Our Multi-Age Elementary Program
Our Montessori-Inspired Multi-Age Elementary program is for 1st through 5th grade. What is Montessori-Inspired Elementary? Click here to learn more.
Our elementary classrooms offer excellent academic resources and curriculum. The teachers focus on interest-based units, classroom centers, and individual attention for each child. In addition to the research that shows the positive academic effects of a multi-age room, studies also confirm that students benefit from the blended social structure with increased community awareness, teamwork, communication and better peer relationships. This holistic, creative approach will highlight and develop a lively social awareness through modeling, peer assisted learning and plenty of room for peer relationships in various settings.
In the Elementary classrooms the focus is on literacy, mathematics, science, history, geography, and faith. The students then have scheduled times in other rooms for music, art, languages studies, and physical education.
Students pursue health, physical fitness and active lifestyles based on the National Standards for Physical Education and Dance which aids in developing Muscular Strength, Aerobic Capacity, Muscular Endurance and Flexibility. Through Cooperative Games, Creative Dance, and Folk Dances, the students learn about other cultures, social awareness, cooperation, problem solving, and self and group expression.
We believe, as Zoltán Kodály believed:
- Music is necessary for the development of the total man.
- Music is the birthright of every child, not just the musically gifted.
- Music and culture are preserved through music study; therefore, children are to become musically literate by reading and writing the music of their own culture.
- By becoming immersed in the elements of music, students become discerning listeners.
Each year our children participate in different ways of demonstrating what they have learned in music. Each Christmas brings a Christmas Pageant and concert; each spring, the students present an informance demonstrating cumulative skills learned throughout the year.
The Art program begins at the Kindergarten level, teaching students the rules and mechanics of drawing. They learn about: line, form, shape, space, value, color, and texture. To create an aesthetic whole they learn about: contrast, emphasis, balance, unity, proportion, movement, and rhythm.
Children also learn and work with various media including: charcoal, ink, clay, collage…to stimulate their imagination and creativity. With respect to color, they learn the basics of color wheel and color mixing, which is a foundational skill for this age.
Art History is integrated into Art program to build a clearer understanding and engage the children in History.
ASA students begin learning Modern Greek class starting at the age of 3. Our Greek class is inspired by the Total Physical Response language instruction principles, which emphasize teaching language naturally, in the same way that children learn it in the home. Using images, songs, actions, and manipulative objects, children learn how to identify objects in Greek and follow simple directions. Greek culture and history are also taught through traditional songs. The curriculum for Lower Elementary and Montessori is strictly verbal, while the Upper Elementary children are also exposed to basic reading skills, etymology, and verb conjugation. Etymology is especially valuable as it can tie in to other subjects, including science, religion, mathematics, other foreign languages, and more.
Latin is an important part of our programs. Learning a second language at a young age is advantageous in many ways. Latin has been found to equip a person with the strongest single foundation for mastering Romance languages. Though English is not a Romance language, there are a great many words derived from the Latin language, and in that way, Latin serves as a supplement to students’ Vocabulary and Language Arts education, as well as a reinforcement of English grammar rules. Working with Latin also broadens a person’s notion of structures possible in languages other than English. Latin is introduced starting in 2nd grade.
"I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say... even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent." ~ Dorothy Sayer
In the past, Agia Sophia Academy also organized and hosted the annual Orthodox Youth Cultural Exchange, where children from Portland’s various Orthodox churches shared their ethnic dances, songs and more, in celebration of Orthodox culture.