CIJS implements standards using a ground-breaking approach in an organized manner, through interdisciplinary learning. We integrate a project-based method of teaching with the Reggio inspired philosophy along with an agriculture based component. Due to our uniquely blended approach to curricular material, we are able to meet the needs of diverse students, and are able to differentiate instruction for each child regardless of his or her learning style.
CIJS uses multiple methods to teach and implement an environmentally conscious philosophy. Not only do we use recycled materials for projects, but we promote the use of natural materials within our environment. In addition, the agricultural component of our program provides an opportunity to teach students about sustainability and eco system functioning.
Agricultural education prepares students to be problem solvers, leaders, and entrepreneurs, through the use of its three-circle model. Classroom and laboratory instruction, leadership development, and experiential learning all combine to offer students a well-rounded aspect to their education that will prepare them for college and the workforce, as well as teach them to be educated consumers.
The CIJS agricultural component promotes hands on learning and responsibility, through the care of animals and gardens. The program introduces students to specific principles in nutrition, physiology, behavior, and reproduction.
CIJS features a homey environment with couches and tables, rather than rows of desks and chairs. This creates an atmosphere that reduces stress and promotes comfortable learning. Social skills are essential to future success and need to be taught from a young age. Because CIJS allows students to interact in a slightly less formal group setting, teachers can guide children to learn successful conflict resolution. Additionally, students profit from peer teaching. To develop higher level thinking skills, students need to engage in question/answer problem-solving, while participating in experiments or group projects that require that they think through the elements and steps of a task.
CIJS allows students to break for recess every day. The notion that scores increase by forcing students to sit at desks for extended periods contradicts research that supports the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical benefits of exercise and free play.
Students who engage in daily recess …
Evidence also shows that recess has benefits even over gym class. At recess, children have choices and can organize their own games, figure out what’s fair, and learn other social behaviors not possible in P.E. (Caralee Adams, Recess Makes Kids Smarter, https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/recess-makes-kids-smarter/)
See also, Rae Pica at http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Children-s-Health-Wellness/why-kids-need-recess.html.
In addition to the time students spend on projects during the day, the daily Discovery Cove experience allows children to work on additional creative activities, including robotics, weaving, scrap booking, designing and building habitats for our animals/gardens, green energy, life skills, sewing, play writing, engineering and more.