GooGhywoiu9839t543j0s7543uw1 - pls add {} to GA account {UA-106172178-1} with ‘Manage Users and Edit’ permissions - date {4/14/19}.

Lower School 3-5

  • To Grade or Not To Grade

    Creating opportunities that spark intrinsic motivation. Leaders in the field of education have spent lots of time addressing the question of annual assessment in the form of standardized testing and fashioning report cards. At Voyagers’ Community School, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, we understand this is short-sighted. Instead, we dedicate time to discussing intrinsic motivation. What makes students want to do their very best? Can we teach intrinsic motivation? Are there ways in which we stifle this? Inevitably assessment, in the form of grades and rankings, weaves its way into the conversation. In schools across America, most often student work boils down to one thing, a grade, which represents everything about the child’s experience in a single class and, collectively, in a school year. Most people say, “So what, shouldn’t the best student be rewarded for being the best?” “How else are we going to know how a student is […]

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  • Independent Reading

    At Voyagers’ Community School, we encourage students to have an independent reading time. Snuggled in corners, sitting in chairs, or laying on the floor, the students settle into their own space with 5 books of their choosing from the school library. They read the books to themselves, and every once in a while share something exciting from their book with a classmate or teacher. The students interact with their books on different levels depending on their reading stage. Some student look at the pictures in their books as a means to gain most of the information from their stories. Students often like to look at non-fictues books containing a variety of pictures of specific topics. Other student enjoy finding books that they are learning to read independently. They want to practice their reading skills through the books they choose. Other students in the class are fluent readers and enjoy choosing […]

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  • Join the Banned

    In solidarity with the American Library Association, the teachers decided to offer banned books for the first session book club choices this year. According to the ALA website, the Banned Books Week event is held to bring awareness to our right to freely choose the titles we want to read, even if deemed unorthodox by some, and the right for authors to express personal ideas without fear of censorship. Looking through the list of banned or challenged books, you may be surprised to find some of your own favorite titles on the list. The titles offered this session to the students were: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier Where the Red Fern Grows by Woodrow Wilson Rawls A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle A Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger In Voyagers’ style, we did not simply inform the students that they were reading from the banned […]

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  • Establishing Routines: Math Workshop

    Math Workshop has been focused primarily on setting the tone for routines, and establishing habits of learning for the school year. During our first classes each student was invited to explore the math manipulatives the teachers would be introducing during upcoming math classes. Starting a new math program, Investigations, calls for careful planning, particularly because it requires children to use materials in an open ended manner and, through this experience, to discover the possibilities and potential of different math supplies. Following the materials experience, the students were introduced to math workshop routines. Each student was given a small math notebook and a special Math Folder in which to store completed work. Initially the children engaged in different math activities as a class, again to become more familiar with the routines related to developing mathematical thinking and knowledge. Slowly, the teacher presented math centers to the child. As they completed these […]

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  • Nature Based Learning: The Micro-Hike

    This school year, the Voyagers’ Outdoor Program has welcomed students from Voyagers’ grades 3-6 to join in with the Middle School students for one morning a week. The younger group has become comfortable in the outdoors and has started to take on all of the benefits of learning outside. We call this part of our program, Nature Based Learning. The Micro Hike is a time to look down. A time to get in close. A time to focus in on another world. Students were placed in groups of two’s and three’s and sent out into the property with a magnifying glass and a sandwich baggie. They were told to collect 3 micro things per person. What most groups came back with was an overflowing sandwich baggie, asking, “Can I take this home?” Each and everyday we pass by so much, there is simply so much to be seen. It is […]

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