Our Elementary Homeroom teachers strive to create a caring, supportive homeroom environment where students develop the habits, skills, and interests needed to succeed in American Middle Schools. Our teachers really enjoy our students in and outside the classroom, and are passionate about preparing them well for life.
All students have daily Reading, Grammar & Writing, Science/Social Studies, Math, and Chinese core classes. 1st through 3rd grade students study core classes in their homerooms, specialized teachers teach Math and Science in upper elementary. Physical Education classes meet three times a week and like Kindergarten, use the K-12 American SPARK curriculum. PE classes meet in our gymnasium and sports fields, students swim each semester in a nearby pool. Our own swimming pool will be completed in 2014.
• Elementary Weekly Schedule
Many of our students transfer in throughout elementary school from education systems all over the world, including China, SE Asia, Korea, Japan, Europe, and the Americas. Students test in Math, Reading, and Chinese, and are placed in the classes according to their age and ability in each of these areas, some are asked to repeat a grade so that they can build a strong foundation, but can later skip grades if they make rapid progress. We also provide additional tutoring in English, Math, and/or Chinese for those who need extra support in these areas.
Reading and Language Arts
• 8th hour ESL, Math, and CSL Tutoring
Elementary students use McGraw Hill Reading and Harcourt Language textbooks, supplemented by an extensive collection of guided readers and novels. While ensuring our students are well prepared for the Stanford 10 in May, our teachers spend more time teaching students to love reading and express themselves fluently in writing, class discussions, and skits. Students have a weekly Library class, optional study hall in the Library each day, and opportunities to check out books throughout the day. The Happy Reader program rewards exceptional readers for answering questions before a panel of teachers and parents on the books they have read.
Tutoring in ESL and other academic subjects is provided when needed.
We use Marshall-Cavendish math curriculum, using Singapore methods and Common Core standards. Students begin the 1A textbook in English Track Kindergarten and remain accelerated one semester throughout elementary school, by middle school our average students exceed 80% of American students on standardized exams.
Our Chinese program also sets us apart, as over 80% of our students are in grade level classes using the same curriculum as Chinese public schools. At the same time, our teachers have extensive experience teaching international students and know the diverse background, nationality, and goals of our students require different methods. Rather than aim for high test scores on Chinese exams, our teachers goal is for our students to become fluent in the Chinese Language and Culture, and be able to express themselves in formal writing or speaking as well as educated local citizens. Beyond the textbook, they use festivals, projects, and Chinese literature to achieve these goals.
Grade Level Chinese classes use the Chinese national curriculum, and but there is less emphasis on test preparation and more on reading, writing, and making presentations in Chinese, as well as appreciation of Chinese Literature and Culture.
Students who transfer into SMIC at below grade level Chinese also have several options. Classes are scheduled so that they can drop to a lower grade level Chinese class more appropriate to their level, and/or take CSL tutoring 8th hour designed to improve their comprehension and speaking. Upper Elementary students make take 8th hour HSK preparation classes designed to help them review vocabulary, grammar, and test skills essential to score well on the HSK exam.
. . . Students can choose from 84 different electives in French, Japanese, 11 sports, Choral & Instrumental music, Fine Arts, and more. Electives meet once or twice each week from 3:10-4:00. Our elementary . . . Beyond weekly Music, Art, IT, and Character classes, students can also join electives in foreign languages, sports, music, painting & calligraphy, and more from 3:10-4:00 each day. Our elementary soccer team and choir compete with local schools throughout the area. Our students also have many other opportunities to perform for parents and the community, check out Student Life to learn more about Field Trips, Holidays, Performances, Charity fundraising and more!