Upper Learning — Grades 3 through 5
The Upper Learning classrooms emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. In each grade, the teaching team works together to develop projects that draw on different disciplines and foster creativity.
- The Upper Learning classrooms are located in a new building that was designed to promote collaboration. Each class has two co-teachers.In fifth grade, one teacher specializes in humanities, and the other, math-science.
- Each class meets regularly with specialist teachers in technology, visual art, choral music, instrumental music, drama, library, and physical education. In addition, specialist teachers in math and literacy integrate classroom work with the overall curriculum.
- In third grade, students begin to use Chromebooks and Google apps. In fourth grade, they receive restricted email addresses for communication with their teachers.
- Interdisciplinary learning is emphasized; students work with the drama department to write and produce plays related to their reading and history; they work with technology integrators in the maker lab to create models associated with science and social studies units.
- Field trips provide students with meaningful experiences tied to their studies; for example, they visit the Rubin Museum in connection with their Silk Road studies in fourth grade.
Meet Demetra Caldwell '97
A graduate of Riverdale, Demetra Caldwell teaches third grade. In 2016, she won Riverdale's Al Davis teaching award.
Meet Lee Pearson
Lee Pearson, co-teacher of the humanities in fifth grade and avid story-teller, describes the importance of stories in teaching and learning.
Who am I? A group of Riverdale fifth graders thought about that question as they read and discussed “George,” Alex Gino’s novel for elementary school readers about a transgender girl.
Interdisciplinary Learning in Fifth Grade
In February, the fifth grade presented a drama production that reflected their study of three novels about contemporary social themes. The interdisciplinary approach allowed students with different strengths and interests to shine in their own way.