6-9 Classroom Information

Arrival

Please walk your child to the door of the classroom and wait in the common area.  Please read the message on the whiteboard outside 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 8:15, and will begin Morning Meeting at 8:35. It is important that your child is present and settled by this time, as we begin by going over the plan for the day and presenting large group lessons.

Attendance/Illness

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 headofschool@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 missingPlease walk your child to the door of the classroom and wait in the common area.  Please read the message on the whiteboard outside 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 8:15, and will begin Morning Meeting at 8:35. It is important that your child is present and settled by this time, as we begin by going over the plan for the day and presenting large group lessons.

Birthdays

Each child will be the “Person of the Week” during one week of the school year.  This often corresponds to the week of their birthday, depending on how many birthdays we have in a given week or month.  Children with summer birthdays will be spread out throughout the year during weeks in which no other student has a birthday.  The birthday child will be honored in a ceremony (for students only), usually on Friday afternoon, at which they are given their book of acknowledgements, created by their friends.

Clothing

Children should not wear clothing to school that depicts violence or messages of hate or aggression.  We discourage clothing featuring characters from television or movies. Children should always wear sturdy, comfortable footwear that would allow them to run on the playground, or go for an impromptu nature hike.

The 6-9 classrooms have a recess clothing policy based on temperature and weather conditions:

Degrees (F) Clothing Requirements
60’s and above Short sleeves are fine
50’s Long sleeves
40’s Jacket or sweater
30’s Coat
20’s and below Coat, hat, gloves or mittens

Teachers will use discretion in adjusting the daily weather standards based on conditions.  For example, on a sunny 58 degree day we may decide short sleeves are allowed. Children will go out for recess if there is a light sprinkle, so you may want to send a raincoat if there is rain in the forecast.

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!

Curriculum

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” or “cosmic subjects” (botany, zoology, physical science, environmental sciences, history, and geography), music and art.  In geography, there will be a special continent-study focusing on South America second semester. If you have special cultural knowledge relating to this geographical area, 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!

Children’s Evenings

During children’s evenings, which happen once each semester, your child will be your guide through the classroom and will 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 deemed necessary by the teachers.

At any point during the year, if the teachers see a need for in-person parent communication, they may contact you at the door or by email to schedule a meeting time.  For special events both in the classroom and outside of normal hours, classroom teachers will send emails with the details you need to know in advance. 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 may disregard it if it does not concern your child.

For general information on what is happening in the classroom and photos of recent work periods or events, join the classroom Facebook Page.  

Typical Daily Schedule (Classrooms always reserve the right to change the schedule):

The daily schedule (varies on Friday):

The daily schedule:

8:15 -8:30       Arrival Time

8:35 – 9:00      Morning Meeting

9:00 -12:00     Work time (individual student choice time and individual and small group lessons)

12:00- 12:30   Lunch

12:30 – 1:10    Recess

1:15 – 1:35      Story

1:35 – 2:45      PM Work Period including language circle meetings, nature hikes, etc

2:45 – 3:00      Jobs time

3:00 – 3:10      Closing meeting, Acknowledgements, Announcements, Problems, Solutions,

Mindfulness Moment

3:10 – 3:30      Silent reading

3:15 – 3:30      Dismissal

Dismissal

A teacher will open the classroom door to release children to you between 3:15 and 3:30.  Please wait outside the door as a teacher calls your child to clean up, gather their things, and come to meet you.  Children who are enrolled in Aftercare will be picked up in the classroom by an Aftercare teacher. Children who have not been picked up by 3:30 will be walked to the office in the main building to wait and the BMS Late Pick-up Policy will apply (including possible fees).

Graduation

Third graders and their families are honored in a graduation ceremony at the end of the school year. Third graders will prepare speeches and the ceremony will be followed with a reception.

Halloween

During the month of October, students will complete “spooky” creative writing projects.  On Halloween, at the end of the day, we will have a “Festival of Spooky Tales” in which stories will be shared and children will enjoy a snack.  No costumes should be worn to school. Please do not send candy or sweets!

Language Circles

Your child will have a weekly “language circle meeting” with their language circle teacher, in which they will have shared reading books, language lessons and reading practice.  The following day they will have a language circle follow-up assignment. Your child’s language circle teacher will often be different from their sign-in teacher, and will usually remain the same throughout the year.  Spelling words are assigned weekly and tests are administered on Fridays.

Lunch

Please make sure your child is 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 morning. 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 volunteer for 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 some costume pieces will be created at school and rehearsals will take place during the school day.  More information about the play and performance nights will be emailed in advance.

Portfolios

On most Fridays, students’ portfolio notebooks will come home for the weekend to be returned Monday.  This is an opportunity for your child to show you what they have been working on. Please notice the work record 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.

Sign-in 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 classroom 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” all year.

Snack

Each morning we will provide a nutritious snack including a fruit or vegetable and some supplementary item.  Snack is optional and children can take a snack break at their own discretion. 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.  There will not be any special snacks for birthday celebrations.

Spelling Words

Beginning a few weeks into the school year, spelling words will be brought home every Monday as part of your child’s language program.  Please encourage your child to practice these words to prepare for their test on Friday. Here’s one website for suggestions of how to practice:  http://childparenting.about.com/od/schoollearning/a/ways-to-practice-spelling-at-home.htm

The priority for our spelling program is not to memorize the list, but to understand the pattern or rule for independent application as well as to build independent study and responsibility into home practice.  We recommend that children be allowed to take on their own independent practice of spelling words beyond first grade.

Supplies

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.   Backless shoes and slides lead to children shuffling their feet noisily in the classroom and dropping their shoes around the classroom. “Croc”-style shoes should be worn with the backstrap over the heel.  Children are also encouraged to bring a spill-proof water bottle. 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, particularly on Fridays.  Please leave distracting items at home including all electronic devices other than simple watches or step counters without additional features.

Third Grade Evening

As part of the graduation tradition, the teachers take the third graders on a fun after school outing in Bloomington each May.  An email will be sent in the spring 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. The Spanish teacher will send an email with more information in the spring.

Valentine’s Day

Children are invited to bring in Valentines for their classmates if they would like.  Creating handmade Valentine’s is a particularly rewarding experience for children of this age as they can do it completely independently.  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 shared toward the end of the day.

Winter Service Project

Each December we 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 a project, raising money, and contributing to a local organization.  The children learn about and decide which non-profit they would like to focus on each year. An email will be sent with more details.

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