The first class all 1st-5th graders go to each day is Group Time, from 8:30-9:00. This is similar to a homeroom and serves a variety of functions. Meeting with their grade-level peers (4th graders with 4th graders and 5th graders with 5th graders) gives students time to share information about themselves and time to listen and get to know each other. This can also be a time to learn about developmentally appropriate topics, such as body safety, social conflicts and how to solve them, what’s going well for them and what are they worried or struggling with, are a few examples. This is also a wonderful time to work on cooperation, problem solving and team building.
Recently, the 4th and 5th graders were presented with a challenge called “Ants on a Log.” Standing on a balance beam in two groups, each group facing the mid-point of the beam, students must arrange for each group to switch places on the beam without allowing anyone to step down to the ground. For many students, simply staying on the balance beam takes concentration and body control. Trying to move over/under/around another person while staying on top of the beam? This is a huge challenge; it required problem solving, patience, empathy for those less able to maintain their balance, perseverance, and enthusiasm to keep their group encouraged and on task. It took two group times to accomplish the goal, but they did it and they were excited and proud of their success.
4th/5th Grade: Math; Handwriting/Keyboarding; 4th/5th Grade: Group Time