With a balanced approach to curriculum, Kazoo School teaches the whole child. Students develop academic, social-emotional, and physical skills through a program of studies that is active, responsive, and challenging.
Skills vs. Content
One important aspect of the Kazoo School curriculum is how we distinguish skills from content.
Skills are methods like multiplication facts, appropriate use of commas, and following the scientific method. Teachers closely monitor students’ progress in relation to developmental benchmarks, while carefully differentiating according to individual needs.
Kazoo School teachers draw on national standards such as the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the National Council for the Social Studies Standards, as they make decisions about what skills to teach at different ages
As an independent school, Kazoo is able to use these documents as guidelines rather than mandates. Teachers’ decisions are also informed by the unique needs of each group of students.
Content includes broad topics such as the solar system, the colonization of North America, and the plants and animals of a Michigan forest. Learning of these topics often integrates multiple traditional disciplines, science and language arts. Unlike skills, which are fairly set for each grade level, content changes from year to year, as it is responsive to student interests and current events.
The Kazoo School curriculum is emergent, integrated, and experiential. These guiding principles draw on the evidence that children are most motivated and learn best when they are already interested in something, when they see it as meaningful, and when they are actively engaged in and experiencing their world.
With the mission of teaching the whole child, the Kazoo School curriculum centers around serving others, caring for our planet, curiosity about the world, and perseverance in the face of challenges. These ideals are developed throughout students’ experience at Kazoo, not in a specific grade or class.