- Students start each day with a morning meeting to discuss the date, weather, and their daily schedule.
- Express, elaborate and comment on various topics, ideas and experiences by participating in child-directed committee work and daily classroom conversations.
- Devise and direct a collaborative Beautiful Stuff project that includes contributions from each child. Students organize, discover, collect, sort, arrange, and experiment with personal items ultimately sharing their project with the community.
- Observe, predict and analyze scientific results by conducting many interesting hands-on science experiments.
- Utilize the latest technology to communicate ideas and information through photo and video presentations.
- Pursue outside-the-classroom learning opportunities in Spanish, visual arts, science, music, library and media, community service, physical education and swim.
Students are able to clearly and audibly express ideas through daily conversations and reflections while practicing the rules of conversation. They learn how to stay on topic and answer, clarify, elaborate and comment on various ideas and experiences. Through exposure to literacy, students identify character, settings and plot as well as gain comprehension skills. Inside our classroom message center, students draw and write messages to classmates and adults, selecting a personalized stamp to sign all of their work. Students also write and create plays and puppet shows to share with a live audience and make into movies.
Students practice color and shape identification, counting, sorting and classifying, pattern exploration, measurement and data analysis to build their knowledge of mathematical concepts. Through hands-on lessons and experimentation, students organize, compare, analyze, draw conclusions and make predictions. They learn to ask good questions and clarify information. With each mathematical lesson, students develop problem solving strategies and verbally communicate their findings.
Students have the opportunity to participate in many music and performing arts activities. They learn to use their voices expressively to speak, chant and sing. They investigate volume, rhythm, duration, pitch, and texture. They use hand movements and instruments to help them create, understand and respond to music in a variety of forms. Students also gain understanding of spatial awareness through movement and dance.
Gross Motor Skills & Swimming
During daily gross motor time students may experience outdoor play, indoor movement education or deliberate skills and games. They gain experience in following directions, learning rules and boundaries, and expanding their physical, mental and social capabilities. With group games, movement and individual skill-building activities, students are given repeated opportunities to be successful and develop gross motor skills. Students in the ECP 5-day program also participate in small group swim education for one trimester.
Students discover new and exciting aspects of their world with interesting hands-on science activities and experiments. From simple observations—such as fish in an aquarium, or flashlight shadows—to analyzing which objects sink or float, students are able to hypothesize, observe, predict and problem-solve. Students experience a variety of scientific concepts such as weather, animals, plants and the physical world. They are able to explore planting and farming on our school campus. They learn the importance of taking care of the earth by recycling, composting and reducing waste, and talk about the impact these efforts have on their environment. Many lessons center on the National Park and the learning that takes place in our park.
Beginning with the unique characteristics of their classroom community, students discuss the similarities and differences between people starting with the unique characteristics of their own classroom community. Students become familiar with the events and holidays their classmates celebrate. Students practice social skills, gaining an understanding of both personal responsibility and community pride. They also discuss safety skills regarding water, fire, strangers and other dangers. Many discussions at school center around our Core Values of respect, responsibility, goodness and service.
In our introductory Spanish courses, students learn basic vocabulary, begin to converse simply and politely, and explore Spanish culture. They learn words to communicate family members, animals, body, food, color, seasons and celebrations. Students play games, dramatize stories, sing songs, dance and use instruments in a variety of interactive vocabulary-building activities.
Technology is woven into the daily experience of all ECP students through the use of many devices such as iPads and iPods, digital cameras, computers, and SMARTBoards. Students are able to use SMARTBoard technology to interact with applications, play educational games and participate in classroom activities (i.e. morning meeting routines, classroom voting, selecting Worktime), gaining presentation skills while learning to take turns. They learn to communicate ideas through photos and videos that they frame and film themselves. The SeeSaw app is used independently by students to demonstrate learning as a dynamic ePortfolio for parents. Children also practice basic skills such as logging in and out, mouse skills, keyboarding skills, software applications, web browsing, independent exploration of apps, framing a subject in a picture or video, and communicating via pictures or video. Using these tools enhances the children’s experiences in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, research, music, creative and critical thinking.
Students learn about and express lines, forms, colors, shapes and textures in two- and three-dimensional projects. They experiment with clay and dough, creating sculptures from these and other mediums. They use paint, chalk, pen, marker, colored pencils and nature materials on various surfaces. They cut with scissors and draw, learning and using new vocabulary and concepts as they progress. With frequent opportunity to explore, sketch, build, cut, glue and create, students enhance their imaginations as well as critical thinking skills. Children are provided with daily opportunities to work in the classroom art studio where they are inspired by a variety of materials.