Wise School offers an academic program that is based in core content, and taught through the lens of rigorous interdisciplinary gifted methodology. We provide a scope and sequence of distinctive scholarly opportunities that develop real world problem solving skills, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
Our curriculum is organized to promote depth and complexity in discussion and question formation. Learning experiences are designed to provide a balance of research based pedagogical strategies using direct instruction, deductive reasoning, and inquiry-based learning. The scope and sequence of the Wise Learning Process focuses on 21st century skills and challenges students to ponder meaningful questions, such as:
- What is the difference between being a critic and being a critical thinker?
- What does it mean to be creative?
- How do prompts help us when identifying and comprehending information?
- What are the strategic steps that help facilitate the process of solving problems?
- How do we connect to the larger picture?
- How does generalizing concepts allow for a more universal understanding over time?
- What are the tools, language, skills, and products of the disciplines and how do they relate to each other?
- What does it mean to go through an inquiry-based process to investigate the things that spark interest?
- Who am I as a learner? What are the different ways that people learn?
In the classroom, our upper grade students work with intellectual peers in reading, math, and Hebrew, while working together with grade level peers in science, social studies, project studio, technology, Judaic studies, and art. This balance allows educators to meet students where they are academically and challenge them to the next level, as well as building skills in working in collaboration with varieties of learners.
The school adopted a new mathematics curriculum in 2014, Math in Focus. This Singapore Math based program follows the concrete-pictorial-abstract methodology, allowing students to connect real life mathematical situations to abstract concepts. This program has been progressively rolled out in order to ensure continuity for the students and will be fully implemented in K-5 by 2018. Our sixth grade students are taught with a progressive middle school math curriculum, Math Innovations. This program was implemented in 2014 in order to provide a multi faceted academic experience to prepare students for the challenges of secondary education in mathematics. Our mathematics scope and sequence addresses the wide range of students’ skills and abilities and meets the Common Core standards for mathematics.
Kindergarten: Our classroom community. Students discover the concepts of citizenship, community workers, and significant people that have made a difference.
First grade: Our place in time and space. Students focus on American and other symbols and how they have provided a sense of community over time.
Second grade: People who make a difference. Students explore the characteristics of heroes, and study heroes from the bible, the past and the present.
Third grade: Los Angeles history. Students investigate the physical and cultural landscape of our local region and the impact that the past has had on the present.
Fourth grade: California history. Students explore how the quest for power (economic, religious, intellectual, social) has motivated human behavior in the development of agriculture, industry, culture, and government in California over time.
Fifth grade: United States history. With a focus on studying multiple perspectives, students analyze the conflicts that led to the formation of our pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.
Sixth grade: World history, ancient civilizations. Students consider the origins and contributions of ancient civilizations in order to justify common parallels and paradoxes. They investigate the convergences of economic, social and geographic events that helped form and destroy the world’s major civilizations from the Paleolithic era to Egypt, Rome, Greece, China and India. At the same time, their Judaic Studies course explores the same concepts in the history of ancient Hebrews.
Designed for Jewish students in the Diaspora, our program will always feel relevant to children’s lives and cultural backgrounds. Hebrew is introduced in a nurturing, creative environment fostering basic skills through fun and engaging activities. As fluency increases, students experience hands-on projects to gain a deeper foundation. In upper grades, our program expands communication skills building on listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency.
A large part of this alignment has been the implementation of various engineering design challenges across the grade levels that tie into the physical, earth, and life sciences. Project Studio supports the engineering component of our program. With the guidance of Jason Meth, an ever-expanding library of building materials and an expansive workshop, this one-of-a-kind Maker Space facilitates amazing student work. Additionally, Jan Navah, our Art Specialist, is always available to teachers and students to provide materials (often recycled), suggestions for their appropriate use in each project, and help planning ideas and challenges. Along with Jan Navah, our technology specialist, Judy Hoffman, helps guide students to create original content and problem solve. The new Tyberg Arts and Innovation Lab serves as a state of the art learning space with the flexibility to open a folding wall to accommodate an entire grade to collaborate and create with Technology and Art at the same time. Additionally, our Singapore Math based program, spearheaded by Patty Tanner, follows the concrete-pictorial-abstract methodology, allowing students to connect real life mathematical situations to abstract concepts, from our engineering design challenges, to science projects, to technology problem solving.
In February, we hosted our 3rd Annual Family STEAM Night, where families participated in fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math activities. At STEAM Night, our 6th grade students successfully presented their science fair projects, showcasing their research skills and ability to use the scientific method. Many of our science projects were submitted to the LA County Science Fair, where one group placed 3rd in their category!