What we teach is as diverse as how we teach. Since Axon’s population also consists of students with learning differences, the curriculum caters to methodologies to best suit them to help with their comprehension and communication. This method is also an effective way to teach any student to master a subject.
2020 School Year
Students are placed in groups with up to six students at their ability level. In the Elementary School, there are flexible groupings for three areas of Language Arts: Reading, Writing, and Phonics.
- Reading: Students in Lower Program use Fundations, a part of the Wilson Reading System based on Orton-Gillingham principles of phonological-coding. Fundations uses a preventative approach and a “fun” way to teach the foundations of reading and writing emphasizing phonemic awareness, phonics word-study, high frequency words study, fluency, vocabulary, handwriting, and spelling. Axon also uses the Wilson Reading System for students in Upper Program who have significant reading and writing challenges. It includes a 10-part lesson plan for decoding, encoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.Students in the Upper Program also have literature circles where they read novels and have units of study around these novels. Among many things, students then learn new vocabulary, how to think critically by answering comprehension questions, make predictions, and make inferences. While students have a combination of direct teacher instruction in their small groups on specific concepts, they are also working independently using the adaptive technologies such as Lexia Core and Reading Plus.
- Writing: Teachers are using Self-Regulated Strategy Development,a research-based writing program designed to assist students who struggle with putting their thoughts on paper and who may have dysgraphia. Teachers implement this curriculum in order to provide the students a structured approach to learning different writing formats such as opinion, narrative, and creative writing.
- Phonics: Students in grades 1- 5 use Fundations, a part of the Wilson Reading System based on Orton-Gillingham principles of phonological-coding. Teachers also use a program called, Explode the Code which is a series of books that provides students with phonemic awareness often used in educational therapy. Students in Upper Program may also be taught phonological skills using the Wilson Reading System as needed.
Humanities in Grade 6-8 is a cross-curricular approach to reading and writing by combining Social Studies and Language Arts. Students are placed in four ability groupings in order to provide a more personalized approach to their learning. The Self-Regulated Strategy Development Program enables teachers to provide students with a structured approach to writing in each of the four ability groupings. In Grade 4-5, we use humanities as a way to explain the interweaving of history, art, culture, and societies.
Math is not just memorizing facts and worksheets for repetition. The Axon School uses a multi-faceted approach to teaching mathematics in order to cater to our students’ varying learning styles.
- Ready Classroom Mathematics: This program has been instrumental in preparing Laurel students for mastery of the mathematics standards. Ready Mathematics helps students learn important mathematical knowledge, learn and explore different approaches to solving problems, and helps strengthen students’ critical thinking and complex reasoning skills. Teachers implement a daily lesson for students to learn a specific concept and then practice it collaboratively and in small groups.
- iReady: Along with the Ready Math curriculum, The Axon School also uses i-Ready interactive, an adaptive computer program experience that allows teachers to differentiate instruction for all students to meet their individual needs. i-Ready generates the student’s start of the school year diagnostic assessment with effective instruction that addresses the assessed individual’s needs.The students use i-Ready for two and a half periods a week or the recommended 45 minutes a week.
- Multi-sensory Mathematics – we use a well known program to weave in concepts with visual and kinesthetic style as well. It is based on Orton-Gillingham methods.
At the Axon School, our students learn science through practice. They learn through hands-on experiments, projects, and inquiry-based learning. Our three-stem science program consists of Life Science, Physical Science, and Environmental Science. Content lays the foundation for a successful introduction to the requirements of high school science courses. We use the Next Generation Science Standards as a template and change our curriculum to fit the learning abilities and needs of our students best. Our goal is to allow our students to follow their curiosities and to fall in love with science so they can continue questioning the wonders of the world into high school and beyond.
Our Visual Arts program integrates art with science, social studies, math, and sound. Students explore a variety of materials and techniques as they learn about their own creative processes. With an emphasis on process over product, our kids are introduced to “Artist Habits of Mind,” and are encouraged to develop a craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore! These skills help them to excel in the art room, as well as in the world beyond.
The movement program is five days a week. The program motivates students to take responsibility for their lifelong health, bringing awareness to the importance of nutrition and physical activity. Students participate in a wide range of games and activities to develop their motor skills and a sense of fair play. Axon students work together and learn sportsmanship and help each other succeed. Some of the curriculum for physical education incorporates the fundamentals for soccer, football (capture the flag), basketball, volleyball, hockey, bowling, throwing, catching, gymnastics, and cooperative games such as tag and kickball. For younger students we also incorporate recess which is organized to include some movement routine to encourage stretching and team activities.
Our social and emotional curriculum is at the heart of our school programs. Throughout the building, we promote a positive atmosphere by encouraging students to be their best, act kindly to others, and present themselves the “Axon Way”. Every classroom starts the day with a morning meeting. This promotes empathy and provides an avenue for children to practice the craft of conversation. Students in also partake in yoga and mindfulness to keep their bodies in a state where they are ready to learn and be their best. We have formalized advisory classes twice a week where students are taught social and emotional skills. Some of the curriculum includes personal care skills, social awareness, self-awareness with the Zones of Regulation, and digital citizenship.
Children participate in elective programs twice or more a week during the school day. Some examples of these experience-based classes include robotics, crafts, blogging, coding, mobile-car building, yoga, creative writing, public speaking, and newscast.