Our Upper Elementary classes continue to emphasize abstract thinking and independent learning. Students are challenged to explore increasingly complex and abstract concepts, including their roles, responsibilities, and functions within our society. Hands-on activities broaden in scope to include practical application outside the classroom; they weigh options, examine contradictory evidence, evaluate differing opinions, and make connections based on conceptual learning and personal experience. Students are provided resources to aid in global understanding of history, politics, environmentalism, race, and ethnicity. Through rigorous skill development, teachers enable opportunities for self-expression and exploration. Also emphasized is the cultivation of independence, cooperation, and self-discipline, competencies that allow students to concentrate, collaborate, think critically, and work productively within their learning environment and beyond. Students continue to nurture their relationship with the nature, and begin to seek engagement with specialized interests in the natural environment. Maria Montessori wrote that, “work on the land is an introduction both to nature and civilization, and gives a limitless field for scientific and historical studies.” We believe that studying the natural world, collecting and analyzing data, exploring stewardship, and engaging in problem-solving activities are essential practices for the developing adolescent. Experiential education and field learning are integral components of the Upper Elementary curriculum.
Spanish – Reading and writing activities become more complex, and students receive materials designed to improve fluency and conversational skills, comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary retention.
Writing – Students develop an understanding of the keys to composition, such as story, voice, grammar, syntax, sentence fluency, and the steps in the writing process. Learners explore linguistic and etymological study, including analogies, colloquialisms, figures of speech, and creative imagery.
Reading – Teachers often read aloud, allowing students to take organized notes and summarize what they have heard. Students also read aloud and share of ideas daily, promoting the development of communication and active listening skills. Provided with reading comprehension passages, students practice advanced dictionary use.
Cultural Studies – As they explore physical geography, students learn to perform traditional techniques, such as interpreting maps and navigating with a compass. They adopt a global perspective as they examine worldwide production, consumption, and trade of various resources and goods. Students then apply their multicultural knowledge, participating in the National Geographic Bee from 4th to 6th grade.
Practical Life Curriculum:
STEAM Program – Integrative, cross-curricular instruction with focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Science – Curriculum includes physical sciences, such as astronomy, earth science, chemistry, and physics. Students also enter the realm of life sciences, studying taxonomy, zoology, botany, human biology, and the basic tools of science.
Art – We use art to examine expression, deciphering the meaning behind an artist’s work. Encouraged to question and research, students share thoughts and findings about influential artists, works, and movements. Through critical discussion with their peers, students think independently, form unique opinions, and appropriately articulate these ideas to others.
Mathematics – Curriculum focuses on further exploration of familiar mathematical concepts, including the decimal system, multiples and factors, geometry, fractions, decimals, percentages, money, ratios and probability, powers and roots of numbers, measurements, statistics, pre-algebra, and order of operations.
Physical Education – Students demonstrate more advanced skills and movement proficiency, allowing participation in competitive sports such as baseball, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and hockey. These activities support physical fitness, invite students to practice teamwork, and form the skills necessary to maintain an healthy lifestyle.