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At STAR Academy we teach our children to be mathematicians. Math concepts are based in real-world applications and taught through a continuum: conceptual, pictoral, verbal and abstract. We know it's important for students to truly become problem solvers and not just be able to solve problems. By having students explore concepts with manipulatives, create models to prove their thinking, and justify their problem solving students are able to make sense of the world around them. We teach that there are many ways to solve a problem and have students share the strategies they used to find the most effective and efficient strategy. Our practices are based on the constructivist approaches designed by Marilyn Burns, Contexts for Learning, and the Common Core Mathematical Practices.
Science and Social Studies
Students become scientists and explore the world around them. The curriculum is taught through hands-on explorations, as well as using informational texts. Students are encouraged to ask questions, create experiments, collect data and draw conclusions.
In Social Studies, curriculum has been designed around big ideas and not just facts. We believe it is as important discover and understand patterns across time such as "Whenever one group gains power, another group loses power" or "Change is positive and negative." Students learn research strategies so that they can determine perspective when reading primary and secondary documents, learn how to organize their thinking and write from multiple perspectives.
The academic curriculum at STAR Academy prepares students to become independent life-long learners and active citizens in their communities.
Reading and Writing
We work closely with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University to encourage our students to become readers and writers as they experience reading and writing in various genres, at their individual levels, through the workshop model.
In writing, students study mentor texts in genres such as Fanstasy, Realistic Fiction, and Histroical Fiction. Students write daily about topics of their choosing and go through the writing process. The unit ends with students having a publication celebration and sharing their work.
In reading, students spend time learning about themselves as readers. They think about their favorite books and authors and use that to find other books of interest. Students read independently daily at their perfect reading level. This means that each kid has picked a book that seems interesting and is at a reading level that is going to move them forward. During reading time, teachers conference with students to help them develop strategies that will help them tackle more complex books. Our goal is to develop life-long readers. For more information on the Reading and Writing Project, please visit:
Music, Art and Physical Education
All children learn how to be creative and express themselves thought Music, Art and Physical Education. Our curriculum is designed based on NYS standards to teach students how to think like a musician, artist and athlete. In Art work in different media, create a portfolio and learn how to critique their own work. In Music, students learn how to read music, compose music, and play the key board and perform at school assemblies and talent show. In Physical Education, students learn how to be healthy and active and how to work as a team.
CKCC (Competent Kids, Caring Communities)
CKCC is a school-wide program whose mission is to develop Competent Kids within the context of Caring Communities through building social-emotional competencies and strengthening home-school partnerships.
CKCC is based upon the notion that, for student success, the traditional “3 R’s”—‘Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic, need to be extended to include 5 additional “R’s,” as illustrated below. CKCC’s “5 R’s” correspond to five social-emotional competencies .