The Early Elementary classroom serves children ages 5-7, offering a five day, half-day or full-day option. Half-day students may switch to the full-day option at any point during the year. See the sample schedule for this level to decide if the half or full-day option is best for your family.
Children participate in a regular daily routine as well as experience work time. During work time, children choose an area in which they will work, make a plan of action, and follow through with the plan as part of High Scope's Plan-Do-Review process. During this time, the teachers in the room are facilitators and observers. If a child needs assistance getting started, the teachers will ask questions. If a problem arises with the child's plan, or children need help with social interactions, the teacher is there to question the child and work through the problem. Spectrum teachers are experts at capitalizing on the 'teachable moment'. Children learn from this young age that their ideas are important, that they are an integral part of their own learning, and that learning is fun.
This excerpt was taken from the High Scope website at: www.highscope.org
Many programs allow time for children to play/work on their own. High Scope is unique in making sure there are also opportunities for children to plan their own activities (planning is "choosing with intention") and reflect on what they have learned (reflection is "remembering with analysis") during these times of the day. The plan-do-review process is basic to the High Scope Curriculum because planning and reflection are positively and significantly related to developmental progress (Epstein, 1993, 2003). This idea of plan-do-review expands throughout your child's years at Spectrum.
In the High/Scope Curriculum, shared control is central to how adults and children interact. By shared control we mean offering a supportive climate where adults and children share control of the learning environment. Adults balance the freedom children need to explore with the limits children need to feel secure. The adults provide materials and experiences that both build on children's interests and promote learning. In a supportive climate, children initiate many of their own learning experiences. Even when adults plan an activity, as for a small- or large-group time, they consider the objects, actions, and ideas children are interested in. In a High/Scope setting, adults and children are partners throughout the day.
Our elementary classrooms include multi-age groups at each level that allow for peer-to-peer learning, mixed age groups, and a focus on teaching the student at his or her own level versus a set of expectations for a particular 'grade' that might be too high or too low. Every student has an individual profile of learning needs. With our model, a student who struggles with reading, but may excel in math will be placed in the most appropriate small group. Students in multi-age classrooms experience many types of small groups, from interest, to skill, to cooperative groups. The ceiling is taken away as children are assessed individually with an opportunity to access learning appropriate to their level, regardless of how quickly they progress.
At this level, teachable moments guide instruction. A developmentally appropriate math program (Math Their Way) emphasizing hands-on materials and a balanced approach to literacy are philosophical cornerstones. Science and social-studies at this level are interdisciplinary and focus on child-centered activities and free exploration that set the stage for future projects. Spectrum Progressive teachers are experts at identifying developmental readiness so children are exposed to information and skills when they are ready to experience them. Through the arts, academic readiness is also encouraged.
Reading Buddies, Art, Music, Drama and French
Upper School students can often be seen in classrooms of younger students as "reading buddies". Teachers buddy up older students to partner read with their younger friends or to do special projects with them. Throughout the year learning across the levels occurs as young students travel up to see older student showcase their learning, or through our large, twice-monthly gatherings for All School Sharing. Students experience visual art, music, drama, and French weekly.