Believing all children are gifted, CCC’s Elementary program supports both individual and group goals with our mixed age programs. Learning is not narrowed down to a standardized curriculum of “one size fits all,” but instead challenges the group to move forward with purpose. Mathematical thinking, literacy development, music and song, dance and drama, science and art, nature and community outings all interweave, creating a program that truly gives joy to learning.
Elementary Features and Curriculum
Higher Student to Adult/Teacher Ratio
Local elementary students may have an adult to child ratio of 1 to 25-35 for kindergarten through third grade. Currently CCC has a Master Teacher plus one to two parent helpers per day as well as rotating interns. The individualized attention and quality time is key to our success.
Teacher facilitates full group discussions and small group collaborations on both teacher and child directed subjects. Daily Jobs, book talks, and project work are some of the full group activities.
Individual Lessons and Attention
Children receive one-on-one support for writing and reading skills. Through personal interactions, students are encouraged to move forward and challenged to reach new heights.
Citizenship and conflict resolution skills
Children are seen as citizens of our community, wit
h the right to play and learn in a safe and
respectful environment. Our elementary program cultivates the skills needed to be a responsible member, who can identify problems, negotiate solutions, and find resolutions that are positive for all. This is an essential component of our school and philosophy.
Critical Thinking Skills
From garden walks to monthly field trips, teachers help children to think deeply, encouraging the formulation of theories and expanding the mind. Children are viewed as active, engaged participants, capable of moving their learning forward both internally and with peers.
Writing and Reading
From day one children begin writing in their journals. In kindergarten, we focus on learning letter symbols, hearing sounds, and constructing words. CCC kindergarteners move
rapidly toward a true understanding of written communication. It is not unusual to have our kinder students composing sentences and stories by the end of the year.
In first, second, and third grade, literacy time becomes a time to work on continuous stories as well as expanded journal pages. Transitioning from “kid” spelling to “conventional” spelling, students learn the process of editing, using resources, such as a dictionary, to assist their work. Students move themselves forward from writing one sentence, to multiple sentences, to paragraphs, as their desire to express more increases.
Our kindergarten reading series, (The Wright Group), is a coordinated program that guides our students from emergent readers towards independent readers. Our big books, small group work, and elementary reading library, help students to feel successful at every step. Students work together, in large groups, small groups, and independently, on reading skills, making sure the process stays fun!
Our elementary reading library is full of books to support children at all reading levels. Continuing to use reading strategies, our elementary students are encouraged to choose appropriate level reading books to support their independent reading. Elementary students continue to participate in all group readings. Collecting spelling words, analyzing parts of speech, and vocabulary enrichment are a few concepts students first through third work on in all group readings, while supporting their younger classmates.
Math and Science Integration
Our math and science activities are integrated into our daily lives. The life cycle is studied through our garden, snack becomes pretzel math, and time/money concepts are developed through our classroom bank. Story math problems help us to conceptualize ideas using real life experiences while working big math concepts. Through meaningful activities, math and science thinking become a way of looking at our world.
We view a child’s family as the primary teacher in the child’s life. We assist them in understanding the steps needed to support social, emotional and academic learning at home. They in turn assist us in understanding their child.
Health, Nutrition, and Lunch
Let’s build “Healthy Bodies and Brains!” At CCC, children learn that a healthy body is a super one! From daily movement, outdoor exercise, stretching our brains, to food for thought, children are building the foundation of life long healthy habits. Family style lunch is provided by parents on an alternating basis. Our lunches are fantastic! Parents take the time to provide great food, full of nutrition and variety! The children learn to prepare and enjoy nutritious foods using raw ingredients from many cultures.
The Creative Process
Imagination is key to learning. In our elementary program, students are encouraged to think creatively. Writing, thinking, playing, dancing, and designing all stem from our creative side. At CCC it’s a way of life!
“to make the invisible, visible.”
Music and Dance
Music and dance is a priority everyday in our classroom. Music builds an understanding of rhythm and rhyme, creating new pathways in the brain while supporting literacy development. Inspired by the work of many well-known singers and songwriters, children sing, dance, study lyrics, play instruments, make music, and move! Using music to explore history and social justice, folk songs and traditional songs are brought into the classroom to inspire children to consider different perspectives and time periods. Through music, we can explore many cultures, stories, and ideas and connect as a community.
Studio Arts Exploration
There is no limit to what children can create! The studio is one of the most active spaces in our classroom, full of materials to inspire, expand and create stories and ideas. Clay, wire, paper, plastic and natural materials, fabrics, and yarns are but a few examples of materials children have to work with everyday.