Here at Stretch, our teachers and students partner together in exploring and gaining knowledge about the world around them. As educators, we come together to set up quality educational environments that support different types of children’s learning processes. Our curriculum is based around both short and long-term projects where topics of investigation are born from the innate interests of children and observations done by teachers. We strive to promote creative thinking through collaboration and problem solving as children take ownership of their investigations and drive their project work. While our children take an active role in the development of the project the teacher is the facilitator and guide for their learning. We often say that the educators start the path the children embark upon based on what they know about the individual children or about child development. The children then influence the different pathways and forks in the road along this journey together.
We strive to promote creative thinking through
collaboration and problem solving as children
take ownership of their investigations and drive
their project work.
Throughout the process, our teachers catch glimpses of possible ways to advance the project work with the children by reflecting and taking the time to think about the ways in which the children are learning and what continues to pique their interests. We also use experts within our parent community, neighborhood, and the outside world to collaborate with our students on their project work. Over the course of the year much time and space is given to the process and to revisiting and reflecting together on the work the children and educators are doing. This slows down the learning process and in the end gives a deep sense of agency and ownership to the children over their own capabilities and knowledge.
Past Projects Have Included:
Building and planting a stretch community garden
The study of empathy and building kindness within a classroom community
Designing and building a boat
A study of mapping, particularly focusing on the Presidio and in San Francisco
Building a fairy house out of natural materials using the Design Thinking Method
Caring for and learning about how to take care of a class pet hermit crab
A study of food and where it comes from with help from employees at Pizzeria Delfina
A study on identity and what it means to
At Stretch, children feel a sense of ownership
in their projects and become mini-experts.