Curriculum

 

Olivet Academy strives to enable students of every academic level to reach their God-given potential for impacting the world for Jesus Christ.  Whether it be a need for extra assistance, encouragement, or challenge, we place a high priority on providing the necessary resources and environments that promote learning and propel students toward positive achievement.

Beginning in Kindergarten, our academic program is designed to lay a solid academic, intellectual, and spiritual foundation for our students.

 

Chapel/Bible

Students attend chapel service each morning and Bible class, Monday through Friday. Olivet Academy uses the Positive Action Bible Curriculum. The goal of the Bible class is to make the Word of God meaningful to the lives of our students and to learn how to live from their earliest childhood experiences. The Bible curriculum will help them comprehend, discern, apply, analyze, and evaluate a variety of concepts for themselves. The material in this series has been written in such a way that it will help students form personal convictions, supporting these from their own study of God’s Word. In addition, one of the primary goals of this curriculum is to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the students to “conform them to the image” of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Therefore, a strong emphasis is placed on character development with practical lessons, enabling the students to make life-changing decisions for themselves, even at a young age.

Character qualities are brought to life by:

• Studying and defining important character traits.

• Analyzing the character trait through the life of a Bible character.

• Answering questions that directly teach students how to practice that character quality.

• Using a variety of methods including puzzles, artwork, skits, compositions, and discussion to research and emphasize the character trait.

• Encouraging the students to make commitments to develop these qualities in their own lives

 

Literature

Olivet Academy uses the Teaching the Classics method to discuss individual works of literature in the classroom.  Students use Socratic discussion of a particular story with questions addressing all five elements of fiction (conflict, plot, setting, characters, and theme) as well as context and stylistic devices to ask questions and promote critical thinking.

 

Phonics

For Phonics instruction, OA will be using Fundations by Wilson Language Training. As a recognized leader in multisensory, structured language programs, Wilson brings more than a decade of systematic and explicit instruction to the K-2 classroom. Based on the Wilson Reading System® principles, Wilson Fundations® provides research-based materials and strategies essential to a comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program.

Wilson Fundations makes learning to read fun while laying the groundwork for life-long literacy. Students in grades K-2 receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills, emphasizing:

• Phonemic awareness

• Phonics/ word study

• High-frequency word study

• Reading fluency

• Vocabulary

• Comprehension strategies

• Handwriting

• Spelling

The instruction aligns with states’ rigorous college- and career-ready standards.

Although Fundations includes comprehension strategies, it must be combined with a core/literature-based language arts program for an integrated and comprehensive approach to reading and spelling.

Fundations serves as a prevention program to help reduce reading and spelling failure. It is integral to a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) or Response to Intervention (RTI) framework, providing research-based instruction in Tier 1 as well as early intervention (Tier 2) for students at risk for reading difficulties. To support the implementation of an MTSS or RTI framework, progress monitoring is built into Fundations. This allows students requiring a more intensive program to be identified early before undergoing years of struggle.

 

Math

Math in Focus: Singapore Math will be OA’s anchor curriculum. Since the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) reporting began in 1995, Singapore has consistently ranked at the top in math achievement. Singaporean students consistently rank significantly above the world’s average on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses 15-year-old students. Math in Focus embodies the best practices that have propelled Singapore students to the top of international comparison studies.

When children can’t find the meaning in numbers and symbols, solving problems is a struggle. Math in Focus®: Singapore Math® by Marshall Cavendish® helps students make sense of math. Through hands-on learning, visualization, and pictorial representations, their understanding, confidence, and love of math grow.

Math in Focus, the U.S. edition of the highly effective Singapore Math® curriculum, provides easy-to-use teaching and learning paths proven to develop students’ foundational understanding. Built on a framework developed by the Singapore Ministry of Education, it draws on best practices from around the world and highlights problem-solving as the focus of mathematical learning.

 

Science

Olivet Academy uses Master Books’ Science from K-2nd Grades and Apologia Science curriculums for 3rd-12th Grades. Apologia Curriculum is founded upon a biblical, creationist viewpoint.

 

Social Studies

Olivet Academy uses Master Books’ Social Studies curriculum and Story of the World series curriculum. Master Books’ Social Studies curriculum has narrative backgrounds for each time period, critical thinking questions, concepts/generalizations, historical debates, worldview formation, and history and the worldview overviews. The Story of the World covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas. These read-aloud series introduce the students to the marvelous story of the world’s civilizations.

 

Arts

Students at Olivet are engaged in the visual and performed expression of ideas and creativity. To further this goal, students will participate in 225 minutes of art instruction per week. They will be introduced to various media for visual art, dance, and music through performance and creation. Art lessons and performances will be integrated into other core areas, in particular, the class’s reading and writing workshops. Arts education provides the critical thinking, communications, and creativity skills essential to 21st-century success.

 

Technology

Technology aids and enhances students to be able to construct their own understanding of their world, knowledge, and self. Technology education stems from the National Education Technology Standard (NETS) and provides students with 21st-century skills. Pedagogically, technology is integrated from a developmentally appropriate perspective, with an emphasis on social responsibility and problem-solving. Students use technology for research, communication, and productivity in their coursework across disciplines. They have access to and learn how to use a variety of hardware, mobile devices, operating systems, general software, subject-specific software, and Internet applications, with the goal of building students’ confidence so they can learn new systems and applications as technology develops. Students also learn information management, low, analysis, generation, storage and retrieval on local and remote servers. An important focus is on critical-thinking skills and problem-solving strategies with computer science education.

 

Physical Education

Physical Education focuses on engaging children in structured physical activity while still enjoying active playtime. Students will have 180 minutes of structured physical education per week, including 90 minutes of dance. Students will have unstructured outdoor daily playtime for a minimum of 150 additional minutes each week. OA students will learn the importance of sustaining physical health at a primary level.

 

Second Language Learning 

In order to encourage global citizenry, OA emphasizes secondary language learning at all grade levels. Foreign Language in Elementary Grades Program (FLES) shows that the early study of a second language offers many benefits for students including academic achievement, positive attitudes toward diversity, flexibility in thinking, sensitivity to language, and increases in self-esteem and creativity. The youngest brains have the greatest aptitude for absorbing language and someone who is bilingual at a young age will have an easier time learning a third or fourth language later on. In kindergarten, OA students will learn basic vocabulary, and incorporate it into their daily learning tasks across disciplines. Second language lessons will be held daily in response to the recommendations of the FLES program of regular and frequent direct instruction.

 

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional development will be a key component of the curriculum at Olivet. OA SEL curriculum will emphasize skill development in self-awareness, self-regulation, awareness of others (empathy) and relationship management. The Responsive Classroom professional development offers a general approach to teaching, rather than a program designed to address a specific school issue. It is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. The Responsive Classroom approach consists of a set of practices that build academic and social-emotional competencies and that can be used along with many other programs. These classroom practices are the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach and will be adopted at OA:

● Morning Meeting —gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm-up for the day ahead

● Rule Creation —helping students create classroom rules to ensure an environment that allows all class members to meet their learning goals

● Interactive Modeling —teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique

● Positive Teacher Language —using words and tone as a tool to promote children’s active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline

● Logical Consequences —responding to misbehavior in a way that allows children to fix and learns from their mistakes while preserving their dignity

● Guided Discovery —introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity, and responsibility

● Academic Choice —increasing student learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work

● Classroom Organization —setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students’ independence, cooperation, and productivity

● Working with Families —creating avenues for hearing parents’ insights and helping them understand the school’s teaching approaches

● Collaborative Problem Solving —using conferencing, role-playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students