5th Grade


In 5th grade, students not only focus on our specific curriculum, we also help them get ready for middle school with a lot of opportunities to practice their organization and independence.

In math (Math in Focus), students learn new skills such as fractions, decimals, percentages, and measurement; while still practicing skills from previous grades like multiplication and division.

In our CKLA curriculum (Core Knowledge Language Arts), students learn to read informative text through the topics of Ancient Civilizations, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Native Americans. Students read rich literature such as Don Quixote and Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as several other fictional novels.

Through social studies, students learn about geography throughout the world, especially the United States; the history of rulers and explorers in Europe, as well as the time before and during the Civil War.

In science, students also learn about Earth’s systems, space systems, properties of matter, ecosystems, and the engineering process. Students also conduct their own science project to present during our annual Science Fair.

Writing skills are practiced throughout all subjects. 5th grade is a busy place!

Fifth Grade Camp Video

5th Grade Teachers:

Rachel Kazmier
Hello Mustangs! My name is Rachel Kazmier and I am thrilled to be a Mustang. I’ve been teaching since 1999. I have taught both fourth and fifth grades throughout my past 20+ years! I have a husband, Mark and son Jack (2023 MSHS grad). We also have 2 fluffy kiddos, a 95 pound sheepdog and an awnry cat. I implement the wonderful Responsive Classroom curriculum in my class. We will form a trusting and nurturing environment that benefits everyone who steps foot in our room. I love to teach with enthusiasm and inspire “my kiddos'' to take risks in their learning. Fifth grade is a key year where preparing students for success in middle school is key! Building on the skills learned from prior years, we go deeper into many curricular subjects while learning new things too! We work on building independent skills needed for the future! Differentiated education is key in our classroom so that every student gets what they need to ensure success!

Megan Hunsdale
My story began in Johannesburg, South Africa where I was born and raised, and has landed me in beautiful El Paso County, Colorado. En route I have seen a fair bit of our wonderful planet. I’ve also gained professional experience teaching children, teens and adults of various nationalities in four different countries. Teaching is a remarkable, enriching journey in itself, no matter what.

I recently said goodbye to amazing colleagues and students at an elementary school in The Woodlands, Texas. Thankfully, regret turned to pure excitement when I was offered a position here at Manitou Springs Elementary as a 5th grade teacher. I am thrilled at the thought of furthering my life experience alongside my students, as I help them achieve their potential.

My immediate family includes my husband Rob, and our 3 adult sons. We each love Colorado and all the side benefits of living in the foothills of the epic Rockies! We’ve been visiting here for a number of years, and I feel my legs and lungs are ready for a permanent change in altitude.

Andrew Norkoli
Hello! I am Drew Norkoli and will be teaching 5th grade at MSES in the 2024-2025 school year. Originally, I am from Michigan, but moved to Colorado Springs at a young age. I grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from Coronado High School.

After graduating from CSU, I went into the golf course business. A few years later, I then went to Western State to get my teaching credentials. In 2017, I received my Master's Degree in Instructional Design and Technology. This will be my 15th year teaching at the elementary level.

A regular professional goal for myself is to continually challenge my students to reach their academic goals each year. In my personal life, my goal is to qualify for the 2025 Disc Golf World Championships. If I qualify, this will be my 3rd time qualifying. After school and on weekends, I love to play disc golf, ride my mountain bike, go camping and hang out with my dog Luna.

I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to work at Manitou Elementary School! It is exciting to work for a school and school district that focuses so much on their community connection. I genuinely appreciate the district's focus on dynamic, divergent, critical and global thinking. The people within the community have already been incredibly warm and welcoming. I look forward to becoming a part of this amazing community!