The Elementary students at The Foundation Academy are well rounded in their academics and their exposure to the performing and applied arts. Our current enrollment includes Kindergarten through Fifth grade. All subject matter is learned through Cooperative Learning and Project Based Learning. Both of these styles are used in every classroom, encouraging children to work in a group setting using different roles to collaborate, research, and learn. Both Cooperative and Project Based Learning help children to build skills necessary for teamwork, creative problem solving, research, organization, presentation, speech, and response to the unexpected.
Centers are also a big part of the elementary classroom at The Foundation Academy. Centers allow the children to have many activities to choose from while working on a specific subject. Centers are typically used for independent student work, small group work, and practice of already taught skills. Classroom centers promote independence, help students become more responsible, promote learning through self discovery, and provide small group learning experiences.
We follow the Sunshine State Standards, however, all learning in the elementary classroom is hands-on. At The Foundation Academy, our students know the Sunshine State Standards as “I CAN” statements. The use of this language helps the student to know what specific skills they are working on and what they are capable of.
Math manipulatives including Cuisenaire Rods and Base 10 Blocks help students to understand important math concepts and allow students to progress from concrete to abstract thinking. Our literacy program includes the use of Linda Mood-Bell materials, and reading and writing workshops where students are presented with a mini-lesson and then actively engaged to apply what they have just learned about. Science and Social Studies concepts are integrated throughout our daily activities in the classroom. All elementary students are required to keep a daily planner and reading log. This is both a communication tool between the school and the family, as well as, a place for students to record homework and daily reading.
Procedures for a friendly and productive classroom are taught from the first day of school. Examples of these include: entering the classroom, leaving the classroom, going to the bathroom, using materials, cleaning up, lining up, transitions, and so on. Each class has these procedures posted, explained, and practiced. These procedures help make the day more predictable and organized for the student.
All elementary children also have the opportunity to participate in Drama, Chorus, Guitar, Violin, Drums, Two Dimensional Art, Spanish, Gardening, PE, Dance, and Piano.
Portfolios are used instead of a term exam, or end-of-grade test. Portfolios are the basis by which progress is cumulatively evidenced. The portfolio is developed throughout the year and has student work and reflections that demonstrate the essential skills and “I cans” that were learned. This is shared by the student during student led conferences, which occur every marking period. The portfolio process encourages the student to look back on their work, evaluate it, and reflect on it. Rubrics are tools used to assess individual learning styles as well as recording day-to-day observations.
Our students are actively involved in community outreach. They make monthly visits to local health centers bringing cards, songs, smiles, and lots of love. They also participate in the school’s annual canned food drive and Jump Rope for Heart, raising money for the American Heart Association.
Performances, festivals, exhibitions and picnics are part of our tradition at The Foundation Academy. They are in the school planner, Edline, and the web site, and are part of the education at TFA. The expectation is that parents and family join us for these beneficial activities.