Creativity without discipline and knowledge is chaos. With discipline and knowledge, comes patience and freedom. With patience and freedom, comes a true creativity that is not hindered by lack of discipline or knowledge.
Lower Elementary: Our goal is for the students to develop confidence in their artistic ability and not be afraid to get it wrong the first time. The student will learn to train her/his eye to break down objects into their basic geometric shapes. It is our goal that when the students leave lower elementary, they will be able to draw anything they want, real or imagined.
Upper Elementary: During the fourth year, students refine their artistic abilities. They begin learning to draw and paint with multiple media (watercolor, pastels, pen and ink, and chalk). Fifth—and Middle School sixth—years explore Art History with a two-year course. In those two years, we discover everything from cave paintings to contemporary art. The class is divided into two bi-weekly classes. One week is a discussion of art history; the next week the students draw in the style that was discussed the week before.
Middle School: Seventh years delve into the world of cartooning and animation, learning their basic concepts. They then move on to drawing basic cartoons and flipbooks. The year’s final project is a 30-second hand-drawn animation. At 20 to 25 frames per second, this is a very big project! Eighth year students devote their year to the study of sculpture. They will use different media (wax, plaster, wood and stone, wire and metal) to learn this process. The end of the year culminates with an art show. The students proudly display all the work in their portfolios.
Our Elementary and Middle School computer classes are designed to help the students develop the skills necessary to use the computer as a valuable tool. We begin with keyboarding activities and introduce the students to the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, web design, research skills using the web and programming.
We believe that music is FUNdamental to every child at MAC. In music class, we strive to help each child have fun discovering and developing his or her innate musical talent, then using it in an ensemble environment.
In all elementary classes, we experience basic musical elements such as:
We explore these concepts through a variety of activities: singing, movement, music games, playing instruments (Orff instruments, unpitched percussion, hand chimes, recorders starting in grade 3), etc. Our teaching process combines elements of the Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Orff Schulwerk philosophies and emphasizes the process of learning: imitation to exploration to improvisation. The curriculum is tailored to each teaching group’s unique preferences and needs.
In the Elementary and Middle School, the emphasis in our Physical Education classes is personal fitness, sportsmanship and enjoyment of physical activities, not necessarily for competition. We expose students to soccer, flag football, volleyball and tennis, as well as distance running and distance walking. Some of the students have trained for and participated in mini-marathons. Participating in the Presidential Fitness Challenge is a yearly spring event for which the students prepare over the course of the school year.
Our Elementary program follows the Spanish curriculum of ¡Viva el español! The curriculum has three major segments. We introduce this program to our first years in Lower Elementary and progress at each level as the students are ready. The subjects explored in each unit are
Colors and Shapes
The program has different modes such as board games, songs, storytelling, crafts, show and tell, etc. The students learn the verbs and their proper pronouns, to tell time and different types of housing around the world. They read stories and create their own dialogue for skits that they act out. Our main objective is for each child to increase his or her Spanish vocabulary, to structure sentences, and to understand the written and spoken language at her or his own pace. Elementary students meet for Spanish for 60 minutes per week. Our Middle School curriculum consists of the ¡En español! program, which is geared specifically for Middle and High School students. This program is a four-level Spanish program that boosts vocabulary development with real-world contexts that provide a purpose for communication. In addition to honing their vocabulary and grammar skills by speaking, students practice their comprehension skills by reading short stories written in Spanish. Middle School students meet for Spanish twice per week for a total of two hours.
The FOSS (Full Option Science System) Program provides a prepared curriculum, complete with all necessary materials. There are several sessions each year, geared for specific grade levels, from one through three. The program’s three-year cycle eliminates repetition of activities and includes themes of Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science and Technology. Within these themes, specific topics are provided for the sessions. These have included solar energy, fossil fuels, anatomy, geology, construction, weather, insects, plants, and others.