The LMS Upper Elementary Program is for students ages 9-12 years old. Our fourth graders (Lowers), fifth graders (Middles) and sixth graders (Seniors) learn to leverage their strengths to meet their challenges. They learn about respecting differences, resisting peer pressure and being an “upstander”.
A typical day begins with teachers and students greeting each other on the LMS Upper Field for a morning warm-up. Students enter the classroom for a morning meeting to discuss plans and news of the day. The morning hours offer independent and collaborative work time, punctuated by small group lessons in math, geometry, grammar, geography, history, Spanish, life ed., art, music, farming or PE. The full group may gather late morning for a community meeting or split into literature circles. Upper Elementary takes 30 minutes for recess on the Upper Field and then 30 minutes for lunch. The afternoon pattern is much like the morning, ending with community jobs.
Every Thursday is a Half Day for LMS children with the exception of Middle School students who participate in Athletics. Click here to read about the Professional Development our Faculty and Staff complete on Thursday afternoons.
In addition to the school day hours, LMS offers Before And After School for Toddlers. Read more about the Before And After School program here.
In Upper Elementary, students see themselves in a universal context, and it urges them to seek their cosmic task. In addition to building self and environmental awareness, students engage in activities of diversity and inclusion. Students engage in service learning projects with Cradles to Crayons, and participate in monthly literature circle units on topics related to social justice, themes of inclusion and global awareness.
Liberty Within Limits
The Upper Elementary program provides liberty within limits. Students have much freedom in their academic work. They choose how and when and where they will complete their assignments, and they choose with whom they will do their work. Students routinely move about the LMS campus to accomplish caretaker jobs, including carrying messages and mail, farming, composting, and ordering and delivering pizza to the Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School classrooms. Upper Elementary students also host the high-profile traditional Upper Elementary events, like the Ice Cream Social fundraiser as well as the spring Science Expo.
Moments Of Glory
Students in Upper Elementary celebrate one another’s academic achievements and moments of glory, whether it be a fourth grader lighting a candle for the first time at morning meeting, a fifth grader presenting their first independent study at a community meeting, or a sixth grader receiving a certificate for completing the Montessori math sequence. These growing-up experiences blossom when the class travels away from home and school. When they conduct a tide pool study in Maine, visit with their congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., and tour the United Nations in New York City, students see themselves as part of the world rather than separate from it. Upper Elementary teachers endeavor to expose students to the real world in a developmentally appropriate way, and to empower them to act as agents of change as their spheres of influence expand.
Self-Directed Active Learning Methods
The Upper Elementary program provides plenty of spontaneous learning opportunities, where students make meaningful connections. Students become quite enthusiastic and curious during lessons, and often want to do more than what is expected. Students are encouraged to pursue independent studies individually or with a partner throughout the year. Teachers guide and coach students throughout the project and discuss how the information will be acquired, how the work will be organized and how the learning will be shared with the community. Seniors, sixth graders, complete a Senior Project, a year-long research project on a topic drawn from each student’s interest and desire to learn more.