Curriculum KG-5th

Math - Our students learn to appreciate the power of mathematics and the role it plays in modern society.  Our students learn to use mathematical skills and thinking as a necessary tool in the modern world.

 

Science - As implied by our name, science is a major area of emphasis at MASSA.  Our school has a sophisticated and well-developed science program throughout all grade levels. Students are exposed to the inquiry method of science and participate in hands-on activities.  Our goal is to encourage scientific literacy and skills in our students.

 

Language Arts - Language arts at MASSA encompasses speaking, writing, reading, listening, and comprehension.  The goal of the language arts program is to create a lifelong love of learning, as well as the ability to communicate effectively.

 

Social Studies - Social studies imbues students with an understanding of how our society is structured in the past and present.  Our goal is to develop students who will become engaged and knowledgeable citizens in our increasingly complex society.

 

Art - All art programs at the various levels are structured around the fourteen principles of art and design.

 

Music - The goal of the music program at MASSA is to give students an understanding and appreciation of music through developing specific musical skills and abilities. To this end, students at MASSA gain experience in direct participation in musical performance.

 

Computers - Computer literacy is becoming increasingly important in today's technologically advanced world.  Students at MASSA are given the opportunity to progress from knowledge to skill application in the areas of hardware and software. MASSA provides computer instruction as a tool for lifelong learning.

 

Physical Education - Modern convenience in today's society removes much of the physical activity from daily life. MASSA understands the necessity to create and maintain a healthy body to match the healthy intellect of our youth.  Our PE program is designed to foster teamwork in a safe and fun environment while students develop physical fitness and an appreciation for a variety of sports.

 

Special Education - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) states all individuals with disabilities from birth through 21 years of age are to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE). This education must occur in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and provide supplementary aids and supports when necessary.



1. MATHEMATICS

Our students learn to appreciate the power of mathematics and the role it plays in modern society. Depending on the student's experience and skill level, he or she is placed in one of several math programs upon enrolling at MASSA.

Students are exposed to geometry and statistics at each level. Within the selected program, both student and teacher work together to develop individual tasks and goals that are appropriate for the student and that best match the student's abilities and interests.

We use the SAXON mathematics materials for consistency throughout the grade levels. Please visit their site for a complete overview of the materials. Geometry is incorporated into all grade level instruction. Research shows that grade school children are ill-prepared when they begin learning geometry in middle school. In order to better prepare our students for formal geometry studies, we have added a complete program of geometry in grades K-5.

 

2. SCIENCE

The science program at MASSA is an integrated, hands-on, standards based program. Students will be exposed to the following material:

Kindergarten:

  • Matter and its properties
  • Weather
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Life cycles
  • Magnets

First Grade:

  • Forces
  • Seasonal changes
  • The oceans and their effects on humans

Second Grade:

  • Major landforms
  • Identifying light and sound as energy forms
  • Fossils
  • Relationship between matter and gravity
  • Organisms are categorized on physical characteristics
  • Changes in ecosystems

Third Grade:

  • The water cycle
  • Rock classification
  • Plate tectonics
  • How the Earth, moon, and Sun interact
  • Solar System
  • Simple machines and their effects on forces

Fourth Grade:

  • Simple atomic and molecular structure
  • The Sun's effect on air
  • The cell as the basic unit of life
  • The theory of evolution
  • How charged particles exert electrical and magnetic forces
  • How energy can be transformed from one form to another
  • The interaction and diversity of ecosystems

Fifth Grade:

  • The organization of the periodic table
  • The atomic structure of elements and compounds
  • The Sun and how its effects on air results in changing weather patterns
  • The Earth’s layers
  • Plate tectonics and convection currents
  • Objects and processes outside our Solar System
  • Inherited and genetic characteristics
  • Anatomical systems and how they work together to maintain life

The students will participate in lab activities that will utilize the scientific method outlined in Strand 1: Inquiry Process of the Arizona State Standards.



3. LANGUAGE ARTS

Reading and Language
Students at MASSA use the Imagine It! Series, exploring genres of tales, poetry, plays, autobiographies, realistic fiction, non-fiction, biographies, historical fiction, and folktales. Students are expected to read outside of class to expand their literary knowledge and develop a love for reading.The primary goal of the language arts program is to develop accomplished readers and writers in all subject areas.  Through the selection of high-quality and relevant literature, we strive to nurture passionate, lifelong readers who appreciate the value of a good book.  We provide a "print-rich" environment, offering the children endless opportunities to experience a love of literature and language.
We foster increased skills in spelling and vocabulary by using words that are context-based.


Speaking and Listening
Students at MASSA have a wide variety of opportunities to use language to express themselves.  Our small class size means there is adequate opportunity for the students to interact with teachers and classmates.  Our classroom spaces are designed so that students can work in a variety of learning settings, including small and large group configurations, where they can develop listening and speaking skills.  Our school provides a nurturing environment where students who are not native speakers of English feel supported as they acquire academic skills that are vital to their future success.

Writing
Students are exposed to the six traits of writing beginning at the kindergarten level. Students will work on developing and achieving mastery in writing through daily journaling and research reports.

 

4. SOCIAL STUDIES

In the primary grades, students will become aware of their school and community and how people contribute to the well-being of themselves and others. Different cultures and their influence on our lives will be explored. Students will study the songs and symbols of the United Sates and comprehend that we are a nation of laws which provides a safe environment for them to live in.

The intermediate grade levels will explore the history of the United States by discovering the foundation of the United States beginning with the first Americans and ending with present day America and current events. Students will take a close look at the founding of our nation during and after the Revolutionary War. The history of Arizona will also be covered.



5. ART

All art programs and levels are structured around the fourteen principles of art and design. Each project introduces or reinforces art concepts and art vocabulary while offering the students skill practice in various media and art techniques.

Each week, while completing a variety of engaging projects, students are introduced to fundamental art concepts and new media techniques. The history and work of famous artists are shared and students develop a "visual vocabulary."

Examples of projects at this level are Pattern Bugs, which explores pattern and symmetry; Visual Rhythm with watercolors; and Overlapping Shape Landscapes. Other student projects use concepts from math and science as they learn body proportion and the proper placement of individual facial features.

The students also complete a culture project in which they build on their social studies and science learning to create a model of an endangered animal and its habitat based on their own research and reporting.



6. MUSIC

The goal of the music program at MASSA is to give students a broad understanding and appreciation of music.

MASSA students have music two times per week where they learn to play their choice of guitar or piano and to read and compose music. These lessons culminate in two recitals each year.

In addition, students are taught the history of Western music, the music of other cultures around the world, and the skill of audiation (being able to think in musical terms). This skill is the most important to the student as it prepares them for a rewarding appreciation of what music conveys. By learning the language of music as one learns any other language, the student develops the basis for a lifelong relationship with music. Teaching methods include aspects drawn from Suzuki, Kodaly, and Edwin Gordon. All instruction includes a strong playful element so that students are encouraged to be spontaneous and creative with music.



7. COMPUTERS

Computer literacy is becoming increasingly important in today's technologically advanced world. The MASSA computer program provides a comprehensive view of the technological world, and provides grade appropriate instruction concerning hardware, software and the Internet.

Students utilize Microsoft Office 2007 software applications and the use of the Internet. Internet use is closely monitored through web-blocking software and by ensuring that activities are carried out under adult supervision.

Introductory classes work on building computer and technology vocabulary. Students are initiated into an understanding of computer hardware and its functioning, providing a firm basis from which to progress into knowledge application.

Intermediate instruction develops a skills base through a variety of typing exercises, and by exposing the students to software packages such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint slide show and spreadsheet applications. At this level, the computer instruction program also facilitates the application of the learner's expanding knowledge pool by providing opportunities to actively and safely participate in Internet research projects and activities. Such activities are beneficial to other areas of the school curriculum as they enable students to consult a wide range of reference sources.

Enthusiasm for computer coursework at all levels is maintained when students participate in enrichment activities, such as Scavenger Hunts, or Web Quests, where students utilize online resources to answer assigned questions. Students explore the Internet as a reference source, and learn useful strategies to gather information for other subjects in the school curriculum.

Students involved in MASSA computer instruction are given the opportunity to progress from knowledge to skill application in the areas of hardware and software. MASSA provides computer instruction as a tool for lifelong learning with the application of skills outside of their original contexts.



8. PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Modern convenience in today's society removes much of the physical activity from daily life. MASSA understands the necessity to create and maintain a healthy body to match the healthy intellect of our youth.

As such, MASSA regards physical education (PE) as a very important part of a student's education. PE classes for all MASSA students begin with a group stretch, followed by a calisthenics period to include jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups.

Students exercise in two-person teams to foster encouragement and to allow students to assist in the completion of their partner's repetition. They play a variety of games that require them to use both their large and small motor functions and muscles. Sports equipment, such as hula-hoops, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, and floor scooters allow for a variety of activities. Students learn the traditional rules of sports and are also encouraged to participate in creating their own games: past favorites have included scooter tag, scooter floor hockey, and scooter relay races. The ultimate goal of MASSA's PE program is to foster teamwork in a safe and fun environment while students develop physical fitness and an appreciation for a variety of sports.



9. SPECIAL EDUCATION

Math and Science Success Academy Charter School strives to include every person with disabilities in the general education under the inclusion model. This is facilitated through direct services, consultation, and support offered by a Special Education Teacher.

General Information
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was last reauthorized in 2004. The law is known as IDEA 2004. IDEA 2004 states all individuals with disabilities from birth through 21 years of age are to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE). This education must occur in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and provide supplementary aids and supports when necessary. Curricular adaptations, which include both accommodations and modifications, are changes in the educational environment that allows the student equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as their non-disabled peers. School districts, including charter schools, are responsible for identifying and providing special education services to students from 5 to 21 years of age. MASSA provides support to students with disabilities in and educates students as much as possible in the same physical environment as their non-disabled peers.

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