At Roots we believe that a balanced education is important for creating meaningful daily experiences and a love of learning. A balanced daily flow weaves in multiple learning modalities (visual/seeing, auditory/hearing, kinesthetic/moving and tactile/touching) throughout the day. It also weaves creative art opportunities into traditional subject lessons with the desired outcome of increased retention of and appreciation for learning. Click here to learn more about our Guiding Principles
Literature-Based Reading Instruction
In literature-based instruction, authors’ original narrative and expository works are used as the core for experiences to support children in developing literacy. The types of activities done with the literature are the natural types of things children and adults would do when reading and responding to any good book. For example, it is natural to share and talk about a good book after reading it; it is not natural to answer ten questions about the book. The teacher’s role becomes one of planning and supporting authentic learning experiences.
Literature-based instruction is much more than giving students quality literature; it is doing the authentic things with the literature that all writers and readers would naturally do, and giving students support with these activities as they need it. Children develop literacy (reading, writing, thinking) by having real literacy experiences and getting support from more-experienced individuals, who may be adults or peers. Research clearly shows that literature-based instruction helps all students become better readers, writers, and thinkers.
At the foundation of our reading program we believe:
- Children learn to read by reading!
- Self-selected reading is more meaningful than teacher/program selected,and children will learn true and valuable reading behaviors when they read material they choose.
- Children need to be taught how to choose appropriate books for their interests and abilities.
- Similar reading strategies are used at all ages and must be modeled and taught.
Big Ideas we will address and implement throughout the years at Roots:
- Reader’s read to get smarter and to learn about themselves, other people, and the world.
- Reading is something you can do independently that empowers you to control your life and make the world a better place.
- Smart is something you get, and through hard work and effort and determination, you can accomplish your goals.
- Readers read, write, think, and learn with purpose and enthusiasm and see themselves as problem posing, problem solving citizens of the world who have what it takes to figure things out.
- Readers engage in conversations and discussions about big ideas with open hearts and minds. Readers are willing to share their own thinking and to appreciate and learn from and respect the ideas and opinions of others.
- Learning is for always; it’s lifelong, ongoing and vital.
Science & Social Studies
Science and social studies are integrated daily into thematic studies. This year our school theme is Communities. Related topics of study include: classroom, animal habitats, life cycles, challenges, etc; westward expansion and early frontier life in the Chelan Valley, human body systems, healthy eating: healthy lives. The Eagles will study how our water resources, Lake Chelan and the Columbia River, impact our community and connect us with others. The Bears and Wolves will study local farming and agriculture and will pay special attention to how simple machines help us live.
We teach writing in a workshop model that consists of mini-lessons, long blocks of time to write, and time to share. Our big Ideas for writing include:
- Writing is an important form of communication and we use it regularly throughout each day.
- Writing is an extension of our thinking and a fun way to share our ideas, thoughts, and opinions.
- Writing challenges us to think more deeply and more thoroughly. At times we have to take initial thoughts and push our thinking to dive deeper into what we are trying to say and why. Therefore, writing makes our minds grow.
- Writers see amazing stories in common events.
- Writers notice injustices and inconsistencies in life, articulate their observations, persuade others to care, and offer solutions.
- Writer’s have a writer’s heart and mind and notice the beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary.
- Writers understand that reading and writing go hand in hand. They respond to reading in a variety of writing genres.
- Writers understand that writing is an important avenue for passing on new learnings, discoveries,
inventions, research findings, etc.
- Learning math is a collaborative and social endeavor.
- Learning is a process of constructing meaning to make sense of concepts.
- Seeing, touching, and sketching ideas create pictures in the mind’s eye, helping learners to construct, understand, and apply mathematical ideas.
- Learning requires perseverance and willingness to experience disequilibrium.
- Encourage students to be responsible for their own learning.
- Use good questioning strategies to draw out student thinking and promote understanding.
- Promote discourse while creating a safe learning environment.
- Understand the developmental continuum of mathematical understanding and assess student progress on that continuum.
- Challenge each student at his or her developmental level to create a meaningful and fun learning environment for all
- Create lessons that move from the concrete to pictorial to abstract
- Solve problems using visual models and manipulatives.
- Make and test conjectures while recording their thinking.
- Talk and move around the classroom as they actively engage in learning.
- Track their progress along developmental continuums.