Discovery Charter School Phoenix Campus & District Office

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Curriculum » Educational Program

Educational Program

Educational Program - In the Classroom
 
Discovery Charter Schools' educational program is developmental, hands-on, student-centered, and theme-based to accommodate individual learning styles and achievement levels.
 
Teacher-directed parent participation in the classrooms on a regular basis is a key component to the success of a program based on small group developmental instruction.
 
Developmentally Based Learning
 
Children develop and grow at different rates in different skill areas. We respect and support the needs and talents of the individual and seek to empower each student to reach his or her fullest potential. Teachers' strong understanding of child development and a close working relationship with each child's parent will allow them to design learning experiences so that each child's needs are met.
 
The curriculum is aligned with each child's developmental level to allow students to feel successful regardless of academic level. Some classrooms are multi-age to promote an active learning environment where students are not expected to 'perform' at their 'age level,' but encouraged to perform to the best of their ability.
 
Hands-On, Interactive Learning
 
Small group interactive learning using a wide selection of concrete materials allows children to learn by doing while parent volunteers provide feedback and support. Children are stimulated to ask and answer their own questions and will have the opportunity to access information through multiple resources.
 
Students participate in flexible, cooperative learning groups. They are encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise with others, reinforcing learned skills. Developing student independence is a priority, and children will be valued as decision makers.
 
Students work with community members in the Career Awareness and Preparation Program, learning life skills as successful future citizens. Field trips extend the classroom experience for each student, assuring meaningful in-depth learning.
 
Student Centered Learning
 
In a student centered learning program, learning is most meaningful when topics are relevant to students' lives, needs, and interests and when the students themselves are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge.
 
Students have a higher motivation to learn when they have a real stake in their own learning. The teacher shares control of the classroom and the students are allowed to explore, experiment, and discover on their own.
 
The focus in these classrooms is on options, rather than uniformity. Learners are treated as co-creators in the learning process, as individuals with ideas and issues that deserve attention and consideration.
 
Our goal is to develop in students a sense of responsibility, initiative, self-motivation, and cooperation as they work in the classroom. To encourage these qualities the environment is set up to provide students the opportunities to make choices, to initiate and carry out their own projects, and to take part in the decision-making.
 
Thematic Learning
 
At Discovery Charter Schools, concepts are taught through thematic learning units that integrate subjects. Integrated curriculum reflects the big idea throughout the curriculum. Themes are broader and last for a much longer period of time to allow children to explore each theme thoroughly.
 
Standards are built into themes so that children are meeting standards and building meaningful concepts at the same time. For instance, a unit on California History might include reading literature from that time period (historical fiction and non-fiction), mapping projects to show the movement to California, completing a variety of writing projects including letters home from westbound travelers, newspaper articles, diaries, etc., and engaging in a variety of hands-on experiences such as panning gold, cooking, sewing, tool making, and a field trip to a local mine. All curricular areas are integrated to build the concept.
 
Educational Technology
 
Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum. TechnoKids theme-related projects use computer applications to integrate skills such as multimedia, graphic spreadsheets, word processing, desktop publishing, telecommunications, and database skills into student activities.
 
Students can create and produce a presentation about their city, write a report on endangered species, and analyze and graph survey results. Each project integrates skills in subject areas such as language arts, mathematics, geography, science, social studies, and visual arts.The TechnoKids Computer Curriculum is based on the National Educational technology Standards (NETS). Students have access to technology with Internet access in every classroom.
 

Chrome Books for middle school students

Discovery has implemented one-to-one computing to further maximize student engagement in our fast-developing technological world. Using cloud-based collaboration tools like Google Drive, Schoology, and hundreds of web-based academic sources the students are able to save work, and access it on the Google cloud.

More importantly it is not about the device, but about learning opportunities and experiences. Using cloud collaborative tools student’s individual projects can be evaluated by their peers, and these constructive opportunities lead to and create deeper learning.  Students have access to textbooks, classroom content and enhance areas of learning through self-directed websites with learning and video tutorials to support learning.