Welcome to the Lynx Classroom
5th & 6th Grades
Students in the Lynx classroom learn through thematic instruction, which ties learning objectives in Reading, Writing, Art, Social Studies, Science and even Math to a larger framework of connected knowledge. Every two years, the theme in the Lynx classroom is “True North” which delves into the history of Minnesota from Native American Studies, to the Fur Trade and Logging, to our state’s participation in the major political conflicts and the demographics of the current electorate. This is also our field trip year, when Lynx travel to the Soudan Iron Mine near Lake Vermillion to learn about one of Minnesota’s major industries. Additionally, the Lynx visit Grand Portage National Monument where they get to experience historical reenactments from the era when the Fur Trade was at its height in Northern Minnesota.
Every other year, the Lynx students at GES study Early American History through a thematic unit called “Our Colonial House”. Beginning with early explorers, stories of the first contact, and major political themes in Europe during the 17th Century, the Lynx study what life was like for the first European settlers in America and the Native people whose way of life was altered as a result of their arrival. The year culminates in an in-depth look at the American Revolution and the documents created by our founding fathers that forever shaped what our nation would become.
Infused into everything students learn and do in the Lynx classroom are opportunities to practice healthy social skills as well as deepen their understanding of personal identity. Lynx and Otters students jointly participate in PORTAL, a gender-specific academic program that teaches about the “Power of Responsibility, Teamwork, Adolescence, and Learning.” As 5th and 6th graders, Lynx students also begin to take on some of the responsibilities of being the “olders” at Great Expectations School. One of the most exciting aspects of entering 5th grade at GES is that students get to have a “younger” Reading Buddy for the first time, which means they will have the chance to practice leadership and be a reading mentor to someone in the Bear Cubs, Fawns or Wolves class. At the beginning and end of every day, Lynx students come together in the Circle of Power and Respect. This is a safe place where Lynx students are able to deepen their relationships with each other, practice key social skills, review critical academics and build community through fun and laughter!
Watch the Sentence Structure Video from the classroom of '21
Watch the Recycling Rap Video from the classroom of '22
Lynx Educators: Chuck and Mindy
Chuck has taught in many different capacities over his career, including urban and rural locations, and settings that include a residential treatment facility, charter schools, and traditional school districts. He has taught different ability levels, from remedial and ELL populations to honors classes. As a result, he has incorporated high levels of differentiation and responded effectively to the needs of those students in Special Education, experiencing high poverty, or learning English. He has worked outside of education as well, including as a sales representative, an aikido instructor, and a freelance writer. He brings a broad base of knowledge and experience to his instruction. While growing up in Cook County, Chuck was influenced by many fine teachers in Grand Portage and Grand Marais. Those experiences influence his interactions with students in his classroom. Outside of the classroom, Chuck enjoys many of the outdoor activities Cook County has to offer.