The Middle Years at Stanley
Building on a Strong Foundation Stanley's 3-4-5 classrooms build on the strong foundation built in the K-1-2 program. While addressing the curricular needs of children in the upper elementary years, the program continues to value choice, creative exploration and experientially-based learning opportunities.
Natural Curiosity and Inspiration Our 3-4-5 curriculum is designed to tap into a child's natural curiosity, develop their ability to work for extended periods of time on one project and inspire their desire to collaborate with peers.
Engaging Children The lessons and activities seek to engage children in order for them to take an active role in their education. The 3-4-5 classrooms are a highly creative and safe environment for our students to learn and grow.
Reading: Small group focus to target word study skills, fluency and comprehension. Reading comprehension using Thinking Strategies approach.
Writing: Writing integrated into all subject areas in curricular units that last 6 to 8 weeks.
Spelling and Word Study: Utilize Words Their Way, a developmental approach to phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction. Differentiated spelling groups with an average teacher student ratio of 1:8.
Time Travel and World Exploration: 3 year rotating curriculum: Colorado History, US History, World History. More advanced historical and sociological analysis and interpretation along with historical research.
Mathematics: Use of Investigations in Numbers, Data and Space. Advanced focus on Numbers Sense, Multiplication and Division. Complex Word Problems, Fractions, Decimals, Percents, Money, Geometry and Measurement, Patterns, Functions and Algebraic Structures.
Science: Actively utilizing inquiry-based discovery. 3 year rotating curriculum: Earth, Life and Physical Sciences.
Choice: Offered 2x per week and tied to the curiculum with emphasis in Social Studies and Science.
Social and Emotional: Multi-age classrooms provide foundation for learning to live and work collaboratively in a community. Weekly classes are focused on "sticky situations".
Foreign Language: Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling method for teaching foreign languages.
Technology: Weekly technology class to teach word processing skills, touch typing and computer applications. Used as a tool to enhance learning.
Beyond the Classroom: Field trips related to curricular units including yearly overnight trip to Cal-Wood Outdoor Education Program.
Service Learning: Classroom activities and all-school service learning projects such as Lowry Family Center food drives.
The Arts: Integrated artistic opportunities through all curriculum units. Weekly Visual Arts class, student art show in 3rd trimester, 5th grade musical in 3rd trimester, and weekly music classes.
Physical Education: Gradual incorporation of more traditional sport-based skills taught by units with a strong emphasis on sportsmanship.
Homework: Weekly take-home packets across all subjects. Students are given developmentally appropriate amounts of homework with progressive levels of reading and length of assignments.
Writer's and Reader's Workshop Model
In Writer’s Workshop, children engage in genre studies that last six to eight weeks. This encourages children to work through the writing process, including; brainstorming, writing a rough draft, revising and editing, participating in peer conferencing, and publishing.
Instruction varies from whole class to small group and individual conferences.
Units of study may include memoirs, fiction, non-fiction research projects, and poetry. At the end of each unit students share their creations with a larger audience including classmates, other classrooms, or parents.
Reader’s Workshop is linked to Writer’s Workshop through the use of mentor texts. Teachers guide children through a number of mentor texts to discover techniques good writers use in their writing.
In Reader’s Workshop children are asked to read “Just Right Books” and dig deep into their thinking about the text.
Children are asked to focus on strategies that good readers use, such as asking questions, inferring, determining importance, making connections, and accessing background knowledge.
3-4-5 students also participate in book clubs throughout the year, allowing children to practice talking about books with their peers.
Stephanie Collins, head of 3-4-5, is a Stanley alumna and graduate of the Stanley Teacher Prep Program. She was a 3-4-5 Lead Teacher for several years and her most recent role is the Assistant Head of 3-4-5. Stephanie has a high level of expertise in curriculum design and learning support.