includes number theory, computation, algebraic thinking, problem solving, data analysis, measurement, and geometry, but at a faster pace. Students will begin working on 6th grade math standards as they approach the end of the year.

Social Studies–

The curriculum includes the governance, civics, economics, geography, and history of the United States and Tennessee.


The curriculum includes topics such as scientific methods, micro-organisms, matter, force and motion, plants, energy, and processes that change the earth.


Students will engage in self-paced independent reading practice, group reading tasks, and guided reading activities to develop reading fluency and comprehension.

Physical Education–

The physical education program is an instructional class that teaches students the fundamentals of team sports, the importance of regular physical fitness, and lifetime wellness activities. Emphasis is placed on activities that condition students in physical strength and endurance as well as the development of coordination and physical skills.

Students are required to have a set of physical education clothes for participation. Required PE clothes consist of mid-thigh length shorts with an elastic band or drawstring, a solid white, solid gray, solid royal blue, solid yellow, OR any Jefferson Eagles t-shirt, athletic socks, and a pair of tennis shoes.

Per JMS dress code, no spandex/compression leggings, pants, or capris are allowed to be worn in PE classes. Students also have the opportunity to have their own PE locker, which requires a combination lock. Students are required to participate and dress out in proper physical education clothes. Students must have a written note from a physician to be excused from PE.


Courses That Alternate with 5th grade P. E. 

Fifth grade students rotate Art, Careers Exploration, Keyboarding, and Music throughout the school year, alternating with physical education.


This course focuses on improving creative problem solving and individual self-expression through the manipulation of different media. Students will create pieces that incorporate their name and fantasy creatures in design. They will also study art history and critique their work upon completion. Students will be asked to express their ideas through writing about their drawings. If time warrants, student will also complete a three-dimensional clay piece.

Keyboarding Rotation AND Career Exploration Rotation–

Keyboarding – Students will gain essential keyboarding skills while incorporating multiple projects in collaboration with core 5th Grade teachers and the library. In addition to Keyboarding, students will learn about Skyward/Canvas, Destiny, creating and saving files in specific locations, and cyber security. Students will also learn basic Microsoft Word formatting skills to complete research projects and building citations.

Career Exploration- This course is designed to assist students in practicing collaboration skills necessary to excel in future coursework and occupations. Students will learn about existing high school, college, and career pathways, and how to successfully transition into them. In Oak Ridge schools we are implementing Project-Based Learning (PBL) as an engaging instructional approach for learning 21st century career skills. This course will emphasize academic learning goals and competencies that focus specifically on collaborative teamwork in careers.


Students in 5th grade general music will explore fundamental elements of music such as performing, music in other countries and cultures, musical theater, and famous composers. Students learn by playing on an instrument, reading, listening, writing, playing musical games, and watching related videos


Fifth Grade Elective Courses

**Attention: Elective courses are ONLY available if a student is not in the RTI (Response to Intervention) program for Reading or Math. If a student is placed in RTI, they will be removed from their elective until they have shown growth in the supported subject area. Should you have any questions concerning RTI, a student’s placement, or how a student can move out of RTI, please contact Stephanie Hope or John Smith.


Fifth Graders may choose to take Beginning Band. In this class, students will learn the basic fundamentals of playing a wind or percussion instrument, learn to read music notation, and learn the basics of performing music as a soloist and in a large ensemble. In addition to a few normal class supplies, students are expected to obtain an instrument, instrument maintenance accessories, and our band method book. As part of the course grade, all students are expected to perform in concerts, which take place outside of the school day.


Orchestra is designed for students with prior string instrument experience. Students play in performances at school and in area concerts. Students learn bowing techniques, vibrato, shifting, good sound production, and proper intonation. Students attend a festival competition in the spring.


The primary focus of this class will be performing choral music in concert. Students will learn the basics of singing in the traditional choral method, including reading and interpreting choral music notation, developing breath control, singing scales, sightsinging, harmonizing, expanding vocal range, and maintaining vocal health. As part of the course grade, students are expected to perform in concerts, some of which occur outside of school hours. During these concerts, performers are required to wear the JMS chorus uniform of a chorus t-shirt and jeans.

Study Hall–

This course focuses on helping students develop better study and time management skills.  Students will work on homework, long term assignments, independent reading, and math skill development.



RTI (Response to Intervention) is a multitier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning needs.

Tier 1- The Whole Class

In the general education classroom; the teacher measures everyone’s skills. This is known as a universal screening that is given 3 times a year to the whole school (Fall, Winter, and Spring) to determine the students that fall at the 25th percentile or below for extra Tier 1 support. If your child falls at or below the 25th percentile your child will be placed in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 class in the areas of Math or English to provide more support because they are performing below their grade level. The screening helps the teacher work with students in small groups based on their skill levels. The school will let you know if your child is struggling and will update you on his/her RTI progress. In some schools, the majority of students need Tier 1 instructional support because their reading and math skills are not at grade level. During the intervention, the RTI team monitors students’ progress to see who might need additional support. Many students respond successfully to Tier 1 support and achieve gradelevel expectations.

Tier 2- Small Group Interventions (25th percentile11th percentile)

If your child isn’t making adequate progress in Tier 1, he/she will start to receive more targeted help. This is in addition to the regular classroom instruction (Tier 1), not a replacement for it. Tier 2 interventions take place every day during a designated period and students won’t miss any core instruction in the classroom. During these extra help sessions, he/she will be taught in small groups using a different method than in Tier 1 because the first method wasn’t successful. The teacher may also ask you to work with your child at home on certain skills.The school will monitor your child’s progress so it’s clear whether the Tier 2 intervention is helping through 4 ½ week progress reports sent by the school.

Tier 3: Intensive Interventions (at or below 10th percentile)

Typically, only a small percentage of the class will require Tier 3 support. In many schools, though, that number is much higher. If your child needs Tier 3 support, it will be tailored to his/her needs. Every day he/she will receive oneonone instruction or work in very small groups.Your child will continue to spend most of the day in the general education classroom. If he/she doesn’t make adequate progress in Tier 3, it’s likely that the school will recommend an evaluation for special education services. Core Focus(English or Math) This class is for those students that score close to the 25th percentile or the teacher has identified will benefit from extra support with current core classes. Students will be able to work on homework intermittently during the week and may need reteaching of Tier 1 instruction.