Our goal is to cultivate curiosity in our students and support them in growing as skilled learners. While we strive for our students to leave SBCA with a sound academic base in math, reading, and writing, we also know that in order to succeed in school and life our students must develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills as well.
We use the Building Blocks for Learning Framework from Turn Around for Children to guide our work in helping students obtain cognitive and social-emotional skills and mindsets. According to Turn Around for Children, “These are not just skills and mindsets to prioritize in addition to academics; these are the skills and mindsets to prioritize in service of human development and academic success, as well as success in college and life. The Building Blocks for Learning are what students need to become successful, engaged and independent learners in K-12 and beyond.”
It is important that these skills and mindsets are not taught in isolation, but instead must be integrated through the learning of academic content and touched upon all day. Our teachers work hard to make sure that for every academic learning experience, they are also developing these building blocks that lead to student self-direction, curiosity, and civic identity.
During our CORE Weeks, teachers develop both academic and social objectives for each lesson. They engage students in activities that promote reflection, community circles to develop relationships and a place for problem solving, and offer students choice in what and how they learn while supporting student agency.