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Grade 5 & 6 - Daniel Greenleaf


Welcome to the home of Mr. Greenleaf's fifth and sixth grade classroom. I am very excited to be entering my 32nd year teaching in the Upper Unit here at the Waitsfield School. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with our students in this supportive school community.

My goal is to help create an environment where students respect and support one another, and push themselves to reach their potential. Ours is a Responsive Classroom, and I truly believe that the social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum. While the academic expectations are high, so is the level of support. In general, my message to the students in my classroom is as follows: 1. This is important. 2. You can do it. 3. I won't give up on you.

Greenleaf Class Slideshow


Classroom Themes

Guiding Principles

Seven principles, informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers, guide the Responsive Classroom approach: 

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand.
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
  • Knowing the children we teach-individually, culturally, and developmentally-is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children's education.
  • How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.

Typical Schedule

7:40 School Starts
7:40-8:00 Morning Meeting
8:00-9:15 Language Arts

9:15-10:15 Science/Social Studies

10:15-11:45 Special Subjects
11:45-12:45 Lunch/Recess

12:45-2:00 Math
2:00-2:25 Group Closing Ceremonies

Typical Homework

Students will typically be assigned homework Monday through Thursday.   The amount assigned and the duration of work time will vary, but generally sixth graders will have from30-60 minutes while fifth graders should expect a bit less.  At the end of each school day we will spend time filling out assignment books and packing carefully to make sure what is needed at home gets there.  Here are a few homework reminders:

  1. Students are expected to take the responsibility for getting their work done, and done well.   While it is fine (wonderful, in fact) for a parent to be involved, they should never feel the need to fight with their child about doing homework.  
  2. Students must share their assignment book with a parent each day, (Monday-Thursday).  Parents should sign or initial the book to show that the child has finished the assignment and communicated with the parent.  Even if no homework is assigned (which is rare), students will still need to get their assignment book initialed by a parent.  (In this case the book will read "No homework".)
  3. There may be times during the year when a student can not get their homework done.  This could be due to a special family event, an illness, or another unexpected reason.  There may also be an assignment that a student attempts to complete, but finds too difficult for some reason.   It is always appropriate for a parent or sibling to help, but please stop if the student reaches an unhealthy level of frustration.  Just put a brief note in your child's assignment book stating that they tried but need some help at school.  This shows that the student took the responsibility for their work, and communicated their need for help.

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Our School Mission

  • Support students in achievement of high academic standards; we believe that all students can master challenging academic material and we expect them to do so.
  • Foster a safe, comfortable and challenging learning environment; help teach children respect for themselves and others, and teach them to accept responsibility for their actions.