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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.

Fifth Grade Math

To prepare students for algebra, they must have an understanding of fractional arithmetic, since simple equations can’t be solved without fractions. Because of this, whole-number arithmetic comes to a close in 5th grade, while multiplying and dividing fractions become a major focus.

Fifth Grade Math Skills:

  • Adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators (ie 2 1/4 -1 1/3) and solving similar word problems 
  • Multiplying fractions and dividing fractions in simple cases and solving related word problems
  • Generalizing the place-value system to include decimals and calculating with decimals to the hundredths place
  • Multiplying whole numbers quickly and accurately (1638x753) and dividing whole numbers in simple cases (ie 6971 ÷ 53)
  • Understanding the concept of volume, and solving word problems involving volume
  • Graphing points in the coordinate plane (two dimensions) to solve problems
  • Analyze mathematical patterns and relationships
  • Convert measurements within a given measurement system
  • Classify two-dimensional figures based on their properties

Fifth Grade Math Practices:

  • Make sense of problems and perceive in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Fifth Grade English/Language Arts

As fifth graders, students will read widely and deeply from a range of high-quality, increasingly challenging fiction and non-fiction from diverse cultures and time periods. Building knowledge about subjects through research projects and responding analytically will be important for students. By devoting time and effort to producing numerous written pieces over short and extended time frames, your student will also gain control over many conventions of grammar, usage, and punctuation. 
Specific Skills:
  • Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says and drawing inferences from the text
  • Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem using details in the text
  • Identify and judging evidence that supports particular ideas in an author’s argument to change a reader’s point of view
  • Integrate information from several print and digital sources to answer questions and solve problems
  • Determine the meaning of words/phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language like metaphors and similes
  • Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of a poem/story
  • Report on a topic or presenting an option with his/her own words, a logical sequence of ideas, sufficient facts/details, and formal English when appropriate
  • Describe how a narrator’s point of view influences how events are described
  • Build knowledge of academic words with an emphasis on those that signal a contract in ideas or logical relationships, such as “similarly” and “therefore”
  • Produce writing on a computer
  • Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (ie- mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics
  • Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings or events in a story or drama


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As fifth graders, students will take one or two tests: Access 2.0 or the Smarter Balanced Assessment. (The Smarter Balanced Assessment will replace the WKCE beginning with the 14-15 school year.) Specific information about the tests can be found below:

ExamGradeExam Info

Access 2.0
(one hour
to administer starting
15-16 school year)

(ELL students only)

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

Smarter Balance 
(7-8.5 hours to 
administer; exact times
(Administered during 
the last 12 weeks of 
the school year) 

• Assesses English/ language arts and math
• Computer adaptive
• Measures achievement & growth
• Includes variety of question types
• Aligned to CCSS

 * The Smarter Balance exam will take the same amount of time to administer as the WKCE. 

District Calendar

    • TueApr24 Lake Bluff Linkage 5:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr24 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay08 School Board Town Hall 5:45 PM to 6:45 PMSHS Library
    • TueMay08 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay22 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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