At Monarch Academy, we offer a challenging curriculum, which combines the inquiry based, child-centered philosophy of the International Baccalaureate with the rigor and academic quality of the Common Core, including 21st Century Skills and the Next Generation Science Standards. Students spend much of their time engaged in units of inquiry and in-depth studies of compelling topics. Their learning experience involves comprehensive research of a subject, hands-on instruction, and unique projects that address authentic audiences in the community. Students become responsible citizens of their communities, where they consider real-world problems, take action, and ultimately, compete effectively in tomorrow’s world.
THE SIX TRANSDISCIPLINARY THEMES OF PYP:
WHO WE ARE
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
WHERE WE ARE IN PLACE AND TIME
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend, and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
HOW THE WORLD WORKS
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
HOW WE ORGANIZE OURSELVES
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
SHARING THE PLANET
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The PYP Difference
This approach enables all our pupils, including those pupils with learning support difficulties or disabilities, to enjoy a well-rounded education designed to meet their diverse needs. Through the PYP units of inquiry, students are challenged and stimulated within a safe learning environment. They are encouraged to be confident risk-takers and inquirers, who ask questions, seek answers, and continuously try new things as they grow and learn.
In the PYP, each grade level teaches six units under the overarching transdisciplinary themes. While the transdisciplinary themes are unique to PYP, the content and standards come directly from the Maryland Common Core. This conceptual focus allows teachers and students to maintain a developmentally appropriate scope and sequence, while also diving deeply into topics and exploring them from multiple angles. Over time, students begin to make connections across grade levels, subject areas, and content.
The idea that real-world problems capture students’ interests and provoke serious thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. Project-based learning creates opportunities for groups of students to investigate meaningful questions that require them to gather information and think critically.
Focus on the Learner and Learner’s Culture
Monarch Academy Annapolis provides a culturally responsive classroom by: teaching children to strengthen their thinking skills; Incorporating aspects of our students’ languages, cultures, and daily experience to bridge the cultures of home and school; using technology for instruction and for demonstrating learning; providing opportunities for small-group work; and providing strategies that allow students to “think aloud” and process their thinking together to make meaning.
Universal Design Learning
Creating flexible goals, methods, and assessments that accommodate learner differences to account for the fact that each child’s brain processes information differently.
Brain-based education assures that the whole brain is engaged during the instruction period through having it process through information it knows, gathering what it needs to know, processing what it learns, and then applying new knowledge to a different situation or context.
Character education is taught by teaching students about honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality, and respect as these values play out in the subjects they are learning. They also learn how to solve problems in a morally responsible way.
Integrating the Arts in Lesson Planning
Arts are infused in lessons to help students understand how music develops regionally or internationally to compliment a culture or a time in history, how fashion reflects history and politics, and how art, theater, dance, and music reflects life, and the impact of the times on art, theater, dance, and music.