A pivotal year at Bright School, third grade offers students the gradual increase of responsibility for their own learning. Students begin to develop organizational skills and are encouraged to grow into independent learners and thinkers. A strong focus on reading comprehension and writing mechanics provides opportunities for students to refine their literacy foundation. Application of knowledge becomes daily practice. Math concepts and strategies are strengthened, and students become true problem solvers. Third graders look forward to the study of colonial America, their most significant project of the year. On Colonial Day, students wear period clothing and step back in time to experience the hands-on trades, skills, and cooperation needed to create and sustain a community. Third graders learn more about accountability and responsibility as workers of The Bright Post, our school’s internal post office. Students serve as postmasters and clerks to pick up, sort and deliver the letters students write to each other throughout the school.
A year of responsibility and resourcefulness, fourth grade students’ natural curiosity leads them to explore why and how things work in the world, the purpose and meaning of literature, and how to solve real-world math problems. With a growing sense of organization, time management, and independence, students are encouraged to think beyond the most evident solutions and work collaboratively to apply reading, writing, and problem-solving skills. Students begin to thrive when they combine their love of technology with other subjects to create multi-dimensional projects throughout the year. Field trips, guest speakers, projects, and presentations add depth to the content-rich curriculum. The state project has become a well-known tradition in which fourth graders use the research process to learn and share information through an oral presentation and multi-component project. Fourth graders at Bright begin to value their personal contributions to the whole group and recognize the need for others in working towards a common goal.
Fifth graders excel as leaders of the school. Leading the school-wide Monday Meetings, learning to raise and lower the American flag, and mentoring kindergarten buddies are a few of the leadership opportunities offered to them. During their final year at Bright, reading comprehension, writing structure, and math skills and conceptual understanding are solidified as they prepare to meet the challenges of middle school and beyond. Organization, time management, and study skills are strengthened through the changing of classes for the core subject areas. Social studies topics and history content are intentionally integrated into the reading and writing classes. Bright School graduates smoothly transition into middle school with a solid academic foundation, leadership skills, confidence, and strong friendships.