What We Teach
Academics at ECS
LEARNING IN FOCUS
Theory of Mind
“Children with more developed theories of mind are better able to participate in social relationships. These children can engage in more sensitive, cooperative interactions with other children and are less likely to resort to aggression as a means of achieving goals.” Amy Nathanson, PhD.
Research indicates that television exposure reduces Theory of Mind in children (i.e., weaker understanding of peoples beliefs and desires) and reduces cognitive development (Nathanson, A., 2013).
A critical part of growth is the development of Theory of Mind (ToM), which is the ability to take the perspective of another person. Executive functions represent a precursor of ToM and ToM understanding predicts the development of executive functions, and a children’s level of verbal ability and their working memory are important predictors of performance on both executive functioning and ToM tasks theoretically important relationships among determinants of young children’s cognitive development. The development of Theory of Mind is for our students is imperative to long-term success, and thus at ECS we incorporate ToM in our instruction by using mental state verbs in everyday routines, link concrete objects with mental state verbs, talking about past experiences and upcoming events, and we name the mental states as they happen.
APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
The English Language Arts (ELA) Department makes every effort to differentiate instruction in order to present a well-rounded whole-literary curriculum; introducing students to a range of classic and contemporary texts. Students are taught to become active readers and critical thinkers who can engage with literature on a deeper level. An understanding of the writing process is emphasized in each grade, and teachers reinforce the reading comprehension strategies curriculum being taught across all subjects
We are dedicated to providing math instruction that makes sense to students with learning differences. During math class, we focus on the concrete-representational-abstract sequence of instruction. Students see the real-world application of math concepts, then break those concepts down into understandable steps. Students learn that selecting and applying the correct math processes to a given problem is just as important as arriving at the correct answer. In order to build math confidence, we also encourage math fact fluency through programs like Rocket Math. Finally, students are assigned intensive math interventions to master specific skills.
In technology class, Emerald City School teaches students homekey typing, how to use the Microsoft Office software suite, and how to conduct internet research. We also teach Digital Citizenship through Common Sense Media, a program which highlights the importance of internet safety, privacy, and the dangers of cyberbullying.
Emerald City School is honored to participate in a collaborative Fine Arts program with the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), just two blocks from our location in central Seattle. Every week, our students participate in a wide variety of Fine Arts classes taught by professional creative artists. This year, our students have explored the magic of puppetry, dance, and the Japanese graphic literary artform known as Manga. We look forward to learning all we can from the amazing art programs offered at the MoPop.