2020 Class Descriptions
K-1st Language Arts Naturally, Math Naturally
The Kinderstar/1st Grade class is a developmentally appropriate program that uses a holistic approach to education. Children are encouraged to explore their environment, ask questions, find natural materials to play and learn with, sing, dance, and use teamwork in accomplishing tasks. Inspired by the principals of Waldorf education the emphasis is in connecting with the environment, storytelling, imaginative and practical play, and establishing a rhythmic routine. Reading, writing and math standards are woven within the fabric of the day.
We believe that by cultivating a positive and nurturing environment, children will form a trusting relationship with their mentors and peers and seek to care for and improve the environment in which they live. GSES Kinderstar/1st Grade program strives to build a solid foundation by supporting a child’s spirit, creativity and natural wonderment about life.
1st - 2nd Language Arts Naturally / Math Naturally
Students will engage their hearts, minds and body while learning in a natural setting. Students will have indoor and outdoor classroom time at a park in Hermosa Beach. Teachers will take the students’ interests in mind when planning the reading and writing common core aligned lessons. These classes are a hit with kids since they love being read a short book, discussing it and then completing a related writing assignment. Often artistic and craft activities are incorporated into this well- rounded class.
This class is designed to promote interest and confidence in mathematics among elementary students. Students will be working with cooperatively, connecting concepts in meaningful ways. The teacher will facilitate the discovery of mathematical concepts and the students will learn that there can be many ways to solve a single problem. Students will solve real life problems in hands-on ways. In any given class, conceptual learning will take place through singing and movement, exploring nature in the park, creating art, building or playing games. Lessons are Common Core aligned and taught in a caring, encouraging and fun environment that helps students thrive!
Writing with an Artistic Flair (3rd-5th Grades)
In this power packed morning class, the lessons are designed to meet the needs of a particular small group of students. Everyone is embraces at their own level with their strengths and areas of need. Then, the experienced teacher supports them and builds their confidence while giving them the tools to bring forth their inner creative writer! This class uses the writing workshop approach to a lesson; starting with a mini-lesson and then giving the kids the time to work on their writing. This individualized time could include: pre-writing, first drafts, self, peer and teacher editing, revisions, and completion of an attractive final writing project. In addition, great examples of the narrative, expository and informative writing are analyzed.
As a culminating event to a unit, the child looks forward to sitting in the “Writer’s Chair” to share their final writing pieces with their supportive classmates and teacher. Classes can also include an opportunity for students to express themselves artistically in ways such as portrait making, crafting or sculpting.
This class is designed to help elementary students develop a positive attitude towards mathematics. Throughout the school year, students will learn innovative techniques and participate in hands-on activities which will foster a sense of curiosity and capture their imagination. After all, math can be so much more than worksheets, drills, and rote memorization. Activities will vary and can include crafts which will help them get familiar with the diverse shapes they encounter in the park, or card games perfect for reinforcing multiplication and division. Students will explore and deepen their understanding with the help of manipulatives, thematic units, and the use of literature with mathematical content. What truly makes this class exciting, is seeing math come to life as students begin making connections to real-world situations. Lessons are Common Core aligned and taught in a caring, encouraging and fun environment that helps students thrive!
Excellence in Writing for Middle Schoolers
Students will complete writing pieces covering the 3 common core writing areas: narrative, informative/explanatory and argument/opinion. Students will be introduced to and use the MLA format. Researching using technology will be stressed and the teacher will custom design the lessons to fit the level and needs of the small group of students. This class uses the writing workshop approach to a lesson; starting with a mini-lesson and then giving the kids the time to work on their writing. At any given class time, students may be working on a pre-writing, first draft, self, peer or teacher editing, revisions, or completing an attractive final writing project. The classmates will celebrate their good work by sharing their final pieces with each other and their teacher. In addition, great examples of the narrative, expository and informative writing are analyzed. These could include, Shakespeare, Asimov, Angelou and others. Finally, learning will take place in a joyful way with the students crafting great projects, creatively publishing their work and playing grammar games.
Book Club (4th - 8th grades )
Novels come to life as students meet in a small group to read and discuss a book they chose. This highly motivating and engaging way to share the love of reading with their peers is akin to an adult book club, but with more rigor and accountability. Students begin by selecting a book together then are introduced to the different types of rotating jobs such as word watcher, discussion director or connector. The teacher and student volunteers model the task for each of their roles, and then the students practice the strategies. Next, the students decide how many pages they will read at home each week. After this introduction, students are ready to use the strategy independently, rotating the roles as they read the books they have chosen. When the novel is finished, a celebration will occur with a culminating activity such as comparing the book to the movie, making and eating a protagonist’s favorite food or creating mini-movies.
Theater Games (Wednesday & Friday)
Play with purpose- These fun theater games will enable your child to act in the moment with exercises that build confidence and unleash the power of curiosity, empathy, and imagination. Through movement games which include brainteasers, storytelling, observation, breath work, and teamwork, Golden Star students will work together learning social and collaborative skills while practicing mindful awareness of their own feelings. Each day, students will experience the thrill of taking the stage with others to create and play. Supporting Imagination, Excellence, Respect and Inclusion.
Children’s books, works by famous and popular artists as well as nature’s beauty will be the jumping off point for each day’s lesson. Through this students will be exploring a wide variety of fine art media that will help develop awareness of, and appreciation for communicating through art. Students will develop their own creative thinking as they work towards self-expression in their own original works of art.
The energy in the indoor/ outdoor classroom is one of quiet focused anticipation as the challenges for the next build it project are given. The 4 C’s of 21st century learning are seen as children collaborate, create, communicate with each other and experience critical thinking as they problem solve while engaging their hands and heart. Always mindful of the whole child, the teacher helps the student practice growth mindsets and compassionate communication. Literature, art, science, engineering, cooking, math and history are tied in thematically, and a summary and work journal entry is sent home weekly.
Art Throughout The Ancient Civilizations
Let’s explore Art throughout Ancient Civilizations! From Prehistoric cave paintings, Egyptian Treasures and Greek Pottery…to Indian Painted Elephants, Russian Onion Dome Architecture and African Mud Cloth Textiles. Each week we will immerse ourselves into a different culture from around the world and create our own versions of their artwork. We will explore exciting techniques such as printmaking, mixed media collage and oil resist painting while using a mix of medium including Oil & Chalk Pastel, Watercolor & Tempera Paint, India Ink, Gelatos and Clay.
Math Game Club
This class is designed to help elementary or middle school students develop a positive attitude towards mathematics. Throughout the school year, students will learn innovative techniques and participate in hands-on activities which will foster a sense of curiosity and capture their imagination. After all, math can be so much more than worksheets, drills, and rote memorization. Activities will vary and can include card games perfect for reinforcing multiplication and division, or project based hands-on learning such as using geometry and metric conversion to build a miniature lemonade stand. Students will explore and deepen their understanding with the help of manipulatives, thematic units, and the use of literature with mathematical content. What truly makes this class exciting, is seeing math come to life as students begin making connections to real-world situations. Lessons are Common Core aligned and taught in a caring, encouraging and fun environment that helps students thrive!