Two grades. One classroom. Starting in grades 1-2, students enter a mixed age group environment. By interacting with children whose ages and abilities are varied, they learn to help and be helped by other children. They gain an appreciation for the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of their classmates. Because students are placed with the same homeroom teacher for two years, teachers have time to evaluate each child’s progress and to support their individual learning needs.
In grades 1-2, students continue to develop language-based skills along with an appreciation for literature. Students’ writing fluency develops as we integrate writing across all subjects, encouraging students to use writing to interpret research, present information, and express ideas and emotions. Children learn that mathematics is a language for describing and understanding the world. Teachers encourage students to search for spatial and numerical relationships and patterns and to solve problems creatively, articulating the process as well as the solution.
Field Trips, Speakers, and Overnights
A large part of Stargate’s curricular support comes in the form of field trips and guest speakers. Students in the 1-2 program make approximately one field trip per month. Guest speakers also visit the school on a regular basis to discuss a variety of topics.
Even in first and second grade, students also participate in outdoor education. We start in the primary grades with one big day-long adventure, to help them prepare for longer stays in the mountains for grades 5-8. Homeroom teachers organize these events and keep parents informed on the field trip program.