Fifth and sixth grades are wonderful years of transition and transformation. At FAA, we do many things to help the students ease through this time of transition while growing academically, physically, and spiritually.
Students begin each day with a time of worship. The spiritual focus of this time includes learning more about the life of Christ, an emphasis on Christian character development through pertinent stories with a moral, and exploration of the Seventh-day Adventist organization and its doctrines. Several times each week the students gather in the church, kneel in a circle, and take turns praying for each other.
Students eagerly look forward to attending Outdoor School at Mt. Aetna Camp in the fall. Outdoor School helps students focus their attention on learning about God through nature, survival skills, developing team spirit and teamwork skills, achieving success in the low ropes course, encouraging and assisting each other on the climbing tower and high ropes course, strengthening personal courage, and much more.
Students enjoy science, especially the variety of Hand-on experiments they do every week. They are always anxious to participate in dissecting hearts, eyes, fish, worms, and learning about other interesting things. The students participate in a school-sponsored science fair every other school year. Students also go on science-based field trips.
To help students through the middle school transitional years, we read and discuss books from a series called Middle School Survival Series by Kurt Johnston and Mark Oestreicher. These essential “growing up” books focus on friends, school, and family. Students look forward to reading and discussing these books because the topics cover issues that they are dealing with on a daily basis.
This class teaches students about the parts of a computer, computer-based vocabulary, and keyboarding skills. They also learn how to use Paint, Power Point, and Word.
Over and above the regular art curriculum, fifth and sixth graders study the “Elements of Art” and the “Principles of Design.” They learn to recognize what makes up a work of art and then study authentic works of art at a local art museum. Students create and share projects that demonstrate their knowledge of the Elements and Principles and art. Through the art curriculum, students produce amazing works of art by following the theme and directions of the lessons. Their work is regularly displayed in the hallways of the school. A favorite facet of the art program is a field trip to a local ceramics studio where students select and paint a piece of ceramics. The piece is later kiln-fired creating a beautiful work of art.
A new math curriculum has been adopted which follows the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice and Content which has been adopted nationwide. The curriculum consists of discovery and direct instruction that includes intervention strategies to support different areas of need. While students focus on fewer topics, they gain a deeper understanding of the topics by studying them in greater detail. The curriculum includes the use of technology and has on-line capabilities for students.