ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Our Elementary School program is built on our deep experience of 30 years in the education space. The program evolves the concepts and skills introduced in preschool and kindergarten, expanding the breadth and depth of each subject as our students mature.
Our program far surpasses all California State Standards for elementary school education. In addition to the core subjects of language arts, math, science, and history, we add geography, technology, art, Spanish, theater, and music. We embrace the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) approach to education. We believe that by integrating all of these essential subjects, we create an innovative, well-rounded and inspiring learning experience for our young students.
What makes Starbright Elementary School different?
We don't teach our students what to think - we teach them how to think. The goal of our elementary school program is to raise curious learners, creative thinkers, and confident speakers. Our program is rooted in interdisciplinary learning, individual attention, cooperation and class discussions. Our full day program allows time for education and play, fun seasonal activities, reading and optional extra curriculars. Any remaining school work can be completed during Study Hall - so no homework is sent home!
Past are the days of rote memorization. In today's world, information is readily available at a click of a button. Education has to change to follow this monumental shift. At Starbright Elementary School, we focus on logical reasoning, active listening, interconnectivity, collaboration, and creativity. These skills allow our students to draw connections between various branches of knowledge and deepen their understanding of each subject. The core principle of our elementary school program is interdisciplinary learning. We help our students build an interconnected base of knowledge, demonstrating how knowledge and skills in one subject greatly benefit multiple other subjects. Integrated curricula allows our students to approach concepts and content from multiple perspectives, deepening their conceptual understanding of a subject.
Below are some great examples of interdisciplinary learning that are part of our program:
To better understand the basics of the US Constitution, our students work on creating a constitution of their own classroom. In an organized, collaborative process, led by their elected student leaders, they propose, discuss and vote on Rules and Rights of their classroom, learning first hand the workings of democracy.
Reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Florence and Richard Atwater, our students engage in daily class and group discussions. They learn how to recap what they read into a written summary of an assigned chapter. They do individual research projects on different breeds of penguins, create large matboard presentations with handwritten text and hand drawn pictures, and proudly present their projects in front of their classmates. Learning about conductive and insulating materials in science class, students are tasked with engineering a container that would keep an arctic penguin comfortable -- and compete to see whose container would keep an ice cube from melting the longest!
When learning about ancient Greece, our students work in groups to delve deeper into their favorite myths and legends. In the traditions of ancient Greek theater, they write their own scripts based on the stories they chose, come up with costumes and props, rehearse and perform these myths for their classmates to enjoy. History, reading, writing, public speaking, arts, and even engineering come together to bring ancient history to life!
Our math program is based on the Singapore Math approach. Students learn to think mathematically, gaining deeper mastery of the subject and true understanding of the material. Word problems are solved with model drawings -- a method that helps children visualize the problem using simple diagrams. We practice mental math, which allows our students to quickly calculate in their heads, without the use of outside resources. It helps them grasp the relationship between numbers, and the patterns they make. When practicing in class, we talk out loud while solving problems, explaining computational steps along the way. Each new concept builds upon the previous one. We make math engaging and approachable, while creating a solid foundation of mathematical knowledge.
Technology & Engineering
Our students use technology to complete activities in language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. Integrating technology into the classroom is a great way to tackle the first step in technological literacy: using information technology tools to solve problems.
We teach our students the importance of keeping information private, creating strong passwords, identifying cyberbullying and scams. We introduce students to the basic concepts of coding, discuss how algorithms help solve problems, and take the first steps with coding games.
We use Snap Circuit kits to expose our students to elementary engineering concepts. Science, technology, engineering, and math all snap into place through the fun of circuitry experimentation! Our students discover how electricity is generated and how switches control its flow. These exercises encourage fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, logic, critical thinking, problem-solving, and an interest in engineering.
In first grade our students start learning Spanish. Learning another language, children develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and mental flexibility. We introduce our students to the Spanish language with basic vocabulary and grammar, songs and fun games. Geography, history, culture, holidays and even cooking are also woven into the Spanish language curriculum.
Performing Arts is an important component of interdisciplinary education at Starbright School. Over the course of the school year, each class works to put on a full-scale musical that they will perform in our own beautiful Starbright Theater, in front of a live audience. In class we learn about self expression, emotion, movement, dance and music. Students learn the basics of improvisation, stage movement and voice modulation -- all great stepping stones for being a confident public speaker. Most importantly, our students learn to work as a team. Their effort, their attendance and performance affect everyone else in their class. Their creative work culminates with a major theatrical production -- an amazing experience both for the young actors and their families!
Unlike most typical elementary school programs, Starbright Elementary School offers a full-day program. Our school schedule matches parents’ work schedules, making it easier for families to function. Full-day activities help children receive a truly well-rounded education and social interaction all at the same place. It gives our students opportunities to master academic subjects, deepen their knowledge, practice new skills, and receive individualized instruction and tutoring when needed. At the same time, our students also get plenty of breaks, time to play, exercise and socialize with their friends -- a healthy balance to their studies. No need to worry about packing lunches and snacks -- Starbright provides our elementary school students with 4 healthy meals a day, including a hot lunch. Full day program allows our students to finish their school work during Study Hall -- so no homework is left when they get home!