Fostering curiosity, innovation, and authentic experiences in the classroom leads to the development of well-rounded and confident individuals. Students in fourth and fifth grades use skills acquired in Early Years to analyze a broader range of information and ideas on deeper levels. Working both as individuals and in cooperative groupings, students express their learning through presentations, written work, and creative projects.
The Elementary Years for a student at High Meadows School are spent in a multi-age classroom with a two-year curriculum. Our student-centered classrooms have two lead teachers facilitating learning, modeling citizenry, and nurturing social emotional development. Classroom community is fostered through class meetings and students sharing in decision making. Key academic development is supported by proven techniques and approaches including the “Contexts for Learning Mathematics” series by Catherine Fosnot and colleagues, and the “Writer’s Workshop” by Lucy Caulkins.
Continuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) as our curricular framework, fourth and fifth grade students further develop as global citizens through exposure to issues that cross geographic boundaries and subject areas. They become more responsible for their own learning, which includes developing their own unit of inquiry for Exhibition. A culmination of the Primary Years Programme, Exhibition gives fifth graders the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired through their earlier years to a practical problem or issue. By investigating solutions and presenting their findings to the entire High Meadows community, students demonstrate the attributes of the learner profile and provide authentic assessment of understanding and development.
As students grow in maturity and ability, they also become more responsible for goal-setting and self-evaluations, as well as designing and maintaining a collaborative classroom culture.
Connections classes balance out learning for Fourth and Fifth grade students by offering opportunities to discover passions and extend understanding related to units of inquiry. They include visual arts, theatre arts, music, library, instructional technology, Spanish, physical education, environmental education, and animal care. All fifth graders select an instrument to play in our Fifth Grade Band.