Special Curriculum Areas

Specials give students a chance to immerse themselves in a practice or subject with a specialist teacher. These include Music, Movement, Creative Making, and Science. In each subject, we focus on inspiring and diverse role models from under-represented groups.

Our Movement Special offers an engaging and energetic experience tailored to different age groups. It fosters confidence, teamwork, and physical skills like gross motor skills and body awareness. Students participate in a variety of activities, including traditional games like soccer and races, as well as creative invented games. Through these activities, they learn important values such as safety, respect, and cooperation, while also becoming familiar with instructional language and movement concepts.

The program takes place in the school’s indoor multipurpose room, equipped with a half-court, mats, climbing apparatus, and fitness equipment. Depending on weather conditions, classes may also venture to nearby Raymond Bush Park. In addition to learning choreographed movements, students receive instruction in common games and gain knowledge about their muscles, health, and the importance of teamwork.

Music classes and the role of music differ across Preschool, Lower, and Middle School levels. In Preschool, music serves as an invigorating component of daily routines. Our dedicated teachers, who are musicians and singers themselves, infuse the classroom with rhythm and melody, fostering body awareness, verbal skills, social interaction, and coordination through singing, dancing, and self-expression.

In Lower and Middle School, students engage in structured music instruction twice a week. They explore a variety of musical genres including folk, contemporary, and classic songs, while also participating in movement activities. Students are encouraged to unleash their creativity by composing their own songs and even crafting musical instruments. Song selections are often aligned with class projects and occasionally co-created by the students themselves.

Fostering self-expression and creativity is a significant aspect of our ethos, and each classroom utilizes various mediums such as painting, drawing, clay, collage, construction, block building, cooking, and woodworking. Through these experiences, we encourage every child to actively engage in the creative process. We instill qualities like perseverance and problem-solving by urging them to explore alternatives and approach creation in novel ways. Most importantly, we emphasize to them that many ideas yield outcomes different from their initial expectations. Ultimately, the products of our creative efforts reflect the dedication and ongoing process involved.

Pre-K, Lower School, and Middle School students participate in bi-weekly Creative Making Classes, while Preschool students engage with arts projects within their classroom environment.

Science is a window onto the world that excites even our youngest learners. During our Science Specials, we encourage our students to be curious, experiment and explore. Through experimentation, our students are introduced to higher learning concepts while developing reasoning skills, problem-solving, and learning to ask questions about the world around them. 

Pre-K Students are introduced to earth, life, and physical sciences by participating in standards-based hands-on investigations. They practice the scientific method and think like real scientists, utilizing inquiry, observation, and exploration; they develop and test hypotheses; and analyze new information, while discovering their natural world.

In Lower and Middle School, students have access to The Co-op School’s own standards-based science curriculum, which incorporates the acclaimed Amplify Science materials. Lower School science education harnesses children’s curiosity about the natural world, building their base of knowledge through discovery and experimentation as well as through research. Scientific skills like analyzing data and constructing inferences and explanations based on evidence are emphasized.

The goal of our Spanish Program is to expose children to a second language and to various cultures, while fostering an interest and appreciation of the Spanish language. We teach the children through conversation, storytelling, music and games.

Technology is an important tool for learning, research and communication. Technology supports our approach to education by incorporating carefully curated learning tools and increasing research skills while differentiating instruction for the needs of each child. Technology can extend project work with virtual field trips and educational videos. Beginning in Second Grade, the children begin to learn keyboarding skills with our Chromebooks. They learn about video creation for culminations, Google Docs and The Cloud. They write stories on Google Docs and share them with their peers and teachers. These skills continue on in Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades, where they develop further as they begin to use online search engines to support research, learn how to find reliable websites, what cyberbullying is, coding and how to edit/peer edit their work. Classroom projectors show and share visuals, images, videos and documents.