Academics

Lower School Curriculum

While some other schools may emphasize conformity, Davidson Academy cultivates independent thinking. From the earliest grade levels, students are learning how to think, not just what to think. This approach to teaching empowers our graduates to thrive in a world of continual change and increasing complexity.

K3-K5

Even before they learn to read or write, children are becoming aware of the world around them. Our goal at Davidson Academy is create an environment of interactive experiences that inspire children to take interest in their surroundings.

List of 9 items.

  • About Preschool

    With a focus on early education and school readiness, our educational programs include a creative early childhood curriculum in which your child will receive individual development in the areas of reading, math, communication and exploration. Our Academy early education curriculum is developed in the science of child brain development. It is an integrated program of three nationally recognized learning curricula that prepares children to be ready for their academic lives by providing the cognitive, social and emotional baselines needed for learning.
  • Pre-Kindergarten (K3 & K4)

    Art
    The students attend an art studio once week, aside from classroom artwork. We use different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression. They progress in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic. The students will develop growing abilities to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects. They will also begin to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences as they demonstrate delight in beauty and respect for the creative work of others.

    Bible

    Each child will recognize his/her value as a beloved child of God. Students will attend a weekly chapel service and be inspired by the word of God. They will enjoy daily Bible study, primarily through Bible stories.

    It is the primary goal of preschool Bible instruction to help each child recognize his/her value as a child of God. Through daily Bible teaching/modeling, each child learns to appreciate God as their creator and to know that He loves them.

    Math

    Students will learn to count orally, learn to recognize numbers and begin to write numbers. They will understand and appropriately use number concept terms, such as the same, equal, more, less, first and last.

    Music

    Pre-kindergarten students engage in a variety of activities, including developing the singing voice and singing a variety of simple songs and playing instruments to experience and classify different sounds and timbres. Students learn performance skills through a seasonal production once a year for parents and grandparents.

    Language Arts

    Pre-Kindergarten children should experience explosive growth in their spoken and receptive vocabulary. Such growth is a critical component for future reading achievement. Students will be read to multiple times daily. Students will be encouraged to develop more precise vocabulary and speech patterns to express information, needs, interests, and concerns.

    Listening Comprehension

    Students will develop an increased ability to sustain attention to the spoken word and will learn to listen for different purposes, as in receiving instructions, having a casual conversation, etc. They will demonstrate the ability to respond to increasingly more complex instructions and information.

    Science

    Students attend weekly lab classes with our accomplished Science teacher, Mrs. Rust. They will "discover" the scientific method as they explore the world with their natural curiosity. They will develop an understanding of the world in which they live first by their personal observation and then by describing, classifying, comparing, and predicting. The following topics are included: seasons, weather, plants, space, insects, five senses, magnets, taking care of the earth, animals, health, and safety.

    Social Studies

    Pre-Kindergarten students are usually fascinated with the nature of their cultural and environmental world. They will learn about their own community as well as other cultures. Because four and five-year-old children are beginning to understand the nature of time, they are able to relate to concepts of past, present, and future. They will learn to appreciate their heritage and be responsible for it in the future. The following topics are included: Multicultural Migration Butterfly program, Mother Goose Day Recital, Native Americans, Community Helpers, Thanksgiving, Children of the World, Presidents, Holidays, Martin Luther King.

    Outdoor Learning

    The Outdoor Education program is an integral piece of the preschool learning, providing opportunities for powerful learning experiences outside of the classroom. We integrate daily outdoor class experiences into the curriculum with our science and nature program and include field trips in our programs. These activities all encourage children to connect with nature while enhancing learning and encouraging a sense of self-reliance. The learning experiences will deepen and reinforce classroom study, as well as the social fabric of the class. Hiking and planting activities enhance learning, create a reverence for nature and a sense of stewardship for our environment, and build self-confidence in our students. There are countless dynamic and memorable learning moments that happen when we encourage children to investigate, explore, and play outside the classroom.

    Classroom Technology

    Our technology programs are supported by our classroom Apple TVs and iPads. These tools capture the attention of early learners through technology and the power of play while building necessary skills for kindergarten as well as assessing their individual progress.
  • Kindergarten (K5)

    Kindergarten students continue learning and growing their social skills. In addition, kindergarteners begin learning sight words and work on comprehension, writing, and basic grammatical mechanics. In math, they also learn to skip count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, recognize patterns, tell time on a clock, identify coins, and add and subtract.
  • Grade 1

    Art
    Students refine fine-motor skills and hand/eye coordination through various media. Encouraging creative thinking and problem solving is always a priority. Students focus on concepts like symmetry to connect what they learn in math class. Literature is often used as introductions for art lessons.

    Art class is an opportunity to support other subject material learned in academic classes.

    Counseling

    Students learn social skills, problem solving, fruit of the Spirit, and character traits.

    Language

    The six interrelated focuses are: reading, vocabulary, grammar, student writing, spelling, and penmanship. The objective is to foster strong decoding skills, progress toward reading fluency, build vocabulary, develop listening and speaking skills, introduce the principles of spelling, and begin the practice of good penmanship. The principle rules and mechanics of the English language foster the need to write effectively. Through a careful balance of grammar and writing, students obtain the skills instrumental to personal expression.

    Math

    Children master numbers through 100 and begin to understand place value. They are able to add and subtract to 20 using manipulatives, at first, and then using addition and subtraction strategies and finally through memorization (“Mad Minute” quizzes). They begin to identify geometric shapes, congruence, and symmetry. They learn how to tell time and how to count money using pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They also learn to measure using non-standard units, inches, and centimeters. By the end of first grade, most students are able to translate words into math by practicing solutions to word problems.

    Physical Education

    Children build on what they learned in kindergarten, adding to their skills set and incorporating cooperative games in their activities. In the spring semester, students participate in DA Runners every Wednesday, training for the ING Kids Rock Marathon, which coincides with the Country Music Marathon. Students log their first 25 miles in class, then run their last mile at LP Field on Sunday afternoon of the marathon weekend.

    Science

    Includes content in life science, earth science, and physical science. Emphasis is put on building skills of inquiry in order to enable children to solve problems, evaluate their solutions, and plan their own investigations. Children learn how to observe, measure, compare, classify, make models, communicate, infer, put things in order, predict, investigate, and draw conclusions.

    Technology

    Kindergarten skills are reinforced and new skills are developed. As students begin logging on to the school network, they learn about usernames and passwords. They develop greater graphic skills and multimedia skills as they use animated objects and sound in projects. Students begin a keyboarding readiness program, and they practice using two hands for keying and locating letters, numbers, and special characters. Their word processing skills develop as they begin inserting graphics and learn about alignment.
  • Grade 2

    Art
    Students manipulate a variety of materials to execute their creative ideas. Sculpting 3D construction is one example of how students examine spatial relationships in abstract artwork. Concepts such as positive and negative space, foreground, middleground and background are also other topics stressed. Students begin to learn how art history plays a role in why and how art was created in the past.

    Counseling

    Focus is on work habits and character, goal-setting, cooperation, and friendship skills.

    Language

    Encompassed are: reading, vocabulary, grammar, phonics, spelling, penmanship, and student writing. We review and expand many of the skills introduced in the previous grades. The goal in grammar is to teach principle rules and mechanics of the English language, giving students the tools they need to write effectively. There is a strong focus on improving student writing with an emphasis on revision, elaboration, word choice, and sentence fluency. Reading and phonetic skills taught in first grade, and as well as the move is more toward comprehension skills. This is done through stories in the basal reader, as well as several novel studies. Handwriting is fine-tuned as the students’ fine motor skills continue to develop.

    Math

    Children learn to master their addition and subtraction facts with repetition and speed drills. They are expected to do two-digit and three-digit addition and subtraction. Mastery of basic math facts will be essential to their academic success. Students review knowing place value and ordinal numbers, telling time, counting money, and becoming familiar with word problems. They begin to learn fractions, such as the concept of a half, a third, a quarter, and an eighth. Second graders move beyond recognizing shapes to becoming fluent with the language of geometry so they can use terms, such as curves, vertices, edges, faces, and angles, to describe the attributes of two- and three-dimensional shapes. By the end of second grade, students are able to apply knowledge in new situations, to solve problems by generating new ideas, and to make connections between what they learn in class to the world around them.

    Physical Education

    Many different games are introduced to students, such as game strategies, team building, and fair play. Students start to learn how to throw different shaped objects like football and Frisbee. Badminton is also introduced. Students participate in DA Runners every Wednesday in the spring semester, preparing for the ING Kids Rock Marathon.

    Science

    Children learn by using hands-on, inquiry-based approaches. Science consists of a way of thinking and investigating, as well as a growing body of knowledge about the natural world. Students raise questions about the world around them and seek answers by making observations and exploring. They observe changes in plants and animals as they grow and develop, as well as the changing patterns of the moon and stars. They form ideas as to whether the changes are natural or manipulated.

    Technology

    Students continue to develop skills in using graphics. They include original computer art to illustrate their writing, as well as creating slideshows using their art. They continue to develop word processing skills as they write, proofread, spell check, save, open, and print their stories. Students learn to research topics on the internet and report their findings using a variety of tools (word processing, graphics, graphic organizers, slideshows, or spreadsheets.) Safe access to the internet is emphasized through a series of lessons on internet safety. Second graders participate in keyboarding readiness exercises using Type to Learn Jr.
  • Grade 3

    Art
    Students analyze fundamentals in art with more intensity. Science and math concepts are also stressed through art class. Continuing to enhance knowledge of technical skills with a variety of materials is a main focus. Some key aspects of the curriculum involve analyzing special properties in art, layering through design, using materials properly, and connecting life experiences through art history.

    Counseling

    Students work on problem solving, communication, friendship skills, assertiveness skills, and character development.

    Language

    Providing students with the necessary skills needed to communicate, understand, and interpret the written and spoken word is a critical part of the language arts program in third grade. The curriculum focuses on the development of strong comprehension strategies needed for success in all content areas, analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of literary forms, and application of decoding skills and word identification strategies. Developing vocabulary, building fluency and accuracy for effective oral reading, and fostering a love and appreciation of reading for knowledge, understanding, analysis, and enjoyment are also emphasized. Explicit instruction in writing and spelling skills using Standard English, grammar, usage, and mechanics is taught and assessed. Students are expected to understand and use the steps of the writing process to create their own writing pieces. Children write personal narratives, persuasive paragraphs, informative, explanatory, and opinion pieces, poems, plays, stories, reports, articles, and journal entries. Numerous opportunities are provided for students to develop their speaking and listening skills through class discussions, debates, collaborative projects, book reports, and presentations. Third graders also learn cursive writing with correct spacing and slant.

    Math

    Students are regularly given opportunities to extend, evaluate, and apply problem-solving knowledge to real world tasks within a multi-faceted learning environment. A wide array of brain-based learning strategies build the foundation necessary for high level math operations, including six-digit place value, comparing, rounding, and ordering numbers, and increasingly complex patterning and data analysis. Music, rhythm, and technology combine to reinforce automatic recall of subtraction and division facts. Students also delve deeper into fractions, decimals, and multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division procedures.

    Physical Education

    This is considered a transition year. Students are introduced to anatomy and take four anatomy tests over the course of the year, which include the skeleton, muscles, heart, and nutrition. Students learn team games and skills for each of the sports and conclude that particular unit by playing the game. The nationally recognized Presidential Physical Fitness test is administered twice a year so that students can see the development of their physical abilities. Students participate in DA Runners every Wednesday during the spring semester to prepare in running their final mile at the ING Kids Rock Marathon in April.

    Science

    Science instruction is hands-on, utilizing discovery learning methods that build students’ critical-thinking skills. In addition, students perform regular investigations and experiments to enhance areas of study that include biology (plants and animals), earth science (weather and space), and physical science (matter, energy, and machines). These areas also integrate biblical concepts of God’s creation and include weekly science lab investigations which reinforce what is being taught in the classroom. Within the science lab, students have unique opportunities to explore a wide variety of activities, such as owl pellet dissection and aerodynamics. The earth science unit culminates with a trip to the Huntsville Space Center.

    Spanish

    Students’ vocabularies increase, as well as writing, speaking, and reading skills in the target language. Age-appropriate praise songs, prayers, and Bible verses are taught throughout the academic year.

    Technology

    Students begin keyboarding lessons using Type to Learn. They learn the home row keys and begin practicing other letters and special characters on the keyboard with an emphasis on technique. Students continue word processing skill development and work on multimedia projects that include text, graphics, sounds, and animation. They learn the basics of spreadsheets including using basic formulas and creating charts (graphs) from their data. Students safely access information on the internet and use that information for projects.
  • Grade 4

    Art
    Connections between art history and different cultures with art making are made. Whether it is through painting, drawing, printmaking or clay, students are engaged in executing their knowledge of the elements of art through the principles of design.

    Counseling

    Friendship and assertiveness skills, bullying prevention, communication, and problem solving are main topics.

    Language

    Curriculum provides the grammar fundamentals every student should know with continuous review of the skills learned. It has a strong focus on improving student writing with opportunities for listening, speaking, viewing, and representing published works. Writing rubrics, peer- and self-assessment involves the student at every step of the writing process. Spelling curriculum challenges students to learn valuable spelling patterns and strategies which allows them to retain and transfer spelling knowledge for success in reading, writing, and test taking. Vocabulary word skills introduces students to English words derived from common Latin and Greek stems and gives students practice with words found in a variety of text and standardized testing. Reading curriculum delivers research-based instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and text comprehension. Supplemental reading of novels is added to allow students to explore a variety of genres and create a love for reading in addition to applying specific reading strategies.

    Math

    Fourth graders are expected to know basic facts in all four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Problems for computation at the beginning of each class provide practice for vital skills needed on a continual basis throughout the school year. Curriculum provides the opportunities for students to apply learned skills both in and out of the classroom, including: place value; data analysis and probability; elapsed time; customary measurement; graphs; multiplication; long division; fractions; decimals; and theoretical word problems that engage much needed critical thinking.

    Physical Education

    All sports, cooperative games, fine motor skills, and rhythm through dance are taught. Students have the opportunity to grow skills that were introduced in lower grades. Students participate in the Presidential Physical Fitness evaluation.

    Science

    Curriculum is in three sections: life science, the study of living things such as cells, organisms, plants, and animals (with and without backbones); earth science, learning from rocks, fossils, soil, and the solar system; and physical science, the study of properties and states of matter with physical and chemical changes, as well as motion, forces, and energy (along with heat, light, sound, and electricity). Students observe, infer, classify, and interpret data throughout all sections of the curriculum.

    Technology

    Students learn to use their individual iPad effectively for completing assignments, including obtaining digital assignments from eBackpack, completing in Notability, and submitting the assignment in eBackpack. They also learn to use the iPad for research, creative projects, and presentations. Fourth graders also continue to develop keyboarding skills as they practice skills in Type to Learn. They also will develop skills in productivity software as they complete projects in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. One such annual project, the Tennessee Project, integrates many technology skills in completing the project. During the digital citizenship unit students will learn about internet safety, technology ethics, and responsible use of digital information.
  • Grade 5

    Art
    Students learn to develop long-term artistic goals that encourage the evolution of ideas. Graphic arts, printmaking, and color theory in painting are further examined through art history lessons and art making.

    Counseling

    A variety of topics are covered, including: awareness of learning styles and strengths, communication, problem-solving skills, bullying and cyberbullying prevention, and drug abuse prevention.

    Language

    Both Grades 5 and 6 offer a balanced approach to: reading, grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Reading instruction includes class novel studies, independent reading, and student-led literature circles. Students continue in the fundamentals of grammar and the principal rules and mechanics of the English language. There is a focus on improving student writing through emphasis on organization, revision, and the development of techniques, such as elaboration, word choice, and sentence fluency. Spelling instruction helps students learn valuable spelling patterns and strategies and transfer their spelling knowledge for success in reading and writing. The vocabulary curriculum is designed to promote vocabulary acquisition, improve reading comprehension, and support students’ writing and speaking, as well as learning in the content areas.

    Math

    Computational fluency with whole numbers and decimals is a major focus. There is also a great deal of emphasis placed on fractions, percentages, and geometry. Working with integers and solving algebraic equations are introduced in this curriculum. Students also engage themselves in daily problem-solving activities with the focus being on retention of skills,as well as life application.

    Physical Education

    Team games as well as team building help enhance the students overall understanding of physical education. Students continue to grow and develop skills learned in early grades. By grade 5, students should have mastered catching and throwing. Ability and skills are evaluated on each sport and activity. The Presidential Physical Fitness test is given to determine fitness level.

    Science

    We begin with the study of earth, including detailed lessons on weather and climate, followed by a more detailed study of the properties of matter and energy. Lastly, students advance their study of plants, animals, and the interactions of living things. Students also participate in a class project, guided through the steps of the scientific method from research to drawing conclusions. This allows students to develop and use the scientific thought process, enhancing their ability to solve problems in creative and unique ways.

    Technology

    Students continue to develop skills in effective use of their iPad for completing assignments and research. Students become more independent users of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for class projects. Students complete a Science Fair project using PowerPoint that includes charts, tables, photographs, and video. They also advance in their keyboarding skills as they review skills and put keyboarding into practice complete assignments on the computer. Students learn to become good digital citizens as they discuss ethics, responsibility, safety, and evaluation of digital information.
  • Grade 6

    Art
    Students begin to understand how brain function affects their creative and analytical skills. Students make connections how events in history have played a role in art making over time. By sixth grade, students have an understanding of techniques used through clay construction, printmaking, tempera painting, and using the elements of art and principles of design to achieve a successful composition.

    Counseling

    Focus is on: positive peer relationships, cyber bullying, knowledge of learning styles/differences, strategies for success, drug abuse prevention, and study skills. Discussion on college and career exploration begins.

    Language

    Both Grades 5 and 6 offer a balanced approach to: reading, grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Reading instruction includes class novel studies, independent reading, and student-led literature circles. Students continue in the fundamentals of grammar and the principal rules and mechanics of the English language. There is a focus on improving student writing through emphasis on organization, revision, and the development of techniques, such as elaboration, word choice, and sentence fluency. Spelling instruction helps students learn valuable spelling patterns and strategies and transfer their spelling knowledge for success in reading and writing. The vocabulary curriculum is designed to promote vocabulary acquisition, improve reading comprehension, and support students’ writing and speaking, as well as learning in the content areas.

    Math

    Students become proficient in all four operations with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students begin to solve problems with integers using the four operations. Word problems become more complex containing multi-step and complicated real-life examples. Geometry skills include two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures, including the use of formulas. Students solve algebraic equations using rules and properties. Spiral review of previously introduced and tested skills is part of our daily routine.

    Advanced sixth-grade math consists of all of the above, with an emphasis on algebraic methods of problem-solving. Fraction and decimal problems contain both negative and positive numbers. Students in advanced math focus on estimation, mental math, and problem-solving using ratios and percent.

    Physical Education

    Students enhance motor skills through cooperative sports/games. Sports include:football, basketball, badminton, and soccer. Students learn even more about details in anatomy and are tested. Dance is a fun part of the curriculum and concludes with a voluntary dance competition.

    Science

    Students continue to build on previous knowledge and skills. Areas of special study and research are: plate tectonics; astronomy with interactive Solar System Rescue TM; motion, work, and simple machines; anatomy, including precipitating their own DNA; chemistry. Each unit includes cooperative learning, experiments, varied assessments, and use of technology.

    Technology

    Students use their laptop  to complete classroom assignments. On the iPad they use photography and movie making for academic projects. By sixth grade, students are expected to be able to complete high quality work on the computer with self-correction of their work. An annual project that combines the use of a number of technology skills is the Social Studies Fair project. Students research a selected country on the internet, create spreadsheets and charts to report data collection, use Microsoft Word to write reports, and use Microsoft Publisher to create a travel brochure about that country. There is a strong emphasis on digital citizenship and responsibility. Ethical behavior when online is stressed, and case studies are a basic for discussion.

Preschool Requirements

  • Children must be completely potty-trained.
  • For the academic year of 2018-19, children must be three years old by August 15, 2018 for K3; four years old by August 15, 2018 for K4; and, five years old by August 15, 2018 for Kindergarten (K5).
  • An acceptable profile of the applicant’s caregiver must be received.