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albert einstein academy for Letters Arts and Sciences STEAM Campus

Academics » Curriculum

Curriculum

Curriculum
Standards Based – All of our curricula is standards based. Education is currently transitioning to new sets of standards. As a result, our standards come from three sources. We follow the Common Core standards for Math and Language arts. The Next Generation Science Standards guide our science instruction while all remaining subjects follow California’s Content Standards.

Published Curricula: In addition to teacher created materials we use standards aligned materials from the following series:

Pearson enVision Math
Pearson Reading Street
McGraw Hill Science
McGraw Hill Social Studies
TPS Math
 

S.T.E.A.M.

S.T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  It is also a philosophy for teaching relevant concepts and skills in Science and Technology through Engineering and the Arts.  Math is the common element that supports the components.  This philosophy goes hand in hand with our PBL approach to learning.  STEAM curriculum prepares our scholars for 21st Century jobs.  

Engineering is at the center of STEAM.  That's because engineering is a fancy word for problem solving.  Engineers simply find solutions to real life problems using the tools and parameters presented to them.  With that in mind, our lessons focus on how to engineer solutions to everyday problems, and how engineers have solved problems in the past by applying math, science, and technology.  Language arts and arts are how we communicate our findings and express how it affects us.  

STEAM is incorporated into AEA's programs through a two-pronged approach.  
  1. As described above, the STEAM focus is woven throughout the lessons.  Even in history lessons, STEAM is a focus.  Rather than simply learning dates and names, students are introduced to problems that were faced in an era and how they were solved.  Along the way, they learn the dates, names, and vocabulary associated with the problems that were solved.  
  2. Every Friday afternoon is called the weekly STEAM Block.  During this block of time, students explore STEAM activities.  These are meant to expose kids to STEAM concepts and gets them applying their engineering practices to solve problems.   These activities may focus on a science principle, or a math concept, or get kids to engineer a solution to something like transporting water from point A to point B.  These ungraded hands-on activities are very engaging and enriching.  They allow us to explore concepts while encouraging risk taking.  Without the pressure of an academic grade, kids are more willing to try something they might not be successful at.  It's during that process that tremendous growth happens in knowledge, confidence, and problem solving skills.  

CHROMEBOOKS AT AEA:
AEA wants to incorporate technology when it works to improve instruction or basic skills.  Our students' parents were eager to see kids using the power of the internet as part of their regular learning.  Getting the resources together to provide one to one devices would prevent us from being able to meet that goal, so parents stepped up to the plate and agreed to send their kids to school with a computer.  We then needed to find the right device that allowed students to effectively access digital tools while also being simple enough to provide tech support for at school.  Ultimately, the device that was the most affordable and durable, while also meeting the classroom needs, was the Chromebook.  
 
Any Chromebook will work for our students.  The key features that a parent should look for when buying one are battery life and durability.  Certainly, as with all computers, more resources are a good thing.  However, even the simplest Chromebooks have been able to meet the classroom demands we place on them.  

We do have Chromebooks available for students who cannot provide one, or for when technical difficulties happen.  

INTERNET SAFETY:
Students at AEA have access to the internet and are encouraged to collaborate with each other.  Each student is provided with a school email account.  The account is protected and limited to emailing only within our domain.  Parents can monitor student activity by logging into their student's account.  Parents should never email other students directly.  Our network applies a federally compliant filter to protect kids from most threats.  Students also must complete a digital safety course within the first few weeks of attending AEA.
 

World Languages


​AEA Elementary recognizes the importance of communication skills.  One key tenant of Project Based Learning is being able to communicate ideas to multiple audiences effectively.  Our program includes language instruction along with lessons and activities about world cultures.  Our current offerings include Mandarin and Spanish.  Returning students who want to continue studying Hebrew may choose Hebrew.  

Students go to their World Language class three times each week for 45 minutes each time.  In class, they will receive language instruction through Rosetta Stone's school version of their popular software.  Students access the program online using their Chromebooks.  Students may then learn at their own pace through the highly engaging and rigorous coursework.  The program is designed so that students are consistently engaged with responding to the program.  At times students are picking the right picture that matches what is said or printed, while other times they are responding verbally or with written responses depending on their age level.  The program provides instant feedback and detailed monitoring of student progress.  Parents can see what students are working on and kids can even work on lessons at home.  Our in class teachers will monitor student progress and provide motivation for those who need encouragement.  

Rosetta Stone only recommends 20 to 30 minutes of online work at a time.  In-class teachers use the remaining time for lessons and activities that build awareness about many different cultures from around the world.  Culture lessons and activities are designed to build awareness of and appreciation for cultures.  They will learn about customs and practices of many cultures from around the world, while also exploring history, architecture, food, fashions, and more.  

HEADSETS
Shared headsets for students are available from the school.  However, if you prefer that your child uses his/her own, please review the spec recommendations from Rosetta Stone. Based on student use, most "gaming" headsets that have a USB connection work well.   Headset Technical Information