Learning Tree is starting an exciting new program to continue your child’s international education. We understand that some families have an interest in attending Japanese elementary schools, but hope that their child will maintain and improve their English level. We also know that there are families that value our style of education and would like an opportunity to continue with us after kindergarten. In April 2015, we started an elementary education program designed to work alongside your child’s elementary school. The curriculum will be based around the new Common Core standards used by schools in the United States. At the conclusion of the Academic year, each student will be given an officially proctored exam that shows that they have achieved national standards for that grade level. We will be using a standardized test that is commonly taken by American private school, public school, and even home schooled children.
In the 18 years that Learning Treehas been in operation, we have created and refined a program that consistently delivers intelligently bilingual students. Our success is due, in large part, to the strength of our community of teachers and peers. Within our community, students are challenged and encouraged not only by caring and devoted teachers, but by their classmates as well. This pairing of motivation and a nurtured love of learning allows our students to thrive.
Our Preschool and Kindergarten are guaranteed to set the wheels of English fluency in motion, but equally important are the years that follow. The brains of young children have a plasticity that allows them to learn at an amazing rate. Unfortunately, however, this malleability means that even the most honed skills can rapidly degrade without practice. Our current after school classes offer a lot of flexibility to parents looking to continue their child’s English education, but it’s not a perfect system. If the parents have chosen to send their child to a Japanese elementary school, then the child’s surrounding community begin to change from English to Japanese. With this change the child often loses motivation to improve their English since they no longer rely on it for social interaction. Our elementary education program offers a solution.
By continuing to give our students a classroom environment exactly like our preschool and kindergarten, we can give them back the encouraging community that works well. This system allows for a truly bilingual education that teaches kids not only how to speak in English, but to think and communicate and problem solve in English as well. This system supports the idea of educational globalism. Not necessarily replacing one culture with another, but embracing and evaluating cultural differences to become a better citizen of the world.
- Students will be able to think and express themselves fluently in English.
- Students will gain skills equivalent to their corresponding grade level in the United States.
- Students will pass Eiken 2 within grades two through four of this program and aim to pass Eiken Pre-1 by completion. Paired with the standardized test, this adds concrete value to our program both here in Japan as well as overseas.
- Students will be intellectually bilingual and bicultural.
- After G4, we will foster comprehensive skills through activities (e.g., debate) to help the students succeed in their future Japanese school, International school, or schools abroad.
The curriculum closely follow the new Common Core standards that have been implemented in the United States. This helps us ensure that your child receives the same type of education they would if they attended an American school. Learning Tree kindergarten students are already learning at a first grade level, so if the students pass the G1 level on the entrance examination, that student can begin with G2. We will also be offering a G1 program for students who need to develop some skills. At the end of the school year the students will take a challenging standardized test that is used in both private and public schools in the U.S. and abroad. Our aim is for students to pass the test with a score greater than 80%. High results like that would mean that the student has successfully passed the corresponding grade level in the United States. This means that if a family were moving to the United States, they would have documentation that would help them get into better schools and higher leveled programs.
Students may come in from 3:00 p.m. to have a snack in a relaxing atmosphere and enjoy corner activities before the class time starts at 4:05 p.m.
01. Social-Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning is an important part of education and development. By using the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework, we are able to create an
environment where the social and emotional needs of the students are prioritized alongside their academic growth. Each week, we will learn about and discuss different topics related to self-management, self-awareness, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
Students will learn how to navigate their emotions while also being considerate of the feelings of their peers. They will learn how their actions and decisions affect their day-to-day lives.
02. Benchmark Advance
We have adopted the well-established Benchmark Advance curriculum*, which believes in learning through reading, writing, and discussion. In this interdisciplinary program, the focus areas – literature, science, and social studies – work cohesively with language arts to help the students grow
in multiple areas of knowledge. Students engage in critical thinking and discussion, building perspectives and developing content knowledge. Grade by grade, knowledge grows. Students begin each grade with essential background information, then expand their topic knowledge and
vocabulary throughout the year. The Benchmark Curriculum is aligned with the American Common Core Standards and provides space for real-world perspectives. The alignment with authentic educational situations captures the minds of learners. The students spend 3-4 weeks on a unit, exploring multiple texts around a central idea. As they progress through each unit, students will work on inquiry-based assignments to demonstrate the skills they learned. Science experiments, activities that utilize research and presentation skills, as well as art and craft exercises foster hands-on experiences with the unit topics.
We utilize the Reveal Math curriculum and methodologies, which is based on the American Common Core Standards. The insightful instructional resources aid in effective differentiation and the promotion of a growth mindset. Students explore their curiosity with mathematical examinations and discovery that deepens conceptual understanding. The program has a variety of possibilities with purposeful technology that creates an active classroom experience. Each new skill is introduced with sense-making routines and a focus question to help students develop their own mathematical ideas before moving to the abstract concept. Teachers and parents will understand the student’s progress through a range of assessment tools that the Reveal Maths curriculum offers.