Oak Grove Academy stream

Today is National STEAM Day!   Teachers and schools around the country celebrate the popular and effective STEAM pedagogy (science, technology, art and mathematics).

Good for them!

Did you know that we at OGA are STREAMERS, not Steamers!

At Oak Grove Academy, our board of early education experts and outstanding teachers have effectively deployed STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading and wRiting, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) to keep our students on the cutting edge of the latest innovations taking place in education.   That is to say, your children (our students) will be well versed in the 4Cs*.

Our curriculum and learning environments depend on providing a myriad of multi-domain experiences from which the students have the freedom to choose.  These experiences are not isolated activities, but come from concept webs that provide a “big idea”, and encourage deeper exploration.

Beginning in the infant room, on through to kindergarten, our ‘Structure to Learn’ and ‘Freedom to Explore’ environment integrates group activities and excursions, learning centers, projects, educational games, books (and group critical analysis of the same), team building, physical education and physical development, foreign language, and much more.

*The Four Cs of 21st century learning, also known as the Four Cs or 4 Cs, are four skills that have been identified by the United States-based Partnership for 21st century skills (P21) as the most important skills required for 21st century education: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

In this globally and digitally interconnected world, all learners from cradle to career, need new skills and knowledge to succeed.  If we want to prepare our children for success in school, work, life, opportunities to learn 21st-century skills are essential.

Furthermore, experts consulted also consider ethics, action, and accountability to be essential.  This facet of 21st century preparedness was already a pillar of our pedagogy (as for two decades now, we’ve been instilling the following values in Oak Grove Academy students):


We are extremely proud that Oak Grove Academy graduates are recognized regularly throughout the public and private schools of the area for their daily demonstration of these values.

For two decades now, Oak Grove Academy has been fostering a ‘structure to learn’ and ‘freedom to explore’ environment.  We firmly believe that children need to play and be nurtured while learning, without compromising high expectations.

Our mission is to serve the students and their families by providing a loving and nurturing environment.  When the students are happy and nurtured, we can expect from them their very best.

Our focus on preparedness, and high standard curriculum, enable us to achieve the reputation of having a Gold Standard in the quality and caliber of graduate that emerges from our school.

Our professional teaching staff places great emphasis on the individuality of each child.  We remain constantly aware that we are entrusted with a truly precious gift in every child we serve.  This is an enormous responsibility and one that we confidently accept with enthusiasm and gratitude.

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Happy New Year to the Oak Grove family!

The topic for today is encouraging reading. Reading is a fundamental skill that all children must master to be successful in school and in life. Parents and teachers are all aware of the importance of reading to their children and much research has been devoted to learning about how children acquire reading skills and how to encourage and help develop those skills. About 60% of children learn to read without any specific program or instructional strategy at school, but about 40% will need a little additional help or support. Here is a quick summary of what we know, and some specific things that we as parents and educators can do.

The foundation of reading is language development. And by the time a baby is born, the child has heard the sounds of specific languages and has already developed a preference for certain languages. A child whose mother speaks English will first turn to English speakers at birth, and a child whose mother speaks Spanish will turn to the Spanish speaker. Talk to your child right from the beginning, and expose your child to as many vocabulary words as possible. Look directly at your infant, smile, talk, and show delight when sounds are made. Read out loud even to infants. Research has shown that the sheer volume of language that a child is exposed to is a very good predictor for later language development.

As your child grows and develops language, expand on what they say. If your child says “ball” and points to a ball, you will say “You want the ball?” Dog? “Oh, yes, I see a dog, too!” Continue to read stories, and make sure that your child sees you read. Children love to model parent behavior and your child needs to see that reading is important to you. Keep newspapers and print books around the house. This is having what is called a print rich environment.

Letter recognition and sounds begins early, as young as two years of age for some children. Magnetic letters on the fridge, matching games, tracing, and books that emphasize letters are the beginning. Keep reading to your child. Story time is usually one of the favorite times of the day for a child. Use a dramatic voice, puppets, and other props. Read a favorite story over and over. This allows a child to learn to predict what will happen in a story.

Go to the library. Give books as gifts. Encourage a special reading place for your child. Go to bookstores and see what your child gravitates to for ideas. As your child gets older, discuss what they are reading. Encourage them to make up stories which you can write out for them, and put the words in a book form.

Instead of having electronic games with an iPad or iPhone consider downloading stories. Having the audio along with print will help a child associate what is heard with what is seen. A child can go back repeat the story to help learn the words and the language. Have your child “read” to you or to the family dog or cat. Animals are great learning companions. Often children will act as “teachers” to their pet or to a younger sibling which can serve as a way to practice skills.

These are just some suggestions. Share ideas with other parents, your child’s teachers, and others in the community. Reading is truly a window on the world of ideas and hopefully your child will become a skilled and avid reader!

Sherry Jordan

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Greetings Oak Grove Family !

This is the February posting for my blog. This month I would like to talk about developing math skills for preschoolers. Math concepts begin at a very young age and enriching early experiences can be helpful in building the foundation for later school age math abilities.

Early math skills are learned through daily routines and everyday interactions. Some of the early building blocks include understanding size, shape, and patterns. These early skills are closely tied to language development. Concepts such as big/little, round/square, up/down, in/out, on/under and later skills such as more/less and same/different help to start the process. First use objects (big ball, little ball), or play with toys (put the car under the chair) Matching pictures, shapes, colors, is also a good early step. Very young children like to sort things by shape, size, or color, but not until later do they sort by two dimensions. (put the round red ones in this box)

Very young children often learn to rote count verbally forward and backward and enjoy the “game”. As they learn to rote count they begin to associate what is spoken with a numeral. Often matching comes at about the same time. After recognition of numerals children learn to count with one to one correspondence. Use just a few items at a time as children initially tend to skip items and lose track of their place and need to start over again.

As they become more skilled at counting things in a row children begin to be able to count groups of objects or pictures. (How many raisins are in this cup? In the other cup?) Use raisins, cheerios, blocks, pr any objects that your child seems to be interested in. As they get older have them “help” you. “Can you bring me four spoons?”

As your child gets older, cooking is a great activity for developing math skills. Weighing, measuring, concepts of time and temperature are all involved. Use a timer (an hourglass is a terrific tool) in short segments (one minute at first) to help develop the concept of measurement of time.

Later math skills are based on these early foundations of language, motor skills, and observation of everyday things and experiences. As your child gets older, concepts of addition and subtraction become interesting when combined with everyday materials and activities. A more formal math curriculum can be interesting for children once the prerequisite skills are in place.

Math fact memorization should occur only after the concepts have been introduced, so that the facts can be generalized to problem solving. Some preschool children are ready and eager for kindergarten, first grade or even higher level skills when the basic experiences and concepts have been mastered. Associating groups of objects with numbers and using addition and subtraction signs with them is the first step, then on to automatic fact memorization. Rote memory has gotten a bad rap at times, but for an elementary aged child, the ability to do mental calculations is an important step towards higher order math skills. Some children will need and benefit from the review/practice approach that the Saxon curriculum offers, and some will be able to learn quickly and well with other methods.

I hope that this has been helpful and interesting. The main idea I want communicate is that learning is a developmental process and should be play based and connected to the natural environment. This way learning is fun and makes use of a child’s intrinsic motivation to learn.

Sherry Jordan

The above expressed expert opinions are those of the author and in no way constitute those of Oak Grove Academy, its faculty or staff.