These annual Voyager traditions are the best opportunities for families to experience the community of learners in its greatest number of participants. Parents, siblings, and grandparents often join in these special annual traditions that occur in the classroom environment and the Grand Haven community.
Singing at Christian Haven Home
Voyager students continue to learn social responsibility through community service as they go to Christian Haven Retirement Home and sing for their friends.
Reading a book and then discussing it helps a student comprehend the story and make text to self connections. Living it is the idea behind the Stone Soup classroom event. Each child, like the reluctant villagers, brings something to contribute to the pot of stone soup. Carrots and potatoes are chopped with the help of parent volunteers as other students take turns reading Stone Soup to the Voyager community. Parent helpers, siblings, teachers and students gather to enjoy the wonderful soup they have made together as their Thanksgiving celebration.
This parent - teacher - student conference provides your child with the opportunity to share his or her accomplishments, challenges, and future goals. Parents are invited to walk around and experience the different learning centers in the classrooms with their child.
Around the World Celebration
The open classroom model of learning is used to celebrate holidays around the world as students check their passports at each classroom and celebrate the diversity of different countries. Students tour in multi-age groups, and experience countries in a hands on manner after having been introduced to these foreign lands earlier in the month by their teachers.
Students learn that the beginning of friendship is giving of oneself as they sing for the residents of Christian Haven Retirement Home and present warm fuzzies that they have made in class. After the students have shared this community service they return to the school, deliver handmade cards to handmade mail boxes and share a treat.
After learning about engineering and construction, students create their own crazy contraption leprechaun traps. Milk jugs, cereal boxes, and egg cartons are just a few of the unusual materials required to catch a leprechaun. Wanted posters fill the halls revealing the little people "at large". The morning of the 18th the students return to school with great anticipation to see if their traps have caught any leprechauns.
Simply Joy - Where the Spotlight Ends - Seuss on the Loose - Courting the New World - Zeus Rules Olympus - Macbeth - HMS Pinafore - School House Rock Live
Every year the Voyager students have the opportunity to experience the many facets of a top notch theater production. Timing, staging, projecting, acting, and singing are a few of the skills utilized in this academic experience that pulls together a year's exposure to the arts.
The Voyager School travels YMCA Camp Pendalouan to participate in activities which teach respect, responsibility, honesty, and caring. Opportunities for fun, adventure, learning and developing a deeper appreciation for the environment all make Camp Pendalouan a favorite Voyager Tradition. All students (including Youngers) participate in a full day of activities, and our graduating Voyagers enjoy a sleepover and second day at camp.
Year End Celebration
The entire Voyager community celebrates a year of learning with food, song, dance, chat and laughter in the Ferry School gym. Voyager graduates are presented with their Voyager portfolios, Extra-Extra videos, and a special Voyager journal.
Letter People Play
The youngers present a play featuring the "letter people" they have met throughout the year. Each child presents a letter and sings with their classmates in their first Voyager theater experience.
The following learning opportunities are special features experienced daily, weekly or monthly by Voyager students. The opportunities vary in learning life lessons from Charlene, our green ostrich friend to Friday frolics, a positive reinforcement for students that take ownership for their personal homework responsibilities. Please take a look at these special classroom features and discover all the different styles of learning that are provided for The Voyager students on a regular basis.
Sing-a-long with Jim (daily)
All the students gather to sing with Jim as he plays his autoharp. This is a great time of community for the children. It provides a very positive and exciting beginning to the day. Older students help point out words in songbooks giving younger students a non-traditional experience in learning to ready by singing their favorite songs. Not only are wiggles worked out to start the day, children are exposed to a variety of music, like the poems and writings of author like Shel Silverstein in song.
Teacher Read (daily)
Teacher Read is a peaceful time during the day that allows our kids to hone their listening skills while they are read to by our teachers.
Life Lessons with Charlene (weekly)
During the integrated renaissance themed curriculum, Charlene taught students the values of being a Voyager Knight, with important lessons of honesty, courage, and kindness to be taken to heart.
Based on the eight intelligences, the first half hour of the day is spent on a student-chosen activity. Most students choose to work with their favorite intelligences (i.e. Legos, art, music, etc.). This is a highly social time. It also allows teachers to check in with each student every day.
Friday Frolics (weekly)
Fun activities for a half hour on Friday afternoon, allowing students to choose where they want to go based on the activities offered. This is a combination of student and teacher-led time. If homework is incomplete students finish assignments during Friday Frolics until their responsibility is met while those with completed homework are rewarded with choosing an afternoon activity. The homework given a week in advance is within the student's ability. The teachers are not as concerned with "correctness" of answers as students being responsible for initiating and completing the assignment on time.
Reading Buddies (weekly)
Mixing classrooms together, older students buddy up with younger student once a week for 20-25 minutes and read aloud to each other. This special feature provides older students the opportunity to mentor and practice social responsibility while providing youngers with a one on one time reading practice.
Social Studies - Science - Dramatics
Full-day students are seperated into multi-age groups and spend the year together exploring dramatics, spanish or science topics and preparing for our annual Voyager year-end play. Switcheroo promotes community building across the ages and provides an opportunity for the older and younger students to learn from each other.
Extra Extra (bi-annualy)
A written, oral and visual report presented to the class, and video taped for later viewing. Students research a self-selected subject, and the whole Voyager community make a rapt audience as they learn from another student in their community
Birthdays with Bonzo & Bonzetta (monthly)
Brown birthday bags appear with pictures of Bonzo or Bonzetta and the names of those celebrating birthdays that month. The kids than make cards, animals, and a variety birthday greetings to fill the brown grocery bags for their classmates. This is a very exciting time as the Voyager students really enjoy making birthday surprises for each other. It is amazing to see how special these simple brown bags become.
East End Park (seasonally)
Students walk to East End Park to take a nature walk, clean-up the park, or explore in real life a science lesson learned in the classroom.
The curriculum is implemented in a way inteded to help develop our community of learners. The learning environment is designed to respect the diversity, rights, uniqueness and contribution of each student. In the multi-age classroom youngers and olders often come together to share in learning and celebrations. Students learn to cooperate by working in groups at every age level.
Every student makes an Extra-Extra presentation twice a year, giving a written, visual and oral presentation to all the Voyagers on their research on a self-selected subject, and the Voyagers make for a rapt audience.
Youngers and olders celebrate birthdays every month by the groups of students creating a project for the honored students.
Students do community service together, such as singing for elderly friends at the local retirement home or performing in the annual play for all of Ferry Elementary