Students at Burnham Brook School in Canterbury, New Hampshire, follow a curriculum focused on both language arts and math instruction. Our private school's
method and programs encourage natural talents and promote successful learning skills.
We use a proprietary method of instruction that we have developed here at Burnham Brook School. This method features instruction using manipulative materials such as Base 10 Blocks, Fraction Bars, and Attribute Blocks. The instructional progression starts with an introduction to the materials and the topic using mostly visual and tactile models while voicing the explanation of what is occurring in the math problem. Once students can demonstrate skill at that level, they move on to drawings of the materials while using the same language.
When a student has mastered the operation with pictures, the next step is using the traditional algorithm while still practicing the same script. This process is used at all levels of math instruction from basic addition through algebra and beyond. We offer a wide variety of mathematics courses to provide both challenge and support for all students.
We address the needs of all learners. For students with no specific learning needs, we use Project Read: Story Form in conjunction with age level literature to build comprehension skills. Students read books at their independent reading level and then write questions and answers using a series of sentence prompts based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Once students have mastered simple questions and answers, they begin to write analytical essays on the material.
For students who have more difficulty learning, we use Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood Bell Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS). Reading instruction occurs 5 days a week for an hour. All students receive the instruction at the same time, so there is no interruption due to pull out.
At Burnham Brook School, we teach written expression using Project Read: Framing Your Thoughts for grammar and Project Read: Report Form for building research skills. As students progress through Framing Your Thoughts, they are introduced to more standard nomenclature for parts of speech. Students learn first to write good sentences, then well-organized paragraphs, and finally stories and essays.
We have a multi-year science curriculum progression that covers Anatomy, Physics, Biology, Geology and Chemistry. This year, the theme is Biology. Students are split into groups based on their ability to process language and use it to describe their understanding.
Social Studies is taught with a combination of hands-on experiential activities and lecture. The students in grades 1-6 participate in Geography. Students in Geography study the relationship between a given land and its people. Students in 7th and 8th grade participate in United States History. This is a survey course that covers from the beginning settlements on this continent through the present. History students have a text book in addition to in-class activities.