Daily Schedule

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Themes? and Our First Theme of the Year

Summers-Knoll uses school-wide bi-monthly themes as a way to integrate content areas in a way that makes sense to children. We hope to foster process learning and active involvement for ALL students with diverse learning styles. Thematic units involve activities designed to cross several areas of curriculum, and build on students’ prior knowledge and interests. Plus, it is a way for us to build relationships between all of the classrooms, as there are usually one or two opportunities each month to gather meaningfully in larger groups.

Other benefits:

Learning in-depth factual information
Becoming physically involved with learning
Learning process skills
Learning "how to learn"
Integrating learning in a holistic way
Promoting group cohesiveness
Addressing individual needs
Motivating children and teachers
(Kostelnik, M.J., Soderman, A. K., & Whiren, A. P., 2004)

You can see the 2013/14 themes for the year listed on your right. While in the past, we have changed themes every month or so, this year we are trying a bi-monthly rotation. We hope that this will give both teachers and students time to really delve into the subject area, and explore it more deeply. 

The first theme for the 13/14 school year is EXPLORERS OF THE WORLD. We will continue what the children have been working on all summer, as part of our shared-learning experience using the book "How to be an Explorer of the World" -  by using our curiosity and keen observation skills. 

In our class, we will also use the explorations of the Lewis and Clark to become our own Corps of Discovery. Taking cues from our research material (informational texts, picture books, chapter books, and DVDs), we will learn about mapping, latitude and longitude, native american life in the early 1800's (perhaps by making our own moccasins or playing games the indian children did), etc. Science activities may include making compasses, preserving plants, and making fruit leather.  

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