Our goal for our Explorers students is that they explore the basic skills and conceptual building blocks that lay the groundwork for Class One. How do we accomplish these objectives?
Our Explorer students chart unknown regions as they learn to distinguish sounds, identify phonograms, decode words and narrate orally. They investigate stories and learn to predict outcomes, to recognize likenesses, to interpret main ideas, and to sequence events. They participate in other language-eliciting activities, such as narration (telling back a story they have heard), picture studies (orally describing what they see in a painting), and composer studies (hearing classical music and describing what they heard).
Small Motor Skills:
Students at this age are developing the basic small muscle control to hold a pencil correctly in order consistently to draw lines, shapes, and letters.
Large Motor Skills:
For large motor development, Explorers need lots of opportunities to develop their kinesthetic intelligence. They do so through recess, games, movement exercises, and by means of short periods of practicing sitting up straight or lining up and walking in a line.
Other activities include read-alouds and literature discussions, specialized art, and music study. As they participate in these activities, Explorers are developing speaking skills, number skills, reading skills, listening skills, visual skills, and physical skills (both small and large motor). In many ways, the “academic expanses” they travel are every bit as challenging as those miles of waves that Columbus braved.
We promote our students’ acquisition of habits of character within this academic and discovery framework that will help them for years to come both in studies and in life. For example, we model and teach “the habit of attention,” helping our Explorers to listen without interrupting and to follow oral directions after one hearing. We train our students in the habits of courtesy and kindness, teaching them what constitute good classroom manners, encouraging them to gain attention through positive behaviors, and guiding them to work well with others. We instruct in the “habit of orderliness” which involves using property carefully, taking turns, cooperating and practicing self-control.