1st Year Program
1st Year Program
Integrated Core Program (grades 6-7): Mixed-grade class builds basic skills in academic writing, analysis, and research.
In 1st Year History, students examine archeological and historical clues for evidence of cultural and social structures. By learning the differences between observations and inferences, students begin to understand how historians piece together information about ancient cultures. Students learn to: read a text for information, use a study guide to help in test preparation, research information for use in reports and presentations, and organize their thoughts in short essays on tests.
Weekly Geography quizzes require students to learn and to remember both physical and political geographical features of the regions they study in Ancient Cultures. At the end of 1st Year, students know the physical and political geography of the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Students select a year-long interdisciplinary independent project that relates several aspects of one or more cultures to their lives. As their project develops, they are asked to review portions of it with various teachers for advice and direction. Independent projects are presented and displayed to the public at the annual parent meeting in May.
First Year English combines literature selections (novels, essays, poems, plays) from time periods and concepts studied in Ancient Cultures & the Middle Ages with analysis of short stories, creative and analytical writing, and SAT- prep Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling.
In Literature, students learn to mark a text, looking for proof to illustrate their own answers to an interpretive question. By writing summaries of their ideas, and learning to organize their arguments into paragraphs and outlines, students gain gradual experience with literary analysis. Novels include: Mara, Daughter of the Nile; Antigone; D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths; The Canterbury Tales; A Proud Taste for Scarlet & Miniver; and The Green Book.
Continuing the work begun with math studies in Writing Workshop, students begin to connect the mathematical insights of Leonardo Fibonacci with the art & architecture of the Ancient World. By writing math, students learn to organize their writing in logical, ordered sequences, and to write clear, concise sentences, skills which help them to unravel the rational complexity of analytical essays.
Writing poetry helps students hone their precise use of language, developing skills necessary for weeding out unneeded words and "dead" descriptive language from their prose. In preparation for standardized tests, First Year students delve into the correct applications of grammar, spelling, and weekly vocabulary.
Academic subjects in the First Year Program are fully integrated, with ten hours of Art instruction, ten hours of Drama, and several interdisciplinary classes in archeology, Fibonacci sequence mathematics, and teacher-assisted, student-directed independent projects as well as beginning French.
Core Programs at The North Fork School introduce students to the ideas and discipline of academic practice early, when they are most interested in new knowledge, learning techniques, and achievement.
By building an understanding of drafting, sharing, revising, and editing pieces, students discover that their efforts create a sense of accomplishment; that grades are earned, not bestowed; that learning is their responsibility and their opportunity.
Students who start in Writing Workshop and continue through the core programs often feel that they have learned everything that they need for college. It is at this point that North Fork School High School classes begin: students quickly learn that the core programs were only a foundation, and that their high school classes expand their skills, knowledge, and understanding exponentially each year.
photo licensed by Creative Commons: Egypt by John McLinden