Overview of Curriculum
At Tall Cedars Academy, we provide learning opportunities for children in seven skill areas. We blend these areas to create a developmentally appropriate mixture of learning opportunities for all children:
- Personal and Social Development
- Language and Literacy
- Mathematical Thinking
- Scientific Thinking
- Social Studies
- The Arts
- Physical Development
Within each skill area, we have determined objectives and guidelines based on the national standards of curriculum development and teaching practices of the following organizations:
- National Council of the Teachers of English
- National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- National History Standards Project
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
Our objectives are also consistent with proposals of the National Education Goals Panel and they meet state and local standards for curriculum and instruction. Rather than follow the direction of a specific textbook or program in each subject area, we have access to whatever resource materials and tools we need in order to create curriculum specific to the interests and needs of each individual child. This kind of flexibility enables us to meet academic standards, while simultaneously supporting the emerging skills and interests the children exhibit.
Overview of Sensibilities
At Tall Cedars Academy, we have a strong belief in children and their ability to function independently and make appropriate choices. This belief, based on decades of work by child experts and researchers, is at the heart of the way we work with children and facilitate their learning. The attributes of this belief focus on children’s ability to:
- learn to trust themselves and others
- learn self-discipline
- gain awareness of others and the ability to feel for and with them
- be spontaneous when expressing feelings
- become self-reliant and self-starting
- become increasingly responsible for their own behavior and safety
- develop a sense of humor
- form creative ideas
- extend basic movement and communication skills
- acquire factual information, and develop the capacity to conceptualize and represent ideas
- have a variety of interests and resources
- find pleasure in the process and the product of their efforts
- show the desire to try, the courage to fail, and the persistence to continue their effort
Overview of Goals
By weaving together our curriculum standards and values we have determined a set of four program goals to guide the work we do every day with your children.
Basic Skills Plus
We strive to prepare children for the 21st century by challenging students to apply basic skills to solve real world problems. Reading, writing and mathematics serve as the foundation for problem solving success. Combining both skill practice and real world problem solving opportunities help your child experience the highest level of academic success while ensuring retention of learned skills. We also introduce computer skills training to students and allow each child supervised access to the richness of educational resources available through the Internet.
Challenging students to apply basic skills to real world challenges promotes mastery of these skills. This mastery leads to higher levels of academic achievement that sets a higher standard for both faculty and students. Higher standards also mean higher expectations in the assessment of students. We employ a variety of quantitative and qualitative instruments to document and demonstrate student’s learning and understanding of materials and concepts. We measure student’s achievements by using standardized tests, performance based assessments, teacher observations, rubrics, and student self-reflection and evaluation.
Learning by Doing
At Tall Cedars Academy, we put additional emphasis on students taking an active role in their learning process. Research has shown that children learn best and remember skills when they acquire them through active exploration, application and discovery. This target requires hands-on learning experiences where students solve problems that are meaningful to them. The seven skill areas mentioned above provide students with the opportunity to touch, taste, manipulate, create, exercise trial and error, and test hypotheses. This direct approach gives students a chance to apply previous content knowledge and incorporate new learning and information.
Involving School, Family and Community
Parent partnerships are valued as the catalyst to the full development of your child’s skills, talents and academic abilities. Open, honest and ongoing communication between parents and teachers is the cornerstone for bridging students’ success in learning and meeting higher standards. Along with our parent population, we contact and extend invitations to surrounding community members to enrich and build the success of our program. We encourage community volunteerism, financial support, and sponsorship of school events and celebrations while reaching out to the community through organized service learning projects.