What Learning Looks Like at S.C.O.P.E. Academy K-4
What Learning Looks Like at S.C.O.P.E. Academy
"I imagine a school system that recognizes learning is natural, that a love of learning is normal, and that real learning is passionate learning. A school curriculum that values questions above answers... creativity above fact regurgitation... individuality above conformity... and excellence above standardized performance... And we must reject all notions of 'reform' that serve up more of the same: more testing, more 'standards', more uniformity, more conformity, and more bureaucracy." ~ Tom Peters, Author, 'Re-imagine'
It is impossible not to recognize how education has changed over the last several years. At S.C.O.P.E. Academy, we are dedicated to serving our learners by offering learning opportunities that match their instructional needs as well as prepare them for their world. Times have shifted from the emphasis being placed on the final product or end result, but instead moved to a focus on honoring and understanding the learning process children enter while at school. We as parents and educators can learn more about a child, their interests, preferences, skills, and knowledge, by observing the learning process. Within the learning process, children develop their skills in all important areas of development and academics while they are engaged in activities that are meaningful and relevant to them. Such a learning process can only occur when children are given the gift of time, leadership to choose activities that are of interest and motivating to them and adults available to ensure support when needed. What seems like simply play can be an amazing example of the power of learning!
When SCOPE Academy was established, we set out to provide children with the time to develop their process of learning within all that they do with us throughout the day. Our program’s curriculum and assessment provide us clear outcomes, skills, and concepts that we know children must work towards to set the foundation for future educational success. These outcomes represent skills and concepts in the areas of social development, communication, daily routine skills, math, science, social studies, and literacy. Each week, teachers select outcomes they will work on with children in their classroom and use these outcomes as a guide every time they interact with children, arrange the environment, plan a classroom activity, or select resources to be present in the classroom. Every decision teachers make is aligned with these outcomes to ensure that every child work towards these important concepts and skills.
What exactly does this type of learning process look like? It can range from a child independently writing or creating a blueprint, or a group of multi-age learners collaborating together on a problem they have identified and solutions that they generate and try with the goal of improving the problem. Or children developing a blue print for a new area in our outdoor learning environment, to a small group looking at the books that were placed on the table with the art materials as they work on an amazing creation. All of these scenarios represent a process that leads to learning. What you will not see in our program is learning confined to a worksheet or experiences dictated by the adults. Our children are engaged in projects that embed their interests and our outcomes for learning in experiences that are meaningful to them.
Our teachers observe and document the learning process to ensure that all children are making progress towards the targeted outcomes. By intentionally designing the environment, resources, and activities aligned with the outcomes the process of learning results in positive outcomes for children. Teachers focus heavily on the process of learning where they take the role of facilitator and guardian of our learners across all ages, during investigation, direct teaching moments, or engaging classroom activities to ensure success for every student. Through ongoing documentation, our teachers understand where every child is at and are able to support their individual learning goals. Our instructional approach has proven year after year to support the progress and development of our students.
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