Curriculum

The Hellenic American Academy prides itself on following the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks www.doe.mass.edu and National Common Core Standards www.corestandards.org.  All curriculum and programs are carefully researched and agreed upon by the Academy administration, principal, and teachers.  In addition, consultants are utilized to assist and support staff with curriculum planning implementation and assessment.

The primary goal of the pre-kindergarten program is to provide students with a safe, nurturing, and academically motivating environment.  An atmosphere is created that encourages respect for the feelings, opinions and personal property of others.  Social, emotional, physical, and intellectual   development is stimulated through participation in learning centers, group activities, and creative play.  Our early childhood educators are guided by the Creative Curriculum System for pre-kindergarten, which is a researched based system that offers comprehensive resources to build an exceptional quality program.

The primary goal of the kindergarten to grade 8 program is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain a high quality education.  Assessments, instructional materials, teacher professional development, and curriculum are aligned with state and national academic requirements.  Communication skills, critical inquiry, diverse perspectives, informational literacy, and ethical reasoning are promoted.  Students are supported to achieve at or above grade level in all academic areas as teachers closely monitor and analyze assessment data.

Hellenic American Academy recognizes that curriculum is continuously evolving and includes but is not limited to specific topics or areas of study.  The Academy is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC.)  A summary of grade level curriculum is listed below.

Pre K 3

  • Reading/Language Arts - Students will be able to predict what comes next in a book, recall information, and recognize their own name in print.
  • Mathematics - Students will be able to identify, biggest and smallest, sort by color, sort by shape, and count to #10.
  • Writing - Students will be able to trace basic shapes, free hand basic shapes, trace their own names, and free print their own names.
  • Science/Sensory - Students will be able to explore different materials and begin to understand cause and effect.
  • Self Help Skills - Students will complete simple self-help tasks such as: put on their own jackets, clean up after an activity, initiate a new activity, and ask for help when needed.

 Pre K 4

  • Reading/Language Arts - Students will be able to answer questions with support, make predictions for a story, understand sequence of events, and identify characters in a story.  Students will be able to make connections between a story and “real life” experiences.  Students will be able to speak in complete sentences.  Students will be able to understand plural nouns, question words, and frequent occurring prepositions.
  • Phonics - Students will be able to understand phonics and word analysis skills.  They will be able to link an initial sound to a picture that begins with that sound, be aware that words have different sounds, and make connections between sounds and letters.  Students will be able to rhyme words and recognize their own name.Mathematics - Students will be able to identify and describe basic shapes, describe and compare measurable attributes, count numbers from 0-20, and recognize numbers 1-10.  They will be able to understand basic addition and subtraction.

  • Science - Students will be able to understand different weather patterns for the seasons, differentiate between living and non-living things, and understand different habitants for animals.

  • Social Studies - Students will be able to understand influential people in the history of the United States such as the President and become aware of national holidays such as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.

 Kindergarten

  • Reading/Language Arts - Students will be able to identify the parts of a story such as title, author, and themes.  They will be able to recognize different types of texts such as storybooks and poems.  They will be able to engage in group and independent reading.  Students will be able to print lower and upper case letters, print their first and last name, understand question words, and use proper capitalization and punctuation.
  • Phonics/Spelling - Students will learn the sounds of the alphabet A-Z.  They will learn high frequency words, single syllable words, rhyming words, and beginning and ending sounds.  They will begin to spell simple words phonetically.

  • Writing - Students will be exposed to, draw, and write different genres of writing: lists, poems, labeling, word webs, informative and imaginative stories.

  • Mathematics - Students will be able to represent, count, compare, and write numbers #1-20.  They will understand two and three-dimensional shapes.  They will learn simple addition and subtraction.  They will count by #1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s.  Students will learn the basic concepts of measurement and classifying and sorting data.

  • Science - Students will be able to understand weather patterns, the seasons, apples, pumpkins, plants, and animals.  Students will begin to learn about observations and the collection of data.

  • Social Studies - Students will learn about their neighborhood and celebrate holidays.

Grade 1

  • Reading - Students will learn reading strategies such as picture clues, sounding out words, looking for “chunks”, rereading sentences, and using prior knowledge to decode unfamiliar words.  Students will also learn comprehension strategies such as making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing to help them understand what they are reading.
  • Language Arts/Writing - Students will learn basic grammar skills.  They will write personal narratives, informational accounts and opinion descriptions.
  • Phonics - Students will learn phonemic awareness in order to be able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning.  For example, separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness.
  • Spelling - Students will learn to spell using their skills from phonics.  Word families and sight words will be introduced.
  • Mathematics - Students will learn addition/subtraction concepts and strategies, and the relationship between addition and subtraction.  They will study how to count and model numbers.  They will compare numbers.  They will add and subtract two digits.  Students will cover measurement, representation of data, and two and three-dimensional geometry.
  • Science - Students will learn about:  living and non- living things, their environment, earth’s materials, weather, periodic phenomena, observable properties of objects, states of matter.
  • Social Studies - Students will learn what it means to be a good citizen in school and in their community and why rules and laws are necessary.  They will also learn about their government, American symbols, and national holidays.  Children will learn about needs and wants, goods and services, and community helpers.  Students will learn mapping skills, landforms, bodies of water, the impact humans have on the environment, communication, and transportation.  Families are alike and different.  Communities and culture are diverse, forever changing, and are shaped by people’s actions.

 Grade 2

  • Reading/ Language Arts/Phonics/Spelling - Students will develop fluency and comprehension in their reading through shared reading of stories and discussions.  The students will be exposed to a variety of literary genres and use these to explore concepts.  The language arts program also encompasses spelling, grammar, handwriting, creative writing, and vocabulary.  Students are also taught the skills necessary for oral presentations.
  • Writing - Students will be introduced to the principles and methods that underlie high-quality writing instruction.  The program is designed with four main units of study, which are organized around narrative, information, and opinion writing.
  • Mathematics Students will be introduced to the concepts of numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability, and problem solving.
  • Science - Students will be exposed to hands-on experiences that are fundamental to the inquiry approach to science.  The science program presents opportunities for students to investigate, explore, observe, gather data, and make inquiries about their world.  Students are introduced to the following science subjects: life, physical, earth, space, and technology.
  • Social Studies - Students will be provided with concepts that will help them become active, informed, and responsible citizens.  The primary subject matter of the social studies program includes:  communities, caring for our world, working together as good citizens, our nation’s past and present history, and people and places in history.  Students will develop the skills needed to live and work in global society. 

 Grade 3

  • Reading/Language Arts/Spelling - Students will be able to review the grammar, mechanics, and usage of sentences.  Declarative, interrogative, explanatory, and imperative sentences will be discussed.  Nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections will be reviewed.  Students will be able to identify subject pronouns and replace a subject noun or nouns with the correct pronoun.  Students will identify and use adjectives that compare.  Abbreviations, capitalization, and punctuation will be examined.  Students will be exposed to different genres: fiction, nonfiction, historical novels, fantasy, and biographies.  Students will read as a class, in pairs and independently.  Students will interpret and evaluate what they are listening, listen responsively to stories, apply comprehension skills, and understand major ideas and supporting evidence.  They will be exposed to sight words and vocabulary in conjunction with specific subject areas.
  • Writing - Students will be introduced to the principles and methods that underline high-quality writing instruction.  The program is designed with four main units of study that are organized around narrative, information, and opinion writing.  Students will be exposed to poetry.  Students will become familiar with expository and exclamatory writings.
  • Mathematics - Students will develop an understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for fractions, cultivate an understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area, and describe and analyze two-dimensional shapes.
  • Science - Students will learn about science, engineering, and technology.  Students will be exposed to life science that includes plants, living things, earth science that includes the earth and the universe, and physical science that includes matter, energy, forces, and motion.  Ecosystems will also be introduced.
  • Social Studies - Students will concentrate on the history of the state of Massachusetts with specific emphasis on the American Revolution.  Students will learn about the geography, economics, government, and the role of the Pilgrims and Puritans.

 Grade 4

  • Reading/Language Arts/Spelling /Writing - Students will be able to read with fluency and expression.  They will utilize root words, prefixes, suffixes, and context clues to analyze unfamiliar words.  Comprehension strategies are applied to literary and expository texts.  While using literature books, students will learn to identify and write about characters, setting, plot, main ideas, and supporting details of a story.  They will learn the difference between fact and opinion, cause and effect, and comparing and contrasting.  Writing will be integrated across the curriculum.  Narrative, informational, and opinion writing will be included.
  • Mathematics - Students will be able to understand place values and computation of numbers up to four digits.  Students will recognize the relationship between numbers and the various ways of representing fractions and decimals.  Students are introduced to basic geometry and spatial relationships.  Students are taught to find methods of measurement.
  • Science - Students will learn about the structure of the solar system and the universe.  They will learn about the position of planets, meteors, comets, and the sun.  They will learn about the configuration of rocks and soil.  Students will learn about the characteristics, structures, and functions of living things.  Technology and engineering concepts will also be introduced.
  • Social Studies - Students will explore the world through the use of maps.  Students will recognize the different physical features of a map.  Students will also learn about various land features such as plateau, peninsula, and mountain ranges.  Location, place, and human interaction with the environment, movement, and regions will be introduced.

 Grade 5

  • Reading/Language Arts/ Spelling/Writing - Students will explain what the texts say and will be able to draw inferences.  Students will determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem.  Students will compare and contrast characters, settings, and events.  Students will determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text.  The overall structure of a story, drama, or poem will be explained.  Students will assess a point of view and how it shapes the content and style of a given text.  Students will read and comprehend literature and informational texts independently and proficiently.  Narrative, informational, and opinion writing will be included.
  • Mathematics - Students will be introduced to place value, multiplication, and expression division of whole numbers.  They will add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals, add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators, and multiply and divide fractions.  They will be introduced to algebraic patterns and graphing, measurement, geometry, and volume.
  • Science - Students will focus on science, engineering, technology and mathematics.  Students will understand the human body systems and how they are essential for life.  They will recognize the major components and patterns observed on the earth.  They will be able to understand motion and the factors that affect motion.  They will comprehend how plants and all living things survive in their environments Students will also learn the basic properties of energy.
  • Social Studies - Students will be able to focus in on the study of the history of the United States with particular attention to the early explorers, colonial times, and the American Revolution.

 Grade 6

  • Reading/Language Arts/Writing - Students will be able to read and comprehend literature including stories, dramas, and poems. They will read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. Students will write over extended time frames for research, reflection, and revision for a range of tasks and purposes.  They will interpret information, use knowledge of grammar and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. They will demonstrate an understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. Chapter books and independent readers will support the standards. Students will continue high quality of narrative, information, and opinion writing.  As students reach mastery, text complexity and vocabulary will become more challenging.
  • Mathematics - Students in grade 6 will understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.  They will compute multi digit numbers and find common factors and multiples. They will apply and extend arithmetic to algebraic expressions of one variable equation. Students will be introduced to geometry solving problems of area, surface area, and volume. They will understand statistical variability and summarize data.

  • Science - Students in grades 6 will learn about the Earth’s surface and structure, ecology, environment, technology, forces of matter, and astronomy. They will be introduced to chemistry, simple machines, magnetism and electricity. Students will understand the properties of waves and energy. They will become aware of the structure classifications and physical properties of matter. They will understand the earth, moon, sun system and the properties, structures and predictable motions of the universe.  Students will be introduced to the structures, processes and behaviors of plants that enable them to survive and reproduce. They will understand the flow of energy through ecosystems and the population. They will become familiar with motion, the effects of forces on motion, and graphic representations of motion.  Students will understand how the cycling of matter in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans. They will understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic functions of life.
  • Social Studies - Students in grade 6 will be provided with an understanding of spatial perspectives and technologies for spatial analysis, awareness of interdependence of world regions and resources and how places are connected at local, national, and global scales. With a focus on geography, students will be able to construct, understand, and identify charts, maps and graphs. Students will be able to locate physical and cultural features depicting various aspects of the United States and world regions.

Spanish 6

Students in grades 6 will gain speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills of the Spanish language. The living patterns, social structure, and value systems of the Spanish culture will be presented. Initially, the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year, colors, and numbers # 0-100 will be introduced. Students will understand everyday conversations regarding time, weather, the Aztec calendar, foods, health, sports, and school.  Initially, grammar that includes but not limited to verbs, infinitives, adjectives, articles, conjugation of verbs, and verb tenses will allow students to speak Spanish conversationally.

Library

Students will develop an appreciation for reading and literature.  Students will learn the parts of a book, author studies, and research skills. Fiction and nonfiction books are read. Research is done through collaboration with teachers while aligning library skills with classroom content. 

Technology

Students will learn technology skills from using a mouse with the youngest students to learning how to use word, excel, power point, research skills with the older students. Technology is used in alignment with classroom curricula. 

Art, Music, Physical Education,

Students in grades Pre K-6 will be exposed to art, music and physical education weekly, which aid in the achievement of core competencies such as creative thinking, decision-making, and problem solving as basic needs for life long skills. Art provides a base for creativity, imagination, elements of environment and color theory.  Students learn to appreciate the work of famous artists and their effect on culture and society.  Music skills transfer to study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills. Music broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them, which contributes to intellectual development. Students in physical education will learn the skills and knowledge to take responsibility for their own fitness for life. They learn that movement is essential to human expression.