BEAS Elementary (K-6th Grade) Curriculum
We believe that in order to be successful in and out of school, students need to develop strong social skills and habits. We use a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, which focuses on making academic learning engaging, building positive school community, having clear and predictable routines and learning structures, and ensuring teachers have extensive developmental awareness.
What does Social Emotional Learning look like at BEAS Academy?
- Morning Meeting (A.K.A Social Skills Class)
- Interactive Modeling
- Hopes & Goals
- Democratically Created Classroom Rules
- Quiet Time
- Closing Circle
- Positive Teacher Language
- Logical Consequences
A daily class routine that helps children transition from home to school, builds community, creates a positive climate for learning, and reinforces academic and social skills. Morning Meeting will generally occur during the first 15-30 minutes of the school day.
A special protocol for proactively teaching and practicing routines and setting children up for a safe, supportive, successful school experience.
Teachers and students work together to name individual goals for the year and establish rules that will help everyone reach those goals. When teachers and students speak publicly about their hopes and goals, a sense of group identity emerges.
At the beginning of the school year, each class holds their own version of a convention based on constitutional principles, agreeing on the rules by which they will be governed. This helps to ensure that all the children buy into the rules. Each class spends time early in the year discussing what the rules will look and sound like in different areas of the school and with special area teachers.
Short, playful, whole-group activities that are used as breaks in lessons.
A brief, purposeful and relaxed time of transition that takes place after lunch and recess, before the rest of the school day continues.
A five to ten-minute gathering at the end of the day that promotes reflection and collaboration as well as celebrates learning that has occurred through participation in a brief activity.
Helps us create an environment in which positive behaviors can be encouraged and children develop a growth mindset.
One of the ways teachers respond to poor choices or misbehavior is by designing a consequence in collaboration with the child. We generally focus on how the student can fix what went wrong. Though, if the situation involves safety, the student may temporarily lose a privilege until they can earn it back. Consequences are not punitive in nature, but rather they are designed to be relevant (directly related to what went wrong), realistic and respectful.
SEL Competencies Addressed in the Curriculum
Students’ ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism
Students’ ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures; to understand social and ethical norms for behavior; and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
Students’ ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
Responsible Decision Making
Students’ ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
Students’ ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
Academic Competencies Supported by our SEL Curriculum
Four self-perceptions influence a student’s academic mindset:
- ‘I belong in this academic community.’
- ‘My effort improves my performance.’
- ‘I can succeed at this work.’
- ‘I see the value in this work.’
Perseverance is a student’s tendency to complete assignments in a timely and thorough manner and to the best of their ability, despite distractions, obstacles or level of challenge.
Learning strategies are techniques, processes, and tactics a student uses to:
- Learn, think, remember, and recall
- Monitor their own comprehension and growth,
- Self-correct when they are confused or have an error in thinking
- Set and achieve goals and manage their time effectively.
Academic behaviors are the ways in which students conduct themselves that support their success in school, including such things as regular attendance, arriving ready to work, paying attention, participating in instructional activities and class discussions, and devoting out-of-school time to studying and completing assignments and projects.
BEAS Academy Core Competencies
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
BEAS Academy offer children a happy and enriching experience in a secure and caring environment. We place the highest priority on building self-esteem and developing the whole child, the curriculum is implemented with the utmost attention to the needs, talents and uniqueness of each child.
We recognize that all kids do not learn language the same way. Some children are naturally more verbal while others may prefer reading and writing. So, we use multiple strategies to our approach to Language Arts that include equal parts speaking and listening with reading and writing skills.
When you walk into a BEAS Academy classroom at any given moment, you’ll see instruction that is designed to:
- Meet children’s individual learning needs.
- Explicitly teach strategies students will use and can continually apply in the future.
- Support small-group work and 1:1 with multiple opportunities for personalized instruction.
- Tap into the power of a learning community as a way to bring all learners along.
- Build choice and assessment-based learning into the design of the curriculum.
- Help students work with high levels of engagement so that teachers are able to coach individuals and lead small groups.
Reading begins with the alphabet, familiar words and sounds and teacher-directed activities, then moves on to stories that are diverse and challenging. Instruction is done with small groups of students who are on the same level and includes a wide range of activities to promote phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension skills, communication skills, and critical thinking.
In this approach, children are exposed to reading authentic literature (real books/authors) in a wide variety on genres. Reading and writing go hand in hand, as students are immersed in the tools great authors use and taught to apply these tools in their writing.
Writing is taught through a workshop approach. Children are exposed to a wide variety of genres (Opinion, Argument, Informational and Narrative). The writing curriculum includes daily lessons and writing experiences to help students become proficient at expressing themselves through all kinds of writing and learn to appreciate and critique the writing of others.
Expressing ideas in a logical manner, discussing options, utilizing an expanding vocabulary, exploring new meanings, evaluating and responding, negotiating, and promoting common ground solutions lead to strong verbal skills for our students. Oral language exercises involve both formal and informal discussions, public speaking, role playing, leadership training, and decision making.
We utilize a math curriculum and methodology, which is focuses on mastery and critical thinking, over rote practice. One of the key features of the approach is the emphasis on a CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) progression. Each new skill is introduced with hands-on manipulatives or real- life objects to help students develop a clear and accurate understanding. Before moving to the abstract concept. Once students demonstrate strong conceptual understanding, they are able to use instead of pushing through rote memorization, students learn to think mathematically and rely on the depth of knowledge gained in previous lessons. The curriculum is individualized based on students’ learning levels, allowing advanced and gifted learners increased challenge and depth as well as acceleration.
- Numbers & Operations – Understanding numbers and operations is critical to mathematics. Singapore Math focuses on place value to provide a deep knowledge of numbers. As students work with and manipulate numbers, they develop fluency with mental math strategies.
- Algebraic Thinking – Singapore Math introduces algebraic thinking as early as kindergarten. Often this is nuanced in the way problems are set up or how students are asked to find missing information. The approach equips students with a curious growth mindset and promotes critical thinking and problem solving.
Problem Solving – Another component of mastery is the ability to take what you already know and apply it in a new context. The heart of our math curriculum is an emphasis on problem-solving. Critical thinking practice is incorporated throughout the curriculum, and it reinforces that there can be multiple ways to approach the same problem. While a correct answer is important, there is greater emphasis on students being able to show their thinking.
The best way to learn science is by doing science. Our science curriculum is rooted in hands-on discovery, investigation, comparison, organization, inference, and application (scientific inquiry/scientific method). The goals of the science curriculum include the attainment of rational and creative thinking processes, attainment of scientific knowledge, understanding the scientific process, using scientific tools and instruments, academic discourse and communication, and…having fun!
Topics investigated in our program include:
Biological & Life Science – The study of plants, animals, human beings, ecosystems, and cells. Topics addressed include:
- Animal Behavior
- Physical Science– The study of matter, mechanics, and energy (light, heat, electricity, magnetism, and sound).
- Health Science– Designed to help students make decisions that will promote personal health, healthful family living and the development of community health resources.
We believe that music and movement – to speak, sing and play, to listen and understand, to move and create – should be an active and joyful experience. At the same time, we are committed to developing musical skills and music appreciation in our students. The music education curriculum includes choral and instrumental music as well.
K-2nd grade music program. Topics students learn about in our music program include:
- Pattern, rhythm, pitch
- Playing musical percussive instruments
- Creating movement to demonstrate tempo, feeling, and steady beat
- Finding their singing voice and singing on pitch
- Experiencing a wide variety of locomotor movements and create expressive ranges of movement and sound
- Distinguishing a variety of instruments and have an understanding of music families
- Learning cultural dances that are danced by children all over the world in their native countries
- Concepts such as loud v. soft, fast v. slow, steady beat, singing v. chanting
Students learn about: Aesthetics, Art Criticism, Art History. Mediums include drawing, and painting.
Among topic’s students learn about:
- Elements of art (line, shape/form/space, color/value/texture)
- Principles of art (movement, rhythm, variety, emphasis, unity, proportion, balance)
- Simple tools
- Vocabulary of art
- Movement and rhythm in painting
- Tints and shades
- Foreground, middle ground and background
- Representational and monrepresentational art
- Use of color to create a mood
Students participate in warm up exercises to build strength and stamina, and engage in games to develop balance, agility, and coordination. We work on building skills for team sports including basketball and soccer. Students develop cooperation and sportsmanship by participating with partners, in groups and on teams. They learn to give positive feedback and support by using verbal and nonverbal communication. We emphasize respect for themselves, others and the equipment during physical activity. Students are encouraged to develop positive habits and attitudes toward healthy living, hygiene and nutrition.
Defining Elements of the Curriculum
Character Counts is a school-wide value at BEAS Academy. Our kindergartners learn to work cooperatively, to share and to respect others. We focus on the six pillars of character and Social Emotional Learning.
These Six Pillars of Character are:
Each of the Six Pillar of Character traits are used to help instill a positive school climate and a culture of kindness, and mindfulness which makes school a fun and safe environment for students to learn.
BEAS Academy is designed to nurture and encourage emotional and social growth, while building academic and cognitive awareness and strength. Our program incorporates all aspects of human development – social, intellectual, physical, artistic and moral – and strives to integrate learning by guiding students to be curious about and develop an appreciation of all that the world has to offer.
The course of study involves an inquiry-based process of learning and is concerned with the development of the whole child and the preservation of each student’s unique strengths and interests. In addition to the enriched academic program, the curriculum supports the development of self-confidence and self-assurance, cooperative learning skills, community awareness and involvement, leadership skills, and the application of cognitive skills to real life situations.
We maintain small class sizes to be able to focus on each student individually. This enables us to learn each student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and learning style so we can challenge and support them on their educational journey.
Our team- teaching model also enables us to provide an innovative developmental curriculum, such instruction is individualized to help children progress along a learning continuum, or progression of skills. The combination of our team- teaching model, 12:1 student to teacher ratio, and developmental curriculum makes BEAS Academy a school where all children succeed!
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin