Skip to main content

You are here

Curriculum

At the American Community School we develop students who apply their knowledge and understanding to make a positive difference in the world. Through a hands-on rigorous program, we develop students who are critical and analytical thinkers; who are creators and innovators; and who are effective communicators and collaborators. Our teachers use teaching practices that are child-centered rather than teacher-directed.

To learn more about the elementary school curriculum, you can view the grade specific overview below:

 

Pre K1 and PreK 2 Curriculum

Literacy Readiness

PreKindergarten literacy activities prepare students to be successful in formal reading, writing and speaking activities in kindergarten. Students participate in whole-group activities responding to stories read by the teacher and investigate books independently. Students participate in discussion of literature and informational texts read by the teacher and investigate rhyming and patterned texts, reading a big book in unison with the teacher and the group. They begin to learn letter-sound correspondence and to recognize some letters in the alphabet. Students learn to write their own names and dictate stories to be written by an adult.

Mathematics Readiness

Students count by rote to 10 and develop an understanding of one-to-one correspondence for 1-10 objects. They recognize numerals up to 10. Students develop basic concepts of time (this morning, yesterday, evening) and measurement (big, small, heavy). Objects are sorted by shape and color. Students understand the concepts of more and less, and that quantities can be added to or made smaller. They learn to recognize and reproduce simple patterns.

Integrated Units for Science, Social Studies and Social Skills

The PreK curricula address social skills, motor skills and content skills through integrated units in which students learn about the world. In PreK1, curriculum units cover transportation, sea creatures, the seasons, farm animals, construction, celebrations, and all about me. Topics in PreK2 address sense of self (All About Me), celebrations, dinosaurs, transport, space, geography, and plants. Children learn to follow daily routines and to interact with others in a wide range of group situations. They develop responsibilities for their own materials and hygiene.

Specialist Subjects

Each week students attend specialist classes in art, music and physical education. PreK2 also has lessons from the elementary technology teacher weekly. All students attend a weekly library session in which they are introduced to specific children’s books and check out books to take home.

Standards

ACS PreK1 and PreK2 follow standards that have been developed based on preparation for the Common Core Literacy and Mathematics standards and were adapted from the State of New York. Because so much of the learning is based upon students’ developmental readiness at this age, there is one set of standards towards which the curriculum in both PreK1 and PreK2 is aimed.

Kindergarten Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading:

Sample kindergarten student expectations are:

  • With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
  • Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
  • With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.

Writing:

Some of our expectations for kindergartners are:

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
  • Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
  • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Mathematics:

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They are expected to explain their thinking in pictures, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for kindergarten students are:

  • Identify place value of each digit utilizing standard and expanded form through 20.
  • Use concrete objects to model simple joining and separating situations (addition and subtraction) of whole numbers related to sums of 10 or less and write corresponding number sentences.
  • Create grade–appropriate story picture and story problems and solve them using a variety of strategies; present and justify results.
  • Identify and describe measurable attributes, such as length, weight, and capacity, and use these attributes to make direct comparisons.

Social Studies:

Students study topics of:

  • It’s About Time: beginning, middle and end of events and stories; seasonal changes; class timeline
  • It’s About Place: locations in the classroom and in familiar places; places students identify with (home, country, school)
  • What’s Fair: reasons for rules; responsibility at home and at school

Science:

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Weather - Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Seasons
  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating
  • Push and Pull
  • Teeth and Dental Care
  • Ecosystems - Animals and Plants
Grade 1 Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading

Sample grade one student expectations are:

  • Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
  • Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • Identify the main topic and retell key details of an informational text.
  • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
  • Read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings

Writing

Some of our expectations for grade one are:

  • Write narratives and explanatory texts in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
  • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
  • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

Mathematics

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They are expected to explain their thinking in pictures, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for first graders are:

  • Identify, read aloud and write numbers to 100.
  • Using a number line or chart, locate, compare, and order whole numbers less than 100 and identify the numbers coming before/after a given number and between 2 given numbers.
  • Using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number.
  • Solve and create a story problem that matches an addition or subtraction expression or equation using physical objects, pictures, or words.

Social Studies

Students study topics of:

  • Our Families: concepts of past and present, needs and wants, artifacts tell a story
  • Where We Are: geographical concepts using simple classroom maps, land and water on a map
  • Our School: geographical and social concepts of location and responsibility
  • Our Celebrations: cultural concepts of reasons for celebrations and appreciation for a variety of ways to celebrate

Science

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Plants - Structure and Function
  • Track Moon Phases
  • Animals - Structure and Function
  • Sound and Light Waves
Grade 2 Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading

Sample grade two student expectations are:

  • Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
  • Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.
  • Read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

Writing

Some of our expectations for grade two are:

  • Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe.

Mathematics

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They are expected to explain their thinking in pictures, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for second graders are:

  • Compare and order numbers from 0 to at least 1,000 using the words equal to, greater than, less than, greatest, or least.
  • Demonstrate efficient procedures for adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit whole numbers and explain why the procedures work on the basis of place value and number properties.
  • Round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100 and identify situations in which rounding is appropriate.
  • Represent mathematical situations using numbers, symbols, and words and complete number sentences with the appropriate words and symbols (+, -, =).

Social Studies

Students in grade two focus on the community in the following units of study:

  • Community History: changes in the community over time, using a timeline to record events
  • Community Characteristics: land use, mapping the community
  • Work in Our Community: investigation of jobs in the community
  • Community Organization: political concepts of reasons for rules and services provided by governments

Science

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • Structures and Properties of Matter
  • Earth’s System: Processes that shape the Earth
Grade 3 Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading

Sample grade three student expectations are:

  • Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details.
  • Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).
  • Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

Writing

Some of our expectations for grade three are:

  • Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Mathematics

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They explain their thinking in pictures, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for third graders are:

  • Use concrete models and pictorial representations to demonstrate the meaning of fractions as parts of a whole, parts of a set, and division by whole numbers through twelfths.
  • Apply models of multiplication (e.g., equal-sized groups, arrays, area models, equal “jumps” on number lines and hundreds charts) and division (e.g., repeated subtraction, partitioning, and sharing) to solve problems.
  • Add or subtract with numbers less than 100 using mental arithmetic.

Social Studies

Students in grade three learn and apply social studies skills in the following units of study:

  • World Geography: how major geographical and climate areas of the world affect people, plants and animals that live there
  • Needs and Wants: identifying needs and wants, investigating local products, comparing distribution systems for products we buy
  • Ancient Egypt: investigation of daily life and culture in Ancient Egypt and the effect of geography on life in Ancient Egypt

Science

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Life Cycles and Traits
  • Forces and Interactions
  • Weather and Climate
Grade 4 Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading

Sample grade four student expectations are:

  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
  • Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
  • Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions/directions in the text.
  • Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Writing

Some of our expectations for grade four are:

  • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
  • Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Mathematics

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They explain their thinking using diagrams, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for fourth graders are:

  • Compare and order positive fractions (including positive mixed numbers) and decimals on the number line, in number sentences, and in lists.
  • Identify and interpret the place value for each digit in numbers through 99,999.
  • Represent multiplication of up to four-digit by one digit numbers and describe how that representation connects to the related number sentence.

Social Studies

Students in grade four learn and apply social studies skills in the following units of study. Research skills, writing and presentation skills are integrated into these social studies units:

  • Mapping: world geographical regions; relationship of culture to geography
  • Ancient Greece: Ancient Greek culture, mythology, adaptation to geography of the region
  • Ancient Rome: Ancient Roman culture, adaptation to geography of the region, effect on Jordan

Science

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Intro to the Scientific and Design Process
  • Structures, Functions, and Information Processing
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Earth Science
Grade 5 Curriculum

For reading, writing and mathematics, our standards are based on the Common Core, the U.S. standards followed by 46 States. For Science, students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All other subject areas have standards based on US professional organizations or states.

Reading

Sample grade five student expectations are:

  • Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
  • Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information.
  • Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

Writing

Some of our expectations for grade five are:

  • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  • Develop a topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Mathematics

Children develop a strong foundation in mathematics concepts and communication through the use of manipulatives and models. They explain their thinking using diagrams, numbers and words.

Sample math skills for fifth graders are:

  • Read, write, compare, and order all whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers and decimals using multiple strategies (e.g. symbols, manipulatives, and place value concepts).
  • Identify and represent ratios as comparisons of part-to-part and part-to-whole relationships, and solve problems involving ratios.
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions, decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value.

Social Studies

Students in grade five learn and apply social studies skills in the context of studying U.S. history from early peoples to the American Revolution in the 1700’s. Research skills, writing and presentation skills are integrated into these social studies units:

  • Native Americans: geographical regions of North America; relationship of Native American cultures to geography
  • Exploration: reasons for exploration of the Western Hemisphere; famous explorers
  • Colonization and Settlement: Historical events in the colonization and settlement of North America, daily life, economics and trade among the various regions
  • Revolution and the New Nation: French and Indian War, beginnings of the Revolutionary War, key individuals in the Revolutionary War

Science

Students study topics based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students study topics of:

  • Matter and Its Interactions
  • Astronomy
  • Geology
  • Food Webs