While each student follows an individualized curriculum based on their interests, we believe that it is important for all students to study literacy and math each day. Literacy and math look different for each student based on their individual interests, level of skill, and learning needs. For example, a 3rd grader might listen while a poem is read aloud to the whole class, then work with a small group of peers on writing a collaborative poem, then read an independently-chosen novel. Another student in the same class might listen to the same read-aloud, then write independently, then play a vocabulary game with a peer. In math, one 7th grader might work on a geometry activity measuring the diameter and circumference of different objects, while another might be practicing word problems with surface area.
Twice a year, teachers prepare narrative reports of what each child has been learning to share with families. Teachers track each student’s progress through a mix of regular observation and formal assessment such as quizzes and projects as appropriate. Teachers also work to help students track their own progress.
We believe that children are naturally curious, and when students are free to follow their own interests in a safe and caring environment, they are enthusiastic and joyful about learning across a variety of subjects–including traditional academic subjects like language arts, mathematics, and the sciences.
Examples of Literacy Projects
- Reading and writing poetry
- Researching the question “What animal should we get for a class pet?”
- Writing and editing the school newspaper
- Writing letters to elected officials based on civil rights issues that we learned about during Black History Month
- Writing and performing their own plays
Examples of Math Projects and Problem-Solving
- Creating model tree houses and measuring the materials required using area and perimeter
- Making conjectures about which fractions will convert to repeating decimals
- Writing their own word problems that incorporate addition, subtraction, and multiplication
- Using straightedge and compass constructions to create artworks
- Using coordinate graphs to decode a secret message