Enrichment K-3

Spanish, Technology, Library, Music, Art, Physical Education, Community Service

World Language Program. The goal of the lower elementary World Language Program is to develop strong comprehension skills using TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Students are exposed to comprehensible input for 40 to 60 minutes a week through music, move­ment, storytelling, and reading. The Cuéntame and Hola Niños curricula are used to provide repetition of high frequency vocabulary and introduce culture. As students’ skills in the target language improve, whole-class guid­ed writing is introduced. The expectation of student oral production is min­imal at this level and varies greatly.

TechnologyLower Elementary technology introduces students to technology by engaging them in a variety of interactive and fun lessons. The focus is to develop resilience, problem solving, and creativity, all while learning key skills in using a variety of technologies. Students begin in K and 1st grade with the basics of iPad use and care, are introduced to mouse and keyboarding skills, and also begin to learn about the language of coding. Students practice skills such as mouse and cursor manipulation, simple keyboard­ing processes, and basic tasks such as logging on and off, all while engaged in fun and interactive games. Second grade has a larger focus on digital citizenship and greater technology awareness as well as working through a more rigorous coding program. In third grade, students are introduced to the Google Apps for Education suite, which they will continue to use through their time at High Point. In the early part of the year, students focus on keyboarding, preparing them for more project-based integrated work in the later part of the year.

Library. As they progress through the lower grades, children discover the many things our library has to offer and how to confidently locate the materials they desire. They learn to treasure books and libraries as the amazing resources and inspirations that they are. In kindergarten, children learn library rules, book care, parts of a book, how to browse for and check out books, types of illustrations, book categories, and the 5 Finger Method for “just right” books. In first grade, students gain more responsibility with their own library cards, deepen their comprehension of our read-alouds, and expand their understanding of library organization. In second grade, students gain the privileges of taking library books home, plus recess visitation. This gives them daily access to our excellent web re­sources, book collection, and fun activities such as our “Recess Art Club.” In third grade, students take great pride in participating in our Adopt-a-Shelf program, taking full ownership of a library shelf and keeping it organized, thus ensuring every book is in its appropriate place. This squarely establishes the students as stew­ards of our collection, and brings them into the library more often, resulting in more book check-outs.

Vocal Music. Students experience directed interaction with sound by singing, listening, using body movements, and playing rhythm instruments. Distinguishing between higher/lower, faster/slower, beat/rhythm and same/different in musical perfor­mances are woven throughout each lesson for all grade levels. Basic music notation and singing in a round begin in first grade and expand further with each grade level. Instrument families and voice groupings are studied by using video examples and recorded excerpts. Many cul­tural and historical periods are represented with folk and traditional music. Students also begin to practice appropri­ate audience behavior during live performances. Each grade performs its own age-appropriate musical.

Art. The lower elementary art curriculum combines introductory instruction in the elements and principals of design with open opportunities to explore and create using different media. Beginning in kindergarten and progressing through grade 3, students are taken through a series of scaffolded projects designed to introduce materials, processes and procedures in the areas of drawing, printmaking, painting, collage and sculpture. Special attention is focused on the use and development of fine motor skills through project procedures. Project content is often transdiciplinary, and is generally inspired by a combination of nature, real world experiences and historical themes. Step-by-step instruction is given in the use and/or application of relevant materials and tools both traditional and digital. Every lesson is designed for students to be exposed to the formal aspects of the technique at hand, as well as provide the opportunity for creative interpretation. As students advance in grade levels, they assume more responsibility for the preparation of their projects, which consist of additional stages from preliminary studies to the final product. Finished products from selected units are exhibited throughout the year. 

Physical EducationPhysical education in kindergarten is the beginning of a process. At the beginning of their first year at High Point, the kindergarten students still have one foot in preschool and have not had a formal physical education class. In kindergarten to second grade, physical education class is a combination of stretching, running, and skill practice of well-thought-out and proven scope and sequence that corre­sponds to a specific unit of the master physical education calendar for the year (based largely on the Com­prehensive Elementary Physical Education Program by Craig Cunningham and Don Morris). It is a dy­namic curriculum that works, and produces positive results. Physical education in third grade continues the stretching and running disciplines of kindergarten to second grade, plus skill practice according to the specific unit of the master physical education calendar for the year.

Community Service. High Point Academy seeks to nurture empathetic student citizens through community engagement as speci­fied in the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan: HPA should “Enhance an already strong presence in the San Gabriel Valley area through community service that maximizes volunteerism and promotes student empowerment.” To this end, all elementary students will participate in developmentally appropriate community service projects that are local and designed to be carried out on a grade-by-grade basis.