My Home Page - Welcome to fifth grade!

  • CHS is a wonderful place to attend school.  The fifth grade is lucky to have a beautiful garden to use as an outdoor classroom! I look forward to exploring science with you.


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    City Honors

    Grade 5 MYP Science

    Course Syllabus



    Teacher: Kim Switalski                                                                     

    Phone: 816-4230


    Course Description and Objectives


    The City Honors fifth grade science program is designed to intrigue and involve students with science as an active process, a field study, and as a philosophy. Its purpose is to provide a solid foundation for future successes in science. The focus is to extend the NYS Standards, the Buffalo Public School Curriculum and include internationalism throughout the year. The aim is to challenge students to think globally and to become self-directed learners. At the end of fifth grade students should be able to use the language of science to communicate understanding, apply scientific concepts, skills, and processes to everyday experiences, develop respect for the environment and its inhabitants, and develop respect for scientific historical contributions.


    Science at a Glance 


    Unit 1: Structure and Properties of Matter

    Sept. - Oct.

    Unit 2: Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems

    Oct. - Dec.

    Unit 3: Earth’s Systems

    Jan. - March

    Unit 4: Space Systems: Stars and the Solar System

    March - June




    The Big Question(s)


    Unit 1

    What are the properties of matter?


    Unit 2

    How do plants and animals grow and change?

    How do living things interact with their environment?


    Unit 3

    How does water move through the environment?


    Unit 4

    What affects the motion of objects?

    How do objects move in space?




    NYS Learning Standards


    Standard 1: Scientific Inquiry

    1.      The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing creative process

    2.      Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity

    3.      The observation made while testing proposed explanations when analyzed   using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into phenomena



    Standard 4: Physical Setting

    1.      The Earth and celestial phenomena can be described by principles of relative motion and perspective

    2.      Many of the phenomena that we observe on earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land

         4.   Energy exists in many forms, and when these forms change energy is conserved

    Standard 4: Living Environment

    1.      Living things are both similar to and different form each other and from nonliving things

         3. Individual organisms and species change over time

         5.   organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life

    1.      Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment






    Common Core Standard Highlights


    Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.


    Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.


    Conduct short research projects that use a several sources to build knowledge through the investigation of different aspects of a topic.


    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.




    Leveled Readers

    NSTA Expansion Activities


    Measurement of Student Learning


    Grades will be based on student performance on a variety of assessments. Students will be tested during and at the end of each unit. During each unit students will complete various class and homework assignments. Students will complete labs and follow each lab with a lab write-up. Students are expected to keep all assignments, vocabulary words, homework, notes, and lab write-ups in their science notebook. All assignments are to be written legibly using grade appropriate language and usage.



    • Teacher observations of students working
    • Science Text based questioning
    • Portfolio of work: journals, models, STEM activity book
    • Participation in group work
    • Chapter Review


    A variety of teaching methods will be used: including, but not limited to, hands on activities, discussions, publications, internet research, creative projects, note-taking, scientific videos, guest speakers, student presentations, and laboratory presentations. All students will be required to complete one project per semester. Students will be given specific guidelines at the appropriate time. Late projects will be penalized (5 percentage points per day) and will not be accepted if more than three days late. Extensions are not given.







    Written Work Requirements


    All labs require a lab write up. Research projects require a written portion that will be explained further at the time of the project. Tests will contain short answer and essays. All assignments are to be written legibly using grade appropriate language and usage. Step up to writing standards will be followed.


    SUTW Strategies


    Explore Activities

    2-Column Notes


    Content Vocabulary

    Breaking Down Definitions


    STEM Activity

    IVF Summary Sentences


    STEM Activity

    Four Step Summary Paragraph


    Investigate it! and Inquiry:          

    Color-Coding the Elements of Informative


    Elaborate: Science Notebook

    Explanatory Writing Informal Outlines




    Method of Communication


    Please feel free to call me during the school day to leave a message, write a note, or e-mail at and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Extra Help Opportunities: If it becomes necessary for any extra academic intervention I will make special accommodations during the school day.






City Honors