• Language Arts
• Social Studies
• Physical Education
This subject area includes oral communication, listening comprehension, reading, spelling, handwriting, vocabulary development, and all elements of written expression including grammar, usage, and mechanics.
The Language Arts program is geared toward the individual needs of students through small group instruction and one-to-one instruction. Instruction incorporates multi-sensory techniques, and strategies are taught to accommodate varying individual learning styles. Speech and Language Pathologists work with both teachers and students in order to address the oral communication and listening comprehension needs of students. Teachers incorporate technology in their daily lessons. Language Arts is woven into instruction throughout the school day.
The early stages of reading and spelling begin with phonological awareness followed by systematic sequential instruction of decoding and encoding skills. Once a solid foundation of decoding skills is established, emphasis is placed on reading fluency and comprehension skills. Development of reading in the content areas and in the elements of literature is strengthened as students progress. Reading Support teachers provide additional instruction for those students who are recommended.
Mathematics instruction begins with the development of the concept of number and progresses through the study of algebra. The focus is placed on conceptual understanding of mathematics, computation and estimation skills, application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems, and quantitative reasoning. Learning strategies are taught in conjunction with problem solving methods. Additionally, students learn to read and interpret graphs, to make graphs, and to use graphing as a means of solving equations and inequalities. While mathematics is taught as a separate class, it is also integrated throughout the curriculum.
Classroom experiences go beyond the presentation of mathematical content. With a strong emphasis on the language of mathematics as a vital component of both instruction and problem solving activities, teachers work with small groups of students or individuals. To facilitate each student’s success, organizational and manipulative materials as well as numerous visuals are incorporated into the mathematics program. Students also experience hands-on learning through technology. Tools such as calculators, computers and SMART Boards are used to graph linear equations, to write about mathematics, to develop personalized proofreading checklists and study guides, and to engage in various learning activities, such as the Stock Market Game and websites such as coolmath.com and aplusmath.com.
Classes have a regularly scheduled library period each week with the school’s Librarian. The time is divided into three segments: fifteen minutes to choose new books, fifteen minutes of “book talks” and/or library instruction, and fifteen minutes of “story time.”
Students are encouraged to borrow books, one non-fiction and one fiction, for independent reading each week. These books are due the following week, but that time is extended, if necessary.
The curriculum, developed in conjunction with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), cycles in three rotating phases: Earth Science, Life Science/Ecology, and Physical Science/Chemistry. Students learn about various topics through demonstrations, hands-on labs, interactive games, lectures, discussion, selected readings, and non-fiction video programs. The scientific method, a vital component integrated throughout the program, is taught both directly and indirectly.
Social studies is taught through units of study and is integrated into the entire curriculum across all grade levels.
Students have scheduled art classes once a week. The students are provided with
the opportunity to work with three-dimensional media such as clay, wire, wood, recyclables, and various found objects as well as participate in many diverse, structured activities including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, weaving, and. Elements of art, design, and art history are incorporated into the curriculum.
Age appropriate skills are taught, and students are then encouraged and supported while working individually on projects of their own design. Classroom artwork is connected with curricular projects including those for Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. The Art Program helps develop and expand each student’s creativity, fine motor integration, art making skills, mutual respect, and self-esteem. Group projects help students work as a team towards a shared goal, and the importance of listening during conversation is continual and a vital objective.
Physical Education is a major component of the student program at The Welcoming School. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle are emphasized, and the importance of social interaction through cooperative learning is key. Students will have Grounded Yoga two, three, or four days per week, depending upon their age.
Students are energetic and often easily distracted. Yoga for this age aims to improve strength, flexibility and co-ordination in an environment of cooperation, respect and well being. Grounded yoga classes help children aged 6-12 learn through fun yoga poses, partner poses, yoga games and more to build body awareness, increase focus and foster self-esteem.