Serious play and 21st century skills.
Creativity. Collaboration. Innovation. Problem-solving. Inquiry. These are 21st century skills. Skills that require a space of their own for hands-on, experiential learning. We dedicate time and space in our building for this work.
The Studio (preschool-kindergarten)
Modeled after the ateliers in the Reggio Emilia Approach, The Studio is a place of research and invention. Here our youngest students can explore what they’re learning using the “100 languages” approach. Languages like paint, collage, print-making, beads, pastels, and drama. If a class is studying knights and castles, you’ll see students in The Studio sketching or painting a castle based on their research. You’ll see them building a castle with hollow blocks for a dramatic play. You might even see a knight dubbing ceremony. Teachers guide students toward work that is filled with purpose, meaning, and a healthy dose of wonder.
The Shared Space (first-third grade)
Similar to The Studio, The Shared Space provides a place for both structured and open arts activities that integrate with classroom learning. When the first grade studies flight and rocketry in science, they research. They sketch. They sculpt rockets with wire. They paint. When the second and third grades study Hoboken neighborhoods and city government, they design parks. They plot maps. They measure community spaces.
Daily experiences in the Shared Space challenge students to learn in different modalities. To work together. And, just as important, they develop discipline and self regulation. Students are required to make a plan, reflect, and assess their work.
STEAM (fourth and fifth grade)
The process of learning during STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) reflects the ways that practicing scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and artists work.
During STEAM, fourth and fifth grade students are divided into multi-grade teams among three teachers and three rooms. Teachers ask a guiding question. For example, How can you model an ecosystem that shows the dependent and independent relationships of organisms and how natural and human actions affect ecosystems?
Each team wrestles with the question in their own way. One group may choose to study freshwater ecosystems. Another chooses terrestrial systems. Still another chooses oceanic systems. All groups work collaboratively to research, experiment, and answer the question of the moment. All groups receive regular mini-lessons that focus on the guiding topic to further their learning.
As they consider the central question, students carry out research, experiment, and model answers in multiple ways. They prepare and give presentations to share their learning with the larger group. These are real life skills that make a difference.
Academic Teams (sixth, seventh, and Eighth grade)
As our students begin to swing from childhood to adulthood, it is essential that they learn in situations that combine meaningful relationships with interdisciplinary learning. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students work in multi-grade academic teams for
In each team students consistently engage new points of view, take on leadership roles, and communicate with new audiences. They experiment. Research. Create.
Academic teams stay together for the years. All academic teams study the same material. The curriculum rotates on a three-year cycle.