Not to be confused with Middle School, Team in the Middle is the name given to the first through fifth grades at Baker, and it represents the continuation of the progress begun in the Early Childhood program. However, in Team in the Middle, the children migrate from a play-based approach to one more focused on subjects, and a significant portion of the curriculum is dedicated to integrated thematic studies. For example, the weather is a topic classes examine from myriad perspectives and across multiple disciplines. Such explorations incorporate everything from reading and art to mathematics and music. The result is that kids expand their knowledge through the memorable presentation of content while developing new skills and growing both socially and emotionally.
After an initial year of growth and development in first grade classrooms, Team in the Middle children often remain with the same teacher and classmates for two years: second and third grades, and fourth and fifth grades. This practice, known as looping, creates deeper interpersonal relationships and amplifies teachers’ knowledge of each child’s learning abilities. Team in the Middle kids also enjoy daily physical education and twice-weekly Spanish, music, library, technology, and art. True to the concept of progressive education, Baker’s faculty are collaborative educators who integrate these areas, and others such as drama, with core subjects like reading and math, to encourage children to think critically and make connections across disciplines.