By Randolph’s 5th Grade Team
Fifth grade is one of the most significant transition years in your child’s education.
As your 10-year-old heads into 5th grade, there are some big questions for both parent and child: Are we ready for Middle School? How can we prepare for this exciting year?
Fifth grade is a messy, energetic, challenging, and chaotic experience for parent and student alike.
Your 5th grader:
- Enjoys challenge and variety.
- Seeks independence, but still needs guidance and support.
- Loses stuff.
- Misses deadlines.
- Produces a great assignment one day and poor answers the next.
This roller coaster existence is a measure of the turmoil of the pre-teen years.
This roller coaster existence is a measure of the turmoil they are experiencing as they move into the pre-teen years. One minute they seem very grown-up; the next they seem younger than their years.
What to look for in school
A strong 5th grade program does not focus primarily on academic subjects. Instead, the focus is to build a strong foundation for future success and encourage students’ developing independence.
Your child’s teacher should recognize the value of “learning by trying” and “learning from failure.”
That last point is tough for parents.
Our 5th grade team spends a lot of time supporting parents who may not be comfortable seeing their student struggle during 5th grade, but in our opinion this is the right time to let them stumble and find their feet.
Fifth grade requires a partnership of trust on all sides, and clear communication is key. Your child’s teachers will guide and support learning, while at the same time challenging and encouraging students to work in new ways, or at new levels of depth, detail and accuracy. Mentorship is important. At Randolph, our students have access to their teachers and advisors throughout the day, not just in lesson time, allowing 1:1 focused advice and discussion.
"Doing school right"
The most vital component of the 5th grade curriculum is the time spent learning key “doing school right” skills; once mastered, these will provide your student with a solid foundation for future Middle School studies. Of course we teach math, science, language arts – and all the things you would expect – but our main focus is developing a confident, organized, independent learner who is not afraid to ask a question, debate an idea, or investigate further – a learner who is ready for 6th grade.
About the photos: At the start of each school year, students entering Middle School draw houses. Houses, led by 8th grade house captains and faculty house keepers, are groups of 5th-8th graders and teachers who join together throughout the year for a variety of activities and friendly competition for house points. New students wear white shirts to the House Draw and when they are welcomed into their house, they receive a house shirt. The House System is one of the ways Randolph's Middle School builds community and social support networks across the division and grade levels and fosters a sense of belonging that is so important for students in their middle school years.