This year in fifth and sixth grade, we started off with our Back-to-School 5K and Family Fun Run, and we’ve been running strong ever since.
At HLS, we focus on leadership with fifth and sixth graders. They are the oldest kids in the school and are expected to be role models for the rest of the students. Fifth and sixth graders are the head of their school families and, on many occasions, have taken care of their younger classmates.
The fifth and sixth graders have learned to be independent workers. They rise to the occasion and put a lot of effort into their work with a good attitude. HLS upper-graders would like to share a few highlights of our year with you.
In science this year, we concentrated on life sciences. We started the year learning about plant and animal cells. We progressed through classifications of living things, paleontology, body systems, heredity, ecosystems and biomes, and the relationships between living plants and animals. Some highlights were learning the cell organelle rap song, making fossils, and playing “Oh, Deer” in order to learn about environments.
Earth Day and our community cleanup is always a day to look forward to. In fact, since the sixth graders were gone on sneak day the first time we did community cleanup day, Taryn (as Principal for the Day) ruled that we do it again! Who knew picking up trash could be so fun?
Senorita Mary has been teaching the students Spanish. Spanish lessons have been a unique opportunity for which we say, “Gracias, Senorita Mary!” Ask a fifth or sixth grade student, “Qué tiempo hace hoy?” They will reply, “Hace buen tiempo!”
In social studies, the fifth and sixth grade classroom concentrated on American history. We have memorized all the states and capitals of the US and the Declaration of Independence; we are almost done memorizing the US Constitution. We will recite both at the National Day of Prayer on May 2. For the National Day of Prayer, the fifth and sixth grade students have been busy writing and practicing the prayers to be presented for the members of the community who attend the annual event. Aside from the primary focus of witnessing their faith to others, this day provides an excellent opportunity to become familiar with public speaking.
Part of social studies involves caring for those around us. This year we had the opportunity to respond to the disaster of the Nebraska floods and pack cleaning supplies and toiletries bound for Orphan Grain Train in Norfolk. We also spent a day at Orphan Grain Train in Grand Island delivering tennis shoes and packing shipments of clothes for world relief.
In reading, we are close to being done with our reading books and workbooks for the year. Each student has read and blogged about a particular genre of books each month. For example, in April, the students read a historical fiction novel.
Our current read aloud book is A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Parks. The story parallels two children growing up in South Sudan in the 1985 and 2008. We have read several other great books this year, including The Man Who Loved Clowns and Straw into Gold.
In spelling and vocabulary, the students have earned a pizza party or so from Mrs. Schrader for getting all their words correct on their tests on the app Spelling City. A few students have gone the whole year without missing any vocabulary!
Our math series has covered a lot of ground. Right now, we are working with area of triangles and trapezoids in sixth grade and proportions in units of measurement in fifth grade.
For fun this year, the class traveled to Stuhr Museum and has taken numerous puppet trips with Pastor Tim. We have gone Angel Tree shopping in Grand Island, participated in the county spelling bee, and competed in the regional scholar bowl in Staplehurst. The sixth grade snuck away to the The Amazing Pizza Machine, and four students from our class participated in Principal for a Day. We have sung at the churches, at Hearts for Jesus, and at the Gathering of the Talents in Seward.
Another memorable project for fifth and sixth grade was our embryology enrichment project through the Hamilton County Extension office. Hilary Furhman guided us through the miraculous process of hatching 21 baby chickens. Thank you, Hilary! What joy!
We have memorized a Bible verse or Catechism memory twice a week since September. We have learned at least five Psalms by heart and in so doing have come to understand a little more about our Real Present God.
Now we take a deep breath, polish up our musical lines, tie our running shoes for the track meet at Grand Island Central Catholic on May 3, and race for the finish line!