Learning through doing forges deeper neural pathways and makes learning fun!
Design thinking and design lab challenges
After exposure to Spanish and French in Kindergarten, 1st Graders study Spanish to continue to develop cultural and language literacy.
Our Lower School Spanish teacher, Sra. Vega, conducts her class in Spanish, meeting for three 30-minute sessions in our six-day rotation. Students learn vocabulary and syntax through song, rhyme and activity. It is a fast-paced ride through the Spanish-speaking world where it's not unusual to see students leading the song or chant.
Science labs and coding
Our science and computer classes meet by half-class to give the teacher a better student:teacher ratio when diving into experiments, coding, and providing individualized reading and math instruction. Because we know that problem-solving is important, our little scientists use the scientific method to chart their hypotheses, questions, results and speculations! They apply this knowledge during Mad Scientist Day, as they lead experiments and observational studies. They learn to explore through questioning and discovery, making learning more meaningful and concrete.
For coding, students use a hands-on board game that helps demonstrate the process of logical thinking. After they have mastered the board game, the students move to an online curriculum that allows them to move at their own pace. Once they're confident, they take their coding to the next level by pairing a device with a robot via Bluetooth and watching the code they've written come to life. Wow!
All 1st graders are well into an individualized reading curriculum through cross-curricular integration between the media specialist and classroom teachers. Students learn a balanced approach to literacy, with phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension lessons tailored to individual reading levels through small group literature circles. By the end of the year, many 1st graders describe their greatest accomplishment as reading a chapter book all by themselves.