Big Picture Educational Academy

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Elementary k - 8 » Elementary School K-8

Elementary School K-8

At Big Picture Elementary (BPE), we strive to help children become active citizens in a democracy that is still being shaped. We want our students to be part of that shaping in ethical, moral, creative and thoughtful ways. There are three important components that serve as a guide in the development of the BPE program. We have a curriculum that builds upon student interest and real life issues and problems. There is an environment that embraces freedom with responsibility and addresses the balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community. Our instructional program staff is continuously focused on these important elements in order to build a solid, yet ever-changing, innovative program.


Globally/Community Minded/Real World:

At BPE we believe it is important to do things that connect to and affect the community. Our themes emerge from current events or situations the kids know about/care about. We make a concerted effort to get out in the community and to bring the community into school. Our children have opportunities to strengthen their skills as global citizens through service learning projects, community outreach, charity events, identifying and addressing real world problems, recognizing and embracing differences, and being agents of change. Our goal is to help children develop as life-long learners and citizens of the global community.


Authentic/Asset-Based Assessments:

BPE goal in assessment is to understand and know the complexity of each child’s development rather than to compare children with each other. If we are to uphold the tenet that each child is unique, then it is imperative that this belief be reflected in our practices of assessment as well as instruction. The constructivist view of learning sees children as full of knowledge and resources. The focus on assets is extremely important in the fostering of a supportive climate for children. By identifying children’s strengths, we encourage children to be resourceful and recognize the resources they possess. Rather than beginning with what children don’t know or can’t do, we begin with what children do know and can do and we build from there.


Project-based/Experiential Learning:

BPE utilizes project-based and experiential learning, an approach to instruction and learning that supports a child’s need for hands-on experiences and choices in what they learn, how they engage in learning and how they show what they have learned. Projects may be short or long term and may be individual, partner or group work. In project-based learning, children develop their academic skills as well as skills in organization, time management, communication, cooperation, and compromise, interpretation, and creativity.


Thematic/Integrated Learning:

The BPE curriculum is organized largely around themes that integrate core subjects like reading, writing, science, and humanities within the exploration of a broader topic. Thematic learning is based on the belief that children learn and retain information and skills best when what they are learning is connected to the real world and related to things they already know. The themes are determined based on what is developmentally appropriate, real world applicable, and in the interests of the children. 


Innovative Thinking:

At BPE we believe in the importance of creative, innovative, and critical thinking. We encourage our children to be risk-takers who are able to think outside of the box to develop solutions to problems. In addition, we recognize that children need to be problem finders as well as problem solvers.


Whole Child:

At BPE we are committed to nurturing all aspects of a child – intellectual, physical, emotional, social, creative, and cultural. Children engage in activities throughout the day, week, and year that help them develop as positive contributing members of our community. We focus on developing children’s skills in cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self control.



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