MATH | SCIENCE | TECH

MATH

Inspiring students to become strong, mathematical thinkers within a community of learners.

We use the common core standards to determine our units of study in math for grades K-6. When planning our lessons, we use a variety of sources, including Everyday Mathematics, a program developed by The University of Chicago, along with resources from the National Council of Teachers on Mathematics.

Students have many opportunities to learn through group projects, labs, manipulatives, and games. Each week there are a variety of ways that students are taught mathematics. There are whole-group and small-group lessons; movement lessons (dancing the bunny hop to learn about medians in a set of data, or pretend snowboarding to learn about 90 and 180 degree angle turns); art lessons (origami to review polygon shapes); story book lessons (reading and discussing Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Newslinger); inquiry-based problem solving lessons; and action labs (calibrating containers or playing PIG to determine the probability of winning or losing based on who goes first). Teachers continually assess to evaluate both student progress and teacher effectiveness.

The Learning Community Academics Math 2

Students in grades 7th and 8th are offered a choice of three math courses: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and either Algebra II or Geometry. While students enjoy hands-on labs and logic problems each quarter, note-taking is incorporated into main lessons as the students advance through each course. Learning to organize a math notebook and learning how to study for a math test is a focus that our former students say has served them well!

SCIENCE

The science program at TLC inspires students to become enthusiastic, scientifically literate citizens of our world. Our outdoor campus and dynamic science instruction—grounded in the state standards and the Next Generation Science Standards—appeal to students’ curious nature. Students think critically as they explore, discover, reflect, and make connections that bridge classroom experiences to their lives and the larger world. They participate in multifaceted, learner-centered investigations, lessons, and projects that authentically blend scientific practices and content knowledge.  Science extends across the curriculum to integrate with art, design, technology, literacy, service, and outdoor education. 

The Learning Community Academics Science 1

The curriculum is enriched through community partnerships, field studies, and continued professional development for faculty. Grades K-8 follow a three-year rotation of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science so that the entire school is simultaneously immersed in a particular field of study. 

SCIENCE CURRICULUM

Our kindergarten students are natural-born scientists who are full of curiosity and observations about the world. Science lessons for our youngest students are hands-on, developmentally appropriate, and fully integrated with our outdoor education, literacy, and arts curricula. Teachers utilize our beautiful campus and community resources to create experiential lessons that spark enthusiasm and a lifelong love of science. With the rest of the school, kindergarten students cycle through a three-year rotation of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

Units of study for our beginning scientists include:

Life Science

  • Ecosystems I
  • Life cycles I
  • Human body I

Earth and Space Science

  • Nature exploration and appreciation
  • Natural resources
  • Rocks and gemstones
  • Day and night cycles
  • Weather and seasons
  • Earth and the solar system
  • Universe and its stars

Physical Science

  • Types of interactions
  • Matter: properties and change
  • Force and motion

Our first and second grade scientists learn to frame questions and document their thinking and observations. Teachers bridge classroom experiences to students’ lives and the world outside the classroom. Approached through experiential, hands-on discovery and investigation, lessons are fully integrated with literacy, art, and reflective teaching and learning practices. We make ample use of our beautiful outdoor campus in our explorations, and learners have an opportunity to share their scientific discoveries with the community through writing and public speaking. With the rest of the school, 1/2 students cycle through a three-year rotation of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

Units of study include:

Life Science

  • Life cycles II
  • Heredity
  • Human body II
  • Ecosystems II

Earth and Space

  • Weather and climate
  • Solar system
  • Plate tectonics and earth’s structure

Physical Science

  • Sound and light
  • States of matter
  • Force, motion, and energy

By looking at the world through the lens of science, upper elementary scientists direct their learning by framing productive questions. Teachers integrate technology, art, design, and literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking) into their experiential lessons. Students develop their scientific method skill set and learn to keep well-organized, detailed notebooks to capture their observations and thinking. Each winter, students participate in either a science fair or in-depth research project which is student-directed and done completely at school, with the interdisciplinary support of science, social studies, language arts, and art teachers. With the rest of the school, 4/5 students cycle through a three-year rotation of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

Units of study include:

Life Science

  • Structures and functions of living organisms
  • Ecosystems
  • Evolution and genetics
  • Molecular biology

Earth and Space Science

  • Earth structures and processes
  • Earth systems
  • Earth and the environment
  • Earth and space

Physical Science

  • Force and motions
  • Matter: property and changes
  • Energy transfer and conservation

Middle school scientists build on the strong foundation of our elementary science program as they prepare for the rigors of high school science courses. Students focus on depth over breadth in their lessons and, in the process, develop the critical thinking and scientific literacy skills necessary to be engaged citizens of our world. Teachers use an interdisciplinary approach, integrating art and design, technology, reading, and writing, fostering a community of learners who are curious, invested, and reflective about their individual learning processes. Students continue to advance note-taking strategies in an organized lab notebook. Our rich outdoor education and service-learning programs are integrated into our approach through field studies and hands-on projects on our beautiful campus and in our community. Each winter, students participate in either a science fair or in-depth research project. Both of these student-directed opportunities are completed entirely at school with the interdisciplinary support of science, language arts, and art teachers. With the rest of the school, 6/7/8 students cycle through a three-year rotation of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

Units of study for our oldest students include:

Life Science

  • Molecules to organisms: structures and processes
  • Ecosystems: interactions, energy, and dynamics
  • Heredity: inheritance and variation of traits
  • Biological evolution: unity and diversity

Earth and Space Science

  • Earth’s structure and systems
  • Earth and human interactions
  • Earth’s place in the universe and space systems

Physical Science

  • Matter and its interactions
  • Motion and stability: forces and interactions
  • Energy and energy transfer: thermodynamics
  • Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer
The Learning Community Academics Technology 1

TECHNOLOGY

TLC is at its heart an outdoor and experiential education school that values social and emotional learning. While there is no denying the presence and impact of technology in our students’ lives, we take a gradual and intentional approach to the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is not going anywhere and is ubiquitous in education and the workplace. For this reason, we believe that students should graduate TLC as critical thinkers with the 21st century skills required to be fluent and safe in the modern, tech-rich world. However, at TLC we believe that technology should be introduced to students mindfully and with an emphasis on digital citizenship.

In the primary grades (K-3), the students’ days are filled with nature exploration, team building, and hands-on learning. It is important for students of this age to move, play, and learn in an environment free of screen-time. This is an age where students are learning how to learn and how to navigate friendships, teacher-student relationships, and other school dynamics in the real world and we believe this is best done without the distraction of personal interaction with the virtual world. Technology will be utilized by primary students who require academic accommodations.

The Learning Community Academics Technology 2
The Learning Community Academics Technology 3

Formal technology instruction begins in the 4th grade with weekly ‘tech talks’ and structured typing instruction. In the 4/5 classroom, technology is gradually integrated into academic blocks with supervised and targeted lessons/projects that teach and use research, word processing, and media creation skills.

In middle school, students will begin to use technology more regularly and independently to complete assignments, conduct research, send emails, save documents, and create projects. We encourage students to be producers, rather than just consumers, of the digital world. Students in middle school continue to learn about digital citizenship, explore the ways technology is impacting society, and learn to make smart personal choices in regard to social media and technology. We support and encourage the Wait Until 8th pledge.

At TLC we believe that human connection is key to a meaningful education; learning is cooperative. Therefore, TLC’s goal is to provide students with the skills needed to be successful in the digital world without sacrificing exemplary inquiry-based, experiential, and social-emotional  education.

The Learning Community Academics Technology 1

TECHNOLOGY

TLC is at its heart an outdoor and experiential education school that values social and emotional learning. While there is no denying the presence and impact of technology in our students’ lives, we take a gradual and intentional approach to the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is not going anywhere and is ubiquitous in education and the workplace. For this reason, we believe that students should graduate TLC as critical thinkers with the 21st century skills required to be fluent and safe in the modern, tech-rich world. However, at TLC we believe that technology should be introduced to students mindfully and with an emphasis on digital citizenship.

In the primary grades (K-3), the students’ days are filled with nature exploration, team building, and hands-on learning. It is important for students of this age to move, play, and learn in an environment free of screen-time. This is an age where students are learning how to learn and how to navigate friendships, teacher-student relationships, and other school dynamics in the real world and we believe this is best done without the distraction of personal interaction with the virtual world. Technology will be utilized by primary students who require academic accommodations.

Formal technology instruction begins in the 4th grade with weekly ‘tech talks’ and structured typing instruction. In the 4/5 classroom, technology is gradually integrated into academic blocks with supervised and targeted lessons/projects that teach and use research, word processing, and media creation skills.

In middle school, students will begin to use technology more regularly and independently to complete assignments, conduct research, send emails, save documents, and create projects. We encourage students to be producers, rather than just consumers, of the digital world. Students in middle school continue to learn about digital citizenship, explore the ways technology is impacting society, and learn to make smart personal choices in regard to social media and technology. We support and encourage the Wait Until 8th pledge.

At TLC we believe that human connection is key to a meaningful education; learning is cooperative. Therefore, TLC’s goal is to provide students with the skills needed to be successful in the digital world without sacrificing exemplary inquiry-based, experiential, and social-emotional  education.