Academics — What Sets Us Apart
Great Oaks Academy is dedicated to developing students through accessible and rigorous instruction that empowers them to become their very best. We believe every student can succeed given the right balance of challenge and support, coupled with personalized instruction and experiential learning. Our well-rounded curriculum incorporates college-prep academics and a focus on moral character, preparing students for a lifetime of educational and personal success.
English Language Arts
English Language Arts
Building a Strong Foundation
Every child begins first learning to read and then progresses into reading to learn. Our English Language Arts (ELA) program prioritizes the ability to decode, read with fluency, and gain capacity to comprehend increasingly more complex material across a range of types, topics, and disciplines.
English Language Arts
We Incorporate Reading Everywhere
We focus on integrating ELA skills and proficiency by infusing informational, nonfiction literature with other subjects including math, science, and social studies. Research shows that incorporating ELA into other subjects helps to close learning gaps by providing essential background knowledge, especially for upper elementary and middle school.
English Language Arts
ELA through a Variety of Modalities
Our ELA instruction provides a healthy balance of opportunities for students to practice fluency, collaborate with others, participate in writing workshops, and work alongside teachers in small groups to develop ELA skills. Students also practice independently with books they’ve personally chosen from a variety of published works.
We help students learn to read,
so they can read to learn.
Students experience a balanced literacy approach through a variety of resources appropriate for a student’s independent ability, affinities, instructional needs and grade level. Research shows that providing students with a wide array of genres - everything from informational texts to published works of fiction - plays a key role in developing a lifelong love of reading.
Ensuring Your Child Succeeds
Our model for achieving student success begins with the way we structure classroom instruction. The NHA approach includes a blend of one-on-one teaching, small group instruction, and time for independent practice. Our teachers invest time identifying each student’s unique needs so they can specifically tailor plans, set goals, and meet their needs. This framework creates smaller learning environments within the classroom, and ensures students are properly supported to meet their individual learning goals. This also allows teachers to track progress and adjust instruction to ensure each child’s success.Apply for Your Child Today
Math Success for Every Student
Our custom mathematics curriculum was designed to enable every child to succeed. It is both accessible and stringent. We believe all students can achieve at a high level in math if you provide solutions to remove the frustrations associated with it. Our process teaches students to solve problems, move beyond their mistakes and find a productive relationship with struggle. A student can solve any problem if they can count and make sense of the problem.
Problem Solvers Are Forged in the Classroom
Math is visual, interactive, and experiential at Great Oaks Academy. We understand that learning begins with regular exposure and interaction with math beyond the textbook. Students learn by doing math and talking about how it’s integrated into our daily lives. We emphasize depth and critical thinking over speed. Our teachers act as facilitators and allow students to explore math problems on their own terms.
A Framework for Understanding Math
Math Stories is our customized, proprietary 30-minute daily routine integrated into the daily math block. The teacher facilitates the framework as students unpack one math problem per day by: 1) engaging through visuals, 2) making sense of the problem, 3) discussing the problem, 4) connecting key points, 5) practicing methods to solve.
Our Math Learning Process
Experience it. Instead of a teacher immediately demonstrating how to solve a math problem, students use concepts they know to become familiar with the problem.
Talk about it. Next the teacher facilitates discussion around the skills and ideas developed by the students while working on the problem.
Name it. At the end of the lesson, the teacher explains the problem building on the language students shared, explicitly naming the key points of the exercise for that day.
Our curriculum values and demonstrates math can be done in a variety of ways. Students develop the ability to think critically, reason and employ different strategies to solve problems. Our teachers pose purposeful questions, and the students are asked to provide evidence of their thinking. Ultimately, students attend to precision, demonstrate sound reasoning, navigate challenges, and persevere in solving them.
Spotlight: Great Oaks Earns “A” Grade in Ranking of Michigan’s Best Public Elementary Schools
Great Oaks earned an “A” grade from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy on their 2019 Michigan Context and Performance (CAP) Report Card. Schools that are “beating the odds” stand out by this measure.
“Beyond raw test scores, the CAP report card helps parents see more clearly what kind of impact their school has on student learning,” said Ben DeGrow, director of education policy.
We offer a differentiated curriculum in for top performing students in all grades who are ready to learn at an accelerated pace. This allows us to better meet the needs of more advanced students and provide the appropriate level of challenge and higher-level thinking.
Some of our advanced-level classes can even equip middle schoolers with the skills and experience needed to enter advanced high school courses, setting them up for success ahead of time.
We base science instruction on the 5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) which provides students with concrete, hands-on opportunities to learn about new ideas. Our students use various modalities to help support their understanding and application of key science and engineering concepts and skills.
In addition to learning important historical and cultural facts, we use social studies to build critical thinking and practical problem solving skills so our students become engaged citizens. Social studies also helps to provide a platform for teachers to integrate other content areas such as moral focus, reading, and writing.