During the Intermediate years (grades four through five), students migrate from a play-based approach to one more focused on integrated theme-based learning. Developmentally, fourth graders are ready to move from exploring different key cognitive concepts to solidifying their understanding and skills. The Baker fourth grade classroom environment is designed to foster a calm and encouraging space where students learn to take risks in their learning.
As students move from fourth to fifth grade, their learning experiences are designed to expand upon their growing mastery of factual information and desire to present their knowledge in clear, informative ways. In fifth grade, students readily move to leadership roles in their cross grade level groupings. They are still exposed to the same deep level of inquiry in their thematic studies, while actively taking ownership of the outcomes of their work.
A significant portion of the Intermediate curriculum is dedicated to integrated thematic studies.
Through carefully planned, cross grade level thematic studies, during their Intermediate years, students learn the intricacies of running an entrepreneurial business. They explore understanding the true qualities of a leader. They are inspired and guided through turning their own personal visions and passions into service. Additionally, through their integrated thematic studies, students’ delve further into encounters between native peoples and Europeans. These experiences are designed to nurture an understanding and respect for people, multiple perspectives and historical contexts.
During their Intermediate years, students enjoy daily physical education and twice a week they enjoy 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 and outdoor education with core subjects like reading and math, to encourage children to think critically and make connections across disciplines. As students move through the Intermediate years, they also take part in their first outdoor education experience together at an outdoor learning center. The range of these learning experiences are an integral part of their Intermediate years, meeting their developmental needs as they continue their journey to their Middle School year.