In elementary school, students learn to read so that they can read to learn beyond these grades. As a result, in grades K-3, MAS students receive three approximately 90-minute instructional periods focusing on reading, writing, and language arts. Our curriculum includes the Reading Mastery and Language Mastery programs, plus the Wit & Wisdom language arts curriculum. In grade 4, literacy instruction is reduced to two approximately 90-minute periods per day, still three times more than what many traditional public schools offer. The extensive time dedicated to literacy makes MAS students some of the strongest readers in the state of New Mexico based on K-2 Istation performance, PARCC, and transition assessment scores!
At MAS, we use the Achievement First Curriculum K-12. With Achievement First, our hope is to prepare students to be successful in the world after college. To do this, they must be able to make sense of the world through a mathematical lens. Therefore, we approach learning mathematics as more than learning facts and procedures for solving specific types of problems. At MAS, we know that a student is well prepared by developing their proficiency and expertise in a number of mathematical practices that have long standing importance in mathematics education.
We do this at MAS by focusing on conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts and making connections across math ideas. As we do this, students are simultaneously gaining procedural fluency. This allows students to focus their mental energy on how to approach and think through problems rather than know a specific algorithm. In our classrooms, you will see math instruction with teachers as the facilitators to guide student knowledge. As students engage in problem solving, they will learn to make sense of problems. Our students develop critical thinking skills and concepts to help plan and execute the best approach to solutions while reflecting on the process.
With the use of guided inquiry, students can develop conceptual mathematical understanding of topics and strengthen their perseverance. By increasing this, students will make connections to previously learned content and will be able to use its application to solve real work problems.
Our K-1 math classes utilize a blended learning model with whole group instruction, small group instruction, and computer instruction with interventions based on student need by using both teachers in the classroom. Classrooms in grades 2-4 also use two teachers in order to differentiate and support all learners in the classroom.
We believe the arts are an integral part of educating the whole child and a critical part of the school day. Elementary students are exposed to various fine arts including art, music, and dance incorporated into their daily classes.
At MAS, we introduce a variety of sports and other physical activities to provide students with the skills they need to improve their fitness, health, and fine and gross motor skills, all while having fun. The physical education curriculum provides students the opportunity to learn active participation in group games, develop habits to maintain physical well-being, focus on conflict resolution and team-building skills, and provide fun mental and physical challenges. Elementary students have physical education every day to keep them healthy and fit, and to provide them an appropriate outlet to release their energy!