Building a Foundation for Success
A child's early education provides the foundation for a his or her academic success. At MHBS, students build that foundation in a creative environment that encourages lifelong learning skills, spiritual growth, and good citizenship.
MHBS offers a challenging academic curriculum. Our elementary teachers seek to provide a quality scholastic program that encourages individual growth and intellectual curiosity. Each classroom is equipped with a set of Apple iPads, providing students with a one-on-one technology experience that supports curriculum objectives.
Students also experience an array of enrichment activities outside their individual classrooms. Encore classes are conducted each day, allowing students to experience weekly hands-on activities in Technology, Spanish, Music, Art, and Library. P.E. classes are conducted daily.
To learn more about our comprehensive curriculum plans, explore each grade level and encore class. You'll love what MHBS has to offer.
Our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) serves as a bridge between Preschool classes and Kindergarten. Taught by certified teachers, the curriculum vertically aligns with our Kindergarten program, state standards, and is both age and developmentally appropriate.
Learning is fun in TK! From field trips to cooking to special guests, TK offers a wide variety of enjoyable learning opportunities. Because of small class sizes, students can learn and develop skills through both large and small group lessons, as well as valuable one-on-one time with their teachers. Kids improve skills and increase their knowledge with fun and engaging hands-on activities designed to achieve state and school objectives across the curriculum in Bible, Math, Science, Literacy and Social Skills. Students are also able to attend the Elementary weekly Encore classes (as available) which include Library, Technology, Music/Band, Art, and Spanish. Every day, students learn through songs, movement, poetry, games, and both free and structured play. Students rotate daily through challenging and meaningful Literacy, Math, Science, and Social Studies Learning Centers that are planned by teachers for the development of fine motor skills and specific skills that align with state standards. Students also spend time each day in Free Centers such as Dramatic Play, Science, Puzzles, Blocks, Art, Music, Reading, Math, and various fine motor activities. Our TK students also attend Physical Education every day in the gym with certified PE teachers for 30 minutes of large motor skill development through structured active play in addition to our daily afternoon recess. All TK students have the chance to enjoy a snack and 45-60 minutes of rest time at the end of the day, per state requirements.
TK often takes their learning on the road (and hallways) with fun field trips during the year as well as visits to various classrooms throughout the school such as high school Band and Chorus rooms, high school Science Lab, and Big Chapel on Fridays. TK students love guests and often have guest speakers who read to them and tell about their experiences or jobs. TK students also participate in collaborative learning through STEM challenges with the other grades in the elementary!
- Old and New Testament stories
- Prayer and Singing
- Mission work
- Memory work
- Reading and questioning skills
- Engaging daily literacy centers
- Phonemic/Phonological Awareness and Phonics
- Rhyming words
- Gross and Fine motor activities using a variety of hands-on and manipulatives
- TK students become young authors through collaboration on class books
- Recognizing and writing numerals
- Recognizing shapes
- Calendar activities
- Predicting and recording data
- Weather activities
- Nature walks and outdoor activities
- STEM challenges
- Getting along with others
- Following rules and instructions
- Respect for authority and one another
- SMARTBoard to enhance classroom curriculum
Our kindergarten program is designed to effectively implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum that instills a love for learning by challenging the whole child. Kindergarten is a continuation of the skills your child has learned at home and the foundation for a lifelong process of learning. The goal is not only to teach facts and figures but also higher-level thinking and problem- solving skills that create a love of learning.
Our kindergarten classes are always busy. Young children learn by doing. Your child will develop his Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul as he/she is provided multiple opportunities to play, collaborate, explore, and discover. Our curriculum aligns with academic standards that span all grades at MHBS.
Kindergarten Bible classes are taught each day in the classroom. Lessons are taken directly from the Bible. Memory verses, along with Bible facts, are learned and practiced daily. Bible is also incorporated into every subject. Kindergarten students attend chapel each Friday for spiritual enhancement.
Our Language Arts curriculum focuses on phonics, verbal comprehension, listening, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, journal writing, grammar, and other Language Arts skills by integrating age-appropriate concepts within literature and thematic units of study.
The kindergarten math curriculum is standard based to provide a readiness and love of math for curious minds. Daily lessons include fluency practice, new concept introduction, whole group exploration time, and student application and share time. Hands-on manipulatives, math centers, and SMARTBoard lessons are also integrated to provide math across the curriculum.
Students are exposed to science and social studies through weekly thematic units of study. Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills through investigation, exploration, and experiments.
Encore classes are available daily to provide students with additional enrichment. Students will attend library, computer lab, art, music and Spanish each week.
Certified teachers teach Physical Education daily. Recess is also provided in the afternoon so that “kinders” can experience free play, social development, creativity, and movement.
As we strive for excellence in our program, our effectiveness can be attributed to several things:
- Christian teachers are certified in Early Childhood Education, with a strong commitment to excel.
- Parental involvement is an essential factor in the strength of our program. We have parents who volunteer as helpers in the classroom for various projects.
- All kindergarten rooms are very spacious and attractive. Each one is arranged in learning center style. There are centers for literacy, math, writing, puzzles, and games. Technology is exhibited in the classrooms with iPads and interactive SMARTBoards.
Kindergarten is a year of enjoyment with fun-filled activities that develop the whole child. We believe that our kindergarten program provides a love for learning as well as a solid foundation for first grade.
First grade navigates through the Old Testament and highlights specific stories leading to the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. The life of Jesus leading up to His death and then resurrection is discussed using visual aids and story lines. Memorization of specific verses is practiced through songs and chants. The children learn how to navigate the Bible during Bible lessons and also during daily chapel.
Reading is approached with many tools and supplements. The Scott Foresman Reading Street program is followed and used as the core of our units. Reading instruction consists of whole group and differentiated small group instruction using leveled readers, decodable readers, and rotating stations. UFLI Foundations Phonics and the Secret Stories based upon the science of reading are used as a supplement in order to give students a strong phonetic base. In addition to UFLI Foundations Phonics, Accelerated Reader and the STAR reading program are used to monitor student growth.
This is our parent involvement program for first-grade. All parents are invited to come at a scheduled time, twice a week, to provide one-on-one reading interaction with each student.
Spelling and Handwriting
These two subjects align as we practice using specified steps to form letters on three lines while we write our spelling words. The spelling word list comes directly from the reading curriculum and is largely based on the phonetic sounds we are focused on for the length of the unit. A focused handwriting time is incorporated throughout the week with a Zaner-Bloser curriculum based handwriting workbook, handwriting checks during spelling practice centers, midweek spelling pre-tests, and end of unit spelling tests.
The Magic of Math is used to introduce the first-grade standards as well as put them into practice. Learning is enhanced by offering the MobyMax application on iPads, math journaling activities, math tool bags, math facts, and concrete manipulatives for daily practice toward mastery.
Hands-on culminating lessons and activities are integrated through our reading units of study, take-home “Science Bag” experiments, and themed units of study.. Unit examples include Plants, Animal habitats, Nocturnal animals, Community leaders, Snow, Matter, Sharks, and the Zoo.
The first-grade classes also enhance learning through field trips. The Tree Farm and the Memphis Zoo are highlights of the year.
Daily chapel, classroom Bible lessons, verse memorization, and application discussions are an integral part of the day for second graders. After learning about the first part of the Old Testament in First grade, second grade students learn about the Divided Kingdom of Israel as well as prophets. At the end of the year, we also begin studying the life of Jesus. All that we study is done to help students develop a Christ-like spirit and live up to our motto to let love rule our school.
The second grade ELA program at Mars Hill incorporates all aspects of reading, language, spelling, and writing. The Reading Street Program is used with an emphasis on College and Career Ready Standards. This program incorporates a variety of fiction and nonfiction stories to help students become better critical thinkers and fluent readers. Students meet with teachers in small groups to target skills specific to their reading and writing needs. Teachers use different reading techniques to help students gain a greater appreciation as well as develop a better understanding of reading.
Students learn to write in a variety of ways: fictional stories, autobiographies, and biographies. Students learn about different forms of poetry and write acrostic, haiku, and sensory poems. After reading nonfiction selections, students write reports on animals, plant life cycles, and space. Students are taught to organize ideas prior to writing. Skills for editing and writing as well as illustrating are important parts of the writing curriculum.
Spelling is taught in connection with reading. Spelling words are assigned based on spelling/phonemic patterns found in the weekly reading story. Students practice using spelling words in real world settings such as writing stories, letters, and poems. Students also use the spelling patterns to spell other words, building on what they have learned.
Language emphasizes recognizing the basic parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. Students learn to identify parts of speech through songs and asking questions. Students use their knowledge of language to make their writing better and stronger. The web-based program MobyMax Language is a wonderful practice and assessment tool for all ELA skills.
The Scott Foresman enVision program is the primary math program used in second grade. Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards are met by the implementation of the enVision program. Other sources, gathered from the Internet and teacher resource books, supplement skills being covered. Apps, purchased academic programs, and websites (MobyMax, Flash to Pass, and Math Fight) are available on iPads to enhance math skills.
The enVision program is a complete, in-depth program that meets the needs of all learning styles. It is flexible and has daily spiraling to maintain students’ skills throughout the year.
Multiple modalities and a variety of manipulatives to teach math standards are used in the enVision program. Students are presented with a variety of strategies to solve a problem and are free to choose the strategy that fits their learning style. Students are asked to explain the thought process, or strategy, used to solve problems.
Second-grade science is often project or research based. Students’ research on assigned topics is gathered by using IPads, reading passages, books, and other sources. Experimentation and discovery are recorded by the students as data is collected. The collected data is organized, written, and presented to peers, often using classroom iPads.
Each fall the Lauderdale County Farm Federation Ladies Auxiliary sponsors a field trip to a local farm. Students are able to go into fields to pick soybeans, corn, and cotton and learn what products are made from these agricultural crops. Students can shell their corn using antique, hand-cranked corn shellers. Many farm animals are available for students to feed and pet.
In the spring, chicken eggs are incubated. Students monitor the incubator daily to ensure the temperature and moisture remain constant. They are able to watch baby chicks hatch, make a brooder to house them, and see that their needs are met.
The second-grade social studies curriculum is derived from several sources: reading stories, current events, and our own rich, local culture. Teachers use a research-based approach to help students find information on a variety of subjects. Reading stories and web-based, student-friendly research sites help students learn about topics of study, write biographies, and construct timelines. Students use programs such as Educreations to show what they have learned by making research presentations to teach other students about a topic.
During Veterans Day, students learn about sacrifices that soldiers have made by talking with their family members and friends who have served in the military. Each year parents and grandparents are invited to a Balloon Release Ceremony honoring veterans and those currently serving, conducted entirely by the students, at the Elementary Flag Court prior to a school-wide program. Students learn about elections by participating in mock classroom elections. They make voter ID cards and vote in “booths” to learn about this important part of our democracy.
Each year the second grade takes several field trips. The first is to the Tom Hendrix Rock Wall. Mr. Hendrix built this wall to honor his great-great-grandmother Te-lah-nay, a Yuchi Indian woman from our area, who was forced to leave her home and join other Native American peoples in relocation to Oklahoma. Mr. Hendrix tells the students how she lost her entire family except for one sister but then bravely returned to Alabama. His wall honors her journey and experiences. Classes also visit the home of Helen Keller. Students read, watch videos, and learn how Helen overcame great physical odds to become an educator and advocate for others.
Second graders benefit daily from the one-to-one use of iPads in the classroom. Benefits include the development of higher order thinking skills, academic learning, and promotion of creativity. Students also learn proper terminology to communicate about technology using an iPad. Educational software such as Accelerated Reading, MobyMax, Epic, Flash to Pass, Garden of Praise, and Quizlet are used to reinforce reading, math, science, social studies, and Bible skills. Multimedia encyclopedias and dictionaries aid in gathering information for research projects and vocabulary studies. Digital photos are used in slide show presentations for projects created in programs such as Educreations. Interactive storybooks and puppet show apps help develop creativity and strengthen fluency in reading.
The third-grade Bible curriculum includes daily Bible lessons in the classroom, daily chapel, and weekly memory verses. The life of Christ is our main focus. A love for God and His word is emphasized. Students have opportunities to lead prayers and songs in the classroom and chapel. Students are given opportunities to follow the example of Jesus by helping and encouraging others through making cards and praying for others. Bible instruction is integrated into every subject that is taught because Bible principles are the foundation for everything that we do.
Alabama College and Career Standards for English Language Arts are used as a guide for instruction. Students keep a language interactive notebook throughout the year that helps them to master the skills they are taught as well as to serve as a resource for improved achievement. A curriculum is presented that allows students to think past rote memorization. Higher-level thinking is encouraged as well as creativity in writing. MobyMax Language is an individualized computer program that allows students to work at their pace and receive instructions based on their academic level.
Third-grade students are given the opportunity to read across many different genres. They are taught the reading standards developed for the third-grade curriculum by reading folk tales, biographies, autobiographies, historical fiction, and expository nonfiction reading stories. The Scott Foresman Reading Street program is used as a supplement for helping students meet the Alabama standards. Comprehension and fluency are emphasized along with higher-level thinking. Students work weekly in literacy centers to provide individualized instruction.
Students create a project by choosing a famous American about whom they will read a biography. Students use the information learned to provide facts and historical information for their project. They are encouraged to dress as their character and give a presentation to the class. The authentic learning provided by projects and real life situations help enhance the learning experience for students and enable them to make real-world connections.
Students’ growth in reading is monitored through the school-wide Accelerated Reading Program. Students are tested, and their reading level is used to help recommend selected reading titles. Upon completing the reading selection, individual tests are taken. STAR reading tests allow students to take ownership of their learning and challenge students to grow academically as they move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
In third grade, Eureka Math is paired with Zearn for math instruction. Together they form a rigorous standards based curriculum that strives for understanding and reasoning in mathematics. Students learn in whole groups, small groups, and in one-on-one settings as needed. The main topics learned in third grade are multiplication, measurement, fractions, algebraic thinking, and problem-solving. For additional practice in math, we use MobyMax, which is an amazing program that provides differentiated learning for our students. Teachers are able to track students’ progress as they master standards and provide individualized instruction for each student.
Third-grade students learn about Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science through the use of technology and inquiry-based activities such as experiments and dissections. We dissect owl pellets, starfish, and frogs!
Our Social Studies curriculum is based not only on teaching historical facts but increasing the depth of knowledge in which students investigate the past. An engaged classroom is guided by use of the Social Studies Weekly newsletter that helps present the materials in a way that promotes student curiosity and interest in the social studies standards.
From oceans and continents to maps and map skills, students’ research is at the foundation of so many of the subjects explored. Pioneer week is used not only as a time to investigate the past but as a way to make learning come alive. Students participate in a hands-on learning environment with visits to the Alabama Constitution Village in Huntsville and the EarlyWorks Museum. All of these opportunities help increase engagement in learning and improve the students’ understanding of the world around them.
In fourth grade, it is our goal to help students develop a deeper understanding of the scriptures, apply these scriptures to their lives, and instill a deeper love for the Lord through Bible study. In addition to studying the scriptures, students learn a weekly memory verse.
In our Bible study, we address issues relevant to the students and seek direction from God through our study of the scriptures. So that our fourth graders can best handle the challenges of transition, we want them to know that God is always with them, and He has the answers. Students are taught to lean on God’s word through these battles.
The Scott Foresman Reading Street Series is the springboard used to ensure students are given numerous opportunities to succeed in reading. Reading instruction consists of both informational and fictional texts as a whole group, while incorporating small group instruction to target individual needs. Building fluency and increasing comprehension by adhering to the guidelines set forth in our state’s College and Career Readiness Standards are the focus of our program. Fourth graders are given opportunities to read poetry, tall tales, realistic fiction, and many other genres of literature. They learn to use evidence from the text to support answers, make inferences, describe a character’s traits, and discuss an author’s purpose for writing. Students perform reader’s theater as well as spend thirty minutes each week visiting our kindergarten classes participating in “Book Buddies.” Our goal is to foster a love for reading in each and every child.
Standards for language are met as classroom lessons are written specifically to target the learning goals of our students and other fourth graders in the state. A focus is placed on grammar concepts as well as writing skills. Students learn to write three-point paragraphs, three paragraph essays, and five paragraph essays. They learn to edit, proofread, make revisions, and write final copies. Students are afforded opportunities to present their writing to the class. Students use the classroom set of iPads to research topics and learn how to transfer information found online to their words on paper.
Students learn how to correctly spell grade level words as well as identify correct spelling in everyday writing. Students learn to count syllables, use the dictionary for pronunciations, and incorporate spelling into other content areas. They’re given the opportunity to compete in a classroom spelling bee and are afforded the opportunity to move on and compete in the school spelling bee, county bee, and beyond.
Several key aspects of mathematics are emphasized during our fourth-grade studies including place value, adding and subtracting, multiplication, dividing whole numbers, adding and subtracting fractions, converting measurements, and higher level word problems.
MobyMax math software is used to supplement and enhance our standards based curriculum to allow students to become higher-level thinkers. This technology is used to help students complete standards at their pace.In addition to strengthening the students’ math skills, the software reinforces what they have learned in previous grades and challenges them with math skills that are taught at higher-grade levels.
Students explore Life, Earth, and Physical Science. Students explore Earth and its resources, animals, weather and climate, matter, magnetism, and electricity. Classroom experiments, demonstrative videos, and hands-on activities are utilized to maximize the students’ understanding of these various areas of study.
Fourth graders are always eager to learn more about Alabama: Our Beautiful Home. We spend the year learning about our state’s history: the road to becoming a state, our first capital, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and much more. We celebrate our state’s Native American heritage by attending the annual Oka- Kapassa Festival held at Spring Park. Students are assigned a famous Alabamian to research and present the research to the class. Our year culminates with a trip to Montgomery in the spring to visit many landmarks studied throughout the year.
Elementary art is designed to reach all students by providing students with a broad range of activities that build on skills taught beginning in kindergarten. Self- expression is encouraged as students are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of creative projects while learning about different artists and their techniques. At each grade level, appropriate projects are assigned. Among these projects are the Renaissance Faire, Arts Alive, T-shirt design, and poster projects.
In kindergarten, students will begin the year by learning about the “drawing alphabet” and that by putting straight lines, curved lines, angled lines, dots, and circles together they can draw anything. They will learn about shapes and primary colors as well as secondary colors. Kindergarten students will learn to use basic tools, materials, and supplies to create their masterpieces. They will experiment with their unique styles and learn that there is no wrong way to do art.
In first grade, students will build on the information they learned from the previous year. They will learn more about form, space, and proportion. They will explore different techniques, apply these techniques to their drawings, and explore color more extensively.
Second-grade students will continue to build on previous information learned. They will learn about three-dimensional works of art and symmetrical balance. Geometric shapes are also introduced in the second grade.
Third graders will utilize a variety of media in the production of various art works. Different artists and their artwork will be introduced this year as well as color schemes, balance, and contrast.
Fourth graders will continue learning about various artists and their works as they study certain techniques used by individual artists. They will also learn more about value and drawing techniques as they learn to draw landscapes and still life. Drawing faces will also be introduced in the fourth grade.
The Mars Hill Elementary Music program follows State and National Standards. Students will learn about composers as well as music notation and theory. They will also be taught folk songs and multicultural pieces. Students will be able to experiment with writing and playing rhythms and music. Instruments are often used for accompaniment and sound stories. Elementary students perform in a musical each year that involves singing, costumes, choreography, and lines. Below is an outline of the concepts covered at each grade level on a yearly basis.
- Composer knowledge
- Basic theory including the way notes move on the staff
- Speaking/chanting in rhythm
- Singing in a group and individually
- Moving to music
- Playing Orff Instruments
- Listening and understanding
- Creating meaningful music experiences
- Understanding music as it relates to life and history
- American Folk Music
Creating a lifelong love of reading is the main goal of our elementary librarian, Mrs. Williams. Working side by side with our classroom teachers, Mrs. Williams strives to motivate students to read by teaching and reinforcing library and reading skills necessary for proficiency.
The elementary library has special shelves for kindergarten and first-grade books that are easily accessible to our younger students. An educational magazine section is available to our fourth-grade students. All elementary students look forward to sitting in the famous reading tub for independent reading time.
In addition to a weekly library visit for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, pupils look forward to our book fairs and author visits. Mrs. Williams has hosted a variety of children’s authors such as Rick Anderson, Tedd Arnold, Eddie Bowman (aka Chester Drawers), Jerry Pallotta, David M. Sargent, and Michael Shoulders. Other yearly highlights include the third-grade Thin Danley project and the fourth-grade Literary Pumpkin project.
Elementary students are developing the following skills:
- Discovering the location and organization of the elementary library
- Learning to respect the library and library books
- Listening attentively to stories in order to comprehend and recall facts
- Asking and answering questions concerning the literature
- Developing respect for the thoughts and feelings of others
- Understanding the difference between fiction and nonfiction
- Choosing books based on personal interest
- Learning how to take an AR test
- Respecting the library and library materials
- Identifying parts of a book along with the author, title, and illustrator
- Differentiating between the roles of the author and illustrator
- Identifying books on the student’s STAR reading level for AR purposes
- Exploring and choosing books based on personal interests within the student’s personal STAR reading range for maximum growth in reading
- comprehension and fluency
- Selecting and using both fiction and nonfiction books
- Understanding call numbers
- Understanding how to check out books
- Identifying facts in literature to answer specific questions
- Discovering that information can be found in illustrations
- Respecting the thoughts and feelings of others and practicing active listening
- while participating in discussions.
- Reading and discussing classic stories
- Practicing active listening
- Discovering the Dewey Decimal System and its purpose
- Continuing to learn and identify parts of a book
- Understanding the information on the spine of a book
- Developing an appreciation for chapter books
- Identifying and understanding new literary terms
- Learning to distinguish between literary genres
- Identifying and choosing books based on student’s STAR reading level
- Continuing to develop active listening skills
- Continuing to locate and appreciate fiction and nonfiction
- Gaining an appreciation for age-appropriate book awards
- Developing beginning research skills
- Identifying reference books and understanding the purpose of an atlas, a
- dictionary, an encyclopedia
- Adding age-appropriate literary terms to working vocabulary
- Understanding how the Dewey Decimal System works (10 classes)
- Developing a deeper understanding of the student’s personal STAR reading
- range and its importance when choosing reading material
- Practicing active listening
- Developing a better understanding of the Dewey Decimal System and how
- books are organized
- Learning to use call numbers for book location
- Gaining a better understanding of reading for pleasure and reading to gain
- Researching famous Alabamians
- Knowing the purpose of age-appropriate books
- Understanding the difference in fiction based on fantasy vs. reality
- Choosing a variety of literature within the student’s personal STAR reading range
Physical Education is a planned progressive program of experiences, which emphasize human movement. Health, physical development, and acquiring motor skills are the unique contributions of Physical Education to the development of the whole child. The major objectives of Physical Education are:
- The development and maintenance of good health and physical fitness,
- The acquisition of motor skills, and
- Participation in physically active recreation. Physical Education compliments other subject areas in the school. Studies show that students learn better and have better emotional and social skills when they participate in frequent physical activity. Few realize the extent to which experiences in Physical Education help to increase vocabulary, competence in calculation, the ability to read, and the ability to reason.
Children, at different rates and styles, learn concepts and gain self-confidence as they explore a variety of movement experiences. All students need the opportunity to experience success, which is very important to our program, as they explore many aspects of movement, rhythmic activities, sports, and coordination skills.
The elementary physical education program strives to develop the whole child: mind, heart, body, and soul. Students in kindergarten through fourth grade participate in physical education activities daily where they are motivated to maintain a healthy level of fitness. Students are taught to have respect for everyone, to be responsible, and to put safety first always. One of the highlights of the physical education curriculum is the P.E. program held every other year.
Yearly goals for all elementary physical education students:
- Students will be able to demonstrate competence in using a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
- Students will apply knowledge of specified concepts, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance games.
- Students will learn how to get along and cooperate with each other while developing teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle while recognizing the value of good health as it helps provide a better life socially, emotionally, and physically.
- Students will demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior that shows respect for self and others.
Elementary Spanish is a weekly highlight for all kindergarten through fourth-grade students at Mars Hill. Our program follows the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards to help students gain a better understanding of the language and culture. Guided lessons and interactive games add to the classroom experience and engage students in the learning process.
- Use descriptive words to express opinions about a variety of materials.
- Respond appropriately to simple directions.
- Use learned vocabulary to express simple commands.
- Identify rhythm or speech patterns in culturally authentic materials.
- Recite high-frequency words, phrases, and sentences focusing on imitating correct and appropriate intonation and pronunciation.
- Describe cultural behaviors in a variety of social situations.
- Identify elements (food, clothing, music, etc.) of the culture.
- Relate concepts learned in other subject areas to concepts learned in Spanish.
- Identify similarities or differences between the target culture and their own.
- Recite learned nursery rhymes in the target language.
- Create simple sentences to communicate familiar topics in the target language.
- Use appropriate gestures, etiquette, and oral expressions for greetings, farewells, and common classroom interactions.
- Identify simple target language words from diverse children’s multimedia sources.
- Retell stories using learned vocabulary and proper pronunciation and intonation.
- Identify common practices of the culture.
- Describe tangible products from the culture.
- Identify children’s songs and selections from literature of the target culture.
- Categorize target language and culture information by relating it to
- corresponding school subject areas.
- Identify words common to both the target language and English.
- Compare authentic materials of the target culture to their own.
- Name professions in the target language.
- Organize an activity using authentic target language resources.
In addition to the technology used in the elementary classrooms, our students in TK through fourth- grade visit the elementary computer lab for one class each week. Our Technology classes follow Alabama state standards in order to make sure that our students are ready for the next level in using technology. Our lab contains iPads, Chrome Desktops, and Robots to ensure that students are familiar with various types technology. The following list gives a description of the topics covered during Technology Lab and an example of an activity for each topic.
- Code.org: Coding is similar to learning a second language and is vital to help our students succeed in the future job market and our world.
- EXAMPLE: Code.org provides classroom “Unplugged” activities as well as online coding puzzles that start with children who are just learning to read and build from there.
- Robotics: The students will have to opportunity to learn about programming and engineering by using LEGO WeDo 2.0 and Dash robots.
- EXAMPLE: Students will learn about force and motion by calculating & programming their LEGO WeDo 2.0 to lift and move certain objects.
- Beginning keyboarding & typing skills: Teaching proper hand placement, posture, and keys for each finger.
- EXAMPLE: 1st- 4th grade students will have a TYPING.COM account. Students will also watch instructional videos, fill in keyboard diagrams, and practice using keyboarding games.
- Google Docs: Learning to type, format (change fonts, colors, and insert pictures) and create documents so students are capable of typing research papers and other documents.
- EXAMPLE: Students create a monthly journal page with picture and compile these at the end of the year to create a book to take home.
- Google Sheets: Learning to organize information and turn it into a spreadsheet format.
- EXAMPLE: Students are given a list of party supplies and must organize and type it into spreadsheet form as if they are planning an event or party.
- iPads: Use educational apps to practice spelling, writing, sounds, reading, math, history, science, grammar, and problem solving skills.
- EXAMPLE: Students use apps made for their level of learning such as Little Writer or Presidents to help them apply concepts learned in the classroom.
- Commonsensemedia.com and BrainPop.com: Teaches online safety and etiquette for the Internet. It allows students to discuss digital footprints and our online neighborhood.
- EXAMPLE: After watching short videos, a discussion is held about what students should do if faced with those situations. Students then complete follow up activities to learn rules of safety when online.
- Technology Vocabulary: Students learn words associated with technology, which are outlined in the Alabama Course of Study.
- EXAMPLE: Students complete worksheets as well as completing online activities to learn new words. One assignment is to define “Pixel” and then create “Pixel Art” using an educational website www.abcya.com.