Spirit of Technology Curriculum

Grade 3

The Grade 3 curriculum introduces students to many new technologies, logical thinking, and the binary number system. The weekly 1.5-hour class is packed with new learning each week. In this grade, students learn the foundations of software development using the Python programming language. Students write their own code and learn about variables, data types, errors, if-statements, loops, user-inputs, and lists. Students use their knowledge in Python to program the micro:bit microcontroller. Additionally, students gain hands-on experience wiring circuits and the difference between a parallel circuit and a series circuit. Grade 3 students will be able to identify the difference between an insulator and conductor, along with being able to understand what current, voltage, and resistance are in an electrical circuit.

Students at this grade learn how to make and present a PowerPoint presentation using the design concepts they’ve learned in class. Grade 3 students complete regular homework assignments, write multiple tests, and have a final exam at the end of the year. The overall challenging curriculum inspires confidence in our Grade 3 students.

Grade 4

The Grade 4 Curriculum continues to lay the foundation for logical thinking, programming concepts, and circuitry during the weekly 1.5-hour classes. In this grade, students deepen their understanding of programming using JavaScript and build on the topics they learned in Grade 3. Students review the fundamentals in variables, data types, loops, and if-statements and they are introduced to creating simple user-interactive animations using the p5.JS JavaScript library. In circuitry, they build on the foundation set in Grade 3 by reviewing circuit diagrams, circuit terms and building series and parallel circuits. Additionally, students dive into Ohm’s Law to calculate voltage, current and resistance in a series circuit.

In this grade, students have more programming assignments with a focus on writing longer and larger programs. Students combine their knowledge in programming and circuits by using a microcontroller to create programmable circuits. Grade 4 students complete regular homework assignments, write multiple tests, and have a final exam at the end of year. The overall curriculum is rewarding for high-performing Grade 4 students.

Grade 5

The Grade 5 curriculum lays a critical foundation in technology and engineering. The weekly 1.5-hour classes are based on developing critical thinking skills that set a strong framework impacting students’ technical skills far into the future. In this grade, the curriculum is no longer spiral, rather developmental with one topic thoroughly explored and consolidated before moving onto the next topic. The four main topics covered in Grade 5 include Ohm’s Law, Arduino, Data Analysis using Excel, and Design Thinking. Students learn the fundamentals in Ohm’s Law and dive deeper in calculating voltage, current and resistance in an electrical circuit. Students use this knowledge to program and build prototypes in Arduino. Additionally, drills, cooperative group work, and problem solving (such as Problem of the Day) continue to be key components in the Grade 5 curriculum.

Grade 5 students are expected to write their own class notes and are more accountable for their independent learning. There is an emphasis on students using the available resources to complete assignments and homework. All grade 5 students have tests, programming assignments, research assignments, and write a final examination. The overall curriculum strengthens students’ research skills as well as their comfort with technology.