Our Approach

Our Early Childhood Program (PreK-Grade 2) is predicated on the belief that children learn most joyfully and deeply when the learning process is designed around their own interests and needs. Our overarching theme, Connecting to Our Community, is the foundation for our thematic curriculum, and also the basis of our philosophy around early childhood education.
 
CRS students thrive as part of a community that encourages them to become lifelong learners by enjoying the journey. They develop confidence, explore, innovate, and help shape their own learning through inquiry, collaboration and play. They acquire skills, develop character, and build knowledge and community through our integrated, flexible PreK-2 program.
 
CRS is committed to multiage learning for our PreK-2 program. We have one homeroom for PreK/Kindergarten, and two multiage One/Two homerooms for Grades 1 & 2. This research-based model naturally aligns with the CRS approach, and provides children with the education that will best prepare them for the future. Co-teaching is central to our model; two dedicated lead teachers facilitate each classroom community, and enable small group and one-to-one learning.
 
Classroom-specific themes allow students to make meaningful connections through inquiry and explore areas of particular interest to them. Core subject areas, such as math and language arts, are integrated thoughtfully with thematic study. We continually review alignment between our goals, the curriculum, instruction, and assessment across and within grades.
 
Our PreK-2 learning environment is an important aspect of our program, and our Early Childhood maker space, the Collaboratory, provides us with an area to create, invent, and learn with a variety of tools and technologies. Our outdoor campus, classroom gardens, covered areas, Wetlands Lab, and the Town of Dover provide us with regular outdoor learning adventures, and opportunities to explore and learn about the environment and our local community.

Academics & Learning Environment

Language Arts instruction in PreK-2 is centered on developing and integrating listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a learning environment that is rich in literature and print. Phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and strategies for comprehension are built into daily activities and lessons. As students progress, they are introduced to decoding skills, story structure, and daily writing activities. In order to ensure that our students develop reading and writing skills in a logical and developmentally appropriate manner from PreK through second grade, we use Project Read as our foundation for scope and sequence, and modify it accordingly to fit into our constructivist curriculum and thematic approach to learning.
 
Math instruction in these grades focuses on teaching children to explore and think deeply about math concepts by manipulating concrete objects and math tools, such as Cuisenaire rods, Unifix cubes, pattern blocks, base 10 blocks, and dice. Our Math curriculum follows a scope and sequence designed to support PreK-2 learners developmentally as they progress from exploring basic concepts of numeracy, to practicing multiplication and division.
 
Our PreK-2 learning environment is a crucial aspect of our program, and our early childhood maker space, the Collaboratory, provides us with an area to create, invent and learn with a variety of tools and technologies. Our outdoor campus, classroom gardens, covered areas, school wetlands, and the Town of Dover provide us with regular outdoor learning adventures and opportunities to explore and learn about our local community and environment.