Kindergarten to 5th Grade

  • Bringing Learning to Life

    The TCS experience provides students with in-depth instruction, weaving in the pursuit of our students’ strongest interests.  In order to do this, TCS faculty are forever 'students of teaching'--researching best practices to bring learning to life. One key pedagogy the TCS community engages in is project-based learning (PBL). Through PBL, students use their content knowledge to explore a problem and work with their community to develop a solution. Through PBL, students are constantly applying their knowledge, bringing insight into action. A practice that we hope all TCS graduates take with them to high school and beyond.

    student drawing numbers

    The Primary Grades

    At TCS, we have strong beliefs about fostering a love and a desire to learn. While keeping our grade level standards in mind, we listen to and observe our students to learn what excites them as learners. Towards this aim, we implement inquiry- and project-based learning (PBL) pedagogy in our classrooms. The fun then begins, as we embark on a path of learning that they chose and is molded into a rich learning experience by the teacher.

    ​These primary years are years of remarkable and rapid changes in a child’s development, both socially and cognitively. The school day at TCS is structured to meet the unique and evolving needs of the young students in developmentally appropriate ways. A young student's brain is ready to start making meaningful connections. These connections will help them clarify false understandings, create new ones, and realize what they want or need to learn.

    ​Overall, our primary grade faculty use a workshop model of instruction in all areas of instruction. Through this model, teachers teach students concepts then give them time to practice what was taught, with the teacher coaching them for support. The beauty of the workshop model is that it allows students to work at their individual level. Students choose what they want to read and write about, as well as how they want to represent their learning. We assess often and in a variety of ways to understand what we, as teachers, need to do next to grow each learner. In all that we do, we truly get to know each student’s abilities and needs, while allowing and celebrating student choice in learning.

    The Intermediate Grades

    At TCS, we empower our learners through engaging activities that deepen their thinking. In the intermediate grades, we build on the foundational skills acquired and use them to develop higher level thinking. By providing varied activities, students will not only be working at their level, but beyond it. Students build upon their inquiry and PBL foundations in the primary grades and create and develop more comprehensive projects in 3rd through 5th grades.

    Our goal is to create thinkers who see the big picture and the interconnectedness in the world. All of the things students study and research have broader, real-world connections. We seek to explore this in deep and authentic ways through the use of technology, arts integration, inquiry-driven research, and music genre studies. We believe this approach to content instruction fosters a lifelong love of reading, writing, analyzing, and communicating our passions as individuals.