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HOMEROOM AND PERSONAL-SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The center for pedagogical work is the child. We pursue his/her integral development, for which we offer diverse experiences in the emotional, cognitive, artistic, sports and social areas, in activities developed throughout the year.

At this level, and especially in pre-kinder and kinder, playing has a special value that contributes to the children interacting with and understanding their surroundings. Playing also helps them to develop language, think and build concepts and notions in a natural and meaningful way. It allows them to experience the feeling of success and pleasure that will help them build self-esteem, cognitive skills and relate to school and learning with pleasure and confidence.

Homeroom teaching (or tutoring) is conducted as a group, and also considers the requirements of the individual, identifying the characteristics of each, in order to attend their specific wants and needs. Projects and group activities such as singing, dancing and handicraft are designed according the students’ age, development and collective experiences.

Every area is responsible for developing certain competencies; however, all of them include activities that promote the personal growth of the students. Thus, the work centers around values, autonomy and organization which takes on special importance at this level.

 

ABILITIES AND CONTENTSPROJECTSBILINGUALISMREADING PLAN

Priority is given to the development of abilities without neglecting the acquisition of knowledge and contents. For example, while reading a text, students apply strategies to understand, extract important information, analyze, compare, and elaborate a concept that in this case could be “Proper nouns are written with a capital letter”. Thus, instead of receiving a definition and memorizing it, the students acquire a concept and at the same time develop the ability to independently discover new concepts in subsequent work.

At this level, the areas work in an integrated way through projects. These are organized based on problems, needs or goals, which motivate students to plan activities that they will develop in each of the different areas. For example, in the project “Organizing and Decorating Our Classroom”, the children carry out Psychomotor and Art activities when they cover boxes, decorate folders and make signs. They do Personal and Social Development activities when they establish the norms and assume responsibilities in the classroom. They engage in activities of the Social Studies Area when they interact with their immediate surroundings and become involved in recycling activities. Additionally, they carry out reading and writing activities according to their grade (listing their agreements, analyzing and identifying the structures of the texts that they read, and extracting the necessary information); and they develop logical-mathematical competencies when they distribute material, discover the shapes of the boxes and learn how to tell the time.

In each grade, the emphasis on each competency is different. For example, in Pre-kinder and Kinder, we are primarily interested in having children express themselves, represent situations, discover their capacities, and gradually face challenges to strengthen their autonomy. In the next two grades, there is a special emphasis on functional reading and writing activities: in First Grade because they discover that they can be part of the literate world and they are enthusiastic about producing texts and reading; in Second Grade because they consolidate and systematize what they have learned.

The organization of the pedagogical activities by projects places the boy and girl in real situations of organization and production. Projects are motivating because they carry a clear sense for them and mainly because they allow the children to discover and assert their productive capacity and develop social abilities. In the case of the areas that cannot be articulated in the project, there are parallel activities programmed that comply with the competencies and contents.

We look for the children achieving the same efficiency to communicate in English as in their mother tongue, with time. The English course develops abilities in children for them to express themselves, read, write and reflect on this language and optimize its command. For this, they carry out meaningful and functional activities throughout the year.

At the same time, the use of English is fostered in daily activities and in the class and school organization. For example the names of the offices are in English, and the teachers promote the use of English in greetings and every day instructions.

From Pre-kinder to Second Grade the taste for reading is fostered through pleasant activities. This way the children listen to stories, poetry, rhymes, read written material about their daily life and visit the school library. They also have a classroom library, where they find texts they like.

They discover that through books, they can answer their inquiries and find information to develop their projects. This allows them to recognize that reading is a means of recreation and also a way to get information and communicate with other people.

 

Curriculum Areas


SPANISH LANGUAGE ARTS & SOCIAL STUDIES

Download files: > PK – K Program  > 1st Grade Program  > 2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE LEARN SPANISH LANGUAGE ARTS & SOCIAL STUDIES?

During the early years, the Spanish Language Arts area aims to enable the students to communicate efficiently with their surroundings, which implies that they will be able to express their ideas, opinions, and experiences orally as well as to listen and understand others. Regarding written communication, students are expected to be able to read and understand simple texts and instructions and also write texts with a communicative purpose by the end of this cycle.

Students in PK-2 are expected to develop the following specific competencies:

1. Communicate with surroundings by speaking, listening and processing information. We try to develop the students’ ability to give ideas, ask questions, and give judgments and opinions. Furthermore, they must be able to listen to and process the received information; express ideas, experiences and interests in a well articulated and orderly way.

2. Read and understand for information and/or pleasure. In the first grades, the student is trained in linguistic comprehension through the analysis and interpretation of images and the identification of structures and sequences, in order to prepare themselves to read texts and identify the structure accurately. In Second Grade, the student is able to read fluently with good intonation; able to understand and follow written instructions; understand and convey the message of a story or book; and read on their own initiative.

3. Produce texts to solve communication situations. Towards the end of the First Grade, the students must be able to write with a communicative purpose, using their own strategies. Likewise, they must be able to produce texts following a given structure or model using legible handwriting.

4. Reflect on the use of the language to improve oral and written communication. The students reflect on the language, build notions and simple linguistic concepts. They also apply the concepts learned in class, analyze mistakes and try to find solutions. The students are able to spell frequently used words correctly according to grade-level.

WHY DO WE LEARN SOCIAL STUDIES?

This area aims to make the students feel that they are an important part of their families, immediate social environment and community, and participate in it pro-actively.

We want our students to develop research skills and become aware of their community, identify the causes and consequences of events, recognize problems and thus, become more sensitive and supportive with neighbors, the natural environment and its surroundings.

The contents and methodology that we use aim to enable our students to:

1. Interact with the natural and socio-cultural environment by predicting, analyzing, presenting hypotheses and supporting them. The students must be able to analyze and give an opinion on the events happening around them, show curiosity and ask questions, and present hypotheses to explain such events.

2. Obtain and process information. The student must be able to search for information from oral and written sources, classify and organize data and elaborate conclusions and concepts based on the received information, which allows them to communicate through arguments and opinions.

3. Apply the knowledge obtained. This competency allows the students to suggest ideas to solve problems and organize themselves to execute proposals.

HOW DO WE LEARN SPANISH LANGUAGE ARTS & SOCIAL STUDIES?

The competencies and contents of the Spanish Language Arts & Social Studies area are worked through projects. Each project is developed from a problem or a goal. (For example, “How do we get to know ourselves better?” Or “How was America first populated?”) Different activities are included to obtain a specific product or to find the solution to a presented problem (make bulletins, reports; carry out a community service project; build scale models…).

The activities allow for the integration of other areas such as Mathematics, Art, Science and Physical Education. For example, when providing personal descriptions they use the concepts for weight and measure. Using all that information, they make charts to compare and establish mathematical relations (bigger than, smaller than). They also include drawings and modeling of the human figure to express themselves artistically.

The projects take into consideration the interests and prior knowledge of the students. The activities are structured according to the development of logical thinking, which allows us to meet the needs of all our students and achieve the goals set for the grade.

Then, we can start the planning of parallel and differentiated activities which allows the students discover the concepts naturally, select what is relevant to write down and then compare and contrast it against various bibliographical sources. All of this shapes and enhances the learning process, allowing the children to make their own creative decisions under the guidance of their teacher.

The Spanish Language Arts area activities cover oral expression, reading, writing and reflection on the language itself (grammar, spelling and syntactic analyses). In the same way, the Social Studies area includes scientific research activities which imply observation, experimentation, analysis and the students’ ability to synthesize information.

ENGLISH

Download files: > PK-K Program    > 1st Grade Program    > 2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE TEACH ENGLISH AT TRENER?

Our main goals are to develop language learning and academic achievement, which means helping our students to develop linguistic competence (language structures, rules, phonological, syntactic and lexical structures), their ability to use the language effectively, socio cultural competence and strategic competence.

Since skills and strategies are essential for success, our program serves for instruction in skills and strategies that will help students develop into fluent and lifelong learners. Teachers guide students to identify and apply a variety of strategies in order to develop their linguistic and academic skills.

HOW DO WE TEACH ENGLISH AT TRENER?

Our students learn their second language in meaningful and relevant situations. We use a language arts program that promotes active learning and it is designed for a bilingual education. It integrates language skills and develops fluency and competency.

The units and projects are related to a wide range of texts, including fiction, nonfiction, contemporary works, academic texts and their own life experiences, that build their understanding of culture and history and respect for diversity in language use.

We also help students to identify and apply a variety of cognitive and metacognitive strategies in order to develop their skills. We respect the students’ learning process, readiness and interests; therefore, we use appropriate strategies so that the individual needs of all students are met. We also use methodological options such as research, experimenting, group work, etc.

In Kindergarten and First grade, we work with a bilingual language arts program that is based on literature and life experiences, which allows children to have a better understanding of different themes. Our students learn English in meaningful and relevant situations. At this stage, our main concern is to help students develop oral skills. However, from this early stage, they are exposed to written material. In Second grade, after learning how to write and read in their mother tongue, they start transferring the same strategies in order to learn how to read and write in their second language.

HOW DO WE ASSESS OUR STUDENTS AT  TRENER?

In order to accomplish our goals, we use an ongoing process of assessment, we view language acquisition as a process of steps in which students move forward. This process also encourages them to examine their mistakes to make it more meaningful and therefore the resulting knowledge is more likely to be permanent.

ENGLISH GOALS

  1. Listens and understands oral messages for different purposes
  2. Communicates ideas or information orally for a variety of purposes
  3. Reads and comprehends texts for information or pleasure
  4. Produces written texts to communicate ideas or information for a variety of purposes
  5. Reflects on the use of the language
MATHEMATICS

Download files: > 1st Grade Program  > 2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE LEARN MATHEMATICS?

We use mathematics for everyday life situations. For example, to calculate the cooking ingredients for a meal, to buy or sell things, to know how much time we have left to carry out an activity, to effectively manage time, to understand the information given in a newspaper chart, among other things.

The mathematics skills that the children develop at school will not only help them to solve situations such as those mentioned above, but will also help the students develop logical thinking skills and critical thinking skills to process information and to provide arguments to support a thesis.

In the early years, we aim to develop the following competencies:

1. Develop mathematical strategies to solve problems. The student must be able to recognize the information needed and the questions that he/she should ask in order to solve the problem. Then, he/she must be able to choose a strategy and decide what operations must be done to solve the problem, and finally communicating the results.

2. Understand, relate, interpret and apply mathematical concepts. Explain concepts graphically; relate them to previous concepts; interpret and apply them to real contexts (solve and create problems and new exercises).

3. Interpret and use mathematical language to register and to communicate information. Use mathematical terminology (definitions, names, abbreviations); write and read symbols; use charts and graphics to sort, interpret and obtain information.

4. Use mathematical procedures effectively. Mentally compute, estimate with speed and accuracy and use other methods to find errors or confirm results. Use computational algorithms, procedures and tools.

HOW DO WE LEARN MATHEMATICS?

In order to motivate the student to learn and make him/her an active participant in the process, we foster learning through discovery. The class begins with a problem situation. Then, each student develops his/her own strategy to find the solution and then explains it to the rest of the class. Sometimes they work in pairs or in small groups.

Based on the strategies presented by the students, the teacher clarifies concepts and provides the correct mathematical terminology to be used. Finally, they build and verbalize the concept or the strategy and write it down so that everyone can use it or apply it in other situations.

To teach students how to solve simple equations, we could follow the sequence below:

1. Each group of children is given a scale.

2. They are asked how the scale works. What happens if I place 5 tokens on one side and there are 2 tokens on the other? How many do I need for the scales to be balanced?

3. Then they are given a flip chart and they are given a simple equation, about scales with dishes at the same height. For example , 3 + ? ? = 8 or ? ? + 2 = 5. They are asked to write the results.

4. The teacher will approach each group and will ask: how did you get that answer?

Later, they may be given a worksheet to reinforce the subject, use games to speed mental computation, among other activities.

HOW DO WE EVALUATE?

Evaluation is an ongoing process that considers both the product and the process for the solution of the problems –the student’s ability to apply his/her own strategies, compare them to those used by their peers, relate what he/she has learned to their prior knowledge, express him/herself with the right vocabulary and write down the concepts and strategies to use them in future learning situations or for new problems.

Each competency is evaluated and registered in every situation. For example, besides assessing the students’ performance in the regular activities carried out in class, the teacher will also assess the student’s ability to read a chart or graphic in order to obtain information; to come up with strategies to find the solution to a given problem; and apply algorithms of the operations that were necessary to get to that answer. This allows the student to know the competencies he is good at and which need improvement.

VISUAL ARTS

Download files: > 1st Grade Program  > 2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE LEARN VISUAL ARTS?

We aim to enable the student to express his/her ideas and feelings through the use of different techniques and materials. At the same time, we stimulate his/her capacity for observation and the development of a critical spirit that will let him/her reflect on his/her own work and that of others. Below are the competencies that the student must reach at this level:

1. Produce art works that show ability to explore different materials and techniques. The students explore and use their own ideas to represent what they see and imagine. Explore various materials and techniques (such as painting, collage, engraving, and modeling clay). Use color, texture, line, tone, shape and space to design and create images and objects.

2. Reflect upon their work and the work of others. Use critical thinking skills to analyze their work and the work of others, expressing what they think and feel about it. Provide feedback on the differences that are found and suggest ways to improve their work.

HOW DO WE LEARN ART?

At Trener, we favor the creation of two or three-dimensional projects at different scales, both individually and as a group.

Our students are motivated to use their own experiences and surroundings as a starting point, through the making of portraits, utilitarian objects, the exploration of textures or drawing and painting landscapes.

We promote the exploration and discovery of different types of art, crafts and design (for example through the observation of replicas or when visiting museums and galleries).

WHAT DO WE EVALUATE?

In the case of artistic production, we take into consideration the achievement of the following objectives:

– Exploration and development of ideas. Study the subject matter from different points of view, in-depth analysis and solutions to problems.

-Use of materials and techniques. Use techniques and basic principles of the unit.

-Development of creativity. Solve the problem in a creative way; experiment and take risks.

– Expression. Express ideas or feelings in the work.

We also evaluate the student’s ability to show autonomy, interest and responsibility when working individually as well as cooperatively, by offering ideas and communicating with his/her peers.

MUSIC

Download files: > 1st Grade Program  > 2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE LEARN MUSIC?

The Music Area aims to help the students develop their creative expression skills through musical performance and the creation of rhythms and songs. In the early years, the activities of the area are organized according to the development of the following competencies:

1. Express musically, by singing and playing instruments. Sings a variety of songs, both alone and with a group. Experiment and improvise using a variety of sound sources.

2. Understand the elements of music and use musical language. Understand the elements of music (melody, rhythm, tone…), and respond with body movements, singing and playing instruments. Make up and use graphic or symbolic systems to represent sounds and create songs.

WHAT DO WE EVALUATE?

We evaluate both the musical expression as well as the student’s knowledge of musical elements. For musical expressions, we evaluate the student’s ability to sing, to experiment with various sound sources and to express ideas and feelings through music.

Regarding understanding and use of musical elements, we evaluate the students ability to recognize the different elements of music and identify different qualities of sound.

PSYCHOMOTRICITY

Download files: > PK-K, 1st-2nd Grade Program

WHY DO WE LEARN PSYCHOMOTRICITY?

Our students channel their energy through physical exercise and psychomotor activities. In this way, they build their character in an integral and harmonious way. We want our students to develop the following competencies:

1. Develop coordination skills (rhythm, balance, orientation, reaction, anticipation, differentiation and connection). Recognize, solve and create simple motor activities by exploring motor skills in everyday situations. Use of the body to naturally express themselves. Appreciate movement and take a positive attitude towards self-expression.

2. Develop conditional skills (strength, resistance and speed).

3. Show a basic knowledge of sports techniques and adequately practice pre-sports games. Know, adapt and play games that will allow them to express their feelings and emotions. Show interest and creativity in the adaptation of traditional and popular games respecting their rules and the rules of co-existence.

4. Recognize the importance of physical exercise to stay healthy. Use physical skills in an integral way relating them to their basic knowledge of health, nutrition, hygiene and safety, appreciating what has been done in terms of preservation of health.

HOW DO WE LEARN PSYCHOMOTRICITY?

We integrated the areas below through games, exercises and different activities:

1. Motor perception: We foster knowledge, experimentation, mental representation and awareness of their whole body as well as their interaction with objects and with their peers in order to develop motor coordination.

2. Skills, capabilities and body expression: We stimulate our students’ skills to solve motor and body expression problems. We also foster creativity in body expression in order to awaken their aesthetic appreciation and prepare them for dance and rhythmic gym.

3. Physical condition and health: We stress the importance of relaxation, posture, hygiene and nutrition for optimal health. In order to do this, they handle information, play games related to these subjects on a regular basis and become familiarized with the prevention of risky actions both individually and as a group.

4. Ludic motricity: We foster the development of motor skills through games and socialization. Games allow children to enjoy themselves and have fun, avoid discrimination and ensure a harmonious relation with their peers and their immediate environment. Likewise, playing becomes a methodological strategy for the exploration of their body potential, expression, representation and compliance with rules.