From 1st. to 6th. grade, we offer a curriculum that centers on the formal development of literacy skills in English and Spanish, while maintaining a high percentage of English exposure in other subject areas (science, social studies, mathematics, etc.) for approximately 70% of the school day.
Our goal is that all students will reach a high level of proficiency in English and Spanish so that they can communicate efficiently and do academic work in both languages. Therefore, the Lower School language program emphasizes reading fluency across a variety of written material, as well as effective and creative communication in oral and written formats in both languages. Through the use of read-alouds, guided reading, and reading discussion groups, students expand their vocabulary, decoding, and analytical skills while developing a passion for reading. Writer’s Workshops help students to practice and develop written academic language through a variety of topics, within an authentic context.
The Lower School mathematics program helps students to develop a foundation in many important areas such as number sense, geometry, spatial understanding, recognizing patterns, data collection and analysis. Whether learning independently or cooperatively, students work to discover new concepts, apply skills and construct a strong understanding of problem solving. While a great part of this process is constructivist in nature, we recognize that certain basic concepts and abilities in computation are also necessary for students to be successful in math. Therefore, students also work at the automaticity of basic abilities and the application of specific standard formulas.
The Lower School science program recognizes that in our ever changing world, scientific literacy is a necessity for all. In the classroom students use discovery centers and research activities to construct and expand prior knowledge through meaningful experiences. We try to teach science in a way that promotes respectful, inquisitive, and humble students instead of passive learners who acquire isolated skills.
The Lower School music program provides students with a solid foundation in music theory and once they reach 4th grade, students are offered the opportunity to play an instrument. Students learn that music is related to several key concepts: harmony, melody, rhythm, form, tempo and tone. The Lower School music program provides the opportunity to enjoy music through exploration and interpretation. We ensure that our students learn discipline, perseverance and respect while enjoying new and creative experiences.
The Lower School art program is based on the belief that the creative process is more important than the final product. Students are prepared to make the most of their own creative thought process through healthy exercise of the imagination, experimentation, and constructive criticism. Through a true “studio art” experience, students are exposed to a variety of medium and techniques while creating their original works.
Continuous play is the primary method by which coordination is developed in Lower School. Students work towards building up and perfecting their skills through a variety of activities. In addition to physical activity and work skills, students learn about the positive aspects in leading a healthy lifestyle which includes regular participation in sports and physical activity.
In Lower School technology is not seen as an isolated subject, rather, students use a variety of digital tools as part of their learning process in all classes. Whether using online sources to build skills, collaborating through Google, completing electronic assignments on Schoology or making creative projects on the iPad, students are exposed to a variety of multi-platform options for showcasing and consolidating their learning, while building a strong sense of digital citizenship.
The counseling program is available to assist students, parents, and teachers in developing positive learning experiences. The program consists of a variety of services and activities, such as: dynamic group consultations, individual and family counseling, group counseling, one on one student evaluations, and providing referrals to other programs and services within the community.
Colegio Menor has a strong belief that being a “good neighbor” is the first step to becoming a good citizen. Identifying local needs, and above all, identifying the ways in which to help, is crucial in creating a strong collective notion of responsibility for the well-being of others. Through various initiatives, our students are exposed to numerous community service opportunities that allow them to learn, and become involved and connected with the diverse realities that surround us.
All children develop in different ways and the rate of development can vary from child to child. As a result, there are certain developmental guidelines that we can be followed. The key idea behind the Learning Support program is to support all children that encounter difficulties in the schooling process. The professionals in this program are trained in diagnostic evaluations and the implementation of individualized education plans for learning support. These individuals work alongside each child to assist them in finding their potential.
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