5th grade marks a transition from the Lower School to the Upper school. Up to and including 4th grade, the students are mostly in a self contained classroom, with science as a special either once or twice a week depending on what grade they are in. When they start 5th grade, science is considered one of the core subjects along with English, History, Math, and French.
In 5th grade, the students have a homeroom as their base, but change classes every period. They do not travel with their homerooms, but rather in groups. From the two homerooms, they split into three groups that travel together for English, History, and Science. The groups are mixed again for Math, French, and their other classes.
We have a 6 day cycle with the 5 major classes having a drop day. So I meet each group 5 times a cycle with each group having a different drop day. So some days I see all 3 classes, and some days I only see 2 out of the 3. At first, it was really hard to plan my weeks and keep all three classes on track, but it got easier as the year went on. You can see my planbook to give you an idea of how I did that: http://www.middleschoolscience.com/myplanbook.htm
The students have a really full schedule Along with their 5 core classes they have sports Mon-Thursday, study hall, tech class, woodshop, art, music, chorus, bookies, advisory, club activities, Friday afternoon activity class, writing workshop, lunch, snack, recess, assemblies, and I am sure I missed one or two others!