I Am the Bridge

February 28, 2014

Walden parents gathered for a progressive classroom tour of the Middle Core (first/second grade classes through the third grade classes) last night. Beginning in the Toby Hayward Community Room, parents picked up a wine glass and a program and headed off to visit the classrooms, see student work, and enjoy some light refreshments.

Teachers talked about the cognitive growth and social-emotional behavior of students in the middle grades, as well as gave examples of curriculum units and learning adventures. The development of students in these grades, also known as The Bridge Core, is characterized by an emerging independence in their learning. Children develop at different rates, and concepts taught in the middle grades take this into account.

The Middle Core is about the child and the community and developing “thinking in the plural.” Taking what they learn in The Bridge Core, when students move on to fourth grade they can apply this reflective collaboration to the world in the Upper Core. Bridge Core students are taking responsibility for themselves and their community, as well as practicing complex problem solving in conflict resolution.

At Walden School, multi-age classrooms cover a wide range of learning, and therefore skills and concepts may or may not all be introduced each year but the expectation is that by the time a student completes their third grade year, they will have been exposed to all the specific concepts and skills outlined in the school’s comprehensive curriculum guide.

I Am the Bridge (excerpt)
by Carole Boston Weatherford

The poem begins:

“The bridge is men and women, famous and unknown, leaving paths of memories, timeless stepping stones. I follow in the shadows of heroes without names and keep the faith of elders who lean on hickory canes.”

And ends with:

“The river to tomorrow is as long as it is wide; the bridge will get me over, see me to the other side. The past is the foundation, the future the next span. We’ll bridge the mighty river; brothers, sisters, hand in hand.”

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