Development Is On Our Side
Development is on the teacher's side. Children want to learn. They have a strong, natural desire to become more competent. They have a strong, natural desire to become more independent in many aspects of their lives, including their learning and school performance.
What teachers need to remember, above all, is that children have a strong and natural inclination toward learning through their own actions... that is, toward active rather than passive learning.
Kids In Action
At Natural Bridges, children are encouraged in their play to explore their world. Teachers develop the curriculum based on the birth-age and the developmental-age of students in their class. Curriculum is developed using California State Frameworks and the newly adopted National Common Core as well as developmental milestone markers to implement a program that will help students progress in their fine and large motor skills as well as social, intellectual, and academic growth.
In general, students do not learn actively while teachers are talking, especially if the teacher is talking to the entire class or a large group. The younger the child, the more likely this is to be the case. Teachers must stop talking TO groups of students to tell them this or that. Teachers must begin communication WITH students on a one-to-one basis or in small groups.
At Natural Bridges, student to teacher ratio is 7:1 allowing teachers and students to work, talk, and play together providing learning that is based on the child's immediate interests, ideas, and concerns. Students received 'free choice' time in which they can choose what to play with and learn from and the teacher will follow their lead while continuing model language, social skills, and advance concepts such as numbers, letter, counting, and phonics. They also will have 'workshops' in which the child follows the teacher's lead and is giving opportunities for writing, pre-reading skills, counting, and fine motor development through paint, play dough, and much more.