Houston, we have a problem. PS...We can solve it!
At Presbyterian School, our 5th graders are ready to take on not only the challenges placed on them academically, but the challenges of our great city as well. After spending time studying Texas as a whole in 4thgrade, it is time to take a closer look at what makes Houston stand out. Our students think critically about all that our city has to offer as well as the issues our city faces. Together they will tackle these issues, researching what has been done in the past and learning more about what resources are available to solve these problems. Through collaboration and hard work, they will find ways to present their solutions and will be well on their way to solving the problems of tomorrow.
More than just a catchy name, these highly interactive classes develop student ability to plan and manage tasks, organize and discuss ideas, set and achieve goals, identify and solve problems which in turn cultivates passion and develops collaboration and conceptual reasoning skills. The PS Think.Make.Talk paradigm is our authentic and research-based approach to challenge students to THINK deeply about problems, ideas, projects, and research; creatively MAKE real-world applications that flow out of that thinking; and TALK to members of our community about what they’ve made and how to make it even better.
A Double Dip of Academic Support
While each student at PS has a dedicated master teacher providing support and extension throughout the day, they also have access to a team of specialists trained in a diverse array of pedagogies who support, enrich and extend instruction as needed. The Academic Enrichment Team assist with assessments, monitor the development of foundational literacy and math skills, and join with the classroom teachers to further support academic development and foster critical and creative thinking. We lovingly call this extra bonus the Double Dip!
Kids Need to Move!
When was the last time you had to sit still for a long time? Hard, isn’t it? At PS we believe students should have many opportunities to move throughout the long school day, so we make PE and recess a part of every day. Brain research tell us that these breaks in the day are necessary for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Where else can you build on fine and gross motor skills, learn patience waiting for a turn, negotiate rule interpretations, discover a new bug, or get lost in your own thoughts? PE and recess, it's not just about the fun.
See Specialists Every Day
It's not all just reading, writing and arithmetic. At PS, our team of specialists help our students to grow creatively, spiritually, and physically in Art, Chapel, Learning Commons, Music, and PE. By reaching their hearts and minds through chapel once a week, our students develop an understanding of what it truly means to reflect God's love into the world. Whether it's molding clay into original sculpture, blending their voices in song, or discovering a new author during the weekly instruction with our specialists, our students are challenged outside of their comfort zones to recognize just how much they can accomplish.
Navigating Social Well-Being
Young children, big emotions! At PS, we believe that we not only educate the mind but the heart as well. Teaching our students how to treat one another with respect, how to agreeably disagree, and how to show empathy and compassion is as important to us as the ABC’s. If a child makes a mistake, they are always reminded that tomorrow is a clean slate and another opportunity to make better choices. Focusing on the PS Core Values of Reflecting God's Love, Respect, Perserverance, Compassion, Courage, Integrity and Gratitude is what guides us as we grow young hearts and minds every day.
It's Not Just About the Test
We know that children learn by doing and that it is in the process where students learn the most. Going beyond the standard paper/pencil test, students are invited to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Students can be found building structures, writing plays, designing obstacle courses, giving a speech, writing lyrics, or debating a point all in an effort to share their learning. Learning is more than just supplying rote answers, it is about thinking deeply and creatively and then sharing that learning with others.
Learning from the Community
Who doesn’t love a field trip? Climbing on a big yellow bus and taking off on an adventure is exciting at all grade levels. Whether it is 4th grade heading to San Antonio to visit the Alamo or 2nd grade going to Dewberry Farm, all of our students expand their learning outside of the classroom walls. Students can just walk two blocks to get on the Metro Rail to head to the Medical Center or Downtown or walk across the street to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston or the Glassell School of Art. Walking to the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston Zoo or the Museum of Natural Science is no problem either!
On Exhibit: 5th Grade Museum
Houston is home to one of the largest museum districts in the nation and PS is located right in the heart of it. Our goal is to one day be featured as an official Museum of Learning in the Houston Museum District but until that happens, we will continue to create our own Presbyterian School Museums. Each year every grade in the School determines a focus, completes research, learns from local experts, and then designs, creates, and installs their own grade level museum on campus.
5th grade students are going local and are turning their attention to Houston. Immersing themselves in learning what makes our diverse and densely populated city so special, students will explore local cultures, artists, authors, businesses, government and topography. In addition, students will look critically at issues Houstonians face such as homelessness, flooding, hunger, traffic and more. Using their problem-solving skills, 5th grade students will work to brainstorm solutions to these issues and showcase their solutions in the 5thgrade museum. Through this work our students learn firsthand how they can make a difference by becoming the problem solvers of tomorrow.