Curriculum

Off to Camp Y-Noah

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Curriculum, School News | 0 comments

photo 2 (4)Every fall, rain or shine, Spring Garden Waldorf School takes students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 on an overnight camping trip at Camp Y-Noah. Although it’s great fun and inspires camaraderie, there are academic and developmental reasons we take our older students camping.

Academic:

Children get to go horseback riding, canoeing, and climbing, and they participate in team building games and sports like archery. Camp counselors are professionals in their given outdoor fields and teach students purposefully, exposing our students to adult role models who are worthy of being imitated. KidsonHorses2This experience of being taught by others who are not teachers by trade is great for older children. And in the broader scope, being out in nature and camping allows us all to connect with the natural order and the world in which we live. Students gain perspective from being outdoors and also learn in new ways about scientific phenomena, sustainable living, and much more.


Development:

Students in Grade 4 are undergoing an important developmental shift – they are beginning to see themselves as individuals in the larger world.  At around age 9 and 10, children separate more fully from their parents, question all they encounter, and look for “real” experiences so they can test their growing abilities. This is the perfect time to leave home, experience nature, and learn among its challenges. For many students, the Grade 4 trip represents their first time away from home with a group of peers. Outdoor education experiences that occur during the trip help children gain courage, compassion, and cooperation.

Here are some pictures from this year’s camp trip:
 


 
 
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photo 1 (4)
 
 
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PlanningAHike
 
 
Frog

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Grade 1-8 Drop Off FAQ

»Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Curriculum, School News | 0 comments

 

School begins on Tuesday, August 26th! Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about SpringGardenlogoGrade 1-8 drop off procedures.

 

When is drop off?

Drop off is between 8:15 and 8:30.

 

Where do I drop off my child?

Drivers can drop off students in the circle near the front door and then continue on.  Parking, however, is not permitted in the circle area. You will see No Parking Signs in this area.  This means you cannot park and come in for any reason (i.e. just to check mailboxes).  If you need to come into the school, please park in the lot.

 

What does my child do after being dropped off?

After coming inside, children should hang their lunches and backpacks outside of the classroom and proceed to the playground for Morning Recess.

 

Will my child’s teacher be out during morning recess?

Class 1 and Class 2 students will always have their teacher present during morning recess.  The other teachers rotate outdoor supervision duties. For the first few days, please walk your child out and greet the teacher.  Once your child is comfortable coming into the school, hanging lunches outside their classroom, and putting on their outdoor clothing to go outside then they may do it on their own.

 

When does school start?

School begins at 8:30. At this time, the recess bell rings and students line up to go inside their classrooms and begin their day. Children coming in after 8:30 must get signed in at the office with their caregiver and receive a pass.  Children who are tardy should proceed to their classroom once they are signed in and have a pass.  They should knock on the classroom door and wait patiently to be let in.  The teacher will not disrupt the morning opening but will let the child in once opening is finished.  They may need to wait a few minutes.

 

Is there Before Care?

Before care begins at 7:15.  Before care is located in the First Grade classroom. Children will put on their outdoor clothes with the help of the before care teacher, if needed, and then be walked to their class teacher (early childhood) or sent outside for morning recess.

 

Can I come in with my child?

Yes! Caregivers can walk into school with the student(s).  Park in the lot on the right (near the meadow & fence) or park to the far left against the grass near the Sports club pavilion property. When walking in with students, please walk into the front door only.  The door in the early childhood wing is locked and not for general entry. It is used only to take young children to The Meadow and Early Childhood teachers kindly ask that students use only the front door for entry.

 

Where do I park?

If you’d like to walk in with your student, come to the school store, or plan to speak with faculty or staff, please park in the lot on the right (near the meadow & fence) or park to the far left against the grass near the Sports Club pavilion property.

 

Where do students and/or parents walk in?

Please have students walk into the front door only, located under the overhang adjacent to the circle drop off area.  The door in the early childhood wing is locked and not for general entry. It is used only to take young children to the meadow and Early Childhood teachers kindly ask that students use the front door only for entry.

 

When should my child wear their outdoor clothes?

Every day, rain or shine, if your child is a student in Grade 1-4. It is easiest if they come to school wearing their appropriate outdoor rain or snow gear. This includes rain pants, boots and jacket. And snow pants, boots, jacket, hat, gloves and scarf in winter. Children are encouraged to be kids and get dirty at recess. These items ensure that children are dry and clean in their classrooms.

 

Do they wear outdoor gear if it’s sunny and hot?

Yes! Teachers will make the call as to whether the children can shed their outerwear items as the day goes on, but morning dew requires all students in Grade 1-4 to wear outdoor clothes each morning.

 

What if we’re late?

Children coming in after 8:30 must get signed in at the office with their caregiver and receive a pass.  Children who are tardy should proceed to their classroom once they are signed in and have a pass.  They should knock on the classroom door and wait patiently to be let in.  The teacher will not disrupt the morning opening but will let the child in once opening is finished.  They may need to wait a few minutes.

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Early Childhood Drop Off

»Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Curriculum, Early Childhood, School News | 0 comments

 

KidsonTeeterTotterSchool begins on Tuesday, August 26th! If you’re new to Spring Garden, and even if you’re not, here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Early Childhood drop off.

 

What is The Meadow?

The Meadow is the Early Childhood only play area for our students in Pre-K and K classes. It is behind the fence adjacent to the right hand parking lot. It is divided from the older students’ playground by a small creek and the outdoor stage area.

 

When is Drop Off?

Young children are to be brought to The Meadow between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

 

When does school start?

Early Childhood Classes begin at 8:30.

 

Do I bring my child to The Meadow?

Yes. Please walk young children into the The Meadow and help them locate their teacher.  Please join your child in saying good morning and shaking their teacher’s hand each day.  This is a small gesture with much wisdom behind it.  It is the beginning of teaching children to be comfortable approaching and speaking to adults and at the same time gives the teacher a glimpse into the child’s approach to the day.

 

When should my child wear their outdoor clothes?

Every day, rain or shine, if your child is a student in Early Childhood. Have your child come to school wearing their appropriate outdoor rain or snow gear. This includes rain pants, boots and jacket. And snow pants, boots, jacket, hat, gloves and scarf in winter. Children are encouraged to be kids and get dirty and these items ensure that children are dry and clean in their classrooms.

 

Do they wear outdoor gear if it’s sunny and hot?

Yes! Teachers will make the call as to whether the children can shed their outerwear items as the day goes on, but morning dew and Meadow mud requires all students in Early Childhood wear outdoor clothes each morning.

 

What if we’re late?

Children coming in late must get signed in at the office with their caregiver and receive a pass.  If the early childhood students are still in the meadow at this time, the caregiver and child can then proceed to the meadow and give the teacher the late pass when they meet to greet each other.  If the class is already in the room, please knock softly at the door and wait patiently for the teacher to come and welcome your child.  It may take a few minutes as the teacher will not disrupt circle time to answer the door.

 

Is there Before Care?

Before care begins at 7:15.  Please walk in with younger children. Before care is located in the First Grade classroom. Early Childhood children will put on their outerwear and be walked to their classrooms at 8:15 to meet their teacher and proceed outside for morning recess.

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Welcome New String Teacher, Emily Rode

»Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Curriculum, School News | 0 comments

ERodeBy Tracy Edwards

We are excited to announce that Emily Rode (pronounced RO-dee) will be joining us this fall as our new Strings/Orchestra teacher. Mrs. Rode is an accomplished strings teacher and performer who has been working with students of all ages and abilities, both individually and in ensembles, for over 30 years.

Mrs. Rode received her Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Akron and a teaching assistantship at Youngstown State University. In addition to teaching private lessons in her studio, Mrs. Rode has worked with directly with students in the Akron, Medina, and Berea Public School strings programs.

Please join us in welcoming her to the Spring Garden community!

 

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Social Skills in the Waldorf Curriculum

»Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Curriculum | 0 comments

Grade5As part of the Waldorf model of educating the whole child, the teachers at Spring Garden make great efforts to nurture and develop our children’s sense of themselves as social beings.

A feeling of social inclusion is key to a child’s happiness and success in school, and the conscious development of social skills from an early age may be one of the most lasting benefits of a Waldorf education.

The Waldorf model takes the long-term view that, as with academic learning, healthy social interaction must be self-motivated. Our teachers seek to provide students with important social skills that will enable to them interact compassionately with others, to create a sense of community, and to confront and resolve conflicts within their community.

For more about social skills in the Waldorf Curriculum, read this three part series from professor and Waldorf parent Stephanie Greer.

The Classroom as Community

Progress Not Punishment

Using the Curriculum and Long Term Goals

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Waldorf and Age Appropriate Curriculum

»Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Curriculum | 0 comments

There are many examples of how Waldorf education introduces learning material in an age-appropriate manner. Most parents are concerned about how and at what age academics are introduced, but “age-appropriateness in learning also encompasses considerations of when young minds are ready for formal music training, when children are socially able to grasp and relate to world history, or when Socratic inquiry in science can resonate within a curious adolescent.

Rich Edwards, father of two Spring Garden Waldorf alumni, says the age-appropriate curriculum was one of the most important factors in the decision to give his daughters a Waldorf education.

 

The question of age-appropriateness applies to foreign language, physical education training, even recess time. Here are some examples of age appropriate curriculum at SGWS:

  • No standardized testing for young students (SGWS begins standardized testing in Grade Four)
  • No homework for young students (homework typically begins, in small amounts, in Grade Three)
  • Lots of outdoor and active time, in both learning and free play, for all students
  • Teaching of reading and math concepts begins in Grade One (not Pre-K)
  • Foreign language begins when children are young (Grade One)
  • Music begins in Pre-K; Music training (pentatonic flute and choral) in Grade One
  • Cooperative games begin in Grade One / Competitive sports begin in Grade Five
  • Nature studies for science in Grade One / Science lab work in Grade Seven

See these resources for more information on age-appropriate curriculum:

Age Appropriate Questions Surrounding The Common Core

The Waldorf Transition to First Grade

Age Appropriate Music Education in Waldorf

Moving Through the Grades Curriculum Articles:

Class 4

Class 5

Class 6

Class 7

Class 8

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