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Journey Elementary School

Presented by:

Sam Lasco and Lisa Sutton


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The Purpose of Our School

Children have an enormous amount of potential and curiosity. Our school’s purpose is to cultivate a child’s understanding of the world and helping them make their own theories and philosophies to explain how it functions.


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Faculty and Staff

  • Qualifications/Endorsements

    • Library Information Specialist Endorsement

    • Self-Contained General Elementary Education

    • Middle School Coursework

    • Reading Specialist

    • Foreign Languages

    • Language Arts

    • Music

    • Social Studies

    • Science

    • Yoga

    • Cooking


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Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is of Socioconstructivism line of thought. Knowledge is constructed as a system of relations. Children are able to learn from an experience within a broader system of relations be it with the teacher, peers, parents and the environment. Education is derived from the Latin word “ex-ducere” which means to bring out. Children’s knowledge needs to be brought out, using their own natural curiosity and not filled in. (Taken from Loris Malaguzzi)


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Belief Statements

We believe…

  • We believe that each person constructs their own intelligence from direct interaction with the environment and in social groups.

  • We believe that young children are capable and intuitive.

  • We believe the role of the teacher is to help students fulfill their potential.

  • We believe the teacher should allow opportunities for students to pursue their interests, talents or passions.

  • We believe in not only highlighting the individual needs, interest and abilities of a single student but also in group work , group products, and group studies.

  • We believe in holding a great level of respect for children.

  • We believe students are unique and have different learning style preferences.

  • We believe in a high level of involvement and commitment in a student’s life.

  • We believe children have a natural curiosity and desire to explore the environment around them.

  • We believe children start to create their own knowledge about how things work.


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Mission Statement

The school community works together in creating a passive learning environment to engage children in meaningful activities. We educate the whole child, which means we consider and respect every child as a unique individual, socially, emotionally, culturally, physically and intellectually.


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Quotes for Philosophy:

  • “...schools for young children in which each child’s intellectual, emotional, social and moral potentials are carefully cultivated and guided.” Howard Gardner

    “All children have preparedness, potential, curiosity, and interest in engaging in social interaction, establishing relationships, constructing their learning and negotiating with everything the environment brings to them.” Lella Gandini

    “...we learn from people around us with who we identify.” Frank Smith

    “...aim of education ought to be conceived of as the preparation of artists.” Sir Herbert Read, an English art historian, poet and pacifist. Concurred by Elliot W. Eisner


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Introduction

School K-8

  • Features:

    • Foreign Language Program

    • Online-Access in all classrooms

    • Family and Consumer Science

    • Physical Education

    • Student Prepared Lunches



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Brief Course Description Guide for Kindergarten

Here at Journey Elementary it is important to connect the home life with school life. Many of the scheduled curriculum centers around a rhythm of home for children.

  • The Family Style Breakfast - Invites parents to enjoy breakfast with their child and meet with other parents and classmates. This carries through to lunch for the children (but parents will most likely not be there and this is not the official start of the school day).

  • The Morning Garden – A time for a parent and child exploration of the outside through planting and observation of nature. Terrariums and aquariums in the winter time.

  • Read Aloud - Students need to be read aloud everyday. Students will engage in discussion with each other and the teacher over the book.

  • Hands-on Activity - Can be a circle activity, premised by the book read. The hands on activity can be an inventive art activity of watercolor painting, crayon resist, beeswax and clay modeling, nature crafts, recycled and found objects sculpting.

  • Language - Children will learn another language (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese) through basic naming of numbers, objects and commands in a Total Physical Response-in a chosen language.

  • Free Play -Children are not meant to sit for too long of a period-in Free play they have room for movement and creative play for themselves.

  • Centers - Pre-prepared areas of interest for students to explore-art, craft, building blocks, science, exercise of a simple math skill, role play in a familiar home setting, to exploration of the voice through theatre and puppetry.

  • Practical Life - “foundation for all learning is found in practical life, for it is here that the child acquires order, concentration, coordination, independence and the ability to care for self, others and the environment.” based from the Arlington Montessori School


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Schedules: 1st-3rd grade


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Schedules for 4th - 5th graders


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L’Atelier Workshop of Choice

“L’Atelier was originally conceived as an art workshop for children. The word atelier, which derives from the French language, means work room or artist’s studio. Historically, ateliers have served not only as a place where seamstress, carpenters, painters, sculptors and other artists could create their products, but also as a place that could offer inspiration and answers to their questions. We believe research and self expression are linked to the original concept of atelier. This concept led us to create a place where children explore visual art, movement and music as tools to represent their ideas and feelings.” (borrowed from L’Atelier School in Florida)


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Brief Course Description Guide Grades 1st-5th

  • L’Atelier Workshops of Choice (Quarterly Subject Changes within each workshop)

    • Movement Workshop depending on quarter include Martial Arts, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. Find the importance of the spirit, mind and body through this class.

    • Philosophy – Learn about the Eastern versus Western philosophy regarding life and peace in the world.

    • Economics Class - Discover an industry and how it comes to be. Pick a product and explore the history of its’ making. Primary project for end of year is making of a game. In this group project students will design their own video game or board game taking from other games they know.

    • Music History - Explore the artist of choice and look into the history of how they came to be as well as the social context the music is made in. Exploration of a time line of history through music of all cultures.

    • Music Class - Learn an instrument through band.

    • Theatre - Theatre program of movement, art and drama.

    • Arts - An exploration of the techniques in visual arts through project based learning--drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, design.

  • Film/Visual Artworkshop-Watch films of the past and present. Depending on the length of the film it can run from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Exposed to art from around the world and at different eras in different mediums (painting to photography). In discussion groups–discuss themes in the films and art presented.

  • Final Notes: This is a debrief of the day for students and teacher to describe their accomplishments, shortfalls and thoughts.


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Brief Course Description Guide Grades 1st-5th Continued

Self contained classrooms Monday through Friday. There is a transition to special classes for Friday in the Fourth and Fifth Grade levels.

  • Morning Meeting- The beginning of the day which is most important starts with a meeting to outline the plan for the day. During these meetings, students can bring up any conflicts they may have, inform the teacher were they are at on a calendar of project deadlines, discuss current events, and set up goals for themselves during this meeting. A teacher may have announcements for any upcoming events for the school or class such as field trips or assemblies, reiteration of a rule or changes in schedules.

  • Project Work - Based on either a theme given or a choice of interest students will present four projects during the year through a chosen medium from written reports, webpages, powerpoint presentation and video. These projects will be determined for a group or an individual body of work. For example a group of three students may do a presentation on animals of the rainforest. Students will learn how to work together toward a goal.

  • Writers’ Workshop -This class entails creative writing prompts to motivate students to develop writing as a means of expression.

  • Language Arts - Students will hone grammar and spelling in the students writing as well as learn about all the various genres in text.

  • Social Studies - Students will learn about culture, historical and current events, themes in life through children’s literature.

  • Social Studies and Math - Applying math concepts to learn about statistics and how numbers are used in a practical sense of everyday life.

  • Science:1st through 2nd graders learn about the natural environment through story and hands on activities. 3rd through 5th graders study fundamental science subjects-physical science, biological science, environmental science, computer science.

  • Science and Math - This is an integrated course of math and science. Hands on science projects that include a math component (arithmetic, basic algebra, geometry and statistics) and the introduction to the scientific method.


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Middle School Class Time Schedule

  • 1st Hour 8:00-8:45

  • 2nd Hour 8:45-9:30

  • 3rd Hour 9:30-10:15

  • 4th Hour 10:15-11:00

  • Lunch 11:00-11:35

  • Advisory 11:35-12:05

  • 5th Hour 12:05-12:50

  • 6th Hour 12:50-1:35

  • 7th Hour 1:35-2:20

  • 8th Hour 2:20-3:05

  • Half Day Schedule

  • Schedule will vary depending on the High School. No lunch will be served. Middle School students will be dismissed at 12:00 with buses departing at 12:15 p.m.


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Schedules: 6th - 8th grade


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Brief Course Description Guide Grades 6th – 8th

  • ART Art education and art appreciation is taught in all the grades. I like using newspapers and magazines to demonstrate basic art vocabulary such as line, colour theory, balance, principles of composition and perspective which shows the importance of helping students learn how to view and talk about art as well as produce it.

  • Social Studies Students will investigate the history of the United States from 1790-1877 in order to answer the question, "How has the American identity evolved ?"  Through an analysis of selected primary and secondary sources, they will draw conclusions about the causes and consequences of the important events, including the American Revolution, Westward Expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction

  • Language Arts A course in reading comprehension, vocabulary building and literature, supported by skills instruction and practice writing and grammar usage. The course includes units organized by genre, theme, or both, readable, high interest selections that gradually increase in difficulty.  A mix of classic tales, contemporary stories and nonfiction.  Selections tied to the social studies curriculum and selections for independent reading.

  • Mathematics Number relationships and computation will be extended to include the set of integers.  Students will be expected to solve one-variable equations involving integers as well as write algebraic expressions.  Classification of geometric figures such as angles, triangles and quadrilaterals will be determined through an analysis of properties of these figures and take a more formalized approach to geometric reasoning.

  • Media/Technology The School Library  program focuses on the process of learning and to ensure that all students and staff are effective users of ideas and information.  The program guides students to become independent learners. The program provide students with meaning and authentic learning experiences that promote student achievement. There is a partnership with the media specialist and teachers to provide instruction to students in information, reading, communication and technology.    

  • Music General Music, Middle School chorus, Instrumental Ensemble: Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion and Strings are offered to students in grades 6, 7 and 8.

  • Foreign Language The World Language Connections course provides students with a unique and challenging exploration of communication systems, languages and cultures. Students develop clearer concepts of the role and nature of language as well as a more open attitude toward new ideas, tastes, information, people and cultures.

  • Science Students study the systems of the earth and space, using the skills and processes of science to understand the concepts, principles and theories of the physical earth and our universe.

  • Physical Education All students will be scheduled for physical education and health.  Students will receive health instruction in the areas of alcohol education, nutrition, drugs, fitness, family life, human sexuality and disease prevention.  Our program is based on the philosophy ying and yang. You must be both mentally and physically strong.


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It’s a spring Monday morning at Journey Elementary School. We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

The teacher, Ms. Macri lead a group of kids and parents on the rug in a morning stretch and salutation to start the day. Several children parents are following the teacher in a child’s pose yoga stretch while five other children are at a round table talking amongst themselves. And two girls lounged in the loft reading a picture book. On this day, we will follow Nick.

Nick runs in to the classroom and rings the triangle for breakfast. Students and parents line up at the door to proceed to the lunchroom.

Ms. Macri leads the way for the students and parents to the lunchroom. On the way, the hallway has a display of the latest work and documentation of several projects from other classrooms. The children’s museum displays a collection of sculptures made from found objects.

Upon entering the dining room, the room is brightly lit from the windows lined along one wall of the room which look out onto the playground of trees and shrubs and various jungle gyms.

Parents and children sit along a linen covered table with napkins and silver ware set out. In the middle of the table bowls and plates are filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and muffins. Parents and students pass the bowls around the table and take their share. Small talk is going about. The interesting comment is the current news.


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Narrative continued….. We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

Some students finish before others and take their plates, silverware and napkins to bins on a cart. They head out through the two glass doors adjacent to the wall with windows to the gardens. The ones who are assigned to clean up, clear away the large bowls of left overs and table cloth and return them to the kitchen. They run out with the parents to the garden.

In the garden, students are tending to the vegetable patches with handmade signs for each type of vegetable patch. Some students have flowers growing instead of vegetables by choice.

The students investigate and pull weeds around the patches. They fill watering cans to water the patches. One student has discovered a caterpillar in the tomatoes and calls for all the kids to see. The caterpillar is talked about by the parents and teacher. Students are commenting on the way the caterpillar moves and who is going to pick it up. Nick says, “Let’s squish it!” All the parents say no don’t do that. It is so important to keep the caterpillar because it will change later into a butterfly. The teacher asks, “Do you think the caterpillar is a danger to the tomato plant?” They don’t know it is true. Nick says, “We should put it with the flowers.” So one of the parents takes the caterpillar to the flower patch.


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Narrative Continued…. We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

The parents say their good-byes to the kids and Ms. Macri. The kids head back to the classroom through the dining room. Which has other students eating and chattering away.

The children gather on the rug as part of the routine after lunch in a circle. Ms. Macri describes what she has observed in the garden. Some of the students chime in about how it will be interesting to see a butterfly. Ms. Macri asks the students how they think the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Several students raise their hands and give their own explanations from either what they know or have heard or just from their imagination.

Then, Ms. Macri says she has a book about butterflies in which she can read to the students. She reminds them to listen. She begins to read.

The students spend some time after the story to talk about the book. Ms. Macri hits record on a tape recorder to document the dialogue for later reflection and planning.


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Narrative Continued…. We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

After the story the children gather at the round tables for an activity. This activity has been sparked by Nick’s interest in building. Students take Styrofoam, wire, toothpicks various other materials to build their own models of jungle gyms. The students after they are done building are asked to draw the model and give it a name. The students sound out the and write how they think the name is spelled. Some students become antsy for recess while others are still working. Some students want to stay while others want to go outside to play on the playground. The teacher and the co-teacher split up the group. Some students go out to play for recess. Nick is one that decides he would really like to stay and build some more.


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Narrative Continued… We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

Nick has noticed the progress of construction of a building across the street. In his free play time he has watched the building and the activity around the building by staring out of the window. He has been focused on building with unit blocks to mimic the building across the street. These buildings have been very elaborate with many entry ways.

Ms. Macri have been documenting his conversations with other students surrounding the construction of the mock buildings in the play area.

Language is a time to learn to speak and experience another language. Ms. Macri’s classroom is the Spanish language development class. The students are placed in a scenario set up by role play areas by the co-teacher. This time it is a restaurant setting and students are sitting at the tables with menus showing pictures of different foods. The teacher asks the students in Spanish what they would like to eat. A student will point to the menu, the teacher will give them the name of the item in Spanish. The students will repeat it. Ms. Macri will move onto what they would like to drink. The students know drink and eat from previous lessons.

It is close to lunchtime and two other students are sent off to prepare the tables in the dining area. All the talk of food has made the children hungry.


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Narrative Continued… We will begin with a day in the kindergarten classroom.

Children return to class from lunch and have an hour to play freely about the room. Children learn from their play. Nick chooses to work on his buildings, which the teacher has photographed the progress of several of his pieces.

The teacher calls the students to the center after clean up and announces the centers around the room. There is a science discovery center where children can try a simple experiment like how many paper clips does it take to reach the top of the table to the floor. Other centers mentioned are painting on easels, making puppets with spoons, playing board games and the reading corner in the library.

Students spend a good hour in their centers. Nick has chosen to figure out how paper clips reach the floor. He is to write his prediction on a chart and begin the experiment. Ms. Macri walks around the room to observe the children in their play.

The last part of the day is a practical life lesson. This is a discussion on how children can care about themselves and others. Ms. Macri gives a scenario for the children to discuss what they can do. The scenario on this Monday afternoon is a person drops their wallet in front of the student and keeps walking. Ms. Macri draws the picture of the scenario on a dry erase board. The children talk about what they can do. Ms. Macri writes their answers.

It is time to go home and children prepare to line up the door. Nick has had a busy day here in Ms. Macri’s kindergarten class.


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It’s a spring Monday morning at Journey Elementary School. We will begin with a day in the 6th grade classroom.

Behind the scenes: It is 7:30 and selected students (6th grade is the first year this class is permitted) who are in the cooking program. The students prepared under guided tutelage a healthy breakfast consisting of fruit smoothies and banana pancakes. The master chef is a graduate of The Chopping Block Cooking School who has won numerous awards in health, cooking and fitness. The students do every thing from preparing, serving, and planning the menus. The first bell rings 7:45 this gives faulty and student time to finish up and prepared to start movement. 7:50 second bell student are permitted to walk to their classrooms.

8:00 the starting bell, immediately followed by the pledge of allegiance and school news. Every Monday morning student take out there writing journals and write about current news. It can be local news, culture, or foreign affairs. I usually give them 15 minutes and then depending on whose turn it is we will discuss there topic. I have a newspaper for each student. After our discussion we have research time, time spent looking for background knowledge. Our classroom has its own network so each student as it own keyboard and monitor. 8:40 the bell rings and some classes have movement. Our school has taken into account time spend for discussion and preparing students for time management. In 6th grade the have the first 3 blocks of time for Social Studies, Reading and Writing. During the Reading/Writing time on Monday we stay with the theme of using the newspaper for current events, culture or foreign affairs. The discussion started about Chicago traffic. After a heated debate and time spent doing research the student settle in and put there idea and new thoughts on paper. They are working on there web or first draft.


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Narrative continued……. We will begin with a day in the 6th grade classroom.

At 10:10 and the bell ring and students leave to go to art classroom. At 10:15 the students should be in there seat and as you walk in the art class you can see students’ works around on the wall, ceiling and stationed on the floor (this is the showing gallery). This year students will be introduced to new and challenging art concepts.  Students will begin to master your skills in painting, drawing and ceramics.  Art History will play a large role in our class.

At 11:00 is lunch. All meals are prepared by the students. The lunches include one entrée, fruit, vegetable, grain choice and 1% low fat milk or non fat chocolate milk. The student sit in the designated areas and clean there area when they leave.

At 11:35 student are back to there classroom and it Math time. A major goal of 6th grade mathematics is to provide students with a solid foundation for exploring and understanding algebra and geometry concepts as they move from elementary to middle school. Students will explore geometric transformations, the area of non-rectangular figures, area models, and the coordinate system. Fractions, their operations, and their relationship to decimals and percents are another central topic. Other areas covered are problem solving, data analysis and probability, integers, rational and real numbers, measurement, number sense and number theory, ratios, and proportions. Communicating about mathematics, both verbally and in writing, is emphasized during instruction. Students will be encouraged to reason and communicate with each other about skills and ideas in mathematics that lead to conceptual and computational development. Much effort is made to link learning to real life applications of mathematics.


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Narrative continued……. We will begin with a day in the 6th grade classroom.

The bell ring at 12:05 and the student move to the science lab. Scientific Method will be applied to Earth Science and students will be studying; The Earth· Minerals-characteristics, identification, formation· Rocks-types: igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic· Natural Resources-use & conservation· Fossil Fuels-classification, identification. Hi-tech Science labs equipped to meet the needs of the 21st century student. Every student uses the applied science and technology lab called, the "Smart Lab"™ from the Creative Learning System. Computers are used as tools for exploration. Students use integrated technologies, CBL and MBL equipment. Internet and intranet is used for data acquisition and research is stressed. This is doubled blocks so student can utilize all the equipment and apply what they learn to life applying situations.

At 1:35 student are now preparing to study music. The basic concepts and techniques involve mental, muscular, visual, and aural skills and are a relevant contemporary extension of concepts and skills learned in elementary school general music. Students will engage in performing, organizing, interpreting, and communicating information using the language, skills, methods and materials of music. Students will perform and describe a wide variety of musical styles, genres, and cultures. The general music classroom offers a challenging, adaptive, and nurturing musical environment in which students can expand their musical horizons and enrich their musical knowledge.


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Narrative continued……. We will begin with a day in the 6th grade classroom.

At 2:20 students will be scheduled for physical education and health.  Students will have instruction in physical education for three quarters of the year and instruction in comprehensive health education for one quarter of the year. The physical education program includes exercise physiology, biomechanical principles, social psychological principles, motor learning, physical activity, and skillfulness.  The program themes are fitness and conditioning, coordination, throwing and catching, striking, speed, timing and accuracy, leisure/recreational and dance. Students will be introduced to activities/units that meet the criteria for these themes in the approved curriculum guide. The students will receive health instruction in the areas of tobacco education, nutrition and fitness, safety and injury prevention, family life and human sexuality, and disease prevention.

At 3:05 student return to there homeroom and prepare to be dismissed at 3:10.


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References We will begin with a day in the 6th grade classroom.

  • Bradshaw, J. (2004). Science Program http://www.aacps.org/aacps/bpms/Sixth_Grade.htm.

  • Edwards, C. (1998). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach--Advanced Reflections. Second Edition. U.S.; Connecticut.

  • Eisner, E. W. Multiple Intelligences: Its Tensions and Possibilities. Teachers College Record, 106(1), 31-39.

  • Eisner, E.W. What Can Education Learn from the Arts About the Practice of Education? Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 18(1), 4-16.

  • Gardner, H. Audiences for the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Teachers College Record, 106(1), 212-220.

  • Hertzog, N.B. (2001). Reflections and Impressions from Reggio Emilia: “It’s Not About Art!” Early Childhood Research and Practice. 3(1).

  • Arlington Montessori School-Retrieved July 7, 2006 www.arlingtonmontessorischool.com

  • L’Atelier School in South Miami Florida-Retrieved July 24, 2006 http://www.latelier.org/originoflatelier/

  • Three Rivers School-Retrieved July 7, 2006. www.3riversschool.org


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