Spring 2015 (5th)

Great Fun Children’s School
Spring 2015 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. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams, The magic of reality by Richard Dawkins, Ghoulish song by William Alexander, Scumble by Ingrid Law, Josephine: the dazzling life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, Sing a song of tuna fish: hard-to-swallow stories from fifth grade by Esmé Raji Codell, Almost astronauts: 13 women who dared to dream by Tanya Lee Stone, The fabulous flying machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith, The madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis, Water Street by Patricia Reilly Giff, The story of classical music by Darryl Henley, Just so stories by Rudyard Kipling, The extraordinary education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart, Banker to the poor : micro-lending and the battle against world poverty by Muhammad Yunus, Mockingbird: [mok’ing-bûrd] by Kathryn Erskine, A black hole is not a hole, by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano; On a beam of light: a story of Albert Einstein, by Jennifer Berne; Rascal, by Sterling North; Lincoln, by Russell Freedman; Behold the beautiful dung beetle, by Cheryl Bardoe; Crunch, by Leslie Connor; Out of my mind, by Sharon M. Draper; The London eye mystery, by Siobhan Dowd; The lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine; A thousand never evers, by Shana Burg; Vive la Paris, by Esmé Raji Codell; Better Nate than ever, and Five, six, seven, Nate!, by Tim Federle; Miss Spitfire: reaching Helen Keller, by Sarah Miller; Tall story, by Candy Gourlay; When my name was Keoko, by Linda Sue Park; Sahara special by Esme Raji Codell,The scarecrow and his servant by Philip Pullman, The sword in the stone by T. H. White, and others.
  • Independent reading: The Artemis Fowl files by Eoin Colfer. DK Mushrooms by Thomas Laessoe. Magic Steps (The Circle Opens #1) by Tamora Pierce. The search for WondLa, by Tony DiTerlizzi. The Terror of the Southlands (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #2), by Caroline Carlson. The toothpaste millionaire, by Jean Merrill. The Everafter War (The Sisters Grimm, Book 7), by Michael Buckley. Manga.
  • 4th and 5th Grade Book Club, Berkeley Public Library, 1hr, 1x/mo. (One book per month.)  Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me, by Nan Marino.  Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville. The mapmaker and the ghost by Sarvenaz Tash. 
  • Legends of Druidawn online writing class with Miriam Darnell, 1.5 hrs every two weeks. Produced first nine chapters of a novel (~4,800 words)
  • Burning Cargo – typing tutor website. Completed c3, c4, c5 certificate.
  • Grammaropolis app.


  • Singapore Math: Discovering Mathematics Common Core, 7A (sections 7.1-8.2)
  • Khan Academy, sixth grade math, 75% complete
  • Berkeley Math Circle, Beginner level (=5th & 6th grade kids), 1x/wk. Zandra Vinegar!
  • Math Kangaroo Level 5, Bee Best Learning Center, Castro Valley. March 19, 2015. Score 72th percentile national.

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 10-19.
  • A History of US, Book Seven: 1865-1890 Reconstructing America and Book Eight: 1880-1917 An Age of Extremes,  by Joy Hakim (audiobooks)

Science & Engineering

  • Science Friday radio broadcasts, weekly.
  • Sausal Creek Restoration Project (4-H), 1x/mo
  • 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. Jan and Feb.
  • edX HarveyMuddX CS002x, “Programming in Scratch“, six week intro to computer science course w Prof. Colleen Lewis, 2 feb 2015 – 15 mar 2015.
  • Bay Area Maker Faire, 6 hours volunteer staff and 8 hours making, May 15-16, 2015, San Mateo, CA.

World Languages

  • DuoLingo Spanish, levels 1-9


  • Free doodling, misc crafts (at church, etc). Nature Journaling classes with John Muir Laws, 1x/mo. Origami class with Margo Wecksler, 1x/mo, and Bay Area Rapid Folders, 1x/mo
  • Bay Area Maker Faire, one day as Maker Traveller volunteer staff and one day as attendee, San Mateo, May 15-16 2015.

Values, Religion, & Character

Phys Ed

  • Basketball with coach Rick Slettedahl, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk
  • Aerial Arts (trapeze, silks) with teacher Shaley Borgen, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk
  • Gymnastics with coach Matt Schwey, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk
  • Destiny Arts Center modern dance 2x/wk with Ms. Chelsea Elisabeth.


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.  Gifted Homeschoolers Together (weekly), Girl Scouts (1x/mo).