Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary- Red Fox Clan

  Red Fox Clan Curriculum Overview

Academic and creative excellence, ethical development, knowledge of self, the deepening of communication, community and the expansion of perspectives will be cultivated at the upper elementary level.  The Red Fox Clan consists of students in grades 4, 5 and 6..

jonThe curriculum has many components that are directed by student needs and interests (emergent curriculum). Learning will take place in countless ways, including project work, thematic units, individual and cooperative learning, self-directed learning and the teachings life brings us each day. Red Foxes will have opportunities to work with the community and spend many Thursdays outdoors, interacting with and building awareness of the beautiful woods surrounding our school. Throughout the year students will be offered various techniques and practices to build awareness, concentration, deepen their understanding of conditions that block and conditions that bring forth connection and compassion.

Conscious Learning Skills: Conscious learning skills are an essential part of the safe and caring environment at Mountain Road School.  Developing these behaviors and habits largely influence our joy and academic success.  These skills include learning to work independently on projects and assignments (Self-Direction), working together with others for a common purpose (Collaboration), making oneself understood and understanding others (Communication), moving toward goals with clarity, creativity and critical consideration (Seek and Apply Knowledge), and deepening one’s willingness to gain a new level of understanding (Moving Toward and Through Challenges).  The Red Fox Clan, along with the other clans, will study and strive to implement teachings from Compassion Project, which includes the utilization of Nonviolent Communication to express our feelings and needs and relate to ourselves and each other with more presence and compassion, and investigation of the power of the word, and finally developing one’s relationships with conditions that block and qualities that bring forth compassion and connection.  Empowering students by providing tools and methods with which students can increase awareness of who they are and the world around them is among the main missions of Mountain Road School.

Social Studies: Topics of study this year include both World and United States history.  First year Red Foxes will be reading and completing assignments using the first volume of Susan Bauer’s The Story of the World, learning about the earliest nomads up to the last Roman empire.  Red Foxes will be reading volume two, in which topics range from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.  We will also study the history and civics of the United States.  While investigating the toime periods of pre-colonization, colonization, revolutions and the early 19th century, the Red Fox Clan will look at events through the lens of social justice, including the subjectivity of history, inequality, kcitizen rights, laws, social class, the use of fear, rebellion, and the many ways people are divided.  Students will look closely at how similar problems and issues play out in their lives, along with with seeking solutions to them.

Science:  Along with spending time with Devin Franklin at Flying Deer in the fall and spring, the branches of science that Red Foxes will investigate this year include water in the fall with Lauren, architecture in the winter, and finally food and nutrition in the spring.  We will spend time in the fall and spring creating a school garden, completing tasks like designing the garden, learning about the flora we wish to grow, building raised beds, fencing, and so on.  It is our intention to share our food with the families of the school, as well as make contributions to food pantries during the summer months.  Throughout all units student will conduct experiments, going through the scientific method and formally presenting their work.

Writing:  The Red Fox Clan will practice writing through countless means this year.  Students will engage in differentiated spelling, grammar and mechanics lessons.  We will work with the 6 Traits (idea development, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions) through mini-lessons while going through the writing process of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.  Red Fox Clanners will practice many genres of writing, including narrative, persuasive, technical, research, exploratory, poetic and reflective writing, as well as respond to literature and nonfiction texts.

Reading:  Like writing, students of the Red Fox Clan will read across many genres independently, as members of literature circles, while researching and when working in small groups.  Students will practice the skills of recording thoughts, creating questions, making connections, and answering higher level thinking questions.  Honing active listening and discussion skills are essential components of our work with literature in the Red Fox Clan.  Vocabulary will be built through both reading as well as our work with our spelling curriculum.

Mathematics:  Mountain Road School utilizes the Singapore Math U.S. Edition curriculum.  Singapore Math teaches concepts beginning with concrete, then pictorial and finally abstract.  It encourages an active thinking process, communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving.  The Red Fox Clan will be working with books 3A through to 5A. http://www.singaporemath.com/Scope_and_Sequence_s/120.htm

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