Katie Lund and Stacie Popowski teach students in a combined, multi-age class of 2nd – 3rd graders.
Students learn core subjects of math and communications (language arts, reading, literature, writing) in separate, appropriately grade-oriented classrooms.
Katie and Stacie plan and facilitate the social studies, science, diversity of life, and art components of the curriculum via a variety of lesson formats: lectures, multi-sensory learning centers, group projects, scientific inquiry, diversity of life studies, library and internet research, labs, data collection and analysis, field trips, and visiting experts. The two groups share the same experiences, but are challenged to complete grade/ability appropriate tasks and assignments based upon their individual needs as learners. Each learner is challenged to work at an optimal rate of personal academic challenge. They regularly reflects with each student to ensure that goals are authentic, that the process and purpose of each lesson is clear and effective, and that students are present in mind, body and spirit.
Elementary students practice the Essential Learning Skills across all subject areas on a daily basis.
Multi-sensory centers afford our students the opportunity to tackle complex tasks based on challenging questions and problems. These learning centers integrate the Multiple Intelligences and require students to work both independently and collaboratively. Each student is involved in the processes of problem-solving, decision-making, designing, and implementing investigation activities, from research to scientific inquiry.
The curriculum is designed to help students use critical and creative thinking skills to make connections across the disciplines.
Special interdisciplinary projects centered in Science and Social Studies challenge students to do the work of real Scientists and Social Scientists. Emphasis is placed on development of independent learners, self-sufficient in project-based learning, scientific inquiry, and in all the essential learning skills. Students learn about geography, history, and archaeology in their explorations of the world continents and cultures. Students work in groups to record observations and notes about the natural and cultural history of each new region explored. This research is used for analysis of facts as well as for creative projects sparked by imagination and curiosity. These “travels” offer a window to the world, through which students look not only at indigenous plants and animals but also at distinct habitats and contemporary environmental ecological concerns.