Minaret Academy’s elementary curriculum consists of 7 core subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, and Qur’anic Studies.
The school curriculum follows the State of California's frameworks, National Educational Standards and uses state-adopted textbooks.
Our elementary school curriculum provides young learners with a solid educational foundation in the language arts (reading, spelling, creative writing, penmanship, and grammar), mathematics, science, and social studies. A strong emphasis is placed on the importance of critical thinking in all of the above areas.
In grades 1 through 8, students receive instruction in Islamic Studies 3 times a week. During this 40 minute class, the instructor emphasizes on basic Islamic beliefs and practices stories of the Prophets, leadership and charity, and moral values and ethics.
In addition, students receive instruction in the proper pronunciation and recitation of the Qur’an during a 40minute period, 4 days a week. Chapters from the Qur’an are t manner that is approachable and easy to comprehend.
Our school bases our esteemed Language Arts program on the renowned Journeys Language Arts Program, Writing Practice Program (WPP), and Word Voyage.
-The Journeys program provides a close reading routine and online tools to empower students to read rigorous texts. It weaves the skills of close reading into a practical routine designed to have students read and reread for a variety of purposes, allowing them to dig deeper into the text and reinforce these concepts with their eBook and Close Reader.
-The Writing Practice Program (WPP) enables students to work on their writing skills at their own pace, with individualized attention. This online program is available to students 24/7 from any computer with internet access, enabling teachers to allow students access to challenge themselves whether they are at home or in the classroom.
-Word Voyage is an online interactive and educational tool for grades 4-12 that allow students to gain valuable knowledge and exposure to the English language. They are exposed to meaning, usage, and etymology in great depth to supplement and reinforce the learning in the classroom.
We proudly use the Singapore Math program, which emphasizes teaching students to learn and master mathematical concepts in greater detail. A world-renowned program, Singapore Math breaks concepts down into three stages of learning: concrete, pictorial, and abstract. This creates more networks in a student’s mind that enables them to see math concepts in a three dimensional model, versus flat and hard-to-grasp concepts. With the guidance of our gifted teachers, students leave the classroom with increased cognitive dexterity that will help them in other subject areas as well. One of the defining features of Singapore math is visualization. The progression through concrete, pictorial, and abstract phases in understanding math.
Students benefit from a hands-on learning environment that pushes science out of the books and into tangible exploration. We engage students in collecting, analyzing, and using data while developing core skills. Each science lesson is constructed around the premise that science should practice discipline, curiosity, hypothesis, and experimentation. Each lesson pinnacles in a formulated analysis and presentation of the findings. Our curriculum encourages scientific exploration through guided lessons with the understanding that exploration is the key to discovery. Students will be able to utilize these skills to develop a wholesome mind that is evaluative and curious about the world around them.
Our history and social-studies curriculum has adopted the California standards and framework as well as integrates the current common core standards. Our program is designed to allow students to explore history from multiple perspectives including the individual, family,
regional, and community.
The course work is grounded on five fundamental strands. These strands coupled with the school ESLRs and the essentials of our faith help to guide and shape our study of human history.
The five history strands are described below:
Historical Strand 1 – Historical Reflection captures the essence of our study of human history throughout the elementary grades. Students will study and learn about the past along with the people, places, events, and ideas that helped shape these different regions and eras.
Historical Strand 2 – Critical Thinking involves students and their abilities to understand the complexity of what happened in the past and the multiple causes and effects behind them.
Historical Strand 3 – Historical Inquiry is a process that involves both historical reflection and critical thinking where students are asking the essential questions of who, what, where, when and why in their specific course of study.
Historical Strand 4 – Contemporary Analysis creates the opportunity for students toengage in active discussion and debate about the historical roots of today’s environment.
Historical Strand 5 – Identity Development is a process whereby students grow and mature as individuals as they study history. The elements of self-discovery and self-awareness are by-products of one’s study of history in the middle school years.
The Arabic curriculum is based on developing thematic units that are based on standard instruction. Lessons are interactive, fun, and utilize authentic materials that are age-appropriate to build students ability to use the Arabic language in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Islamic manners are also taught as part of cultural practices. Students also enjoy reading stories and watching videos about various topics as well as converse with each other in Arabic. They interact with students in other schools via writing letters to them. In comparison to other Islamic schools, our student’s exhibit advanced skills in listening and speaking the Arabic language. With a team of 5 Arabic teachers under the leadership of a qualified department head, students are assessed and monitored regularly so that instruction can be modified accordingly to their needs. In 2012, Minaret Academy was awarded an Arabic Language Curriculum Development Grant from Qatar Foundation to further advance our program. Our Arabic Program remains a pioneer in the industry and role model for other schools across the nation.