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 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 grades 4-5, literacy instruction is reduced to two 90-minute periods per day, still three times more than what many traditional public schools offer. The extensive time dedicated to literacy makes MAS elementary students some of the strongest readers in the state of New Mexico based on K-2 Istation performance and PARCC and transition assessment scores for students in grade three and beyond!
At MAS, we developed our mathematics curriculum using Larry Ainsworth's Five Steps to a Balanced Math Program, which in turn was based on the recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The five steps program emphasizes supporting students to not only solve mathematical problems, but to effectively communicate their understanding to others. The curriculum is designed so that teachers provide “balanced” instruction to support students in learning more than “procedural” or computational mathematics. The curriculum is deliberately created to support students in gaining a deep understanding of math so that they can apply their math skills and reasoning abilities to solve real-life problems requiring mathematical solutions. Our math program is centered on activity-based investigations, which encourage our students to think creatively and develop their own approaches to problem-solving and working cooperatively.
MAS teaches the state's Next Generation Science Standards as a standalone course starting in grade four through high school. In grades K-3, science is embedded through the English language arts curriculum.
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.
At MAS, we introduce a variety of sports and other physical activities to provide students with the skills they need to learn about and improve their fitness and health, all while having fun through activities that grow their fine and gross motor skills. The physical education curriculum allows the opportunity to teach active participation in group games, develop the habits to maintain physical well-being, focus on conflict resolution and team-building skills, and provide opportunities to challenge students both mentally and physically. Elementary students have physical education every other day to keep them healthy and fit, and to provide them an appropriate outlet to release their energy!