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

International Week Open House

Thursday, January 26th

630-8 pm

Each year, students at Odyssey celebrate International Week.  The school comes alive as each classroom, infant through 8th grade, is transformed into a different country.  What a wonderful time to visit and learn more about what we have to offer!  We welcome current students, and families interested in our amazing program, to come celebrate how diverse our world is!  Activities are appropriate for every age and an information session about the 2017-2018 school year will be held.  Imagine if your student could celebrate learning in a challenging, loving environment.  We hope to see you there!

• We offer Spanish, music and art.

• Before and after school care.

• No standardized tests.

• Education for gifted children.

If this date doesn’t work for you, please call us to schedule a tour.

Odyssey Day School
2 Audubon Road
Wakefield, MA 01880

781-245-6050

Join us for STEAMfest 2017 Open House on January 11th from 6:30-8pm!

STEAMfest is a celebration of hands-on science and art. Come connect a circuit, learn to solder, create mathematical art or whip up some kitchen chemistry. Take on an engineering challenge with household materials. Make the word science an action verb! Activities will be designed by experienced teachers and are appropriate for scientists ages 4-12.

At Odyssey we feel that our hands-on experiential approach to education is the best for any topic, but where we really shine is in our approach to STEAM.

Most people have heard of STEM- it has become a popular buzzword in education as parents and educators see how important science and technology are in the adult work world.

STEAM goes one step further by adding an additional critical element of creativity found with art. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

In traditional education models the students are taught classes in each of these subjects in isolation from other subjects as though they are in silos. The student is given information and often asked to memorize it out of context and unrelated to the real world.

Imagine taking these same subjects and teaching them in an integrated model that is much more close to how studies show children–all people– retain information. Make the learning of information interesting, engaging and fun and students will retain and build upon it.

For example: Want to learn about geometry? Great –build a patio! Want to learn about chemistry? Bake a cake from scratch!

One of the best examples of how Odyssey embraces STEAM curriculum is our 3-4 grade study of Ancient Egypt. Over the course of a few months, while using Ancient Egypt as the backdrop, students mummify apples, participate in role-play games that teach an understanding of Ancient Egypt’s social hierarchy, build model pyramids, write stories in hieroglyphics, and play a rousing game of Senet. The unit culminates in a banquet to crown a new Pharaoh for which students have written a speech in hieroglyphics, decorated ancient jugs and pottery, researched and made a close approximation of food served at that time and more!

Giving students the opportunity to explore, experiment, design, problem-solve, discover and learn across the curriculum-in an interconnected way- while making mistakes and revisiting their own methods is much closer to what actual scientists do.

This is STEAM!

STEAM connects easily for us with our theme-based curriculum. Not only do we create curriculum that integrates subjects in service of understanding a bigger picture, but we also provide opportunities throughout the week for kids to get creative on their own.

Our students who are involved in makerspaces, construction challenges, and programming, are deeply engaged in what they are doing. We know this engagement will help sustain a student’s interest in science and engineering into the future. That interest is critical as the United States has lagged behind many other countries in graduates entering science and technology fields. In addition, when students are immersed in discovery across the curriculum they acquire a deeper more meaningful understanding of content.

“STEAM represents a paradigm shift from traditional education philosophy, based on standardized test scores, to a modern ideal which focuses on valuing the learning process as much as the results. In essence, we dare our students to be wrong, to try multiple ideas, listen to alternate opinions and create a knowledge base that is applicable to real life as opposed to simply an exam.”
Deron Cameron
Former UPES Principal – US’s 1st STEAM Certified School
Current TCSS Curriculum Coordinator

 


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.

Namaste.

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.