The language arts program prepares students to be critical users of information. Recognizing that not all students learn at the same level, we use a variety of diagnostic tools to make sure that each student is placed at their appropriate learning level. Students at the early age are learning how to decode and encode words using a phonics-based approach. When they master phonics, they become functional readers and the focus is on comprehension of text. Students at Edlin are able to analyze texts, discover meaning, and make higher-level connections such as author’s purpose, author’s technique, and analyzing text for literary devices. As students progress through the language arts program, they are exposed to a variety of traditional and classical literature.
Shakespeare is alive and well at Edlin. Students in the elementary grades are introduced to Shakespeare and his stories. Starting in 4th grade, students read and analyze a complete Shakespeare play. While studying the text, the students learn the recurring metaphors and symbolism that Shakespeare uses throughout his body of work. The children love utilizing their skills to understand and enjoy Shakespearean plays. Each language arts class performs a dramatic production for parents. Edlin students are well-versed in Shakespeare.
Our goal is to make a well-rounded communicator. Students in the kindergarten classes are working on getting their ideas on paper. As they progress through 1st grade, students begin to focus on the study of grammar, mechanics, usage, and the writing process. Small class sizes allow students to have the personal attention needed to revise their writing. Integrated into the language arts curriculum is vocabulary study using analogies. As a result of our early emphasis on writing, middle school students are able to focus on the eloquence of writing. Each spring we proudly publish a poetry journal with a sample of writings from each student.
Our music director, with a bachelor degree from New England Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree In Historical Performance from McGill , collaborates frequently with The Washington Bach Consort. A yearly trip is scheduled for at least one grade to attend a live performance of a Bach cantata.
Our music curriculum is diverse and includes study of the recorder beginning in 2nd grade which follows learning of the treble clef staff notes in K4, K5 and 1st grade.
Furthermore, we study western music history through composers of the month and students can perform on music share days.
We have winter and spring concerts for all of our after and before school music programs, along with music electives which include Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Piano, Guitar, and Ukulele.
At Edlin we encourage our children to develop an appreciation of the visual arts. On a weekly basis, from K4 through 4th grade, they explore various elements of art in order to build a foundation of understanding. They are exposed to different media art forms, and techniques. Through art history our students learn to analyze and recognize culturally significant art and artists.
Students in 5th through 8th grades often choose to continue to cultivate the artist within by taking a visual art elective. Throughout the year, Edlin offers electives in drawing, mixed media, basic painting, portrait painting, artist apprentice, comics and cartooning, and computer animation and 3D design.
Creating 21st century learners is key to the mathematics curriculum taught at the Edlin School. The goal is to create students who can not only perform mathematical calculation, but are able to analyze mathematics at a higher level. Children at Edlin are able to understand the relation between the mathematics they are learning in class to the real world.
At Edlin we want students to be explorers of mathematics. A hands-on approach helps students to explore the beauty of mathematics. They are actively looking for patterns and relationships while applying their logical reasoning skills. Students leaving Edlin have a greater appreciation for the discipline of mathematics.
A lot of care is taken to place students at the level where they can be challenged, given opportunities to excel, but not feel pressure. In keeping with this philosophy, we do not start mathematical competitions until students have reached the level of pre-algebra. At all levels we want the students to find joy in their mathematical thinking.
At Edlin School we use technology as a tool to develop students’ creativity. Mobile laptop carts provide ready access to computers and applications for lesson enrichment. Interactive display in classrooms help bring instruction to life, capturing student attention and interest. Grade levels K4 through fourth grade include instruction in coding and basic computer principles. In Kindergarten, students use programmable robots to identify color, shapes, and numbers, and learn to program the robots to navigate around the room and avoid objects.
As students progress through the school, their programming knowledge becomes more expansive. Students use common coding processes and begin to develop computer programs. They learn how to make objects move, change, make sounds and take inputs. In the fifth through eighth grades, students have the flexibility of selecting electives. Programming choices include Python, robotics and CAD design with 3D printing.
Albert Einstein once quipped, “I have no special talents. I am only naturally curious.” Our number one goal in science is to foster a child’s natural curiosity. We want and encourage students to wonder, and to ask why? Students are actively engaged in the scientific method. Through an inquiry-based approach, students are able to discover how science impacts the natural world around them. Children at an early age are creating hypothesis, conducting experiments, and analyzing data.
All students learn to apply the scientific method (questioning, hypothesis, experimentation, observation, collection of data, analysis, and the presentation of their conclusion) in order participate in science fairs each year. Children learn this process through collaborating with class experiments through the third grade. Starting in 4th grade, when the children are doing science at a middle school or high school level they are expected to do individual projects. Students learn how to test their conclusion for validity.
Yet science does not stop in the science classroom. Students of all ages are provided many additional opportunities to put their science skills to the test. All students participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) challenges throughout the school year, as well as through after school STEAM clubs. Students in 5th grade and beyond are able to participate in clubs and competitions such as Future City, You Be The Chemist, Odyssey of the Mind, and Science Bowl. The 2017 Future Cities team took first place in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and all top three honors in the 2017 You Be the Chemist competition. Our list of clubs is always expanding.
Students enjoy extended science-related fields trips including the 5th and 6th grade three-day camping trip to Camp Highroads, the 8th grade physics trip to Six Flags, and the 7th and 8th grade visit to Sound to Sea in North Carolina, as well as overnight at Maryland Science center. Children are encouraged to explore the world around them and develop a deep connection to nature and the unique features of earth. Additional field trips take the students to local and regional locations including Walker Nature Center, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Heritage Farm Museum, and the Air and Space Museum. As a result of our rigorous science program, students are developing into conscientious global citizens.
We are living in an increasingly diverse world. The need to be able to communicate in more than one language is becoming more important. At Edlin, we take pride in introducing students to foreign languages at an early age. We do not underestimate what children can achieve. We are not limited to the conversational aspect of the foreign language in the primary grades, although it is our focus. Students at all ages, starting with K4, are provided interactive lessons in either French or Spanish four days a week, and one day of Latin. The curriculum is supported by the exploration of related cultures and countries where the language is spoken. Students gain a better understanding of the language within the context of its usage and development. They learn about the history of the language, and have fun while expanding their skills. Our minimum objectives are for the children who graduate from Edlin to be able to enter Latin II, Spanish III, or French III in high school.
A Community of Excellence in Education