The Kindergarten Core Knowledge® sequence is “engaging, challenging, and content-rich” at the appropriate developmental level, and integrated across disciplines for a foundation that “promotes academic excellence for all learners, while remaining flexible enough” to meet individual needs.
A Core Knowledge® classroom is inherently advanced due to the content and cross-curricular connections. It also provides many opportunities to go a “mile deep” and make deeper connections for children who benefit from an additional challenge. Differentiation is frequent at CCS for all levels of learners and small groups and intervention are incorporated for students needing additional time on task to master a subject, as well as those needing an extension to stay challenged. The name “Challenge” comes from the philosophy that each child should be challenged at their level daily at school.
CCS partners with families to help our Kindergartners reach high expectations in math, reading, writing, and handwriting fundamentals. In Social Studies, kids begin to understand where they are in the larger world and what it means to be a good citizen and then moving onto lessons on Geography and the early explorations of Columbus and the Pilgrims. The Core Knowledge curriculum is the ultimate foundation for teaching patriotism and pride to Americans. We teach our students about our presidents and the significance of important American symbols. Kindergarteners also become familiar with at least one Native American tribe or nation.
In Science students learn the five senses and body parts as well as how to take good care of themselves. We introduce the students to weather, magnetism, animals and their needs and plants. One of the most exciting science observations is our study of small system changes in an ant or worm farm.
- Does Challenge Charter School offer a Kindergarten Program?
- How much does Kindergarten program with the afternoon enrichment (8:30am-3:30pm) cost?
- How well do Challenge Charter School Kindergartners perform academically compared to other schools and districts?
- What do I need to know before I pre-register for the Kindergarten program?
- Yes! Challenge Charter School’s Kindergarten program is delivered in the morning from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. There is an afternoon enrichment option from 12:30 pm 3:30 pm. For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be no afternoon enrichment fees. CCS’s afternoon enrichment is not a day care or pre-school oriented environment; it is a full educational day enrichment program providing a sophisticated academic learning environment based in Core Knowledge. This content-rich, diverse curriculum challenges and excites students to learn with hands-on & engaging learning adventures.
- Please note: Some Kindergartners will benefit from success in our four hour Kindergarten program prior to enrollment in the content-rich 7 hour afternoon enrichment. It would be a disadvantage to enroll or keep your child in the afternoon enrichment program before they are socially, emotionally, or academically ready.
- Our full day option is from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and has no tuition cost associated with it.
- To stay until 3:30 pm and participate in our kindergarten Enrichment Program the cost was $250 per 20 day block for previous school years. There are nine blocks in a school year.
- Challenge Charter School is giving back to our families and offering a Free Enrichment in the 2021-2022 school year. Pre-register today before the waitlist gets too long from this awesome opportunity!
- Core Knowledge is a high quality, effective curriculum allowing each student the opportunity to be academically challenged, excited, and excel in a hands-on learning environment. Both the extended half- day and the extended full-day Kindergarten programs provide Challenge Charter School’s kindergartners with an obvious advantage.
- We administer Standardized tests and assessments throughout each year so that we can measure our student’s academic progress more closely, as well as the performance of the classroom as a whole. Our kindergarten students have always tested well, often testing one or two years ahead.
- Your kindergartner’s 5th birthday must fall on or before August 31st of the enrolling year.
- Some Kindergartners will benefit from success in our four hour Kindergarten program prior to enrollment in the content-rich 3 hour afternoon enrichment. It would be a disadvantage to enroll or keep your child in the afternoon enrichment program before they are socially, emotionally, or academically ready.
At Challenge Charter School our first graders get an in-depth, content based learning experience through hands on activities in reading and math, technology, science experiments, music, and field trips based on the rich Core Knowledge curriculum. Daily hands-on math activities will be introduced such as addition, subtraction, place value, time, money, fractions, measurement and geometry. Students are also exposed to a variety of literary works such as, folk tales, poems, fables and readers theaters. These engaging stories connect to our core virtue curriculum and often teach real life lessons that make for rich classroom discussions. We compare similar stories from different parts of the world and teach the children the importance of the great literary authors. Our science and social studies curriculum covers important historical events and people. Scientists that have shaped our history, such as Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur are introduced. Students learn about the human body and its various systems as well as habitats, the solar system and electricity. In social studies, the children go back in time to study the contributions of ancient civilizations such as the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs. The students also expand their knowledge about our founding fathers and the historical events such as the Declaration of Independence. In first grade, we work hard to create a classroom environment that encompasses responsibility, respect and the other core virtues in our curriculum.
Second grade is a year full of discovery and adventures for students at CCS. Students will become scientists when they do experiments to explore the Water Cycle and discover the characteristics of magnets, artists when they create projects to represent animal life cycles, musicians when they learn about the elements of music and famous composers, then historians when uncovering the events and people of our country’s past, with units on the Constitution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War. Students will also participate in many unique experiences, at this grade level, such as our Ancient Greek Olympics, our Chinese New Year parade or Cultural Fair, in correlation with our studies of Ancient China and tie-dyeing shirts, as a “wrap up” of our Ancient India unit.
Students will continue with Math topics introduced in earlier grades. The topics we cover will go more in depth using the foundation of knowledge the students have previously learned. Some concepts we cover are place value, addition and subtraction with regrouping, counting money and making change, fractions, measurement, geometry, multiplication, and time. It is very important for second grade students to practice addition and subtraction math facts on a regular basis. This will aide them in their mastery of computation strategies. Our math studies go beyond simply learning “rules” and provide students with lots of problem solving opportunities to show they can use what they have learned in a variety of ways.
Reading and Language Arts are a crucial component of our second grade curriculum. Students will read a wide variety of story genres and will be able to practice reading daily. Second graders are encouraged and taught how to respond to literature in both small and whole class groups. Our goal is to have students reading at or above grade level by the end of the year. In addition to our weekly reading stories, our Core Knowledge curriculum introduces the second grade students to many classic stories such as Peter Pan, Charlotte’s Web, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and folktales such as The Blind Men and the Elephant. At home, students should read for at least 15 minutes each night. This will help them strengthen their reading fluency and practice comprehension strategies. The second graders will also write many compositions throughout the year. They will use the prewriting, rough draft, editing and final draft processes with most assignments.
The second grade at CCS is a time for learning and excitement for our students, parents, and teachers. We cover all of the Arizona College and Career Ready standards which have been aligned to our Core Knowledge Curriculum. Together, using Core Virtues, such as Responsibility, Respect, and Diligence, we will have a successful year of learning and growing.
Third grade is going to have a fun and amazing year! Third graders will be challenged to demonstrate many new skills and explore fascinating new topics. Students will travel back in time to learn about the ancient empire of Rome. Third graders will participate in a Roman day complete with a Roman feast and the annual 3rd Grade Chariot Races. Students will also create Viking memorabilia for the Viking Walk and switch classes for our Colonial unit. Students will write a research report on their favorite animal during our study of the Classification of Animals. They will also enjoy learning about optical illusions (Vision/Optics unit), sound waves (Sound/Hearing unit), and black holes (Astronomy unit.)
Third graders will be strengthening their problem solving skills and using mental math to help them solve challenging math problems. Students will use hands on games, interactive learning, and technology to practice these skills. Multiplication, division, fractions, area, and perimeter are major topics that will be covered. Creating a strong number sense will enable the students to excel in math! In reading, third graders will be transitioning to more challenging chapter books. Writing responses, character analysis, and in depth discussions will help students explore exciting new books.
Third graders will also enjoy desks and the responsibility of keeping them clean! Third grade is an exciting and wonderful year full of new experiences and learning! See you in third grade!
Sample Third Grade Topics:
Ancient Rome Skeletal System Vision and Optics
Vikings Sound and Hearing 13 Colonies
Vikings Multiplication Earliest Americans
Elapsed Time Astronomy Fractions
The fourth grade curriculum is full of hands-on activities, reading, and responsibility. At this grade level, we put a great deal of focus on teaching students to be responsible for themselves and their work. We teach note taking and study skills. These skills are extremely important in math, science, and social studies.
In fourth grade language arts and math, we build on concepts that were taught in the younger grades. Language arts include the Core Knowledge novels, such as Robin Hood, Pollyanna, and Robinson Crusoe. In math, students are expected to have mastered the basic multiplication and division facts by the second trimester of fourth grade due to their consistent use in higher level concepts throughout math.
Our social studies curriculum is Core Knowledge. We study American History which includes the American Revolution and early Presidents and World History with the Middle Ages and Ancient China. We also study Arizona history throughout the year. Every school year, we take a field trip to the Arizona State Capitol.
Our Core Knowledge science curriculum includes the study of Earth Science: meteorology, geology, chemistry, and electricity. We also learn about the respiratory and circulatory systems of the human body. Every school year, we take a field trip to the Halle Heart Center to expand our learning of the circulatory system. Throughout the year, fourth grade also works on the scientific method of experimenting, and this culminates with the student’s first Science Fair experience.
The fifth grade curriculum utilizes classic literature including Don Quixote, Little Women, Secret Garden, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and works of Shakespeare, as well as the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill reading program aligned with Common Core standards. These different stories provide a medium in which we teach students higher level analysis and comprehension. In addition, we integrate a rigorous grammar, spelling, and writing program for a total language arts approach. Students practice writing skills across the curricula and become much experienced in writing thesis-driven persuasive essays, as well as creative short stories, journal entries, and poems. We also use leveled readers to give each student additional fluency and language practice in a small group or one-on-one setting.
Our math curriculum starts by building on material practiced in fourth grade and gradually steps up to create a seamless transition into new higher-level math concepts that align with Common Core and Core Knowledge standards . Students use white boards, games, number cards, cubes, and resource material in their notes to problem solve and practice skills relating to number sense, geometry, and pre-algebra.
Social studies and science are guided by the Core Knowledge curriculum. Our social studies content is rich in cultural history, taking students back to the beginning of civilizations of the Americas, Japan, and Russia. We sail through exploration and the European Renaissance and Reformation, and travel across the United States in covered wagons to see how our country became what it is today. In science we start out small, with atoms and matter, and expand to include plant and animal cells and human body systems. These units aren’t complete without a wonderful selection of lesson-enriching field trips and integrated projects.
Past projects have included travel logs, cell and element models, ads for Westward expansion, ancient civilization masks, Renaissance and Reformation character sketches, ship and compass construction, and so much more! Field trips take us further into our Core Knowledge topics, and have included excursions to the Wells Fargo Museum, Benihana and the Japanese Friendship Gardens, Chase Field, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
There is a lot of material to cover when your student comes to sixth grade! We use a variety of visual, verbal, and hands-on activities to teach. This variety allows our students to absorb information in a number of ways and allows us to reach all of our students and meet their learning needs. In an effort to better prepare the sixth graders for the transition into middle school, Mrs. Stellato and Mrs. Torres teach cooperatively. Mrs. Torres is in charge of the language arts curriculum and the science program while Ms. Stellato teaches the mathematics and social studies curriculum. Our sixth grade team likes to be able teach with a cross-curricular philosophy. When we are studying ancient Greece and Rome in social studies, it is not unusual to see students studying constellations in science and writing their own original myths in writing. We try to expose the students to a plethora of knowledge to connect their prior learning to our 6th grade standards.
Our 6th grade language arts program consists of four major components: spelling, grammar, reading comprehension, and writing. Throughout the school year the students will have the opportunity to read and discuss such award winning books as, The Cay, The Prince and the Pauper, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Homer’s epic poems, The “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” They will be writing persuasive essays, monthly book reports, research papers, and business letters utilizing the Six Traits of Writing program. Our thorough grammar program allows students to utilize their grammatical knowledge and apply that knowledge into their writings.
We like our students to have a worldly understanding of different events in history, For example, how did the Enlightenment ideas effect different countries around the world? How did the American Revolution spark the idea of revolution for the French? In social studies, students begin with a unit on the deserts of the world, and the study of the historical foundations of Christianity and Judaism, and then proceed to study the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, the Enlightenment Period, the French Revolution, and the American and European Industrial Revolutions. We end the year by studying our Latin American unit. It is fun and eye-opening to see how much the world really opens up for the sixth graders as they take their journey through history and how they can make connections from our past to current events.
The math curriculum is both comprehensive and rigorous in the sixth grade. This is the year when our students need to finish building their foundations in arithmetic and explore other branches of mathematics in greater depth to transition from elementary school into middle school. Once the sixth graders have mastered number sense and demonstrated proficiency in their computation, they go on to learn pre-algebra, formulaic geometry, probability, positive and negative computation, and many more exciting topics. The theme for the year is building connections with the knowledge they have learned and the information they are being introduced to.
The sixth grade science curriculum includes elements of life science, earth science, physics, and even chemistry. Our Core Knowledge curriculum is quite diverse with units including the study of plate tectonics, astronomy, the oceans of the world, and systems of the human body. Our CCS science fair also gives the students a fantastic opportunity to explore a scientific topic in greater depth and really demonstrate their love of this subject in a more personalized way.