Stepping into the fifth/sixth grade classroom at JAIS, one will find students actively engaged in learning. The students may be working independently, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class. They may be reading from books, typing on the computer or conferring with the teacher or another peer. The curriculum is taught through integrated themes. The students learn skills of different subject areas through the particular topic that is being studied.
Students learn to manage their time, break down assignments into steps, and work cooperatively together. Building a sense of community with respect for themselves and others is a major focus. Differentiated learning and meeting individual student needs is emphasized.
Language Arts includes reading, writing, and speaking. It is integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Language instruction at this level strives to develop the ability to communicate to peers and adults in written and spoken English. The program includes literature studies, Junior Great Books, the writing process, and the Six Traits of writing. Because writing is integrated into all curricular areas, students may be writing diaries for social studies, a report for a science lab, or an explanation of a math problem. There are many opportunities to practice writing.
In addition to the Math text, the teacher uses a variety of other resources for the particular units of study. Fifth and Sixth graders study about Expanded Notation, Multiplication and Division of multi-digits, Prime Numbers, Decimals, Fractions, Percentages, Problem Solving, Geometry, Graphs, and Algebra.
In the Social Studies/Humanities program, students explore to find answers to guiding questions. The themes for this combination fifth/sixth grade class alternate every other year.
Year A : Early Civilizations of North America, Maya, Aztec, Inca, Native Americans, Discovery, Exploration, Colonial Period, and the Revolutionary War.
Year B : Archeology, Ancient Japan, Middle Ages and Renaissance of Europe.
The Science program is inquiry based with an emphasis on the scientific process. Students experiment with the materials given to discover key concepts. They make hypotheses, and are given time to test their ideas and share their results. The themes for this combination fifth/sixth grade class alternate every other year.
Year A : Solar Energy, Light, Heat, Mixture/Solutions, Human Body, and Ancient Medicine
Year B : Measurement, Atmosphere, Weather, Fresh water, Earth‘s Interior, Plate tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Minerals, Rock Classification, and the Moon.
The students also participate in classes taught by specialists, including physical education, music, art, Hebrew, computers and swimming.