Curriculum - Elementary School

We provide a challenging, child-centered learning environment with an emphasis on basic skills development within a creative learning process; the acquisition of a high level of proficiency in English with language arts instruction being a part of all subjects being studied; the integration of various subject disciplines; third language acquisition; decision-making skills development

Grade 1

The first grade reading/language arts program reflects the integrated nature of a balanced literacy program implementing the Harcourt Collections program. Instruction is provided in the five components of reading: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension; and engagement in independent reading. Students are engaged in distinguishing and setting purposes for reading, monitoring comprehension, and using reading strategies, and distinguishing among different genres and types of text. The program involves opportunities to respond to literature in ways that demonstrate comprehension, interpretation, and appreciation.

The first grade math program focuses on achievement of mathematical proficiency through mastery of mathematical skills, concepts, and processes by employing the Harcourt Math series. Students learn mathematics by direct instruction, hands-on experiences, step-by-step models that build conceptual understanding, and practice that requires the use of problem solving skills and strategies. The curriculum in organized into five units of instruction including: Addition and Subtraction Concepts, Addition and Subtraction Facts to 10, Numbers to 100 and Addition and Subtraction to 12, Time and Graphing, and Geometry, Measurement and Fractions.

The first grade Science program provides students with opportunities to think and act like scientists. The Harcourt Science program focuses on life sciences and earth sciences. Students acquire science knowledge, practice science process skills, and apply science concepts through reading and observing, as well as conducting investigations that have real-world applications. The curriculum is organized into units of instruction including: Plants and Animals All Around, Living Together, About Our Earth, and Weather and Seasons.

The first grade social studies program focuses on the student and their role in the surrounding community and the world as a whole. The curriculum utilizes the For a Better World series based in Jordan. The program is organized into units including: All About Me, Learn About Maps, Around the World, Rules to Follow, People and Places, and Living Together.

Grade 2

This year-long program is focused on exposing the children to various types of literature and exploring the grammar, phonics and spelling in each story, as well as expanding the child‘s reading, listening, speaking and observation capabilities. Opportunities to expand on writing abilities are explored in independent journal writing and weekly writing assignments.

In this course we build on Grade 1 math, exploring different ways to add and subtract and build up to adding and subtracting three digit numbers, carrying tens when adding, borrowing tens when subtracting and rounding numbers. We explore money, fractions, time telling and measurement as well. If time permits, multiplication and division are introduced.

Second grade Science at M.A.C., based on the Harcourt School Publishers Science program, begins in the eighth week of school, after the completion of the Social Studies program. Students investigate living things, the Earth, matter and energy. Weekly lab work helps children use tools and the methods of scientific inquiry. Learning is assessed using the paper and pencil tests in the workbooks and teacher observation of lab technique, behavior and results.

This is an eight week course that allows children to explore the world around them, with focus on traditions and locations of other Arab countries, and then goes on to explore how we keep our world in good condition.

Grade 3

The English Language Arts curriculum for grade 3 is designed to sustain and expand growth of the foundational skills that students acquire in the primary grades as well as promote growth of strategies, skills, and conceptual understandings. The priority of the English Language Arts curriculum is oral and written language development and use. A primary focus is using language to obtain and communicate information, for literary response and expression, for reflection and self-evaluation, and for problem solving and application. In this way, students will be able to function effectively in their world of home, school, and community and realize personal learning and fulfillment. The expectation in our society today is for one hundred percent literacy. Literacy requires the ability to think and reason as a literate person with a focus on thinking critically and creatively using oral language, written language, and other media and technology as tools.

Students in Grade 3 will learn how to represent whole numbers, fractions, and decimals with concrete objects, pictures, and symbols in a variety of contexts. A firm understanding and use of the place value system and various properties of numbers will be gained. Students will be able to recognize equivalent rational numbers, explain the basis for the equivalence, and order and compare fractions and decimals. A variety of tools will be used to model operations with whole numbers and fractions, develop and apply different methods of computing, and relate models to standard symbolic expressions and algorithms. Students will learn the order of operations, explore various properties of operations, and estimate reasonable answers to computations. Students’ skills when operating with whole numbers will be strengthened.

Third grade continues to use the unifying concepts taught in grades K-2, including evidence, explanation, measurement, order and organization, and change. Students focus on the study of systems as their unit of investigation. They learn that a system is an interrelated group of objects or components that form a functioning unit. The natural and human-designed world is complex; it is too large and complicated for students to investigate and comprehend all at once. The third grade program allows students to identify small components of a system for in-depth investigation. Each investigational unit addresses a particular system. Plants, soils, earth/moon/sun, and the human body are each investigated as systems.

The third grade study is designed to expand the students’ concept of “leaders” in relationship to their communities. Students study people of diverse groups, their cultures, religions, traditions, and contributions to the community. Students compare aspects of familiar communities with those of other cultures and other times. They are introduced to problems that “leaders” and communities confront and how conflicts are resolved. Third graders discover how literature is integrated in the social studies discipline by reading about local, state, national, and global leaders (fictional and non-fictional). They investigate the contributions that these individuals have made to society. Students make connections between deeds leaders perform and the character traits each hero possesses such as courage, self-discipline, perseverance, integrity, respect, responsibility, kindness, and good judgement.

The K-12 Computer/Technology Skills Standard Course of Study identifies the essential knowledge and skills that all students need to be active, lifelong learners in a technology intensive environment. Technology is undergoing rapid change, and new and improved technological advances appear almost daily. The curriculum is designed to form the foundation for continuous learning and to be applicable to ever-changing innovations. The Computer/Technology Skills Standard Course of Study involves the development of skills over time. Computer/Technology Skills proficiency is not an end in itself, but lays a foundation for lifelong learning. These skills become building blocks with which to meet the challenges of personal and professional life. To become technologically proficient, the student must develop the skills over time, through integrated activities in all content areas rather than through one specific course.

Grade 4

Students will use the ‘Touch a Dream‘ series by Harcourt Brace. A standards-based approach to the study of the English language will involve reading, using the Six Traits of Writing, listening, and viewing for specific purposes; examining narrative elements; using strategies including asking and developing questions; predicting outcomes; decoding words to determine pronunciation and spelling; locating information using headings, glossaries, and tables of contents; reading independently; summarizing major points from fiction and non-fiction; demonstrating an awareness of the relationships among the elements of a story and its structure; studying different genres; discussing ideas, and developing writing.

Students will use the Harcourt Math textbook and practice, re-teach, and challenge workbooks. A standards-based approach to the study of mathematics will be used. Students will gain an understanding of numbers and operations; data collection and analyzes, graphing, and elapse time; learn to multiply by 1 and 2 digit numbers; solve problems using different strategies; learn how to divide 1 and 2 digit numbers into multiple digits; practice measuring, identify different geometric shapes; determine area and perimeter; read and write fractions; use mean, median, and mode. Connections to real-world and cross-curricular applications will be made.

Students will use “Discovery Works” by Houghton Mifflin Science, supplemented with a variety of other resources such as videos, science books, magazines, fields trips, and guest speakers. Students will learn how Science impacts our daily lives. A standards-based approach will be used to study five units in Science: Earth‘s land; weather and climate; classifying living things; properties of matter; and magnetism and electricity. Students will use the scientific method and follow lab safety procedures during their investigations. Connections to real-world and cross-curricular applications will be made.

Students will use the ―For a Better World‖ textbook by Ellipse Publishers, supplemented with maps, books, magazines, field-trips, and videos. A standards-based approach will be used to study six chapter in socials studies: Geography and Mapping; The Arab World; Living Together (Customs and Traditions); The World Around Us; The Civilization of Ancient Egypt; Water for Life. Wherever possible, cross-curricular applications will be made to build an understanding of real-life applications.

This year, the students will begin to develop basic skills in French: vocabulary (numbers, days of the week, colors, etc), pronunciation, and spelling. These early skills will help to provide a strong base for writing and reading in French.

Grade 5

This course focuses on narrative, descriptive, informative and persuasive writing. Also, it includes reflective units on poetry, an autobiography and story books. Students will strive to apply their grammar skills in their writing which include: types of sentences, possessive nouns, pronouns, adjectives and articles. The reading stories involve both fiction and nonfiction selections that involve making predictions, paraphrasing and narrative elements. These elements will then be applied to novel studies.

Fifth grade students will add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. They will practice and apply various problem solving strategies and reasoning. Cross-curricular connections and relevance to real life situations will be made. Basic geometry concepts including lines, angles, and polygons and measuring in both customary and metric units will be explored. Students will be introduced to probability and ratios.

Students will explore human digestive, respiratory, skeletal, and circulatory systems and the life cycles of various animals and humans. The properties of matter, states of matter, elements, compounds, and mixtures and forms of energy, energy transfer, changes in energy, and changes in matter will be studied. Students will also investigate properties of light, lenses and their uses, properties of sound, and transmitting sound. The use of the scientific method and hands-on activities will make readings meaningful and provide a basis for conceptual development. Fifth graders will produce individual projects for the science fair.

This course focuses on different types of maps and map skills. Students will then apply those skills to learn more about the geography, social and governmental structures for countries in the Arabic speaking world. This course then looks at the United Nations organization and the role it plays in solving major problems in the world. Economic issues related to industry, farming, factories, trade and tourism are also looked at. Lastly, students will examine the Earth‘s resources and ways to conserve them. Students will also be working in tribes throughout the course to learn teamwork and cooperation skills.

This year, we will concentrate on spoken French, both pronunciation and speaking in sentences based on various situation in students lives, and discussions about school subjects and sports, and strategies for organizing their days.