Enrichment (Part of Core Curriculum)
The MBMA Chinese Language Program is an immersive study of both language and culture integrated into the weekly curriculum ranging from The Children's House all the way through the Primary Grades. Our children learn to listen, speak, read and write in Mandarin. In the Children's House, students understand and speak basic Chinese vocabulary through Chinese songs, games, rhymes, flashcards, and stories. At the Primary Level, students continue vocabulary study, speak in simple sentences, and write characters in Chinese pinyin. Pinyin is the pronunciation of Chinese characters. MBMA's elementary students continue their study with higher level verbal communication, auditory comprehension, reading comprehension and written Chinese. Textbooks and computer programs are used to enhance the educational experience.
In a time of technology, MBMA recognizes the importance of preparing our students for a successful future through technological fluency. At the Primary level, students are taught computer basics including: mouse use, home-row key location, child-friendly versions of WORD, POWER POINT, and EXCEL . These applications are used consistently in student project work. Additionally, our student become adept in using KIDZUI: The Internet for Kids, to research and use websites within their grade-level curriculum. MBMA Elementary students build upon these skills with a continued focus on proper keyboarding use in a variety of software programs. They are taught to safely and effectively do research using the Internet for projects and complete assignments using WORD, POWER POINT, and EXCEL. Typed student assignments include: poetry, reports, research presentations , and slide shows. Tables, charts, and graphs of collected scientific data are created and used in Science Fair Projects. All students are taught how to upload and save all work to a Flash drive. Our students' computer skills are exhibited as a cumulative experience best seen in the creation of the MBMA school newspaper and Yearbook.
The Fine Art program gives MBMA students a unique opportunity to be exposed to a strong classical artistic foundation. Starting with basic drawing fundamentals children work on their ability to "see" objects and the world around them. Medium study includes pastel, charcoal, watercolor, pen and ink, marker, colored pencil, mixed media and more. Each class demonstration includes a "How to" use the media component as well as a "How to" practice artist session. Learning objectives include lessons in value, line study, composition, perspective, movement and more. Each year, MBMA exhibits student work in a schoolwide Gallery Exhibit.
MBMA provides our students with a strong music program. Classes begin with an introduction and review of vocal techniques through singing (which includes: breath support, vowel sounds, diction, dynamics, phrasing, melody and partner sounds). Students are introduced to an appreciation of instrumental music through "Strike, strum, and sound". Percussion instruments, key boards, wind instruments and string instruments are added. Music theory, elements of music, rhythm, notation/pitch, melody/harmony, dynamic expression, and introductory Italian terms and definitions are all additional areas of focus. Applied performance and rehearsal techniques and etiquette lead up to exceptional school performances throughout the school year.
Developing an appreciation of health and physical fitness is a priority for MBMA. Level I students begin their physical awareness with a focus on locomotor skills: walking, running, hopping, jogging, skipping, jumping, and sliding. Next, students work on non-locomotor skills ( i.e. balancing, twisting, bending, swaying, turning, and stretching) and manipulative movements (i.e. kicking, grasping, rolling, throwing, and catching). Our Elementary program focuses on the importance of team building, as this unit is designed to help students interact positively in a non-competitive fashion. This approach develops improved communication, understanding the value of different roles (followers and leaders), and the importance of good sportsmanship. Our team sports units cover basic rules and skills of the individual sports. Physical skills include: dribbling, shooting, and passing in each sport, as well as basic strategies such as offensive and defensive positioning. Our Upper Division participates annually in The President's Physical Fitness Testing. All students pretest and perfect skills used to increase strength, flexibility and endurance to achieve top performance.
MBMA believes in teaching our students the love of learning. As we are a STEM/STEAM school, each year a general topic of study is selected utilizing all the sciences throughout the school year. A depth of study is developed to meet the academic levels of each grade. By 6th grade, chemistry is introduced and the students begin to work with the periodic table and balance chemical equations. Students are introduced to the metric system, scientific vocabulary, and the scientific method. Scientific tool use is taught with practice using microscopes, scales, rulers, beakers, Erlenmeyer flasks, and thermometers. The curriculum also includes a dissection lesson. 3rd through 6th grade students participate annually in an extensive Science Fair which is judged in May.
As diversity and cultural sensitivity are values of MBMA, our students continue their love of learning and linguistic appreciation with Spanish. Spanish is taught as part of the classroom curriculum for both Children's House and Primary. Our students learn the basics including numbers, months, days of the year, seasons, colors, and greetings. Phonics is a focus as a facilitator of both reading and writing. Additionally, MBMA students work on pronunciation through trabalenguas (Spanish tongue twisters) that encourage authentic enunciation. For our Upper Division, grammar, conversation, oral communication, and written expression are a large part of the curriculum putting all of the linguistic pieces together, while strengthening a lifelong foundation for Foreign Language learning.