A Day in the Life of an Arbor V Student

As members of a multi-age classroom, Arbor V students have constant opportunities to learn from one another.  Though students participate in broad, theme-based activities together during each six-week session, daily instruction is tailored to the individual needs of each student.  Arbor V uses strategic, self-directed learning activities to help each student reach his or her full academic potential.

Many families have expressed interest in seeing lesson plan examples, particularly in the subject of math.  You may view a sample math unit by clicking this link: 2D Geometry.

To catch a glimpse of daily life at Arbor V, follow the schedule outlined below.  This learning plan is designed for Maya, a fictitious nine-year-old student.

7:45am: Maya arrives at school, puts her things away in her locker, and makes a cup of hot tea.  She sits at a table to drink her tea and talk to her friends.

8:00am: The school day begins.  Maya listens to her teachers’ announcements and says the Pledge of Allegiance with her classmates.

Students check their individual learning schedules or participate in group instruction, depending on the day’s plans.  Maya checks the learning schedule that she and her teacher created yesterday after their math tutoring session.  By studying the projected amount of time each task will take to complete, she’s able to choose the order in which she’ll complete her work.  Maya likes having the freedom to help plan her day.

8:05am: Maya begins working on her math task.  As an extension of this week’s unit on area and perimeter, her learning schedule includes an architecture lesson using LEGOs and a web-based blueprint tool.  Maya constructs a model of a log cabin, a nod to the Little House on the Prairie book she’s reading in Language Arts this week.

9:15am: Morning recess

9:30am: The art teacher arrives and begins her lesson.  She leads a discussion on Native American clay pots, and Maya thinks about the Native Americans she read about in Little House on the Prairie.

10:30am: Maya joins other beginning-level students for American Sign Language (ASL) class.  This week, instruction is focused on learning conversational skills.  Maya and her friend practice greeting each other and introducing themselves in sign language.

11:30am: Students and teachers eat lunch together.  Maya looks forward to Thursday, when her class will go to the Farmers Market to discuss the impact of buying locally-grown items.

12:00pm: Noon recess

12:15pm: Once or twice a week after lunch, Maya and her classmates walk from school to the nearby YMCA for swimming and/or fitness activities.  Today is not a YMCA day, so Maya decides to use this block of time to work on her Language Arts project: a book review podcast she’s creating for Little House on the Prairie.  She and her teacher team up to proofread her work, then post the finished product on Arbor V’s student blog.

1:00pm: Maya receives one-on-one math tutoring.  Since Maya has mastered the area and perimeter concepts, she and her teacher work to calculate the volume of an object.  The teacher uses an app to record the lesson so that Maya can access it again if need be.  A self-directed activity reviewing volume will be added to Maya’s learning schedule for tomorrow.

1:30pm:  Maya and Avery, a six-year-old student, pair up for a science activity.  Together, they construct a marble maze that exhibits potential and kinetic energy, Maya’s science concepts of the week.  As the marble rolls down the ramp, Avery estimates how far it will travel in inches and centimeters; estimation and units of measure are some of Avery’s math concepts for the week.

2:20pm: Afternoon recess

2:35pm: Maya teams up with three other classmates to continue planning their most recent service project.  In order to reduce atmospheric CO2 and provide more shelter for birds and other small animals, the students plan to organize “Tree Spree,” a mass tree-planting event in Frankfort.  She and her friends research different kinds of trees to determine which varieties would thrive in their area, then draft letters to local businesses to ask for monetary and in-kind donations to gather the needed supplies for Tree Spree.

3:15pm:  All-school meeting.  Announcements and reminders are given.

3:30pm:  Maya packs her things and goes home.  She is tired and happy.