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Intermediate Grades 4-6

With grade four, our students transition into a homeroom and departmental program in the creative interactive environments on the first floor of the Fontbonne Building. Here the Montessori and Primary programs merge blending the strengths of both approaches. In grades four through six, all students experience large and small group teacher-led lessons along with further development of personal organizational skills and self-direction. Using weekly homework planners and folders along with subject-colored copy books carried in daily bags, children form habits to support study skills. Sixth graders use lockers for their personal, athletic, and academic belongings. Building on the personal student-teacher relationships from the JLM and Primary program, each fourth, fifth and sixth grader has an advisor who works with him or her to set personal goals, to foster positive student interaction, and to strengthen student- teacher-family relationships.

For their academics, our children experience new depth in all subjects as, for example, they read and write to learn (rather than learn to read), apply the scientific method in lab experiments, and begin to ponder moral choices in religion. Following a departmental schedule, fourth graders are grouped heterogeneously for all classes while fifth and sixth graders have homogeneous classes for mathematics. All learning environments bustle with energy; students are affirmed in their successes and challenged to reach new horizons. On any given day, observers can see sixth graders researching on-line for their bridge project in mathematics, fifth graders in teams of three creating presentations on the thirteen original colonies, and fourth graders discovering and categorizing the parts of real oysters.

The focus in enrichment classes matches this depth. Media studies include a library science seminar on research methods while technology strengthens keyboarding and teaches internet safety through the NetSmartz curriculum. Spanish studies expand for six graders in their twice a week class- a remote preparation of seventh grade where Spanish is a major subject.