Teaching to the whole child
Discover the power of learning
Ancona children ground their understandings in concrete representations, models, and kinesthetic learning activities. From storyboarding to engender written and multimedia narratives, to math racks and other manipulatives to construct and communicate strategies for authentic problems, first and second graders build meaning by working with both their hands and their minds. New levels of challenge present themselves in third and fourth grades, where students tackle more and more complex problems that require higher order thinking and greater organization. Working together, teachers from all subject areas create an enriched academic program for our elementary students.
Guiding a thoughtful exploration of the world
From hatching chicks and planting vegetables to designing and programming Lego models, students engage in extended learning projects that require sustained inquiry. Science and social studies units are built around big ideas and important concepts, allowing students to investigate these in depth rather than merely covering a topic or memorizing a set of facts. Sharing ideas and giving each other critical feedback teaches students to interact and think like mathematicians, scientists, and artists do in real-world communities of practice.
Developing a high-performing learner
Our classrooms are designed to allow individuals, partners, or small informal groups to work together on a variety of activities in different subjects simultaneously. In some cases, students are assigned certain activities, but much of the time students choose activities themselves. Students learn to organize their time and to complete academic assignments or projects responsibly. The collaborative, critical thinking and creative problem solving skills they learn in this process prepare students to participate in the intellectual and social environment of the 21st Century.
Building the foundations of excellence
To achieve the rigorous curriculum presented at Ancona’s elementary level, teachers direct students toward challenging work that supports a high degree of competence and reflects an expectation to strive for excellence. As a result, students become proficient in basic skills and concepts as a foundation for their future academic success and meaningful participation in our society.