Children are provided with a sequential and well-balanced educational program aligned with the Arizona Common Core State Standards and follows the guidelines established by the Arizona Department of Education.
Children learn the required skills by using a back-to-basics approach, practicing and mastering the skills in a safe and supportive environment, and applying the skills to real life situations through specialized programs.
Children in K-8th grades earn letter grades
(ie: A, B, C, D, F) in all academic subjects.
Children are introduced to fundamental skills and given opportunities to practice and master the skills in positive and nurturing learning environments. Children complete classwork and homework, including written assignments, group work, hands-on projects, and class activities.
1. Reading – A phonics-based program is used beginning with letter sounds and blends and vowel pairs followed by prefixes, suffixes, and multi-syllabic words. Learning and mastering sight words is emphasized. Children practice comprehension and vocabulary skills by reading fiction and non-fiction stories, tall tales, plays, and poetry. In second grade children read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Freckle Juice as a whole class, and in third grade children read Little House in the Big Woods and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. The basal reader, “Trophies,” published by Harcourt Inc., is the textbook series.
2. Language Arts – The Language Arts program is integrated with the Reading program and emphasizes phonics, spelling, grammar, vocabulary and writing. Students take weekly spelling tests and complete a variety of writing assignments, such as dictating storylines, journal writing, and writing stories and reports. Children begin using the five step writing process (brainstorm ideas, write rough draft, revise paper, proofread, write final copy), as they learn to use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Using proper English, speaking clearly, writing neatly, and listening carefully are also taught. The textbook series is “Trophies” published by Harcourt Inc.
3. Math – Children learn math concepts, such as identifying numbers, counting objects and shapes, telling time, counting money, adding and subtracting triple-digit numbers, and multiplying and dividing single-digit numbers. By the end of third grade children are expected to master addition facts 0-20, subtraction facts 0-18, multiplication facts 0-12, and division facts 0-12. Using problem-solving skills to answer word problems is also introduced. The Saxon Math program is taught..
4. Social Studies - The curriculum teaches children about famous U.S. cities and landmarks and important presidents. How to use maps, graphs, and charts is introduced, and current events in the community, state, country, and world are discussed. “Social Studies” published by Harcourt Inc. is the textbook series.
5. Science – Concepts from life science, physical science, earth science, and health education are taught in each grade. Children learn about the five senses and basic body parts; compare solids, liquids, and gases; identify layers of the earth; and study parts of a plant and butterfly. The “Science” series published by Harcourt Inc. is the textbook.
6. Character Counts – In the Character Counts program the traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship are taught, practiced, and applied to real life situations. Children participate in class lessons that emphasize the importance of telling the truth, using manners, listening to others, taking turns, and following rules. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy specifically for each grade level and follows the standards and guidelines of the national CHARACTER COUNTS! organization.
7. MicroSociety – The MicroSociety program teaches children how academic subjects are significant in daily life by providing children with opportunities to practice skills in a miniature, student-operated society. Children complete job applications, interview for jobs, and find employment in businesses such as the post office, jewelry store, and arts-n-crafts shops. They complete a voter registration form and vote for the student president, vice-president, and class representative. Children deposit and withdraw money from the bank, count money when they shop in the Mustang Village Marketplace, and work together to develop a successful business. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy and follows the standards and guidelines of the national MicroSociety Inc. organization.
4th-6th GRADE CURRICULUM
Children review the basic concepts and progress to a higher level of study. They continue to practice and master skills by completing written assignments, giving oral presentations, completing projects, and contributing to small group work.
1. Reading – Instruction continues with synonyms, antonyms, sequencing, drawing conclusions, and making predictions. Literature styles focus on realistic fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and biographies. Whole-class novels in fourth grade include The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Bud, Not Buddy. Children in fifth grade read class novels such as Summer of the Swans, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Hatchet. Class novels in sixth grade include Where the Red Fern Grows, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, and The Borrowers. The basal reader, “Trophies,” published by Harcourt, Inc., is the textbook series.
2. Language Arts – The Language Arts and Reading programs continue to be integrated with emphasis given to using correct spelling, grammar, and vocabulary when writing. Children use the writing process and begin learning the six traits associated with quality writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions) to write personal narratives, book reports, research papers, and business letters. They continue taking spelling tests and practicing vocabulary and grammar skills. Using proper English, speaking fluently, writing neatly, and listening carefully continue to be taught. The basal reader, “Trophies,” published by Harcourt, Inc., is the textbook series.
3. Math – Children review the basic math facts and continue with multiplying and dividing double and triple-digit numbers; adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals; estimating and converting whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and percentages; finding perimeters, circumferences, and areas; and identifying prime numbers, least common denominators, and greatest common factors. Effectively using problem-solving skills continues to be taught, as the difficulty of word problems increases. The Saxon Math program is taught.
4. Social Stdies – The program in fourth grade focuses on Native Americans, history of the southwestern part of the U.S., and AZ history. In fifth grade, children study the history of the U.S. from early Native American cultures to the Civil War. Children in sixth grade study world history and the impact of famous leaders. Current events continue to be discussed. The “Social Studies” series published by Harcourt, Inc. is used.
5. Science – The program expands on the foundations children learned in the primary grades. Children study cell structures, parts of the skeletal and nervous systems, and types of muscles found in the human body. They also study the solar system, types of soil, and weather patterns. In fifth and sixth grades, children participate in the school’s Science Fair by conducting experiments using the six scientific steps of question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data/results, and conclusion. “Science” published by Harcourt, Inc. is the textbook.
6. Character Counts – The traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship continue to be applied to daily life in the Character Counts program. Children practice skills such as working together, playing fairly, accepting responsibility, and protecting the environment. Children participate in class discussions, small-group activities, and whole-class projects. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy and follows the standards and guidelines of the national CHARACTER COUNTS! organization.
7. MicroSociety – In the MicroSociety program, children continue to participate in the miniature, student-operated society and apply their academic skills to everyday life. Children complete job applications and interview for jobs, and they also write resumes. They deposit and withdraw money from the bank, and they also have a checking account and are responsible for balancing their checkbook register. Children find employment in businesses such as the post office, jewelry store, and arts-n-crafts stores. They also find additional employment opportunities by working as bank tellers, government officials, loan officers, and safety monitors. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy and follows the standards and guidelines of MicroSociety, Inc
7th-8th GRADE CURRICULUM
In the seventh and eighth grade classes, children move into an advanced study program as they prepare for high school. They give independent and small-group presentations, participate in small-group and whole-group class discussions, and complete projects and written assignments.
1. Reading – Children read many types of literature, emphasizing comprehension, vocabulary, and application to real life situations. They also practice using context clues, drawing conclusions, and making inferences. Literature styles include realistic fiction, non-fiction, mystery, fantasy, plays, poetry, short stories, and biographies. Whole-class novels include Among the Hidden, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, and The Outsiders.
2. Language Arts - The Language Arts program is integrated with the Reading program, and places a strong emphasis on writing, speaking, and listening. Children increase use of the writing process and six traits of writing, as they write stories, reports, poetry, descriptive papers, research papers, and persuasive letters. Children continue learning grammar skills such as simple and compound subjects and predicates and independent and subordinate clauses. The textbook used for grammar, vocabulary, and writing is “Writers Choice” published by Glencoe-McGraw-Hill.
3. Math – The program focuses on algebraic concepts. In seventh grade children first review fractions and real numbers, and then move to pre-algebra, including variables in expressions, distributive property, rational and irrational numbers, and basic geometry. In eighth grade children study algebraic concepts, such as absolute value, evaluation of algebraic expressions, exponents, and graphing linear equations. “Pre-Algebra” is the textbook used in seventh grade, and “Algebra” is the textbook used in eighth grade. Both books are published Saxon.
4. Social Studies – The Social Studies program covers a portion of the history of the United States along with the American government system. In seventh grade the Civil War through the Great Depression is the focus, as topics such as outcome of the Civil War, rise and fall of American presidents, and impacts of the Great Depression are studied. In eighth grade children study the U.S. government system, including the checks and balance system and three branches of government. Current events continue to be discussed. “U.S. History” is the textbook for seventh grade, and “Civics in Practice” is the book in eighth grade. Both books are published by Holt, Rinehart, Winston.
5. Science – The seventh grade Science program centers on life science, and the eighth grade program focuses on physical science. In seventh grade children gain a basic foundation in biology, as they study cells, viruses and bacteria, and seed and non-seed plants. They also learn more about the human body, including the human skeleton and body systems. In eighth grade children focus on physical science concepts, such as electricity and magnetic force, matter and energy, and properties of compounds, mixtures, and solutions. They also learn basic chemistry and chemical reactions, plus complete a study of the periodic table. Children participate in the school’s annual Science Fair by conducting a science experiment using the six scientific steps of question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data/results, and conclusion. The “Science” series published by McDougall Littell is the textbook.
6. Character Counts – In the Character Counts program, the traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship continue to be taught and practiced, with much emphasis given to applying these skills in everyday life situations. Children focus on setting goals, building a positive reputation, making good decisions, dealing peacefully with disagreements, being tolerant of differences among people, respecting authority, and helping the school and community. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy for each grade level and follows the standards and guidelines of the national CHARACTER COUNTS! organization.
7. MicroSociety – In the MicroSociety program, children continue to apply academic skills to real life situations. In this miniature, student-operated society children type job applications and resumes, interview for employment, earn money and pay bills, write checks and balance checkbook registers, and calculate tax rates and pay taxes. Children also write laws for the student society, establish prices for products and services, and serve as leaders in Mustang Village businesses. Children continue to find employment as bank tellers, loan officers, safety monitors, and lawyers, plus have opportunities to serve as business managers, president and vice-president of Mustang Village, and business entrepreneurs. The curriculum was written by Stepping Stones Academy and follows the standards and guidelines of MicroSociety, Inc.