Elementary Education Curriculum
Core Curriculum, Extended Core, and Subject Studies
All aspects of our school day are carefully designed to support our mission to
help develop life-long learners and problems solvers. Our Core Curriculum and Extended Core are the cornerstones of our program where theory meets application to emphasize respect, competency, self-initiative, responsibility, self-management, and the ability to view experiences from different perspectives. These include Math and Literacy Labs, Music Theory/Strings, Studio Arts, Culinary Arts, Cultural Studies/Foreign Language, and Physical Education.
History and Science are included in Subject Studies. These are incorporated into the Core and Extended Curriculum in the Pre-K through 2nd grades. In the 3rd through 8th grades, each subject is scheduled in the afternoon with additional opportunities for students to explore specific areas of interest during independent study times. As The Soulard School grows, we continue to offer unique elective and independent study opportunities that draw upon our talented faculty and parent community.
In Mathematics Lab, this individual approach uses manipulatives such as Cuisenaire rods, base ten blocks, peg boards, and numerical balance scales to guide children in their discovery of mathematics. Within this guided lab time, teachers/mentors support each child to progress at his or her own pace.
In Literacy Lab, support of each child’s individual pace is developed within a balanced program that includes a wide range of literacy activities, and utilizes ideas from many different theories and philosophies which tailors the opportunities and environment.
This innovative approach which combines the leadership of teachers/mentors, their extensive documentation of each child’s progress, and the natural curiosity of the students, sets an active pace with many students working above their grade level. In 2005-2006, 92% of our students finished their year at or beyond grade level in reading; 100% finished their year at or beyond grade level in mathematics.
Extended Core and Subject Studies
The Extended Core Curriculum is designed to support the social, emotional, and cognitive development of students. Discipline, personal empowerment, and cultural pluralism are some of the necessary elements of character development we support through Music Theory/Instrument Instruction, Physical Education, and Cultural Studies/Foreign language.
In the Culinary Arts Program, students actively plan and create meals for the school. Each week three students work together to plan and prepare all aspects of a balanced meal. Weekly nutrition lessons prepare students to plan menus. The meal is served family style, which fosters the social and emotional development of students. Both teachers and students become role models for one another during the meal.
Artists’(local and world renowned) individual styles are used to teach basic art principles and movements while helping each student to begin to define their own artistic voice. With this focus and with our Artist-in-Residence, students are given the opportunity to explore arts many qualities; interpretation, appreciation, creation, and documentation. Art helps younger students express knowledge; while it deepens knowledge for older students when paired with literature, history, and mathematics.
Science studies are based on student interest as well as state and national guidelines. Major themes are pulled from student conversations and daily activities. Our Science Specialist and teachers then assist the students in posing questions, developing hands-on investigations and research, and articulating what they have learned.
Topics in history originate with local history. This way, students are encouraged to draw relevant, meaningful connections. Students are empowered to think globally by first acting and studying locally. History teachers then assist students to ensure that their interests and state and federal standards are addressed.