From students’ first year in Upper Elementary, they have increasing responsibilities to take care of the classroom environments and one another. As students begin their early adolescent development, they are often provided a greater sense of independence, which also comes with additional, developmentally appropriate, responsibilities and challenges. As academic work moves from the concrete to the abstract, a greater sense of advocacy for individual learning styles and preferences becomes necessary. Not only are students encouraged to discuss their interests and level of learning, but are also guided to know what tools and scaffolds may be necessary to help them learn best.
Upper Elementary Capstone Experiences are multi‐faceted and build on skills obtained in lower grades; they provide opportunities for students to be leaders in many different ways. Students, across ages, have opportunities to be leaders both in small and large group settings. The multi‐aged classroom allows students to lead Morning Meetings, group work projects, and other activities while developing and practicing skills to be both an effective leader and group member on a daily basis. Upper Elementary students also have many opportunities throughout the year to lead school‐wide initiatives from the Charles River Study to Service Learning project fundraising. Through these ventures, students not only practice being a leader but also model such skills to peers and younger students alike.