The purpose for language arts standards is to ensure that all students develop the language skills they need to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Our mission is to increase literacy for our students by using The Spalding Method to develop skilled readers, critical listeners, and accomplished writers and spellers. Spalding is a total language arts program that integrates essential research-based components, and educational philosophy, and a methodology consisting of time-tested principles of learning and instruction.
Strong Foundations Academy also implements daily small-group reading instruction with a state certified reading specialist.
Strong Foundations Academy offers an accelerated and rigorous mathematics curriculum for our students. Our custom designed curriculum provides unique hands-on activities and rich mathematical conversations that actively engage students in the learning process. Children will learn numbers, addition, subtraction, place value, measurement, graphing, geometry, time, and money.
We also focus on developing the following Mathematical Practices:
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Model with mathematics.
Use appropriate tools strategically.
Attend to precision.
Look for and make use of structure.
Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Young children are full of curiosity so it's the perfect time to introduce them to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts.
STEM learning encourages innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity, resulting in a capable, multi-faceted child. Through STEM, children build the skills necessary to navigate the world around them. Making connections between diverse skills and concepts is the way children learn best.
At Strong Foundations Academy our teachers are facilitators that provide the materials and allow our students to become creative in varied activities. We encourage students to synergize as they experiment, observe, and use critical thinking to solve the problem. Teachers do not give answers to STEM activities. We ask open-ended questions and promote the process, as it’s more important than the end product.
We are proud to offer Spanish instruction. Early language instruction is one of the best ways for children to become bilingual – a privilege that has shown to have life-long benefits. At Strong Foundations Academy we take advantage of the critical time in early development when acquiring language skills comes naturally and easily. A child’s capacity to pronounce unfamiliar, foreign sounds and to absorb new grammar rules is highly enhanced prior to age six.
Our research-based Spanish curriculum allows students to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through a wide range of interactive activities. Students will enjoy their Spanish experience as we use custom visual aids and music resources to guide learning, share the Hispanic culture, and reinforce language concepts. Students are frequently encouraged to become actively involved in lessons through TPR-style responses and participation, which addresses the needs of kinesthetic learners.
Art is a natural activity to support free play in children. The freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration and experimentation. These artistic endeavors and self-directed explorations are not only fun, but educational as well. Art allows youth to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life, but also for learning. So why is art so important for young children?
SKILLS YOUNGSTERS PRACTICE WHEN PARTICIPATING IN ART ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
Fine motor skills – Grasping pencils, crayons, chalk, and paintbrushes helps children develop their fine motor muscles. This development will help your child with writing, buttoning a coat, and other tasks that require controlled movements.
Cognitive development – Art can help children learn and practice skills like patterning and cause and effect (i.e., “If I push very hard with a crayon, the color is darker.”). They can also practice critical thinking skills by making a mental plan or picture of what they intend to create and following through on their plan.
Math skills – Children can learn, create, and begin to understand concepts like size, shape, making comparisons, counting, and spatial reasoning.
Language skills – As children describe and share their artwork, as well as their process, they develop language skills. You can encourage this development by actively listening and asking open-ended questions in return. It is also a great opportunity to learn new vocabulary words regarding their project (i.e., texture). In addition to helping youth develop important skills, free expression is also good for overall health and well-being. Giving your child a creative outlet can help relieve stress and work through things happening in their lives. By encouraging artistic expression, you can help facilitate learning.
"The #1 predictor of a child's future happiness and success is their emotional intelligence."
When children feel safe and connected, they are ready and able to learn!
Children aren’t born knowing how to regulate their emotions any more than they are born knowing how to tie their shoes.
Regulation is a skill, so we teach it!
We understand we have an essential role in supporting children’s social and emotional learning (SEL). Per decades of research, it is the development of these interpersonal skills that assist our children’s brain development for a lifetime of happiness and success. As parents and educators, it is more important than ever to recognize and value what SEL brings to children, not only in support of the stresses they may be facing currently but for the positive impact it is shown to have on children’s future health and wellbeing.
At Strong Foundations Academy we work hard and PLAY hard. Imaginary play is one of the hallmarks of childhood, and it’s more than fun and games; pretend play boasts important benefits when it comes to child development.
The benefits of child-centered, imaginative play are endless. As Mr. Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”
Play builds empathy. Through the context of imaginary play, children try on different roles and view their worlds through a different lens. This expands their world-views and provides the opportunity to think about how others experience the world around them.
When kids engage in imaginary play with other kids, they have to slow down and listen to the ideas of the peers, consider their feelings about their role in the play scenario, and work together to make sure each player is having fun. This builds empathy among children.
During Imaginative Play, kids practice social interaction skills. Group play is all about working together toward a common goal: fun. When groups of kids engage in imaginary play they learn how to work through conflict, negotiate, delegate, self-advocate, listen and take turns.
They learn to work together and care for each other so they can continue to have fun as a group.
Pretend play involves advanced thinking strategies, communication, and social skills. Kids spend time planning the play theme, dividing up tasks, negotiating roles, considering perspectives, transferring knowledge from one situation to another (e.g. setting up a grocery store based on what they know from shopping with parents), balancing their own ideas with those of their peers, and developing an action plan. That’s a lot of learning!