Canterbury Brook Academy of the Arts utilizes dual-grade instructional formats through grade 6 based on best-practice data regarding elementary grade socialization, differentiation, and growth. As such, our 1st and 2nd grade students share one, large, sunny classroom. Our ten 1st graders and ten 2nd graders have the chance to learn and socialize flexibly, guided by their classroom teacher and full-time teacher's aide, both of whom are highly experienced and enormously well-respected in their field. These students still have full access to their former teachers in TK/K through beautiful barn doors that allow these two separate classrooms to be combined into one beautiful learning space. Their dedicated wing also allows our 1st and 2nd graders the same comfort and safety offered to our TK/K children- dedicated bathrooms, water fountains, and a kitchenette in their own wing. However, there are definite changes that come with the transition into the 1st and 2nd grade program. Cubbies are located outside of the classroom rather than within the room, allowing for more advanced lessons in executive functioning and organization. By 2nd grade, our students also join the larger CBA literacy program in a more concrete way through school-wide quarter book projects. Our 2nd graders also begin learning cursive and making the gradual transition from learning to read to reading to learn, a critical shift in preparation for promotion to the Primary School Program. They also begin more formal studies in the content areas. Their arts instruction becomes gradually more focused at these grade levels, and their involvement in CBA-wide events increases as they grow. At the end of second grade, students and families celebrate their promotion to the Primary School with a Showcase and an Ice Cream Sundae Party. Take a look below at what a day in the life of a CBA 1st or 2nd grade student looks like:
8:00-8:10: Arrival and Unpack 8:10-8:30: Morning Work 8:30-9:00: A Days- Mindfulness; B Days- Study Skills 9:00-10:00: ELA Period I 10:00-10:40: Snack and Academic Play 10:40-11:30: Multi-sensory Math Block 11:30-12:00: A Days- Social Studies; B Days- STEM 12:00-12:40: ELA Period II 12:40-1:20: Lunch and Recess 1:20-2:00: A Days- Art; B Days- Music 2:00-2:40: Monday - Ballet; Tuesday - Yoga; Wednesday - Acro; Thursday - Tap; Friday - Hip Hop 2:40-3:20: Acting and Musical Theater 3:20-3:30: Pack and Dismissal
Grade 1-2 Lead Teacher : Mrs. Mary Giardina Mrs. G graduated from Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY with a BS degree in Elementary Education, and then earned her MS degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from The University of Buffalo, Amherst, NY. Mrs. G has taught grades 1, 1/2, 5, and 6 in both public and private schools in Buffalo, NY, and Oklahoma City, OK. After taking time to raise her own children, Mrs. G. took a position in Cornwall, NY, as a teacher’s aide and then as head teacher for a 3’s class and a preschool 4’s class. Mrs. G has a strong work ethic and believes every child can learn when given the opportunity and proper tools that align with the child’s needs. Mrs. G is a patient, caring, creative and nurturing teacher. A proud mother of five children whose academic experiences have ranged from involvement in GAT programs to needing to advocate for a child with a complex profile of special needs, this woman is a fierce proponent of meeting every child where he or she is in readiness and serving them in an "appropriate to them" academic style. She is a staunch advocate for each child's right to an education that suits his or her needs and a massive resource to parents in navigating the world of IEPs, be they for learning disabilities or differences. She is beloved by her students and colleagues alike, and she is such a special addition to the CBA family. She lives in New Windsor, NY, with her husband and kids. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction, spending time with her family, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills.
Grade 1-2 Teacher's Assistant : Mrs. O Our 1st and 2nd grade teacher's assistant comes from a long line of Hudson Valley educators, generations of women who have helped shape the lives children and grow a love of learning in the hearts of their students. In the footsteps of her family, our 1/2 TA has spent the fifteen years of her career striving each day to ensure that her students leave the classroom a little happier than how they arrive each morning. Mixing love with high expectations, she possesses a unique ability to maintain excellence in academics and plenty of opportunities for laughter, creativity, and adventure. The mother of three beautiful children, she is acutely aware that all children learn differently and believes firmly in giving each child the space they need to grow and the support they need to reach their own goals.