In the elementary grades at Francine Delany, we emphasize the importance of real-world, hands-on learning so that students have a deeper level of understanding. We do this through an integrated approach rather than a prescribed curriculum or rote memorization.
Teachers pull from the North Carolina Standards and use research-based resources and/or anchor texts. In elementary school, we work with an eye towards building lifelong learners. We provide the foundation so that students are able to engage in higher-level thinking as they become more sophisticated learners. There is a strong teacher-to-student ratio, where students are able to receive individualized instruction and assessments to meet their learning needs.
Throughout a typical day at Francine Delany, you may find our youngest students using manipulatives, playing math games, and engaging in real-life experiences to understand rigorous concepts. Typically, students solve math problems with a concrete to abstract approach, which deepens their understanding and prepares them for more advanced mathematics. Our students engage in a variety of language arts activities, from building words to having discussions in book clubs. They write with a purpose, whether that be in their writer’s notebooks or publishing a story, and every class possesses a diverse classroom library. Beginning in elementary school, students engage in experiential learning through field trips and receive social studies and science standards by participating in experiments and hands-on projects. These experiences help foster curiosity and critical thinking skills. We are committed to Francine Delany’s mission of social justice, and begin the important work of breaking down barriers in kindergarten. Our elementary teachers use the Learning for Justice standards, and students delve into the anchor domains of identity, diversity, justice, and action even in our youngest grades. We focus our attention on building community and cultivate a cohesive and safe classroom. We know that leadership skills are integral to our social justice mission, and our elementary schoolers begin this work right away, participating in class meetings and helping plan celebrations.
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