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Private Special Education Preschool Elementary School Near Me: Gillen Brewer School

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Gillen Brewer School has an inquiry-based science program, meaning that our students learn to investigate a topic or material for themselves and do their own experiments to find their answers. This inquiry-based method of teaching science has been adopted as the gold standard by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) as well as many other science education leaders, think tanks and graduate schools of education. Inquiry-based education is also a great fit for our population and allows us to use units that appeal to our students’ interests and developmental levels while following New York State standards.

To provide students with robust and hands-on experiences with real live animals, we work with a local petting zoo called the Art Farm in the City. Each month, Gabby Sachs from The Art Farm visits each class at GBS with a different group of animals, including chinchillas, doves, lizards, guinea pigs and even hissing cockroaches! Over the course of the year, Gabby’s program reinforces many of the appropriate New York State standards.

Although we are located in a densely urban environment, Carl Schurz Park is in the neighborhood. This is a natural oasis where we take nature walks, search for bugs, explore local flora, and birdwatch.



What makes the science curriculum at Gillen Brewer School unique?


Answer: Gillen Brewer School's science curriculum is designed with several unique features in mind:

  • Inquiry-based learning: Students are encouraged to ask questions, conduct experiments, and actively participate in their own scientific discoveries.
  • Integration with student interests: Units of study are chosen based on students' interests and developmental levels, sparking curiosity and engagement.
  • Hands-on experiences: The curriculum emphasizes hands-on activities and interaction with real-life materials to solidify concepts and make learning fun.
  • Alignment with standards and modifications: The program follows modified New York State standards, ensuring a strong academic foundation while adapting to individual student needs.

How does the science curriculum benefit students with special needs?


Answer: The hands-on, inquiry-based approach offers several benefits for students with special needs:

  • Promotes engagement and motivation: Interactive activities can capture students' attention and make learning science enjoyable.
  • Supports development of various skills: Experiments and projects can enhance fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking.
  • Accommodates different learning styles: The curriculum caters to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners through diverse teaching methods.
  • Builds confidence and independence: Students gain a sense of accomplishment through hands-on experiences and exploration.

Can you give an example of a science project students might participate in?


Answer: Specific projects may vary depending on the grade level and student interests. However, some examples might include:

  • Exploring the properties of different materials through experimentation.
  • Building and testing model habitats for various ecosystems.
  • Observing plant growth and conducting experiments to understand the factors affecting it.
  • Learning about life cycles of animals through visits from the school's petting zoo partner.