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The MMS Blog

Welcome to Upper Elementary: Advice for Rising Third Graders

It’s finally their time! Fourth graders get to participate in the famed Upper Elementary Musical. Each UE student is a part of the production, which strengthens the bonds between students across grades and builds confidence and a sense of responsibility.

Gather round! Our sage fourth graders recently shared some pearls of wisdom for their third grade peers, who will soon be ascending to Upper Elementary. Class of ’22 parents, safeguard these practical tips for next September. You may even want to read them to your new fourth grader the night before school starts: One suggestion encourages getting plenty of sleep!  


  1. While it’s true you’re back to being the youngest age group at your level, don’t be nervous: Upper Elementary kids are very helpful!


  1. There is no homework for the first two weeks.
  2. Homework is practicing what you did/learned that day—not completely new material—so don’t worry that it’s going to include unfamiliar concepts.
  3. Homework does require time and attention, but isn’t as bad as people say.
  4. Have a good, quiet spot at home to do homework. 
  5. Two to three times a week, you’ll have “work time” to get a jump on homework. Use this time wisely, so you can decrease your work in the evening!
  6. For longer assignments, work out a schedule so you can slowly chip away at these projects and not wait until the last minute to get started!


  1. Be prepared for an early morning arrival, which is at 8 am. Don’t stay up late.
  2. Your classes are with all the kids in your grade, so your homeroom is not important.
  3. Unlike in Primary and LE, different teachers teach different subjects. You’ll be moving around to different classrooms throughout the day, which is a good change.
  4. Using a locker for books and supplies is new.
  5. It takes a while to trust the new teachers and feel comfortable asking questions, but they’re there to help, so don’t be anxious about approaching them!
  6. At the end of the day, you’ll have independent reading.  It is relaxing and quiet.


  1. Math might seem harder at the beginning but give it time.
  2. You can ask for extra practice and the teacher will help you.
  3. You might mess up but don’t worry.
  4. You might feel stressed, or think you have a lot—but then you realize it is not as much as you thought!
  5. You have to be more independent.
  6. You have to take notes in class.
  7. Don’t procrastinate. Save your screen time—movies, Fortnite, etc.—for when you’re done with your homework. 

Remember: It takes 10,000 hours to become a master, or simply very good, AT ANYTHING.

In the fall, the entire fourth grade goes to Storm King Art Center in upstate New York.

Posted on May 30, 2019 in
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