Homeroom Teachers


ART:  Mr. Mark Randall

SPANISH:  Mrs. Kara Sall

MUSIC:  Mrs. Carmen Kruyf

PHYS. ED:    Mr. Dan Los

LIBRARY:   Ms. MaryJo Staal

TECHNOLOGY:  Mr. Steve Schynders

ED. SUPPORT SERVICES:   Mrs. Jenny Gorter

SPEECH:    Mrs. Sue Courson

GIFTED STUDENTS:  Mrs. Sharon Leerar


Fifth grade begins the year with an overview of the whole Bible.  We then go on to study the books of Psalms and Proverbs. Following the study of some of the prophets, fifth graders learn about the birth and life of Christ on earth, the early Christian church, and Paul’s missionary journeys.

  • Spiritual Portfolio – The fifth grade spiritual portfolio will answer the question, “How do I see God at work in my life?”
  • Capstone Project – The Capstone project for fifth grade is a springtime intractive Easter event called “Grace Walk”.  Students go individually through a series of four rooms where they are confronted with the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.  Many fifth graders indicate that this is a very significant experience in their faith development and a highlight of their fifth grade year.

Language Arts

Language arts includes reading, spelling, speaking, listening,  writing, and continued attention to phonics as needed. One of the major goals of 5th grade is to create life-long readers and writers.  We use the ideas laid out by Donalyn Miller in The Book Whisperer to achieve this goal.  We start the year by teaching a brief overview of different genres.  Each 5th grader then has the goal of reading 40 books of their choice in differing genres during the year.  We teach mini-lessons throughout the year in order to continue to grow as readers.  Many of the lessons we teach come from the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators Curriculum (MAISA).  We are able to assess and assist students with their reading skills through the use of conferences, small group work, and reading responses.  Fifth graders also read Time for Kids magazine to build our understanding of informational text.  Fifth grade uses Sitton Spelling and Word Skills to grow as spellers.  In the teaching of writing, we also use the writer’s workshop model and pull our mini-lessons from the MAISA curriculum.  Writing activities are frequently integrated into other content areas such as Bible, science, and social studies.


Fifth grade use Math Expressions as their curriculum.  We are looking forward to the new strategies and techniques in using math in a practical way, and we feel the students will find multiple ways in developing mathematical answers.


Science in fifth grade includes students developing a model to describe ways that the geosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere interact. They describe and graph data to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.  Students explore how plants and animals get their food for survival. Lastly, they develop an understanding that the number of particles and weight of matter does not change regardless of the changes it goes through.

Social Studies

We begin fifth grade social studies with a study of the states.  We study each region’s characteristics and learn states and capitals.  This geography study lasts for the first quarter, and then we begin studying U.S. History for the remainder of the year.  Beginning with Native Americans, we learn how the United States developed and became a country.  Our study ends with the establishment of a Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Study Skills

Fifth grade students will work on organizational skills.  They will complete assignment sheets and maintain an organized notebook.  A research project will be used to enhance learning.


A  fifth grader is able to build on what has been taught in earlier years of art and is able to learn techniques and specifics to become quite skillful in art.  A fifth grader is able to treat materials with respect and to use materials knowledgeably.  Coordinating art projects with class studies helps students understand how art can be an interesting aspect of communication and learning.


Appreciation of literature is learned through listening to books from the various genres read aloud by the librarian.  The students learn to decipher information given on card catalog cards in order to locate specific books.  Fifth graders learn to use the thesaurus, atlases, and indexes to find information in encyclopedias and almanacs.  They are aided in the choosing of books to be read for enjoyment. Students have their own numbers for checking out books.


In fifth grade music children learn that music is fun and is a gift from God. This gift will continue to be developed and discovered through tuneful, beatful, and artful activities. Tuneful activities focus on being able to think a tune and coordinate his/her voice to sing that tune. Beatful activities focus on feeling the pulse of the music and how it can be grouped into twos or threes. Artful activities give the student the opportunity to feel and be moved by the music. Students will continue to read pitch in duple/triple meter but will also begin to learn how to read songs/patterns consisting of the quarter note followed by the eighth note (skipping and galloping patterns).

Physical Education

In fifth grade physical education we develop the sports skills and learn the rules of soccer, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, tumbling, and softball.  We learn skills, rules, positions, and strategies in each of these sports.  It is also important for us to use these sports to develop good sportsmanship.  We have fitness testing in the spring.  We learn that our Christianity makes a difference in how we participate in sports.


One of the goal for fifth grade Spanish is for students to use their Spanish language skills to glorify God.  Students will pray and sing several praise and worship songs. Skits and role playing along with vocabulary words, projects, and books will be used to continue to their practice of the Spanish language.  For more information, please refer to the HCS Spanish webpage.


Following an instrument introduction at the beginning of fifth grade, students have the opportunity to try any and all of the instruments that they might be interested in playing. The focus of band in fifth grade is to introduce the students to the basics of playing an instrument – how to hold, assemble, and play their chosen instrument. Students develop individual performing skills on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Students typically perform a winter and spring concert. Fifth grade Band meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the school day.


The focus of orchestra in fifth grade is to introduce the students to the basics of playing an instrument – how to hold, assemble, and play their chosen instrument.  In fifth grade all students experience a field trip which provides an opportunity to hear a live orchestra concert performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra.  The fifth grade orchestra has several opportunities to perform for parents and groups of students throughout the year.  Fifth grade Orchestra meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the school day.

Daily Schedule


8:00-8:50 Specials

8:50-9:45 Math

9:45-10:10 Recess

10:10-12:10 Devotions, Bible, Language Arts

12:00-12:40 Recess / Lunch

12:50-2:40 Geography/History, Science

Band/Orchestra on MWF (1:55-2:40)           Singing (Th 1:50)

Grace Walk

In fifth grade, we have created an interactive Easter experience.  On the week of Good Friday, each fifth grader goes individually to four rooms. There  they are directed to think about the suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. They do activities such as washing their hands, lifting heavy chain, and nailing into a cross. In the final room, they are directed to reflect  as they write in a journal. This is one of the most powerful experiences in fifth grade.

Devo Challenge

The habit of personal devotions is encouraged at HCS by the 5th grade Devo Challenge. Each student is encouraged to have personal devotions for 33 days, without missing a day. Hopefully that will make it a habit, which will last a lifetime. Some high school seniors have reported that they haven’t missed a day since fifth grade.