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Students develop their voice during Writing Workshop as they learn the writing process, including generating ideas, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Writing Workshop begins with a mini-lesson, is followed by independent writing time, and concludes with sharing of student work. In SK, students begin by drawing pictures to tell stories, labeling the picture, and then writing words to describe the pictures. Students are encouraged to write the sounds they hear in words, as well as include sight words that are posted in the classroom.
Units throughout the year include:
Handwriting is taught using the Handwriting Without Tears program. Students develop their skills over time, focusing first on how to hold instruments properly, and then on size and spacing in order to form letters and write with ease. The curriculum uses hands-on, multisensory materials and was designed in such a way that it introduces shapes, numbers, and letters in an order that matches the progression of children’s developmental abilities so that it is easier for them to practice, learn, and remember. The program follows research of how children learn best and includes materials that address all styles of learning.
Math Workshop is a framework that allows students to learn new math content each day, practice math strategies in a variety of ways, and reflect on learning through verbal or written sharing. The predictable structure of the math workshop makes it easier for students to participate in differentiated activities.
A mathematical foundation is established in PK and JK with interactive games, puzzles, block building, and manipulatives. Our morning meeting begins by reviewing the calendar and daily schedule, incorporating the gradual understanding of time, counting, and numeral recognition. Throughout these activities, children develop an understanding of numerals, shapes, patterns, measurement, sorting, one-to-one correspondence, categorizing, and logical thinking. Various manipulatives aid students in developing mathematical problem-solving skills as they count, sort, combine, and measure with pattern blocks, counters, and tangrams.
Emergent literacy for PK and JK is integrated throughout our curriculum. Our print-rich environment helps children understand why and how print is used. Nursery rhymes and songs allow the children to hear the sounds of speech in our oral language. Active engagement with books and storytelling promote pre-literacy skills that build vocabulary, develop comprehension, and support higher levels of thinking. Over time, children learn to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences through drawing and writing.
Students in every grade spend the first six weeks of school understanding their role and learning how to be a positive member of their class and school community. Each class develops classroom expectations and discusses how to work together and problem solve when challenges arise, in alignment with the Responsive Classroom approach.
Every grade learns about various communities and the important role that the people, places and history play as they develop and change over time.
Through a project-based approach, students share and learn about themselves, their families, school, local, national and global communities. Performances, field trips, and real-life simulations support students’ growth throughout their units of study.