Stage IV: Ages 9–11 years

In Stage IV, students are prepared to take on greater responsibility for shaping their learning path. They are ready to face the challenges that come with making their own choices. This stage provides opportunities for increased individual decision-making, allowing students to choose their learning topics and explore areas of interest.
Their individual class schedule includes time spent in homeroom and the opportunity to choose elective classes. In homeroom, students spend time with teachers who know them each as individuals and guide them toward understanding their own learning styles. Dedicated homeroom blocks allow students and teachers to focus on building community, engaging in problem solving, working on special projects, and collaborating on special activities and events. Academic studies are designed to prepare students for the Roeper Middle School.

In Stage IV, each student has a unique personalized schedule. Guided by their interests, they make decisions in selecting their own classes from a wide range of electives with encouragement from their homeroom teachers and parents to try new things. The curriculum includes two types of classes: core class blocks are centered on humanities, language arts, social studies, science, and math; special class blocks offer a rich variety of electives in art, music, computer, STEM, dance, physical education, personal growth, and both math and humanities exploration. Science and a world language are required every other day. Students benefit from small groups for academic studies as well as large homeroom projects. 
The primary goal of our humanities program is to improve each student’s ability to communicate. The basic skills are reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing. Students broaden their mastery through practice within themes covered in Humanities as well as focused reading and writing lessons. This is accomplished through the teaching of:  
  • Grammar skills  
  • Word Study/Spelling  
  • Comprehension (listening and reading)  
  • Abstract thinking  
  • Story elements (character, setting, plot)  
  • Character analysis  
  • Study of various writing genres  
  • Study of various reading genres  
  • Appreciation of communication  
  • Book projects  
Students are encouraged to broaden their perspective beyond family and school for a better understanding of the interdependence of countries and peoples. They study the complexity of systems and connectedness (economic, political, and social), discuss current events as history in the making, come to appreciate history as a way of tracing patterns and constants in human relationships, and study geography in the context of places and location as well as in migration and the human-environment interaction. In Stage IV our students become familiar with the steps to being active problem solvers which are then applied to decision making.  
The Singapore math curriculum Primary Mathematics is used as a textbook/workbook experience serving as a jumping off point in the study of mathematics. It is enhanced by other hands-on math activities, logical thinking games, puzzles, math explorations, and active student participation.  
As Stage IV students’ thinking becomes more abstract, the emphasis is on process and communication. Students are encouraged to understand the why as much as the how of mathematics. They are urged to use a multi-strategy approach to problem solving and are encouraged to put their strategies into words. They practice analysis of data, looking for patterns and relationships, drawing logical conclusions, making reasonable assumptions, and connecting their conclusions to mathematical concepts.  
Mathematical experiences are provided with computation as the thread. Students learn to use computational skills effectively to solve problems accurately and systematically using different strategies to make estimations, and to use mental math. Students study Geometry, Statistics, Probability, Measurement, Patterns and Functions, Data Analysis, and study the Base Ten Number System in depth. Explorations and meaningful activities are planned so that students have hands-on practice to introduce and reinforce mathematical concepts and applications.  
Our curriculum provides individualized skill acquisition as well as cooperative problem-solving opportunities. All Stage IV students take the required computer survey course. Second-year students are required to take at least one computer elective. The objective for Stage IV students is to solve problems by integrating a variety of skills acquired throughout their computer education. Students master basic competency in keyboarding and word processing, become familiar with data and graphing applications, access and use an Internet browser, have experience with Internet safety and research techniques, use block-based programming languages to create usable procedures, and build multimedia presentations utilizing imported, downloaded, and self-created files and images.  
Children are innately curious, making them ideal scientists. They are taught to engage in scientific practices as they investigate, build models, and make hypotheses about the natural world. Stage IV students engage with the practices of science at an appropriate level, building their skills as they progress. The practices are utilized in studies of life, earth, and physical sciences though discussions, labs, field experiences, and other inquiries. Our goal is for students to see science as a tool to help them think critically as they gather and analyze evidence to solve problems and design solutions in their communities.  
Stage IV units that are studied in core science may include: Energizing Everything, Chemical Magic, Waves of Sound, Human Machine, Web of Life, The Birth of Rocks, Spaceship Earth, and Watery Planet. Science electives vary based on student interests and current issues, but may include courses such as Creek Monitoring, Science Book Club, or DNA.  
The Stage IV Art curriculum is designed on an elective basis to encompass a wide range of visual topics and media, including traditional fine arts drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking as well as contemporary art and design practices. In all electives, young artists work toward independence and confidence to realize their creative visions. The program's goals include exposing students to a rich variety of artistic experiences while introducing strategies and vocabulary for creative problem-solving and personal resilience that enhance all disciplines. Through this evolving set of artistic behaviors students will let go of their self-critical minds in favor of curiosity and creative, critical thinking that is constructive, playful, and generous. 
In Stage IV World Language classes, an experiential approach is used, integrating stories, drama, games, and music into language learning in classes conducted in the target language. Students obtain a functional proficiency in the language, an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and the interdependence of peoples and countries in today’s increasingly globalized world.  
The use of storytelling in World Language classes exposes students to high-frequency vocabulary in an authentic, meaningful, and engaging context. As they learn and play with their stories, students inductively learn grammar structure and syntax. The story also serves as a jumping-off point for written manipulation of the language, creative writing, and story-retelling activities. The use of gestures—hand actions associated with the spoken word—helps language acquisition by involving multi-sensory input, which appeals to multiple learning styles and both sides of the brain. Students hear, see, and feel the language while speaking it. Games are used frequently in classes to give all students a chance to practice new vocabulary, grammar, and conversations in a low-risk and fun setting.
In Stage IV students learn about all aspects of music—theory, history, science, and vocal and instrumental performance. Accommodation is given to varying learning styles through the variety of elective courses offered. Classes are presented that offer hands-on experiences, visually oriented presentations, and active participation.  
A goal of the curriculum is to foster a deep-seated appreciation for music, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. Part of this appreciation arises through a skill-building study of the elements of music. Another part grows through each child finding the many ways music can be used to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings. This opens the door to music as a means of self-expression as well as being an area of rigorous academic study and as an opportunity to collaborate on music projects together.  
Dance is an elective in Stage IV. Students with a passion for dance come together in a fertile environment where they feel safe taking risks, where there is a sense of adventure, where imaginative ideas and creative solutions are explored, where there are open-ended projects that inspire divergent thinkers to discover their own paths to completion, and where originality, creativity and self-expression are fostered.  
Dance in Stage IV incorporates six main areas of development: technique, improvisation, creative problem solving, social awareness, aesthetic appreciation, and performance. Students in Stage IV expand, develop, and demonstrate greater consistency in performing technical skills. They are capable and eager to refine technique through self-evaluation and correction. They begin to show appropriate skeletal alignment, body part articulation, strength, flexibility and coordination in locomotor and non-locomotor movement. Stage IV students explore more complex dance themes and use more sophisticated choreographic structures. They create and perform dances based on their own artistic vision and use improvisation and critical thinking skills to invent movement and to solve movement problems. Stage IV students learn and memorize longer dance sequences, teach their original compositions to classmates, and combine each other’s work to form collaborative dances.  
The goals and content of our classes are based on National Standards set by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education. The Stage IV program builds on the ideas of developing both the physical and social. Students are instructed in proper technique, basic rules and strategies of games, and the benefits of health and fitness. Fundamental ball skills, manipulative skills, and body awareness are used as building blocks to help students develop and refine more complex skills such as shooting a basketball, passing a football, or dribbling and passing a soccer ball. Possessing skills allows the teaching staff to implement rules and strategies and games which bring into play team strategies and cooperation as a group. Health and fitness are shown to students in an anatomical manner through muscle working of the cardiovascular system and the importance of an active lifestyle.  
Learning to Value Oneself
In Stage IV, emphasis is placed on students consciously analyzing their own learning styles and learning to appreciate their own uniqueness.  
  • Developing individual talents  
  • Recognizing individual contributions
  • Nurturing the belief that one person can make a difference  
Learning to Value Others
In Stage IV, there is more direct teaching of the importance of showing respect to others in words and actions.  
  • Accepting different points of view  
  • Displaying empathy for rights and feelings of others  
  • Learning ways to show respect  
Balance Between Individual and Group
Stage IV students develop a deeper understanding of how to achieve a balance between respect for the group and sensitivity to the individual.  
  • Study and application of the democratic process  
  • Peaceful conflict resolution  
  • Establishing what is fair  
Stage IV Sample Student Schedules 
  • 8:10 – 8:25 am Homeroom meeting to discuss the day and any announcements
  • 8:30 – 9:10 am Kitchen Chemistry elective 
  • 9:15 – 10:10 am Language Arts 
  • 10:15 – 11:10 am Math 2 
  • 11:15 – 11:45 am Recess 
  • 11:45 am – 12:15 pm Lunch 
  • 12:15 – 12:45 pm Homeroom/Band 
  • 12:50 – 1:40 pm Social Studies 
  • 1:45 – 2:25 pm Painting 
  • 2:30 – 3:25 pm Physical Education 
  • 3:25 pm Dismissal
Curriculum Guide Stage IV
Educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world.

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41190 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills MI 48304
PHONE  248.203.7330

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