Sophia C. is a part of BASIS Independent McLean’s founding 5th grade class. Sophia’s passion and drive for success is truly inspiring. She is extremely creative and is widely recognized by her teachers as a student who is always willing to help out her classmates. Outside of school Sophia is an avid squash player, loves playing with her dog, watching movies, and working on the 5th grade newsletter. The BASIS Independent Prophet is a newsletter Sophia and her friends hand out weekly to their classmates. Sophia writes ghost stories and is also the newsletter editor.
Sophia joined BASIS Independent McLean from a local private school and views our school very different from her last. “Right now I am glad to be here because I get to learn way more. My teachers pay more attention to me while teaching me something new every day. The teachers here make an effort to understand you. They know their subject because they have a lot of experience and allow you to go further in less time. If you are on a certain level the teachers work to get you to the next level and I think that is what is special about BASIS Independent McLean teachers,” said Sophia.
Sophia thinks it’s great to go to a school with older students. She said when they pass in the hall she envisions herself in their shoes one day. It makes her excited about her future at BASIS Independent McLean. When asked why she thinks other 5th graders should join BASIS Independent, Sophia said smiling, “I think this is a very good school, especially for kids who are curious and want to learn. If you want to be a citizen of the world, this is the place for you!”
Day in the Life
by Sophia Calkins, 5th Grade
Every morning when I arrive to school, I head straight to the Great Hall to meet my friends at Early Bird. Once we are dismissed, we have 15 minutes to go to our lockers and arrive in English with Mr. Sharp, my first class of the day. I love going to my locker because it is decorated. If it is a Monday, I pass out our newsletter The BASIS Independent Prophet to my classmates. Every morning we do daily grammar practices, so we can become awesome writers. Every Friday we play grammar ball, which is our class’ favorite game. Mr. Sharp finds a way to make grammar fun.
Classics is next on my schedule and I really like history. Dr. McCaffray is good at making everyone understand classics and comparing it to things that we know today. Dr. McCaffray sometimes pretends he is a Chaos Serpent when he teaches. A Chaos Serpent is a creature Egyptians believed in, so he acts like this to bring the lesson to life.
Next is Intro to Pre-Algebra with Ms. McCullough, which is one of the most fun classes. This week in math, Ms. McCullough is teaching us how to multiply rates. All of the math lessons she teaches us are advanced and I love it. I’m happy that I’m able to do math above my grade level and I am proud to be in a math class that challenges me.
Then comes lunch, where I hang out with my friends on the comfortable chairs or couches. Once lunch is finished we go to Academic Enrichment with Dr. Wilson. My friends and I have a table in the middle where we always talk about the newspaper. If we aren’t working on The BASIS Independent Prophet, I use this time to read or study. If I am having trouble with a certain subject, we are allowed to ask our classmates for help during Academic Enrichment. This is a great time to start working on my homework as well. We usually have homework in two thirds of our classes, so it is pretty easy to manage.
After lunch, is my 5th period class, which is one of my favorite classes and it is music with Mr. Junsay. Mr. Junsay is really nice and since he works with younger kids, he knows how to make things funny. He finds a way to make learning music easy and interesting. Right now we are learning about the bass clef, which is below middle C. After we finish learning the bass clef, Mr. Junsay says we are going to start composing music on the keyboard.
Geography is my next class with my favorite teacher, Ms. Garcia. You can really learn a lot in Geography. Right now we are learning about all the water on this planet and the hydrosphere. I have learned a lot in the few months I have been with Ms. Garcia. She is great at teaching and helping you to understand so you can go fast. You can talk to her about anything because she is also a dean at our school.
Twice a week, during seventh period, I have Latin with Dr. Grissom. It’s funny to make jokes in another language. Every Wednesday, Dr. Grissom creates a story, in Latin, about a family that lives in Pompeii. All of the characters he talks about are in the 6th grade text book, so he is getting us prepared for next year. For homework we have to answer questions about the story, so that doesn’t take very long. I’d say I’ve learned a lot in his class. I speak Spanish, so it helps a lot.
Science is my last class of the day, which is also taught by my favorite teacher, Ms. Garcia. Right now we are doing Chemistry, which is my favorite topic in science. We are currently learning about different types of matter, volume, and density. I am excited to get into chemistry. My mom is good at it, so she is going to help me a lot. I’m looking forward to being good at what my mom is strong at.
Last semester I was a member of the Junior CEO club and that was fun. In this afterschool club, we got to solve real problems that were actually happening and I can’t wait to be a part of this club again next year. I also joined the Student Ambassador program this year!
You can view the full schedule for our 5th grade here.
Attend a January Informational Event
We have a few remaining informational events this month including General Information Sessions, Curriculum Sessions, and an Open House for Preschool and Kindergarten. To review upcoming events and register, please visit our Events page, where you may also schedule a school tour.
BASIS Independent McLean is a Preschool-12 private school located in McLean, Virginia providing students an acclaimed liberal arts and science curriculum.