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.

Curriculum Descriptions

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 ReadingA-Z 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We believe music is core to fully educating the person; therefore students receive music instructions 3 days a week. Classes include dance/movement, theory, history, and application through writing and playing instruments. Students acquire these skills using art songs, classical music, Orthodox music, and American Folk Songs.

We believe, as Zoltán Kodály believed:
  1. Music is necessary for the development of the total man.
  2. Music is the birthright of every child, not just the musically gifted.
  3. 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.
  4. By becoming immersed in the elements of music, students become discerning listeners.
The Kodály approach to music education is child-centered and taught in a logical, sequential manner, training musicianship and providing an understanding of the world of music through the experience of singing and the use of instruments, including the keyboard, various percussion instruments and the Baroque recorder.

Music Informances
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.
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.

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.
Learning a second language at a young age is advantageous in many ways. Latin and Modern Greek are an important part of our program for both Montessori Preschool and Elementary students.

Greek Language
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 Language
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
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.
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Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or Contact Us for more information.