Upper Elementary Learning From Home

Upper Elementary (Grades 4 to 6) Learning from Home

For students in grades 4 to 6 (age 9 to 12), our learning-from-home goal is to help them engage in work that builds from their interests while also learning  in specific subject areas (language, math, science, social studies and the arts, in particular). Examples may include projects, journals, creative writing, geometry constructions, and practical life at home.

Here are our learning-from-home guidelines and expectations for children in grades 4 to 6.

Students are expected to:

  • Plan and organize work as independently as possible.
  • Follow teachers’ guidelines and academic expectations.
  • Be your own advocate when assistance or further clarification is required.

Parents are invited to:

  • Guide your child to set up a prepared environment at home.
  • Establish a consistent routine and work schedule.
  • Follow along with the teacher’s suggested activities to maintain skills and concepts.
  • Meet and review your child’s assignments; provide opportunities at home for work presentations.

Notes to parents about student needs and characteristics: 

  • Respect the stage of development—some students may still be at a “concrete level” and require the Montessori materials to complete certain tasks. Avoid teaching shortcuts for subjects such as Mathematics.
  • Allow opportunities for Upper Elementary students to build from their interests. Examples may include projects, journals, creative writing, geometry constructions, Practical Life at home.
  • Upper Elementary students are extremely social. At this time, not being able to be directly with their friends can feel challenging. We strongly encourage parent monitoring of texts, emails, and group chats to ensure that the students are using grace and courtesy towards themselves and others.

To guide home learning, Upper Elementary teachers prepare a variety of appropriate tasks and activities for children to complete at home in order to maintain and move their learning forward.

Sunny Hollow's Upper Elementary Online

Our Upper Elementary students have been busy learning by participating in interactive lessons, checking out online resources, and choosing their own follow-on work.

Upper Elementary Communications from Guides

Our Upper Elementary staff connects their children to lessons and learning through letters and video lessons posted to Google Classroom. 

Here are some sample letters that include video links:

March 27 Letter

May 4 Letter

Connection and Support

Upper Elementary guides meet individually with each student weekly, or more often if needed. Students go over their current work plan and their follow-on work from lessons. Guides see how students are doing, answer questions, and give support. The individual weekly meetings are a part of the Upper Elementary school structure, whether on-site or off-site, and help students learn planning and reflection skills as well as accountability for their deadlines and quality of work. 
 
Each Upper Elementary classroom community has daily morning meetings for check-ins and connections. Afternoons, guides do video read-alouds of books (following the structure of our on-site learning). Guides also meet with some students for math practice or other support.

 

Interactive Lessons & Daily Expectations
Upper Elementary guides give regular lessons to students in all subject areas. They invite small groups of students based on interest and skill levels.
 
Every school day, students have expectations to meet. Example expectations: 
1. Daily math practice for at least half an hour.
2. Daily reading for at least half an hour.
3. Daily writing for at least half an hour.
4. Choose 2-3 ideas from Google classroom to dig into. These can be part of the math, reading, and writing work. At least one of them should be collaborative.
5. Birthday letters to friends who are having class video celebrations this week.
6. Get outside as much as you can.

Sciences

Students have continued their science learning while at home. As with learning at school, they get a short lesson on a scientific idea or principle, then they choose follow-on work to explore the idea in depth. Example follow-on work might be doing a report, conducting an experiment, creating a diorama, writing and performing a play. 

Example interactive lessons:

  • The water cycle
  • Energy flow within an ecosystem
  • Food webs and ecological niches
  • Photosynthesis & cellular respiration

Students have also been encouraged to explore online resources related to their science learning. Examples:

Language & Literature

During the school-year, all students are part of various book clubs that meet weekly over lunch. While learning from home, students are still engaged in their book clubs but meet over video. They get to share their reading passions, learn to analyze and discuss literature, and stay connected with each other. 

Other language learning has included:

 

History

This spring, Upper Elementary students have been studying the American Civil War. Through interactive lessons, online resources, and follow-on work, they’ve been doing a deep dive into this important era in U.S. history.

Example interactive lessons:

  • 1860 election results
  • Who’s who in the Civil War
  • African American Soldiers in the Civil War
  • Emancipation Proclamation

Example online resources:

  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett story. Long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, Ida Wells was a leading feminist and equal rights activist.
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was the first African American woman to publish a short story and a leading abolitionist.
  • This article explores the connection between experiences with racism and how those affect the individuals involved. While we we all may not experience racism, we all play a role in either fighting it or allowing it to continue.

Mathematics

Students are strengthening their math skills and learning new concepts in a variety of ways:

  • Interactive small-group video lessons with their guide
  • Follow-on work that they choose after a lesson
  • Daily math practice using materials provided by their guide or through Kahn Academy
  • Collaborating with classmates on math projects

Example lessons:

  • Balancing equations
  • Multiplying fractions and reducing on the diagonal
  • Commutative, associative, and distributive laws of  numbers
  • Introduction to coordinate frames
  • Financial literacy (principal, simple interest, rate, and time)
  • Graph making (bar graphs, line graphs, pictographs, scatterplots)

All video lessons are recorded so students can watch again, or students who missed the lesson can view them later. We are not including links to these lessons here to protect student privacy.

In addition, guides give students online resources to inspire their math learning and projects:

The Arts: Music, Fine Arts, Drama

Students have been engaged in a variety of art lessons and projects. 
 
Example lessons:

Students are also exploring music in a variety of ways:

Physical Education/Movement

In addition to encouraging students to play outside as much as they can, guides send weekly Physical Education workouts to encourage movement, fun, and learning.

Examples:

  • Here is a fun way to play Lightning or Thunder (here called Knockout) in your house by yourself or with your family. When you feel like you’ve trained enough, challenge a classmate. 
  • Here are three quick PE workouts you can do in your house: Warmup, Hermit Workout, and Can’t-Touch-This Workout.

Upper Elementary At Home Schedule

Here’s a general structure of  the day that parents might find helpful. 

Early Morning

Make breakfast and clean up.

Complete chores (i.e. pet care, care of self, make bed, laundry, etc.)

Mid-Morning

Uninterrupted work cycle. Students should engage in activities to practice skills for math, language, geometry, and geography. Teachers will send specific instruction. Make sure to make time for snack and movement!

Lunch & Outdoor Time

Make lunch and clean up. Take a break outside!

Afternoon

Afternoon uninterrupted work cycle. Children should engage in activities for biology, art, music and research. Make time for at least 30 minutes of silent reading.

 

More Information About Our On-Site Program

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