Curriculum

Cultivating All Nine Facets of Your Child’s Intelligence

Nurturing Your Child's Intelligence

The Anneliese curriculum focuses on addressing and nurturing all nine of the multi-faceted components of your child’s intelligence: logical, verbal, visual, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intra-personal, naturalistic and existential.

Our teachers work with a core curriculum that meets or exceeds the California standards, but they also have the freedom to expound upon the learning material generated by the interests of the students and the teachers. We are proud to provide your child with highly qualified and experienced multilingual teachers. While the average attrition for teachers is five years, many of our teachers have been at Anneliese Schools for 20 years or more.

Traditional / Core Subjects

Our curriculum includes the traditional/core subjects: 

Many parts of instruction are taught bilingually or enhanced with world languages.

School's Core Learning Values

Equally important to the curriculum is the teaching of our school’s core learning values, which include: perseverance, risk-taking, self-discipline, creative thinking, respect for the learning and teaching process, inquisitiveness, support and compassion for other learners, attentive listening, and acknowledging and learning from mistakes.

These core learning values are actively taught and addressed on a daily basis to underscore and support the students’ process of learning, as well as to support their understanding of their own development-as learners, thinkers and social beings.

Philosophy

It is central to our philosophy that children become critical thinkers, not passive consumers of knowledge.

If they are curious about a subject beyond the curriculum, we try to nurture and cultivate it-even if it is at a higher level. If a child is in need of more challenging subject matter, we do not hold the child back. In fact, we embrace the opportunity to open the child’s mind as much as possible.

While Anneliese Schools encourage the free spirit, we also set high academic and behavioral standards. Thus, the classroom environment is animated but disciplined, engaging but contained. When given the opportunity, students recognize that ultimately they are responsible for their growth and learning. We begin to cultivate this sense of responsibility in the formative, preschool years and continue through grade six.

Curriculum

World Languages

Multi-Lingualism: A Proven Cognitive Advantage for Your Child

Research shows that multi-lingualism is beneficial to the intellect of the child.  It fosters the imagination, helps with abstract thinking and improves and stretches cognitive capabilities. World language studies also promote multi-cultural consciousness and global thinking.

World Language is a key feature of both morning and afternoon circles, and teachers are encouraged to address students in a world language throughout the day.  We have native speakers of German, Spanish, and a variety of other languages who lead daily Circles and classes during the week.  Children begin learning German and Spanish, as well as phrases in a variety of other languages, in their toddler years at Anneliese Schools.  Exercised in the right spirit, the every day phrases taught by our World Language teachers are creating valuable impressions on the students.  The new vocabulary imparts to children a sense of respect for another culture, and gives them the tools to give an authentic greeting to someone from another country.

From Kindergarten through Sixth grade, Anneliese Schools’ students receive formalized instruction in both Spanish and German.  Led by a World Language specialist, these classes utilize textbooks imported from Europe, songs, art activities, games, dialogues, and writing assignments to bring students to a degree of competence for their grade level.  Travel Abroad programs, facilitated by our World Language department, provide further enrichment for the whole family.

Researchers and authorities on multi-lingualism agree that world language studies offer many cognitive, social and cultural advantages:

Source:

DUKE GIFTED LETTER: Volume 8, Issue 1, Fall 2007

The Duke University Talent Identification Program

Newsletter for Parents of Gifted Youth

Language Arts

Igniting a Love of Literature, Creative Writing and Theater

Our goal for Language Arts is to encourage a lifetime love of the written and spoken word.   We select curriculum materials that view children’s reading, writing and oral language development as a continuum from pre-reading and writing to the level of mastery.  We use materials in our Language Arts program to identify each child as an individual with his or her place on this learning continuum.  Rather than label students as “underachievers,” “average” or “gifted,” we help guide each toward mastery at his or her own pace and level.  Then, we use guidelines provided in our Language Arts textbooks to develop lessons for the whole class.

A core value for our Language Arts program is the use of quality children’s literature.  We encourage teachers to carefully select materials for their classroom library, and to use the classroom itself to immerse the children in a print-rich environment.  Book displays, creative posters, informative wall charts, labels, letters, and newspapers—all contribute to children’s literacy.  Reading aloud is an excellent way to nurture a love of books—especially if you can bring the stories to life with vivid narration, and allow your child to take part in the story.

In addition, we encourage regular, enjoyable periods of writing.  Most children enjoy combining Art with words, so allowing children to produce a “real” illustrated book of their own can be a great motivation.  Our priority is to help the children get their ideas on the page, and then to follow up with a mechanics of a writing exercise that explains and corrects common errors. 

We have found that this approach to grammar makes more sense to children and is easier for them to retain. Our literacy program provides developmentally appropriate lessons to expose students to the various genres of reading in both fiction and non-fiction including folktales, myths, legends, fantasy, poetry and more. They also receive modeled instruction in the various forms of writing, including but not limited to: recountive, narrative, expository, persuasive, descriptive, poetry, and letterwriting.

Theater and storytelling are also important features of our Language Arts program. Sometimes, the same student who struggles to get words on paper is fearless in front of an audience.  By cultivating a child’s strength in one area, we often find we can gradually encourage growth in other areas where he or she is less confident.  Circle and school meetings provide venues for impromptu performances by teachers, while readers’ theater, classroom plays, and play-writing can be excellent means to engage students in other subjects throughout the school day.  Social Studies, for example, can be livened up with theatrical activity as can Science, Physical Education, Math, and World Language.

Mathematics

Connecting Math to Meaningful, Everyday Situations

From the inception of Anneliese Schools in 1968, a strong value has been placed on mathematical reasoning and calculation skills.  Our practice of teaching mental math in morning circles underscores this value: we have always desired that children learn to think in numbers and calculate a variety of problems in their heads.  We believe that early exposure to simple mathematical principles and exercises are crucial in laying the foundation for later mathematical curiosity and ease.

We use a rigorous, scientifically research-based curriculum designed to give each one of our students an excellent grasp of Mathematics, from the basics to higher-order thinking and problem solving.  We use curriculum materials that cover a broad range of mathematical concepts, including data and probability, geometry and spatial sense, measures and measurement, algebra and uses of variables.  This program connects math lessons to meaningful, every-day situations, and provides lots of math games to stimulate learning and retention.

Science

Integrating Concepts with Real-World Experiments and Experiences

We believe that Science comes naturally to children when they are fueled by their own endless curiosity.  Rather than fragmenting and over-simplifying Science, our goal is to teach the subject holistically, integrating foundational concepts with experiments that lead to real understanding.

Social Studies

Fanning the Flame of Excitement for History and Societies

Social Studies is more than the study of dates, time-lines and significant events. It is the study that chronicles the cultural, moral and civic development of societies over time. At Anneliese Schools, we favor a thematic approach to Social Studies, where Art, World Language, Geography, Science, Mathematics and Literature are all integrated with the socio-historical topic at hand and studied in an in-depth manner.

Guided by, but not limited to a Social Studies textbook, we encourage teachers to make their own connections with the material, and expand on thematic units with particular appeal to their class. Handmade journals that combine writing, drawing, and collage work are an excellent way to record students’ work in a particular unit; while writing letters, theater, classroom fairs and field trips enliven students’ experience.

Arts & Culture

Sparking Creative Thinking Through Fine and Performing Arts

Stimulating emotional, social and intellectual growth in our students, Fine and Performing Arts have always been considered integral to our educational practice.  From the therapeutic aspects of cutting, painting, sculpting with clay and drawing, to the higher-order thinking process involved in creating a finished canvas, we consider the Arts essential to our curriculum.

The Arts can spark a child’s creative thinking abilities in ways many other disciplines cannot. Art encourages us to find solutions to problems in a unique way—asking us to draw upon our inner resources—such as starting a painting with one idea in mind but having to change it as the painting begins to deviate from our preconceived notion.  This dialog between the unknown and the known challenges the child’s spectrum of thinking and stretches his or her parameters of thought.

We encourage the integration of the Arts—Visual Art, Music and Drama—into other subject areas whenever possible, as this helps engage students in the curriculum on multiple levels.  Art journals, wall displays, classroom theater, decorative projects and scientific illustration are just a few of the ways core teachers can extend the Fine Arts program in their daily curriculum.

Using a variety of art media including charcoal, pencils, paint, pastels, ink, clay, wood, canvas and paper, we introduce students to multiple techniques, styles and genres, while making frequent reference to Art History and the working life of artists today.  Many of our teachers have professional backgrounds in the Arts, bringing an authentic passion for the disciplines of Art and their importance in society.

Daily Circle

A Powerful Venue to Build Community and Experience Values

The academic school day commences with Circle. Circle is a powerful time for us to build community, solve social conflicts, and discuss school values.  Circle draws from World Language, Music, Mental Mathematics, Psychology, Language Arts, and Drama.  The teacher orchestrates a collective learning experience that involves problem solving, and group call-and-response experiences.  Children learn World Languages through songs, games and repetition exercises, and are given opportunities to discuss issues through role-play of potential scenarios, led by the teacher.

 

The Importance of Play

Play: A Dynamic Time of Discovery, Creativity and Self-Awareness

Play is not a “recreational” activity for children, it is learning in the most literal sense. Different play experiences stimulate different cognitive functions, and build the necessary components for social intelligence.  Regardless of the play activity, it is important for parents to understand that engaging in a variety of play activities makes a child’s brain tick.  Play makes children think, grow and learn.

We view play as the arena in which discovery, self-initiation, self-regulation, creativity and self-awareness are encountered.  In self-initiated play, such as in the garden, children construct their own realities.  This requires great mental work; they must “think” of their own rules, animate their objects or “characters,” and communicate effectively with others.  It requires that they plan or initiate a purpose of the game or activity and resolve any shortcomings or deficiencies the play activity might have.  And they do all of this by drawing on their analytical, linguistic, kinesthetic and visual intelligences.  During group play, children begin to use cooperative, “collective” thinking to create systems, plans, stories, institutions and other complex and impressive inventions.  It’s a process not unlike two engineers trying to figure out the physics of a bridge, or politicians establishing laws.  

With many opportunities for constructive as well as free play, both in the classroom and on the playground, children develop positive feelings about themselves, school, and about learning itself. In turn, their self-confidence and self-awareness blooms, and this is a key component to future academic success. Because there are no mistakes in play, only opportunities for growth, children are more likely to be innovative and take risks.  A self-confident, physically strong, curious and joyful child is more prepared for higher education than a child who has been through rigorous academic readiness programs.

Your child is most happy when playing.  A happy child is motivated to learn new things and to embrace the wonders of life.  At Anneliese Schools, we set up an optimal learning environment for children to explore their interests and to learn new things in a meaningful way.  Particularly in the younger child, play is an indispensable part of the child’s cognitive and social intelligence.

Nutrition

Hand-made, Fresh and Balanced Hot Lunch plus Healthy Snacks

The lunchtime experience at Anneliese Schools is special.  We provide a healthy, hot lunch for every child, depending on your child’s daily schedule. It is essential for children to have a nutritionally balanced diet for healthy growth and development.  All our food is handmade on campus, from fresh produce and ingredients. The menu is carefully and lovingly created to reflect the change in seasons and the vibrant array of delicious foods from around the world, such as homemade pesto, curries, enchiladas, and international salads. 

We are committed to protecting the earth’s ecosystems, and offering the best possible nutrients to our children, without pesticides. The school has two local organic farms where the heirloom fruits and vegetables we grow from seed are harvested weekly for our students’ meals. In addition, at all three campuses, the produce we use in our lunch and snack program is frequently organic, and locally grown, selected based on seasonality. Our menus are designed to include items from each of the four basic food groups. Although our menu is primarily vegetarian, we occasionally serve humanely-raised and organic meat.  These menus are posted monthly at all school campuses, and can also be found by clicking here or under the Anneliese Community web site section.

Lunch is a time when children share a warm, home-cooked meal, eat cooperatively together, and use both their manners and World Language skills. We say a non-religious blessing in a World Language, and recognize our gratitude for those who have prepared the meal for us.  Children participate in both the set-up and clean-up of the meal, and learn to take responsibility for the cleanliness of their areas.

Field Trips

Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-World Experiences

We view field trips as an integral part of your child’s curriculum and learning.  For this reason, we put thought and effort into planning field trips that will make connections between classroom learning and vibrant, meaningful, real-world experiences.  Because Grade School field trips are part of the curriculum, field trip attendance is not optional; all students are required to participate.

After School

Afternoon Enrichment with a Variety of Exciting Explorations

The Afternoon Enrichment Program follows the academic day, and continues until closing Circle.  Classes last between one to one-and-a-half hours, and vary daily.  Activities include: Cooking, Music, Art, World Language, Gardening, Theater, Sports, and Crafts.  

The Afternoon Enrichment Program provides children with a variety of exploratory learning activities to stimulate their minds, and opportunities to engage in social interactions and physical activity.  Staying for the afternoon gives children a sense of connection to the school community and environment.  

We encourage parents not to over-schedule a children’s after-school life, but rather to allow them play time to provide a sense of freedom.  Children need space and time to get to know themselves, cultivate their own likes and dislikes, and to meet their own inner creativity and imagination.  Therefore, we encourage children to choose a class based on their interest in the options that are available.

 Summer Program

A Variety of Activities to Create a Wonderful Summer Season

Each summer, we provide children with a Summer Program that is a balance of learning, play, quiet time, and recreation, with workshops such as Ocean Camp, music, knitting, art, sports, and more.  We strongly believe that children need to have a respite from their busy school-year schedules, to have time for intensive experiences in Arts and World Language, energy for new learning and creative process, and to simply enjoy unfettered time to play.  Above all, our hope is that children will thoroughly enjoy the wonderful Summer Season.

Daily Schedule

Find Your Child’s Daily Schedule by Campus and Grade

Although all of our campuses follow the same basic daily rhythm, daily student schedules vary by age or grade and differ between campuses. To find out more information about daily schedules, simply click on the appropriate campus and then select the appropriate age or grade.

South Laguna Beach
Kleine Kinderschule (Nursery) – Kindergarten
Central Laguna Beach
Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
Laguna Beach Canyon
Kleine Kinderschule (Nursery) – 6th Grade