What Our Students are Learning
Saturday Academy Critical Reading: In the Theory of Smart unit, students explore the concept of growth mindset by thinking critically about how knowledge is acquired and developed. They read a variety of challenging nonfiction texts and engage in discussions and debates as part of their learning. As this is our Scholars’ first semester, expectations for annotation, text analysis, and classroom discussion are also set as part of this unit.
Weekday Afterschool Critical Reading: In the Identity & Values unit, students explore a variety of nonfiction texts that grapple with identity formation, morality and ethics. Students read, discuss, and analyze texts, while gaining confidence and skill in making, defending, and actively listening to their peers’ arguments.
Saturday Academy Critical Reading: In the Narrative Nonfiction unit, students increase their reading stamina by exploring long-form nonfiction texts through the thematic lens of the relationship between individuals and communities. They analyze how authors develop arguments and themes in longer, more dense texts, while honing their awareness of bias and rhetorical techniques, as well as how texts ‘speak to’ and reference the arguments of other texts.
Weekday Afterschool Critical Reading: In the Educational Equity unit, students explore texts that elucidate the systems and structures working against educational equity in the United States. Part of this inquiry involves considering the conditions that foster the need for SEO Scholars to exist. Students then broaden the scope of their study by examining systems of education in other countries, situating their personal educational experience in both a national and international context.
Critical Writing & Grammar
Saturday Academy Critical Writing: In the Paragraphs unit, students review the elements of writing a strong paragraph as part of an exploration of the structures that support effective writing.
Saturday Academy Grammar: In the Parts of Speech unit, students examine how the parts of speech operate in the context of understanding syntax as linguistic sign-posts of meaning for the reader.
Saturday Academy Critical Writing: In the Critical Analysis unit, students assume the role of the critic as they practice analyzing the strength of authors’ arguments, as well as identify and evaluate the effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques used. In the second half of the unit, students will produce a piece of writing that analyzes and either endorses or critiques a quotidian event, object, piece of media, or activity, using the rhetorical techniques discussed in the first half of the course.
Saturday Academy Grammar: In the Language and Usage unit, students analyze texts in a variety of genres, studying how language works to create particular effects on readers, and how the rhetorical choices writers make can reveal bias in nonfiction texts.
Saturday Academy & Weekday Afterschool Math: The Numbers and Operations unit is the first math unit of the SEO curriculum. During this semester, students develop their number sense and review key algebraic principles such as distribution, factoring, and operating with fractions. They also learn to interpret ratios using the measurement model and apply proportional reasoning in a variety of contexts.
Saturday Academy & Weekday Afterschool Math: In the Precalculus unit, students work with ratios and rates, learn unit conversion techniques, and model rational expressions and equations. They work with function notation, explore properties of graphs and their transformations, and generalize the slope concept to explore average rate of change and the derivative concept.
College Prep English
Saturday Academy College Advisory: College Advisory content guides students in discussing college fit factors and creating their college list. Students also participate in writing exercises designed to help them explore topics for their personal statements.
Weekday Afterschool SAT ELA Support: During the SAT ELA Support unit, students have an opportunity to practice the SAT test-taking strategies they are learning in their Saturday Princeton Review SAT Prep classes in a small-group setting with more personalized instruction. Most classes involve working with a practice SAT section and discussing answer choices. They practice reading comprehension strategies and review grammar rules including subject/verb agreement, verb tense consistency and pronoun/antecedent agreement. At the end of the unit, after students have taken the SAT, students will begin developing and writing their personal statements as part of the course.
Saturday Academy College English Seminar: In College English Seminars, Scholars will read texts that focus on the social, cultural, and economic transition into higher education, specifically for first-generation students, and engage in rigorous discussion. Scholars will also develop their analytical writing skills through written responses to the texts. Instructors will provide feedback on student writing and assess their readiness for college-level writing.
College Prep Math
Weekday Afterschool SAT Math Support: During the SAT Math Support unit, students have an opportunity to practice the SAT test-taking strategies they are learning in their Saturday Princeton Review SAT Prep classes in a small-group setting with more personalized instruction. Most classes involve working with a practice SAT section and discussing answer choices.
Saturday Academy College Statistics: During the College Statistics unit, students learn introductory concepts and techniques that are the basis for descriptive and inferential statistics. Students learn about measures of center and spread (i.e. standard deviation), the Empirical Rule, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The unit culminates with a group project in which students pose a research question, collect survey data, and use this data to answer their question by conducting a hypothesis test.
Saturday Academy College Calculus: During the College Calculus unit, students learn about three important concepts that will be the foundation of their first college Calculus course: limiting processes, the derivative, and the antiderivative (integral). Students learn basic techniques of differentiation (power rule, product/quotient rule, chain rule), interpret the derivative graphically, solve related rates problems, calculate Riemann sums, and are introduced to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The unit culminates with project based on a real-world manufacturing problem.
Saturday Academy Single Variable Calculus: The Single Variable Calculus unit is based on a “flipped” model: students watch instructional videos during the week and spend their time on Saturdays primarily working on problem sets in small groups. The curriculum materials and videos are based on MIT’s first semester undergraduate Calculus course available through the MIT OpenCourseware platform. Students learn rules of differentiation, implicit differentiation, curve sketching, optimization, related rates, the mean value theorem, Riemann sums, integration, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, how to calculate volume using integrals, integration by parts, L’Hopital’s rule, convergence/divergence of improper integrals, infinite series, Taylor series expansion, and proof by induction.