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Family and Community Guide for 5th Grade

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Working Together: To support families, communities, and teachers in realizing the goals of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), this guide provides an overview of the learning expectations for 5th Grade. This guide offers some learning experiences students may engage in at school that may also be supported at home.

Why Standards? Created by Coloradans for Colorado students, the Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are successful in college, careers, and life. The standards aim to improve what students learn and how they learn in 12 content areas while emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and communication as essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Download the full 5th Grade booklet here.

See all of the Family and Community Guides here.

Where can I learn more?

  • As always, the best place to learn about what your child is learning is from your child's teacher and school. The Colorado Academic Standards describe goals, but how those goals are met is a local decision.
  • The Colorado Academic Standards were written for an audience of professional educators, but parents and community members looking to dig deeper may want to read them for themselves. Visit the Standards and Instructional Support homepage for several options for reviewing the Colorado Academic Standards.
  • If you have further questions, please contact the content specialists in the Office of Standards and Instructional Support.

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Comprehensive Health (adopted 2018)

The comprehensive health standards in the elementary years focus on developing individual skills to enhance physical, emotional, and social wellness and using those individual skills in family, school, and community environments. In each grade, the standards ask students to investigate healthy eating and living habits, explore positive communication strategies, examine effective decision-making, and identify ways to ensure personal and community safety.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Physical and Personal Wellness: Communicate personal health problems to establish and maintain personal health and wellness; describe the physical, social, and emotional changes occurring at puberty; explain the structure, function, and major parts of the human reproductive system; comprehend concepts, and identify strategies to prevent the transmission of disease; demonstrate the ability to engage in healthy eating behaviors.
  • Emotional and Social Wellness:  Analyze internal and external factors that influence mental and emotional health.
  • Prevention and Risk Management: Access valid information about the effects of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs; demonstrate basic first aid and safety procedures; demonstrate behaviors that reduce the likelihood of physical fighting, violence, and bullying.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Demonstrating the ability to make good decisions about healthy eating behaviors.
  • Examining influences on the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur at puberty, including hormones, nutrition, and the environment.
  • Utilizing interpersonal communication skills to talk about health conditions, the prevention of disease, and the importance of maintaining good health.
  • Demonstrating tolerance, appreciation, and understanding of others.
  • Examining research on the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs.
  • Discussing bullying and violence and the emotional and physical consequences.
  • Utilizing basic first aid training to facilitate a quick response in emergency situations; demonstrating the ability to call 911 and poison control dispatchers to help in an emergency situation.
  • Identifying how society, media and the use of modern technology can influence mental and emotional health.

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Computer Science (adopted 2018)

Computer science may be taught at all levels preschool through high school, but the State of Colorado only has standards for computer science in high school.

Read the high school computer science family and community guide.

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Dance (adopted 2022)

The dance standards in the preschool or elementary years focus on general dance knowledge and movement skills that build a strong foundation for more specialized dance studies in later years (i.e., Ballet, Hip Hop, social, or cultural dances, as well as common choreographic structures).  At each grade level students explore, discover, and perform various dances; discuss and create movement using a creative process; develop the ability to communicate, describe, and analyze personal dance preferences while providing constructive feedback about other dance performances.  Learning about dance and the creative process contributes to educating the whole child while helping to develop self-confidence.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Movement, Technique, and Performance (Perform/Present): Students safely navigate personal dance space while connecting with other dancers; demonstrate control, strength, and flexibility while performing dances from multiple styles and genres.
  • Create, Compose and Choreograph (Create): Students manipulate or modify different inspirations or ideas to enhance various movement patterns or structures.
  • Historical and Cultural Context (Know/Comprehend): Students research and identify the influences of an era on a particular dance style.
  • Reflect, Connect, and Respond (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Students discuss how imagination and creativity help to create dances; discover personal connections to dance in the world around them and their communities.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Performing dances with enhanced movement and performance expression.
  • Coordinating different parts of the body while performing.
  • Experimenting with movement that is created by a variety of inspirations. (Art, music, stories, etc.)
  • Creating movement sequences using simple choreographic structure.
  • Creating transitions between movement sequences.
  • Identifying the evolution of dance from a past dance style to a present dance form.
  • Describing the meaning of a dance created by self or for another.
  • Understanding the connections of dance to other disciplines.

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Drama and Theatre Arts (adopted 2022)

The Drama and Theatre Arts standards in the preschool and elementary years focus on general drama knowledge and skills that blend basic theatrical elements to ensure a solid foundation for more specialized studies in later grades.  Theatre studies may include technical theatre, stage movement, improvisation, acting, writing, directing, and film studies.  Students will discover acting techniques; create and perform theatrical works; explore various characters, plots, and themes; investigate dramatic texts; discover and describe personal theatrical preferences; explore constructive ways to reflect and respond about the creative process and dramatic works from the past and present.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Create (Create): Use improvisation to tell stories, express ideas, create characters, and solve problems; collaboratively explore complex ideas and common themes in dramatic works; invent physical qualities to reveal a character's inner traits.
  • Perform (Perform/Present): Describe the underlying thoughts and emotions that create dialogue and action in a creative drama or theatre work.  Explain how creative drama or theatre work connects oneself to a community or culture.
  • Critically Respond (Know/Comprehend and Critique/Evaluate/Refine):Investigate how various cultures view and create dramatic works; draw conclusions or personal reactions to artistic choices made in a dramatic/theatre work; analyze the impact of character development processes in a dramatic/theatre work.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Working in ensembles to determine how to adapt a story source (short story, book excerpt) into a dramatic performance (skit, scene).
  • Taking on various roles for a theatre production (stage/set designer, director, actor, playwright).
  • Examining the origin of a script (where it was written or who wrote it) and analyzing the different cultural parts of the story (traditions, language use, setting).
  • Evaluating personal and peer performances.

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Mathematics (adopted 2018)

The mathematics standards in the elementary years focus on number and operations. Ideas from measurement and geometry help students learn about numbers and quantities. In each grade, students make sense of problems, explain their thinking, and describe their world with mathematics.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Number and Quantity: Fluently (consistently) multiply multi-digit whole numbers; extend the idea of place value to decimals; begin to divide using multi-digit divisors (fluency isn't expected until sixth grade); multiply fractions; add and subtract fractions by creating equivalent fractions (1/2 is the same as 2/4); understand the relationship between fractions and division (2/5 means 2 ÷ 5); solve simple word problems involving the division of fractions with pictures (the formal procedure for dividing fractions is taught in sixth grade).
  • Algebra and Function: Write and interpret numerical expressions.
  • Data, Statistics, and Probability: Convert within the metric system; find the volumes of rectangular prisms using multiplication.
  • Geometry: Graph points on a grid using positive numbers.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Exploring patterns (using a calculator) that occur when multiplying by powers of ten (10, 100, 1/10, 1/100).
  • Making connections between whole numbers and decimals.
  • Playing with money to explore how to add and subtract numbers involving decimals.
  • Solving fair share problems (3 submarine sandwiches fairly shared among 4 people) to explore the relationship between fractions and division.
  • Drawing pictures to solve simple word problems involving the division of fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by fractions.
  • Filling boxes with cubes to explore the concept of volume and its connection to area.
  • Exploring how to find the volume of objects that can be broken into several rectangular boxes.
  • Playing games involving coordinates-location on a grid (“Battleship”).

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Music (adopted 2022)

The music standards in the elementary years focus on general music knowledge and skills to ensure a solid foundation in music education, which can lead to the opportunity for more musical study in later years. In each elementary grade, students engage with and perform various music styles and genres, examine the language of music through identifying and writing simple music notation, consider simple musical creative processes, and develop the ability to describe their own musical preferences as well as critique the music of others.

 

Expectatons for 5th Grade Students:

  • Expression of Music (Perform/Present): Perform/Demonstrate notated songs with accuracy and apply teacher, peer feedback and self-reflection to improve musical skills.
  • Creation of Music (Create): Create melody and accompaniment.
  • Theory of Music (Know/Comprehend): Identify and demonstrate notated patterns.
  • Response to Music (Appreciate and Understand): Compare music from various cultures and evaluate.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Singing and playing songs with accurate rhythm, technique, and timing.
  • Modifying a song to fit a certain group of musicians.
  • Creating and playing an original song.
  • Writing or using music software programs to demonstrate an understanding of a simple piece of music.
  • Connecting musical performances to certain cultures, histories, and/or geographic places.
  • Evaluating performances using musical terms.

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Physical Education (adopted 2018)

The physical education standards in the elementary years focus on enhancing movement concepts and skills, understanding basic health-related components and skill-related components of fitness and how it relates to personal fitness, demonstrating respect, and the ability to follow directions. In each grade, students demonstrate various movement concepts; assess personal behaviors; connect fitness development to body systems; demonstrate respect for self, others, and various physical activity environments; and utilize safety procedures during physical activities.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Movement Competence and Understanding: Demonstrate mature form for all basic locomotor (e.g., walking, running), non-locomotor (e.g., twisting, stretching), manipulative skills (e.g., catching, throwing, striking) and rhythmic skills (e.g., dancing, jumping rope); demonstrate understanding of how to combine and apply movement concepts and principles to learn and develop motor skills; understand why feedback can improve performance.
  • Physical and Personal Wellness: Demonstrate understanding of skill-related components of fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, speed) and how they affect physical performance; set personal goals for improving health-related fitness.
  • Social and Emotional Wellness: Identify personal activity interests and abilities and take responsibility for individual and team performance; work cooperatively and productively in a group.
  • Prevention and Risk Management: Implement safety procedures in the utilization of space and equipment.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Throwing and catching an object demonstrating both accuracy and force.
  • Dribbling a ball (by hand or foot) while preventing another person from stealing the ball.
  • Developing and refining a gymnastics or creative dance sequence, and demonstrating smooth transitions.
  • Using basic understanding of the knowledge of strategies in activity settings such as moving to open space to receive a pass or intercepting an object.
  • Analyzing and correcting errors in throwing, catching, dribbling with hands and feet, striking a ball, and volleying while demonstrating control and accuracy.
  • Creating a plan using the six skill-related components to improve performance in a chosen activity.
  • Identifying activities that will help to improve cardio-respiratory, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
  • Accepting responsibility for one’s own performance without blaming others.
  • Demonstrating the ability to resolve conflicts with peers.
  • Reviewing components of safe participation and what constitutes a safe environment.

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Reading, Writing, and Communicating for K-5 (adopted 2018)

The reading, writing, and communicating standards move from developing skills in reading, writing, and communicating to applying these literacy skills to more complex texts through the elementary years. Standards at each grade emphasize skills related to speaking and collaborating with others as students work with literature and informational readings and participate in individual and group research projects.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Oral Expression and Listening: Speak to an audience to express an opinion, to persuade, or to explain an idea/process; actively listen during a presentation using listening strategies (asking questions, paraphrasing, and displaying positive body posture).
  • Reading for All Purposes: Read literary (stories and poems), informational, and persuasive texts in order to understand, interpret, and compare ideas from a variety of authors.
  • Writing and Composition: Use a writing process – planning, drafting, revising, editing, sharing – to produce effective, unique, well-researched, and grammatically correct writing for different audiences and purposes (telling a story, explaining a topic, building an argument).
  • Research Inquiry and Design: Gather and organize information from different sources and produce a well-organized, well-thought-out written or verbal presentation that answers a specific question.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Reading stories and informational texts to gain new understandings of the world and its people; using different strategies to understand complex texts (generating questions, summarizing, marking the text); working individually and with others to deepen understanding on a topic or text; making connections within and between different texts.
  • Writing about texts as they “think through” ideas; directly quoting from the sources to support explanations; sharing writing ideas with others; generating questions based on reading to do research; reflecting on reading.
  • Exploring the decisions a writer makes; critiquing a writer’s reasoning; comparing different authors’ writings about the same topic; evaluating graphics in texts.
  • Writing narratives (stories) to convey experiences in the world; conducting short research projects; using evidence from sources to produce logical and well-informed presentations; using a variety of sentence structures and effective organization; using grammar and punctuation with accuracy; using technology to produce writing.

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Science (adopted 2018)

Three-dimensional science standards in the elementary grades lay the foundation for students to work and think like scientists and engineers. We also see strong connections to skills students will use to be successful with reading, literacy and mathematics. In elementary grades we will explore disciplinary core ideas in Physical, Life, and Earth and Space sciences by  phenomena in the world around us. Learners in elementary grades develop and ask testable questions, collect and analyze different types of evidence, and write and communicate our understanding. Mastery of these standards will result in young learners who have a deep understanding of how scientific knowledge can provide solutions to practical problems we see in our world. Fifth grade students in Colorado will participate in the CMAS Science Assessment.

 

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Physical Science: Recognize that matter is made of particles that are too small to be seen; describe how new substances can be formed when chemical reactions occur, explain how Earth’s gravitational force exerts force on objects. 
  • Life Science: Understand that plants acquire their material from growth chiefly from air and water, and that matter flows in cycles between air, soil, plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. 
  • Earth and Space Science: Understand that the Earth and sun provide many renewable and nonrenewable resources; recognize that Earth’s surface changes constantly; understand how the uneven heating of Earth’s surface (by the sun) affects weather.
 

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Conducting an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances. 
  • Developing a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. 
  • Developing models to describe the ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. 
  • Using data and graphs to describe the amounts and percentages of saltwater and freshwater in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. 
  • Obtaining information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. 

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Social Studies (adopted 2018)

The social studies standards in the elementary years begin with individuals and families and move from there to explorations of neighborhoods, communities, the state of Colorado, and the United States. In each grade, students investigate historical events, examine geographic features and resources, consider economic decision-making processes, and define civic roles and responsibilities.

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • History: Use timelines, artifacts, and documents to understand the different people, diverse (cultural) perspectives, and important events that shaped the early history of the United States (exploration through the American Revolution).
  • Geography: Use different kinds of maps, globes, graphs, and diagrams to ask and answer questions about the geography of the 13 Colonies and the United States.
  • Economics: Explain how trade shaped the development of early America; understand how government actions connect with the economy (interest rates) at the local, state, and national level. Personal Financial Literacy: Identify different financial institutions (banks, credit unions) and the services they provide.
  • Civics: Explain the foundations and structure (the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches) of the United States government; describe the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • Analyzing primary and secondary sources such as artifacts, documents, photos, and newspaper articles to examine and explain U.S. historical events; identifying multiple perspectives and diverse cultural groups that were important to events in early United States history; exploring the events that led up to the American Revolution and the lives of the people involved.
  • Using map keys, symbols, and legends to locate and identify the types of natural resources found in the United States; describing the role that resources played in the development of the 13 Colonies and the United States.
  • Defining the basic parts of the United States’ capitalist economy; examining why people need banks and other financial institutions; identifying the products and services provided by financial institutions (banks, credit unions), such as checking and savings accounts and loans.
  • Identifying and explaining the principles of democracy and how founding documents (Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Bill of Rights) reflect and preserve these principles; engaging in discussions about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

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Visual Arts (adopted 2022)

The visual arts standards in the elementary years focus on general art knowledge and skills to create a foundation for artistic study in later years. In each grade k-5, students explore techniques of various artistic styles, follow developmentally appropriate steps in the process of creating, learn how to talk about (critique) works of art using art vocabulary, identify art in the world and daily life, and discover ways that artwork helps people better understand each other throughout various times and cultures.

The Colorado Academic Standards in Visual Arts are organized by elements of the creative process taught in a cyclical, interconnected manner. Artists learn, connect, think, come up with ideas, experiment, plan, work, refine, share, and reflect in repetitive, spiraling ways.

 

Expectations for 5th Grade Students:

  • Observe and Learn to Comprehend (Know/Comprehend): Analyze how points of view can be communicated through the choices an artist makes to create a work of art; know that culture and the time in which one lives influences works of art and design.
  • Envision and Critique to Reflect (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Use proper art terms and vocabulary to talk about, question, and evaluate works of art; envision steps of plans to document how personal ideas/experiences will be used to create an artwork.
  • Invent and Discover to Create (Create/Present): Create and use plans (sketches, concept maps, other plans of action) to show feelings and/or convey personal perceptions of the world; make artwork plans based on knowledge of materials and techniques.
  • Relate and Connect to Transfer (Connect/Apply/Transfer): Use knowledge from other subject areas and daily life as well as art vocabulary to understand ideas and meaning conveyed in artworks from various places and times. 

Throughout 5th Grade You May Find Students:

  • “Reading” an artwork through observing the use of the building blocks or “language” of art and design such as but not limited to color, texture, value, symbols, line, balance, etc. and discussing the artist’s intentions; researching and explaining how a specific piece of artwork describes someone’s experiences or a particular event.
  • Explaining how people judge a piece of artwork beyond personal likes, dislikes, preferences; describing how people respond differently to art from familiar and unfamiliar cultures.
  • Using planning tools to research and develop ideas for personal artwork.
  • Exploring ways to use art materials to convey a personal feeling or idea or to create an artwork that represents the ideas of others.
  • Discuss how art can help explain a particular time or place in history.

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World Languages (adopted 2018)

Instead of being organized by grade level, the world languages standards are organized into ranges that describe the progression of learning a student should experience as they grow from novice language learners to an advanced user.

Read the world languages family and community guide for elementary school here.

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