PreKRigor with purpose comes naturally in the Lower School at MPA. Activities are engaging, hands on, and challenging and teachers are constantly asking themselves, “What is the purpose of this activity?” and “What problem does this solve?以及“学生什么时候有机会提高他们所学到的知识并再次尝试。?” As a result, students are not told how to solve problems, 而是给予探索和发现一个适用的解决方案的机会和工具.  Students apply deep content knowledge in real-world ways.

这对任何参观校园的人来说都是显而易见的,他们看到了学生们异常高的参与度. Because at MPA, rigor equates to participation and involvement. It means that advanced students, whom, at some schools are sitting in the back, bored, disengaged and detached, are instead challenged, attentive, and eager to be diving deep into their learning.

需要指出的是,严格在低年级以许多不同的方式出现. Some ways, like accelerated reading options and Singapore Math’s high level problem sets, are more obvious and traditional. 然而,有些方式,比如创客空间的设计思维挑战,是MPA独有的. 但有一点是普遍的:MPA的学术严谨性从来不是为有才华的学生增加更多的家庭作业或忙碌工作.

Here are four themes of academic rigor in the Lower School.

Differentiated Instruction
区别教学,或区分,是严格的基础在低学校. Our small class sizes are particularly conducive to differentiation, 允许教师为有才华的学生提供更深层次的学习机会. In our Lower School, 教师对每个学生都了如指掌,并对每个学生进行个性化教学. 这就允许玩家进行超越等级准备的严格性.

差异化教学和个人关注意味着鼓励学生在日常课堂活动中承担风险. This occurs via open ended and student designed projects, 根据实时结果,适应性分配变得或多或少具有挑战性, and individualized math, science, and reading comprehension questions. In everything they do, 学生们有机会走出自己的舒适区,在一个安全、有益的环境中冒险学习. That’s academic rigor with purpose in action.

MPA的差异意味着不是每个学生的阅读水平都相同, and with upwards of 25,000 books in our Martin Lenz Harrison Library, Lower School students are checking out new books every week. What’s more, MPA的老师有无尽的选择,因为他们培养了学生对阅读的热爱,并为快速阅读的读者提供了越来越复杂的选择.

Promoting Design Thinking in the Makerspace, incorporating coding in technology class, 以及要求学生为研究项目从有信誉的来源中找到可靠的信息,这些都是STEAM在低年级严格的例子. More specifically, STEAM的严格性发生在创客空间,四年级学生使用科学方法来设计一艘船, starting with a clay model, 然后用3D打印机设计和建造他们的船,以测试装载硬币的浮力. Rigor是一名三年级学生,他利用设计思维,将创客空间里的材料箱里捡到的物品改造成可回收的道具,用于他们的“诗歌和糕点”项目. And, 严格是一年级学生学习献血背后的科学知识,然后与高年级学生委员会合作开展MPA年度献血活动.

Specifically in math, MPA uses the highly rigorous Singapore Math curriculum, with its focus on Algebra, high level problem solving, and mental math. 新加坡数学融合了深刻的内容知识和数学写作技能,为顶尖的数学学生提供了额外的挑战.

Across the STEAM field, whether in science, technology, engineering, the arts, or mathematics, 小学教师正在使用他们的学科为寻求它的学生提供学术挑战.

Building School and Study Skills
Library为即将到来的中学和高中的严格学业做好准备意味着在低年级学生中建立强大的学校技能是至关重要的. 要在严格的环境中取得成功,首先要磨练彻底的组织技能, refining disciplined executive functioning skills, and practicing productive study strategies.

For example, older Lower Schoolers learn all about academic research. Students not only learn how to cite sources and analyze their quality, but also understand the basics of searching scholarly databases, all vital skills to prepare for Middle and Upper School.

低年级的学习者远远不止划分不同的阅读小组, they learn the important skills of reflecting on their reading, sharing observations with others, searching for themes, and probing for deeper meanings in the text.

当然,为学校培养技能也意味着学习和实践合作. Working in small groups, listening, compromising, 当学生们寻求更多的学术挑战时,分享都是需要掌握的关键技能.

学生们通过周一的晨会向全校师生进行演讲,并通过演讲来培养自信的公众演讲技能, projects, and reports within the classroom at all grade levels. For example, 四年级学生研究发明,然后向高年级学生推销, 而三年级学生则互相展示他们的“州际游行”项目.

Lastly, 低年级学生练习观察和分析多重视角的批判性生活技能. 从很小的时候起,学生们就和同龄人一起讨论世界上重要的话题. 学术严谨意味着提供空间,将他们所学的知识与当下的相关问题联系起来, 同时培养复杂的文化能力,为自己和他人做宣传.

Incorporating Specialists
DramaTremendous focus is placed on rigor in mathematics, science and humanities, and rightly so, but in the Lower School at MPA, 严谨通过包括世界语言专家在内的整个儿童教育得到补充, theatre, music, physical education, visual arts, technology, library, and Makerspace.

MPA values students’ interests outside of their homeroom classes. At the Lower School level, that might be learning the piano, playing soccer, or building with papier-mâché. MPA学生有机会培养自己的激情,从而获得独立思考和快乐, 在他们正在发育的大脑中创造更多的能力,以适应课堂课程的严格要求.

Specialist classes are critical because they help students discover interests, find purpose and joy at school, and compliment their left brain thinking with their more creative right brain. 整个儿童课程表明了一种独特的严谨风格,艺术的创造力加强和加速数学学习, science, and reading.

在视觉艺术课上,严格意味着学生不会照搬老师的例子, but rather thinking deeply and creatively about their own work. 在一个14个学生的班级里,肯定有14个独特的和个人的成品. In music and theatre classes, 严谨不仅意味着克服表演前的紧张情绪,建立在舞台上的风度, but also providing and receiving constructive criticism.

Lastly, rigor in Lower School means planting the seeds of bilingualism. Students learn both French and Spanish in kindergarten, and choose to specialize in one starting in first grade. Listening, speaking, writing, and reading, the four modalities of learning a language, add rigor to these classes, 深入了解西班牙语和法语文化增加了深度和好奇心.