Country Day School Curriculum

At Country Day, it is immediately evident that there is a lot of active learning going on. Our talented faculty provides students with opportunities to investigate, question, practice, be creative, expand their worlds, and gain confidence as they learn. The small class sizes offer unparalleled benefits. The curriculum is designed to provide a sequential adventure for young students. Learning experiences vary from whole class lessons to small group experiences to partnerships and individual opportunities. To further enhance learning, the core teachers regularly work with specialists.

Curriculum by Subject

Art

The Country Day School art curriculum is designed to allow children to learn to be artists and respond to art. Through manipulation of process and materials, students learn to express their ideas and emotions. They also learn the importance of observation and many ways to foster creativity. By responding to art, they see how others create and express themselves. The walls of every hallway and every classroom are decorated with artwork from all ages of students, and each work of art confirms the creative development of the students.

The art program at every grade level offers a wide range of materials and media, both two- and three-dimensional. Exposure to art history promotes an understanding of past and present art forms and becomes a stimulus for creating art.

Objectives

  • Recognize and identify differences in shapes, scale, color, texture, pattern, line and form
  • Continue to develop the ability to use the imagination
  • Develop confidence in contributing ideas
  • Experiment with media and learn to manipulate these materials in ways that stimulate the student’s expressive abilities
  • Learn to accept and deliver constructive criticism
  • Participate in group discussions and ask questions
  • Manipulate materials in multiple manners
  • Keep trying to revise and refine artwork
  • Find ways to use different media and materials expressively
  • Make decisions throughout the art process regarding tones, colors, shapes, patterns, textures rhythm and form

Grade JPK Art

  • Start painting (objective and non-objective)
  • Learn to mix and experiment with colors
  • Create collages
  • Make rubbings
  • Build sculpture (clay and recycled materials)
  • Draw
  • Make large letter paintings in conjunction with classroom letter learning
  • Learn about artists Eric Carle and Matisse

Grade SPK Art

  • Build on JPK art experiences
  • Paint (mixing primary colors to create secondary colors)
  • Create collages (clear lay and tissue paper)
  • Develop scissor skills
  • Make sculpture vessels
  • Create Mother’s Day flower pots

Grade K Art

  • Continue to paint and draw
  • Refine scissor skills
  • Learn about tints and shades
  • Make sculpture (scoring and slip)
  • Create collages
  • Make expressive self portraits

Grade 1 Art

  • Continue to work on painting, drawing, and sculpting
  • Enjoy increased freedom to combine mixed media
  • Collaborate on an art project
  • Learn how to weave
  • Make props for classroom restaurant project
  • Draw people in the community

Grade 2 Art

  • Build on foundation and techniques from first grade
  • Introduce printmaking
  • Create a collaborative rainforest mural in conjunction with classroom studies
  • Introduce wax resist technique
  • Learn rotational symmetry

Grade 3 Art

  • Experience opportunities to work with all basic materials and techniques
  • Begin more complex clay works
  • Continue building drawing and construction skills
  • Study the effect of using light and shade in artwork
  • Build coil pots
  • Create ceramic fish

Grade 4 Art

  • Participate in a wide variety of media experiences
  • Learn concepts of visual language
  • Introduce sewing
  • Work with plaster in preparation for making of puppets
  • Make individual puppets for class puppet show

Grade 5 Art

  • Study the history of self-portraiture
  • Create self portraits
  • Continue to elaborate and emphasize drawing techniques
  • Integrate art projects with the study of Egypt
  • Integrate recycled art projects with study of environment

Language Arts

The language arts are central to all learning. The overall purpose of the curriculum is to guide the continuous growth and development of students’ thinking and language abilities from grade JPK to 5. This focus enables students to understand and appreciate language and to use it in a variety of situations for communication, personal satisfaction and learning. The aim is to ensure that students, upon leaving fifth grade, are competent and confident in using language for functional and aesthetic purposes.

Objectives

  • To appreciate the value of reading and writing
  • To read with understanding and fluency
  • To develop students’ English language abilities as a function of their thinking abilities
  • To promote personal and social development by expanding students’ knowledge and the use of the English language
  • To develop proficiency as well as enjoyment in speaking, listening, writing, reading, representing, and viewing
  • To develop the ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of texts
  • To read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas
  • To write to communicate for a variety of purposes
  • To listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations

Grades JPK-SPK Language Arts

The literacy goals in junior and senior pre-kindergarten focus on fostering a love of language and the development of excellent communication skills. Books are an integral part of the classroom. Each day, teachers read aloud from a wide variety of quality literature relating to curricular topics. Children have frequent opportunities for writing and drawing as expressions of concepts or experiences.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Conversing in a group setting
  • Gaining phonemic awareness through children’s literature
  • Learning to recognize letters and sounds and begin handwriting
  • Expressing through drawing and emergent writing
  • Gaining comprehension skills in retelling, comparing and contrasting, and sequencing

Grade K Language Arts

The kindergarten language arts program combines whole group, small group and individual instruction to establish a foundation of essential reading and writing skills. We use the Reading Wonders program, which emphasizes phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling and grammar. Through a Writing Workshop approach, children learn the basics of the writing process and use pictures and words to express their thoughts and ideas in written form. Students are exposed to a wide variety of literature in the library and the classroom. Story reading is an essential part of every school day.

Objectives:

  • Recognize upper and lower case letters
  • Form upper and lower case manuscript letters
  • Associate sounds with letters
  • Segment sentences
  • Segment, isolate and blend letter sounds
  • Recognize and produce rhymes
  • Recognize and produce onset and rime blends and segments
  • Count, produce and blend syllables
  • Recognize consonants and vowels at the beginning, middle and end of words
  • Understand genre: fantasy, informational, poetry, fiction and nonfiction
  • Recognize and understand key details, character, setting, events, main topic, sequencing and plot
  • Recognize and understand nouns, verbs, sentences, adjectives, pronouns and prepositions

Grade 1 Language Arts

Language arts in first grade includes reading, phonics, written expression, spelling, handwriting, listening and speaking skills. These subjects are integrated and interdependent.

Reading materials include a basal reading series, leveled texts, trade books and decodable phonetic readers. Mechanics of language are introduced through shared writing and specific skill lessons. Spelling concepts are taught using daily word-building lessons, sight words and weekly spelling assessments. Phonics is taught through word building, reading activities and practice sheets. Through sharing during meeting times, presenting book shares and special projects, reading written pieces, poems and books, and performing class plays, first graders develop oral speaking skills.

Grammar and Writing Objectives:

  • Apply learned capitalization and punctuation rules
  • Write and punctuate declarative and interrogative sentences
  • Make a Four Square Map with categories
  • Apply learned spelling patterns
  • Respond to a given writing prompt with four sentences
  • Use descriptive words (adjectives) and specific detail
  • Write a simple invitation, thank-you note and friendly letter
  • Proofread with a teacher for errors and make corrections

Handwriting Objectives:

  • Hold the pencil correctly
  • Use proper placement
  • Use base lines on handwriting paper
  • Print name within lines using appropriate spacing
  • Copy and write simple sentences using appropriate spacing
  • Use left-to-right and top-to-bottom progression in writing
  • Use adequate spacing between words and sentences
  • Relate letter size and proportion to appropriate spaces
  • Form all numerals correctly
  • Print all lower and uppercase letters without a prompt
  • Use handwriting as a communication tool

Reading Objectives:

  • Apply left-to-right progression
  • Discriminate words by likeness and differences
  • Recognize vocabulary words appropriate to reading level
  • Utilize sound-symbol correspondences for all letters
  • Use word analysis to decode new words
  • Identify contractions and compound words
  • Use context clues to determine an unknown word
  • Sequence a series of events in a given selection
  • Recall details and identify the main idea of a given selection
  • Draw a conclusion and predict the outcome of a situation
  • Develop oral reading skills, fluency and expression
  • Build new vocabulary
  • Read and follow simple directions
  • Participate in reading groups and story discussions
  • Express personal connections to a story

Phonics Objectives:

  • Demonstrate auditory discrimination
  • Distinguish between vowels and consonants
  • Identify initial, middle and final consonant sounds
  • Identify consonant digraphs and their sounds
  • Identify and distinguish between short and long vowel sounds
  • Identify vowel digraphs and their sounds
  • Identify r-controlled vowels

Speaking Objectives:

  • Gain self-confidence in speaking in front of an audience
  • Answer questions from an audience
  • Establish eye contact with listeners
  • Practice habits of clarity of speech

Grade 2 Language Arts

The second grade reading program is teacher-designed and incorporates popular children’s literature and selections from basal readers. Students read, experience and respond to a wide range of genres. Reading instruction methods include whole class, differentiated small groups, partner, choral and silent reading. Class discussion and/or written student response typically follows oral reading. Students also read independently to support silent reading and comprehension.

The phonics program reinforces decoding skills during everyday reading and creative writing exercises. Whenever useful, phonetic rules are applied and discussed. Word attack skills are used to sound out unfamiliar words. Phonics objectives are incorporated into spelling and reading lessons.

The spelling program consists of a weekly list of patterned and high-frequency words, which students practice through class activities and homework. A word wall enables students to refer to previously studied words during daily writing. Challenge words are optional on weekly tests.

The writing program helps children to apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences. The program incorporates journal writing, creative writing and the writing process. Students begin a story with a graphic organizer to help plan their ideas. After producing a rough draft, they meet with a teacher and/or peer to assist with editing and proofreading. The rough draft is revised and published.

Handwriting instruction begins with an emphasis on correct letter formation, correcting reversals, spaces between words and legible writing. Students then learn lowercase and capital cursive letters, eventually using cursive on spelling tests and selected assignments.

Students practice speaking in front of an audience by sharing at class meetings, presenting book shares, performing plays and skits, participating in discussions, and presenting written pieces and projects. Their goal as listeners is to listen to each other and teachers attentively and respectfully.

Reading Objectives:

  • Participate in reading and discussion of class novels
  • Improve oral reading skills
  • Build new vocabulary through reading in context
  • Increase comprehension and word recognition
  • Decode unfamiliar words in context
  • State the main idea of a story and support with details
  • Express personal and/or text-to-text connections
  • Participate in reading and discussion of class novels
  • Apply strategies and skills to read various genres
  • Accurately recognize and read high-frequency words in text
  • Become independent in silent reading assignments
  • Accurately answer questions from silent reading
  • Understand and follow written directions
  • Begin to self-monitor and correct
  • Participate in reading plays and reader theater scripts

Phonics Objectives:

  • Apply phonetic skills to decode words while reading
  • Demonstrate phonological awareness
  • Recognize like and unlike word parts
  • Orally blend word parts and segment words into parts
  • Orally manipulate phonemes
  • Identify consonant sounds, diagraphs and blends
  • Identify short and long vowels
  • Recognize silent e words and r-controlled words
  • Recognize compound, plural and root words
  • Recognize prefixes and suffixes
  • Identify number of syllables
  • Use phonetic skills for inventive spelling during creative writing

Spelling Objectives:

  • Learn basic spelling needed for written expression
  • Learn and apply spelling patterns and rules
  • Use the second grade dictionary successfully
  • Recognize standard proper nouns requiring capitals
  • Write the plural form of certain words
  • Use phonics and spelling skills to spell unknown words

Writing Objectives:

  • Form complete sentences with clearly expressed thoughts through the use of graphic organizers
  • Correctly use capital letters to begin a sentence
  • Correctly use ending marks for statements, questions and exclamations
  • Apply a variety of sentences within a written piece that connect to the topic
  • Incorporate transition words when necessary
  • Use adjectives
  • Utilize the Word Wall to write high-frequency words
  • Begin to self-edit
  • Write drafts from graphic organizers
  • Publish pieces

Handwriting Objectives:

  • Correctly form all manuscript letters and numerals
  • Self-correct reversals
  • Apply adequate spaces between words in sentences
  • Learn the letter forms for Zaner-Bloser cursive writing

Speaking Objectives:

  • Establish habits of clarity in speech
  • Gain self-confidence in speaking in front of an audience
  • Establish eye contact with listeners
  • Use appropriate structure and sequence to convey information
  • Answer questions from the audience

Listening Objectives:

  • Understand and follow verbal instructions
  • Participate in small group discussions
  • Recall details and sequences
  • Share and enjoy stories told or read orally

Grade 3 Language Arts

The third grade language arts program includes CAFE, Words Their Way and comprehension instruction through text-based discussions, mentor texts and Writing Workshop.

The CAFE (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding) vocabulary program includes goal-setting in individual conferences, small-group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs, and one-on-one conferring.

The reading program focuses on comprehension skills, word analysis skills, literary skills and using resource books. These skills are systematically covered by two basal textbooks. Skills are reinforced through book reports, literature circles, teacher-read novels, “buddy” reading and the SRA and New Practice Reader independent reading programs.

Words Their Way teaches students to study word patterns through weekly word sorts. Students learn to compare and contrast word features in each category, which helps to increase both spelling and vocabulary.

Using mentor texts to teach the craft of writing gives students the opportunity to position themselves alongside an author and examine how texts communicate an author’s idea. Examining an author's craftsmanship at the sentence and word levels provides the opportunity to examine grammar in context.

Writing Workshop includes a focused and condensed mini-lesson, a larger span of time devoted to independent writing and conferencing with the teacher, and students gathering to share their writing. Students generate ideas and topics that interest them for narrative, informational, opinion and fairy-tale pieces. They complete a graphic organizer and use it to write a rough draft. Next, they conference with the teacher and are encouraged to locate and edit their own errors. Along the way, they work through the process with one another before proudly sharing their published work.

In grammar, emphasis is on correct spelling, punctuation and capitalization, using lessons from the basal reading series and the Daily Language Review workbook.

Weekly spelling lists consist of 10 words based on a specific pattern, two commonly misspelled words, and two challenge words taken from current events, social studies, math, science, or any topic under discussion.

Reading Objectives:

  • Improve comprehension
  • Improve expression and fluency in oral reading
  • Increase sight vocabulary
  • Apply phonics skills automatically
  • Read independently for enjoyment

Writing Objectives:

  • Write in complete sentences
  • Express thoughts or ideas in written form
  • Write in a sequential manner showing a beginning, middle and ending
  • Organize ideas into paragraphs
  • Use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure
  • Use transitional words and phrases

Grammar Objectives:

  • Use proper capitalization of words at the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, titles and in friendly letters
  • Apply ending punctuation
  • Identify nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives
  • Insert quotation, commas and apostrophes correctly
  • Use proper verb tense
  • Use alphabetical order

Spelling Objectives:

  • Learn specific spelling rules
  • Apply phonics skills in learning new words
  • Develop study skills for learning and retaining words
  • Apply spelling skills to written work

Grade 4 Language Arts

Fourth graders are taught skills and strategies for proficient, fluent reading though the Reading Wonders program. Grammar, spelling, mechanics and vocabulary are included in these mini-lessons. These skills and strategies are then applied as children read independently leveled books for biweekly book reports and activities that encourage critical and higher-order thinking skills. Students also practice these skills and strategies as they study class novels, which are read independently at home and analyzed and interpreted in school. Students respond to literature through journals, book reports, comprehension questions and a variety of small group and independent classroom activities.

The reading program is designed to motivate, entertain and inspire students to read, utilizing a variety of literature. Third grade skills are reinforced and expanded to allow the child to choose books that are challenging and encourage continued growth. Students are encouraged to think critically about what they read and be prepared to organize, defend and express their opinions in various forms such as oral presentations, written critiques, and class and group discussions.

Writing is incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum and students write daily for different purposes and audiences. The writing program is designed to help the student to become a confident, fluent writer. The emphasis is on the process approach to writing. Fourth graders participate in Writers' Workshop for at least two hours per week. Teacher led mini-lessons focus on specific writing strategies, followed by independent writing and partner/group sharing. Writers organize their thoughts using a graphic organizer, and first drafts are proofread with peers following specific directions. Final copies are independently edited for learned grammatical conventions using criteria-based rubrics and are reviewed in individual conferences with a teacher.

In grammar lessons, emphasis is on identifying and using correct sentence structures that add interest and depth to writing. Students are encouraged to use correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization and paragraphing skills. Students self-check papers applying rules that have been previously taught.

Weekly spelling lists include 20 spelling words that follow a particular rule; students who demonstrate proficiency with the rule are given more challenging lists. Up to 15 vocabulary words taken from class novels are also presented weekly, and students are responsible for understanding their meanings and parts of speech. Vocabulary words are studied in small groups and assessed during weekly vocabulary bees. Students are encouraged to incorporate newly learned words into their writing and to actively discover new words.

Reading Objectives:

  • Have an expanded sight word vocabulary
  • Decode unfamiliar words according to phonemic principles
  • Employ a variety of critical thinking skills before, during, and after reading
  • Recognize main idea, both stated and unstated, as well as supporting details
  • Develop an appreciation and an understanding for a variety of literature
  • Expand their vocabulary
  • Match reading skills to reading material

Writing Objectives:

  • Develop pieces that reflect an understanding of various purposes and audiences
  • Write in an organized, coherent manner that reflects an understanding of the proper structural properties of the various types of writing: descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and essay writing
  • Be self-reflective and revise own work
  • Develop creative writings that contain well-developed characters and settings, as well as endings that reflect a solution to the story’s main problem
  • Write with a depth that includes the use of varied vocabulary and sentence structure, and comprehensive descriptions

Grammar Objectives:

  • Recognize capitalization and punctuation errors and make the necessary corrections independently
  • Recognize when a new paragraph should be employed
  • Correctly label the various forms of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, interjections and conjunctions
  • Identify subject and predicate
  • Recognize subject and verb agreement

Spelling and Vocabulary Objectives:

  • Identify and apply spelling rules
  • Become more competent in the use of a dictionary and a thesaurus
  • Become proficient at enriching own vocabulary
  • Apply spelling skills to written work
  • Incorporate newly acquired vocabulary words into written work
  • Identify the part of speech of newly acquired vocabulary words

Grade 5 Language Arts

The fifth grade language arts curriculum is designed to develop and enhance skills through daily reading and writing. A heavy emphasis on reading affords children the practice necessary to improve reading and thinking skills along with the opportunity to discover a wide variety of written material. Daily writing assignments are required in order to build the child’s writing fluency, writing assignments are required in order to build the child’s writing fluency. Grammar skills are heavily emphasized.

Reading Objectives:

  • Solidify word attack skills
  • Develop fluency and expression in oral reading
  • Sharpen literal, interpretive, and critical reading skills
  • Improve reading rate
  • Identify main idea
  • Sequence information
  • Use context clues to comprehend new vocabulary
  • Draw conclusions and predict
  • Scan as a pre-reading technique
  • Locate specific information in reference sources
  • Read and compare different types of written works, such as short stories, books, poems and plays
  • Sustain quiet reading for at least 30 minutes
  • Maintain a consistent schedule of independent reading
  • Write responses, essays, summaries, book reports and opinions
  • Offer oral responses to written material

Writing Objectives:

  • Initiate and develop in written form
  • Use the computer as a writing tool
  • Write for a sustained period of time
  • Improve skills in structuring sentences
  • Apply level-appropriate punctuation skills
  • Organize sentences into paragraphs
  • Proofread and edit own work
  • Experience writing: poetry, personal narratives, short stories, book reports, research papers, journal commentary, essays, directions, reports and literature responses
  • Gather, organize and sequence information
  • Take notes in preparation for report writing
  • Summarize
  • Broaden use of vocabulary
  • Develop a story line
  • Bring idea to a close
  • Look critically at one’s own writing
  • Develop skills to look critically at professional and classmates' writing
  • Offer constructive comments to classmates
  • Develop strategies for solving writing problems
  • Evaluate and revise a first draft
  • Write for a variety of audiences

Spelling Objectives:

  • Use a dictionary and computer spell check
  • Identify and apply spelling rules to written assignments
  • Improve homonym usage
  • Form plural and possessive nouns
  • Recognize spelling errors and reduce their frequency
  • Proofread and correct spelling errors on written work

Library

The library at Country Day is an integral part of each student’s journey to becoming a lifelong reader and an effective researcher. Starting with engaging story times in JPK and ending with advanced research strategies in fifth grade, our library is committed to nurturing a love of books and reading, and to teaching our students to find and use information effectively and ethically. Our librarian works closely with teachers, students and parents to ensure that student information needs and interests are met. Our librarian collaborates with classroom teachers to complete a variety of academic projects and to ensure that assignments are fulfilled.

Library skills are cumulative throughout a child’s duration at Country Day, and each year builds upon the previous one. Many skills that are learned during library time are reinforced during subsequent years. Pre-kindergarten children are introduced to basic library concepts such as author and illustrator whereas students in fifth grade have learned to navigate the library, the library catalog and online tools. Reading aloud takes place at every level to provide exposure to a variety of books and to ensure that the library is a pleasant and comfortable environment for children.

Grade JPK-SPK Library

Junior and senor pre-kindergarten students visit the library weekly, with a focus on nurturing a positive connection with books, story time and libraries.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become familiar with library procedures
  • Learn proper book care
  • Ongoing print awareness
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Practice prediction
  • Author and illustrator familiarization
  • Participate in songs, flannel board stories and finger plays

Grade K Library

Kindergarten students visit the library weekly to enjoy and participate in story time, learn book selection procedures and become familiar with the library.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become familiar with library procedures
  • Revisit proper book care
  • Reinforce print awareness
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Practice prediction
  • Author and illustrator familiarization
  • Participate in songs, flannel board stories and finger plays

Grades 1-2 Library

First and second graders visit the library weekly and are exposed to a variety of books, authors and illustrators. They continue to learn how to use library resources and select books to complete projects and fulfill personal interests.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Participate in weekly author or illustrator studies
  • Become familiar with borrowing procedures
  • Listen to and thoughtfully discusses author/illustrator read-alouds or monthly thematic read-alouds
  • Learn different parts of the book, such as the spine, cover, barcode, copyright date, author biography, summary page, table of contents
  • Learn about copyright
  • Become familiar with literary awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery and Theodore Geisel Award
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Understand the differences between fiction and nonfiction
  • Learn how fiction is organized in the library
  • Navigate the early nonfiction, series, graphic novel and picture book sections of the library using shelf markers
  • Understand the characteristics of a series
  • Become familiar with biographies
  • Continue emphasis on book care
  • Be introduced to the magazine section
  • Explore print encyclopedias

Grade 3 Library

Third graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to choosing "just right" reading books, and the second session is dedicated to navigating the library and identifying, locating, consuming and using information effectively and ethically.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Explore various genres
  • Learn how biographies are organized in the library
  • Become familiar with the Dewey Decimal System
  • Participate in conversations about plagiarism
  • Practice effective note taking
  • Further explore of parts of a nonfiction book, such as the glossary, index and table of contents
  • Learn the characteristics of fairy tales and tall tales and participate in a fairy tale or tall tale puppet show
  • Participate in thematic monthly celebrations, such as National Poetry Month and Native American History Month
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Practice using guide words in a dictionary

Grade 4 Library

Fourth graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to book selection, and the second session is dedicated to using the library and its digital resources to fulfill information needs and interests. Students become confident using the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and locating fiction and nonfiction in the library.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Use the Online Public Access Catalog to search for fiction and nonfiction books to fulfill assignments and for personal interests
  • Navigate the fiction and nonfiction sections in the library
  • Revisit genres
  • Practice using guide words in reference tools
  • Understand the purpose of encyclopedias, atlases and almanacs and confidently navigate them
  • Learn to form effective search strategies
  • Explore the Encyclopedia Britannica database
  • Utilize databases such as America the Beautiful to complete assignments and fulfill information interests
  • Revisit copyright
  • Understand plagiarism and strategies to avoid plagiarizing
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Participate in thematic monthly celebrations, such as National Poetry Month and Women’s History Month
  • Further practice using guide words in reference materials
  • Introduction to fair use and ethical use of information while completing Animoto state commercials

Grade 5 Library

Fifth graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to book selection, and the second session is dedicated to using the library and its digital resources to fulfill information needs and interests. Students spend time in the Technology Center honing their digital research skills both online and using databases. Fifth graders also learn good digital citizenship.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become competent navigating the fiction section by putting books away
  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Volunteer to give book talks to classmates
  • Independently identify genres
  • Continue using the OPAC to locate fiction and nonfiction independently
  • Participate in lessons on Internet safety

Math

The math curriculum is designed around the belief that math is more meaningful when it is rooted in real-life contexts and when children have the opportunity to become actively involved in learning. Problem solving is a vehicle to teach math concepts and skills and to strengthen logical reasoning. Communication and justification are emphasized as students discuss mathematical ideas and problem-solving methods.

Country Day School uses McGraw Hill's Everyday Math curriculum, which focuses on developing a lifelong fluency and understanding of math. We use real-life examples and relatable situations so that children understand the application of the skills taught. Several approaches are often taught when learning to problem solve, so that children have various strategies to rely on and can choose which method makes the most sense for each problem. Teachers use a process of building understanding, from concrete understanding using hands-on tools and activities, towards abstract understanding where students can represent problems using equations and support their answers with explanations. Everyday Math is a spiraling curriculum, where concepts are taught at several points throughout the year so children build understanding over time, make connections between concepts, and increase retention of what they have learned. This helps to develop true proficiency and accommodate different learning styles. Through a purposefully engineered framework, students develop confidence, fluency and real-world problem-solving skills.

Math objectives are organized into six strands: number and numeration; operations and computation; data and chance; measurement; geometry; and patterns, functions, and algebra. Within each strand, goals are carefully sequenced so children build a strong mathematical foundation as they progress through the grades. Computational fluency is an important component, and much time is devoted to understanding and using the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Strong number sense is emphasized. Children have opportunities to collect and analyze data, use a variety of measurement tools and units, explore spatial relationships and utilize algebraic thinking.

Grades JPK-K Math

The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten math curriculum provides children with a strong base of concrete, hands-on, real-life experiences to build an understanding of a wide range of abstract concepts. Children have daily access to instructional materials including math games, puzzles, measurement tools and collections of materials for sorting and counting.

Math in the early years is designed to foster a curiosity about math, numbers, shapes and patterns. A strong number sense and fluidity with numbers is crucial for building mastery. Students explore a wide variety of concepts and skills such as shapes and their attributes, patterns within the base-10 number system, using pictures to represent problems, and creating explanations to support their work.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Gain number sense, one-to-one correspondence and number stories
  • Learn about non-standard units for weight and length
  • Practice sorting and classification
  • Learn about basic graphing, patterning, problem solving and sequencing
  • Review geometry and spatial relations in shapes and puzzles

Grade 1 Math

First grade math continues the hands-on approach and discovery of concepts, and begins to add fluency with basic facts. Children learn how to use fact families, helper facts and fact extensions to solve a wide variety of problems. Classes often have various stations so children can balance their time with guided lessons, independent work, small group activities and enrichment challenges.

First graders explore:

  • Addition and subtraction fact families
  • Patterns in numbers, counting, and place value
  • Computation of two-digit values
  • Measuring distance, time, and temperature
  • Data collection and graphing
  • Describing 2D using attributes
  • Solving word problems

Grade 2 Math

Second graders develop their math skills by using what they know to figure out what they do not yet know. They learn how to use basic facts and apply the same concepts to larger numbers and new concepts. Students learn to compute larger values by creating reliable algorithms based on their own understanding of the base-10 system and how to calculate amounts that require grouping using reasoning. They begin to model their problem solving efforts and support their work with explanations.

Second graders explore:

  • Operations in addition, subtraction and multiplication
  • Patterns in numbers, counting and place value
  • Computation skills through the 100s place, both written and mental
  • Measuring distance, time and temperature
  • Data collection and graphing
  • Describing 2D and 3D shapes using their attributes
  • Exploring fractional amounts

Grade 3 Math

Third graders learn to apply the foundational math skills they have learned in many different ways. Growth is facilitated by helping students find the connections between skills. Building strong reasoning is paramount, as so many math concepts have similar patterns. New concepts are introduced with hands-on materials and work towards an abstract understanding and fluency.

Third graders explore:

  • Measurement skills, including perimeter and area
  • Mental math skills with three-digit values
  • Geometric concepts
  • Relationships between multiplication and division
  • Fractions
  • Order of operations
  • Elapsed time

Grade 4 Math

Fourth grade students build mathematical skills to solve larger and more complicated problems that involve several steps. They develop mastery in concepts by using strategies they can apply to foundational problems and extend to more complicated situations. Students are frequently given a problem that involves a new skill. The questions that arise while solving the problem guide the lesson and tailor it to the understanding and questions of the class. Often students are asked to explain their process without giving an answer to the problem, as this helps them learn to focus on the problem solving and not just the end result of being right or wrong.

Fourth graders explore:

  • Computation and representation of fractions
  • Decimal concepts
  • Metric units
  • Multi-digit multiplication and division
  • Multi-step problem solving
  • Area and perimeter of various 2D shapes
  • Classifying shapes, figures and angles

Grade 5 Math

Fifth grade students recognize the daily applications of math and how it is a part of everyday life while preparing for higher-level math courses. Students are expected to support their answers with sound reasoning, appropriate vocabulary, visual models and text. Using their reasoning skills, students create reliable algorithms for computation, which increases their efficiency with problem solving. Extensive problem-solving opportunities are used to enrich understanding of concepts. Students have several math projects throughout the year where they explore probability, data collection and interpretation and measurement and design.

Fifth graders explore:

  • Modeling fraction computations with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Connecting decimals to fractions and money
  • Developing computational strategies
  • Exploring geometric concepts of perimeter, area and volume
  • Developing pre-algebra skills by solving and making equations and function machines
  • Learning how to collect, analyze and represent data
  • Percentages
  • Probability
  • Building a personal vocabulary of mathematical terms

Music

The goal of the music program at Country Day School is that each student believes deep down that we are ALL musical and capable of making and enjoying musical activities. The program provides a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to discover, identify, explore and develop musical skills.

Outdoor Music
When the weather permits, music classes are held outdoors. Movement activities and games become much more vigorous in the expanded space, as students tend to sing with abandon.

Chapel
Chapel provides a wonderful opportunity for the entire school to sing and make music together once a week. Because Chapel is frequently attended by family members, it becomes a terrific community time. Students learn various songs to sing at the beginning and end of chapel, and classes often present special musical selections to the gathered assembly.

Performances
Shows are an authentic assessment of students' musical growth and the effort they have devoted to improving their skills. They offer extensive, real-life problem-solving moments for the students and foster cooperation and encouragement among the grades and in each class. Country Day students present many musical performances in the Great Hall each year:

  • Halloween Open House (SPK-5)
  • Holiday Show (SPK-5, featuring grade 3)
  • First Grade Play
  • Second Grade Play
  • Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day (JPK-K)
  • Spring Show (SPK-5, featuring grade 5)

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students should experience a variety of musical activities in order to nurture their developing musical selves. The CDS early childhood music curriculum can be summed up in three words: "tuneful, beatful and artful."

"Tuneful" skills include using the singing voice with ease, matching melodic contour when singing, identifying and copying melodic patterns on barred instruments and physically expressing changes in tone. "Beatful" skills include identifying and expressing a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns, echo rhythms with body percussion and instruments, improvising rhythmic patterns and expressing rhythmic concepts through dance. To be "artful," one must develop listening and discernment skills and be able to hear new sounds and styles of music with an appreciative, receptive spirit.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Singing echo and call-and-response songs
  • Playing circle games, both stationary and ambulatory
  • Using body percussion and rhythm sticks to express a steady beat while singing and listening to recorded music
  • Using a variety of rhythm instruments to improvise patterns
  • Playing singing games, especially games that focus on rhymes and object/name identification
  • Engaging in movement practices that build proprioceptive awareness
  • Practicing simple dance elements such as stomping, turning and moving backwards and forwards
  • Using balls, beanbags, scarves, ribbon wands and other manipulatives to physically engage with musical ideas
  • Using puppets to explore vocal characterizations and musical storytelling
  • Experiencing music from a variety of time periods and world cultures
  • Experiencing music that celebrates various holidays, seasons, and life events

Grades 2-5 Music

After an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences has been established in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. This is accomplished primarily through the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Music reading skills are introduced in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize musical literacy.

Following the same sequence by which spoken languages are most naturally acquired, Conversational Solfege introduces each musical concept aurally before approaching the idea visually. Students engage in activities and games that enable them to hear, echo, identify, decode, improvise, read, write and compose rhythmic, melodic and harmonic musical concepts. The rhythmic curriculum begins with patterns of eighth and quarter notes in simple meter and proceeds through the study of all types of rhythmic notation in both simple and compound meter. Rhythmic concepts such as strong and weak beats, beat groupings and meter, and tempo are also taught. The study of melody and harmony begins with "do, re and mi" and progresses through the entire scale. Throughout all studies, musical terminology is taught and reinforced via the vocabulary-building "Musical Word Wall."

Acquiring proficiency in music literacy is important, but it is certainly not the only goal of the curriculum for older students. The children continue to celebrate through music, experiencing many seasonal, holiday and event-based songs. Folk dancing is an essential part of the curriculum, teaching vital social skills and honing physical abilities while reinforcing rhythmic concepts. Songs from various historical eras and geographical areas allow students to travel through space and time to experience music from around the world and across the ages.

Skill-Building Activities

  • Singing a wide variety of songs including echo songs, call-and-response songs, singing games and play parties, cumulative songs, individual and small group sections, holiday and special occasion songs
  • Using rhythm instruments to accompany singing and improvise rhythms
  • Participating in drum circles and other free-form rhythmic activities
  • Using melodic instruments such as bells and melody chimes
  • Participating in competitive games that test grasp of particular skills
  • Folk dancing
  • Using a variety of musical props and manipulatives including scarves, balls, beanbags, ribbon wands and puppets to enhance learning
  • Playing musical games from around the world
  • Exploring historical, cultural and musical connections through the study of music history and current events
  • Discussing and asking questions about the curriculum

Physical Education

Physical education is an important part of the CDS curriculum. It provides opportunities for the students to develop a positive attitude towards physical activity, inspires a love of physical fitness and sports, and develops basic to advanced physical skills. The program also aims to promote good sportsmanship skills and a sense of fair play, leading to a healthy lifestyle for all students.

Objectives

  • Develop cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and flexibility
  • Develop desirable competencies in at least three team sports, two lifetime sports and two recreational games
  • Develop a general knowledge base of the skills and rules of three team sports, two lifetime sports and two recreational games
  • Develop a positive self-image and desirable sportsmanship skills
  • Develop self confidence

Grades JPK-SPK Physical Education

  • Acclimate to the gym to become comfortable
  • Display basic movement concepts
  • Follow simple directions

Grades K-1 Physical Education

  • Follow directions
  • Recognize the importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grades 2-3 Physical Education

  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grades 4-5 Physical Education

  • Refine manipulative skills
  • Develop the team concept
  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Be attentive to instruction
  • Experience self-directed play
  • Assume leadership roles

Science

In science, Country Day students in grades 1-5 engage in hands-on exploration of various topics in earth, life and physical science. Each lesson begins with a question, and students explore the answer through observations, role-playing, model-making, demonstrations and experimentation.

Students have a chance to carefully observe ordinary phenomena with fresh and curious eyes. Inferential thinking skills are built through the process of questioning and recognizing patterns to build connections. The language of science is constantly developed and reinforced through class discussions, in drawing and writing, and the organization of information in diagrams and charts. Children work cooperatively on various projects and learn what it takes to be a part of a team to accomplish a task.

Environmental education is an important part of the curriculum. A few steps outside of our spacious indoor science lab is our outdoor classroom. Surrounding woods and fields and a nearby stream provide the school with a “living textbook” full of wondrous chapters to explore. Students participate in many walks through the school grounds and hikes in the woods to learn about the natural world. They also have opportunities to freely explore the ever-changing science lab exhibits in the classroom, including living animals, animal mounts on loan from the Carnegie Museum, nature displays, animal puppets, building activities and more.

The CDS science program is stimulating, full of explorations and discovery, and unique because of the many opportunities to take advantage of our beautiful campus grounds.

Objectives:

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges
  • Cooperate with one another
  • Develop comfort, enjoyment and appreciation for exploring nature
  • Develop a sense of community by sharing explorations with various groups

Grade 1 Science

Objectives

  • Develop a joyful attitude towards inquiry into science and nature
  • Develop patience and care for observing the natural world
  • Develop confidence in innovative thinking by using natural playfulness to explore new ideas
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about insects, motion, liquids, birds, plants and food by making connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore the body structures, life cycles and social behavior of ants through observation, making paper models and role-playing
  • Observe and compare how objects spin, balance and roll, and communicate about discoveries; build inferential thinking skills by observing and generalizing about successful designs; practice being innovative and scientific by keeping track of successful trials and making repeatable results
  • Observe, mix, compare and classify various liquids
  • Explore the basic systems of the human body through computer simulations, exercise activities and making paper models
  • Explore the adaptations of various birds, including nesting, songs and how body features match the habitat and food of each bird
  • Observe and compare seeds, role-play the germination of seeds, plant seeds and watch them grow
  • Observe and classify foods as seeds, fruits, roots, leaves or stem
  • Look under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike, play nature games, and do activities designed to stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 2 Science

Objectives

  • Develop comfort, enjoyment and appreciation for exploring nature and science
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about earth, how things are made, energy and insects, and make connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore the earth by observing various types of soil and rocks, planting seeds in various types of soil and making their own soil and rocks
  • Discover how people make things from the basic materials of the earth
  • Observe fossils and bones and infer what they can tell us about the animals from which they came
  • Explore mixtures and formulas by observing and designing recipes for paste, toothpaste and cola
  • Explore the concept of light, sound and heat as moving forms of energy
  • Examine the properties of light using mirrors, flashlights and prisms to produce wondrous effects
  • Produce and listen to sounds using tuning forks and various everyday objects to explore how sounds travel
  • Observe clouds, wind, precipitation and measure temperature
  • Explore how and why heat, air and water work together to affect weather changes
  • Observe, role-play, sing and dance the water cycle
  • Apply the concept of energy; make a thermometer and demonstrate how heat energy moves
  • Explore the concepts of pollination, the life cycles of insects, hive building, honey and wax making and other social behaviors of bees through observation, role-playing and paper models
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 3 Science

Objectives

  • Develop comfort, enjoyment and appreciation for exploring nature and science
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about animal habitats and adaptation, decomposition as part of a natural cycle, forces and simple machines, matter, heat energy, birds of prey, and the web of life and make connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities:

  • Make and observe terrarium habitats for pill bugs and worms
  • Observe and role-play the cycles of life and decomposition of trees in the woods
  • Maintain a compost pile
  • Observe sun munchers, plant munchers and animal munchers in the woods
  • Model food chains and webs
  • Observe birds of prey, explore the adaptations of owls and the predator-prey relationship between owls and rodents
  • Dissect owl pellets and learn about the skeletal anatomy of mice and other rodents
  • Explore forces, motion and simple machines through hands-on experiments, measurement, written communication and charts
  • Apply the concepts of simple machines to build a Knex machine
  • Observe and model the parts of trees, learn about the role of trees as producers of food and oxygen, and explore the end product of photosynthesis by sampling the foods made by trees
  • Measure and compare the mass and volume of various types of matter
  • Observe the changes in water through the solid, liquid and gas phases and role-play how the motion of molecules changes with the increase and decrease in heat energy of a system
  • Apply measuring and matter skills to experiments that involve dissolving solids in liquids
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 4 Science

Objectives

  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about animal adaptations and classification, human body cells and systems, and earth and space exploration by making connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Observe and compare the adaptations, life cycles and ecological role of insects and spiders and reptiles and amphibians
  • Discover how and why animals are placed in groups
  • Explore cells, systems for creating cellular energy and removing waste and systems for motion and messaging using the DK Ultimate Human Body CD
  • Design a PowerPoint slideshow that applies knowledge of cells and systems
  • Develop computer skills such as using tools to design diagrams and text, choosing appropriate applications for each task, exporting and importing graphics files, and designing a presentation
  • Work in teams to discuss ideas about gravity, design landing gear for objects in freefall, and model movements of the earth and other planets
  • Use the computer programs Starry Night and Field Trip to the Sky to observe objects in the night sky and movements in the solar system
  • Design and build paper and straw structures for both stability and strength
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 5 Science

Objectives

  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Develop skills in designing experiments and writing about them using the formal scientific processes, including defining variables, writing an experimental question, a hypothesis and a conclusion
  • Explore concepts about earth science and physical science using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore watersheds, aquatic food chains and the water cycle through observation and modeling
  • Explore how experiments are designed and variables are controlled by conducting and documenting simple motion experiments using the scientific process
  • Observe and experiment with various concepts of magnetism such the strength of magnetic force, the shape and area of magnetic force fields and polar attraction and repulsion
  • Examine how materials are arranged in the Periodic Table of Elements by proton numbers
  • Draw diagrams of simple Bohr models of atoms using the Periodic Table
  • Observe static electricity in everyday situations and connect these observations to the phenomena of charged atoms
  • Connect batteries, bulbs and wires to build and test various kinds of circuits and learn about the three requirements of circuit: energy source, conductors and complete circuit
  • Test materials for conductivity, generalize the materials as all metals and compare and contrasted conductors and insulators
  • Draw an “electrician’s diagram” of each circuit
  • Observe, model and compare the processes that change minerals on the earth’s crust
  • Observe, compare, and predict processes that have shaped rocks
  • Explore and compare planetary structures, size, density and atmosphere
  • Cooperate in teams to compare planetary data
  • Explore Newton’s Laws of Motion through design of simple space vehicles
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Social Studies

The Country Day School social studies curriculum is designed to give students knowledge and an appreciation for the physical and cultural world around them. It is also designed to promote self-esteem and confidence as children learn more about who they are and how they connect to the past, present and future. They also learn about how their individuality enables them to exert positive influences on the world around them.

Cultural and individual diversity is celebrated and encouraged at each grade level. Different cultures are introduced in each grade as students are taught that diversity is a natural and positive element of their environment. They learn that each group of people is unique, and that heritage and environment play major roles in how people meet their needs and wants.

In addition to learning about how people live, students learn about the importance of geography and how it factors into the bigger picture. As they move through the grades, students gain a broad foundation in their knowledge of cities, states, countries, continents and bodies of water and how they impact people’s lives.

The curriculum also promotes an understanding that the world continues to need young people to understand, analyze, evaluate and create new ideas.

Objectives

  • Understand how history connects the past, present and future
  • Explore different cultures and learn how different perspectives emerge from different cultures
  • Apply geographic knowledge, skills and concepts to understand how people relate to the physical and cultural environment
  • Learn about the relationships among the individuals, groups and institutions that exist in any society and culture
  • Discover how and why people create rules and laws
  • Learn how and why people organize systems for the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how ideals, principles and practices of citizenship have emerged over time and across cultures

Grades JPK-SPK Social Studies

In junior and senior pre-kindergarten, students begin an interdisciplinary exploration of self, families and the direct experiences of their own lives. From this familiar realm, children can reach out and explore each other’s feelings, families and experiences. They begin to use these explorations, documentation and hands-on experiences to discover the community beyond their small circle.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Discussing the individual child, family and membership in a school community
  • Learning about basic feelings and emotions
  • Exploring and learning about various cultures, holidays and traditions to foster an appreciation of diversity, both in the school community and beyond
  • Exploring the world around us through units such as animals, outer space, under the sea, life cycles, and more

Grade K Social Studies

The kindergarten social studies curriculum examines the family unit with an initial focus on the child's own environment – family, home, school and community. As the year continues, units highlight four diverse cultures on four different continents. Students learn that while certain basic needs are common to all cultures, each is distinguished by important differences. Children are encouraged to celebrate and respect those differences through the study of art, food, clothing and traditions.

Objectives:

  • Understand that a globe is a small model of the Earth
  • Locate the countries studied on a world map or globe
  • Begin to develop an appreciation of one's self, family and culture
  • Become aware that certain basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) are common to all cultures
  • Learn respect for and develop an appreciation of different cultures through art, food, clothing and traditions

Grade 1 Social Studies

The first grade social studies curriculum focuses on the groups that people live in – family, neighborhood, community, state, country and continent. The study of maps and globes is introduced, and students develop an awareness of the wide range of geographical features. Historical events are presented through American holidays and events that have influenced our culture. The social studies program is integrated into the language arts program with the use of read-alouds, shared readings and discussions.

Objectives:

  • State personal information, including full name, address, telephone number and birth date
  • Name community in which student lives
  • Recognize different family structures
  • Identify community helpers and their duties
  • Identify the need for and use of rules at home and school
  • Name the basic needs of people: food, shelter and clothing
  • Identify the globe as a scale model of the Earth
  • Locate the United States on a globe or map
  • Locate Pennsylvania on a map of the United States
  • Identify Pennsylvania as the state which we live
  • Distinguish between land and water on a globe or map
  • Locate north, south, east and west on a simple map
  • Locate and identify continents
  • Locate oceans, rivers and other major bodies of water
  • Identify features of a map
  • Learn that holidays honor people and events

Grade 2 Social Studies

The second grade social studies curriculum enhances students’ concepts of local and global communities by exploring geography, economics and citizenship. Students investigate past and present communities by looking closely at their people, customs and traditions. This exploration also allows students to gain appreciation of self and the community in which they live. In addition, students gain an appreciation for economics as they explore and take on the role of consumers and producers.

Objectives:

  • Identify the need for rules and participate in creating rules for the classroom community
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible citizen in the classroom, school and other social environments
  • Learn about our community
  • Compare and contrast types of communities and cultural differences and their changes over time
  • Identify earth’s resources and ways to conserve and replenish them
  • Learn about our nation’s capital and its history
  • Gain familiarity with the U.S. and the world using maps and the globe
  • Interpret maps, charts and pictures
  • Begin to understand basic economic concepts
  • Identify historical figures and events associated with cultural traditions

Grade 3 Social Studies

The third grade social studies curriculum includes the study of United States geography and landforms, Native Americans, early American explorations, Colonial America and the Westward Expansion.

Students learn to identify landforms found within each region of the United States and the impact these landforms have on local communities. The studies of landform segues into an in-depth study of Native Americans based on geographical regions. Students engage in an independent research project, closely examining a tribe and culture. The Native American unit includes a paired literature unit in which students read and create poems based on the works and style of Diane Siebert. Next, students discover early American explorations through the study of famous European explorers. Students explore the motivations behind these conquests and how they impacted early American settlements, and engage in a brief overview of Colonial America. The Westward expansion unit begins with the Lewis and Clark expedition and progresses to pioneers and the Oregon Trail. This is another paired literature unit, in which students develop a narrative essay utilizing historical information about a journey on the Oregon Trail.

Throughout each unit, students read and respond to a variety of texts using interactive reading guides, digital media tools and artistic representations. They engage in discussions and debates, learning to develop and support their ideas using evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources. Students are challenged to view historical events from various perspectives to strengthen their understanding of opposing viewpoints and the role they play in historical events. Students also develop an understanding of social studies text features and how they relate to their personal understanding of a text.

Objectives:

  • Describe a community, the role of citizens, and the reasons for rules and laws
  • Learn the physical characteristics of landforms and bodies of water
  • Define climate and identify resources
  • Identify the environment, adaptations and resources used by one Native American tribe
  • Learn why explorers and colonists came to the Americas and their interactions with Native Americans
  • Learn why colonists wanted freedom
  • Identify reasons why pioneers began moving west
  • Explore the experiences of African Americans during the 1700s and 1800s
  • Explore the experiences of immigrants who came to the East and West coasts
  • Define culture
  • Identify cultural, religious, and national holidays celebrated in the United States
  • Use standard features of a map (map title, map key, compass rose, cardinal and intermediate directions)
  • Use a map grid to determine location
  • Read and interpret information on a timeline
  • Use a map scale to determine actual distances
  • Use latitude and longitude to determine the absolute location of places

Grade 4 Social Studies

The fourth grade social studies curriculum develops students who are keen observers of and informed participants in U.S. history. Students learn about American history from the first migrations, the colonial period and the events that structured our nation. Students explore the formation of the 13 colonies the factors leading up to America’s independence, the formation of our government and the reasons behind its particular design. Students also explore the history of slavery in the United States and study the Underground Railroad. The class also includes an in-depth study of U.S. geography. Students explore the physical geography of North America and study its seven regions, including the physical, cultural, economic and historical characteristics of each region. Students then choose one of the 50 states to study in depth.

Objectives:

  • Become familiar with the history and the growth of the United States prior to the Civil War
  • View history as a story of people striving for economic, cultural and religious change
  • Develop an understanding of how geography affects the cultural and economic development of groups of people, as well as their interactions
  • Locate every state and its capital
  • Locate the following regions on a map of the United States: Northeast, Southwest, Appalachian Highlands, Midwest, Northwest and West
  • Compare and contrast the above regions of the United States according to cultural patterns, major industries, landforms and tourist attractions
  • Use maps to aid in the recognition of the states, landforms and cities
  • Use a wide variety of sources, such as the Internet and written material, to gather information for projects
  • Develop an oral presentation and present it effectively

Grade 5 Social Studies

The fifth grade social studies curriculum is loosely divided into two areas: history and geography. The history portion explores ancient cultures from the introduction of early man through the Greek Empire. Although geography is stressed throughout the study of ancient cultures, it is also a separate curriculum. The study of world geography includes continents, oceans, major countries and capitals, important landforms and map-making skills. The program blends geography, history, economics, culture and belief systems in order to provide a broad understanding of past civilizations that continue to influence the modern world.

Objectives:

  • Examine the inter-relatedness of ancient, past and present cultures
  • Recognize interdependence in early times
  • Identify the steps leading to the formation of civilizations
  • Examine the influences of physical and cultural geography on history
  • Analyze how culture is transmitted
  • Understand the information represented by timelines, graphs, pictures, maps and diagrams
  • Distinguish among fact, opinion and reasoned judgments
  • Draw conclusions from evidence
  • Use basic research methods to complete written and oral reports
  • Organize information for presentation to the class
  • Recognize importance of using natural resources wisely
  • Use an atlas, encyclopedia, Internet and other resources effectively
  • Participate in collaborative learning opportunities
  • Develop vocabulary necessary for history and geography
  • Follow directions in order to make a map
  • Learn assigned geographic locations
  • Develop reading comprehension skills

Spanish

The Country Day School Spanish curriculum provides an introduction to Spanish language and culture for students in grades K-5 with a strong emphasis on communication. The curriculum progresses from listening and speaking skills to spelling, writing and oral communication skills. Children are encouraged to enjoy and embrace the learning of another language.

Objectives:

  • Understand spoken Spanish
  • Recognize and pronounce Spanish sounds
  • Learn the Spanish vowels
  • Identify and recite the Spanish alphabet
  • Read and write simple words
  • Build and expand vocabulary
  • Learn Spanish expressions
  • Develop listening and speaking skills
  • Listen to stories and songs
  • Spell level-appropriate words
  • Sound out new or unfamiliar words with reasonable accuracy
  • Correctly spell familiar vocabulary words upon hearing them
  • Read and write short sentences
  • Create short dialogues with full sentence questions and answers
  • Communicate in Spanish orally through simple sentences
  • Experience and discover aspects of Hispanic culture
  • Play games and activities

Grade K Spanish

  • Learn greetings
  • Learn everyday expressions
  • Learn the time of day
  • Learn the difference between big and small
  • Learn primary colors
  • Learn numbers from 1-15
  • Identify different family members
  • Learn the parts of the face
  • Learn words to describe weather, the seasons and related vocabulary
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn about masks worn in Spanish-speaking countries for carnivals
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 1 Spanish

  • Learn greetings
  • Learn Spanish vowels
  • Identify, pronounce and spell colors
  • Identify basic geometric figures
  • Learn and spell numbers from 1-20
  • Identify classroom objects
  • Learn names for foods, clothing, parts of the face and body, names of immediate family members, people in a community
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 2 Spanish

  • Review previously learned vocabulary
  • Learn numbers from 0-40
  • Learn the pronunciation of vowels
  • Recite the Spanish alphabet
  • Identify parts of the body
  • Learn the names of extended family members
  • Learn the days of the week and the months of the year
  • Create a calendar
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus’ Voyage to the New World
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 3 Spanish

  • Learn to introduce yourself and others
  • Expand on ways to greet each other
  • Review vowels and the Spanish alphabet
  • Expand number counting and knowledge to 100
  • Learn about words that are the same or similar in English and Spanish
  • Explore the relationship between American and Spanish names
  • Learn about the use of genders and plurals when speaking in Spanish
  • Introduce the concept of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Practice dialogue
  • Culture:
    • Engage in cultural activities based on the “theme country” of Mexico
    • Explore Mexican holidays, customs, food, history and geography
    • Study the works of painters such as Frida Kalo and Diego Rivera
    • Explore holidays activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 4 Spanish

  • Review and build knowledge of higher numbers and content vocabulary
  • Learn vocabulary related to the school day
  • Learn how to express action
  • Practice asking questions such as “Who are you?” or “Where are you?”
  • Learn how to tell time in Spanish
  • Practice dialogue
  • Expand experiences to interact using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Take a “trip” around the Spanish-speaking countries
    • Explore the holidays, customs, food, history and geography of each country
    • Take part in authentic songs and games

Grade 5 Spanish

  • Reinforce and build vocabulary
  • Practice greetings and using verbal courtesy
  • Learn vocabulary for articles of clothing
  • Learn the words for describing the weather, months and seasons
  • Learn vocabulary for things found in a house
  • Study a city and its related words
  • Give presentations to peers using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Enjoy activities based on the “theme country” of Spain
    • Learn about Spain’s holidays, customs, food, history, geography and some native customs
    • Study the works of painters such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali
    • Discover the Incan culture and history
    • Participate in holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Take part in authentic songs and games

Social Skills

Grade 1 Social Skills

First grade students develop respect for themselves and others while learning to appreciate the likeness and differences in people. A safe classroom environment is created so that all children have the opportunity to learn and grow

Objectives:

  • Identify the need for creating rules
  • Engage in group activities
  • Actively participate in class meetings and lessons
  • Demonstrate responsibility of a first grader: morning and afternoon procedures and homework
  • Respect the school, teacher and each other
  • Display behavior that reflects the classroom rules
  • Show empathy for others
  • Apply problem-solving skills

Grade 2 Social Skills

Second graders develop self-respect and an appreciation for differences in others. The students learn to create a safe classroom climate where everyone has an opportunity to learn and to feel a part of the community.

Objectives:

  • Engage respectfully in various group activities
  • Learn the importance of conflict and practice resolution and compromise
  • Take responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Identify the need for rules and participate in creating rules for the classroom community
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible citizen in the classroom, school, and other social environments
  • Actively participate daily
  • Listen respectfully to others
  • Participate in independent problem solving
  • Follow daily classroom procedures
  • Demonstrate responsibility toward assignments and belongings
  • Display behavior that reflects classroom rules
  • Respect classroom materials

Grade 3 Social Skills

Third graders develop respect for themselves and others and appreciate the differences in people. A safe classroom environment is created to provide the opportunity for all to learn and grow.

Objectives:

  • Engage in group activities
  • Understand the importance of taking responsibility for their own actions
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible third grader
  • Participate in independent problem solving

Grade 4 Social Skills

Fourth grade students learn strategies to help them work towards achieving socialization goals including responsibility, self-control, cooperation, collaboration and compromise.

Objectives:

  • Develop personal responsibility for one's own learning
  • Develop the self-control to remain on task during independent work times
  • Assume responsibility for the care and organization of materials
  • Develop the skills to work cooperatively and collaboratively in the classroom
  • Use discussion and compromise to resolve conflicts

Grade 5 Social Skills

In fifth grade, previously learned social skills are reinforced, with an added focus on leadership skills. These skills are taught through a variety of methods with the goal of students taking ownership of conflict resolution strategies.

Objectives:

  • Use discussion and compromise to resolve conflicts
  • Assume the responsibility for taking a school leadership role
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Assume the responsibility for practicing conflict resolution

Curriculum by Grade

Junior Pre-Kindergarten

Grade JPK Art

  • Start painting (objective and non-objective)
  • Learn to mix and experiment with colors
  • Create collages
  • Make rubbings
  • Build sculpture (clay and recycled materials)
  • Draw
  • Make large letter paintings in conjunction with classroom letter learning
  • Learn about artists Eric Carle and Matisse

Grades JPK-SPK Language Arts

The literacy goals in junior and senior pre-kindergarten focus on fostering a love of language and the development of excellent communication skills. Books are an integral part of the classroom. Each day, teachers read aloud from a wide variety of quality literature relating to curricular topics. Children have frequent opportunities for writing and drawing as expressions of concepts or experiences.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Conversing in a group setting
  • Gaining phonemic awareness through children’s literature
  • Learning to recognize letters and sounds and begin handwriting
  • Expressing through drawing and emergent writing
  • Gaining comprehension skills in retelling, comparing and contrasting, and sequencing

Grade JPK-SPK Library

Junior and senor pre-kindergarten students visit the library weekly, with a focus on nurturing a positive connection with books, story time and libraries.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become familiar with library procedures
  • Learn proper book care
  • Ongoing print awareness
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Practice prediction
  • Author and illustrator familiarization
  • Participate in songs, flannel board stories and finger plays

Grades JPK-K Math

The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten math curriculum provides children with a strong base of concrete, hands-on, real-life experiences to build an understanding of a wide range of abstract concepts. Children have daily access to instructional materials including math games, puzzles, measurement tools and collections of materials for sorting and counting.

Math in the early years is designed to foster a curiosity about math, numbers, shapes and patterns. A strong number sense and fluidity with numbers is crucial for building mastery. Students explore a wide variety of concepts and skills such as shapes and their attributes, patterns within the base-10 number system, using pictures to represent problems, and creating explanations to support their work.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Gain number sense, one-to-one correspondence and number stories
  • Learn about non-standard units for weight and length
  • Practice sorting and classification
  • Learn about basic graphing, patterning, problem solving and sequencing
  • Review geometry and spatial relations in shapes and puzzles

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students should experience a variety of musical activities in order to nurture their developing musical selves. The CDS early childhood music curriculum can be summed up in three words: "tuneful, beatful and artful."

"Tuneful" skills include using the singing voice with ease, matching melodic contour when singing, identifying and copying melodic patterns on barred instruments and physically expressing changes in tone. "Beatful" skills include identifying and expressing a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns, echo rhythms with body percussion and instruments, improvising rhythmic patterns and expressing rhythmic concepts through dance. To be "artful," one must develop listening and discernment skills and be able to hear new sounds and styles of music with an appreciative, receptive spirit.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Singing echo and call-and-response songs
  • Playing circle games, both stationary and ambulatory
  • Using body percussion and rhythm sticks to express a steady beat while singing and listening to recorded music
  • Using a variety of rhythm instruments to improvise patterns
  • Playing singing games, especially games that focus on rhymes and object/name identification
  • Engaging in movement practices that build proprioceptive awareness
  • Practicing simple dance elements such as stomping, turning and moving backwards and forwards
  • Using balls, beanbags, scarves, ribbon wands and other manipulatives to physically engage with musical ideas
  • Using puppets to explore vocal characterizations and musical storytelling
  • Experiencing music from a variety of time periods and world cultures
  • Experiencing music that celebrates various holidays, seasons, and life events

Grades JPK-SPK Physical Education

  • Acclimate to the gym to become comfortable
  • Display basic movement concepts
  • Follow simple directions

Grades JPK-SPK Social Studies

In junior and senior pre-kindergarten, students begin an interdisciplinary exploration of self, families and the direct experiences of their own lives. From this familiar realm, children can reach out and explore each other’s feelings, families and experiences. They begin to use these explorations, documentation and hands-on experiences to discover the community beyond their small circle.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Discussing the individual child, family and membership in a school community
  • Learning about basic feelings and emotions
  • Exploring and learning about various cultures, holidays and traditions to foster an appreciation of diversity, both in the school community and beyond
  • Exploring the world around us through units such as animals, outer space, under the sea, life cycles, and more

Senior Pre-Kindergarten

Grade SPK Art

  • Build on JPK art experiences
  • Paint (mixing primary colors to create secondary colors)
  • Create collages (clear lay and tissue paper)
  • Develop scissor skills
  • Make sculpture vessels
  • Create Mother’s Day flower pots

Grades JPK-SPK Language Arts

The literacy goals in junior and senior pre-kindergarten focus on fostering a love of language and the development of excellent communication skills. Books are an integral part of the classroom. Each day, teachers read aloud from a wide variety of quality literature relating to curricular topics. Children have frequent opportunities for writing and drawing as expressions of concepts or experiences.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Conversing in a group setting
  • Gaining phonemic awareness through children’s literature
  • Learning to recognize letters and sounds and begin handwriting
  • Expressing through drawing and emergent writing
  • Gaining comprehension skills in retelling, comparing and contrasting, and sequencing

Grade JPK-SPK Library

Junior and senor pre-kindergarten students visit the library weekly, with a focus on nurturing a positive connection with books, story time and libraries.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become familiar with library procedures
  • Learn proper book care
  • Ongoing print awareness
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Practice prediction
  • Author and illustrator familiarization
  • Participate in songs, flannel board stories and finger plays

Grades JPK-K Math

The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten math curriculum provides children with a strong base of concrete, hands-on, real-life experiences to build an understanding of a wide range of abstract concepts. Children have daily access to instructional materials including math games, puzzles, measurement tools and collections of materials for sorting and counting.

Math in the early years is designed to foster a curiosity about math, numbers, shapes and patterns. A strong number sense and fluidity with numbers is crucial for building mastery. Students explore a wide variety of concepts and skills such as shapes and their attributes, patterns within the base-10 number system, using pictures to represent problems, and creating explanations to support their work.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Gain number sense, one-to-one correspondence and number stories
  • Learn about non-standard units for weight and length
  • Practice sorting and classification
  • Learn about basic graphing, patterning, problem solving and sequencing
  • Review geometry and spatial relations in shapes and puzzles

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students should experience a variety of musical activities in order to nurture their developing musical selves. The CDS early childhood music curriculum can be summed up in three words: "tuneful, beatful and artful."

"Tuneful" skills include using the singing voice with ease, matching melodic contour when singing, identifying and copying melodic patterns on barred instruments and physically expressing changes in tone. "Beatful" skills include identifying and expressing a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns, echo rhythms with body percussion and instruments, improvising rhythmic patterns and expressing rhythmic concepts through dance. To be "artful," one must develop listening and discernment skills and be able to hear new sounds and styles of music with an appreciative, receptive spirit.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Singing echo and call-and-response songs
  • Playing circle games, both stationary and ambulatory
  • Using body percussion and rhythm sticks to express a steady beat while singing and listening to recorded music
  • Using a variety of rhythm instruments to improvise patterns
  • Playing singing games, especially games that focus on rhymes and object/name identification
  • Engaging in movement practices that build proprioceptive awareness
  • Practicing simple dance elements such as stomping, turning and moving backwards and forwards
  • Using balls, beanbags, scarves, ribbon wands and other manipulatives to physically engage with musical ideas
  • Using puppets to explore vocal characterizations and musical storytelling
  • Experiencing music from a variety of time periods and world cultures
  • Experiencing music that celebrates various holidays, seasons, and life events

Grades JPK-SPK Physical Education

  • Acclimate to the gym to become comfortable
  • Display basic movement concepts
  • Follow simple directions

Grades JPK-SPK Social Studies

In junior and senior pre-kindergarten, students begin an interdisciplinary exploration of self, families and the direct experiences of their own lives. From this familiar realm, children can reach out and explore each other’s feelings, families and experiences. They begin to use these explorations, documentation and hands-on experiences to discover the community beyond their small circle.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Discussing the individual child, family and membership in a school community
  • Learning about basic feelings and emotions
  • Exploring and learning about various cultures, holidays and traditions to foster an appreciation of diversity, both in the school community and beyond
  • Exploring the world around us through units such as animals, outer space, under the sea, life cycles, and more

Kindergarten

Grade K Art

  • Continue to paint and draw
  • Refine scissor skills
  • Learn about tints and shades
  • Make sculpture (scoring and slip)
  • Create collages
  • Make expressive self portraits

Grade K Language Arts

The kindergarten language arts program combines whole group, small group and individual instruction to establish a foundation of essential reading and writing skills. We use the Reading Wonders program, which emphasizes phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling and grammar. Through a Writing Workshop approach, children learn the basics of the writing process and use pictures and words to express their thoughts and ideas in written form. Students are exposed to a wide variety of literature in the library and the classroom. Story reading is an essential part of every school day.

Objectives:

  • Recognize upper and lower case letters
  • Form upper and lower case manuscript letters
  • Associate sounds with letters
  • Segment sentences
  • Segment, isolate and blend letter sounds
  • Recognize and produce rhymes
  • Recognize and produce onset and rime blends and segments
  • Count, produce and blend syllables
  • Recognize consonants and vowels at the beginning, middle and end of words
  • Understand genre: fantasy, informational, poetry, fiction and nonfiction
  • Recognize and understand key details, character, setting, events, main topic, sequencing and plot
  • Recognize and understand nouns, verbs, sentences, adjectives, pronouns and prepositions

Grade K Library

Kindergarten students visit the library weekly to enjoy and participate in story time, learn book selection procedures and become familiar with the library.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become familiar with library procedures
  • Revisit proper book care
  • Reinforce print awareness
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Practice prediction
  • Author and illustrator familiarization
  • Participate in songs, flannel board stories and finger plays

Grades JPK-K Math

The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten math curriculum provides children with a strong base of concrete, hands-on, real-life experiences to build an understanding of a wide range of abstract concepts. Children have daily access to instructional materials including math games, puzzles, measurement tools and collections of materials for sorting and counting.

Math in the early years is designed to foster a curiosity about math, numbers, shapes and patterns. A strong number sense and fluidity with numbers is crucial for building mastery. Students explore a wide variety of concepts and skills such as shapes and their attributes, patterns within the base-10 number system, using pictures to represent problems, and creating explanations to support their work.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Gain number sense, one-to-one correspondence and number stories
  • Learn about non-standard units for weight and length
  • Practice sorting and classification
  • Learn about basic graphing, patterning, problem solving and sequencing
  • Review geometry and spatial relations in shapes and puzzles

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students should experience a variety of musical activities in order to nurture their developing musical selves. The CDS early childhood music curriculum can be summed up in three words: "tuneful, beatful and artful."

"Tuneful" skills include using the singing voice with ease, matching melodic contour when singing, identifying and copying melodic patterns on barred instruments and physically expressing changes in tone. "Beatful" skills include identifying and expressing a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns, echo rhythms with body percussion and instruments, improvising rhythmic patterns and expressing rhythmic concepts through dance. To be "artful," one must develop listening and discernment skills and be able to hear new sounds and styles of music with an appreciative, receptive spirit.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Singing echo and call-and-response songs
  • Playing circle games, both stationary and ambulatory
  • Using body percussion and rhythm sticks to express a steady beat while singing and listening to recorded music
  • Using a variety of rhythm instruments to improvise patterns
  • Playing singing games, especially games that focus on rhymes and object/name identification
  • Engaging in movement practices that build proprioceptive awareness
  • Practicing simple dance elements such as stomping, turning and moving backwards and forwards
  • Using balls, beanbags, scarves, ribbon wands and other manipulatives to physically engage with musical ideas
  • Using puppets to explore vocal characterizations and musical storytelling
  • Experiencing music from a variety of time periods and world cultures
  • Experiencing music that celebrates various holidays, seasons, and life events

Grades K-1 Physical Education

  • Follow directions
  • Recognize the importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grade K Social Studies

The kindergarten social studies curriculum examines the family unit with an initial focus on the child's own environment – family, home, school and community. As the year continues, units highlight four diverse cultures on four different continents. Students learn that while certain basic needs are common to all cultures, each is distinguished by important differences. Children are encouraged to celebrate and respect those differences through the study of art, food, clothing and traditions.

Objectives:

  • Understand that a globe is a small model of the Earth
  • Locate the countries studied on a world map or globe
  • Begin to develop an appreciation of one's self, family and culture
  • Become aware that certain basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) are common to all cultures
  • Learn respect for and develop an appreciation of different cultures through art, food, clothing and traditions

Grade K Spanish

  • Learn greetings
  • Learn everyday expressions
  • Learn the time of day
  • Learn the difference between big and small
  • Learn primary colors
  • Learn numbers from 1-15
  • Identify different family members
  • Learn the parts of the face
  • Learn words to describe weather, the seasons and related vocabulary
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn about masks worn in Spanish-speaking countries for carnivals
    • Learn authentic songs and games

First Grade

Grade 1 Art

  • Continue to work on painting, drawing, and sculpting
  • Enjoy increased freedom to combine mixed media
  • Collaborate on an art project
  • Learn how to weave
  • Make props for classroom restaurant project
  • Draw people in the community

Grade 1 Language Arts

Language arts in first grade includes reading, phonics, written expression, spelling, handwriting, listening and speaking skills. These subjects are integrated and interdependent.

Reading materials include a basal reading series, leveled texts, trade books and decodable phonetic readers. Mechanics of language are introduced through shared writing and specific skill lessons. Spelling concepts are taught using daily word-building lessons, sight words and weekly spelling assessments. Phonics is taught through word building, reading activities and practice sheets. Through sharing during meeting times, presenting book shares and special projects, reading written pieces, poems and books, and performing class plays, first graders develop oral speaking skills.

Grammar and Writing Objectives:

  • Apply learned capitalization and punctuation rules
  • Write and punctuate declarative and interrogative sentences
  • Make a Four Square Map with categories
  • Apply learned spelling patterns
  • Respond to a given writing prompt with four sentences
  • Use descriptive words (adjectives) and specific detail
  • Write a simple invitation, thank-you note and friendly letter
  • Proofread with a teacher for errors and make corrections

Handwriting Objectives:

  • Hold the pencil correctly
  • Use proper placement
  • Use base lines on handwriting paper
  • Print name within lines using appropriate spacing
  • Copy and write simple sentences using appropriate spacing
  • Use left-to-right and top-to-bottom progression in writing
  • Use adequate spacing between words and sentences
  • Relate letter size and proportion to appropriate spaces
  • Form all numerals correctly
  • Print all lower and uppercase letters without a prompt
  • Use handwriting as a communication tool

Reading Objectives:

  • Apply left-to-right progression
  • Discriminate words by likeness and differences
  • Recognize vocabulary words appropriate to reading level
  • Utilize sound-symbol correspondences for all letters
  • Use word analysis to decode new words
  • Identify contractions and compound words
  • Use context clues to determine an unknown word
  • Sequence a series of events in a given selection
  • Recall details and identify the main idea of a given selection
  • Draw a conclusion and predict the outcome of a situation
  • Develop oral reading skills, fluency and expression
  • Build new vocabulary
  • Read and follow simple directions
  • Participate in reading groups and story discussions
  • Express personal connections to a story

Phonics Objectives:

  • Demonstrate auditory discrimination
  • Distinguish between vowels and consonants
  • Identify initial, middle and final consonant sounds
  • Identify consonant digraphs and their sounds
  • Identify and distinguish between short and long vowel sounds
  • Identify vowel digraphs and their sounds
  • Identify r-controlled vowels

Speaking Objectives:

  • Gain self-confidence in speaking in front of an audience
  • Answer questions from an audience
  • Establish eye contact with listeners
  • Practice habits of clarity of speech

Grades 1-2 Library

First and second graders visit the library weekly and are exposed to a variety of books, authors and illustrators. They continue to learn how to use library resources and select books to complete projects and fulfill personal interests.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Participate in weekly author or illustrator studies
  • Become familiar with borrowing procedures
  • Listen to and thoughtfully discusses author/illustrator read-alouds or monthly thematic read-alouds
  • Learn different parts of the book, such as the spine, cover, barcode, copyright date, author biography, summary page, table of contents
  • Learn about copyright
  • Become familiar with literary awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery and Theodore Geisel Award
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Understand the differences between fiction and nonfiction
  • Learn how fiction is organized in the library
  • Navigate the early nonfiction, series, graphic novel and picture book sections of the library using shelf markers
  • Understand the characteristics of a series
  • Become familiar with biographies
  • Continue emphasis on book care
  • Be introduced to the magazine section
  • Explore print encyclopedias

Grade 1 Math

First grade math continues the hands-on approach and discovery of concepts, and begins to add fluency with basic facts. Children learn how to use fact families, helper facts and fact extensions to solve a wide variety of problems. Classes often have various stations so children can balance their time with guided lessons, independent work, small group activities and enrichment challenges.

First graders explore:

  • Addition and subtraction fact families
  • Patterns in numbers, counting, and place value
  • Computation of two-digit values
  • Measuring distance, time, and temperature
  • Data collection and graphing
  • Describing 2D using attributes
  • Solving word problems

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students should experience a variety of musical activities in order to nurture their developing musical selves. The CDS early childhood music curriculum can be summed up in three words: "tuneful, beatful and artful."

"Tuneful" skills include using the singing voice with ease, matching melodic contour when singing, identifying and copying melodic patterns on barred instruments and physically expressing changes in tone. "Beatful" skills include identifying and expressing a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns, echo rhythms with body percussion and instruments, improvising rhythmic patterns and expressing rhythmic concepts through dance. To be "artful," one must develop listening and discernment skills and be able to hear new sounds and styles of music with an appreciative, receptive spirit.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Singing echo and call-and-response songs
  • Playing circle games, both stationary and ambulatory
  • Using body percussion and rhythm sticks to express a steady beat while singing and listening to recorded music
  • Using a variety of rhythm instruments to improvise patterns
  • Playing singing games, especially games that focus on rhymes and object/name identification
  • Engaging in movement practices that build proprioceptive awareness
  • Practicing simple dance elements such as stomping, turning and moving backwards and forwards
  • Using balls, beanbags, scarves, ribbon wands and other manipulatives to physically engage with musical ideas
  • Using puppets to explore vocal characterizations and musical storytelling
  • Experiencing music from a variety of time periods and world cultures
  • Experiencing music that celebrates various holidays, seasons, and life events

Grades K-1 Physical Education

  • Follow directions
  • Recognize the importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grade 1 Science

Objectives

  • Develop a joyful attitude towards inquiry into science and nature
  • Develop patience and care for observing the natural world
  • Develop confidence in innovative thinking by using natural playfulness to explore new ideas
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about insects, motion, liquids, birds, plants and food by making connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore the body structures, life cycles and social behavior of ants through observation, making paper models and role-playing
  • Observe and compare how objects spin, balance and roll, and communicate about discoveries; build inferential thinking skills by observing and generalizing about successful designs; practice being innovative and scientific by keeping track of successful trials and making repeatable results
  • Observe, mix, compare and classify various liquids
  • Explore the basic systems of the human body through computer simulations, exercise activities and making paper models
  • Explore the adaptations of various birds, including nesting, songs and how body features match the habitat and food of each bird
  • Observe and compare seeds, role-play the germination of seeds, plant seeds and watch them grow
  • Observe and classify foods as seeds, fruits, roots, leaves or stem
  • Look under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike, play nature games, and do activities designed to stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 1 Social Studies

The first grade social studies curriculum focuses on the groups that people live in – family, neighborhood, community, state, country and continent. The study of maps and globes is introduced, and students develop an awareness of the wide range of geographical features. Historical events are presented through American holidays and events that have influenced our culture. The social studies program is integrated into the language arts program with the use of read-alouds, shared readings and discussions.

Objectives:

  • State personal information, including full name, address, telephone number and birth date
  • Name community in which student lives
  • Recognize different family structures
  • Identify community helpers and their duties
  • Identify the need for and use of rules at home and school
  • Name the basic needs of people: food, shelter and clothing
  • Identify the globe as a scale model of the Earth
  • Locate the United States on a globe or map
  • Locate Pennsylvania on a map of the United States
  • Identify Pennsylvania as the state which we live
  • Distinguish between land and water on a globe or map
  • Locate north, south, east and west on a simple map
  • Locate and identify continents
  • Locate oceans, rivers and other major bodies of water
  • Identify features of a map
  • Learn that holidays honor people and events

Grade 1 Spanish

  • Learn greetings
  • Learn Spanish vowels
  • Identify, pronounce and spell colors
  • Identify basic geometric figures
  • Learn and spell numbers from 1-20
  • Identify classroom objects
  • Learn names for foods, clothing, parts of the face and body, names of immediate family members, people in a community
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 1 Social Skills

First grade students develop respect for themselves and others while learning to appreciate the likeness and differences in people. A safe classroom environment is created so that all children have the opportunity to learn and grow

Objectives:

  • Identify the need for creating rules
  • Engage in group activities
  • Actively participate in class meetings and lessons
  • Demonstrate responsibility of a first grader: morning and afternoon procedures and homework
  • Respect the school, teacher and each other
  • Display behavior that reflects the classroom rules
  • Show empathy for others
  • Apply problem-solving skills

Second Grade

Grade 2 Art

  • Build on foundation and techniques from first grade
  • Introduce printmaking
  • Create a collaborative rainforest mural in conjunction with classroom studies
  • Introduce wax resist technique
  • Learn rotational symmetry

Grade 2 Language Arts

The second grade reading program is teacher-designed and incorporates popular children’s literature and selections from basal readers. Students read, experience and respond to a wide range of genres. Reading instruction methods include whole class, differentiated small groups, partner, choral and silent reading. Class discussion and/or written student response typically follows oral reading. Students also read independently to support silent reading and comprehension.

The phonics program reinforces decoding skills during everyday reading and creative writing exercises. Whenever useful, phonetic rules are applied and discussed. Word attack skills are used to sound out unfamiliar words. Phonics objectives are incorporated into spelling and reading lessons.

The spelling program consists of a weekly list of patterned and high-frequency words, which students practice through class activities and homework. A word wall enables students to refer to previously studied words during daily writing. Challenge words are optional on weekly tests.

The writing program helps children to apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences. The program incorporates journal writing, creative writing and the writing process. Students begin a story with a graphic organizer to help plan their ideas. After producing a rough draft, they meet with a teacher and/or peer to assist with editing and proofreading. The rough draft is revised and published.

Handwriting instruction begins with an emphasis on correct letter formation, correcting reversals, spaces between words and legible writing. Students then learn lowercase and capital cursive letters, eventually using cursive on spelling tests and selected assignments.

Students practice speaking in front of an audience by sharing at class meetings, presenting book shares, performing plays and skits, participating in discussions, and presenting written pieces and projects. Their goal as listeners is to listen to each other and teachers attentively and respectfully.

Reading Objectives:

  • Participate in reading and discussion of class novels
  • Improve oral reading skills
  • Build new vocabulary through reading in context
  • Increase comprehension and word recognition
  • Decode unfamiliar words in context
  • State the main idea of a story and support with details
  • Express personal and/or text-to-text connections
  • Participate in reading and discussion of class novels
  • Apply strategies and skills to read various genres
  • Accurately recognize and read high-frequency words in text
  • Become independent in silent reading assignments
  • Accurately answer questions from silent reading
  • Understand and follow written directions
  • Begin to self-monitor and correct
  • Participate in reading plays and reader theater scripts

Phonics Objectives:

  • Apply phonetic skills to decode words while reading
  • Demonstrate phonological awareness
  • Recognize like and unlike word parts
  • Orally blend word parts and segment words into parts
  • Orally manipulate phonemes
  • Identify consonant sounds, diagraphs and blends
  • Identify short and long vowels
  • Recognize silent e words and r-controlled words
  • Recognize compound, plural and root words
  • Recognize prefixes and suffixes
  • Identify number of syllables
  • Use phonetic skills for inventive spelling during creative writing

Spelling Objectives:

  • Learn basic spelling needed for written expression
  • Learn and apply spelling patterns and rules
  • Use the second grade dictionary successfully
  • Recognize standard proper nouns requiring capitals
  • Write the plural form of certain words
  • Use phonics and spelling skills to spell unknown words

Writing Objectives:

  • Form complete sentences with clearly expressed thoughts through the use of graphic organizers
  • Correctly use capital letters to begin a sentence
  • Correctly use ending marks for statements, questions and exclamations
  • Apply a variety of sentences within a written piece that connect to the topic
  • Incorporate transition words when necessary
  • Use adjectives
  • Utilize the Word Wall to write high-frequency words
  • Begin to self-edit
  • Write drafts from graphic organizers
  • Publish pieces

Handwriting Objectives:

  • Correctly form all manuscript letters and numerals
  • Self-correct reversals
  • Apply adequate spaces between words in sentences
  • Learn the letter forms for Zaner-Bloser cursive writing

Speaking Objectives:

  • Establish habits of clarity in speech
  • Gain self-confidence in speaking in front of an audience
  • Establish eye contact with listeners
  • Use appropriate structure and sequence to convey information
  • Answer questions from the audience

Listening Objectives:

  • Understand and follow verbal instructions
  • Participate in small group discussions
  • Recall details and sequences
  • Share and enjoy stories told or read orally

Grades 1-2 Library

First and second graders visit the library weekly and are exposed to a variety of books, authors and illustrators. They continue to learn how to use library resources and select books to complete projects and fulfill personal interests.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Participate in weekly author or illustrator studies
  • Become familiar with borrowing procedures
  • Listen to and thoughtfully discusses author/illustrator read-alouds or monthly thematic read-alouds
  • Learn different parts of the book, such as the spine, cover, barcode, copyright date, author biography, summary page, table of contents
  • Learn about copyright
  • Become familiar with literary awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery and Theodore Geisel Award
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Understand the differences between fiction and nonfiction
  • Learn how fiction is organized in the library
  • Navigate the early nonfiction, series, graphic novel and picture book sections of the library using shelf markers
  • Understand the characteristics of a series
  • Become familiar with biographies
  • Continue emphasis on book care
  • Be introduced to the magazine section
  • Explore print encyclopedias

Grade 2 Math

Second graders develop their math skills by using what they know to figure out what they do not yet know. They learn how to use basic facts and apply the same concepts to larger numbers and new concepts. Students learn to compute larger values by creating reliable algorithms based on their own understanding of the base-10 system and how to calculate amounts that require grouping using reasoning. They begin to model their problem solving efforts and support their work with explanations.

Second graders explore:

  • Operations in addition, subtraction and multiplication
  • Patterns in numbers, counting and place value
  • Computation skills through the 100s place, both written and mental
  • Measuring distance, time and temperature
  • Data collection and graphing
  • Describing 2D and 3D shapes using their attributes
  • Exploring fractional amounts

Grades 2-5 Music

After an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences has been established in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. This is accomplished primarily through the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Music reading skills are introduced in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize musical literacy.

Following the same sequence by which spoken languages are most naturally acquired, Conversational Solfege introduces each musical concept aurally before approaching the idea visually. Students engage in activities and games that enable them to hear, echo, identify, decode, improvise, read, write and compose rhythmic, melodic and harmonic musical concepts. The rhythmic curriculum begins with patterns of eighth and quarter notes in simple meter and proceeds through the study of all types of rhythmic notation in both simple and compound meter. Rhythmic concepts such as strong and weak beats, beat groupings and meter, and tempo are also taught. The study of melody and harmony begins with "do, re and mi" and progresses through the entire scale. Throughout all studies, musical terminology is taught and reinforced via the vocabulary-building "Musical Word Wall."

Acquiring proficiency in music literacy is important, but it is certainly not the only goal of the curriculum for older students. The children continue to celebrate through music, experiencing many seasonal, holiday and event-based songs. Folk dancing is an essential part of the curriculum, teaching vital social skills and honing physical abilities while reinforcing rhythmic concepts. Songs from various historical eras and geographical areas allow students to travel through space and time to experience music from around the world and across the ages.

Skill-Building Activities

  • Singing a wide variety of songs including echo songs, call-and-response songs, singing games and play parties, cumulative songs, individual and small group sections, holiday and special occasion songs
  • Using rhythm instruments to accompany singing and improvise rhythms
  • Participating in drum circles and other free-form rhythmic activities
  • Using melodic instruments such as bells and melody chimes
  • Participating in competitive games that test grasp of particular skills
  • Folk dancing
  • Using a variety of musical props and manipulatives including scarves, balls, beanbags, ribbon wands and puppets to enhance learning
  • Playing musical games from around the world
  • Exploring historical, cultural and musical connections through the study of music history and current events
  • Discussing and asking questions about the curriculum

Grades 2-3 Physical Education

  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grade 2 Science

Objectives

  • Develop comfort, enjoyment and appreciation for exploring nature and science
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about earth, how things are made, energy and insects, and make connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore the earth by observing various types of soil and rocks, planting seeds in various types of soil and making their own soil and rocks
  • Discover how people make things from the basic materials of the earth
  • Observe fossils and bones and infer what they can tell us about the animals from which they came
  • Explore mixtures and formulas by observing and designing recipes for paste, toothpaste and cola
  • Explore the concept of light, sound and heat as moving forms of energy
  • Examine the properties of light using mirrors, flashlights and prisms to produce wondrous effects
  • Produce and listen to sounds using tuning forks and various everyday objects to explore how sounds travel
  • Observe clouds, wind, precipitation and measure temperature
  • Explore how and why heat, air and water work together to affect weather changes
  • Observe, role-play, sing and dance the water cycle
  • Apply the concept of energy; make a thermometer and demonstrate how heat energy moves
  • Explore the concepts of pollination, the life cycles of insects, hive building, honey and wax making and other social behaviors of bees through observation, role-playing and paper models
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 2 Social Studies

The second grade social studies curriculum enhances students’ concepts of local and global communities by exploring geography, economics and citizenship. Students investigate past and present communities by looking closely at their people, customs and traditions. This exploration also allows students to gain appreciation of self and the community in which they live. In addition, students gain an appreciation for economics as they explore and take on the role of consumers and producers.

Objectives:

  • Identify the need for rules and participate in creating rules for the classroom community
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible citizen in the classroom, school and other social environments
  • Learn about our community
  • Compare and contrast types of communities and cultural differences and their changes over time
  • Identify earth’s resources and ways to conserve and replenish them
  • Learn about our nation’s capital and its history
  • Gain familiarity with the U.S. and the world using maps and the globe
  • Interpret maps, charts and pictures
  • Begin to understand basic economic concepts
  • Identify historical figures and events associated with cultural traditions

Grade 2 Spanish

  • Review previously learned vocabulary
  • Learn numbers from 0-40
  • Learn the pronunciation of vowels
  • Recite the Spanish alphabet
  • Identify parts of the body
  • Learn the names of extended family members
  • Learn the days of the week and the months of the year
  • Create a calendar
  • Culture:
    • Learn about Christopher Columbus’ Voyage to the New World
    • Explore holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 2 Social Skills

Second graders develop self-respect and an appreciation for differences in others. The students learn to create a safe classroom climate where everyone has an opportunity to learn and to feel a part of the community.

Objectives:

  • Engage respectfully in various group activities
  • Learn the importance of conflict and practice resolution and compromise
  • Take responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Identify the need for rules and participate in creating rules for the classroom community
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible citizen in the classroom, school, and other social environments
  • Actively participate daily
  • Listen respectfully to others
  • Participate in independent problem solving
  • Follow daily classroom procedures
  • Demonstrate responsibility toward assignments and belongings
  • Display behavior that reflects classroom rules
  • Respect classroom materials

Third Grade

Grade 3 Art

  • Experience opportunities to work with all basic materials and techniques
  • Begin more complex clay works
  • Continue building drawing and construction skills
  • Study the effect of using light and shade in artwork
  • Build coil pots
  • Create ceramic fish

Grade 3 Language Arts

The third grade language arts program includes CAFE, Words Their Way and comprehension instruction through text-based discussions, mentor texts and Writing Workshop.

The CAFE (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding) vocabulary program includes goal-setting in individual conferences, small-group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs, and one-on-one conferring.

The reading program focuses on comprehension skills, word analysis skills, literary skills and using resource books. These skills are systematically covered by two basal textbooks. Skills are reinforced through book reports, literature circles, teacher-read novels, “buddy” reading and the SRA and New Practice Reader independent reading programs.

Words Their Way teaches students to study word patterns through weekly word sorts. Students learn to compare and contrast word features in each category, which helps to increase both spelling and vocabulary.

Using mentor texts to teach the craft of writing gives students the opportunity to position themselves alongside an author and examine how texts communicate an author’s idea. Examining an author's craftsmanship at the sentence and word levels provides the opportunity to examine grammar in context.

Writing Workshop includes a focused and condensed mini-lesson, a larger span of time devoted to independent writing and conferencing with the teacher, and students gathering to share their writing. Students generate ideas and topics that interest them for narrative, informational, opinion and fairy-tale pieces. They complete a graphic organizer and use it to write a rough draft. Next, they conference with the teacher and are encouraged to locate and edit their own errors. Along the way, they work through the process with one another before proudly sharing their published work.

In grammar, emphasis is on correct spelling, punctuation and capitalization, using lessons from the basal reading series and the Daily Language Review workbook.

Weekly spelling lists consist of 10 words based on a specific pattern, two commonly misspelled words, and two challenge words taken from current events, social studies, math, science, or any topic under discussion.

Reading Objectives:

  • Improve comprehension
  • Improve expression and fluency in oral reading
  • Increase sight vocabulary
  • Apply phonics skills automatically
  • Read independently for enjoyment

Writing Objectives:

  • Write in complete sentences
  • Express thoughts or ideas in written form
  • Write in a sequential manner showing a beginning, middle and ending
  • Organize ideas into paragraphs
  • Use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure
  • Use transitional words and phrases

Grammar Objectives:

  • Use proper capitalization of words at the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, titles and in friendly letters
  • Apply ending punctuation
  • Identify nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives
  • Insert quotation, commas and apostrophes correctly
  • Use proper verb tense
  • Use alphabetical order

Spelling Objectives:

  • Learn specific spelling rules
  • Apply phonics skills in learning new words
  • Develop study skills for learning and retaining words
  • Apply spelling skills to written work

Grade 3 Library

Third graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to choosing "just right" reading books, and the second session is dedicated to navigating the library and identifying, locating, consuming and using information effectively and ethically.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Explore various genres
  • Learn how biographies are organized in the library
  • Become familiar with the Dewey Decimal System
  • Participate in conversations about plagiarism
  • Practice effective note taking
  • Further explore of parts of a nonfiction book, such as the glossary, index and table of contents
  • Learn the characteristics of fairy tales and tall tales and participate in a fairy tale or tall tale puppet show
  • Participate in thematic monthly celebrations, such as National Poetry Month and Native American History Month
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Practice using guide words in a dictionary

Grade 3 Math

Third graders learn to apply the foundational math skills they have learned in many different ways. Growth is facilitated by helping students find the connections between skills. Building strong reasoning is paramount, as so many math concepts have similar patterns. New concepts are introduced with hands-on materials and work towards an abstract understanding and fluency.

Third graders explore:

  • Measurement skills, including perimeter and area
  • Mental math skills with three-digit values
  • Geometric concepts
  • Relationships between multiplication and division
  • Fractions
  • Order of operations
  • Elapsed time

Grades 2-5 Music

After an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences has been established in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. This is accomplished primarily through the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Music reading skills are introduced in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize musical literacy.

Following the same sequence by which spoken languages are most naturally acquired, Conversational Solfege introduces each musical concept aurally before approaching the idea visually. Students engage in activities and games that enable them to hear, echo, identify, decode, improvise, read, write and compose rhythmic, melodic and harmonic musical concepts. The rhythmic curriculum begins with patterns of eighth and quarter notes in simple meter and proceeds through the study of all types of rhythmic notation in both simple and compound meter. Rhythmic concepts such as strong and weak beats, beat groupings and meter, and tempo are also taught. The study of melody and harmony begins with "do, re and mi" and progresses through the entire scale. Throughout all studies, musical terminology is taught and reinforced via the vocabulary-building "Musical Word Wall."

Acquiring proficiency in music literacy is important, but it is certainly not the only goal of the curriculum for older students. The children continue to celebrate through music, experiencing many seasonal, holiday and event-based songs. Folk dancing is an essential part of the curriculum, teaching vital social skills and honing physical abilities while reinforcing rhythmic concepts. Songs from various historical eras and geographical areas allow students to travel through space and time to experience music from around the world and across the ages.

Skill-Building Activities

  • Singing a wide variety of songs including echo songs, call-and-response songs, singing games and play parties, cumulative songs, individual and small group sections, holiday and special occasion songs
  • Using rhythm instruments to accompany singing and improvise rhythms
  • Participating in drum circles and other free-form rhythmic activities
  • Using melodic instruments such as bells and melody chimes
  • Participating in competitive games that test grasp of particular skills
  • Folk dancing
  • Using a variety of musical props and manipulatives including scarves, balls, beanbags, ribbon wands and puppets to enhance learning
  • Playing musical games from around the world
  • Exploring historical, cultural and musical connections through the study of music history and current events
  • Discussing and asking questions about the curriculum

Grades 2-3 Physical Education

  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Improve basic physical skills
  • Show good sportsmanship

Grade 3 Science

Objectives

  • Develop comfort, enjoyment and appreciation for exploring nature and science
  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about animal habitats and adaptation, decomposition as part of a natural cycle, forces and simple machines, matter, heat energy, birds of prey, and the web of life and make connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities:

  • Make and observe terrarium habitats for pill bugs and worms
  • Observe and role-play the cycles of life and decomposition of trees in the woods
  • Maintain a compost pile
  • Observe sun munchers, plant munchers and animal munchers in the woods
  • Model food chains and webs
  • Observe birds of prey, explore the adaptations of owls and the predator-prey relationship between owls and rodents
  • Dissect owl pellets and learn about the skeletal anatomy of mice and other rodents
  • Explore forces, motion and simple machines through hands-on experiments, measurement, written communication and charts
  • Apply the concepts of simple machines to build a Knex machine
  • Observe and model the parts of trees, learn about the role of trees as producers of food and oxygen, and explore the end product of photosynthesis by sampling the foods made by trees
  • Measure and compare the mass and volume of various types of matter
  • Observe the changes in water through the solid, liquid and gas phases and role-play how the motion of molecules changes with the increase and decrease in heat energy of a system
  • Apply measuring and matter skills to experiments that involve dissolving solids in liquids
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 3 Social Studies

The third grade social studies curriculum includes the study of United States geography and landforms, Native Americans, early American explorations, Colonial America and the Westward Expansion.

Students learn to identify landforms found within each region of the United States and the impact these landforms have on local communities. The studies of landform segues into an in-depth study of Native Americans based on geographical regions. Students engage in an independent research project, closely examining a tribe and culture. The Native American unit includes a paired literature unit in which students read and create poems based on the works and style of Diane Siebert. Next, students discover early American explorations through the study of famous European explorers. Students explore the motivations behind these conquests and how they impacted early American settlements, and engage in a brief overview of Colonial America. The Westward expansion unit begins with the Lewis and Clark expedition and progresses to pioneers and the Oregon Trail. This is another paired literature unit, in which students develop a narrative essay utilizing historical information about a journey on the Oregon Trail.

Throughout each unit, students read and respond to a variety of texts using interactive reading guides, digital media tools and artistic representations. They engage in discussions and debates, learning to develop and support their ideas using evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources. Students are challenged to view historical events from various perspectives to strengthen their understanding of opposing viewpoints and the role they play in historical events. Students also develop an understanding of social studies text features and how they relate to their personal understanding of a text.

Objectives:

  • Describe a community, the role of citizens, and the reasons for rules and laws
  • Learn the physical characteristics of landforms and bodies of water
  • Define climate and identify resources
  • Identify the environment, adaptations and resources used by one Native American tribe
  • Learn why explorers and colonists came to the Americas and their interactions with Native Americans
  • Learn why colonists wanted freedom
  • Identify reasons why pioneers began moving west
  • Explore the experiences of African Americans during the 1700s and 1800s
  • Explore the experiences of immigrants who came to the East and West coasts
  • Define culture
  • Identify cultural, religious, and national holidays celebrated in the United States
  • Use standard features of a map (map title, map key, compass rose, cardinal and intermediate directions)
  • Use a map grid to determine location
  • Read and interpret information on a timeline
  • Use a map scale to determine actual distances
  • Use latitude and longitude to determine the absolute location of places

Grade 3 Spanish

  • Learn to introduce yourself and others
  • Expand on ways to greet each other
  • Review vowels and the Spanish alphabet
  • Expand number counting and knowledge to 100
  • Learn about words that are the same or similar in English and Spanish
  • Explore the relationship between American and Spanish names
  • Learn about the use of genders and plurals when speaking in Spanish
  • Introduce the concept of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Practice dialogue
  • Culture:
    • Engage in cultural activities based on the “theme country” of Mexico
    • Explore Mexican holidays, customs, food, history and geography
    • Study the works of painters such as Frida Kalo and Diego Rivera
    • Explore holidays activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 3 Social Skills

Third graders develop respect for themselves and others and appreciate the differences in people. A safe classroom environment is created to provide the opportunity for all to learn and grow.

Objectives:

  • Engage in group activities
  • Understand the importance of taking responsibility for their own actions
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Exhibit the qualities of a responsible third grader
  • Participate in independent problem solving

Fourth Grade

Grade 4 Art

  • Participate in a wide variety of media experiences
  • Learn concepts of visual language
  • Introduce sewing
  • Work with plaster in preparation for making of puppets
  • Make individual puppets for class puppet show

Grade 4 Language Arts

Fourth graders are taught skills and strategies for proficient, fluent reading though the Reading Wonders program. Grammar, spelling, mechanics and vocabulary are included in these mini-lessons. These skills and strategies are then applied as children read independently leveled books for biweekly book reports and activities that encourage critical and higher-order thinking skills. Students also practice these skills and strategies as they study class novels, which are read independently at home and analyzed and interpreted in school. Students respond to literature through journals, book reports, comprehension questions and a variety of small group and independent classroom activities.

The reading program is designed to motivate, entertain and inspire students to read, utilizing a variety of literature. Third grade skills are reinforced and expanded to allow the child to choose books that are challenging and encourage continued growth. Students are encouraged to think critically about what they read and be prepared to organize, defend and express their opinions in various forms such as oral presentations, written critiques, and class and group discussions.

Writing is incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum and students write daily for different purposes and audiences. The writing program is designed to help the student to become a confident, fluent writer. The emphasis is on the process approach to writing. Fourth graders participate in Writers' Workshop for at least two hours per week. Teacher led mini-lessons focus on specific writing strategies, followed by independent writing and partner/group sharing. Writers organize their thoughts using a graphic organizer, and first drafts are proofread with peers following specific directions. Final copies are independently edited for learned grammatical conventions using criteria-based rubrics and are reviewed in individual conferences with a teacher.

In grammar lessons, emphasis is on identifying and using correct sentence structures that add interest and depth to writing. Students are encouraged to use correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization and paragraphing skills. Students self-check papers applying rules that have been previously taught.

Weekly spelling lists include 20 spelling words that follow a particular rule; students who demonstrate proficiency with the rule are given more challenging lists. Up to 15 vocabulary words taken from class novels are also presented weekly, and students are responsible for understanding their meanings and parts of speech. Vocabulary words are studied in small groups and assessed during weekly vocabulary bees. Students are encouraged to incorporate newly learned words into their writing and to actively discover new words.

Reading Objectives:

  • Have an expanded sight word vocabulary
  • Decode unfamiliar words according to phonemic principles
  • Employ a variety of critical thinking skills before, during, and after reading
  • Recognize main idea, both stated and unstated, as well as supporting details
  • Develop an appreciation and an understanding for a variety of literature
  • Expand their vocabulary
  • Match reading skills to reading material

Writing Objectives:

  • Develop pieces that reflect an understanding of various purposes and audiences
  • Write in an organized, coherent manner that reflects an understanding of the proper structural properties of the various types of writing: descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and essay writing
  • Be self-reflective and revise own work
  • Develop creative writings that contain well-developed characters and settings, as well as endings that reflect a solution to the story’s main problem
  • Write with a depth that includes the use of varied vocabulary and sentence structure, and comprehensive descriptions

Grammar Objectives:

  • Recognize capitalization and punctuation errors and make the necessary corrections independently
  • Recognize when a new paragraph should be employed
  • Correctly label the various forms of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, interjections and conjunctions
  • Identify subject and predicate
  • Recognize subject and verb agreement

Spelling and Vocabulary Objectives:

  • Identify and apply spelling rules
  • Become more competent in the use of a dictionary and a thesaurus
  • Become proficient at enriching own vocabulary
  • Apply spelling skills to written work
  • Incorporate newly acquired vocabulary words into written work
  • Identify the part of speech of newly acquired vocabulary words

Grade 4 Library

Fourth graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to book selection, and the second session is dedicated to using the library and its digital resources to fulfill information needs and interests. Students become confident using the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and locating fiction and nonfiction in the library.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Use the Online Public Access Catalog to search for fiction and nonfiction books to fulfill assignments and for personal interests
  • Navigate the fiction and nonfiction sections in the library
  • Revisit genres
  • Practice using guide words in reference tools
  • Understand the purpose of encyclopedias, atlases and almanacs and confidently navigate them
  • Learn to form effective search strategies
  • Explore the Encyclopedia Britannica database
  • Utilize databases such as America the Beautiful to complete assignments and fulfill information interests
  • Revisit copyright
  • Understand plagiarism and strategies to avoid plagiarizing
  • Participate in a mock Caldecott election
  • Participate in thematic monthly celebrations, such as National Poetry Month and Women’s History Month
  • Further practice using guide words in reference materials
  • Introduction to fair use and ethical use of information while completing Animoto state commercials

Grade 4 Math

Fourth grade students build mathematical skills to solve larger and more complicated problems that involve several steps. They develop mastery in concepts by using strategies they can apply to foundational problems and extend to more complicated situations. Students are frequently given a problem that involves a new skill. The questions that arise while solving the problem guide the lesson and tailor it to the understanding and questions of the class. Often students are asked to explain their process without giving an answer to the problem, as this helps them learn to focus on the problem solving and not just the end result of being right or wrong.

Fourth graders explore:

  • Computation and representation of fractions
  • Decimal concepts
  • Metric units
  • Multi-digit multiplication and division
  • Multi-step problem solving
  • Area and perimeter of various 2D shapes
  • Classifying shapes, figures and angles

Grades 2-5 Music

After an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences has been established in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. This is accomplished primarily through the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Music reading skills are introduced in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize musical literacy.

Following the same sequence by which spoken languages are most naturally acquired, Conversational Solfege introduces each musical concept aurally before approaching the idea visually. Students engage in activities and games that enable them to hear, echo, identify, decode, improvise, read, write and compose rhythmic, melodic and harmonic musical concepts. The rhythmic curriculum begins with patterns of eighth and quarter notes in simple meter and proceeds through the study of all types of rhythmic notation in both simple and compound meter. Rhythmic concepts such as strong and weak beats, beat groupings and meter, and tempo are also taught. The study of melody and harmony begins with "do, re and mi" and progresses through the entire scale. Throughout all studies, musical terminology is taught and reinforced via the vocabulary-building "Musical Word Wall."

Acquiring proficiency in music literacy is important, but it is certainly not the only goal of the curriculum for older students. The children continue to celebrate through music, experiencing many seasonal, holiday and event-based songs. Folk dancing is an essential part of the curriculum, teaching vital social skills and honing physical abilities while reinforcing rhythmic concepts. Songs from various historical eras and geographical areas allow students to travel through space and time to experience music from around the world and across the ages.

Skill-Building Activities

  • Singing a wide variety of songs including echo songs, call-and-response songs, singing games and play parties, cumulative songs, individual and small group sections, holiday and special occasion songs
  • Using rhythm instruments to accompany singing and improvise rhythms
  • Participating in drum circles and other free-form rhythmic activities
  • Using melodic instruments such as bells and melody chimes
  • Participating in competitive games that test grasp of particular skills
  • Folk dancing
  • Using a variety of musical props and manipulatives including scarves, balls, beanbags, ribbon wands and puppets to enhance learning
  • Playing musical games from around the world
  • Exploring historical, cultural and musical connections through the study of music history and current events
  • Discussing and asking questions about the curriculum

Grades 4-5 Physical Education

  • Refine manipulative skills
  • Develop the team concept
  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Be attentive to instruction
  • Experience self-directed play
  • Assume leadership roles

Grade 4 Science

Objectives

  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Explore concepts about animal adaptations and classification, human body cells and systems, and earth and space exploration by making connections by using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Observe and compare the adaptations, life cycles and ecological role of insects and spiders and reptiles and amphibians
  • Discover how and why animals are placed in groups
  • Explore cells, systems for creating cellular energy and removing waste and systems for motion and messaging using the DK Ultimate Human Body CD
  • Design a PowerPoint slideshow that applies knowledge of cells and systems
  • Develop computer skills such as using tools to design diagrams and text, choosing appropriate applications for each task, exporting and importing graphics files, and designing a presentation
  • Work in teams to discuss ideas about gravity, design landing gear for objects in freefall, and model movements of the earth and other planets
  • Use the computer programs Starry Night and Field Trip to the Sky to observe objects in the night sky and movements in the solar system
  • Design and build paper and straw structures for both stability and strength
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 4 Social Studies

The fourth grade social studies curriculum develops students who are keen observers of and informed participants in U.S. history. Students learn about American history from the first migrations, the colonial period and the events that structured our nation. Students explore the formation of the 13 colonies the factors leading up to America’s independence, the formation of our government and the reasons behind its particular design. Students also explore the history of slavery in the United States and study the Underground Railroad. The class also includes an in-depth study of U.S. geography. Students explore the physical geography of North America and study its seven regions, including the physical, cultural, economic and historical characteristics of each region. Students then choose one of the 50 states to study in depth.

Objectives:

  • Become familiar with the history and the growth of the United States prior to the Civil War
  • View history as a story of people striving for economic, cultural and religious change
  • Develop an understanding of how geography affects the cultural and economic development of groups of people, as well as their interactions
  • Locate every state and its capital
  • Locate the following regions on a map of the United States: Northeast, Southwest, Appalachian Highlands, Midwest, Northwest and West
  • Compare and contrast the above regions of the United States according to cultural patterns, major industries, landforms and tourist attractions
  • Use maps to aid in the recognition of the states, landforms and cities
  • Use a wide variety of sources, such as the Internet and written material, to gather information for projects
  • Develop an oral presentation and present it effectively

Grade 4 Spanish

  • Review and build knowledge of higher numbers and content vocabulary
  • Learn vocabulary related to the school day
  • Learn how to express action
  • Practice asking questions such as “Who are you?” or “Where are you?”
  • Learn how to tell time in Spanish
  • Practice dialogue
  • Expand experiences to interact using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Take a “trip” around the Spanish-speaking countries
    • Explore the holidays, customs, food, history and geography of each country
    • Take part in authentic songs and games

Grade 4 Social Skills

Fourth grade students learn strategies to help them work towards achieving socialization goals including responsibility, self-control, cooperation, collaboration and compromise.

Objectives:

  • Develop personal responsibility for one's own learning
  • Develop the self-control to remain on task during independent work times
  • Assume responsibility for the care and organization of materials
  • Develop the skills to work cooperatively and collaboratively in the classroom
  • Use discussion and compromise to resolve conflicts

Fifth Grade

Grade 5 Art

  • Study the history of self-portraiture
  • Create self portraits
  • Continue to elaborate and emphasize drawing techniques
  • Integrate art projects with the study of Egypt
  • Integrate recycled art projects with study of environment

Grade 5 Language Arts

The fifth grade language arts curriculum is designed to develop and enhance skills through daily reading and writing. A heavy emphasis on reading affords children the practice necessary to improve reading and thinking skills along with the opportunity to discover a wide variety of written material. Daily writing assignments are required in order to build the child’s writing fluency, writing assignments are required in order to build the child’s writing fluency. Grammar skills are heavily emphasized.

Reading Objectives:

  • Solidify word attack skills
  • Develop fluency and expression in oral reading
  • Sharpen literal, interpretive, and critical reading skills
  • Improve reading rate
  • Identify main idea
  • Sequence information
  • Use context clues to comprehend new vocabulary
  • Draw conclusions and predict
  • Scan as a pre-reading technique
  • Locate specific information in reference sources
  • Read and compare different types of written works, such as short stories, books, poems and plays
  • Sustain quiet reading for at least 30 minutes
  • Maintain a consistent schedule of independent reading
  • Write responses, essays, summaries, book reports and opinions
  • Offer oral responses to written material

Writing Objectives:

  • Initiate and develop in written form
  • Use the computer as a writing tool
  • Write for a sustained period of time
  • Improve skills in structuring sentences
  • Apply level-appropriate punctuation skills
  • Organize sentences into paragraphs
  • Proofread and edit own work
  • Experience writing: poetry, personal narratives, short stories, book reports, research papers, journal commentary, essays, directions, reports and literature responses
  • Gather, organize and sequence information
  • Take notes in preparation for report writing
  • Summarize
  • Broaden use of vocabulary
  • Develop a story line
  • Bring idea to a close
  • Look critically at one’s own writing
  • Develop skills to look critically at professional and classmates' writing
  • Offer constructive comments to classmates
  • Develop strategies for solving writing problems
  • Evaluate and revise a first draft
  • Write for a variety of audiences

Spelling Objectives:

  • Use a dictionary and computer spell check
  • Identify and apply spelling rules to written assignments
  • Improve homonym usage
  • Form plural and possessive nouns
  • Recognize spelling errors and reduce their frequency
  • Proofread and correct spelling errors on written work

Grade 5 Library

Fifth graders visit the library twice a week. One session is dedicated to book selection, and the second session is dedicated to using the library and its digital resources to fulfill information needs and interests. Students spend time in the Technology Center honing their digital research skills both online and using databases. Fifth graders also learn good digital citizenship.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become competent navigating the fiction section by putting books away
  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Volunteer to give book talks to classmates
  • Independently identify genres
  • Continue using the OPAC to locate fiction and nonfiction independently
  • Participate in lessons on Internet safety

Grade 5 Math

Fifth grade students recognize the daily applications of math and how it is a part of everyday life while preparing for higher-level math courses. Students are expected to support their answers with sound reasoning, appropriate vocabulary, visual models and text. Using their reasoning skills, students create reliable algorithms for computation, which increases their efficiency with problem solving. Extensive problem-solving opportunities are used to enrich understanding of concepts. Students have several math projects throughout the year where they explore probability, data collection and interpretation and measurement and design.

Fifth graders explore:

  • Modeling fraction computations with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Connecting decimals to fractions and money
  • Developing computational strategies
  • Exploring geometric concepts of perimeter, area and volume
  • Developing pre-algebra skills by solving and making equations and function machines
  • Learning how to collect, analyze and represent data
  • Percentages
  • Probability
  • Building a personal vocabulary of mathematical terms

Grades 2-5 Music

After an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences has been established in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. This is accomplished primarily through the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Music reading skills are introduced in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize musical literacy.

Following the same sequence by which spoken languages are most naturally acquired, Conversational Solfege introduces each musical concept aurally before approaching the idea visually. Students engage in activities and games that enable them to hear, echo, identify, decode, improvise, read, write and compose rhythmic, melodic and harmonic musical concepts. The rhythmic curriculum begins with patterns of eighth and quarter notes in simple meter and proceeds through the study of all types of rhythmic notation in both simple and compound meter. Rhythmic concepts such as strong and weak beats, beat groupings and meter, and tempo are also taught. The study of melody and harmony begins with "do, re and mi" and progresses through the entire scale. Throughout all studies, musical terminology is taught and reinforced via the vocabulary-building "Musical Word Wall."

Acquiring proficiency in music literacy is important, but it is certainly not the only goal of the curriculum for older students. The children continue to celebrate through music, experiencing many seasonal, holiday and event-based songs. Folk dancing is an essential part of the curriculum, teaching vital social skills and honing physical abilities while reinforcing rhythmic concepts. Songs from various historical eras and geographical areas allow students to travel through space and time to experience music from around the world and across the ages.

Skill-Building Activities

  • Singing a wide variety of songs including echo songs, call-and-response songs, singing games and play parties, cumulative songs, individual and small group sections, holiday and special occasion songs
  • Using rhythm instruments to accompany singing and improvise rhythms
  • Participating in drum circles and other free-form rhythmic activities
  • Using melodic instruments such as bells and melody chimes
  • Participating in competitive games that test grasp of particular skills
  • Folk dancing
  • Using a variety of musical props and manipulatives including scarves, balls, beanbags, ribbon wands and puppets to enhance learning
  • Playing musical games from around the world
  • Exploring historical, cultural and musical connections through the study of music history and current events
  • Discussing and asking questions about the curriculum

Grades 4-5 Physical Education

  • Refine manipulative skills
  • Develop the team concept
  • Observe the value and importance of exercise
  • Be attentive to instruction
  • Experience self-directed play
  • Assume leadership roles

Grade 5 Science

Objectives

  • Practice science process skills such as observing, communicating, comparing, cooperating, organizing information, classifying, inferring and testing inferences
  • Develop skills in designing experiments and writing about them using the formal scientific processes, including defining variables, writing an experimental question, a hypothesis and a conclusion
  • Explore concepts about earth science and physical science using a variety of intelligences: nature experiences, language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and social interaction

Activities

  • Explore watersheds, aquatic food chains and the water cycle through observation and modeling
  • Explore how experiments are designed and variables are controlled by conducting and documenting simple motion experiments using the scientific process
  • Observe and experiment with various concepts of magnetism such the strength of magnetic force, the shape and area of magnetic force fields and polar attraction and repulsion
  • Examine how materials are arranged in the Periodic Table of Elements by proton numbers
  • Draw diagrams of simple Bohr models of atoms using the Periodic Table
  • Observe static electricity in everyday situations and connect these observations to the phenomena of charged atoms
  • Connect batteries, bulbs and wires to build and test various kinds of circuits and learn about the three requirements of circuit: energy source, conductors and complete circuit
  • Test materials for conductivity, generalize the materials as all metals and compare and contrasted conductors and insulators
  • Draw an “electrician’s diagram” of each circuit
  • Observe, model and compare the processes that change minerals on the earth’s crust
  • Observe, compare, and predict processes that have shaped rocks
  • Explore and compare planetary structures, size, density and atmosphere
  • Cooperate in teams to compare planetary data
  • Explore Newton’s Laws of Motion through design of simple space vehicles
  • Observe under logs and leaves in the woods to experience the joy of exploration and to develop an appreciation for the tiny life in this ecosystem
  • Hike and play nature games and activities designed to connect their knowledge and stimulate good feelings about nature

Grade 5 Social Studies

The fifth grade social studies curriculum is loosely divided into two areas: history and geography. The history portion explores ancient cultures from the introduction of early man through the Greek Empire. Although geography is stressed throughout the study of ancient cultures, it is also a separate curriculum. The study of world geography includes continents, oceans, major countries and capitals, important landforms and map-making skills. The program blends geography, history, economics, culture and belief systems in order to provide a broad understanding of past civilizations that continue to influence the modern world.

Objectives:

  • Examine the inter-relatedness of ancient, past and present cultures
  • Recognize interdependence in early times
  • Identify the steps leading to the formation of civilizations
  • Examine the influences of physical and cultural geography on history
  • Analyze how culture is transmitted
  • Understand the information represented by timelines, graphs, pictures, maps and diagrams
  • Distinguish among fact, opinion and reasoned judgments
  • Draw conclusions from evidence
  • Use basic research methods to complete written and oral reports
  • Organize information for presentation to the class
  • Recognize importance of using natural resources wisely
  • Use an atlas, encyclopedia, Internet and other resources effectively
  • Participate in collaborative learning opportunities
  • Develop vocabulary necessary for history and geography
  • Follow directions in order to make a map
  • Learn assigned geographic locations
  • Develop reading comprehension skills

Grade 5 Spanish

  • Reinforce and build vocabulary
  • Practice greetings and using verbal courtesy
  • Learn vocabulary for articles of clothing
  • Learn the words for describing the weather, months and seasons
  • Learn vocabulary for things found in a house
  • Study a city and its related words
  • Give presentations to peers using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Enjoy activities based on the “theme country” of Spain
    • Learn about Spain’s holidays, customs, food, history, geography and some native customs
    • Study the works of painters such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali
    • Discover the Incan culture and history
    • Participate in holiday activities related to events celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Take part in authentic songs and games

Grade 5 Social Skills

In fifth grade, previously learned social skills are reinforced, with an added focus on leadership skills. These skills are taught through a variety of methods with the goal of students taking ownership of conflict resolution strategies.

Objectives:

  • Use discussion and compromise to resolve conflicts
  • Assume the responsibility for taking a school leadership role
  • Demonstrate empathy for others
  • Assume the responsibility for practicing conflict resolution
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