At Country Day it is immediately evident that there is a lot of active learning going on. In every corner of the school, from the three-year-olds to the eleven-year-olds, the children are absorbed in developing skills that they will need as they maneuver not only through the grades, but also throughout their lives. Our talented faculty provides them with opportunities to investigate, to question, to practice, to be creative, to expand their worlds, and to gain confidence as they learn. The small size of the classes offers unparalleled benefits.
The curriculum is designed to provide a sequential adventure for young students. Learning experiences vary from whole class lessons to small group experiences to partnerships and individual opportunities. The teachers offer many ways for the children to demonstrate what they have learned. Naturally, this varies widely according to the age of the student. The youngest students might create a kimono after studying Japanese culture, while the fifth graders might assemble a book on Egypt filled with individual research reports on topics related to this ancient civilization.
For assessment purposes, many strategies are put into place in the classrooms. The students can demonstrate their understanding of what they’ve studied by creating projects, giving oral presentations, writing reports, taking traditional tests, sharing ideas in discussion groups, building with blocks, drawing pictures, and completing traditional exercises. Children learn in a variety of ways, and they can show their understanding in many ways as well.
To further enhance learning, the core teachers regularly work with the specialists. A fourth grade class might design a puppet show that connects with a novel they’ve completed, a second grade class might sing songs in music that relate to a social studies unit, a first grade class might add numbers in Spanish, and the pre-kindergarten students might design igloos to coincide with their study of penguins. The school believes that these connections help the students to develop a stronger understanding of classroom concepts. In addition, it’s fun to learn this way!