In our commitment to providing a deeply personal and meaningful education to the children under our roof, we are taking the leap to create a Kindergarten experience that will provide a Common Ground of best practices in education to meet the needs of every child.
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We know that education goes far beyond the academics required for public schooling. At Common Ground our focus is to excite and encourage your child's intrinsic motivation to learn.
CG Academy Blog - December 11th, 2018 - We are truly excited for how this is all shaping out. In our approach to crafting this experience for our Kindergarteners we have used the strategy of working backwards from the end goal in how we want our students, teachers, and parents to feel next year. We have locked in on an approach, guidelines for the classroom, what curricular areas to teach, how to assess them inline and quarterly, and now are working on structuring the school year. We have decided to have four quarters to our year, we have discussed assessment points throughout, and we have decide on our Quarterly Themes for the year. These themes will allow the educators to pull the curricular areas together and make the learning a cohesive understanding for our students.
We have also decided to route our Kindergarten competencies to the Virginia Core Standards to make sure there is a shared language between us and the county to further prepare our students for public school! We will use an application called Trello to help document the evidence in achieving these competencies. Each student will get what is called a “Trello Board” that looks like this:
We will then tag each competency with work, video, or photos that support your child completing these goals. There is accountability on our educators to make sure that our parents trust we are achieving these goals. The boards are shared with our parents so all is transparent.
CG Academy Blog - December 10th, 2018 - As I write this, James and I are in Richmond, Virginia at the Virginia Kindergarten Conference. We felt it to be important to understand how Virginia Standards of Learning programs are operated. What we found was some really talented teachers that have to be super creative to get their message across while also making sure the children retain the information needed by the state. It’s sad to me that so many talented teachers enter the public school environment and have the love of teaching squished out of them slowly over time.
What we also found was a ton of ego-based education tactics being taught. How to establish a classroom routed in control. How to get your kids to do what you want them to do…etc. These approaches fundamentally stifle the flame of learning in children’s hearts and more focus is put on controlling the kids then it is to connect with them. So in whole, the conference gave us faith that no matter the model, good teachers will shine through. It also showed us a lot of what NOT to do in teaching. We find it super important to know specifically what not to do in working on creating the best Kindergarten for our learners.
CG Academy BLOG -
In an effort to provide each interested family the utmost transparency, we decided to document our process of creation of our Kindergarten! Each week you will find updates here that give you a bit of insight into exactly what we are thinking and how are process of learning will adapt to each learner. In this “episode” we chat about how we will organize our children’s work and document their achievements. The big discovery here was leveraging an app called “Trello” to correlate the activities in their classroom to the County requirements for K, 1st and 2nd. The reason there is a “grade gap” here is because we know that as a standard in our classrooms, children function in certain areas sometimes two or three grade levels higher. We want to be able to meet those needs as well as the needs of a child with deficits. In most cases this can be the same child!
Enjoy the view into our Tuesday meeting! -
Tuesday, October 23rd - In this meeting we discuss further the organization of the child’s competencies and work to achieve them. We also discuss in depth the language curriculum and what materials and philosophies we will use in the approach to serve each child. If you can;t tell, we love this stuff..
Kindergarten Interest Form