Welcome to Upper Elementary – The Tower!

Dear Parents of UE Tower,

Welcome to the Upper Elementary! We are happy to inform you that with the growth in our program, we will have two independent classrooms this year, the UE Tower and UE Classroom 10.

I am lead for the UE Tower and the Upper Elementary program.  I will be teaching Math, Geometry and Language Arts to our class, while giving History lessons to both environments! I love delving into the arts to make assignments more fun for the students while engaging their higher order thinking skills. I am passionate in pursuing not only your child’s academic growth, but also their socio-emotional development.

Ms. Karen Snyder will continue to assist our class. Her years of LE lead experience will translate as she oversees the student’s practice goals. These daily numeracy and language tasks keep their skills sharp as they learn numerous things in Upper Elementary that aid with their academic proficiency. She also guides them in their Passion Projects and Literature Studies.

Upper Elementary is a dynamic level full of exploration, growth and realizations of understanding. Your children of 9 to 12 years old are now at an age where they seek to answer questions about themselves and learn about their boundaries, while challenging their previous parameters of existence. To foster this increase, our teaching approach uses Socratic questioning to challenge their intellect, while employing narratives in our lessons to inspire them to imagine, discern and delve deeper about the theories we share. Fostering reflection and thoughtful conversation aid the children during this sensitive age of questioning.

Our program is active, following closely your child’s need for independence. In the fall, we go on a 3-day campout to northern Arizona to promote team building and to challenge them to care for themselves while away from home. We go on a weeklong trip out of state or “field study” at the end of year where the students take command of every aspect of the expedition– from projection of logistics, group efforts in meal management, preference of daily activities to best experience the history, culture, flora and fauna of the state, financial planning, to self-care and mentorship during the trip. We have a lot of fun in the process and the students come out empowered in the end!

This year, our cultural theme is Early Humans and our science units are Botany and Earth Science. To promote collaboration between the two classrooms, Ms. Lauren and I will be co-teaching these subjects to all the Upper Elementary students in the afternoon. Lunch, Specials and Recess will also be done collectively.

We are continuing to use our Transparent Classroom software system for weekly activity reports and progress reports.  We will be using regular email for all other parent-teacher communication. You can email me at chelm@desertgardenmontessori.org.  In order for us to serve your child during the school day, please allow for a 24-hour turnaround time from teachers.  In case of an emergency, please contact the front office.

We look forward to an outstanding year filled with joyful moments and excellence of learning! Thank you for your trust and partnership.

With Warm Regards,
Ms. Christine & Ms. Karen