Kids in the classroom

Day in the Life of an Upper Academy Student

8:20 a.m. Molly enters the classroom, greets her friends, puts her spelling homework in the homework bin, and gets out her workplan for the week. She chooses to start her day with the geometry follow-up that is expected to be completed before the next lesson tomorrow. Eric joins her and they get out polygon materials to trace and protractors to measure the internal angles.

9:00 a.m. Molly is called to a small group lesson of six children to review the weekly math word problems. The students share different strategies they have used to solve the problems.

9:15 a.m. Molly returns to her geometry work with Eric. When she is finished, she chooses to work on her report about the Incas. She gathers together some reference books she took out from the Mt. Lebanon Library on the last class outing and finds a table where she can spread out the books and her notes.

10:15 a.m. Molly checks her workplan and sees she needs to review weather conversations in Spanish. She asks Shanti to practice with her.

10:30 a.m. Next on her workplan is practice adding fractions with different denominators. She gets fraction circles from the math shelf and spreads out a work rug on the floor so she can make equivalent fractions using concrete materials and add the results in her math composition book.

11:00 a.m. The sound of the rainstick indicates everyone is to clean up their work and come to circle for a group lesson. Today’s lesson is on the chemical reaction that takes place during photosynthesis. Several choices are given as to how the students can further their understanding of this process. Molly decides to build models of water, carbon dioxide, oxygen molecules, and glucose. She writes her work choice on her workplan to be accomplished by next week.

11:30 a.m. Two of her classmates leave to lead the extended day students from their 3-6 classrooms to their kindergarten room. The U.A. students will eat lunch with the kindergarteners, helping them to open packages, and by modeling lunchroom behavior.  Next week it will be Molly’s turn to do this. Once a month, the whole Upper Academy goes upstairs and reads to their kindergarten reading buddies. Meanwhile, the teacher reads a novel aloud to the class.

12:00 p.m. The Upper Academy joins the Lower Academy students in the cafeteria for lunch. Children from each classroom eat together, clean the cafeteria, and go outside for recess. Molly joins a kickball game with some children from her class and from the Lower Academy.

1:10 p.m. Molly settles into her classroom with a silent reading book.

1:30 p.m. Silent reading is over and Junior Great Books Shared Inquiry is begun. Molly shares observations about the main character of this week’s short story that she had notated for homework. The children decide that they would have acted differently if they had been the main character. Some of the children choose to write a sequel to the story to share at the next Great Books lesson.

2:20 p.m. The class disperses to do their daily classroom jobs: watering the plants, dusting the shelves, vacuuming the floors, feeding the class birds, and taking out the garbage.

2:30 p.m. Everyone gets out their creative writing composition books. Molly is working on chapter 2 of a story about a magical roller coaster ride.

3:00 p.m. The students gather for Authors’ Circle. Molly listens to a classmate read his first draft of a story about a trip to another planet. Her classmates discuss what they like about the story and ask if he would like some ideas about what could happen next.

3:20 p.m. The class recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Then they shake the teacher’s hand as they exit the classroom. Molly takes her class mail and her backpack out of her locker and gets into the bus line. Teachers call out the buses, check Molly off their list, and send her home to prepare for another day in the Upper Academy.

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