Students enter 5th grade as elementary students, and leave 6th grade as middle schoolers. Alder tree leaves are shed while still green.
Alder trees are sometimes considered a pioneer species. Pioneer species are the first to regrow after a major disturbance like a fire or flood. Alder trees and other pioneer species play an important roll in succession, or the change of a landscape over time.
5th and 6th grade is a time of great change and development. Our Alder classrooms seek to create conditions that young adolescents crave: opportunities to display competence and achievement; moments of self-definition and creative expression; physical activity; positive social interactions with adults and peers; structure and clear limits; and meaningful participation at school, and in the community.
Preparing students for the next stages of education, our goal is to help students identify consequences for the academic and personal decisions they make. We also teach students about their own learning styles. We put students in positions of responsibility in our schools and community that allow them to make positive contributions and earn recognition for doing so. We provide clear rules and enforce them calmly—even if it’s the umpteenth time that day that we’ve needed to enforce the same rule—to help students learn positive work habits so they can succeed as members of a civilized society.