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.
The overall philosophy of our Lower School math program is for children to love math, build confidence, and see the relevance of math in everyday life. Math provides experiences to explore, learn, and practice mathematics in a range of settings, including whole class, small groups, partners, and individually.
It is important for the students to build a strong foundation in elementary math skills and concepts in grades Pre-Kindergarten-Fourth. Problem-solving is practiced in daily lessons that include real-life application problems. In our program, students use manipulative, multiple models, and rich, rigorous questions, while moving through a carefully sequenced arc of learning where they develop deep conceptual understanding. Class discussions and written reflection in mathematics are encouraged because this is when students clarify and solidify their learning. They practice, apply, and discuss what they know with skill and confidence. We strive for our students to be engaged with learning, working smarter, and ready for the future.
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 – Fourth 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 through 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.
Our basic goal of social studies education for Kindergarten – Fourth 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.
Our Lower School science program, for grades Kindergarten-Fourth, helps students spark that curiosity to inspire the next generation of innovators and inventors to ask more whys, think more critically, and become creative problem 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.
We want to build inquiry, STEAM skills, and capture the curiosity of science learners. Our digital curriculum, virtual labs, hands-on activities, and write-in student worktext develop important critical-thinking skills that prepare students for success in future science courses and in the workplace.
Students in grades Pre-Kindergarten – Fourth 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 fourth grade, students meet twice a week and learn Spanish through storytelling and personal interviews. Students should leave lower school Spanish demonstrating 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 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 the 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 – Fourth, students participate in a Veteran’s Day Program, a Christmas Concert, and a 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.
The Lower School choir is offered in grades three and four.
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 – Fourth Grade students use their mini iPads to research, explore, write, present, and create.
Grades Kindergarten-Fourth enjoys 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.
Our Lower School science lab is truly a place where each child’s inquisitive spirit soars. The children are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work like scientists by observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations. Our science program actively nurtures students’ natural curiosity.
Students participate in executing science experiments that incorporate STEM and STEAM elements. We introduce Engineering Design Plans and educate students by integrating these elements into our hands-on labs. Clarksville Academy stimulates critical thinking in a dual-component process: by providing students the opportunity to follow an experiment online, along with designing and creating their own ideas. Students are exposed to the National Science Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Tennessee Science Standards.
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.
Thinking creatively and having artistic perspective drives the experiences of our youngest artists in the art room. Our Lower School Art curriculum provides each student access to self-discovery, creative problem solving, developing craftsmanship within their skills, and learning how to visually communicate ideas. Students engage in one or more of these tasks in each class, every day. 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 with priceless lessons in developing their thinking and interpreting our world.
STEAM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Students study STEAM concepts in their everyday classrooms as well during visits to the Maynard Makerspace.
The Makerspace was opened in August of 2019 after a generous donation from the Joe and Cathi Maynard family. The Makerspace is open to students PreK-12 and often includes interactive learning across multiple grades and curriculum levels.
The Maynard Makerspace creates countless opportunities and experiences that will pique our students’ imagination and creativity. It is a place where students can engage in STEAM activities and projects in a hands-on, creative environment.
Students have access to the most straightforward tools and the latest technology resources. The 3D printer and laser cutter allow students to design, create, and make their designs. Students can use the green screen to change the background of pictures and videos they produce, direct, and edit. If students want to be in space, become a weather reporter, stand at the top of a mountain, the green screen makes it possible for students to be anywhere in the world. LittleBits can be used to learn about electronics and engineering to design, create, and build their own electronic devices, such as a Ferris wheel or electronic inchworm. Students love to play, and the Sphero robotic ball makes learning the basics of coding and programming a lot of fun. Using the virtual reality goggles, students can travel to faraway places such as the African Sahara or Antarctica. Students will feel like they have been somewhere, but they never left Clarksville Academy. The Maynard Makerspace is where students can try something new, take chances, and be creative.
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 PK-4 physical education curriculum.