Curriculum

ARS CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

At each grade level the NY State and City Core Curricular standards will be met as a minimum in all subject areas. Over and above the core curriculum at every grade level is the luxury of our small classes and experienced, dedicated teachers each of whom is afforded a great deal of autonomy to develop and implement areas of specific interest to them and their students each year, keeping their curriculum fresh and exciting at all times.

All ARS students receive two periods of Physical Education, French or Spanish, Music and Art weekly. All grades also attend one Library class weekly with the Library open at other times for open use and class research as well. Mandarin, ethics and cooking classes are offered weekly. There are supplemental ‘clubs’ offered on Fridays as are after school instrumental music lessons.

An obvious statement, although one not often reflected upon by anyone other than classroom teachers and admissions directors, is that every class is an ever changing dynamic of personalities and social chemistry. The developmental stages of the individual students and the grade levels as a whole are also ever evolving. The Junior-Kindergarten class has students whose level of functional independence governs what they can and cannot do by and for themselves and at the other end of our spectrum are the fifth grade students who are fully functional academicians on the cusp of adolescence. ARS can and does meet all the psychological, social, educational and developmental needs of our students. The beauty of an exclusively elementary school is the focus on the elementary school-aged child. At the front end we take in our youngest students who are leaving their early childhood & toddler years and entering full childhood and, at the far end, we have those on the precipice of the next major developmental stage of adolescence, during which there is palpable emotional fragility. Those fifth grade students, so adrift in K-12 schools, are elevated to leadership positions at ARS. They are our kingpins. There is no greater boost than to be the oldest and most admired group in a school setting. As a school, by design and intention, we set our students up for confident success in middle school, when most students feel extremely vulnerable and insecure.

 

Junior Kindergarten

The core curriculum standards will be met through a play based model of learning. Each day there will be structured and unstructured activities following a regular schedule that will broaden knowledge and skills in a wide spectrum of areas including gross and fine motor control, social awareness, independent and collaborative work as well as a progression of skills designed to increase every student’s autonomy and independence.

 
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Core Curriculum

This Pre-K Scope and Sequence shows a progression of interdisciplinary learning throughout the year in three sections. In order to ground children in their own experiences and expand their understanding of the people and world around them with increasing complexity, pre-K students move through three main themed areas of study. This learning path and the development of inquiry and critical thinking will be a consistent thread throughout all themes and units.

Themes:

  • • My Community and Me
  • • My Environment and Me
  • • Change and Growth All Around Me

The units provide opportunities for content exploration and skill building that are aligned with the Pre Kindergarten Social Studies and the NGSS Science Scope and Sequence. These units will assist students in developing  inquiry, language and problem solving skills through their organization of the classroom environment, interactions with students, use of books and other texts, incorporation of new vocabulary, use of purposeful play, and family engagement practices.

Social Studies:

Social Studies in prekindergarten focuses on children’s natural interest in learning about themselves and other people, what they do, what languages they speak, and their roles and responsibilities. Prekindergarten children begin to become curious about places and events that are meaningful to them within the context of their own lives. They also have a strong sense of fairness and are honing their understanding of right and wrong in the greater community. This natural curiosity about people sets the stage for teachers to incorporate learning experiences that help children learn more about themselves and others. The Social Studies Practices, especially civic participation (e.g., following rules in the classroom) and gathering as well as interpreting and using evidence (e.g., asking questions to clarify something), should be woven into prekindergarten classroom practices.

Units of Study:

Individual Development and Cultural Identity

  • • Develops a basic awareness of self as an individual, self within the context of group, and self within the context of community
  •  • Demonstrates awareness and appreciation of their own culture and other cultures

Civic Ideas and Practice

  • • Demonstrates an understanding of roles, rights, and responsibilities 
  • • Begins to learn basic civic and democratic principles 

Humans, Geography and the Environment

  • • Demonstrates knowledge of the relationship between people, places, and regions 

Time, Continuity and Change

  • • Develops an understanding of how people and things change over time and how to relate past events to their present and future activities 

Economic Systems

  • • Develops a basic understanding of economic concepts within a community

Science:

Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Unit of Study:

  • • Welcome to Pre-K:  How do we explore, investigate and understand the world around us?
  • • My Five Senses
  • • All About Us
  • • Where We Live
  • • Transportation
  • • Light
  • • Water
  • • Plants
  • • Babies
  • • Transformation

Field Trips:

All field trips in Pre-Kindergarten support the curriculum in the classroom, are local and involve no transportation other than walking.

Kindergarten

The kindergarten curriculum is balanced between child centered ‘play based’ purposeful activities in language, math, science and geography and structured teacher directed activities in all of those areas, including reading, writing and mathematics.

 
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Language and Literacy:

 

The language and literacy program begins in the fall with a ‘letter of the week’, including ‘Handwriting Without Tears’ and moves in the winter to a full spelling and vocabulary list of words for study chosen by the students. Using a combination of phonics, word study (Wilson’s Fundations) and sight words, the students become basic readers.

 

The book read aloud listing will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Read aloud listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study.

Mathematics:

Using a variety of materials, including Pearson Realize Envisions 2020 and manipulatives the students will master Kindergarten math standards.

Social Studies:

  • • School and School Community: Citizens Understanding Civic Ideals and Practices
  • • Self and Others: Individual Development and Cultural Identity
  • • Geography, People and the Environment
  • • Families, Change and Time

Racial Literacy: Racial Literacy Kindergarten lessons focus on the physical world; including an introduction to colors, celebrating our physical selves and identities, especially our skin colors.

Science:

Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

 

Units of Study:

Weather:

  • • How and why do we collect weather data?

Solids and Liquids:

  • • How does temperature affect solids and liquids?

Pushes and Pulls:

  • • How do pushes and pulls influence the way an object moves?

Plant and Animal relationships in the Environment

  • • What do living things need to live and grow and how might they change their environment in order to survive.

Engineering design:

  • • How can a problem be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool?

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - SeeSaw

Field Trips:

All field trips in Kindergarten support the curriculum in the classroom, are local and involve no transportation other than walking.

First Grade

In first grade, building reading and writing skills are an essential part of a student’s learning process, and so they are constantly using these skills in all their other subjects too. In math, students continue to develop their addition and subtraction skills and use math tools and manipulatives, such as blocks, tiles, and different shapes which help students retain abstract mathematical concepts and connect them to concrete ideas. In Science students are taught to observe, ask questions, and record their observations and answers. In Social Studies students begin to explore their communities and the world around them more deeply, which enhances their research skills, general knowledge and their ability to compare and contrast different groupings.

 
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Language and Literacy:

The book read aloud listing in first grade will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Read aloud listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study.

Lucy Calkin’s Reading Workshop:

Units of Study

Building Good Reading Habits

Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction

Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Phonics, Fluency, Comprehension

Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: Story Elements

Lucy Calkin’s  Writing Workshop:

Units of Study:

Small Moment Stories

Nonfiction Chapter Books

Writing Reviews

From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction

Word Study:

Wilson Fundations

Math:

Pearson Realize Envisions 2020

Science: 

Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Units of Study

Exploring light and solar patterns: 

  • • How do we see objects?

Light, sounds and waves: 

  • • How do we hear and see objects?

Structures and behaviors in living things: 

  • • What structures and behaviors help plants and animals survive?

Engineering design:

  • • How can a problem be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool?

Social Studies:

My Family and Other Families, Now and Long Ago

  • • Family and Community are Important
  • • Families Now and Long Ago
  • • The Community
  • • Community Economics

Racial Literacy:  First grade lessons are designed to actively build a positive sense of self and expand students’ social awareness in an effort to create a more open-minded inclusive community; one that celebrates diversity.

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - Google tools and SeeSaw

Field Trips:

All field trips in First Grade support the curriculum in the classroom, are local, accessible by walking or involve limited transportation.

Second Grade

In 2nd grade, students become more experienced writers, readers, and mathematicians by practicing their skills in more complex and comprehensive ways. Students read longer and more involved books, write longer and more structured pieces, and learn more about the concepts behind math skills. Our second graders work on projects that involve research and critical thinking. In Science, students continue to explore the world around them, but they do so in a more rigorous way by using hands-on experimentation to develop questions, hypothesize, collect data, and make observations and conclusions. In Social Studies, students develop their reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills as they gain a deeper understanding of ancient history and societies.

 
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Language and Literacy:

Reading is organized into shared read alouds that are then organized into themes.  Themes are supported through both fiction and nonfiction sources that reinforce the theme through the use of authentic literature.  Comprehension questions and vocabulary come from the readings.  Writing is developed to reinforce and support the readings.

Themes in Reading:

Early Asian Civilizations and Mythology 

Ancient Greek Civilizations and Mythology

Fighting for a Cause 

Acceptance, Tolerance and Understanding

World Cultures

Biographies 

Immigration

Westward Expansion

Writing Units:

  • • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

The Social Studies Curriculum is integrated into the Reading Themes.  The reading themes incorporate World and American history and geography,  a well as integrating topics in civics and the arts.  This helps students build knowledge of diverse civilizations, cultures, and concepts.  The goal is for students  to acquire language competence through listening, specifically building a rich vocabulary, and broad knowledge in history

Read Alouds:

The book read aloud listing in second grade will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Read aloud listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study. Shared reading, independent reading and Reading Response Journals support the development and practice of Common Core Reading Standards.

Racial Literacy:  Second grade lessons use nonfiction and fiction texts to explore the role and impact geography has on our lives, including the development of culture. Through this lens of geography, students will learn more about how people live around the world. 

Phonics and Spelling: 

Wilson’s Fundations and Sitton Spelling

Math: 

Pearson Realize Envisions Math 2020

Science:

Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Units of Study:

Properties and Patterns of Water

  • • How do the properties of water and other earth materials affect life on earth?

The Changes to Land Over Time:

  • • How do wind and water change land?

Plant and Animal Interactions:

  • • How plants and animls depend on each other?

Engineering design:

  • • How can a problem be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool?

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - Google tools; Google Docs and Google Slides

Field Trips: 

All field trips in Second Grade  support the curriculum in the classroom, are local, accessible by walking or involve limited transportation.

Third Grade

In 3rd grade, students move from practicing basic skills to mastering them, and begin developing some more complex skills. Students become more independent readers. Third grade reading focuses on teaching students how to think about what they read in deeper and more comprehensive ways. In writing, students continue to practice longer pieces with more detail. They learn sophisticated language, using different phrases and terms to provide examples and make connections within their writing. In math, students learn multiplication, division and fractions. Students also practice explaining math concepts by showing how they solved problems. In science, students learn about the physical and living world as they make observations, experiment, research, record, and present what they learn. In social studies students learn about different cultures and countries and as they learn more about the world they work on improving their analyzing, writing, and reading skills.

 
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Language and Literacy:  

 

Language Arts covers the core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Skill development continues in reading including understanding, acquiring vocabulary, and using higher-order thinking skills to gather meaning from text. 

Goals for third grade reading include:

  • • increasing reading speed, 
  • • developing a more sophisticated reading vocabulary, 
  • • applying analysis to text

The book read aloud listing  and book clubs in third grade will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Read aloud listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study.

Writing:

  • • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. Third-graders will be able to use their newfound abilities to gather and organize information to persuade people about causes the children believe matter.
  • • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.  Students will be able to write chapter books that synthesize a wide variety of information and learn to section their topics into subtopics.
  • • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.  Students will be able to extend personal narrative writing, with a growing emphasis on drafting and revising. 

Spelling: 

Sitton Spelling

Math:

Pearson Realize Envisions Math 2020

Social Studies:

In third grade the focus of study will be on the people and cultures of countries around the world. Students will begin with the question, "what makes up culture?" and will take this exploration to the study of diverse communities across the globe. Through the use of primary and secondary sources students will learn about the similarities and differences of the world's diverse countries, with particular emphasis on civic responsibility and activism.

Racial Literacy: Third grade lessons feature different stories from around the world,

focusing on voices of people who have felt different, “othered,” discriminated against, and/or persecuted and the various ways such people — both “everyday” heroes and famous figures — have responded to their situations.

Science: Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Units of Study:

Inheritance and Variation:

  • • Why do offspring resemble their parents?

Interdependence

  • • How do the traits of an organism help it to survive in it’s environment?

Change over Time:

  • • How do environments change over time?

Interacting Forces:

  • • What happens when objects interact?

Engineering Design

  • • How do we create a simple design  that solves a problem; reflecting a need or want; that includes specified criteria for success or constraints on materials, time or cost.

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - Google tools; Google Docs and Google Slides

Field Trips: 

All field trips in Third Grade  support the curriculum in the classroom, are local, accessible by walking or involve limited transportation.

Fourth Grade

In 4th grade, students learn to think deeply about their reading texts, to make connections and grasp more complex concepts across all subjects. They learn to write with clarity, flow, and structure in the form of traditional essays. They become more independent in how they learn, research, plan, and revise their own work. In reading, students are able to make inferences and to think about messages in the stories they read and how these stories relate to their own lives. In writing, students work to develop clarity and structure, and use reasons, facts, and details to support and strengthen their arguments. In math, students master and further their multiplication, division, and general computation skills. In science, students expand their scientific thinking as they conduct experiments and use the results to further their learning. In social studies students work to deepen their reading, writing, and analytical skills, as well as expand knowledge and appreciation of US and World History.

 
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Language and Literacy:

 

Guided Reading of an assortment of genres. The book listing in fourth grade will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Reading listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study.  

 

Shared reading, independent reading and Reading Response Journals support the development and practice of Common Core Reading Standards.

Writing:

 

  • • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. Students learn the value of organization and form as they gather evidence to support and express an opinion on topics they know well. 
  • • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.  
  • • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Fourth graders will be able to write realistic fiction and learn to develop rich characters and stories.

 

Students will write daily essay prompts from literature selections (e.g. was the title good, critique the ending, how do you think the main character would react to…) and day to day occurrences (e.g. holidays, seasonal changes)

Spelling: 

Sitton Spelling

Math: 

Pearson Realize Envisions Math 2020

Social Studies:

Through the use of primary and secondary sources students will learn about World history,  American history and geography, integrating topics in civics and the arts.  Students will build knowledge of  diverse civilizations, cultures, and concepts. 

Essential Questions in Fourth Grade Social Studies: 

  • • Why does geography matter? 
  • • What makes a complex society? 
  • • What motivates people to explore and colonize other lands? 
  • • What does it mean to be free? 
  • • How do people, laws and new technology shape a nation?

Racial Literacy:  Fourth grade lessons are designed to help students understand how geography influenced the emergence of civilization.

Science: Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Units of Study:

Structure and Function of Organisms

  • • How do the structures of plants and animals help them to survive in their environment?

Transfer of Energy and Information

  • • How do we know energy is conserved as it is transferred from one form to another?

Energy, Motion and Collisions

  • • What happens to energy when objects collide?

Changes on Earth’s Surface

  • • How do earth’s processes, natural forces and organisms change land over time?

Impact of Natural Processes

  • • How can people affect the impact of  natural processes and resources?

Engineering Design

  • • How do we create a simple design  that solves a problem; reflecting a need or want; that includes specified criteria for success or constraints on materials, time or cost?

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - Google tools; Google Docs and Google Slides

Field Trips: 

All field trips in Fourth Grade  support the curriculum in the classroom, are local, accessible by walking or involve limited transportation.

Fifth Grade

In Fifth grade students continue to practice and develop their skills. They begin analyzing material in more profound ways and writing structured, clear, and detailed pieces about a variety of subjects. Reading focuses on teaching students to understand and develop ideas about the texts they read. They learn to support their ideas using details from their readings, and are expected to think carefully about quotes, facts, and events to develop opinions about a text and its veracity. Students become more developed writers. They write different types of pieces covering a variety of topics, and use details and organization to strengthen their position. In Math, students practice more complex equations with fractions, decimals, and larger numbers, using all four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. In science students conduct experiments and investigate multiple topics. They develop ideas, draw conclusions, and further their experiments and investigations. In social studies students learn American history, beginning with colonization and continuing through the 20th century. As 5th graders learn about social studies, students are taught to analyze the reasons behind events, make connections, and start to see the patterns of history.

 
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Language and Literacy:

 

Guided Reading of an assortment of genres. The book listing in fifth grade will be a representative selection of books including different genres and are chosen to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural and inclusive stories into the classroom.  Reading listing also includes selected nonfiction topics  and biographical selections to supplement curricular areas of study.  Shared reading, independent reading and Reading Response Journals support the development and practice of Common Core Reading Standards.

Writing:

Fifth grade writing focuses on writing paragraphs, essays and reports.  The emphasis in writing is on quality rather than quantity.

  • • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary:

  • • Conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • • Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • • Vocabulary acquisition and use including identifying synonyms and antonyms

Math: 

Envisions 2020 Math

Social Studies:

Through the use of primary and secondary sources students will learn about world and American history and geography, integrating topics in civics and the arts.  Students will build knowledge of  diverse civilizations, cultures, and concepts.

Essential Questions in Fifth Grade Social Studies: 

To what degree does geography determine culture?

How do issues of power, wealth and morality influence exploration and colonization?

How do key forces and events shape nations? 

How does an interdependent region meet the challenges of modern living?

Racial Literacy: Fifth grade  lessons will trace the history of immigration to the United States, a country “made by” and “made of” immigrants.

Science: Following the Next Generation Science Standards, science is fully integrated into the classroom, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

Units of Study

Physical and Chemical Changes

  • • How much does air weigh?

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems

  • • How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

Earth System Science

  • • Where does Rain Come from?

Stars and the Solar System?

  • • How far away are stars?

Engineering Design

  • • How do we create a simple design  that solves a problem; reflecting a need or want; that includes specified criteria for success or constraints on materials, time or cost?

Technology:

  • • Keyboarding without Tears-  The program for teaching keyboarding is developmentally appropriate by grade. 
  • • Digital Citizenship: Common Sense Media
  • • Google Classroom - Google tools

Field Trips: 

All field trips in Fifth Grade  support the curriculum in the classroom, are local, accessible by walking or involve limited transportation

As we call them at ARS, our “Specials” Subjects

ARS Ethics Curriculum

The ARS Everyday Ethics program promotes spaces and opportunities to nurture values and morals in each of our students. The program empowers them to create a world of greater justice, peace and dignity, while working both as individuals and collectively.

The aim of the program is to help our students build on their individual strengths, while appreciating the diversity around them, understand and respect people from other cultures and beliefs, to think critically and understand how to create non-violent alternatives in order to live peacefully together.

The curriculum is built on learning opportunities and practices that allow ethical reflections which foster interconnectedness, the development of imagination, critical consciousness, and self-driven learning through social-emotional and self-management skills, global contemplative practices, reflections and studies, community service both at home and abroad, environmental studies, human rights and civics.

ARS Art Curriculum

The Alexander Robertson School Art program focuses on developing students’ own innate creative gifts. Engagement in the visual arts permits students to become active initiators rather than passive receivers of information and fosters creative self-expression and aesthetic awareness. From the earliest grades they are provided an opportunity to discover, develop, and actualize their unique potential.ARS artists are able to work in a number of mediums and disciplines which include assemblage, collage, decoupage, screen printing, jewelry making, sculpture, drawing, painting (tempura, acrylic) and watercolor. Recycled, discarded and everyday materials are employed in many of the students’ work. Art history, museum visits and introduction to well-known, as well as, little known artists are included in the curriculum.

The emphasis of the program is on learning techniques and exploring unique materials to create art, while at the same time building confidence, problem solving, thinking out of the box, while developing creativity and self-expression. The art program assists our students in developing the many facets of multiple intelligences while providing meaningful learning opportunities for critical and creative thinking.

 

ARS World Language Curriculum

The ARS world language program which includes French, Spanish and Mandarin begins in Junior Kindergarten and continues through Fifth grade, providing the basic foundation necessary to achieve success in second language acquisition. The program fosters an environment that promotes openness, connection and curiosity setting up our students for opportunity, growth, and global cultural understanding, by providing a ‘real’ connection with the world and better understanding of their own language.

Students are asked to demonstrate all four components of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing in order to be able to communicate in an effective manner. The use of videos, pictures, songs, dance, acting, role plays, flash cards, cultural activities and projects help students internalize and communicate in the language. Each year builds upon the year before, expanding previous knowledge through review and differentiated learning.

The ARS community participates in an annual student led Spring Language Festival. Costumes, student performances, artwork and music are all part of the year-end celebration of our global language culture. The program uses the world language standards created by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).

Music

At ARS, students have music for 40 minutes twice a week. Music is centered on the concepts of community, creativity/self-expression and connection. ARS students sing together throughout the school year in music, at assemblies and for special events. When students sing together, it brings a sense of oneness and helps them to identify themselves as an important member of the ARS community. In music class, students express their thoughts and feelings through the exploration and development of musical elements through singing, games, instrument playing and movement. Music students learn songs and games that relate to history/class studies, the celebration of holidays, and American and world culture to help them better understand and put in context the world around them.

All of this starts in JK, where students begin singing, chanting, playing games, moving, and playing various small percussion instruments. As students move on in grade level, students accompany themselves on pitched percussion, such as the xylophone and glockenspiel. From third to fifth grades, students play recorder and learn note reading.

Students have several singing opportunities throughout the year, including at the Kirking, the winter program and graduation. There is an after school singing group (ARS Singers) as well as music lessons in violin, cello, guitar and piano.

Poetry At Dawn

Open to students in grades 3, 4 and 5 this weekly class introduces students to the basics in all forms of poetry culminating in a school Assembly presentation.

Cooking

Children will learn many things through cooking, however one of the biggest goals is to introduce foods that they may be hesitant to try. Once they are open to trying new foods, it’s a whole new world for them. Students will learn food safety information, learn cooking basics, learn about ingredients and their origin and learn about eating healthy.

Physical Education ~ Younger Grades

Physical Education for Junior-K and K will develop knowledge and understanding of physical activity. It is important that all children are active and learn to play cooperatively. Fundamental Movement skills include underhand throwing, galloping, hopping, jumping, running, skipping and about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.

Physical Education ~ Older Grades

For grades 1-5 engages all students in a wide spectrum of physical activities that they can participate in and enjoy(i.e.: soccer, basketball, baseball, floor hockey, volleyball. tennis, and track and field events). The goals of the curriculum is to develop student’s sports skills in a way that builds self confidence and self esteem by reinforcing success and making achievement demonstrable. Another goal is to familiarize students with the rules and strategies of a variety of sports and to emphasize the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship that game playing requires. The curriculum also emphasizes the importance of physical activity in staying fit and leading a healthy life. Finally, students will have lots of fun.

Library

At ARS, the Library provides students with a quiet place to read and reflect. Students visit the library for 40 minutes each week. Every grade will be read aloud to, reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about. The books will be a mix of grade appropriate classics and more modern, diverse stories. At the beginning of library class each week, one student will have the job of giving their class a short recap of the story from the previous week, thus keeping everyone up to date and engaged. All Students will then have the opportunity to choose one or two books to check out and enjoy! Older students will be encouraged to write book reviews for their peers, these reviews will then be displayed in the library. The library will have a “Genre of the Month” to inspire students to explore a genre that they may not necessarily gravitate towards. In the end, the main goal of the ARS library is to foster a life-long love of reading in every student.