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Curriculum


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Curriculum


Berthold Academy's base curriculum is designed to educate the WHOLE CHILD.  We value all areas of education as equal and believe the best education for our youth is diverse, robust, and engaging.  All areas of our curriculum receive the same importance and value.

 

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Programs


Programs


ACADEMIC EDUCATION

At Berthold Academy we offer Montessori-based first through eighth grade divided into the following environments:

Lower Elementary (6-9 years old)

Upper Elementary (9-12 years old)

Middle School (12-14 years old)

Children in the 6-12 age group are starting to realize that the world is an enormous, interesting place. They are primed to study continents, cultures, scientific concepts, and great literature. The world becomes their classroom.

The carefully developed elementary curriculum guides the child through identifying, classifying, and researching all of the fascinating concepts in each chosen field of study. The areas of practical life, language, math, geometry, botany, zoology, geography, and history are all represented in the classroom, with materials that lead the child to abstraction of the fundamental concepts in each area.

PRACTICAL LIFE AND LANGUAGE

Practical life, which was a separate area in the 3-6 classroom, is now integrated with the day-to-day care of the classroom and its inhabitants. Tasks may include preparation of snack and daily meals and watering of plants and care of animals. Elementary children dust the shelves, organize and straighten the materials, sweep and vacuum, and keep the classroom neat and clean.

The language area includes a comprehensive spelling curriculum, word study (including antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and compounds, as well as the parts of speech), creative writing, and research skills. Reading of every kind is highly encouraged, as children are introduced to poetry, folk tales, non-fiction, and classic literature. Children are also given many opportunities to read out loud - giving a presentation they have written, or dramatizing the work of another author.

MATH AND GEOMETRY

The math area begins with the Golden Bead material to teach beginning math concepts (place value, quantity/symbol association, and concrete addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The materials bring a "hands-on" quality to the classroom, with children learning through trial and error, self-discovery, and teaching from other children. The materials quickly move the child to an abstraction of math concepts, including problem solving, fractions, borrowing and carrying, graphing, measurement, long division, and algebraic equations.

Geometry is a fascinating area of Montessori. Actual wooden shapes are used to master the terminology of all of the plane figures and solids. Matching cards are used to introduce types and positions of lines, types and positions of angles, and special characteristics of shapes. Experimentation with other materials leads children to their own discoveries of spatial relationships, including congruence, symmetry, and equivalency.

CULTURAL STUDIES

Botany and zoology encompass a wide field of biological study. Matching cards are used to learn the characteristics of many plants and animals, and charts aid in the classification of the plant and animal kingdoms. After this first knowledge is gained, children begin to research on their own, using their knowledge of specific plant and animal species.

Geography and history include the study of civilizations and countries. Wooden puzzle maps of each continent are studied, with children learning the names, flags, animals, cultures, and geographic features of each country. History begins with the study of time, including clocks, calendars, and timelines. As various fundamental needs of people (like shelter, transportation, food, and clothing) are explored, the children research and chart changes in these needs over time and across cultures.

KEEPING TRACK OF WORK

Children in an elementary classroom begin to keep a record of their work. This can take the form of a journal, a workplan, or chart. In some classrooms, the children draw up contracts where they agree to do certain work during a week or month. The child still has the freedom to choose their own work, as well as choosing to work with another child or in a group. Keeping track of their work helps them make good work choices, and lets the teacher see which presentations have been done and which are still needed.

FINDING THEIR PLACE IN THE WORLD

Maria Montessori summed up the 6-9 classroom thusly: "The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why...the problem of cause and effect." It is now the job of the elementary teacher to provide the child with the materials and information to discover the interconnectedness of the universe.

An elementary Montessori classroom is a warm community: a multi-age, stimulating environment with highly trained teachers and materials that invite exploration and research. Children learn to face challenges with confidence, and begin to find their own place in the world around them.

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Travel And Culinary Programs


Travel And Culinary Programs


Field Trips

Lower Elementary students begin our sequence of travel programs by exploring the world alongside older students, gaining practical skills that build self-confidence and independence.  Whole-school field trips include such activities as an annual spring camping trip, visits to Kennedy Center performances, and STEM expos.

"Explore a City"

Each year, Upper Elementary students travel to a major U.S. city to visit well-known landmarks, attend events and, just as importantly, develop the practical skills required to navigate the larger world around them.  From planning metro trips and meals to money management and fundraising that supports special activities, students are engaged in all aspects of exploring a city.

Montessori Model United Nations

Middle School students will travel to Rome, Italy this year for Montessori Model U.N. this year, whewre they will participate in a two-day global simulation experience, plan their own sight-seeing agenda, and immerse themselves in the local culture.  As with our Field Trips and "Explore a City" program, students prepare by fundraising, then creating a budget that they manage leading up to and during their travel.

Gardening

Our year-round garden has a farm-to-table emphasis, allowing us to teach concepts and skills of sustainable gardening, food production, meal planning, composting and more.  Our garden also supplies the school's cooking program.

Cooking

Weekly cooking classes on-site, using vegetables from the garden and other whole foods.  Our cooking program provides hands-on instruction, with an emphasis on healthy snacks and mindful eating.  It will eventually supply our healthy snacks program and other products for our school incubator and fundraising efforts. 

School Business Incubation & Entrepreneurship

As our garden and cooking programs mature, we will build on student ideas for creating and selling our own products both within the school and, eventually, via local distribution.  This allows for our program to come full circle, by bringing in funds to support further culinary development. 

 

 

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Berthold And AltSchool: A Partnership to Superpower Montessori.


Berthold And AltSchool: A Partnership to Superpower Montessori.


A PARTNERSHIP TO DISRUPT EDUCATION

Berthold Academy's mission goes far beyond modernizing Montessori.  We want to disrupt the educational system at its core and provide an alternative that proves far more enriching and dynamic than the current public and traditional system.  This year we announce that Berthold has been chosen for a pilot partnership with AltSchool to "super-power" our time tested philosophy to allow us the capability for every child to receive what Montessori wanted at the core:  For the educator to truly, "follow the child."

Recently AltSchool, the most recognized and forward-thinking educational technology company in Silicon Valley, received more than 100 million dollars of investment from Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook) and others for its mission to enable all children to reach their full potential.  AltSchool is a team of 150 educators and engineers all working together to create an education technology platform, designed to enable schools nationwide to offer a deeply personalized, whole-child experience for each student.  So far, AltSchool has been building the technology inside its own network of schools in California and New York.

Out of hundreds of applicants, Berthold Academy was chosen as the very first to begin testing and using the platform.

 

Berthold Academy --- Powered by AltSchool

 

Welcome to Berthold Academy, part of the AltSchool network!

Berthold Academy has partnered with AltSchool, a revolutionary combination of educators, entrepreneurs and engineers whose mission is to deliver personalized, whole-child learning so that every child can reach his or her full potential.

AltSchool runs its own lab schools in San Francisco and New York and recently formed exciting partnerships with a few leading schools across the U.S.  Berthold Academy was selected to participate from hundreds of other schools.  The partnership leverages AltSchool's proprietary product and services platform and includes Berthold Academy as a partner in their network of schools.

Together, we are transforming the educational experience to better prepare students for a successful future.  We invite you to join us on this journey.

How does technology help deliver a truly personalized education?

AltSchool technology helps teachers understand their students as individual learners - from a perspective that's both deep and wide - so they can develop and deliver a comprehensive, personalized curriculum that helps each child thrive on his or her own terms.  

What makes AltSchool different from other educational technology solutions?

AltSchool isn't just a software company; it's a technology in practice.  They started by opening their own lab schools, enabling their development of tools that not only follow best educational practices, but have proven to be relevant, practical, and useful in the classroom environment.  AltSchool also increases transparency and communication between parents and educators, creating the ideal learning experience for your child.

What will the learning experience be like for my child?

Just as every child is unique, so is their journey to success in school and life.  It is from this point of view, coupled with extensive educational research about how kids learn best, that AltSchool has developed software that enables educators to deliver a 21st century education, helping students to become successful learners for life (not just in school.)

When does all of this begin?

Berthold Academy and AltSchool are preparing for the coming 2017-2018 school year and are in the process of designing a thoughtful and custom integration of AltSchool's technology platform and support services, which will include training on educational best practices.  Once your child is enrolled, he or she will experience all of the benefits of being a part of the AltSchool network.

How can I learn more?

Visit www.altschool.com for more information.