A Day in the Life of a Lower School Student
Welcome to a day in the life of a 4th & 5th-grade student at Chelsea Academy. They may be the youngest among our students, but they can be just as busy as some of the older kids! Having schedules jammed packed with learning, adventure, and fun, there is never a dull moment in their day. The following is a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a lower school student here at Chelsea.
Their day kicks off at 8:15, with everyone arriving and heading off to Convocation. Every morning, they assemble with the entirety of Chelsea Academy for prayer and the daily announcements. Following the pledge of allegiance, classes begin. The fourth grade is predominantly taught by the lovely Mrs. McShurley and the fifth grade by the wonderful Mrs. Zepeda. However, both grades congregate into Mrs. Zepeda's classroom for their combined classes; science, art, music, PE, and history.
Lower Schooler literature has included Carry On Mr. Bowditch, Jungle Book, Wind in the Willows, and many other classics. The 5th grade is loving their current reading, Snow Treasure, and will be making hand-made booklets to present this story to their class. In handwriting, the 4th grade has been enhancing their manuscript with cursive writing. Both grades learn grammar as well and have regular spelling and vocabulary bees.
Math, a difficult subject, is met with careful direction to make sure everyone thoroughly understands the material effectively and efficiently. Fractions and long division have already been conquered along with the memorization of the times tables. Of course, our future mathematicians take weekly quizzes but have encouragement through obtaining certificates for their knowledge of math facts. Mrs. Thomas gives rewards of candy to support those who might need a little extra time to grasp the challenging material.
During History class, both 4th and 5th graders have been studying American history, most recently through an assignment on the French and Indian War. Throughout last semester, students were able to present historical projects such as a model of Jamestown, presentations on the Mayflower, and periodically make posters and booklets to highlight key figures and events.
After History, the kids change their clothes and rush out to PE, which occurs almost every day. Going outside for forty-five minutes and playing dodgeball is unarguably the most popular part of the day for all students, but definitely more so from the Lower School perspective.
Students delve into the arts at least once a week, with art and music class. They are currently learning to draw faces from 1 and 2 point perspectives with Ms. Dugas, and are beginning to grasp the appreciation for artistic beauty at a young age. In music, under Mrs. Stockton’s direction, students have learned parts of the orchestra and how to use recorders. They plan to perform some time throughout the school year.
Every Friday, Ms. Libasci comes to the Lower School class to teach an introduction to Spanish. They have already learned the basic greetings, essential prayers, and how to count up to thirty. This weekly class is always looked forward to, as the beloved Ms. Libasci makes sure to keep it fun with games such as jeopardy to test their knowledge.
Jumping into Science class, they have studied many aspects of the weather such as wind speed/direction, temperature, different types of clouds, and their coverage, and even learned how to record contrast in air pressure with a homemade barometer. They have also gained some expertise in leaves and plant life, emphasizing this when going on nature walks. When they moved forward learning about planets, each student selected a planet and made a model to bring to school and present, though first fully researching all aspects of their choice.
Students finish off their day studying The Catholic Faith in Religion class. During this period, they have projects such as making 3D models of the Ten Commandments or the Ark of the Covenant, acting out bible skits such as the Fall of Jericho, and from time to time creating saint projects to present to their classmates.
Over time, rewards are merited for hard work and academic caliber, and so the elementary grades accordingly use bonus point systems. They earn points by either answering challenging math questions at the beginning of the day or winning vocab or spelling bees. Points add up, and when a student reaches one hundred points, he or she can “spend” them on a class party, or donuts for the whole class during the enrichment period. Ergo, Charity Scheuckler and Beatrice Lyons recently both reached enough to organize a conjoined donut party.
Field Trips have always been an essential part of the Chelsea adventure for all the grades, but the Lower School especially takes advantage of leaving the premises to explore the outdoors as often as they can. In the past year, they have gone on adventures to nursing homes with Santa Claus, Fantasy Land, Blandy Experimental Farm for a scavenger hunt, and historical plantation sites. On the Fall Hike, they climbed the Whiteoak Falls trail to meet a welcoming cascade, where they were able to jump in to cool off.
The average lower school student’s day is filled with school subjects, the arts, field trips, and various entertaining physical activities. They are a lovable group of characters and are especially looking forward to no longer being the youngest at Chelsea, as the school is happily adding grades K-3 in the fall.
We are proud to say that we are welcoming them with an appreciative attitude of joy, curiosity, and laughter among the fourth and fifth graders, which truly embodies the Chelsea spirit.
St. Thomas More, pray for us!
Special thanks to the following students for their cooperation!
From the 4th grade:
From the 5th grade: