- The elementary program offers multi-age classes for students in grades 1-4.
- Class size: 36 students with three teachers, as well as aides/parent aides.
- School hours: 8:30AM – 3:15PM with extended hours
New Morning School’s elementary classroom houses a multi-age program for students first through fourth grade. By design, students aged six through ten work together in one classroom. This age and ability range allows each student to find his or her niche in academic and social areas. The multi-age format fosters cooperative learning among students. Three certified teachers instruct 36 students in the class – providing a very favorable student to teacher ratio. Students receive the benefits of specialized staff in science, Spanish, music, art, and physical education.
Like all of our programs, elementary instruction is based on Piaget’s theories of learning as well as the most recent brain research.
Why Parents and Students Choose The Elementary Program
Vertical grouping is successful because of a low student-teacher ratio. Two full-time teachers are assisted by specials teachers in science, Spanish, art, music, computers and gym, resulting in a student: teacher ratio of less than 12:1.
Each day the children plan what they will accomplish. The children make choices from activities chosen at their individual goal-setting appointment with their teacher. Each child’s plan is approved by the teacher and must represent a balance of appropriate academic areas.The students’ days are a mixed of teacher-chosen and student-selected activities. Students are accountable for the choices they make each day. At an evaluation period, they share what they learned that day and have individual plans checked.
Informed by the work of Jean Piaget and the latest brain research, the elementary students are engaged in hands-on, minds-on learning. Students work alone and in cooperative learning groups. The curriculum is individualized to maximize each student’s potential.
A student’s learning style determines the best individualized reading approach. Every afternoon, each student reads independently, a practice that improves skills and fosters reading for pleasure. In addition, reading skill activities are completed individually, skill groups or Orton-Gillingham. Literature groups introduce students to many genres of writing. Writing skills are emphasized. Daily writing topics include both student-selected subjects and teacher-directed assignments. Students create journals, poems, short plays and stories.
Math at New Morning means manipulatives. Methods for concretely counting, adding, multiplying and dividing, and fractions are used hand in hand with a paper and pencil approach. Geometry, measurement, time and word problems round out the program.
Children learn to get along with peers and adults. Student responsibility to the group is part of the social science curriculum. Additionally, students receive instruction in geography, history, current events and map reading. The process of learning is emphasized along with the subject matter.
- Explorers of the 1400s
- Lewis and Clark
- The Oregon Trail
- The Underground Railroad
Computer skills are integrated into the daily classroom schedule. Children use the computers for skill reinforcement and as an information gathering tool. Beginning keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheet and multimedia skills are introduced.
Each winter, a student museum is developed with children choosing individual subjects of interest. Topics are researched and shared in creative displays and multi-media presentations. Skills are integrated as students read, write, graph, measure, draw and make models. These in-depth studies and displays are shared with families and the community on Museum day.
Field trips augment units of classroom study. Recent trips have included outings to the Marquis Theater, Lansing Hands-On Museum, Belle Isle Aquarium and the Detroit Science Center.
Students meet regularly to explore the subjects listed below.
Science is taught outside the regular classroom. Experiments and hands-on activities support group discussion, making science fun, challenging and interesting.
Spanish class exposes children to the oral and written language as well as cultural information.
Younger students participate in vocal music. Older students may elect band. Performances are scheduled three times during the school year.4
Students experiment with various art media and techniques through weekly art instruction. They are encouraged to be creative.
Physical education classes at school develop students’ large motor skills and improve their cardiovascular health.