Core Academics

A Day In the Life

 

Time of Day Agenda
BREAKFAST & ARRIVAL: Our doors open at 7:45 and breakfast is served until 8:00. Explorers are greeted by teachers, staff, and friends as they  enter the building, get organized for the day, and interact with the morning message when they arrive in their classrooms.
COMMUNITY MEETING AND MOVE THIS WORLD: Meeting time builds and strengthens the classroom community by making connections between students and teachers through greetings, cheers, and positive messages. Community Meeting allows students to feel a sense of belonging and to let them know school is fun! Move This World is a social and emotional learning program that teaches our self-regulation skills and language to appropriately express feelings and ideas.
CALENDAR: Understanding the world around us can be hard work! In kindergarten through second grade, calendar math helps students learn about the ways we organize time, temperature, and the weather and to recognize patterns and review important mathematical understandings.
READER’S WORKSHOP AND WORD WORK: Reader’s Workshop allows teachers to craft lessons that model key literacy and discussion skills using authentic, meaningful texts. Students have the opportunity to practice modeled skills in guided reading groups, independently with self-selected books, and in choice literacy centers. In Word Work students benefit from exploration and explicit instruction in developmental spelling as they discover how to make words and the ways they work. We focus on teaching spelling rules instead of word lists.
GUIDED READING: Guided Reading is a time where students are taught on their instructional reading level. Students work with teachers in small groups to get the support, instruction, and extension they require to continue to learn and grow. During this time, all students receive targeted instruction from their teachers on the specific skills they need to practice and master. These groups are informed by our F&P testing and other academic data we collect in order to best meet the needs of all of our Explorers.
RECESS: Play is essential for developing creativity and increasing academic achievement. Students at Explore! will enjoy this chance to connect with their friends, cultivate their imaginations, exercise, and have fun!
LUNCH: Students will enjoy a healthy, delicious lunch and then have the opportunity to rest, focus their thoughts, and re-energize for the afternoon.

CONTENT LITERACY:

 

WRITING:

Content Literacy is an opportunity for students to read and write about the world around us, exploring social studies and science through experiments and non-fiction texts. During this time of the day students look at primary sources, answer document-based questions, utilize the scientific method, and participate in the engineering design process.

During writing, teachers use mentor texts to help students develop their voice and create stories that come from their unique, personal experiences and from research-based materials. 

BALANCED MATH:

 

EXPLICIT MATH:

During the balanced math block, students will focus on developing number sense and problem solving as Explorers develop deep conceptual understanding through guided play and discovery. Students will discover new patterns and relationships in composing and decomposing numbers. During problem solving we will work to understand real world problems and situations. 

Explicit math instruction is designed to support and extend the thinking developed by mathematicians during the balanced math instruction. Mathematicians are given direct instruction and have opportunities to practice math concepts multiple times to help ensure retention and deep understanding. 

RELATED ARTS:

 

EXPLORATIONS:

At Explore! we believe every child deserves the opportunity to discover and exercise their passions and that the arts are as important as our traditional curriculum. Kindergarten through second grade Explorers will participate in music, garden, and art once a week. Third through sixth grade Explorers will participate in Spanish, music, and art once a week. All Explorers K-6 will participate in Fitness and Adventure twice a week to promote healthy lifestyles and physical fitness.

Students will engage in purposeful project-based learning, taking the knowledge they gain during the rest of the day and applying it in authentic, hands-on activities. Students will create works of beauty and worth that they can present and be proud of.

CLOSING CIRCLE: This is a time to celebrate the ways that we have demonstrated learning and our core values throughout the day. Students are able to share compliments, point out something they learned, or share something they are looking forward to.
DISMISSAL: Students leave for home or transition to after school programming.

Historically, school has been dismissed early on Fridays in order to provide training and work time for our staff members. We recognize the logistical challenges this may present to families and are committed to providing opportunities for Enrichment during this time. This programming will take place at Explore! and the Martha O’Bryan Center and will be offered at a sliding-scale fee required for participation.

It is important to note that these enrichment activities are not facilitated by Explore! staff members and are not part of Explore!’s instructional day or program. Therefore, participation is a privilege that is granted by the programming provider and is subject to their requirements. Regardless of participation in enrichment programming, all students must be dismissed from school no later than 1:45pm, as staff has scheduled meetings and training sessions directly following school on Fridays. Please make arrangements for pick-up or child care for Fridays to ensure timely dismissal.

*For School Year 2020-2021, Explore! operates entirely virtually on Fridays in light of the ongoing pandemic.

 

Response to Instruction and Intervention

Response to Instruction and Intervention is a framework for teaching and learning. At Explore!, our mission is to help all Explorers succeed and to give every Explorer the support they need to reach high expectations. Each instructional period is designed to allow Explorers to work at their instructional and independent levels. Instructional levels are those levels which an Explorer requires teacher support and scaffolding to master. Independent levels are those levels that the Explorer is working at on their own.

Response to Instruction and Intervention relies on high quality instruction by teachers coupled with decisions that are guided by data.

Response to Instruction and Intervention is designed to support and extend learning for all students. As such, all learners fall into and pass between the different levels throughout their educational experiences.