Academics, Enrichments, and Socio-Emotional Development
Math is taught using Right Start Mathematics. The AL Abacus helps students to see the patterns in numbers. With clearly outlined objectives, lessons are designed and structured to promote a deeper understanding of concepts. Activities, games, and hands-on manipulatives help by giving kids multiple opportunities to engage with the material being taught. You can learn more about this program at rightstartmath.com.
Reading is taught is a holistic way. Explicit phonics instruction is presented embedded within whole books. Sight words are introduced along with the fundamental tools needed for properly decoding words. Meaning is derived through read-aloud, discussions, and disections of both simple and complex texts. Hands-on activities and project-based learning activities accompany mentor texts.
Writing is presented in the form of journal entries, reflections of readings, spelling, vocabulary work, and projects. Students are encouraged to think of writing as a tool for communication which is both artistic and expressive. Often we will find our students writing letters to each other.
In Science, we will connect real-world events to our explorations of topics. Using methods of scientific inquiry students are challenged to ask questions and then set about through the steps of the scientific method to gather data, test hypotheses, and make conclusions. We use Easy Peasy Science, Nebraska Scientific, and field trips to the (Planetarium, Aquarium, and Museum of Nature and Science among others) to help augment lessons.
Social Studies is a wonderful way to incorporate reading for the real world, writing, and project-based activities. We will follow the scope and sequence per grade level but also cater to student interest, community involvement, and appropriate world issues as they are relevant to the time. Rich and high-value learning experiences are woven into our social Studies block weekly.
This is a term referring to the ability to be aware of one’s own feelings in the present moment. In an academic setting, this includes important skills such as being able to communicate effectively with others, work in groups and control impulses. It is such an important part of positive socialization that we address this at North Star in an ongoing and daily way.
Co-Regulation and Interpersonal Communication
At NSM we aim for all conflicts to be worked through constructively. Emotions play a key role in child development, therefore, we aim to allow children to feel and discuss the emotions that arise throughout the day, and work on the relationships they have with their peers and teachers. Parents are always included and informed about their child's emotional well-being at school, often playing crucial roles in these conversations.
Caitlyn meets with our students daily over Zoom. Using a variety of resources she constructs lessons to promote conversational language skills. It is important to understand that early language development comes through the natural means of communication. Grammatical understanding develops later. We use La Clase Divertida, talkbox.mom, and duolingo.com to give children the best start in second language acquisition.
Fran and Laurel, together own five horses. Blue Ambition, our oldest and wisest mare is a registered Quarter Horse with many years of experience in the show ring, on mountain trails, and with children. She is gentle and safe. On an individual basis, your child will have the opportunity to work with Blue on the ground and in the saddle.
Lacey Wheeler with Harmony Music Tree https://harmonymusictree.mymusicstaff.com/ comes to us once a week with a group music lesson in addition to private piano lessons. She is a dynamic teacher and her classes are filled with lively energy. She incorporates music history, a variety of instruments, live music, and voice, in addition to seasonal themes.
Fran is a certified Water Safety Instructor (WSI) and Lifeguard for over 30 years. Practically another lifetime ago, Fran could be seen teaching swimming to both children and adults. We will swim year-round at the Longmont Recreation Center and at Sunset Pool during the summer!
Kate Otte, with Treehouse Art, comes in each week. With 10 years with the Dawson School under her belt, she brings unparalleled expertise in not only artisic technique but also a unique and engaging way of working with kids. She masterfully constructs lessons to teach the fundamentals of art. Often Kate introduces a project during one lesson, and throughout the week students will work on completing the piece to then take home!
Together, we plan menus, purchase ingredients, and cook meals while also adding information about nutrition everyday. Math is incorporated into budgeting, measuring, and interpreting nutrition labels. This is a fun way to incorporate collaboration and teamwork into our week.