SEARCH is an enrichment program provided by Loudoun County Public schools for all children in grades K through 3. The SEARCH teacher visits every primary classroom once or twice each month and presents a 30-minute lesson (K) or 45-minute lesson (1-3) that focuses on higher level thinking skills.
The SEARCH curriculum is problem solving based and spirals developmentally through five components: perceiving, reasoning, connecting, creating, and evaluating. Each grade level learns about each component at increasingly more complex and abstract levels.
Perceiving is understanding and learning with one’s senses. Concrete spatial and visual activities are provided and students are encouraged to look at objects in many different ways. Pattern recognition and prediction skills develop and are used along with reasoning skills.
Reasoning is using information to find answers that can be proven, are logical, and make sense. Reasoning activities begin at the simple level of recognizing, labeling, classifying, and comparing attributes of concrete objects. As students mature, reasoning activities become more abstract as students use analysis and logic to solve problems.
Connecting means linking information and ideas to see how they fit together. At the basic level, students identify and extend patterns using concrete objects. More abstract problem solving involves interpreting and extending numeric patterns, determining relationships between concepts, and making generalizations. Students make connections between cause and effect.
Creating is putting ideas, information, or objects together in a new or different way. Students learn to be flexible and fluent in their thinking with familiar objects as well as unusual and/or real life problems. Original ideas are elaborated with humor and/or beauty to provide clarity and completeness. Student products may be visual, verbal, spatial, or kinesthetic.
Evaluating is using information to make a decision. Students begin evaluating by determining what the facts are and what considerations are important in making a decision. Students learn to develop criteria and rank solutions or choices according to the criteria when making decisions.