Workshop at The Kineo School
Workshop at The Kineo School is an active time where students build their literacy and math skills through a mix of one-on-one or small group lessons, independent practice, reading, writing, and games. Students rotate through a variety of stations where they encounter work that meets their individual learning goals, often in a context specifically chosen to meet their interests and/or learning style.
Workshop allows teachers to individualize learning for each student. Students view this as a time to sharpen their existing skills and practice and learn new skills. The classroom of learners understand that each student is working on skills appropriate for their developmental and academic levels. By individualizing learning, we are able to meet kids where they are and challenge them appropriately. The fluid structure of Workshop allows for teachers to conference and hold mini-lessons with individual students or small groups of students working on similar skills.
Workshop consists of Reading, Writing, and Math.
At the heart of reading is time for students to read and interact with text in meaningful ways. Students learn decoding and comprehension skills with individual or small group mini-lessons and practice them in books and magazines which focus on their interests and reading abilities.
Students learn to self-select reading materials for different purposes: pleasure, improving fluency, finding information, and practicing comprehension strategies.
Students are exposed to phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary practice through a variety of games and activities.
Writing workshop at The Kineo School helps students discover the power of their voice in writing, the beauty of well-crafted language, and the techniques writers use to convey their message.
Students learn to express themselves with words and pictures. Part of instruction is teaching students when to focus on getting an idea out (on the page or through dictation) and when to focus on polishing the writing – ideas, organization, grammar, handwriting – to make it clearer for an audience. Small group or individual mini-lessons, writing time, and conferencing are used to build their view of self as an author and their skills as writers.
With guidance from occupational and physical therapists, handwriting exercises at Kineo recognize that there is more to good handwriting than practicing letter formation. Crafts, games, and exercises that develop shoulder muscles, visual-motor coordination, eye-hand coordination, pincer grip, etc. are all incorporated in addition to instruction and practice in proper letter formation.
We teach mathematics at The Kineo School not as a series of rote memorization tasks, but as a tool for solving problems and understanding how things work. We appreciate math as a language for describing phenomena in our world, and share with our students the joy of using math to meet the challenge of solving a puzzle, discovering a pattern, composing with shapes, or playing a game.
By encouraging our students to use math to solve problems and connect concepts to our thematic inquiries throughout their day, we offer them opportunities to practice thinking in mathematical terms. During workshop, math consists of one-to-one or small group mini-lessons, taught through individually tailored games and activities to allow independent practice.
Building on children’s natural curiosity, we aim to develop scientific thinking and problem solving. Students explore physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering and technology. We use the Next Generation Science Standards to guide our explorations. Students learn to plan and conduct investigations; record, organize, and analyze data; and design, build, and test solutions. Previous projects include creating your own animal suited for one of the habitats we studied, designing a human body amusement park with the knowledge obtained about the human body, or creating art with magnets.
Our goal for social studies is to prepare young people to be kind, caring, active citizens in an increasingly connected world. Based on Washington State standards, students learn to interact with artifacts, primary and secondary sources, and media critically. We explore our world through lenses of civics, economics, geography, and history. Students build from an understanding of themselves and their families and our school community to a broader community, our state, and our country. Emphasis is put on understanding differing viewpoints and evaluating information. Projects have included a study of holidays of light from around the world, Native American tribe reports, and exploring inventors and inventions.