Miss Claudia, Grades 4-12 Teacher
We recognize that every child's learning style is different, and that we strive for providing a method that is individualized to the student. For this we utilize a mix of different teaching methods, drawing from Montessori, Waldorf, Traditional and other styles.
Our text books are Christian based where possible, such as the Abeka, World Studies, and others. The teachers choose the most constructive teaching aids from our resources, interweaving the knowledge of the "I AM" Teachings, as relevant.
Every child's academic needs are very important to us, therefore when a child comes to us we have a period of assessment to get an insight to their level, needs and challenges. We also acknowledge that there is a period of adjustment that happens when a child comes to the "I AM" School, and we provide the needed support and coaching as necessary.
Our teaching environment is very close to home-school, because of our small student/teacher ratio, which makes it feel very much like a family. Children very noticeably feel the love and inclusion from both teachers and other students when they come to our school.
We strongly encourage all students to foster the love of learning, and especially the joy of reading for pleasure. We use SRA reading laboratory by MacGraw-Hill, which is a reading level tool, to assist with phonics, English grammar and comprehension. Oral reading is used to help enunciate punctuation, meaning and flow. We also get children accustomed to oral book reports making them comfortable speaking in front of others—which we find helps create a confident student, and prepares them well for high school. Written book reports and research papers are also introduced.
Phonics are very important in our teaching philosophy, as they teach the correct sounds of letters, blends and special sounds in the English language. This gives the children greater self-confidence, and aid in faster absorption in reading and easier learning in spelling.
The first most important task to teach the child when first arriving at the "I AM" School is to make sure the child knows how to write well. Penmanship is concentrated on throughout the grades; besides manuscript we include cursive writing and introduce calligraphy.
Creative writing is crucial for the students to develop their imagination and giving them the skills of correct grammar, sentence usage, punctuation, paragraph writing, capitalization, and so on.
As we mentioned above, the students are introduced to written book reports and research papers. This prepares them for their high school years by getting them familiar with good reporting skills, and the structure and flow in their writing process.
VOCABULARY & SPELLING
Reading provides the opportunity to increase the student vocabulary. We usually have a vocabulary test every one to two weeks, along with focus on spelling also. We find that spelling is imperative to a child's success in later years of school. Every paper written is assessed with these in mind.
Poetry is to us an art-form, using the base skills of vocabulary, spelling and creativity, and giving the child the opportunity to fall in love with words - and the world around them. Children read poetry and author their own works.