6-9 Classroom Information


Please walk your child to the door of the classroom.  Your child should greet the teacher and then enter the classroom independently.  Each day we will have the classroom ready and the door open by 8:15am, and will begin Morning Meeting at 8:30.  It is so very important that your child is present and settled in by this time, as we begin by going over the plan for the day and presenting large group lessons.  


We encourage children to be at school every day (except in case of illness-see BMS illness policy for more information). Absences are hard on the children as the developmental needs of this age include consistency and a sense of order.  Regular attendance greatly influences the social life of the class, affecting a child’s relationship with his or her peers and teachers.  If you know your child will not be in school, please let one of the teachers know in advance and we will write the information in our daily calendar.  If your child is ill please e-mail the lead teacher and copy the office at receptionist@montessori.k12.in.us. If you plan to schedule a vacation during the school year, please check to make sure the dates correspond to the BMS calendar.  If you are traveling abroad for a longer period of time please discuss this with your child’s lead teacher about what your child will be missing.


Please see the BMS dress code regarding daily clothing requirements.  The 6-9 has a recess clothing policy based on temperature:

Degrees (F) Clothing Requirements
60’s and above BMS dress code only
50’s Long sleeves
40’s Jacket or sweater
30’s Coat
20’s and below Coat, hat, gloves or mittens


Your child should come to school dressed in comfortable clothing that may be dirtied by art materials and outdoor play.  If your child tends to get chilly, please bring a sweater to keep at school. We will keep the thermostat lower in the winter, and higher in the summer in our effort to conserve electricity, so layering is always a good option!


 We will be covering the Montessori mathematics curriculum (computation, fractions, geometry, measurement, etc.) language (reading, writing, word study, etc.), what we refer to as the “cultural subjects” (botany, zoology, physical science, environmental sciences, history, and geography), and art.  In geography, there will be a special continent-study focus on Oceania and Antarctica second semester.  If you have  special cultural knowledge relating to these geographical areas, please let us know if you would be willing to come in and give a presentation or lend us interesting artifacts or art.  Your expertise would be greatly appreciated!


The children will lead a short ceremony (for children only) to honor a birthday child at the end of the day.  Each student will also be honored as a “Person of the Week” during the school year (during the week of his or her birthday when possible).  We will also focus on gratitude.  What are we, the members of the classroom, most grateful for about this person?  What do they bring to our community?  Also, what is the birthday person grateful to receive from us?  


Children’s Evenings

During children’s evenings, which happen once each semester, your child will be your guide through the classroom and show you some projects and materials  they have been working on.

Classroom Communication

The teacher at the door is available for daily communication needs at arrival (8:15-8:30) and drop off (3:15-3:30).  We welcome the opportunity to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your child-specific questions and concerns.  Please set up a time in advance with the lead teacher for this type of meeting so that we can give you the time and attention you deserve.  


Parent teacher conferences happen each semester and are listed in the school calendar.  The office will send emails to facilitate families signing up for a conference for each child. If you have an inflexible schedule, it is very important to sign up early so that you will have a variety of time slot choices.  No make-up conferences will be scheduled unless by teacher request.


At any point in the year, if the teacher sees a need for in-person parent communication, he or she may contact you at the door or by email to schedule a time.  For special events both in the classroom and outside of normal hours, classrooms will send emails with the details you need to know in advance.  We will make every effort possible to only send you important information, so PLEASE READ ALL EMAILS!  In the event that an email only applies to one group or age level, we will make this clear in the subject of the email and you can disregard it if this does not apply to you.


For general information on what is happening in the classroom and photos of recent work periods or events, join the classroom blog.  Register for an Edublogs account and send an email requesting an invitation to the blog (with your user ID) to the lead teacher.

Daily Schedule

The daily schedule:

8:15 -8:30       Arrival Time/ Journaling

8:30 – 9:00      Morning Meeting

9:00 -12:00     Work time (Workplans, language circle meetings, lessons, etc.)

12:00- 12:30   Lunch

12:30 – 1:10    Recess

1:15 – 1:40      Classroom jobs/math fact tests/handwriting

1:40 – 2:00      Story (Peace Circles on most Wednesdays)

2:00 – 3:00      Work time (and rotations through Spanish, Music, or other lessons)

3:00 – 3:15      Silent Reading

3:15 – 3:30      Dismissal


Dismissal:  A teacher will open the classroom door to greet you from 3:15-3:30.  Please wait outside the door as a teacher calls your child to clean up, gather their things, and come to meet you.  IF YOUR CHILD GOES TO AFTERCARE, make sure you have enrolled them through the office and an Aftercare staff member will collect them from the classroom.  IF YOU HAVE NOT PICKED UP YOUR CHILD BY 3:30, they will be walked to the office in the main building to wait and the BMS Late Pick-up Policy will apply (including possible fees).  


Third graders and their families are honored in a graduation ceremony at 2pm on the last day of school.  Third graders will prepare speeches and the ceremony will be followed with a cake and punch reception.


We are redesigning our Halloween celebration.  More details to come.

Language Circles

Once each week, your child will have a “language circle meeting” with their language circle teacher, in which they have reading and language lessons and practice.  The following day they will have a language circle follow-up assignment.  Your child’s language circle teacher may be different than their sign-in teacher, and usually remains the same all year.  Spelling words are assigned by their language circle teacher based on their group (see spelling word customs).  


 Please make sure your child is either signed up for school lunches through the BMS website or brings a packed nutritious, balanced lunch from home.  For home lunches and any other food items, please remember that we are a NUT-FREE campus due to life-threatening allergies in the community.  We will also provide a healthy snack each day. In addition to filling out the forms in the registration information, please let a teacher know directly if your child has allergies.

Parent Work Hours

Each family is required to complete ten work hours during the school year.  Work hour jobs include regular classroom tasks such as laundry, materials-making, grounds maintenance, or one-time jobs such as painting or building furniture.  We will send an e-mail as these jobs arise.  Jobs do not have to be done for your child’s specific classroom, so feel free to grab a job from another class or from the office!

6-9 Picnic

This is our first community building activity of the year.  The picnic takes place at the Henderson Shelter at Bryan Park.  Each family will be asked to sign up to bring a dish to share with the other families.  Look for the sign up sheet the week before the picnic.

Plays (Maple/Walnut)

Each spring the Lower Elementary classrooms create a play based on folk tales from the continent we are studying.  Maple and Walnut plays are on different nights.  Children are encouraged to develop their costumes at home; nothing elaborate is necessary!  (Think repurposed bathrobes and Mom’s boots.)  Props, scenery, and rehearsals will all be created during the school day.  More information about the play and performance nights will be emailed in advance.


On most Fridays, students’ portfolio notebooks will come home for the weekend and MUST RETURN ON MONDAY.  This is an opportunity for your child to show you what they have been working on.  Please notice the workplan to see what your child focused on and how many works were completed. All LOOSE PAPERS in the pocket of the notebook should be kept at home each weekend, leaving the pocket empty to begin a new week.

Groups

The students are divided into three multi-age groups referred to as “sign-in groups”.  Each group is primarily facilitated by one of the three work time teachers.  This teacher tracks their work and progress throughout a two week period, at which time the teachers will rotate to provide students with a variety of experiences and relationships.  The students remain in the same “sign-in group” (identified by color) all year.  


Each morning we will provide a nutritious snack including a fruit or a vegetable and some supplementary item.  Snack is eaten individually when the child feels hungry, and is optional. Occasionally we will cook a special group snack for class events or celebrations.  Children with severe allergies may bring a box of allergen-free treats to leave at school to substitute for items they cannot eat.  Please remember that no food preparation at school will include nuts.

Spelling Words

In a few weeks, spelling words will start coming home every Monday as part of your child’s Language Circle to help them prepare for spelling tests on Friday.  Please help your child practice these words.  Here’s one possible website for ideas on ways to practice:  http://childparenting.about.com/od/schoollearning/a/ways-to-practice-spelling-at-home.htm

The priorities for the spelling test are NOT to memorize the list, but to understand the pattern or rule for independent application as well as to build independent study and responsibility skills into home practice.


Your child will need to bring a pair of “indoor shoes” to leave here at school.  This helps keep our carpets clean as children come in and out from recess.  Ideally, indoor shoes will have backs to keep them firmly on children’s feet, as well as a hard sole.   We will provide all school supplies.  If children have items they need to bring to and from school, we suggest they use a backpack or bag.  Please leave distracting items at home.

Third Grade Evening

As part of the graduation tradition, the teachers take the third graders on a fun afterschool outing in Bloomington each May.  An email will be sent with more information.

Third Grade Spanish Play

Each year our Spanish teachers help the third graders prepare a short Spanish-language play to present to their families.  This program usually occurs during the school day.  An email will be sent with more information by the Spanish teacher.

Valentine’s Day

Children are invited to bring in Valentines for their classmates if they would like.  IF they bring Valentines, they should bring Valentines for everyone in the class.  Please do not include any edible items.  A student directory is available on the website.  Valentines will be passed out at arrival and we will gather to open them in the afternoon.

Winter Service Project

Each December we take a month to focus on giving back to others.  In many cultures, this is a time that includes holidays where children receive exciting gifts, and we hope to help balance this by organizing, raising money, and contributing to a local organization.  The children learn about and decide what non-profit they would like to focus on each year, and an email will be sent with more details.

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” – Maria Montessori