Elementary School (First Through Fifth Grade)
Starting in first grade, our students delve into the world of reading, writing, and mathematics on a daily basis. They also begin more formal explorations of science, history, geography, and social studies. In every grade, the children engage in weekly classes of poetry, drama, gym, and art, continue language classes in Spanish, and have music class several times a week.
The daily use of stories, books read by the classroom teacher at snack time, novels read at lunch, and an afternoon period of quiet independent reading -- brings classical and modern literature, myths, historical fiction, biographies and autobiographies to the students. Reading and hearing stories expand the children’s appreciation for the written and spoken word and spark conversations on topics across the subject areas.
Regular classroom discussions
and independent research projects allow students to explore their own interests and share their studies with one another. Collaborative activities in all subjects help students develop their ability to work together, listen to each other, and give and incorporate feedback as group work unfolds.
Teachers dedicate specific times each day for different topics of study, and the classroom routine includes moments of individual work, group explorations, and teacher-led lessons. Students have a job chart with rotating roles within the classroom that encourages a sense of responsibility and an awareness of the importance of each child’s participation in the life of the classroom community.
Recess is an integral part of our day.
Students enjoy a morning recess and a half hour midday recess, as well as spontaneous outdoor activities and lessons throughout the year. The social learning that occurs at moments of structured and unstructured play is essential to children of all ages. Blue Rock students benefit from wooded, hilly areas that are ideally suited for imaginative games, fort building, and tree climbing, as well as flat, open play areas were dynamic ball and running games take place.
Field trips provide students with opportunities to visit local museums, libraries, forests, and cultural events that connect their learning with experiences off-campus and further their investigations at school.
At the culmination of particular projects,
students often invite the other grades and parents to an event dedicated to share their work. The preparations and presentations help them develop confidence in speaking about and presenting their new-found knowledge to both those who are younger and older than them. Having visitors of various ages requires the students to truly master their topic or approach, so they can adjust and respond to questions in an age appropriate manner. These school-wide presentation experiences allow for a sense of pride and accomplishment, which energizes the students to see learning as an exciting, interactive process and motivates them to make future efforts.