Curriculum Subjects

Band
English Language Arts
Enrichments
Foreign Language
History/Geography
Mathematics
Science


Band

Under the direction of Mrs Meredith Lord, every GSA student learns to read music and play a band instrument, and develops teamwork in an ensemble setting. Students have band several times per week.

There are many performance opportunities throughout the year including the Veteran's Day and Memorial Day programs as well as the Winter and Spring evening concerts at Sullivan Middle School. Students are also invited to participate in the annual WEDF concert at Mechanics Hall.
Jazz Band is offered as a before school activity Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8AM.

We strongly urge parents/guardians to foster practice at home as this positively reinforces what students learn in school.

Students are encouraged to rent or purchase their own instruments. However, school instruments are available for a small annual fee.

The Band Handbook, Practice Chart, and Parent Practice Guide files are available for download in the Documents section on the front page of the Goddard Scholars Academy web site.

 

English Language Arts

Under the leadership of Mrs. Patricia Ryan and Ms. Jen Favulli, the ELA curriculum is designed to make students excellent readers, writers and speakers. Each year students read fiction, literary nonfiction, informational text, poetry and drama and they also write narrative, descriptive, expository and informative pieces. Discussion and collaboration are key aspects to promote students' understanding, analysis and evaluation of text. Students give a variety of oral presentations, both individually and in groups.

 

Enrichments

Enrichment offerings vary from year to year depending on staffing and scheduling. For the 2014-2015 school year, all students will have gym. Eighth graders will also have research skills, seventh graders will have math enrichment, and sixth graders will have technology and seminar (study skills and organization).

All students also participate in a weekly Gifted and Talented class that includes a variety of experiences, ranging from Advisory Group competitions to career awareness to performing arts field trips.

 

Foreign Language

GSA students study Spanish with Sra. Maria Marcella Villarroel. Students may either continue with Spanish in high school or switch to another language their Freshman year. Sixth grade students get an introduction to the Spanish language and culture one class period per week with the 7th and 8th grade students have Spanish 4-5 times per week.

The primary focus of the curriculum is on communication, utilizing the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The Foreign Language curriculum connects with other disciplines, especially English, through the study of grammar, sentence structure and development of writing skills.

 

History/Geography

The Social Studies curriculum requires students to examine the ways in which history, geography, and current events intertwine and provides a fundamental understanding of how the Earth’s structure has impacted the development of human society. Mr David Crompton and Mrs Andrea Ostrovsky teach these classes in which students trace man’s progress across time from simple hunter-gatherer communities to more complex and advanced civilizations, kingdoms, and imperial empires. They use this historical foundation to make relevant and concrete connections to today’s issues and global events as well as to other academic disciplines.

The 6th grade class focuses on basic geographic skills, human origins, river valley societies, and ancient cultures including Israel, China, and India. Grade 7 classes begin with a thorough study of ancient Greece and Rome followed by the Byzantine Empire and the rise of Islamic society. They will complete the year by focusing on the medieval period in China and Africa. Grade 8 classes start with the medieval period in Europe and cover major eras in Modern European History including the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Exploration, and the Enlightenment. Students in 8th grade will also learn about the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations in the Americas. A variety of both traditional and non-traditional assessment tools will be used to account for the multiple intelligences and learning styles of the students.

In order to help students make solid connections between the past and present, parts of the Model UN curriculum will be infused into the study of human history and ancient civilizations. Students will have the opportunity to research historical issues and current events simultaneously, and this research will culminate in a simulated United Nations Committee Meeting where students will assume the role of delegates from countries around the world. The simulation nature of the Model UN approach will give students a deeper and personal appreciation the commonalities and differences between our past and present worlds. Cross-curricular skills such as public speaking, negotiation, research, writing, and cooperative problem solving will also be strengthened by these exercises.

Model UN

Model UN is available as an after-school club. Students meet once per week to research their country and committee assignments and to practice. Students take part in at least one competition per year. Students do need to get rides home at 5:00. Shared rides can often be arranged.

 

Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum, taught by Mr Greg Tokaya and Ms Michele Fulk, adheres to the Massachusetts Frameworks and the Common Core Standards. Acceleration of the curriculum allows students to master the standards for Grades 6-8 as well as Algebra 1 while they are in middle school. This frees their high school senior year for AP Calculus or AP Statistics.

The classes move at a fast pace with new material taught most days and required nightly homework. Use of computers and graphing calculators is integrated throughout the curriculum.

Sixth and seventh grade students use the Connected Math Program units, Glencoe Pre-Algebra
and a variety of other materials. Eighth grade students primarily use the McDougal Littell Algebra 1 text book, some Connected Math Program units, and a variety of other materials. Emphasis is on developing a deep understanding of mathematics rather than executing procedures.

Math Team

Math Team is available as an after-school club with Ms Fulk. Students meet once per week throughout the year to work on challenging math problems that are often outside the scope of the normal curriculum and to improve their problem solving speed and skills. A team of 10 students is selected to compete in the MathCounts competition in Shrewsbury in February. In addition, students may choose to attend one or both invitational math meets hosted by St. John's High School in Shrewsbury in the fall and spring.

 

Science

The purpose of Science instruction with in the GSA is to provide students with the skills, knowledge and habits of mind to understand the natural processes they see around them. They also come to understand the processes by which scientific knowledge is applied to create useful technologies. The class is taught by Ms Michele Fulk and Mrs Patricia McKeon.

The GSA curriculum employs an integrated approach to provide Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, Life Science and Technology/Engineering instruction through the years. The Massachusetts Frameworks guide the scope of the course. Student experiences will focus on inquiry, experimentation, and scientific literacy using engaging real-life problems, hands-on
investigations, engineering design problems, and current scientific literature. Students will use technology to prepare and present their results.

All students will be able to formulate hypotheses, design and conduct experiments (specifying variables to be changed, controlled or measured), use scientific equipment and technology to make quantitative observations, and present and explain data (using appropriate terminology) in multiple forms. Participation in the WPS science fair is required for sixth and seventh grade.