For the academic year 2017 - 2018 Redwood Cooperative School will offer Pre-K through forth grade. Our vision is to grow each year, adding a new class of younger children as our current children progress.
Our classrooms are configured with project-based learning centers and guided choice of work activities. We incorporate outside exploration and field trips as much as possible. Multi-age groups facilitate peer learning and the cooperative structure provides personal attention while fostering a sense of community.
Our teacher-developed curriculum encourages children to move at their own developmentally appropriate pace, fitting to them as individual learners. This less regimented, dynamic and positive approach develops a love of learning. Our approach helps children develop exceptional critical, creative, and artistic thinking skills. Eschewing the use of computers in favor of traditional teaching models, our children are provided with kinesthetic/tactile learning experiences that develop the whole child. Our teachers assess informally during class.
Our Head Teacher is responsible for overseeing all aspects of management throughout the day assisted by an assistant teacher and the class parent. She implements daily lessons in math, language arts and social studies.
Monday through Friday, each day starts with a community circle in which the children go through the calendar, days of school, days of the week, weather, and additional spatial/temporal concepts. The day continues with math and language arts centers as well as a daily writers workshop. Learning centers are differentiated according to the varying levels of the students. Typically two centers are self-guided, one center is led by the working classroom parent, and one center is led by the head teacher. Guided by adults, the students work at their own pace at the centers. During writers workshop, students listen to a story, are introduced to writing principles, and then write and illustrate on their own. We often include those themes being studied in science and social studies. Social studies and Science are taught as a group on alternating days.
Researchers have nevertheless
identified several broad learning
principles associated with developmentally
Learning naturally occurs in all human
beings. Children do not need to
be formally taught and motivated to
learn. They are naturally inquisitive.
Learning is enhanced when individuals
actively interact with their environment.
This means learning
through a variety of ways that engage
all the senses: observation, trial
and error, building, touching, talking,
reflecting, and so forth. In opposition
to this principle is the view
of learners as passive receivers of
￼Implementing the Multiage Classroom
BRUCE A. MILLER
A class of first graders scampered among nearby pine and birch trees, each holding a stack of the teacher’s homemade laminated “outdoor math” cards. “Find a stick as big as your foot,” one read. “Gather 50 rocks and acorns and lay them out in groups of ten,” read another. Working in teams, the 7- and 8-year-olds raced to see how quickly they could carry out their tasks. “It’s fun for the children to work outside. They really learn with it.”
From The Smithsonian Magazine
Our goal at Redwood is to build on each child's sense of wonder about nature and science, inviting them to play and explore, thus providing an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills.
One of the primary goals and core values of Redwood is to connect our children to nature and let them play outdoors. By routine, children are provided with outdoor time four times each day. We created a hiking trail behind our school. While on the trail, children contemplate, play, learn, and eventually make their way down to a creek where waterfowl always seem to be present. Additionally, we take at least one outdoor-oriented field trip each month. Examples include hiking and caving. Parents also work together to offer extra-curricular outdoor experiences like camping. The children are excited to dig and plant their first school garden this spring.
Music is a critical part of the Redwood Cooperative curriculum. The music classes are taught by Beth Ellen Rosenbaum, who is trained in Orff Schulwerk music education. Redwood has been fortunate to acquire a vast number of Orff Instruments and teaching materials specially designed for children and hand-made in Germany.
Beth Ellen creates an innovative musical environment. Classes incorporate a wide variety of stimulating and imaginative musical experiences – singing and chanting songs from around the world, creatively moving and dancing, playing a variety of instruments, telling stories, and exploring improvisation – which have been chosen to cultivate a love of music and provide a foundation for future musical study.
You can visit Children's Music Workshop
“We favor the inclusion of music in the curriculum on an equality with other basic subjects. We believe that with the growing complexity of civilization, more attention must be given to the arts, and that music offers possibilities as yet but partially realized for developing an appreciation of the finer things of life.”
—First Resolution of the Dallas Meeting of The Department of Superintendence, 1927
By BLAKE MADDEN
Redwood integrates the arts into our curriculum engaging kids beyond art projects. Developing students as artists and supporting an environment where learning and creating is one and is fun. Fostering a life long love of making, creating, exploring and learning. The program is taught by Stacy Chinn, a well-known local Artist.
It's not revelatory to say that the arts can engage kids. But that that engagement can also be leveraged to boost academic growth and improve discipline seems like a secret that really needs to be revealed. When you see how the kids embrace these lessons, hear them tell how art helps them remember concepts better, and learn about the improvements teachers have noted in student understanding and retention, it makes you wonder why more schools aren't integrating the arts in every class.
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