We empower our children to be out-of-the box thinkers through experiential, theme-based education that breaks the traditional mold.

Why would I choose Odyssey when my public elementary school is right down the street?

An Odyssey education is fundamentally different than public school. Thanks to high-stakes testing, elementary school, from Kindergarten on up, has become a largely seat-work driven experience. But hands-on academics, recess, outdoor time, and imaginative play are crucial components of high-quality Kindergarten. This is what’s currently missing from the average public school classroom.

At Odyssey, we preserve the joy in reading and math.
Our Kindergarten class has manipulatives to use for math, in keeping with how children naturally develop number sense. We also have a dedicated hands-on math program. Our Elementary Classrooms are a print rich environment where reading and literacy takes place across the curriculum with a blend of whole language and phonological awareness activities. Our shelves are stocked with books related to the classroom theme. Our reading buddy program pairs older and younger elementary students to provide peer role models who love books and reading.

Our students get recess, outdoor time, and freedom of movement.
Recess allows children to interact with each other, and improves physical fitness. Many schools have very short recess periods so that more time can be spent in the classroom. In fact, recess enhances time spent in the classroom by enhancing attention and creating calm. At Odyssey, Kindergarteners have at least a half hour of dedicated recess time outdoors in our natural playspace – more for full day Kindergarteners and older elementary students. Twice a month our students head to the woods at Breakheart for a more in-depth outdoor experience with a Naturalist.
Even in the classroom, we are more tolerant of the normal movement of children. In an Odyssey Kindergarten classroom some children will stand at tables instead of sitting, and you may even see a wiggle or two. The focus is on the work at hand not on the position of the workers.

At Odyssey, there is still a dramatic play area in the Kindergarten classroom.
The disappearance of imaginative play is one of the largest differences between an academic Kindergarten classroom and a developmentally appropriate Kindergarten classroom. In an Odyssey classroom you will see a dramatic play area which changes in accordance with the classroom theme. At this age, imaginative play is critical for intellectual, emotional and social development. It is through this play that children begin to develop the creativity and collaboration which are key 21st century skills.

We recommend that when you evaluate Kindergartens, you ask these questions yourself:
• How much time is spent at a desk?
• How much time is spent outside?
• Are there opportunities to develop social skills through recess and imaginative play?

Once you understand how important these answers are to your child’s development, you’ll understand the Odyssey difference.

Learn more about our Elementary program HERE.

Post image for Elementary PE means YOGA!

Inhale. Relax. Motion. Balance. Breathe. Strong. Appreciate. Peaceful. Nutrients.

This is just some of the vocabulary you’ll hear during our yoga class. Mom/Yoga instructor extraordinaire, Nicole, volunteers her time teaching the students in PreK/K through eighth grade the wonderful art of yoga. Not only do students gain an understanding of vocabulary, they are learning the various poses such as downward dog, lotus, child’s pose, and eagle pose. Students also practice the breathing techniques that make yoga so relaxing.

During this yoga session, students started out in a circle and played “Gratitude Ball.” Students were able to roll the ball to each other and state one thing (or three) that they were grateful for. Some of the answers were family, birthdays, puppies, trips, and life. Once students were securely standing on their mats, Nicole took them through thanking nature around us. Thank you to the ground at our feet. Thanks to the sun that is not out today, but gives us warmth. Thank you to the moon, and thank you heartbeat. Students then went through all of the various poses using balance, movement, and mindfulness. They worked together as partners as well as a whole group and learned crucial balancing and safety techniques. As the last few minutes wound down, students were able to lie on their mats with the lights off. This was time to reflect upon themselves and to meditate.

So thank you Nicole. Thank you students. Thank you technology.


Post image for Engineering is Elementary!

By Grade 3-4 Teacher Stephanie Wilkins

Odyssey students in Grades 1-4 LOVE to play, explore, create, design, and build. This year in Social Studies we are focusing on United States History through inventions, and the famous men and women who made them.

Learning about such a topic is certainly not unusual. There are many curriculums created to speak to this subject. However, the WAY our students learn about it is. We start with books (LOTS of books) that tell stories, show pictures, list facts, or provide detailed references. Students then use the Internet to search for unique and informative sites. Individually, with partners, and in small groups, the students’ research, discuss, and complete mini-research projects (papers, labeled drawings, models), OR…they design trading cards, make a PowerPoint, put on a skit, write poetry, paint a picture or complete a blue print. Yes, all of these fun projects are ways of learning about Inventions. They share their ideas, relate stories to their own lives, and predict as Engineers, what will be needed for future generations. Once they helped me design a bug catcher!

Using the Engineering is Elementary curriculum, a wonderful collection of resources created and sponsored by the Boston Museum of Science, students delve deeply into STEM! Using the backdrop of a probable “real life” situation, student teams tackle an Engineering challenge. Following the Engineering Design Process they are able to use their critical thinking skills to solve problems.

They ASK an important question, IMAGINE solutions, PLAN their strategy, CREATE designs, TEST and evaluate their design, and IMPROVE as needed. They then BECOME the inventors they have been reading about!

One of the great things about our classrooms is that we involved teachers across all subject areas. The Art teacher is having the students build model inventions that would be helpful in the future, in Music they learn folk songs that cross generations, our Spanish teacher is focusing on better communication, in Reading Group the kids are exposed to literary works that relate back to our Science and Social Studies themes (they get to solve a Mystery or two as well!) and of course they learn to organize and analyze date in Math so they can better understand supply and demand!

Added on top of all this exploration is the wonderful Nature-Based Education our students are participating in. They get to move, be outdoors, be close with nature, and appreciate their role as stewards.

The classroom is usually a place of energy; both physical and mental! It is a place of idea sharing, teamwork, discovery, innovation, and spirit. I like to think of it as a “VERY CREATIVE THINKTANK” or better yet an elementary classroom at Odyssey Day School.

Post image for Invite a friend to take the AMC 8 at Odyssey

Odyssey Day School will be hosting the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics Competitions 8 (AMC 8) exam on Tuesday, November 17th.

This test is designed for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades or younger students that are operating at that level. Students aged 14.5 years and over on the day of the contest are not eligible to compete in the AMC 8.

The test is offered to all Odyssey elementary students who wish to take it. In previous years we have also offered the test to students from surrounding towns since many local schools do not offer it.

If you know a child that loves math be sure to let them know we are offering the test and invite them to take it here!

For older students, Odyssey will host the AMC 10/12 in in February 2016. Registration is for the AMC 10/12 is not yet open.

The deadline for registration for the AMC 8 at Odyssey Day School is October 26. You do not have to be enrolled at Odyssey to participate in this test.

If you are interested in taking this test, please contact Kimm Sovie at KimmS@OdysseyDaySchool.org

Post image for Tuesday Workshops

Every year our elementary students spend one afternoon a week in multi-age workshops designed to bring together children with similar interests to learn something new and hands on!

This year we have a Photography Workshop for students in Gr. 5-8 and a Storytelling and Cooking workshop for students in Gr. 1 and up.

This week the children in Storytelling and Writing whipped up a batch up playdoh and then tried to write up the recipe from memory.