Yellow Cluster (Grades 3-4)

 

Welcome to Yellow Cluster from Jessica Stewart and Denise Benjamin

In Yellow Cluster (grades 3-4, ages 8-10), the theme is We All Create: Designing Structures Helps Us to Make Sense of Our World. The Yellow Cluster Curriculum is design-based. The year begins with the designing and building of object costumes. Students learn about scale, measurement, geometry, structure, and building techniques as they enlarge a small object to a child-sized costume. Students use Media Blender, Keynote, Pages, the Internet, and other programs to support their understanding of three dimensional shapes and scale, as well as to document and enrich their curricular experiences. They then extend what they have learned to design a model city of the future on an actual scale model that represents the square-mile area around the school. The classroom structure reflects that of a city, with a mayor, assistant mayor and other class officers, four neighborhoods teams and six commission groups. Each commission becomes expert at one aspect of city planning, i.e., Human Resources, or Building and Safety. Neighborhood teams each design and build one fourth of the model city. Each child owns a parcel of land within the neighborhood area and is responsible for planning with his/ her team for what will be built there. Students earn salary from their commission jobs and then pay monthly rent on their piece of land. Town Hall meetings are held to decide what the students want and don’t want in their city and to present and resolve issues and problems. State curriculum standards are integrated within classroom projects to support, clarify and deepen the context for retention and future application of skills and concepts.
 

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