ASV Elementary students learn in a warm and caring environment where taking risks is valued. An optimal learning environment is created using Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Students are taught expectations and an intentional focus is placed on positive choices. When students are taught what is expected of them, and how to follow expectations, they will understand these expectations and typically exceed them.
Elementary School consists of Grade 1 through Grade 5. During a typical week students engage in rich activities in a variety of curricular areas:
- Language Arts (English language)
- Math (taught in English)
- Science (taught in English)
- Spanish (part of the Spanish national curriculum)
- Valencian Language (required as part of the Valencian regional curriculum)
- Social Studies / Ciencias Sociales (co-taught in Spanish and English)
- Music (taught in English)
- Physical Education (taught in English)
- Art (taught in English)
- English as an Additional Language (English language support for non-native English speakers)
- Spanish as an Additional Language (Spanish language instruction for non-native Spanish speakers)
A major emphasis is placed on English language acquisition throughout the Elementary School program. A firm foundation in English assist students not only in English language but in other curricular courses as well. Therefore, some students may be required to attend English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes as part of their differentiated English language instruction.
Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and Spanish National Standards form the foundation of the core curriculum. Instruction by qualified teachers in these standards fosters the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills needed to be a life-long learner. Although separate curricular standards exist for each discipline, integrated and cross-curricular instruction occurs regularly in order for students to apply learning in real-life contexts. In Science, Mystery Science is being a useful resource for teachers to engage students in scientific inquiry.
ASV embraces the workshop model developed by Teachers College (Columbia University) to deeply engage students in curricular content. Small group and individualized instruction foster deep engagement and a love of life-long learning. Students are taught multiple strategies to communicate mathematical concepts and develop critical thinking skills. Technology instruction is integrated throughout curricular areas to support collaboration, autonomy, individual engagement and creativity.
Math, Language and Arts
Grade 1 is the beginning of Elementary School. Teachers build on strategies taught in Kinder to support students in their growth as readers and writers. In Math students are building number sense and solve simple problems, using math models to demonstrate and share their mathematical thinking. In Science students explore animal habitats, properties of matter and weather, while in Social Studies/Sociales, students learn about their family, school and immediate surroundings.
In Grade 2 students begin to engage more deeply in their reading and begin to read chapter books. In Math students continue to use math models to create and solve more complex real-life word problems. By the end of Grade 2 students are acquiring fluent mental computational skills in addition and subtraction in preparation for Grade 3. In Science students explore soil habitats and designing mixtures, while in Social Studies/Sociales, they learn about professions and their community.
In Grade 3 students become proficient, independent readers. In Math students begin multiplying and dividing using visual models to further develop their understanding of the properties of multiplication and division as well as multi-step word problems and fractions. In Science students study the human body, gravity and magnetism and shoreline science, while in Social Studies/Sociales, they learn about the Earth and society.
In Grade 4 students shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Students deepen their ability to discuss and analyze texts. In Math, students are using all mathematical operations to apply their learning in new situations, as well as exploring basic geometry and algebraic thinking. In Science students study Weather and Water Habitats, Environmental Adaptations and Fossils, while in Social Studies/Sociales they learn about pre-history and democracy.
In Grade 5 students learn to analyze and think critically about text and writing. They use a variety of tools to synthesize and demonstrate learning. In Math students complete basic foundational elements to prepare them for the secondary level Mathematics curriculum. Students combine decimals and fractions, learn to find area and volume, and graph points on the coordinate plane. In Science, students study light energy and model of matter, while in Social Studies/Sociales they learn about space, maps and selected moments in Spanish and American history.