LATER ELEMENTARY 4/5
Our 4/5 team follows State and National Common Core (Math/ELA), Social Studies (NCSS) and Science (NGSS) standards to create integrated, project-based thematic units.
Our team consists of a dedicated and enthusiastic group of master teachers covering the four content areas of: English/Language Arts, Science, Math, and Social Studies. 4/5 teachers meet with each group of students for four to five- one hour lessons in each content area per week. This framework allows us to meet the expectations of our curriculum scope and sequence, and to cater to students’ needs.
Math groups are created by assessing students early and often in order to close any gaps that exist in students' understanding, and/or help them reach the next level of skills. These groupings are flexible and may change at any time throughout the year.
In 4/5 we believe that learning potential can only be reached when students feel physically and emotionally safe and respected. This means that, in addition to academic skills, a great deal effort is spent on character development and maintaining a family-like atmosphere. We practice our mastery of our four ‘core values’: Being Honest, Caring, Respectful and Responsible as they are the foundation of our work. We focus on developmentally appropriate teaching/learning practices for our grade level/ age. We know that a lot of academic and physical growth happen in our later elementary years, and that kids tend to mature quickly throughout these two years, and we are also aware that there is a great need for socializing, movement and play. Specific lessons are incorporated through team-building games and choice time. Furthermore, we focus our lessons based on the socio-cultural aspects that might have influenced a kid. We want them to see the “connection to self” in all of our lessons. We do this not to simply span/cover material but to practice inquiry- teaching and learning skills by posing essential questions, enabling students to engage in critical inquiry and research while examining concepts across the academic areas of study. We find that as students work on these skills, they are able to apply problem solving strategies to many areas of study, resulting in higher achievement and performance on academic tasks and assessments.
We use multiple measures to assess student progress throughout the school year: running records, one-on-one and verbal/conversation assessments for understanding, paper/pencil, homework, rubrics, learning targets, etc. Most importantly, students are asked in each class, each day, to self-assess their understanding and take ownership of their learning.