What do snakes eat?
When they discovered a snake hibernaculum right outside their classroom, primary students wanted to know more. After several weeks of study and research, they discovered that snakes like to eat a lot of different things. They also learned what different snakes look like, how they move, and where they live. Students were so proud of their hard work they wanted to share their slithering knowledge with others. So together, they created a book.
Now they call themselves “herpetologists”—a scientific word for people who study snakes.
Primary Classes Curriculum
Primary 1: Age 5-7
Primary 2: Age 6-8
Students per class: 16-22
Teachers per class: 2
These are exciting years. Primary students are becoming readers and writers, and exploring math, music, and science. Whether chronicling a family outing in their journals, dyeing wool with plants they’ve grown and harvested, or playing a number racing game, primary children are thinkers and doers.
In-depth studies engage their imaginations, and serve as jumping off points for all kinds of new discoveries. As they studied indigenous cultures, our students were inspired by two Wampanoag potters from Aquinnah (which means “the end of the island”) to create their own coil-built clay pots. They learned that indigenous cultures not only have a long history and tradition in our country, but they still contribute so much to society.
Students were also surprised to discover how many English words we use today are based on words from various indigenous languages—like skunk, hickory, toboggan, Massachusetts, and pumpkin.
A Quick Peek into Primary Classrooms
- Primary kids continue to grow socially. We spend a lot of time building a classroom community together and developing a safe social foundation. Choice time, snack time, lunch, recess, and many academic activities give primary kids the chance to work on social skills. Sharing, negotiating, taking turns, and solving problems together are all part of the process.
- Primary children continue to soak up new information, but are moving towards more independence.We support this progression by offering skill-building activities, portfolio reflection, and the opportunity to manage their own project choices and materials.
- They can write their names and count, but primary students are ready to do more. Using the Handwriting Without Tears program they learn proper letter formation, letter size, and placement on the line. For regular math instruction, they use the Great Minds program as a base for instruction.
- Elementary kids love to move, make, and create. Our in-depth studies often incorporate movement, dance, drama, and creative projects that let them build with Legos, construct marble raceways, weave, sew and bead, and work with clay.