In the lower grades, students transition from the play-based education of our preschool to an engaging, integrated curriculum where math learning is rooted in movement and stories from various cultures introduce language arts concepts. We schedule our grade school day to provide a healthy learning environment where students are able to experience various learning modalities. This begins with the morning lesson, a two hour period in which core academic subjects are taught in three to four week blocks: language arts, history, math or science. The intention of the morning lesson is to fully focus on one theme for an extended period of time and for the students to engage with that subject in a variety of ways. Students write and illustrate their own lesson books, and these become their personal written record of their education.
special subject classes
After morning lesson, students have four 45-minute subject periods. These periods include chorus, orchestra (grade 3 – 8), fiber arts, Spanish, gardening and woodwork, Mandarin Chinese, circus arts, movement and sports, painting, and core skills review. These classes are taught by our specialized teachers and provide a broad range of experiences for Urban Prairie students.
Balance in learning
The school day has a rhythmic quality which helps the children learn their lessons and grow as healthy individuals. Breaks are important for maintaining focus, and we build them into each class as well as the greater daily schedule. After morning lesson, students have a snack and go outside for recess. This is followed by two special subject classes. Students then eat lunch and enjoy a second outdoor recess before heading in for their final two special subject classes.