Our Montessori-Inspired Multi-Age Elementary program is for Kindergarten-5th grades.
Below are outlines of the curricula we use for language arts, history and geography, science, and mathematics.
Literacy: The National Reading Panel states that effective reading instruction addresses five essential components to beginning reading: Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension. Here at Agia Sophia Academy we use a modified version of Spalding’s Writing Road to Reading. This is an explicit and systematic teacher-directed program developed in the 1930’s by Romalda Bishop Spalding. According to the Florida Center for Reading Research, The Writing Road to Reading is a total language arts program that is effective for today’s learner. At ASA we use a multisensory approach to teach reading, writing, and spelling. Classroom teachers supplement their reading instruction by introducing guided reading passages and word work from www.Reading A-Z.com and structure their literacy block using the Daily 5 model, developed by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. Writing is based off of the 6 + 1 Traits Writing.
Mathematics: Our goal is to help produce confident problem solvers who enjoy the study of math. The reason we study math is so we can apply what we learn in everyday situations. Through the use of Singapore Math curriculum, students learn math facts, rules, and formulas, and are able to use this knowledge in real life applications. Singapore uses model drawing and hands-on materials to help form mathematical thinking. The study of math is much more than committing a list of facts to memory. It includes memorization, but it also encompasses learning the concepts that are critical to problem solving.
Science: At ASA, Science is taught through inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum. The FOSS curriculum was developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. The curriculum is designed to meet the challenge of providing meaningful science education and prepare students for the 21st century. The students learn important scientific concepts and develop the ability to think critically through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. Lessons combine reading material, discussion and activities in a small-group setting, thus providing stimuli for budding scientists to do further research and spark interest in higher level study. This curriculum along with the Delta Science Curriculum, engage students as they explore the natural world.
History & Geography: We provide students with a foundational understanding of world geography, major cultures, an idea of the chronological order of historical events, and, most important, an enthusiasm for history and geography. At ASA, we follow the Core Knowledge curriculum as our guide with supplemental stories and activities, as well as the Story of the World textbooks.
Faith & Clergy Visits: Students at ASA begin and end each day with a short prayer service. Additionally, we have one Divine Liturgy a month, as well as visits from local clergy and guests. Faith class supplements home and church attendance with consistent reference to and instruction in the Gospels, the Nicene Creed and Divine Liturgy.
Physical Education: PE is provided for all ASA students. Our students learn to develop the sense of physical and spatial awareness through movement towards the eventual mastery of locomotor and nonlocomotor movement patterns. Manipulative skills & fitness activities strengthen the motor skills and the developing body. We achieve this primarily through the use of BrainDance® developed by Anne Green Gilbert.
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.
Music: We believe music is CORE to fully educating the person; therefore, all students receive concentrated music instruction for 30 minutes, 3 days per week. Primarily utilizing the Kodály concept, elements of the Music Curriculum include, but are not limited to the following topics: Theory (Reading & Writing), History & Geography, Vocal Development. The ASA music program is committed to developing the whole musician through training the Ear, Mind, Hand & Heart and supports this by offering music three days a week to our students.
Music Informances: Each year our students participate in different methods for demonstrating what they have learned in music. Each winter the students present a Christmas Pageant and concert. Later in spring, the students present an informance demonstrating cumulative skills learned throughout the year.
Art: We believe Art is a fundamental part of a complete education. It provides experiences, knowledge, and a way of knowing not found in any other curriculum area. Art education provides a means for students to be artistically creative, the ability to express themselves, and involves students intellectually and spiritually. It also provides knowledge and skills that transfer to other disciplines and life situations. Art connects us to the fundamental concerns of civilizations, and leads us to a deeper comprehension of our culture and ourselves. Art education allows students to satisfy one of humanity’s fundamental needs to go beyond mere existence – to exercise their God-given desire to achieve and create.
Community & Special Events: Each year we host a variety of activities for the students at ASA. These may include, but are not limited to: Passport to ASA, Special Guest Day (i.e. Grandparents Day), Pizza Day with the Board, 100th Day, St. Nicholas Day, Safety Days & other in-house presentations.
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.