In Elementary, each grade level learns to define Concepts and demonstrate Competencies in Literacy and Numeracy. To learn about and understand the world in which we live in, teachers are using Inquiry Units to dive deep into the curriculum. Students might learn about an ancient civilization in social studies to create questions about equality across the culture and then compare that with equity issues throughout the United States. With cross-curricular units, students might then play games from that culture in physical education, comparing them with current games we play now. Then, the students could use coding in Technology to represent those games electronically.
Colegio Maya places a high priority on helping children develop strong competencies and conceptual understandings in literacy. These are developed through an underlying foundation of Balanced Literacy; the philosophy and framework for how we approach literacy instruction here at Colegio Maya. This framework is built on a research-based understanding that the most effective literacy instruction incorporates a balance of the following components. More details about Balanced Literacy.
Colegio Maya uses a comprehensive math curriculum that equips teachers to fully meet standards for mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. What we teach focuses on building a deeper understanding of basic concepts before engaging more abstract ones. It also emphasizes developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and the ability to solve complex and novel problems. More about our Numeracy.
Inquiry is a process by which teachers guide students to create their own understanding of the world in which they live. With the teacher’s help, students formulate meaningful questions they want to learn the answers to, explore the evidence they find, construct and test theories of why and what happens as a result, demonstrate their learning of the topic and then reflect and act upon what they have learned. Many times, the resulting action comes in a form that connects to the student’s own community and world. Service Learning Projects begin in the Inquiry Units. More about Inquiry.
Students who experience inquiry learning “come to understand that they are able to acquire the knowledge they desire, in virtually any content domain, in ways they can initiate, manage, and execute on their own, and that knowledge is empowering” (Kuhn, Black, Keselman & Kaplan, 2000).
Colegio Maya believes in the holistic nature of children and integrates the arts in Music, Drama and Art class as well as Physical Education, Library, and Technology. Through these courses, students are exposed to musical instruments, theater, multiple art techniques and concepts, sports, physical fitness and adventure units, books from multiple cultures, and robotics and coding. Teachers also work together to integrate these components into the regular classroom, creating special projects and Inquiry Units. We also place a high value on becoming people with positive character traits. Students develop and practice building positive character through unstructured time.