Grades 3 – 5

2nd grade in classrooms


By the 3rd grade, children have spent three years mastering reading and doing basic math computations.  In 3rd grade, they are able to branch out in their studies and handle more complex, rich material.

As readers, they learn to become more independent – delving into non-fiction texts and literature, including fables, poetry, and plays.  They learn to write personal narratives, informational texts, argumentative essays, and become savvy editors that utilize the writing process.  As mathematicians, our students are introduced to new concepts in multiplication, division, fractions, geometry, and use a wide variety of strategies to attack word problems.  Third graders also explore our city, country and world, learning about geography, culture, and traditions.

Some exciting traditions in third grade include the Annual Rice Celebration, cultural field trips to the Annenberg Center & University of Pennsylvania, Spring Writers’ Celebration, Reader’s Theater, Author Studies and Book Clubs, Fitness Fridays, and so much more.

4th Grade students at school

4th Grade

In fourth grade, students transition to an upper elementary experience. In literacy, students continue to practice and develop good reading strategies, while also focusing on reading to learn. Students are taught essay writing in various modes, including narrative, informational, and opinion.

Fourth graders use critical thinking skills to analyze literature and informational texts, and write about these texts. In math, highlights of the fourth grade experience include operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, fractions, measurement and data.

Fourth grade social studies focuses on the state of Pennsylvania and regions of the United States.  Fourth graders enjoy a visit to Pennsbury Manor in the fall and a trip to a significant Pennsylvania destination, such as Lancaster or Hershey, in the spring. Respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness are emphasized throughout the fourth grade year.

5th Grade students at school

5th Grade

Fifth grade is an extremely challenging year of social, emotional, and academic growth. Students are taking their final steps in the elementary world, and are maturing into middle school learners.  One of the most important themes throughout our year is the idea of being an upstander and learning about ordinary people who have acted in extraordinary ways to help or improve the world.  We help our students transition in becoming more independent and collaborative. Our goal in fifth grade is to give students many different experiences in literacy, math, and social studies. Students are expected to ask questions, conference with one another, give and receive intentional feedback, and synthesize texts in all of the content areas.  In addition to being insightful and thoughtful communicators, students are also expected to cite their evidence when writing, find efficient and effective problem solving strategies in math, and think as historians in social studies.

Fifth graders are immersed in a variety of experiential learning in the arts.  We attend an opera, tour and participate in the Barnes Art of Looking program, and learn the fundamentals and intricacies of ballroom dancing.  Students learn about the constitution through real world scenarios and how it applies to them through Penn Law’s Street Law program. Finally, fifth graders travel through time recreating an 18th century coffeehouse, a 1930’s Depression era foodline, and become activists when learning about the Civil Rights Movement.

Even though middle school is only two flights of stairs away, the fifth grade team hopes to give each student the tools necessary to make the climb.