Science | Technology | Engineering | Math
The science program promotes the scientific process, allowing students the ability to discover the world around them in a lab setting. Twice a week, second through sixth grade students visit the science lab to learn about physical, earth, and life sciences. Topics of study range from migration,to balance and motion in nature and climate. Students also learn about plant and animal structures, matter, motion, electricity, weather, oceans, the solar system, erosion, plate tectonics, atmosphere and ecosystems.
Students work independently and in small groups, collecting and interpreting data. The labs focus on science skills, investigations, and the use of technology. A wide range of hands-on activities support the diversity of thinkers in each class. After using critical thinking and scientific reasoning, students report their findings to the class. At the end of the school year, students display their knowledge of the scientific process skills through their participation in the school-wide science fair.
Village School is committed to providing a technology-rich environment for all members of our community. We recognize that the seamless integration of technology within the educational program is critical for promoting academic achievement and application of the Village Values across all disciplines. Our vision is to expand learning beyond classroom walls, support all learners, and bring the school community closer together, while creating global connections and encouraging innovation, discovery, collaboration.
Technology @ Village
Technology at Village School is used in innovative and creative ways to enhance our students' learning experiences.
The state of the art Innovation Studio combines a traditional computer lab and a makerspace - with laptop computers, 3D printers, ipads, manipulatives, tools, and more - for STEAM exploration, tinkering, and problem solving. Students attend Technology class once each week, using a variety of software programs and completing a wide range of projects. At other times, technology lessons are given in their classrooms, co-taught by the technology staff and the classroom teacher, in order to further facilitate technology integration into the classroom curriculum.
Whenever possible, Technology projects are integrated into another area of study, be it the classroom curriculum or another specialist class. Examples of such projects are: composing music using Finale Notepad and/or GarageBand, using programming software to support mathematics and provide concrete examples of application into the real world, creating maps and studying about communities using Google Maps, and desktop publishing and presentation programs (Google Apps for Education, MS Office suite) to practice the composition and publication of different forms of writing, visual literacy skills, public speaking, and presentation skills. Students also learn keyboarding, internet skills, 3D design, fundamentals of computer programming, and have the opportunity to create a variety of multimedia presentations using both web based tools (GlogsterEDU, Weebly, VoiceThread, etc.) and installed software (Pixie3, Animation-ish, Stationary Studio, Photo Booth, iMovie, etc.).
In their classrooms, students use iPads and/or laptop computers to research information, write stories and reports, and further extend their studies of each unit. Teachers utilize interactive white boards and visual presentation devices, among other things, to create interactive units that enhance and seamlessly integrate technology into their curriculum. Grades 4-6 have a 1:1 laptop program. These laptops are kept at school and used both in the classroom and in specialist subjects. Additionally, iPads are used in our TK-3rd grade classrooms as well as in many specialist classes to support and extend curricular units of study.
Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Village School is pleased to be a member of the Common Sense Independent Schools Program as well as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship: Certified School. Our Digital Citizenship and Responsibility curriculum is anchored by the Common Sense Media K-8 curriculum, supplemented by ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) Piano and Laylee books. The curriculum is also aligned to ISTE Standards for Students.
Students receive two or more Digital Citizenship and Responsibility lessons each trimester. These lessons are delivered during visits to library or technology class or as lessons within their classroom. One trimester per year, students focus on responsible research skills, utilizing the Big6/Super3 structure.
Our Academic Technology Faculty
The core of our math program from kindergarten through fifth grade is centered around Everyday Math. This research-based program was developed at the University of Chicago and is predicated on the concept of distributed practice. Through distributed practice students are introduced to concepts beginning in kindergarten at an age-appropriate level and then revisit concepts each year with a growing level of complexity. This approach produces students who retain much more than algorithms but actually possess the foundational knowledge that leads to capable and enthusiastic mathematicians. The program also cultivates flexibility of thought and the communication skills needed to justify one’s mathematical reasoning. In sixth grade, we introduce the Pearson Mathematics program which best prepares our students for the experience of secondary school as they learn to transcribe problems and tackle pre-algebra concepts. In addition to the core, we utilize a variety of supplemental materials, including Reflex Math, Dreambox Math, and Hands on Equations. Beginning in third grade we also have a math contest strand that allows our most experienced mathematicians to showcase their skills both nationally and internationally as they participate in Math Olympiads, the Noetic Math Challenge, the California Math League competitions.