Typical Day

A Typical Day

The structure of the school day at TCS is attuned to the students’ inherent biorhythms. The most intense and focused learning (Main Lesson) happens at the beginning of the day when the students are most receptive. The afternoons are typically used for outdoor activities, project-based or inquiry based learning, and special events.

We use the "Main Lesson Block" concept from Waldorf Education. It is a theme based 2-6 weeks of time consisting of themed Main Lessons that immerse students in subject matter.

Days begins with the Main Lesson, a two-hour instructional period focusing on the core curriculum: math, language arts, science and humanities. Lessons are theme based and always include multiple objectives (at least 2) and are cross-curricular decreasing the compartmentalization of information and increasing student understanding of how concepts connect. 

During this time, a variety of learning approaches are used to facilitate learning through multiple modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) with the purpose of reaching the whole-child and all styles of learners. Modalities include, but are not limited to: direct instruction, cooperative learning, project based learning, presentations, arts integration, movement, music, technology, hands-on, and nature based learning.

 For example, during a second grade science unit involving botany, the teacher may read aloud an informational text about flowers that grow in the desert. The teacher uses this text to teach adjectives and how to compare and contrast objects. Later the class may go outside to TCS’s Landscaped for Learning Schoolyard, sit down with a clipboard and colored pencils to draw and scientifically label local flora, noticing their smell and surrounding ecosystem. Students may be assigned to think about the plant’s role in nature, thereby capturing the notion of respect for the environment intended in science studies. Because inquiry is the cornerstone of both math and science at TCS, integrating both disciplines occurs whenever possible, therefore, the teacher has planned to integrate a math objective regarding geometry taught through the studying patterns and geometric shapes that show up in nature. Teachers in the older grades may use such an opportunity to introduce the Fibonacci sequence paving the way for higher-level mathematical study. In this way, TCS’s curriculum and methodology invites students to practice a variety of skills and develop many capacities in an imaginative and more applied context. 

A core feature of the Main Lesson is the making of a Main Lesson book. Each student produces a Main Lesson book for every block of study. What begins as a blank journal becomes an individual record of experiences, observations and gained knowledge, along with hand-drawn illustrations, and written reflection of learned content. In the scenario above, students draw and label the flowers in their Main Lesson Book. As a portfolio of work, a student’s Main Lesson books reflect key objectives and skills a student has learned, while also displaying the student’s inspiration. Multidimensional, complex and thoughtful, Main Lesson books are an important way in which learning is expressed and can become an authentic assessment tool for teachers and a reference for students. 

Instruction is typically literature based. This is achieved in grades k-6 through the National Geographic Libraries supplemented with literature from the Waldorf scope and sequence. 

Taking place after the two hour block, the practice period is when students receive differentiated instruction according to their individual needs. 

Specialty Subjects such as art, music, technology and movement, support the Main Lesson during the weekly grade level "arts block."  This is a 2hr 20m rotation through art, music, movement/Spanish class.