What is Carden?

What is Carden?

The Carden method is a proven teaching technique that combines rigorous academics and character development, essential components of a whole-child education.  We strive to educate our students in an atmosphere that is warm and nurturing, to provide an education that is thorough and challenging and to develop each child’s capacity for leadership.  Carden Conejo offers the tools necessary for students to become superior in reading, mathematics, language arts, science, public-speaking, literature, listening and analysis while allowing for personal expression within a well-rounded experience in the arts.  Carden allows for an awakening of both the left and right sides of the brain.  Growth begins with three-year-old children and continues through elementary school, each level reinforcing and building upon the strengths gained by the student during the previous year.

Carden Conejo provides single-subject specialist teachers for all Kindergarten – 5th Grade students in the areas of Math, Science, French, Spanish, Music, Art/Art Appreciation, Physical Education, and Computer so that teachers bring their enthusiasm, expertise, and experience to each lesson.

Our children deserve an education that prepares them to contribute to our country’s long-term economic prosperity and enjoy the benefits of superior literacy, numeracy, and appreciation of the arts.  We live in a globally competitive knowledge-based economy, and our curriculum is designed to assure that our children are competitive with children from other countries.  At Carden Conejo School we use the Advanced Carden Language Arts Method, FOSS Science, and Singapore Math.

The Carden Method

Mae Carden developed a method based on phonetics by which every child could learn to read with comprehension and enjoyment.  Emerging readers are taught to form a picture in their minds.  This mental image combined with word grouping, aids in comprehension and depth of understanding.  Carden Workbooks and Readers do not have pictures so that each child imagines their own picture that stays with them and allows them to remember what they have read.

Just as the times tables are the building blocks of Math, the Carden Controls and Language Techniques are the building blocks of spelling, reading and comprehension.  With the Carden Reading Method, children in Kindergarten start to learn the consonants and vowels and the sounds associated with them.  They also learn the various rules by which the sounds of the vowels and consonants change. Students who have progressed through the Carden Curriculum consistently test well and are placed in the advanced classes when entering either public or private middle schools.

At Carden, each classroom maintains a warm, nurturing and calm atmosphere where student develop the power of concentration and work in a relaxed manner.  Pressure and rivalry are avoided as the Carden Method was developed to appreciate every individual.

Singapore Math

The Singapore Math curriculum was developed to increase student understanding of math and particularly the ability to solve word based problems.  In the latest PISA (Program for International Assessment), based on 500,000 students worldwide, Singapore scored 2nd in the rankings under Shanghai, China; whereas the United States scored 36th, behind Asia, Russia, and most of Europe.

Singapore Math develops understanding of math concepts by first using manipulative materials and hands-on SMART board exercises, followed by word problems, written exercises, and independent practice to solidify problem solving and computational skills.

FOSS Science Curriculum

FOSS (Full Option Science System developed at U.C. Berkeley), provides all students with hands-on inquiry based science experiences.  Significant science ideas are built progressively through 5th Grade to prepare students for success in an increasingly complex scientific and technological world.

Students are given the opportunity to solve problems, construct and evaluate experiments.  With FOSS, students learn by doing; making STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fun and exciting.

History of the Carden Method

Mae Carden graduated from Vassar College and received her master’s in Education from Columbia University.  After teaching for many years she found that the unstructured system of education being used at the time was not productive based on her experience of children and of teaching.  She then resolved to develop her own educational technique.  Being decades ahead of her time, she developed a set of rules that govern the phonetics of the English Language.  She wrote student readers and teachers’ manuals, which laid out a comprehensive, sequential curriculum for the elementary grades, which covered the usual subject but in an integrated way.  As word of her method and success spread, Miss Carden began receiving requests from school official and teachers for help so she closed her school and founded Mae Carden, Inc. and dedicated herself to disseminating her teaching methods.

The founder of our method, Mae Carden, believed that all children can find joy in learning and so do each of us at Carden Conejo School.