Some of the teaching materials (40%) for this age group has been created by our teachers and curriculum director. The materials have been designed or chosen to address each student’s individualized capacity for learning. It is the philosophy of the Marcus Garvey School that a group of students should not be taught from a “one size fits all” perspective.
Students in grades kindergarten thru fifth receive a challenging thirteen subject curriculum. The five core subjects of Math, English,Spelling, Reading, and Penmanship are taught daily. All other subjects are taught twice weekly. Because of the small class sizes, students are given ample instructional time. Teachers are able to address the individual needs of students who need additional instruction. All classes consist of at least two levels of teaching and in some cases three levels of teaching; primary, intermediate and advanced. It is our goal to make learning enjoyable and not intimidating. Therefore, the day is filled with a lot of interactive lessons that allow students to express themselves in many ways. Students are tested in every subject on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. Homework is issued in the amount of three to four subjects Monday thru Thursday.Creative folders are handmade by some of the teachers who thrive on inspiring their students to take great pride in their school work. These folders are sent home on a weekly basis filled with the students’ classwork and tests. The students are always so proud to hand their hard earned grades to their parents!
The Marcus Garvey School uses a unique approach to teaching the concepts of math to all students in grades preschool through fifth. It is our philosophy that all students are capable of learning at their own pace. Therefore, in the initial stages of teaching mathematics, we build the confidence of students by ridding them of any inhibitions they might have. By separating them into small groups to accommodate their individual needs, and showing them just how easily concepts are mastered, most students excel immediately. In each class the basics of mathematics are covered while presenting the more challenging edge of mathematics simultaneously. A child’s advancement is dependent upon the expectations of the teacher. The Marcus Garvey School teaches at math levels that are two to five grade levels above state standard mandates.
Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Earth Sciences are taught to students in preschool through grade fifth. They learn to use the following science processing skills: Observe, Classify, Estimate, and Measure, Infer, Predict, Make and Use Models, Investigate and Experiment, Form Questions and Hypothesis, Identify and Control Variables, Collect Data, Interpret Data, and Communicate. Projects are a big part of the learning process. Students are encouraged to do individual projects as well as group projects. Field trips and competitions are incentives used as part of the learning process.
Reading and Literature
Reading is the lifeline to all other areas of learning. It is pertinent for young readers to develop an early love of books that stimulate an interest in their immediate and worldly surroundings. Students are exposed to the many genres of literature. In addition to reading at school, students are encouraged to select stories of interest and read outside of school. We encourage them to read silently at school and to read for fun! Some of the Garvey students begin reading as early as pre-k because of an early and consistent approach to phonics. There is a tremendous amount of oral reading covered at the elementary level. Many students begin to excel due to the overall reading environment that encourages students to read in front of their peers on a daily basis. Book reports, projects, power point presentations and field trips to bookstores are incorporated into the reading lessons of the Marcus Garvey students.
Pre-k students initially learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet in sequence with the aid of a wall chart, flash cards, and daily pronunciation drills. Additionally, students are taught 40 spelling patterns (often called rhymes or rimes). Weekly spelling tests are administered to students in pre-kindergarten thru grade eighth. A minimum of five words are given to pre-kindergarten students.
Ten to twenty words are given to students in grades kindergarten thru fifth. The retention of definitions is also a large part of spelling lessons as students receive weekly vocabulary lessons. In addition, students are given assignments that involve the writing of sentences, paragraphs, and short stories, all of which include the weekly spelling words.The creation of verbal drills are used to add more excitement to spelling lessons and the students take great pride in leading these drills. With ease, students learn to spell two to five grade levels above their actual grades.
The goal of the Marcus Garvey School is to develop strong young writers who will potentially develop the skills of some of our well-known writers who have had an overall affect on our society as a whole. Students should not experience a fear of writing for creativity, structure, and success. Therefore, an early and confident approach to writing helps to conquer inhibitions. Teach children to love writing and the sky will always be their limit.
Since the basis of reading comes from an adequate foundation in phonics, an emphasis is place in this area of learning as early as the age of two. By age four, students are expected to be well on their way to reading from 1st grade books. The Marcus Garvey School’s phonics program is fun filled and gives students the confidence needed to accomplish fluency in reading and spelling. The pre-k and kindergarten phonics program is based on 40 spelling patterns. Students in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade receive an abundance of phonetic related materials on a daily basis. Students who are 5 years of age, and have not been exposed to the fundamentals in phonics, receive the same level of instruction as 4 year old students, with the difference being a larger quantity of work and higher expectations from the teacher.
Health and Wellness
Throughout the lessons in health the students learn about the importance of good health and the measures they can take to help keep their bodies physically fit for life. They also discover how they can help friends and family members remain healthy as well. All chapter reviews cover lessons objectives, health vocabulary, reviewing health ideas, and thinking critically. Good nutrition is prevalent in the meals that are served at school and the students are constantly reminded about the importance of a well balance meal. Many students take nutritional lessons learned at school into their homes. Students learn about the importance of good mental health, hygiene, safety, and community health. Our goal is to help them become more aware of their physical presence in order to remain healthy for the duration of a lifetime.
Marcus Garvey School has chosen to teach the African language of Swahili. The language is colorful and full of melodic drills that engage the students phonetically while challenging their memory banks. The ability to speak more than one language is also a great builder of self-esteem. In addition to appreciating the ability to understand and speak basic Spanish, it is our desire for your child to gain an appreciation for the language of Swahili too. Students learn that Swahili is a phonetic language, so each letter, or combination of letters has, by and large, only one sound. There are exceptions to rules of pronunciation in every language, but in Swahili these exceptions are few. This makes Swahili quite easy to pronounce once the basic principles have been retained. Please join with us in embracing this African language.
Marcus Garvey School has chosen to teach the Latin language of Spanish. The language is colorful and full of melodic drills that engage the students phonetically while challenging their memory banks. The ability to speak more than one language is also good for one’s self-esteem. The more your child develops an appreciation for the language, the stronger the effort to learn this language should become. Spanish is widely spoken in the state of California and we want to assist in our children becoming bilingual, if only at a very basic level. We view our level of teaching as a stepping-stone for those students who might develop at stronger interest in speaking the language.
Geography is a great tool that is used to expand a student’s understanding of the world and the people who live in its vast and different hemispheres. Pre-k students learn the locations and pronunciations of the capitals and states of the United States of America. They also learn about the different bodies of water.
Students in grades kindergarten through fifth learn about the locations of all of the continents, the landforms of regions, the different types of maps, the cultural differences amongst the people of the world, and much more.
African History/United States History/World History
The importance of understanding the history of communities, states, countries and the world at large is crucial to the development of a child’s experience in the world of today and the world tomorrow. At Marcus Garvey School, students in pre-k through fifth school are taken on an eye-opening academic journey that elevates their understanding of the physical and political make-up of the history of the United States and the world. Teachers use teacher created materials and supplemental materials from lessons. All other levels (kindergarten through fifth) use textbooks, projects, computer technology and field trips to arrive at a level of appreciation and understanding of people who are both alike and unlike themselves.
Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade learn parts of a computer, how to use a mouse and how to type. In addition, students learn how to type a “Friendly Letter” using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint basics. Just for fun, students use Microsoft Publisher to create holiday, birthday, and thank you cards. Students are in class for one hour three times weekly. Each student is required to acquire a USB to save computer lessons and projects.
Students in grades third through fifth learn how to use “short cut keys” and how to type without looking at the keyboard. In addition, students learn how to type a one page report using Microsoft Word. They also learn how to create a slide show using power point software. Marcus Garvey School encourages students to become entrepreneurs by teaching them how to create invitations and flyers using Microsoft Publisher. In the end they learn about career opportunities in computer science.
Students in grades third through fifth participate in physical educational classes three times weekly. The classes consist of calisthenics, strength building techniques, and competitions. Younger students receive an hour of physical activity daily.
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