ASHAR’s general studies curriculum is based on the Common Core standards and is modified and extended to provide a skills-based, content-rich curriculum in the areas of English Language Arts, social studies, science, and mathematics.
English Language Arts
Each ASHAR student in grades 1-8 is assessed in reading several times per year to ascertain his/her reading level in order to monitor progress. We utilize the models of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop, with minilessons, mentor texts, and balanced literacy as valuable tools. All students keep writing portfolios and are expected to produce specific writing products each year, such as literary responses, persuasive essays, poetry, and short stories. Publishing parties are held for parents to come and enjoy the final writing pieces. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are all ingredients within our English Language Arts program.
Social studies at ASHAR is based on the scope and sequence of the New York State social studies standards and the Council for the Social Studies. Mapping skills, conducting research, doing Powerpoint presentations, learning interview skills, and gaining a strong sense of history and government are some components of our social studies program. The Holocaust is taught in eighth grade as a specific unit. Many excellent trips are taken to clarify and add meaning to what is being taught in class, such as the Jewish Heritage Museum, the Rockland County Historical Society, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Critical thinking, current events, identifying valid and reliable sources, and examining primary documents are important activities our students take part in.
Science is hands-on at ASHAR whenever possible. Our FOSS (Full Options Science System) modules bring an extra dimension to scientific investigations, and physical science, life science, and earth science are integral components of our science curriculum. We have at ASHAR a science lab where the upper-grade students conduct experiments and are taught the rules of science safety. Trips to the Challenger Center, Liberty Science Center, Queens Hall of Science, as well as other sites are enjoyed by our students. In our lower grades, topics such as plants, magnets, habitats, and weather are explored, while in the upper grades the students are taught earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics in preparation for high school.
Mathematics is tracked at ASHAR from sixth grade and up for honors, regular, and remedial math groups so that each student’s educational needs can be met. We utilize math manipulatives, problem solving, literature-based math books, and math games to strengthen basic math skills. In our upper grades, topics of algebra and higher geometry are taught in preparation for high school. The math curriculum is based on the Common Core curriculum as well as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.