Fifth Grade

The Sacred Heart fifth graders begin to practice their critical thinking skills by wading into the complexities of each subject. Through rich dialogue, analysis, and activities, students dig deeper into mathematical patterns, engaging storytelling, interconnected etymology, and modern-day ethics. In this way, fifth graders synthesize the skills and concepts they have learned in previous years while preparing for the demands of middle school. 

There are two fifth grade homeroom classes. In addition to the two homeroom teachers, the fifth grade has two, full time, dedicated instructional aides.

Fifth graders can choose to participate in our Bring Your Own Device program. This is a 1;1 device program in which students are each required to purchase a Microsoft Surface device which they will use during their years at Sacred Heart School. All middle school students participate in this program, which is optional for fifth grade students in 2019-2020, and will be required for fifth grade students in 2020-2021.

Fifth Grade Team

Ms. Caitlin Elsner

Ms. Caitlin Elsner

5th Grade Teacher (5A)
Mrs. Ann Marie Huisentruit

Mrs. Ann Marie Huisentruit

5th Grade Teacher (5B)
Ms. Claudia Jorissen

Ms. Claudia Jorissen

3rd-5th Math Specialist
Mr. Joe Daly

Mr. Joe Daly

5th Grade Aide, Tech Support
Mrs. Angie Jones

Mrs. Angie Jones

5th Grade Aide



Focus: Leveled Book Clubs, Christmas around the world, research with non-fiction texts, two novel studies, monthly creative book reports (January – May) 

Textbook: Lucy Calkins workshop curriculum 

Reading Specialist 

  • Works with small groups of students who need extra support for two 30-minute sessions each week 
  • Reinforces decoding strategies, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills taught in class with instructional level text  
  • Uses a guided reading model 
  • Assesses progress and monitors students instructional reading level three times per year using Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System; communicate growth & goals to parents 

Textbooks: Reinforce Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Reading curriculum 

Novels: Use a variety of novels based on students’ Fountas & Pinnell instructional reading level. For example, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Language Arts


Focus: Narrative story, opinion essay, letter to an author, two research reports, and weekly paragraphs. Students are taught color writing using the Step Up to Writing program.

Textbook: Step Up to Writing curriculum 


Focus: Whole numbers (multiplication & division), order of operations, operations with fractions and mixed numbers, area, ratios, multiplying and dividing decimals, percent 

Textbook: Math in Focus (Singapore Math) 


Focus: Engineering, matter, food webs and ecosystems, patterns with the earth, sun, and moon, systems on Earth (atmosphere, geosphere, water cycle, etc.), and human interactions with Earth. 

Textbook: HMH Science Dimensions

Social Studies

Focus: American History – divided into chronological units throughout the year. Age of Exploration (early explorers of America), Native Americans, Regions of America, Colonial America, and the Revolutionary War  

Textbook: Why America is Free (for colonial units), supplemental materials 

Religion & Service

Focus: A thorough study of the articles of the Creed as the basic belief of our Catholic faith, with a special emphasis on careful understanding of definitions through the words of the Gospels,  the prophets, and the prayers of the Church. 

Textbook: Credo: I Believe 


Fifth Grade students serve on Safety Patrol and Flag Duty

Specialist Classes

  • Spanish: 60 min with the Spanish Teacher in the classroom
  • Music: 60 min with the Music Teacher in the Music Room
  • Art: 60 min with the Art Teacher in the Art Room
  • Technology: 60 min 
  • Executive Skills: 30 min 
  • PE: 60 min with the PE Teacher in the Gym


  • State Report (Science) + Biome in a Box 

  • State Report (Social Studies) 

  • Field Trip: local science and social studies at the beach