Intermediate (Grades 3, 4, & 5)
The teachers of the Falk School Intermediate Team agree that learning should be both fun and engaging. They embrace the sense of inquiry that comes so naturally to students at this later-elementary age. Developmentally, intermediate-level students are increasingly able to take a direct hand in their learning, by questioning, researching, and taking responsibility for sharing their discoveries. By validating and encouraging inquiry and student input, Falk's Intermediate teachers guide students to become passionate, lifelong learners, intrinsically motivated by their search for knowledge and understanding.
The Intermediate Level at Falk includes students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Students spend one year in a 3rd grade classroom, which assists them in acclimating to new responsibilities and routines. The following year, they move into a two-year loop for grades 4 and 5 (same classmates, same teacher, same room). This looping model provides a consistent environment in which all members of the class have ample opportunity to develop and maintain strong relationships. For the teachers, this is reflected in their deeper understanding of students’ individual needs, learning styles, and longitudinal development. For the students, this results in a higher level of comfort and confidence. As a result, both students and teachers thrive.
Social and emotional development is an emerging focus for students in this level. Understanding that peer relationships are crucial to healthy development, teachers utilize activities and projects designed to encourage collaboration, communication, and compromise. As children build relationships, they become more aware of social dynamics. They need time, guidance, and environments in which they can practice the skills necessary for navigating the complexities of co-existing with others. Teachers consider these important factors as they strive to guide students to greater independence.