Lower School (Grades 1-5)
Dear Students and Families,
I am so pleased to welcome you to AIM Academy! Whether you are a current parent seeking the latest news or a prospective parent who is just learning about AIM, this site can help you learn more detailed information about what makes AIM Academy a unique, vibrant, joyful place of learning.
Although this is my first year at AIM Academy, I have been an educator for the past 18 years. I love to learn and to work with children, and I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Harvard before pursuing graduate work in education at both George Washington University and Bank Street College. I have worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, learning specialist, and school administrator, and I feel fortunate to have a job that I love. At AIM, I am honored to work alongside a team of incredibly talented, committed, growth-minded educators.
When I first came to AIM Academy as a candidate for the Lower School Head position, I was amazed by the evidence of powerful, multi-sensory learning and creativity everywhere I looked. From student-created medieval manuscripts to essays to models of math equations to colorful murals, student work makes the hallways of AIM come alive. In classrooms, I observed students who were highly engaged in their learning, led by skilled teachers who planned lessons and activities using research-based academic instruction. AIM Academy is an amazing place, and I encourage you to explore our website and reach out to us to learn more.
A Strong Foundation for their Academic Journey
Developing crucial foundational skills in reading, writing and math is the main focus of instruction in the Lower School. To accomplish this, individualized goals are set for each student, progress is monitored and assessed weekly and instruction is adjusted to ensure academic achievement.
- For example, in the fall, all students participate in benchmarking assessments to determine appropriate placement for reading, writing, math and Wilson Language Training® instruction. If it is determined that the child will benefit from phonics instruction, he/she will join a Wilson Language Training® reading group. If the assessments show that a child would benefit from more intensive instruction in reading comprehension strategies, the student will take a Comprehensive Literacy class that focuses on higher order thinking skills, including visualization and inferencing strategies.
In order to enable students to learn more easily and to retain concepts more effectively, teachers present information using visual, auditory and kinesthetic techniques. In addition, students are immersed in classes that mimic real-world situations and require them to find solutions to real-world problems.
- For instance, all Lower School students participate in daily Interactive Humanities classes in which history, social studies and geography concepts are learned through multisensory instruction and activities. Classrooms are transformed to mimic the time in history being studied and students assume the role of historical characters wearing historically appropriate costumes. They engage in opportunities to apply what they learn as they solve problems and interact with their classmates to make and use simple tools, to trade cattle in return for food, or to guard their castle from a hostile takeover.