Curriculum

Classical Emphasis

Odyssey Charter School opened its doors in September 2005 as a K through 6 charter school. We are a tuition-free public school; OCS welcomes all eligible applicants up to its enrollment limit and, afterwards, admits students randomly (by lottery).

Odyssey Charter School believes that the best way to produce students who will be independent learners for life is through a classical education. A classical education uses history as its organizing outline, beginning with the ancients and progressing forward to the moderns in history, science, literature, art and music. Elementary students learn as many concepts as they can, emphasizing Western and world culture. These concepts are the basis of a life of learning.

State Core Curriculum

As a Utah Public Charter School, Odyssey conforms to the Utah State Core Curriculum guidelines.

The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of content in language arts, history, geography, science, and the fine arts, spanning grades K-8. You may be familiar with the “What Your (Kindergartner – 8th Grader) Needs to Know” series of books, widely available in stores. These are parent guides for the Core Knowledge outline.

What Sets Us Apart

OCS will implement curricula that provide students with both the content and pedagogy that are directed by our philosophy. The distinctive education offered at OCS includes the following:

Core Knowledge

Odyssey is a designate
Core Knowledge Visitation School

Curriculum Tour

As a traditional element to a classical education, Odyssey offers Latin instruction from fourth to sixth grade. Latin is a root for sixty percent of English words. Learning Latin provides a broader basis for the English language, scientific terms, and learning romance languages such as Spanish, French and Italian.

Students in grades 4-6 study Latin as a component of their classical education.  Odyssey’s Latin instructor is Ms. Daniels.  For more information on Ms Daniels, see her bio.
For more information on Latin instruction at Odyssey, see attachment below.
What they are saying about Latin. . .

“Latin is my favorite class because it is the most useful!”
– Daniel, Odyssey student

“It has surprised me how much my children have enjoyed Latin! My son loves it and my daughter can’t wait to take it. He has already made connections between Latin and spoken Spanish that he has heard. ”
– Ana, Odyssey parent

According to the Core Knowledge Foundation, knowledge of the arts is essential to the effective education of a child. Through exposure to fine arts, children grow in their knowledge creatively, historically, and analytically.

Odyssey boasts a rich music program with a foundation in the European based Kodaly method, including an after school choir program.

Classroom Music Instruction: grades K – 6

A classical education that does not include music instruction would be difficult to picture! At Odyssey, all grades (K-6) receive instruction by our music teacher in a dedicated music room.  Click here to view Ms. Perkins’ bio.  Specific details of music instruction by grade is found at Ms. Perkins’ UEN page:http://my.uen.org/myuen/104230.

The Kodaly Method

We chose the Kodaly Method for music instruction at Odyssey because (1) its philosophy dovetails so well with our academic philosophy and (2) the healthy local community of Kodaly teachers and training.

Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer, educator, and ethnomusicologist. His philosophy of music education led to a highly sequential system of teaching music. The system was developed by those influenced by Kodaly’s vision of music education. Varied pedagogical tools are utilized to reach the central philosophical objective; “Music belongs to everyone and is necessary for health human development”.

Basic philosophy

  1. All people capable of lingual literacy are also capable of musical literacy.
  2. Singing is the best foundation for musicianship.
  3. Music education to be most effective must begin with the very young child.
  4. The folk songs of a child’s own linguistic heritage constitute a musical mother tongue and should therefore be the vehicle for all early instruction.
  5. Only music of the highest artistic value, both folk and composed, should be used in teaching.
  6. Music should be at the heart of the curriculum, a core subject used as a basis for education.

Sequential Approach (child-developmental base)

The Kodaly method is highly structured and sequenced, with well-defined skill and concept hierarchies in every element of music. These sequences are closely related to child development—the way in which young children progress naturally in music. The major body of teaching material must lie within children’s capabilities. However, at all times some musical materials must be included that are designed to expand those capabilities. As the child develops physically, socially, emotionally aesthetically, and intellectually, they are also led to develop musically in the acquisition of increasingly complex skills and more involved concepts.

  1. Melody— 3-note songs and chants (la-so-mi), tetra-tonic (so- mi-re-do), and pentatonic (la-so-mi-re-do) songs comprise most of the earliest melodic teaching materials. As voices mature and musical abilities increase, musical materials are extended to include more songs in diatonic major and minor keys, modes, and altered scales.
  2. Rhythm—the meter of young children’s movements (walking, running, skipping, swaying, bouncing) is duple, either simple or compound.
  3. Form, harmony, tempo, and dynamics are also sequenced into hierarchies so that the young children may experience all aspects of music at their own level.
  4. Aural learning and then attach labels.
  5. Spiral learning. Each level builds upon the previous. Mastery is important before moving on to the next level.
  6. It is important to introduce only one new concept at a time.

Objectives

  1. Sing, play instruments and dance from memory, a large number of traditional singing games, chants, and folk songs, drawn first from the child’s own heritage of folk song material and later expanded to include music of other cultures and countries.
  2. Perform, listen to, and analyze the great art music of the world.
  3. Achieve mastery of musical skills, such as musical reading and writing, singing and part-singing.
  4. Improvise and compose, using their known musical vocabulary at each developmental level.

For more information on the Kodaly Method: http://musiced.about.com/od/lessonplans/p/kodalymethod.htm#

Saxon is a core mathematical program that teaches students with a unique pedagogical approach based on instruction, practice, and assessments. Students move from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract.

Saxon Math is a basal math curriculum that distributes instruction, practice, and assessment of related topics over a year rather than grouping concepts into chapters or units. This distributed approach is designed to increase student understanding of mathematics concepts and promote long-term retention of skills. Teachers introduce a new concept and work examples with the class. Next, students solve problems that cover the new concept and then concentrate on problems that cover previously introduced material as well as the new concept.

Spalding is used as a reading resource program here at Odyssey. Our primary reading program is Reading Mastery.
Spalding is a total language arts program, integrates essential research-based components, an educational philosophy, and a methodology consisting of time-tested principles of learning and instruction.

Students learn the purpose for every task and are active participants throughout Spalding lessons. Daily observations and assessments enable teachers to tailor instruction to meet each child’s individual needs: English Language Learners of all ages, Special Needs Students and Gifted. Thus, differentiated instruction is embedded in The Spalding Method.

Spalding teachers believe that students’ physical and mental well-being is a primary concern, that all children can learn, and that they are committed to personal improvement.

Spalding’s Kindergarten to Sixth Grade Teacher Guides provide 32 weeks of:

  • Spelling lesson objectives
    • Phonemic awareness
    • Phonics with handwriting
    • Spelling rules
    • Writing high-frequency vocabulary words in a notebook
  • Writing lesson objectives
    • Meaning and usage of the same high-frequency spelling words
    • Morphology
    • Parts of speech
    • English conventions
    • Grammar
    • Compositions

 

Reading lesson objectives

    • Literary appreciation
    • Text fluency
Text structure
Listening and reading comprehension strategies

For More Information on the Spalding Method visit their website at:  http://www.spalding.org/index.php?tname=program

E. D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Sequence is based on the belief that students should gain a core of shared knowledge. The Core Knowledge series states, “This knowledge forms a necessary foundation for the higher-order reading, writing, and thinking skills that children need for academic and vocational success.”
The Core Knowledge Sequence has been tested and proven to be effective in increasing student academic achievement. One 2004 study found, “Over [a] six-year review period, Core Knowledge schools performed well above the national average, with their collective performance increasingly higher than the norm. This performance advantage was evident across the six content areas. The same trend was evident across schools of different sizes, different socio-economic composition, and different ethnic composition. Based on these findings, there appears to be a strong relationship between student performance and the Core Knowledge curriculum.” (John Wedman and Alex Waigandt, “Core Knowledge Curriculum and School Performance: A National Study,” September 2004.)

 

To Learn more about the Core Knowledge Sequence visit thier website at: http://www.coreknowledge.org/mimik/mimik_live_data/view.php?id=1833&record_id=103

Public virtue is a founding principle we strive to uphold. Serving in our community is one of the ways we teach the students to open their eyes to the needs of others around them. We strive to serve in our community, not only to lighten the load of others, but to educate the hearts of the students who are giving service. In the process of serving they will learn a little about themselves, and find satisfaction in helping others.

Character and Competence is a program based on a unique view of competence. The program uses a teaching model that integrates processes natural to human growth with the educational experience of the classroom. Teachers are enabled to direct an entire class toward the development of character, achievement and improved learning.
The Real Power of Parenting

This parenting seminar, taught one night a week for 5-6 weeks, offers a fresh and unique approach to parenting that is solidly connected to research regarding why some children are more successful than others. It focuses first and foremost on promoting the successful development of children.

The Real Power of Parenthood program explains the five parts of the family environment and shows parents how to organize and adapt them to promote their children’s growth and development. It teaches how to demonstrate clear and consistent parental leadership in a positive and proactive way. It also emphasizes that parents should be clear about what they want for their children and be unified in how to promote their children’s development.

Parent will learn the three fundamental parts of parenting and how to apply them in their family:

  1. Understanding child development
  2. Adapting the family environment
  3. Applying clear and consistent leadership

Parents will learn the 6 leadership principles:

  1. Prepare more than you punish
  2. Communicate more than you control
  3. Encourage more than you criticize
  4. Involve and individualize
  5. Love more than you isolate
  6. Love enough to limit