Fall 2014 (5th)

Great Fun Children’s School
Fall 2014 Curriculum
Fifth Grade / age 10

Mission: Cultivate academic skills, multicultural awareness, and a joyful resilience, nurturing connections in a community of increasing love and complexity.


  • Books-on-tape (cd), daily. Artemis Fowl series, books 1-8, by Eoin Colfer; Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game, by Blue Balliet; Chomp by Carl Hiaasen; Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers Book 2) by Dave Barry; No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko; Dumpling Days by Grace Lin; Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm; When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead; Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen; The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron; Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary; The minister’s daughter, by Julie Hearn; The serpent’s shadow, by Rick Riordan; Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary; Mr. Popper’s penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater; Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll; The everafter war, by Michael Buckley; Ender’s game alive: the full-cast audioplay, by Orson Scott Card; Deep wizardry, by Diane Duane; Liar & spy, Rebecca Stead;
    The conch bearer, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; Bloomability, by Sharon Creech; Have fun, Anna Hibiscus! and others by Atinuke;  Writing magic: creating stories that fly, by Gail Carson Levine; and others. Civil War theme: The River Between Us by Richard Peck; The Boys’ War: Confederate and Union soldiers talk about the Civil War by Jim Murphy; Abraham Lincoln and the Heart of America by Jim Weiss; The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick; Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells
  • Independent reading: Pokemon Ultimate Handbook, by Cris Silvestri. Extra Credit by Andrew Clements. Magic and Other Misdemeanors, Tales from the Hood (The Sisters Grimm Book 5, 6) by Michael Buckley. Danger Goes Berserk (Brixton Brothers #4) by Mac Barnett. The Encyclopedia of Immaturity Vol I & II by Klutz Press Editors. Pathfinder by Angie Sage
  • 4th and 5th Grade Book Club, Berkeley Public Library, 1hr, 1x/mo. (One book per month.)  Riding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Frindle by Andrew Clements. Roberto & Me by Dan Gutman.
  • Legends of Druidawn online writing class with Miriam Darnell, 1.5 hrs every two weeks. November NaNoWriMo Young Writer: 100 words/day.
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 3, by Susan Wise Bauer. Lessons 1-42 (of 110).
  • Life of Fred Language Arts: book one (Australia)


  • Singapore Math: Discovering Mathematics Common Core, 7A (sections 5.4-7.1, linear equations, percentages)
  • Berkeley Math Circle, Beginner level (=5th & 6th grade kids), 1x/wk. Zandra Vinegar!

History & Geography

  • Story of the World, Volume IV: The Modern Age, by Susan Wise Bauer, supplemented by library books suggested in the companion Activity Book, and others. Chapters 1-9.
  • A History of US, Book Five: Liberty for All? 1820-1860; Book Six: War, Terrible War (1855-1865), by Joy Hakim (audiobooks)


  • Science Friday radio broadcasts. Life of Fred Chemistry.
  • Sausal Creek Restoration Project (4-H), 1x/mo

Computer Literacy

  • Weekly classes in MIT Scratch at The Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment (MADE). Also classes in Twine (interactive fiction game engine) and plus misc.
  • Burning Cargo – typing tutor website. Completed c2 certificate.

World Languages


Values, Religion, & Character

Phys Ed

  • Soccer, Albany Berkeley Soccer Club, Galaxy team, 3x/wk.
  • Basketball w coach Rick Slettedahl, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk
  • Aerial Arts (trapeze, silks) w teacher Shaley Borgen, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk
  • Gymnastics with coach Matt Schwey, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk


Friends! Attachment parenting. Classes and group activities, structured and unstructured, same-age and multi-age, cousins, groupmates and neighbors. ACHC housing cooperative, BFUU religious congregation.  BAGHS (3x/mo), Girl Scouts (1x/mo).