In the 3rd grade class we address what is commonly referred to as the “whole child”. This type of model is research based and has evolved our class to be more collaborative than authoritarian, more developmental than punitive, student-driven as well as curriculum-driven, and most importantly addresses a growing mind’s academic and spiritual needs. One core classroom value is to help students focus on their personal growth rather than to compete with or compare themselves to others. Differentiation of curriculum occurs regularly, and much of the students’ work is project-based and hands-on. All California state standards for education are addressed, while delivering curriculum that is appropriate for each student.
An important and unique part of the R.I.S.E. Academy experience is our integration of Islamic Studies throughout the regular curriculum. In addition to the explicit concepts which students are taught during their Islamic Studies such as fiqh, history, and beliefs; the students are in an environment of moral excellence and positivity. For Language Arts, we utilize the HSP California Excursions Harcourt curriculum, where students expand their language skills using six themes through the course of the school year. The California HSP curriculum is used for both 2nd and 3rd grade Math. Our Social Studies curriculum is split into 2 major areas: Geography and History. And for Science our class uses the highly esteemed FOSS kits. Students study the solar system using the “Sun, Moon, and Stars” kit, living systems in the “Structures of Life” kit, and the theories of investigation module.
Some integral projects and activities our class participates in include the following:
- Study of the human body network, complete with a visit from a cardiologist
- Fieldtrip to the Chabot Space and Science center, where students put their newly gained astronomical knowledge to the test
- An adventure filled field trip on a ferry across the Bay to San Francisco, where students use their Geography skills to site landforms and use maps
- Mock hajj ritual: Students help construct the Kaba, learn the meaning behind the rituals, and finally don ihram and perform “hajj”
- Regular visits to the local library where students learn to use reference material and interact with the greater San Jose community.
- Study unit about California Native Americans, which includes each student becoming a tribal representative and building a diorama depicting his/her tribe’s daily life and environment to share with classmates
- The regular use of advanced classroom technology including student laptops, document cameras, and a full touch Smart board