These are the varied methodologiess that support our I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.
approach. Some of these methodologies were developed by education professionals on our advisory board who will work directly with us in Beijing to help effectively implement their unique methods.
WonderTree sees language, communication, and early literacy as its primary domains. The ability to read, write, and speak English and Chinese fluently will be essential in future global markets. As an English immersion kindergarten, our priority is to provide the best natural environment to master language skills through our English-speaking educators. Every day, your child will be immersed in English, the way a fish is immersed in water.
Studies show that children with early language fluency can expect the following benefits:
· Improved Memory
· Higher Cognitive Function
· Higher Literacy Skills
· Cultural Awareness
· Increased Environmental Awareness
· Higher Salary
You may be familiar with the term multi-age group or mixed age group, but multi-talented grouping is a new concept.
Our WonderTree I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.
approach considers multi-talent a key component of children's healthy social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Multi-talent is a holistic learning method where learners are grouped together based on their abilities and individual intelligences, rather than their age.
The traditional teaching approach is like a staircase. First, you gather everything you need on step one and then go on to step two. This continues until you reach the end of the staircase, if there is an end. In a multi-talent classroom, we view the learning journey as a long path. Learners meet us somewhere along the path. Sometimes they run swiftly, other times they seem to wander slowly. When they reach a particular place in the path, they leave us.
The multi-talent classroom is designed to provide every learner the opportunity to find success on his or her own path of growth by engaging them in real and meaningful activities at their own levels of development. By working together at various stations and on hands-on projects, children learn from each other independent of the sequence of learning proposed by a higher authority. They are free from the outdated restrictions that might determine at what age learners “should” acquire certain knowledge or skills, based solely on their age or grade level.
By freely sharing what they have learned, the older children not only help the younger children absorb information, they deepen their own knowledge, as well as their self-confidence and leadership skills.
Awakening Wisdom is a school culture transformation program that uses core values called the Four R's: Responsibility, Respect, Resourcefulness, and Responsiveness. It was started in 1972 by Sr. Joan Madden with Dr. Raymond Corsini, an Adlerian psychologist in Wahiawa, Hawaii. It is a way to shift the mindsets of educators in order to fulfill learners’ needs for belonging, connection, sense of self and identity.
In modeling the Four R's, educators “walk the walk” so their learners can more easily access these important habits of character that will not only enhance their relationships with others, but also expand their capacity to excel academically and later professionally.
Awakening Wisdom aligns adult role modeling with school systems and protocols, so that all aspects of a school's culture implicitly send messages to “empower learners, create community, and free minds”. This allows learners to act effectively and compassionately for the good of the whole community.
This “inside-out” approach of building the inner capacity of learners to be able to move effectively throughout the world with and for others will help create a more peaceful world for all.
One of WonderTree's proudest affiliations is with Singing English Education. Created by Fleurette Sweeney, Ph.D., this cutting-edge program provides children from 3 to 10 years old with valuable tools to conquer English reading and writing by exploring sound, movement, and music, all paced to match the levels and abilities of individual learners. It rests on the knowledge that the music of certain songs flow in confluence with spoken English.
While children enjoy singing, they will be building strong sensory skills that will positively impact their ability to participate in games and outdoor activities with their peers.
By learning songs such as “The More we Get Together” and “Circle Left, Duo Duo”, the learners are given an acoustic ‘mantra’ which, when accompanied by the social play of the folk song-game, establishes an architecture of oral English and a social structure for contextualizing the meaning of the words. Singing uses a different brain function and helps to develop the whole child.
When families are learning English, the games and songs provide opportunities for parents, grandparents, children and friends to practice and play together while learning the vocabulary and structure of common English speech.
Awareness through the Body program (ATB)
When children learn how to better connect to their senses, they by extension learn to connect with their own lives. At WonderTree, we see mindfulness and awareness as crucial to the learning process.
Mindfulness helps children stay calm and focus their energy appropriately-- critical skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Research shows that incorporating mindfulness and awareness training in the classroom means educators have an easier time connecting with learners—and, as an added benefit, are more satisfied with their careers.
The Awareness Through the Body (ATB) program, a movement and posture technique rooted in yoga, dance, and physical therapy, guides children toward cognizance of their bodies. Children learn to better manage their anxiety, show more compassion and empathy toward their classmates, and improve their attention span, among many other skills.
As an international kindergarten, WonderTree recognizes the need for children to build Chinese language and math skills early in preparation for entering Chinese primary schools. Our Chinese curriculum centers on children ages 4 to 6, who will learn how to read and write Chinese characters, speak and understand spoken Chinese, and comprehend math with Chinese instruction. These are the building blocks for learners who will later go on to local schools and require a solid foundation in Chinese.
Developed by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott, positive discipline is cutting-edge classroom management that does not punish or make children “pay” for their mistakes. Instead, positive discipline focuses on child-driven solutions. The children sit in a circle and give compliments to each other; ensuring a classroom foundation of positive thinking. They then brainstorm solutions and choose the one they feel is most effective. Besides being a useful exercise in communication and relationship-building, the children are more likely to follow the solution they like best. WonderTree founder Sabine Maiberger is a certified positive discipline educator.
Natural Learning Relationships
By combining the desire to acquire knowledge, the mutual respect that allows wisdom to surface, and the qualities we are born with, we can all utilize Natural Learning Relationships, or NLR. Created by Josette Luvmour, NLR is a holistic, innovative approach to education, parenting, and counseling, and can help families and educators recognize children's unique talents while offering training in well-being learning and aiding in spiritual and intellectual development—for everyone.