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OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM
The elementary curriculum focuses on guiding young students as they gain confidence and agility in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, science, and elective courses. Students develop the foundational skills for critical thinking and listening, comprehension, research, and creative exploration.
The core curriculum integrates learning about visual and performing arts, technology, music, physical education and health. All teaching and learning intentionally supports students as they develop skills in inquiry, information literacy, and self-expression. Experiential learning outside the classroom includes field trips and community involvement.
Elementary School Program
STARS Academy’s elementary school curriculum builds skills sequentially, as mastery and confidence are achieved individually. The scope of the teaching and learning content is illustrated here for easy reference.
STARS Academy’s K–5 English program is based on a focused approach that ensures that each student develops the skills needed to excel as a reader, writer, speaker, and listener. Through read-alouds, guided reading, and book groups, children develop listening and comprehension skills and learn to express their ideas. “Thinking while reading” strategies are taught to build skills in predicting, visualizing, summarizing, and making inferences. Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are integrated as students master mechanics while writing for a variety of audiences and in a wide range of genres. The writing process includes pre-writing, revising, and publishing. Each student is encouraged to develop skills that lead to a lifelong love of reading while guided in developing a voice as a writer.
Children embark on a journey of discovery of our world in kindergarten, exploring their communities and considering their place within it. Our multicultural communities and country come into focus as children consider their homes and families, school and neighborhoods. Students learn to question and find answers by researching, building, reading, interviewing, writing, performing, and expanding their knowledge. The curriculum spirals outward as children develop cognitively. Throughout the social studies program, every child’s curiosity and imagination is encouraged as their awareness grows around what it means to be an informed and engaged citizen.
Our inquiry-based program encourages children to satisfy their curiosities through experiences. Presented with open-ended questions, students gather evidence, conduct experiments in the lab and in the field, propose solutions, and collaborate with one another to defend their thinking. Experiential lessons deepen content knowledge in relevant ways. Students gain awareness of the natural world while enhancing skills needed in a world of rapidly expanding scientific knowledge. Students connect concepts, develop critical-thinking skills, and gain confidence in communicating their ideas clearly. Students are introduced to the scientific method by considering the five senses, the concept of gravity, and plant and animal life cycles. Students use their questioning, observing, measuring, and concluding skills while exploring the properties of matter. They study the more complex systems of food, nutrition, and digestion. They apply scientific methods in studying the solar system, astronomy, plate tectonics, and earthquakes. They consider the building blocks of the universe through the study of atoms, machines, robots, and Newtonian physics.
STARS Academy’s mathematics program gives students a deep understanding of math concepts, emphasizing skills and strategies to solve problems in a real-world context. The curriculum makes math meaningful by connecting lessons and projects to everyday life and by building “math esteem,” which is crucial for every student. Our elementary program uses Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), a research-based approach linked to the nationally recognized Common Core State Standards. CGI appreciates children’s intuitive mathematical thinking, emphasizes problem solving over repetition, and builds mathematical understanding through questioning. In conjunction with CGI, STARS Academy uses the Investigations in Number, Data, and Space curriculum to help students understand fundamental ideas of numbers and operations, geometry, and early algebra. Through direct instruction, independent exploration, manipulatives, and math games, students develop fluency in basic computation, mathematical concepts, and mathematical reasoning.
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