Glen Ridge School District


    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    At Ridgewood Avenue School we strive to deliver a curriculum that challenges every child while building a solid foundation for future success. Our staff and administrative team work together with students and parents to develop a positive school environment where an exciting place is found for students to learn and grow.

    Our students not only receive instruction in the core academic subjects, Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, but they also experience an extensive related arts curriculum that includes Art, Music, Physical Education, Media Skills, World Languages, Synergistics, Technology Enrichment, Guidance and Health. Each subject area curriculum is reviewed and revised on a five year rotation plan.

    Our dedicated highly qualified staff is committed to the goal of academic success and student personal growth. Instruction is delivered with consideration of the various learning styles amongst the students. Technology and character education are integrated in the lessons. We offer numerous enrichment opportunities through assemblies, field trips, clubs, band, chorus and after school courses.

    We will continue to work hard to provide a safe and supportive environment that enhances a joy of learning for all of our students.


    Michael Donovan, Principal


    The Fifth Grade Language Arts curriculum is intended to help students gain knowledge and understanding in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, and grammaticalskills. Programs utilized include McGraw-Hill Wonders Reading program and Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for Writing. Through these programs and a variety of instructional approaches such as book clubs and reading workshop, students will be exposed to a variety of literary genres including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry within their reading text as well as through a variety of novels. Novels might include: The Big WaveWonder, and Bud, Not Buddy. Skills such as oral language, word identification, writing, vocabulary, and comprehension will be taught through these various types of literature. The Language Arts curriculum also focuses on applying writing, spelling, and grammatical skills within different genres of writing.



    The Everyday Mathematics series recognizes and builds on student capabilities. Through the student's own experience, he or she will develop an understanding of mathematics through acquisition of knowledge and skill.

    The fifth grade program highlights problem solving, basic number facts, arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percents, geometry skills, and early algebra skills. The students develop links between their past, present, and future knowledge. Fifth graders are given the opportunity to develop their skills through cooperative learning, individual learning, and incorporation of manipulatives for hands-on experience, which presents the individual with the opportunity for a deeper understanding of all concepts taught.

    Additional practice with long division, multiplication facts, adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying with decimals are supplemented by the classroom teacher.


    Mystery Science is a hands-on program that leads students in the doing of science and engineering. Online science lessons are easy to use and have outstanding content and help to make the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and support Common Core. Film footage, animations, and other illustrations with voice over instruction help children to explore science concepts while bringing in real life applications.  A variety of activities along with discussion and interaction engage student interest as they help them think through scientific concepts, learn practical applications, and begin to apply the scientific method. Each lesson starts by posing a question commonly asked by kids, like "Do plants eat dirt?" or "Why are so many toys made out of plastic?" or "How much salt is in the ocean?" A series of short videos and prompts then guides a class discussion, followed by an experiment that can be done as a class. Lessons cover a wide range of topics, including light and sound, biodiversity, engineering, and the water cycle. The goal is to create better thinkers by helping children to find answers to their most common questions about the world.


    In the fifth grade social studies curriculum, children study the history of the United States- focusing upon the phenomena and effects of the first explorers, the settlement of the early American colonies, the American Revolution, western movement, the Civil War, and our nation's reconstruction.

    Students use the Pearson series and complete projects, trips, and activities that supplement the curriculum.


    The curriculum for music in fifth grade is divided into three sections. The first section, general music, is taken by all fifth grade students. In this class, students learn the basics of listening to, performing, writing, and appreciating music.

    The second section of music offered to fifth graders is the choral program. This is a performing ensemble that meets twice a week before school. The chorus consists of students of all ages, grades and abilities. The main focus of this ensemble is reading music and performing.

    The last section of music available to the fifth grade is the instrumental program. There are two bands at this school currently, an advanced band and a beginner band. The beginner band is for all first year instrumental students. They perform one concert a year in the spring with the advanced band. The Advanced Band is available for anyone wishing to audition during the year. There are currently students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades in this ensemble. The advanced band performs two concerts, one in the winter and the other in the spring. All instrumentalists receive one music lesson a week during the school year.


    Physical education is part of a school-based program that promotes social, emotional, and physical well-being. The purpose of physical education is to develop and enhance gross motor skills, social and life skills, and the learner's thinking and problem solving skills.

    Fifth grade physical education encompasses the skills that foster participation in physical activities throughout life. Students will learn and apply movement concepts; health related fitness concepts, as well as social concepts. These skills and concepts are taught through a variety of activities and units including dance and movement, individual and team sports, and integration of other discipline areas.

    The three domains of physical education include psychomotor, cognitive, and affective. Psychomotor skills include all physical movements from traveling to throwing and catching. Cognitive skills may include decision-making, learning rules of a sport, and/or creating strategies to become more successful. The affective domain encompasses teamwork, being prepared, respect for self and others, and good sportsmanship.


    Health education is part of a school-based program that provides information to foster student skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will result in lifelong healthful decision-making. Health education promotes student physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.


    Students in grade five receive world language instruction two periods in a six-day cycle, with a teacher who comes into their classroom. Students are assessed and a grade for world languages appears on their report card.


    Effective communication in Spanish is the primary goal. Students are asked to use all four components of language; listening, speaking, reading, and writing in order to be able to communicate in an effective manner. Spanish is often used in the classroom to teach language concepts. Pictures, stuffed animals, gestures, acting, and music help to convey meaning and reduce or even eliminate the necessity for direct translation. Homework is a written reinforcement of concepts taught in class. Periodic assessments are given to determine the students' level of comprehension. All four language components are assessed during the marking period.


    The students will focus on four units throughout the school year which include discussing school schedules and subjects, introducing themselves and exchanging information, interacting within a place of business, and discussing various activities and sports.  In addition to language, the world languages program includes the instruction of different cultural practices. Projects to be worked on outside of the classroom focus on cultural activities; and specific cultural lessons are taught in class. The goal is to instill a life-long appreciation for language and culture.


    Appreciation for the printed word is a priority at the Ridgewood Avenue School library. Reading as a pleasurable pastime is encouraged. During class, stories, poems, and essays are read and discussed. The value of reading magazines and newspapers is also emphasized.

    Additionally, the librarian provides instruction for all grades in research skills and computer skills. It is also an “open library” in that teachers and students may use the resources within whenever necessary. Students are scheduled for library for at least one period in every six-day cycle.

    Starting in the third grade, students begin developing their research skills. They use dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias, and atlases. Gradually, they become more comfortable with finding answers on their own. By the time they are sixth graders, students should be quite comfortable using print sources as well as databases and the Internet.

    At all levels, emphasis is placed on the accuracy and reliability of information sources. Information literacy grows significantly during students years at Ridgewood Avenue School.


    Fifth graders will cycle through art for a 14-week period. The grade level curriculum focuses on acquiring knowledge of skills that will increase an aesthetic awareness in the visual arts. This includes demonstrating a knowledge of the process of critiquing, developing and defining design, identifying and describing various art forms from different historical and contemporary periods and cultures, and recognizing the impact of the visual arts in daily life.


    Students in 5th and 6th grade will have a STEM cycle class. Students will have hands-on experiences exploring science, technology, engineering and math.  Some of these opportunities will include life and physical science study, learning how to code, engineering bridges, launching rockets, 3-D printing, learning how to podcast and more! "Real life" problem solving strategies are an integral part of all STEM learning and will apply to all classroom activities.


    Updated 8/21