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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future


Intermediate Elementary

Ages 7 - 10

  • Date created

    March 1, 2018

  • Last updated

    November 16, 2020

While you’re here, read some of our Intermediate Elementary students’ honest and independent thoughts on school at Spectrum, especially during COVID-19, in this recent assignment from a cohort of IE students.


Intermediate Elementary serves kids ages 7 to 10.  During their years at this level, students learn to advocate for themselves, solve in-depth problems in creative ways, and actively participate in rich interdisciplinary learning.  At the beginning of the year, students are challenged through teacher-led projects. Throughout the year, they are guided to increasing levels of independence choosing topics based on their interests.  They are taught how to ask questions, make a cohesive plan, and reflect on their progress and product. Students engage with both their classroom and school community as well as members of the community at large.

What to Expect

A balanced approach to literacy, including book clubs, journaling, reports and research, fiction and non-fiction reading, grammar, phonics, and literary round table discussions

Spelling and syntax experienced through word-study

In-depth math study through the Investigations Math program

Social studies and science explored through in-depth, interdisciplinary projects

A strong emphasis on social development

Instrumental Band offered beginning at age 9

Inside the Classroom

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Nov. 16 – Nov. 20

Our latest project based investigation: Floating Cities!Creating Japanese New Years cards with Keiko today!Bridges! After researching types of bridges, locating 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Nov. 9 – Nov. 13

A group of students from Sally's cohort participated in this after school opportunity during October! We had a great visit 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Nov. 2 – Nov. 6

Figuring out the volume of our classroom in cubic meters! Avenlea created a Dragon Training Obstacle Course for the 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Oct. 26 – Oct. 30

Continuing our architecture study and designing our Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stained glass windows!Finishing animation projects after school with Iga 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Oct. 19 – Oct. 23

The Brainstormers need some donations for a project next week, thanks! - small (shoe box size) boxes - paper towel 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Oct. 12 – Oct. 16

The Brainstormers testing out ideas and collaborating with teams for our Create-a-Sport project!Learning about data collection using raisins!Sounds of the 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Oct. 5 – Oct. 9

Our guitar gals proudly sharing their instruments!Yoga practice with Ms. Tammie this morning! Anderson Japanese Gardens! In the past, we 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Sept. 28 – Oct. 2

Chris Grabenstein presentation! The Creat-ova-tors attended a virtual presentation by Chris Grabenstein, author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. He 

Brainstormers and Creatovators’ Highlights! Sept. 21 – Sept. 25

Puffball dissection during recess!The Brainstormers adding to their Picasso guitars, while the Creat-o-vators are building their guitars!A nature hike is 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Sept. 14 – Sept. 18

Scholastic Book Clubs is the best possible partner to help you get excellent children's books into the hands of your 

Brainstormers’ and Creatovators’ Highlights! Sept. 8 – Sept. 10

First-week-of-school birthday: Happy 10th Birthday, Lorien! Some book caddy construction: building and painting!Creative and Innovative! These students got creative showing 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! May 25 – May 29

Last Day Zoom Picnic & Bingo!Thank you so much for your support in helping your child finish the school year 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! May 18 – May 22

Spirit Days for the last week of school! Tuesday 10:00AM = Small groups Pajama Day! Wednesday 10:00AM = Large group 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! May 11 – May 15

Check out this fun activity from Kelli's math group that compares decimals!{{ vc_btn: title=DECIMAL+COMPARE%21&shape=round&color=primary& }}Mady's delicate, and Lilah's springtime, Haiku 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Apr. 27 – May 1

An incredible source for children's books, and it's FREE to sign up! Open Library! Parker was able to capture SpaceX 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Apr. 20 – Apr. 24

Friday April 17th was International Haiku Day. Here are some of our original poems!Google Classroom updates! Here is our welcome 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Apr. 13 – Apr. 17

Genius Hour Intro! Genius Hour proposals and pitches! Our class has been organizing ideas for our Genius Hour Proposals 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Apr. 6 – Apr. 9

Nathan's skeletal system research! Dexter's fraction combinations! Ryan and Bear's AMAZING videos on their Nervous System projects! Nervous 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Mar. 30 – Apr. 3

Recap Here's just a handful of things discussed this week during our Zoom meetings! Interactive read aloud of Magic Misfits-chapter 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Mar. 23 – Mar. 27

Zoom! We learned a lot with our first ZOOM meeting today! It was wonderful to see everyone. We miss you 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Mar. 9 – Mar. 13

Please remind students to have water bottles here throughout the week. We will be sending home winter gear. After break, 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Mar. 2 – Mar. 6

If you are participating in our "Bring Your Own Device" program, please remind your child to bring his/her Chromebook everyday. 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Feb. 24 – Feb. 28

Celebrating dental health month with an informational scavenger hunt!Congrats to the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Band on their music and 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Feb. 18 – Feb. 20

Nathan's Trombone Solo! Nathan practiced his trombone solo with piano today. He is doing well! Practice time got cut short 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Feb. 10 – Feb. 14

Bravo to the students who participated in the Future Problem Solving competition this past weekend! Woodworking Interest Group! Our students 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Feb. 3 – Feb. 6

It was a short and busy week here with the Recy-COOL Kids, so we apologize for the lack of photos. 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Jan. 27 – Jan. 31

Please remember to go to this link and sign up for a Parent/Teacher Conference! We Want Tea! Design ChallengeLunar 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Jan. 21 – Jan. 24

Pandebono! Novella shared homemade Pandebono (Colombian Cheese Bread) with our class today. They were delicious! Rhythm instruments' final touches for 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Jan. 13 – Jan. 17

Spies! Learning about spies during the American Revolution. We shared our secret information using invisible ink (base) and then revealing 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Jan. 6 – Jan. 10

One of our Board members came across an out-of-school online learning opportunity for 10-13 year olds that looks pretty interesting. 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Dec. 16 – Dec. 20

Holiday Show dress rehearsal!We wish nothing but a relaxing, magical, and loving Winter Break to you and your family! As 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Dec. 9 – Dec. 13

Gingerbread! Ask your Recy-COOL Kid how Gingerbread helped save the American Revolution! Also, thank you to Sabine and Middle School 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Dec. 2 – Dec. 6

Here is a link to our classroom's Google Calendar! Recy-COOL Kids' Google Calendar! Working on Hour of Code this week 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Nov. 18 – Nov. 22

Our students proudly sharing their hard work during Processfolio Night!Ecobricks construction after our morning snack!Easing into Friday with some yoga 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Nov. 12 – Nov. 15

Japanese class! Writing names in Japanese with adzuki red beans and listening to a Japanese folk song. Arigatou Takenaka senses 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles: Nov. 4 – Nov. 8

THANK YOU ALL for your donations for our Ecobricks! Our collecting is now closed. If you are looking for a 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Oct. 28 – Nov. 1

We are collecting some cereal/snack food boxes for a project. Just the boxes... you can eat the food inside them. 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Oct. 21 – Oct. 25

A Sign Up Genius invitation was sent to each family in our classroom. Please look over the list of supplies 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Oct. 14 – Oct. 18

Field Trip to Rockford University: Monday, Oct. 21st 8:40-9:40AM. Please remember to dress for P.E. activities! Drivers: Ann Thornton Dori 

Recy-COOL Kids’ Chronicles! Oct. 7 – Oct. 11

We had a great time with Angelic Organics this week! Thanks so much to our volunteers and donations of supplies!! 

Introducing: The Intermediate Recy-Cool Kids! Sept. 30 – Oct. 3

Read below and let us know if you can help! We are looking for drivers and permission slips for our 

Intermediate Elementary: Sept. 23 – Sept. 27

Reminders & Notes: Please remind your students to bring their water bottles back each week. Thanks! Calum and Kelli check 

Intermediate Elementary: Sept. 16 – Sept. 20

Each classroom is organizing a raffle basket for the Fall Festival. The theme for our class is "animals" because we 

Intermediate Elementary: Sept. 9 – Sept. 13

We have started collecting our non-biodegradable trash to make eco-bricks! We now need water bottles. Please don't go out to 

Intermediate Elementary: Sept. 3 – Sept. 6

WELCOME! We sent out an email invite this week for In-Take Conferences on Friday, Sept. 13th via SignupGenius. Let us 

Bluestems’ Dossier: May 20 – May 24

Last lunch of the school year! Highlights from the Spectrum International lunch with Rockford University!Picnic/Hike/Land Art/Birthday S'mores/Bubbles at Rock Cut!Last 

Bluestems’ Dossier: May 13 – May 17

Field Trip on Friday, May 24 9:00am-11:00am Don Carter Lanes Last Day Celebration! Sharing and launching their Genius Hour projects!Having 

Bluestems’ Dossier: May 6 – May 10

Bluestems' Notes: - Our field trip to Angelic Organics has been rescheduled for this fall. We took advantage of a 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Apr.29 – May.3

REMINDER! If your student will be performing in Hairspray Jr this weekend, this is a friendly reminder that your students 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Apr.22 – Apr.26

Happy Earth Day! Here's ways the Bluestem class celebrate Earth Day everyday!Nonfiction Texts Learning about water conservation while focusing on 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Apr.15 – Apr.19

We are excited about the Fun Day, Run Day on Friday April 26th.😎 Our class will begin the celebration at 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Apr.8 – Apr.12

Upcoming Schedule: Monday 4/15 Interest Groups Tuesday 4/16 Interest Groups Wednesday 4/17 Interest Groups 5:30PM - 7:00PM Interest Group Sharing/ 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Apr.1 – Apr.5

We had a wonderful time at our field trip to Angelic Organics. Hope you enjoy the photos of all the 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Mar.18 – Mar.22

Snapshots of our Bookmaking Station and other activities during our Literacy Night event! Building shelters at recess on Wednesday!Forest 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Mar.11 – Mar.15

Bluestems' Friendly Reminders: We need drivers for two field trips next week: Monday - Rockford University 8:45AM - 9:45AM, and 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Mar.4 – Mar.8

IQRA Collaboration Our cultural exchange with IQRA School of Rockford continued last Friday, March 1st. This time the Spectrum students 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Feb.25 – Mar.1

Learning Japanese numbers, colors, and greetings! Ichi, ni, san, shi!Our Olive Garden lunch was scrumptious!Our newest class photo! Drawing endangered 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Feb.19 – Feb.22

Bluestems' Notes: Super exciting news!!! Our class and Early Elementary collected the most $$ during Spectrum's Pennies for Patients event 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Feb.11 – Feb.15

Bluestems' Scrum Section Genius Hour-themed Valentine boxes! Great work, Bluestems!There is some serious reading happening in our room!Valentines' Day singing 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Feb.4 – Feb.8

We finally got to use our new sleds at recess today!Drama Class During drama time with Aubrey, we are finishing 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Jan.21 – Jan.25

The Bluestems are super excited for their upcoming field trip to Forest City Gear in Roscoe on Wednesday, January 30th 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Jan.14 – Jan.18

Positively impacting the future, one day at a time... Conference Day is February 1st. Please remember to sign up for 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Jan.8 – Jan.11

2019: LET'S DO IT! SAVE THE DATE! January 23rd is our all-day field trip to Angelic Organics. Welcome to our 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Dec.17 – Dec.21

Farewell, 2018!Book Share! Dexter presenting his book share! Birthday Treats! Preparing the December birthday treats! Practice makes perfect! Putting the 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Dec.3 – Dec.7

Hello, December! Bluestem Families, Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and words during the last month.  As you 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Nov.26 – Nov.30

Wrapping Up November! Please remember to return your Processfolios, thanks! Poetry Reciting our November poetry! Personal Project Parker testing out 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Nov.12 – Nov.16

Legos & Gratitude is all you need! Bluestems' Notes & Reminders: You may or may not know that Avenlea has 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Nov.5 – Nov.9

Bluestems' News & Upcoming Dates Be sure to join us for Processfolio Night anytime between 3:00PM - 6:00PM in our classroom. This 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Oct.29 – Nov.2

Happy Halloween! REMINDERS: Remember to send in your “Pennies for Patients “ during November. Thanks in advance! November 20 - 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Oct.22 – Oct.26

This week, everybody couldn't stop buzzing about Severson Dells: what an AMAZING learning experience! Upcoming Dates: October 31st = Field 

Bluestems’ Dossier: Oct.15 – Oct.19

Enjoy this glimpse at all the work and fun that Intermediate Elementary (the Bluestems) had over the last few weeks! 

Supply List & Resources


Spelling City
Spelling City Each student has a specific sort number that works on a spelling rule or pattern.  In class, we work with students to put their words into categories to help them memorize and understand the patterns rather than just individual words.

Investigations Math

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a website that helps reinforce math skills your child is learning at school.

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. The link below takes you to an introductory video with information about setting up an account. Khan is used as a supplement to our applied math program, Investigations by Pearson.

Math Practice Links

Supply List

Parent-provided supplies:

24-count box of crayons & 12-count box of colored pencils

1 pair of rain boots for Fall/Spring

1  rain jacket

1 8oz. bottle hand sanitizer

1 reusable water bottle, sanitized and filled at home each day

3-5 face masks that can be washed and returned daily

1 pair of winter boots and snow pants(to be brought in when snow begins)


Teacher-provided supplies:

individual pencil sharpeners




composition books

reusable plates/utensils


desk organizers


Other ways you can help:

  • We spend a lot of time outside in a variety of weather. It is a good idea to have available for your child a raincoat, rain boots or older shoes that can get wet or muddy, comfortable clothes suitable for each season, and extra sets of winter clothes to leave at school (i.e. mittens, hats, socks, and snow pants), Students who like to wear shorts or skirts to school may want to keep an extra pair of long pants in their backpacks. Our facility has acres of wooded trails, and we like to use them year-round!
  • We have created two wish lists on Amazon for books that we plan to use this year. Monarch (picture books) and Bluestem (chapter books) Award nominees are titles that have been chosen by Illinois teachers, students, and librarians as excellent and varied examples of children’s literature.
  • Please take a look at the following links to see if there are any that you would be willing to donate to our classroom. Monarch: Bluestem: Other needs may arise as we progress through the school year, which we will send out via email.

We are excited for the school year to begin!

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