Ah, to be an upperclassman! Being a 4th/5th grader at Bixby comes with new privileges, as well as increased responsibilities. As a new 4th grader, the first exciting change is a move into the 4th and 5th grade hallway. This is a part of the school that is open only to these older students. Their cubbies, bathrooms and door to the outside areas are located here, as are their math and literature classrooms. 4th graders also have group time in this area.
These students have additional spaces open only to them. There are 2 lofts for quiet reading. The “stacks” is a reading and homework area available only to 5th graders. Outside there is a place where 4th graders can hang out and a nearby space for just 5th graders. These 2 areas are called the 4th and 5th grade “huts.” The other outside place for older students is the “drive.” Here there is a tetherball pole, a 4 Square court, jump ropes and space to simply be with friends. Once a week each grade gets one day to play on the sports field (Tuesday is the 5th grade day and Thursday is for 4th graders). Wednesday is the day for both grades to join together. The sports field time usually begins with a 10 minute game chosen by the students, in which everyone participates. The remaining time is free time. Students find a variety of activities with their friends: continuing the 10 minute game, beginning a different organized game, walking and talking with friends and/or imaginative play. This large and beautiful space lends itself to many kinds of play.
Another privilege given to the older students is electives. Teachers offer a wide variety of classes, such as cooking with apples (a fall elective), learning the Thriller dance (for Halloween), cardio kickboxing, making gingerbread huts, learning the business of playing Monopoly, 3-D printing to name just a few. These classes are offered twice a week and students may choose 2.
Yes, there is more homework and they are expected to help and set a good example for younger students, but the extra choices and opportunities to grow and try new things makes being an older student at Bixby special and work waiting for.