Making new friends, learning the rules of the classroom and playground, deciding which centers to discover each day, and making so many choices.
That is just the first week of Kindergarten! Kindergarteners learn about the world, its many cultures, and nations through units on transportation; stories, poems and songs; games and toys; and natural resources. Students also complete their first collaborative inquiry project about animals and their habitats.
First grade students begin the year close to home, examining their role within their families. Then, students travel all over the world when they look at shelters built in different climates, using local natural resources, as well as study different types and purposes of dance and movement in many cultures. First graders also find out where our food comes from and all the systems and networks it takes to produce and distribute it.
“Dirt Ate My Lunch” is a favorite grade 2 unit that focuses on conservation, recycling, erosion, and composting, while learning about the importance of worms. Second graders also study the ocean ecosystem, taking their learning into the real world by visiting tide pools. In the fall, budding artists surface as the students learn about artists from around the world and from different eras, and then create their own masterpieces.
Third graders learn what it means to be a citizen, how the geography and resources of our land affect where and why we settle in areas, and how to innovate a machine to make work easier. They also choose their favorite type of speech to share with an audience and present them to each other. By the end of the economics unit, third grade students are able to make business decisions and know what “opportunity cost, scarcity, supply, demand” mean.
The Fourth graders spend time on the island of Hawaii exploring the vast fields of lava, indigenous plants, history, and folklore of the Hawaiian people. This culminating trip brings to life many of the concepts that the students have studied all year long: geology, migration, ecosystems, beliefs, and values. This important year also gives students an opportunity to work with technology to create Public Service Announcements and study other forms of media.
Fifth graders are scientists who learn what matter is made of and how it changes, getting to visit our high school’s chemistry lab as well as a university science lab. They are historians who apply what they learn about colonialism, government, war, and conflict in the past to scenarios they hear about in current events. This rigorous year culminates with Exhibition, an opportunity for the fifth graders to showcase their skill development and understanding of the Primary Years Program.
In the fall of each new school year, four year-long representatives are elected to office from all homerooms in grades 3-5. Student Council representatives lead by example and participate in preparing and assisting with events such as the Halloween Parade and Family Fun Night.
Counseling services are available to support students for academic, social, and emotional concerns. Students can request to see the Lower School Counselor by filling out a counselor pass. Teachers, Administrators, and parents can also refer students to the counselor.
The most common reason for students to see the Lower School Counselor is for “fun lunch” (lunch with their friends and the counselor). This gives the students and counselor a chance to build familiarity and rapport.
Most counseling takes place during snack, recess or lunch to avoid interfering with instructional time. However, there are times when students are referred to the counselor directly when issues or concerns need to be addressed immediately. It is important to note that counseling at LJA is viewed as non-punitive; the counselor is not involved with disciplinary issues.
Joey Kurata Lower School Counselor Ph: 808.261.0707 x513