Clarksville Academy - Promoting Academic Excellence, Moral Integrity, Physical Growth, and Civic Responsibility

Lower School Course Descriptions

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

A love of learning is initiated in our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs where strong academics are paired with our nurturing environment.  Students explore and learn in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.  Lessons and activities are geared toward enhancing and providing hands-on experiences as they meet early childhood areas of learning:  cognitive, emotional, aesthetic, social, physical, academic, and motor development.  At Clarksville Academy, students learn through exploration, play, and discovery.  Teachers fill each day with learning experiences that guide students academically.  Programs are designed to assist students in developing at their own individual pace to reach their fullest potential.  Educators use small group, highly differentiated instruction to ensure students’ readiness in math, reading, science, language arts, and social studies while assisting students to develop and be successful.  Instructors promote problem-solving skills and encourage creativity, curiosity, self-direction, and responsibility.


Math

The mathematics program taught to grades Kindergarten – Third, based on Saxon Math, builds on the students’ capabilities by expanding their problem solving skills with real life experiences.  Students learn from this hands-on success-oriented series that emphasizes use of manipulatives, mental math, and uses a multisensory approach to teaching.  Topics are grouped into nine strands:  Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Patterns, Algebra, and Functions, Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability, Problem Solving, Communication, Mathematical Reasoning, and Connections.  Lessons build and spiral around to what has been previously taught.


Literature and Language Arts

Strong literature and language arts skills are the foundation for lifelong learning, communication, and career success.  Our literature and language arts programs help students in Kindergarten – Third Grade develop their skills in analyzing complex texts, citing text evidence, reasoning critically, writing confidently, and communicating thoughtfully, which are the essential skills for college and career.  Teachers empower their readers by skill mastery, high-order thinking skills, and comprehension.  The students are nurtured with all the basic ingredients required to help them blossom as readers, from early literacy through the literary classics and beyond.


Social Studies

Our basic goal of social studies education for Kindergarten – Third Grade is to prepare young people to be humane, rational, and participating citizens in a world that is becoming increasingly interdependent.  Teachers teach ten interdisciplinary thematic strands as a guide for developing the curriculum.  Through the stories of intriguing people, exciting places, and fascinating events that make social studies relevant to their lives, students gain a global perspective.  They also learn the social studies themes and skills they need to become informed, participating citizens who consider diverse points of view, use critical thinking skills, and are active in their communities.


Science

Our Lower School science program designed for grades Kindergarten – Third helps students spark that curiosity to inspire the next generation of innovators and inventors to ask more WHYs, think more critically, and become creative problems solvers.  Teachers empower students to develop a foundational understanding of science at an early age through conceptual learning and hands-on activities while teaching life, earth, and physical sciences.  Inquiry skills are used by observing, inferring, classifying, measuring, using numbers, communicating, predicting, interpreting data, forming a hypothesis, using variables, experimenting, making models, and defining based on observations in which the students acquire knowledge about the natural world.


Vocabulary

Wordly Wise, a robust vocabulary program, is taught in the Lower School classes of Second – Fifth Grade.  This program provides direct vocabulary instruction that increases students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.  Wordly Wise words are commonly encountered in grade-level literature, content-area texts, and a variety of high-stake tests, including the ACT, PSAT, SAT, and state tests.


Spanish

Students in grades Pre-Kindergarten – Third Grade take Spanish classes, which allow students to begin to acquire the language through storytelling and reading in the target language.  Studies have shown repeatedly that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind in young children.  Pre-K students at Clarksville Academy meet weekly and use the Salsa Academic Base Program. The Spanish teacher guides them through each episode, making sure that the language is comprehensible.  Continuing in Kindergarten through third grade, students meet twice a week and learn Spanish through storytelling and personal interviews.  Students should leave lower school Spanish demonstrating a comprehension of high frequency words as learned through class stories.  Students must first learn to listen, read what they have listened to, and write about what they have read and listened to.  Finally, they learn to speak the language.


Music

Music classes at Clarksville Academy experience age appropriate activities.  Daily, students learn musical concepts in a variety of forms.  Children recognize to read, notate, perform, and create rhythms.

The Lower School music classes recognize, identify, and explain aspects of musical form including dynamics, tempo, and articulation.  They perform music with appropriate expressive qualities.

In the arts’ program, students experience, recognize, and respond to a variety of creative movement, instrumental and vocal timbres.

In grades Pre-Kindergarten – Fifth, students participate in a Christmas Concert, Grandparents’ Day Celebration Concert with art exhibits.  Different programs are used for each subject thus maximizing the students’ learning.

Lower School students explore fundamental music concepts and continue to develop their singing, performance, and listening skills as they progress through the grades.

Lower School choir is offered in grades three – five.


Technology

Lower School students use technology as a natural extension of their day.  Students are exposed to technology in Pre-Kindergarten on their mini iPads as learning centers.  Kindergarten – Third Grade students use their mini iPads to research, explore, write, present and create.


Science Lab

Grades 1 – 5 enjoy a curriculum based, hands-on enrichment class of labs reinforcing science concepts introduced in the classroom.  These labs are taught on and above grade levels to enhance the classroom content.


Math Lab

Students in grades second and third have math lab weekly.  They engage in problem solving games, puzzles, and activities to enhance their math skills and creativity.  The labs are taught by a rich, hands-on curriculum, reinforcing and enhancing math concepts introduced in the classroom whereas students strengthen their mathematical thinking skills.


Art

Our CA Lower School Art program provides each student access to self-discovery, creative problem solving, developing craftsmanship within their skills and learning how to visually communicate ideas.  We do one or more of these tasks in each class, everyday.  We live in a world where a picture says a thousand words, and we are teaching our students how to look at those pictures and interpret what they are seeing. Art is providing our students priceless lessons in developing their thinking and interpreting of our world.


Physical Education

Physical education’s primary goal is to develop students’ fundamental movement skills within a variety of developmentally appropriate games and activities, stressing movement education, awareness of fitness components and motor skills. The program will also enhance students’ personal fitness and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a variety of physical activities. Personal and social responsibility, self-directed learning, and problem solving skills are also reinforced throughout the K-5 physical education curriculum.


FUSE Curriculum Guide

Math

The FUSE Math program focuses on the conceptual understanding of 4th– and 5th-grade math concepts.  Students use hands-on manipulatives and drawings to create models, which help them to understand mathematical calculations and how they work.  Our curriculum is enhanced with technology by using math-related apps and websites on the iPad Minis to reinforce and enrich student learning.  The foundation is set to prepare students for the pre-algebra skills introduced in Intermediate School math.


Writing

The FUSE Writing program focuses on the development and understanding of 4th- and 5th-grade writing concepts. The steps of the Writing Process are used, as well as self, peer, and teacher evaluations to learn the importance of feedback for improvement.  Students use technology available through their iPad Minis for publishing, research, enrichment, and skill building while writing.  Students build confidence and increase interest in writing as they explore the different styles and skills appropriate to their levels.  Cross-curricular writing is used to strengthen personal abilities as well as to allow the learner to experience a deeper understanding of his or her course content through critical thinking.


Social Studies

The FUSE Social Studies program focuses on the understanding of history concepts appropriate to the 4th– and 5th-grade levels.  This content-rich curriculum includes topics such as: European Exploration, Native Americans, Colonization, The American Revolution, Westward Expansion, The Civil War, Government, modern-day America, and more.  Students are immersed in the content through history investigations, research, hands-on projects, cross-curricular learning, critical thinking activities, and technology integration through the use of applications available on their iPad Minis.  Students develop a passion and appreciation for history, as well as a desire for knowledge of current events in the world today.


Reading and Language Arts

The FUSE Reading and Language Arts program focuses on developing strong readers and thinkers through the study of novels and other high quality children’s literature.  Students use technology to enhance reading skills and develop creativity.  Students learn critical thinking skills that help them explore the many genres of literature, and create projects that build upon their skills.  Grammar and mechanics skills are developed through Language skill practice and usage.  Cross-curricular learning is incorporated through the use of themed novel studies.


Science

The FUSE Science program focuses on the ability for 4th– and 5th-grade students to understand scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry in the world.  Earth, life, and physical science are all facets of the FUSE Science program.  Students experiment with and explore topics such as cells, heredity, biodiversity, matter, energy, motion, and weather through hands-on and technological approaches.  The students develop a better understanding of the world in which we live and are prepared for higher-level inquiry and experimentation.