Methods

Shining Stars Academy is based on the child development model which incorporates the theories of Piaget, Erikson, and others. Learning through Play is the fundamental work of childhood and an important part of developing cognitive, social/emotional and physical skills. Our curriculum focuses on the concept that children learn best through play. It is important for children to have opportunities to construct their own knowledge through creativity, interaction, exploration, and imitation of role models. Every child is unique, therefore; our curriculum offer different learning styles. Our Core Curriculum is incorporated into the day using the best of current and past educational theories including:

Thematic System

An interdisciplinary teaching approach that organizes instruction on weekly basis and delivers basic curriculum through a broad choice of topics, e.g., Community Helpers, All About Me & Family, Body Parts …etc.

Multiple Intelligence

Howard Gardner’s research at Harvard University who has a PhD. in developmental psychology and is best known on his educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, has identified seven intelligences (ways of learning) and knowing, based on the premise that not all students learn the same way. The following are seven intelligences:

Verbal/Linguistic: learning best through language including speaking, writing, reading, and listening.

Logical, Mathematical: learning best through numbers, reasoning, and problem solving,
Musical/Rhythmic: learning best through sounds including listening and making sounds such as songs, rhythms, patterns, and other types of auditory expression,
Body/Kinesthetic: learning best through physical activity such as dance, hands-on tasks, constructing models, or any kind of movement,

Visual/Spatial: learning best visually and tend to organize their thinking spatially (painting, drawing…etc.)

Interpersonal: learning best through interaction with other people through negotiations, cooperative work, or social activities and

Intrapersonal: learning best through understanding and control practices such as getting in touch with their feelings and self motivation and able to concentrate and be mindful.

Traditional

Since Shining Stars is an Academy in which will help children to be prepared and ready for his/her primary school years as a result some activities are student-directed, many of our activities are teacher-directed, including circle time, language, math, art, science and social studies. Shining Stars Academy acknowledge a child’s need for consistency and structure throughout the day.

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum

Shining Stars Academy staff understands the range of abilities children have at various ages and provides a curriculum that meets the needs and interests of its students. Our core curriculum consist of different learning centers such as blocks, art, language, manipulative, science, sand and water, music and movement, math, dramatic/housekeeping, computers, foreign language, social studies and outdoor play. The curriculum is planned based on various numbers of sources such as:

National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) standard

Environmental Rating Scales by Thelma Harms, Richard Clifford and Debby Cryer

The Creative Curriculum by Ann Laura Dombro, Laura J. Colker, Diane Trister Dodge

Other teacher resource materials & books

50%/50% English-Spanish Immersion Program

Children will have an opportunity to learn the Spanish language. This experience is part of an emphasis on the richness of cultural diversity. Children will learn to respect and develop a sense of cultural awareness.

Videos

Classes occasionally view educational videos that are related to their current unit of study. Once a month classes may also see a movie that is ‘just for fun’. All programs are previewed to evaluate content and suitability for the age group of the children.

Animals

Animals may occasionally visit the school to assist teachers in exploring units of study. If an animal will be visiting the center, a notice will be posted on the classroom door in advance of the visit.