A Week Inside Inly Upper Elementary

“Character formation cannot be taught. It comes from experience and not from explanation.” —Dr. Maria Montessori

After a bit of cabin fever brought on by rain last Friday, the caretakers of the rain garden at Scituate High School were excited to be outside again. First stop was Kennedy’s Country Garden to pick up the donated plants. While rain last week had prevented the students from getting their hands dirty, they worked hard to honor the donation from Kennedy’s with a 3-D Thank You card. The students presented the card to the staff on Friday, who were genuinely touched.

Finally, armed with winterberry, aster, and other local perennials, we were off to plant! The students quickly made up for last week’s clean hands, grabbing shovels and trowels and digging holes. (This activity likely took on particular significance for our 6th grade participants who are reading Louis Sachar’s Holes for their first Lit book. Although, I certainly hope our conditions are better than those at Camp Green Lake!) When all was said and done, our Inly students had thoroughly revitalized the rain garden at Scituate High School.

Samantha Woods, executive director of our partner organization, the North and South River Watershed Association, was grateful for the students’ efforts. The rain garden is vital to the health of the surrounding area. In the students’ own words, “Along with the sand and gravel below the plants, these plants will help filter out pollutants from the rainwater that runs off the road and into the marsh.” For their part, the students were glad to have been of service.

Click here for more photos!

In other news…

It was another busy and productive week in Upper Elementary. Students handed in their final drafts of paragraphs that will soon populate one giant, cohesive Timeline of Life. We are looking forward to presentations next week!

In science, we explored the relationship of the Earth, sun, and moon and how their positions impact what we see in the sky. When skies are clear, I encourage you to look up with your student and see what you see! Why are only certain parts of the moon illuminated at different times? How does this happen? How does it change?

For writing, students will construct a five-paragraph essay. If this sounds like a lot, it is. Our goal is for students to write as much and as often as possible. Luckily, for this assignment, students have the hamburger helper graphic organizer. In addition, we tried a fun activity during journaling time where students responded to a prompt with corresponding picture and sound.

As for our mathematicians, they continue to engage in important discussions of mathematical concepts such as angles, fractions, and long division.

In Lit, we are winding down our first book, which is hard to believe! Some groups have begun to watch the corresponding movies and discuss the differences and similarities. The 6th graders reading Holes have each selected a final project. Shelley and I are looking forward to hearing about their progress on Monday.

The week ended on a high note with a level-wide Adele sing-along. Click here for videographic evidence!

Until next time,
Amanda, Monica, Tara, Ned, and Joanne

[This is an excerpt from the weekly portal updates that the Upper Elementary (grades 4-6) teachers post for Inly parents.]

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