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Voyagers’ curriculum continues to interweave and integrate subject matter. Children in these grades rely on their reading, writing and analytic skills to apply and construct a deeper understanding across all subject areas. They continue to use symbolic languages to communicate their theories, feelings, and understandings. These children develop a sense of independence, and the confidence to solve problems and perhaps even take risks. They begin to show a capacity for self-evaluation. In this classroom, reciprocal relationships exist among people, ideas, and the natural and built world. There is a merging of content and skills across all academic and intellectual disciplines.
Qualified teachers ensure these children are offered the broadest experiences with a curriculum that focuses on learning about the past, present, and future through students’ interests.
These children understand what it takes to be a good reader. They are increasingly able to see a story unfold and predict events and moments. They often discuss books and ask questions about what they’re reading. They summarize and use graphs to organize their thoughts about the books they read. As their reading skills evolve, they use root words, context clues, and word endings to figure out new words. They are increasingly independent during reading and writing.
Teachers introduce many literary genres and a variety of print forms, such as myths and legends, fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, and journalism in books magazines, web sites, blogs, and newspapers. Students relate characters and other story elements to their own lives and empathize with the characters most like them. They gather information and increasingly sort daft from fiction.
During writing, these students learn organizational methods that help them prepare for more complex writing assignments. They learn to plan their work. They write reports, creative fiction, and personal narratives. They explore primary sources to gather information on a topic and organize this information, creating maps, webs, and Venn diagrams. They synthesize their findings into paragraphs, essays, projects, and presentations. They each develop a unique writing style and attain skills to help them edit their work and take more responsibility for the writing process, including revising, editing, and proofreading.
Math becomes much more challenging during these grades. Students work with larger whole numbers, and fractions and decimal numbers. They solve and explain addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems and problems about factors and multipliers. They work with remainders while dividing and make connections between decimals, fractions, and percentages. They learn to multiply and divide fractions. They do more math work on paper and in their heads, while still using physical manipulatives when called for.
Our outdoor school students solve complex problems with complex numbers.
Science investigations become much more detailed in this class. They explore increasingly complex natural systems, such as relationships between the sun, Earth, and moon, weather concepts, and living systems like the food chain. They learn about landmasses and bodies of water, and how to identify them on a globe or map. They begin to investigate and classify different states of matter, such as solids, liquids, and gases, and observe the behavior of sound and light. They understand the solar system, weather, photosynthesis, digestion, and the Earth’s resources, and how people use and affect those resources. They might experiment with simple chemical reactions.
These students are frequently asked to make smart guesses before observing and experimenting to gather data and draw informed conclusions. In time, they apply the complex math and science skills they have acquired to their observations.
They become accomplished scientists.
In Global Studies, which frequently goes hand in hand with Science, children develop a multifaceted understanding of history. They continue their studies in geography and are introduced to archeology, sociology, philosophy, economics, religion, politics. They come to understand what people believed and how they conducted their lives.
Investigations into these areas are skillfully guided by the teachers based on the interests of the children themselves, which is made evident through their questions and deep dive into research. The process of learning from firsthand experiences remains at the heart of the Middle Program. For example, to culminate a study students might take a trip to a historical site or museum, talk to a person with a firsthand account, or work with a historian.
|Physical Education||Sign Language|
|Technology||Tinkering in our STEAM Lab|