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Elementary School

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Elementary School Program

Students ages 5 through 8 years in classes kindergarten through third grade

At P.G. Chambers School, students participate in a full academic program beginning in the elementary school program. Learning is supported by access to technology, researched-based curricula, and collaborative professional expertise. High quality instructional programs meet each student’s individual learning style and unique learning needs. Teachers, speech, physical, and occupational therapists, and nurses work as a team to ensure successful participation in instruction. Teaching strategies employ a wide range of high and low tech assistive technology and multi-sensory approaches.

The school’s instructional programs are based on a continuum of learning in which the content and approach move from elementary based curricula to middle school curricula. Each student’s academic experience is guided by the IEP (Individualized Education Plan), and there is a collaborative approach to instruction and curricula.

Curricula

Literacy

In the elementary school program, all students learn to enjoy and understand the written word as they listen to and engage in conversations and stories, share ideas in writing, and develop the skills to read. Reading instruction is a process of both skill development and experience.

Through direct instruction in reading groups, students learn word analysis and comprehension skills. Teaching throughout the day and homework practice reinforces these skills.

All students enjoy story sharing, creative writing, guest readers, and literacy programs that combine skill development with experience. In the elementary school program three reading curricula are used.

The SPIRE Program (Orton Gillingham) is a multi-sensory phonetic approach for students with reading challenges.

The ALL Program – Accessible Literacy Learning Program(Penn State University), is a technology-based phonetic program for students who rely on communication methods other than speech (augmentative communication devices).

Reading Milestones – incorporates sight word instruction with sign language and phonics for students whose learning style requires a more visual approach.

Mathematics

Mathematics instruction centers on the acquisition of skills and understanding of concepts through hands-on learning, state-of-the-art technology, and real life experiences. Students explore mathematical concepts and applications through the Everyday Mathematics and the Harcourt Mathematics curricula. Whole body activities that teach both basic and complex number and spatial concepts are at the center of our unique program, Math in Motion. Application of skills is important for all students and P.G. Chambers School students use their developing skills to solve real world problems, for example, our elementary students “shop” at the school store.

Science and Social Studies

Students at P.G. Chambers School develop critical thinking skills for learning and exploring scientific concepts and processes through observation, testing ideas and explaining what they have learned. In essence, they experiment! The Foss Science program, provides guidance and materials for students to experiment with balance and motion, rocks and minerals, solids and liquids, air and water and the life cycle of insects.

Learning scientific concepts and processes requires critical thinking and exploration. Students actively engage in experiments using the FOSS Science kits participate in our gardening program, and implement our school recycling and conservation activities through the Go Green initiative.

Students in the elementary program learn about community resources, geography, government and history through stories and real life experiences. Local firefighters, police officers and other community representatives visit regularly to assist in bringing lessons to life.

For more information about the Elementary School Program, please contact principal, Heather Gilliland at gillilandh@chambersschool.org or assistant principal, Judy Gallante-Hooper at gallantehooperj@chambersschool.org

Physical Education and Arts

For many of our students, movement activities and creative arts offer important alternatives for self-expression and skill development.

The goal of our physical education program is to enhance lifelong health and physical fitness as well as body awareness.

Students participate in adapted sports programs, including basketball, baseball, and soccer, track and field, developing athletic skills, sportsmanship, and cooperation. Physical education includes exercise, a walking and fitness program, and cardiovascular activities. One physical education class per week is a yoga class and yoga is incorporated into daily classroom activities.

Students stretch, move, and learn about their own bodies, while engaging in breathing exercises and yoga postures.

Through the creative arts program, students explore fine arts in all mediums, including sculpting, painting with acrylics and watercolor, printing, sketching and pastels drawing, mixed media collage making, and weaving using a variety of tools to foster independence.

Student art work has been displayed at the Morris Museum and was featured at the Morristown Craft Market and Show. Through a collaborative agreement with the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, in Summit, NJ, students participate in an intensive week-long art camp staffed by the Center’s resident artists, P.G. Chambers School art teacher, and other teaching staff.

The P.G. Chambers School music program is a hands-on, multi-sensory experience encouraging creative and emotional expression while promoting social interaction, self-esteem, and community building. The Silver Burdett Making Music Curriculum  focuses on listening, moving to and creating music.

The music program promotes the natural benefits of music making, including improving spatial awareness, fine and gross motor coordination, and speech development. Students listen, move, play instruments and sing in the weekly classes. Each class consists of listening, movement, instrumental play, and singing.