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 be artists and respond to art. Through the manipulation of process and materials, along with the integration of aesthetics, collaboration, and art history, our art curriculum builds and engaging, creative, and imaginative environment for students in which they can express their ideas and build self-confidence. Students learn the importance of individuality through the observation of art, arts-based discussions, and consideration of alternative ideas. The walls of our hallways and every classroom are decorated with artwork, unique to each student, from all ages.

The art program at every grade level offers a wide range of materials and media, both two- and three- dimensional. Art history and aesthetic visual discussions promote an understanding of past and present art forms and becomes a stimulus for creating art. Students observe and examine various aspects of projected images, such as color, space, line and form; how these images make them feel; what they see; what they like and dislike; and why is it considered art. Collaboration in art boosts creative problem solving, student communication, and team building skills. Most importantly, we strive for students to have fun, enjoy their experience, and feel confident in their artistic and personal choices.

Objectives

  • Recognize and identify differences in shapes, scale, color, texture, pattern, line and form
  • Experiment with media and learn to manipulate these materials in ways that stimulate the student’s expressive abilities
  • Make decisions throughout the art process regarding tones, colors, shapes, patterns, textures rhythm and form
  • Continue to revise and refine artwork throughout creation process
  • Learn to accept and deliver constructive criticism, and well as self-assessment
  • Develop confidence in personal choices and in contributing new ideas
  • Establish respect for others' ideas, artistic decisions, opinions and beliefs
  • Expand on the ability to use the imagination
  • Participate in group discussions and ask questions

Grade JPK Art

  • Start painting (objective and non-objective)
  • Learn about the colors, how to mix and experiment with them
  • Create collages
  • Make rubbings
  • Build scultpure (clay and recycled materials)
  • Draw with various materials
  • Develop holding and using materials in appropriate manners
  • Discuss and explore textures
  • Learn about artists Eric Carle and Matisse

Grade SPK Art

  • Build on JPK art experiences
  • Paint with multiple instruments
  • Explore warm and cool colors
  • Create collages with various materials
  • Develop scissor skills and holding materials
  • Explore motor skills through clay and model magic
  • Learn about different lines
  • Discover artists Leo Lionni, Lois Ehlert and Kandinsky

Grade K Art

  • Continue to paint and draw
  • Refine scissor skills through Matisse inspired project
  • Refine manipulation of materials
  • Learn the color wheel
  • Explore emotions and their relationship to color and line
  • Create primary colors collage after studying Piet Mondrian
  • Make expressive self portratis as kings and queens

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
  • Build coil pots
  • Create Klimt inspired trees after studying Gustav Klimt
  • Introduce printmaking
  • Examine Salvador Dali's self portrait and create own Dali inspired portrait

Grade 2 Art

  • Build on foundation and techniques from first grade
  • Create individual waving using yarn and mini loom
  • Learn symmetry and create pumpkins
  • Study local artist Andy Warhol and create flowers
  • Create portraits inspired by Pablo Picasso
  • Identify foreground, middleground and background through creation of landscape project

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 about assemblage and create own project inspired by Nevelson
  • Introduce sewing and create sewing project; feature artist Faith Ringgold
  • Participate in sketchbook assignments and chalenges
  • Explore the website Dailey Monster, and create an Ink Monster using blown ink and imagination
  • Study architecture, specifically Victorian homes, to create haunted houses

Grade 5 Art

  • Explore the artwork and life of Chuck Close then, using mathematics and measuring, create a large scale animal portrait using oil pastels
  • Study the history of masks and create plaster masks
  • Continue to elaborate and emphasize drawing techniques
  • Integrate art projects with the study of Egypt
  • Participate in sketchbook assignments and challenges
  • Examine artist Grant Wood and create a new American Gothic
  • Participate in an independent arts project based, managed and structured upon students' interest
  • Enjoy increased freedom in the art room to explore materials and creativity

Learn more about the Middle School and Senior School art curriculum.

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 curriculum strives to develop and strengthen students' reading, writing and spelling skills. Students work in small groups, reading appropriately leveled texts while developing their decoding and comprehension skills. Teachers model the meta-congitive process of reading during read aloud, allowing students to observe and put to practice effective reading strategies. Second graders write daily during language arts' time and confer with teachers and peers throughout the writing process. Spelling and handwriting are aught through direct and systematic instruction to encourage students to move toward conventional spelling and cursive writing.

Skill-building activities:

  • Reading, comprehending and interpreting literature
  • Acquiring a reading vocabulary
  • Reading aloud accurately and fluently
  • Using electronic media for research
  • Writing narrative pieces consisting of a series of related sentences with a central idea
  • Including a beginning, middle and end when writing narratives
  • Writing organized non-fiction pieces using a variety of non-fiction text features
  • Conferencing with others to improve student writing
  • Prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing
  • Using initial and proper noun capitalization
  • Using punctuation appropriately

Grade 3 Language Arts

Weekly literacy instruction begins with targeted mini lessons to introduce reading comprehension strategies and skills. Students then move into shared learning experiences in which they apply and extend their understanding of the comprehension strategies within a small group setting. The culminating piece of the literacy experience, centers upon students’ independent application of the comprehension strategy using a book of their choosing. Throughout the independent reading time, the teacher conducts one-on-one conferences to better understand each student’s reading interests and abilities.

Students engage in Robust Vocabulary Instruction, which aims to spark an interest in language and develop a rich vocabulary repertoire utilizing activities that are both thought-provoking and interactive.

Words Their Way teaches students to discover 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 provides students with the opportunity to position themselves alongside an author and examine how texts are created to communicate an author’s idea. Examining author’s craftsmanship at the sentence and word levels provides students with the opportunity to examine grammar in a rich and meaningful context.

Writing Workshop uses mentor texts to introduce key writing concepts and skills. The Writing Workshop, much like the literacy instruction, encompasses mini lessons, independent writing time, one-on-one conferences and a shared writing time. Throughout the year, students compose narrative, opinion, poetry and informational pieces.

Reading Objectives:

  • Read literature and informational texts from a broad range of genres, cultures and periods
  • Identify and analyze key literary elements (character, plot development, setting)
  • Monitor and adjust comprehension by rereading, adjusting reading rate and/or paraphrasing
  • Draw inferences and make conclusions, citing evidence from the text
  • Make connections between and across texts

Writing Objectives:

  • Write for a variety of purposes and audiences (Informational, narrative, poetry, literature responses, research reports)
  • Reflect and respond to writing prompts citing textual evidence
  • Develop and strengthen writing by cycling through the planning, revising and editing processes
  • Apply conventions of Standard English to writing (Use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure)

Spelling Objectives:

  • Engage in word study instruction to understand the logic and consistencies of spelling patterns within the English language
  • Examine and analyze word patterns through active discovery and hands on manipulation
  • Develop study skills for learning and applying spelling patterns
  • Apply knowledge of spelling patterns 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 independent 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 and as a class 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. 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 discussed in small groups and as part of whole-group discussions. 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. 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
  • Make predictions based on evidence in the text
  • Locate specific information in reference sources
  • Read different genres, such as historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry and expository text
  • Maintain a consistent schedule of independent reading
  • Write responses, essays, summaries and book reports
  • Offer oral responses to written material

Writing Objectives:

  • Write for a sustained period of time
  • Improve sentence structure
  • Apply level-appropriate punctuation skills
  • Organize sentences into paragraphs
  • Proofread and edit 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
  • Look critically at one’s own writing
  • Evaluate and revise a first draft
  • Write for a variety of audiences

Spelling Objectives:

  • Identify and apply spelling rules to written assignments
  • Improve homophone usage
  • Form plural and possessive nouns
  • Recognize spelling errors and reduce their frequency
  • Proofread and correct spelling errors on written work

Learn about the Middle School and Senior School English curriculum.

Library

The library at Country Day is an integral part of each student’s journey to becoming a lifelong reader and confident information seeker. 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 support a variety of academic projects and to ensure that students are reading.

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 catalog and online tools.

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 and borrowing books
  • 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 author or illustrator studies
  • Explore age appropriate series
  • 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 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
  • Exposure to magazines
  • 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 and using information effectively and ethically.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Explore various genres in small groups
  • 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, copyright page and table of contents
  • Explore 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 Destiny Catalog to search for books to fulfill assignments and for personal interests
  • Navigate the fiction and nonfiction sections in the library
  • Revisit genres by creating green screen projects in small groups
  • Practice using guide words in reference tools
  • Explore print and digital reference tools (Britannica Online)
  • Learn to form effective search strategies while using databases
  • Utilize databases such as America the Beautiful to complete projects
  • 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 and the internet.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become competent navigating the fiction section while reshelving books as one of the fifth grade jobs
  • 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 Destiny catalog to locate fiction and nonfiction independently
  • Participate in lessons on Internet safety
  • Explore digital citizenship
  • Use critical thinking skills to evaluate Websites in conjunction with Ancient Egypt studies
  • Effectively form search strategies
  • Utilize school databases for research
  • Complete library-based green screen projects

Learn about SSA's libraries.

Math

SSA Country Day School uses the Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Based on teaching and learning strategies used in Singapore, the Math in Focus series emphasizes depth within mathematical thinking. Each year’s scope and sequence focuses upon mastery of concepts as well as problem solving and critical thinking. Teachers use concrete to visual to abstract development process leading students to a solid conceptual understanding. Using number bonds and mental math strategies, students understand the relationship of numerical values. Using math stories and model drawing, students associate visuals with numbers and problem resolution.

Through extensive practice, hands-on work in pairs and small groups, communication and reflection and challenging problems, the series builds real-world problem solvers. The students attain the appropriate background to understand how effective math strategies work and to realize what makes sense in math. Learn more about Singapore Math.

Grades JPK-SPK Math

The pre-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 K Math

The Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum offers a strategic, articulated sequence of topics that are developed in depth to allow true mastery. Children are given opportunities to investigate, discover, explore and apply their own solutions to mathematical problems. Students work to develop number sense skills moving from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract. In kindergarten, Math in Focus will:

  • Introduce children to think mathematically about problems and their solutions
  • Encourage students to persevere in solving mathematical problems
  • Address fewer topics in greater depth
  • Develop the foundation for numbers and operation
  • Develop concepts and skills in tandem
  • Use clear and engaging visuals that present concepts and model drawings
  • Use concrete and pictorial representations
  • Emphasize multi-step and non-routine problem solving

Grade 1 Math

The first grade mathematics program follows the Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum, which presents fewer topics at each grade level, but they are taught to mastery with deep understanding. The program is extremely visual and hands-on. Lessons flow from a model of concrete examples, to pictorial and then abstract. A strong emphasis is placed on a unified math vocabulary as well as critical thinking skills. Children are encouraged to use their math skills to deconstruct complex problems.

First graders explore:

  • Building problem solving skills and strategies
  • Counting, comparing and writing numbers to 50
  • Adding and subtracting one and two-digit numbers using several strategies
  • Classifying and sorting shapes and patterns
  • Using calendars, time and money
  • Understanding place value
  • Number relationships
  • Deconstructing numbers

Grade 2 Math

The second grade mathematics program uses the Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum. Students learn through a variety of games and hands-on activities. A strong emphasis is placed on the concrete-to-pictorial-to-abstract process to solve and master problems.

Second graders focus on:

  • Representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Adding and subtracting three-digit numbers with and without regrouping
  • Working with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication and division
  • Understanding place value and properties of operations for addition and subtraction
  • Interpreting and solving real world problems using bar models
  • Telling time to five minutes and elapsed time in half hour and hour intervals

Grade 3 Math

In third grade, Math in Focus emphasizes concept and skill development through hands-on manipulative-based instruction and practice. Additionally, there is a focus on problem solving, skill consolidation and early preparation for algebra.

  • Place value to 10,000
  • Addition and subtraction facts
  • Multiplication and division facts from 0-12
  • Mental math
  • Geometry concepts
  • Introduction to fractions
  • Introduction to decimals
  • Model drawing
  • Time and elapsed time
  • Real world problems
  • Bar model drawing with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Grade 4 Math

Fourth grade students build mathematical skills to solve larger and more complicated problems that involve several steps. The Math in Focus curriculum uses a "concrete to pictorial to abstract" sequence to present concepts and model strategies for solutions Students learn concepts through teacher-directed lessons and working with manipulatives. Model drawings are also used to help students engage in complex problem-solving. The questinos posed by the students while solving real-life problems guides the mathematical discussion. Often students are asked to explain their process and explore other ways of solving or representing the answer. This helps students learn to focus on the process of problem solving and not just the end result of being right or wrong

Fourth graders explore:

  • Place value of whole numbers
  • Computation and representation of fractions
  • Estimation and number theory
  • Decimal concepts
  • Analyzing data using tables and graphs
  • Whole number multiplication and division
  • Multi-step problem solving
  • Area and perimeter of various 2D shapes
  • Classifying shapes, figures and angles
  • Problem-solving skills and strategies

Grade 5 Math

The fifth grade Math in Focus program centers upon the continued building of a solid mathematical foundation. Students learn concepts through visual lessons, practice skills through instruction and activities, and apply knowledge through extensive problem solving opportunities.

The course focuses on:

  • Comparing and ordering, and rounding whole numbers into the millions
  • Simplifying number expressions through patterns, estimation and order of operations
  • Rewriting fractions to enable addition and subtraction
  • Applying multiplication and divisin to whole numbers, fractions, and mixed numbers
  • Evaluating relationships among fractions and decimals
  • Using concepts related to whole numbers to solve problems with decimals
  • Exploring the use of letters as variables in expressions and inequalities
  • Solving real world problems using al simple operations as well as algebraic expressions

Learn about the Middle School and Senior School math curriculum.

Music

Do it, know it, and LOVE it - those are the goals of the Shady Side Academy Country Day School music program. With a firm belief that we are ALL musical, we experience and explore music, dance, and theater arts through activities that allow us to discover, identify, and develop essential skills.

Outdoor Music
When the weather permits, music classes are held outdoors. The outdoors provide ample room for vigorous movement activities and the fresh air is wonderful for singing freely.

Chapel
Chapel provides a wonderful opportunity for the entire school to sing and make music together once a week. Because families and friends frequently attend Chapel, it is also a meaningful 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
Dramatic, musical presentations are authentic projects that showcase 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:

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

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students experience a variety of activities that 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 we establish an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. The Conversational Solfege curriculum provides students with an accessible yet challenging introduction to reading and writing musical notation. We experience music literacy skills in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize the language of music.

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

Learn more about the Middle School and Senior School music 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

Learn more about the Middle School PE curriculum.

Science

Childhood is a journey. A journey is sparked by the children's natural curiosity and desire to unveil hidden wonders. A few steps outside of the spacious Country Day science lab is our "outdoor classroom," which consists of student seating, a tree house, bridge, and an overlook surrounded by acres of woods and hiking trails. Within a ten minute walking distance the children explore streams, fields, the farm at the Senior School, and wetlands areas. all of these beautiful places provide the school with a "living textbook," full of wondrous chapters to discover.

The children in grades pre-K through five are engaged in sensory exploration in the fall and spring. Every rock that is overturned to reveal a colony of ants or a fascinating nest, every hole or egg sac on leaf, when noticed and questioned, stirs intense excitement to find out more. Some distinct features of the Country Day experience include the amount of time spent outdoors in the woods exploring and the connections that children make to the land, to each other, and to ideas. There is also flexibility with time and direction that allows each class to explore at its own pace and to investigate the most exciting discoveries in greater depth.

The Country Day program connects children to a diverse mix of all areas of scientific inquiry. These areas include life, forces and motion, energy, and materials. Energy is an especially strong and common thread throughout all of the grades that ties together many diverse areas of study.

Grades JPK-K Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

Grades 1-3 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

Grades 4-5 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

Additional objectives for grades four and five:

  • Practice the scientific method: Define variables, writing an experimental question and hypothesis, measure and collect data, write a conclusion, and generate new questions to explore.

Learn more about the Middle School and Senior School science curriculum.

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, the arctic, 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
  • 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
  • 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 important U.S. symbols
  • 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:

  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources
  • Identify characteristics of good citizenship and civic responsibilities
  • Identify the natural resources, types of homes, food, clothing, and transportation of Native American tribes within each of the five regions of the United States
  • Describe the missions, goals, obstacles, and accomplishments of key European Explorers
  • Explain the materials, transportation, and guides utilized by pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail
  • Describe the struggles and triumphs of pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail

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 five 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, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest 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

Learn about the Middle School social studies and Senior School history curriculum.

Spanish

The Country Day School Spanish curriculum provides an introduction to Spanish language and culture for students in grades SPK-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.

Overall Objectives (progressing in competency through the grades):

  • 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
  • Have fun

Grade SPK Spanish

  • Greetings
  • Time of day
  • The difference between big and small
  • Primary colors
  • Shapes
  • Numbers from 1-15
  • Identify different family members
  • Seasons
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade K Spanish

  • Greetings
  • Everyday expressions
  • The time of day
  • The difference between big and small and other opposites
  • Primary colors
  • Shapes
  • Numbers from 1-20
  • Identify different family members
  • Seasons
  • Words to describe weather
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grade 1 Spanish

  • Greetings
  • Identify, pronounce and spell colors
  • Identify geometric figures
  • Identify and count numbers from 0-30
  • Identify different family members
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs

Grade 2 Spanish

  • Review previously learned vocabulary
  • Numbers
  • The pronunciation of vowels
  • Recite the Spanish alphabet
  • Create a calendar
  • The days of the week and the months of the year
  • The four seasons and weather
  • Identify parts of the face and body
  • The clothes
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs

Grade 3 Spanish

  • Introduce yourself and others
  • Expand on ways to greet each other
  • Review vowels and the Spanish alphabet
  • Expand number counting and knowledge
  • Expand on food
  • Expand on animals
  • Expand on vocabulary about the classroom and school
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Grade 4 Spanish

  • Review and build knowledge of higher numbers and content vocabulary
  • Learn words that are the same or similar in English and Spanish
  • Parts of speech
  • The use of genders and plurals when speaking in Spanish
  • Introduce the concept of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Learn how to express action
  • Explore the relationship/difference between American and Spanish names
  • Explore "getting to know people" in Spanish
  • Practice dialogue
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Grade 5 Spanish

  • Reinforce and build vocabulary
  • Reinforce and build on grammar and parts of speech
  • Expand on verb conjugation
  • Greetings and using verbal courtesy
  • The words for describing the weather, months and seasons
  • Vocabulary for articles of clothing
  • Expand number counting and knowledge up to the millions
  • Give presentations to peers using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Learn about the Middle School and Senior School world languages curriculum.

Wellness

The Country Day School wellness class supports students through the development of character education, social-emotional learning and mindfulness practices. The class is instructed and supported by the school counselor.

Students explore social-emotional learning (SEL) through the Second Step program, which features developmentally appropriate ways to teach core SEL skills at all grade levels. This program has a home link component to support families and reinforce the topics the child is learning.

Students in grades PK-5 are introduced to mindfulness practices. Mindfulness is about attention and the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment. Students are exposed to different activities that cultivate presence of mind, presence of heart and awareness of themselves.

Grades JPK-SPK Wellness

Students in pre-kindergarten explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, friendship, problem-solving, self-regulation, executive functioning and transitioning to kindergarten.

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

Curriculum by Grade

Junior Pre-Kindergarten

Grade JPK Art

  • Start painting (objective and non-objective)
  • Learn about the colors, how to mix and experiment with them
  • Create collages
  • Make rubbings
  • Build scultpure (clay and recycled materials)
  • Draw with various materials
  • Develop holding and using materials in appropriate manners
  • Discuss and explore textures
  • 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-SPK Math

The pre-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 experience a variety of activities that 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, the arctic, life cycles, and more

Grades JPK-K Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

Grades JPK-SPK Wellness

Students in pre-kindergarten explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, friendship, problem-solving, self-regulation, executive functioning and transitioning to kindergarten.

Senior Pre-Kindergarten

Grade SPK Art

  • Build on JPK art experiences
  • Paint with multiple instruments
  • Explore warm and cool colors
  • Create collages with various materials
  • Develop scissor skills and holding materials
  • Explore motor skills through clay and model magic
  • Learn about different lines
  • Discover artists Leo Lionni, Lois Ehlert and Kandinsky

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-SPK Math

The pre-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 experience a variety of activities that 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-K Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

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, the arctic, life cycles, and more

Grade SPK Spanish

  • Greetings
  • Time of day
  • The difference between big and small
  • Primary colors
  • Shapes
  • Numbers from 1-15
  • Identify different family members
  • Seasons
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grades JPK-SPK Wellness

Students in pre-kindergarten explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, friendship, problem-solving, self-regulation, executive functioning and transitioning to kindergarten.

Kindergarten

Grade K Art

  • Continue to paint and draw
  • Refine scissor skills through Matisse inspired project
  • Refine manipulation of materials
  • Learn the color wheel
  • Explore emotions and their relationship to color and line
  • Create primary colors collage after studying Piet Mondrian
  • Make expressive self portratis as kings and queens

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 and borrowing books
  • 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

Grade K Math

The Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum offers a strategic, articulated sequence of topics that are developed in depth to allow true mastery. Children are given opportunities to investigate, discover, explore and apply their own solutions to mathematical problems. Students work to develop number sense skills moving from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract. In kindergarten, Math in Focus will:

  • Introduce children to think mathematically about problems and their solutions
  • Encourage students to persevere in solving mathematical problems
  • Address fewer topics in greater depth
  • Develop the foundation for numbers and operation
  • Develop concepts and skills in tandem
  • Use clear and engaging visuals that present concepts and model drawings
  • Use concrete and pictorial representations
  • Emphasize multi-step and non-routine problem solving

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students experience a variety of activities that 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

Grades JPK-K Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

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

  • Greetings
  • Everyday expressions
  • The time of day
  • The difference between big and small and other opposites
  • Primary colors
  • Shapes
  • Numbers from 1-20
  • Identify different family members
  • Seasons
  • Words to describe weather
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs and games

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

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
  • Build coil pots
  • Create Klimt inspired trees after studying Gustav Klimt
  • Introduce printmaking
  • Examine Salvador Dali's self portrait and create own Dali inspired portrait

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 author or illustrator studies
  • Explore age appropriate series
  • 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 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
  • Exposure to magazines
  • Explore print encyclopedias

Grade 1 Math

The first grade mathematics program follows the Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum, which presents fewer topics at each grade level, but they are taught to mastery with deep understanding. The program is extremely visual and hands-on. Lessons flow from a model of concrete examples, to pictorial and then abstract. A strong emphasis is placed on a unified math vocabulary as well as critical thinking skills. Children are encouraged to use their math skills to deconstruct complex problems.

First graders explore:

  • Building problem solving skills and strategies
  • Counting, comparing and writing numbers to 50
  • Adding and subtracting one and two-digit numbers using several strategies
  • Classifying and sorting shapes and patterns
  • Using calendars, time and money
  • Understanding place value
  • Number relationships
  • Deconstructing numbers

Grades JPK-1 Music

Between the ages of 3 and 8, students experience a variety of activities that 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

Grades 1-3 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

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
  • 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
  • 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

  • Greetings
  • Identify, pronounce and spell colors
  • Identify geometric figures
  • Identify and count numbers from 0-30
  • Identify different family members
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

Second Grade

Grade 2 Art

  • Build on foundation and techniques from first grade
  • Create individual waving using yarn and mini loom
  • Learn symmetry and create pumpkins
  • Study local artist Andy Warhol and create flowers
  • Create portraits inspired by Pablo Picasso
  • Identify foreground, middleground and background through creation of landscape project

Grade 2 Language Arts

The second grade curriculum strives to develop and strengthen students' reading, writing and spelling skills. Students work in small groups, reading appropriately leveled texts while developing their decoding and comprehension skills. Teachers model the meta-congitive process of reading during read aloud, allowing students to observe and put to practice effective reading strategies. Second graders write daily during language arts' time and confer with teachers and peers throughout the writing process. Spelling and handwriting are aught through direct and systematic instruction to encourage students to move toward conventional spelling and cursive writing.

Skill-building activities:

  • Reading, comprehending and interpreting literature
  • Acquiring a reading vocabulary
  • Reading aloud accurately and fluently
  • Using electronic media for research
  • Writing narrative pieces consisting of a series of related sentences with a central idea
  • Including a beginning, middle and end when writing narratives
  • Writing organized non-fiction pieces using a variety of non-fiction text features
  • Conferencing with others to improve student writing
  • Prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing
  • Using initial and proper noun capitalization
  • Using punctuation appropriately

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 author or illustrator studies
  • Explore age appropriate series
  • 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 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
  • Exposure to magazines
  • Explore print encyclopedias

Grade 2 Math

The second grade mathematics program uses the Math in Focus: Singapore Math curriculum. Students learn through a variety of games and hands-on activities. A strong emphasis is placed on the concrete-to-pictorial-to-abstract process to solve and master problems.

Second graders focus on:

  • Representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Adding and subtracting three-digit numbers with and without regrouping
  • Working with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication and division
  • Understanding place value and properties of operations for addition and subtraction
  • Interpreting and solving real world problems using bar models
  • Telling time to five minutes and elapsed time in half hour and hour intervals

Grades 2-5 Music

After we establish an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. The Conversational Solfege curriculum provides students with an accessible yet challenging introduction to reading and writing musical notation. We experience music literacy skills in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize the language of music.

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

Grades 1-3 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

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 important U.S. symbols
  • 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
  • Numbers
  • The pronunciation of vowels
  • Recite the Spanish alphabet
  • Create a calendar
  • The days of the week and the months of the year
  • The four seasons and weather
  • Identify parts of the face and body
  • The clothes
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture
    • Learn authentic songs

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

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

Weekly literacy instruction begins with targeted mini lessons to introduce reading comprehension strategies and skills. Students then move into shared learning experiences in which they apply and extend their understanding of the comprehension strategies within a small group setting. The culminating piece of the literacy experience, centers upon students’ independent application of the comprehension strategy using a book of their choosing. Throughout the independent reading time, the teacher conducts one-on-one conferences to better understand each student’s reading interests and abilities.

Students engage in Robust Vocabulary Instruction, which aims to spark an interest in language and develop a rich vocabulary repertoire utilizing activities that are both thought-provoking and interactive.

Words Their Way teaches students to discover 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 provides students with the opportunity to position themselves alongside an author and examine how texts are created to communicate an author’s idea. Examining author’s craftsmanship at the sentence and word levels provides students with the opportunity to examine grammar in a rich and meaningful context.

Writing Workshop uses mentor texts to introduce key writing concepts and skills. The Writing Workshop, much like the literacy instruction, encompasses mini lessons, independent writing time, one-on-one conferences and a shared writing time. Throughout the year, students compose narrative, opinion, poetry and informational pieces.

Reading Objectives:

  • Read literature and informational texts from a broad range of genres, cultures and periods
  • Identify and analyze key literary elements (character, plot development, setting)
  • Monitor and adjust comprehension by rereading, adjusting reading rate and/or paraphrasing
  • Draw inferences and make conclusions, citing evidence from the text
  • Make connections between and across texts

Writing Objectives:

  • Write for a variety of purposes and audiences (Informational, narrative, poetry, literature responses, research reports)
  • Reflect and respond to writing prompts citing textual evidence
  • Develop and strengthen writing by cycling through the planning, revising and editing processes
  • Apply conventions of Standard English to writing (Use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure)

Spelling Objectives:

  • Engage in word study instruction to understand the logic and consistencies of spelling patterns within the English language
  • Examine and analyze word patterns through active discovery and hands on manipulation
  • Develop study skills for learning and applying spelling patterns
  • Apply knowledge of spelling patterns 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 and using information effectively and ethically.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Listen to a variety of book talks on fiction and nonfiction books
  • Explore various genres in small groups
  • 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, copyright page and table of contents
  • Explore 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

In third grade, Math in Focus emphasizes concept and skill development through hands-on manipulative-based instruction and practice. Additionally, there is a focus on problem solving, skill consolidation and early preparation for algebra.

  • Place value to 10,000
  • Addition and subtraction facts
  • Multiplication and division facts from 0-12
  • Mental math
  • Geometry concepts
  • Introduction to fractions
  • Introduction to decimals
  • Model drawing
  • Time and elapsed time
  • Real world problems
  • Bar model drawing with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Grades 2-5 Music

After we establish an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. The Conversational Solfege curriculum provides students with an accessible yet challenging introduction to reading and writing musical notation. We experience music literacy skills in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize the language of music.

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

Grades 1-3 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

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:

  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources
  • Identify characteristics of good citizenship and civic responsibilities
  • Identify the natural resources, types of homes, food, clothing, and transportation of Native American tribes within each of the five regions of the United States
  • Describe the missions, goals, obstacles, and accomplishments of key European Explorers
  • Explain the materials, transportation, and guides utilized by pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail
  • Describe the struggles and triumphs of pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail

Grade 3 Spanish

  • Introduce yourself and others
  • Expand on ways to greet each other
  • Review vowels and the Spanish alphabet
  • Expand number counting and knowledge
  • Expand on food
  • Expand on animals
  • Expand on vocabulary about the classroom and school
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

Fourth Grade

Grade 4 Art

  • Participate in a wide variety of media experiences
  • Learn about assemblage and create own project inspired by Nevelson
  • Introduce sewing and create sewing project; feature artist Faith Ringgold
  • Participate in sketchbook assignments and chalenges
  • Explore the website Dailey Monster, and create an Ink Monster using blown ink and imagination
  • Study architecture, specifically Victorian homes, to create haunted houses

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 independent 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 and as a class 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. 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 discussed in small groups and as part of whole-group discussions. 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 Destiny Catalog to search for books to fulfill assignments and for personal interests
  • Navigate the fiction and nonfiction sections in the library
  • Revisit genres by creating green screen projects in small groups
  • Practice using guide words in reference tools
  • Explore print and digital reference tools (Britannica Online)
  • Learn to form effective search strategies while using databases
  • Utilize databases such as America the Beautiful to complete projects
  • 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. The Math in Focus curriculum uses a "concrete to pictorial to abstract" sequence to present concepts and model strategies for solutions Students learn concepts through teacher-directed lessons and working with manipulatives. Model drawings are also used to help students engage in complex problem-solving. The questinos posed by the students while solving real-life problems guides the mathematical discussion. Often students are asked to explain their process and explore other ways of solving or representing the answer. This helps students learn to focus on the process of problem solving and not just the end result of being right or wrong

Fourth graders explore:

  • Place value of whole numbers
  • Computation and representation of fractions
  • Estimation and number theory
  • Decimal concepts
  • Analyzing data using tables and graphs
  • Whole number multiplication and division
  • Multi-step problem solving
  • Area and perimeter of various 2D shapes
  • Classifying shapes, figures and angles
  • Problem-solving skills and strategies

Grades 2-5 Music

After we establish an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. The Conversational Solfege curriculum provides students with an accessible yet challenging introduction to reading and writing musical notation. We experience music literacy skills in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize the language of music.

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

Grades 4-5 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

Additional objectives for grades four and five:

  • Practice the scientific method: Define variables, writing an experimental question and hypothesis, measure and collect data, write a conclusion, and generate new questions to explore.

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 five 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, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest 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 words that are the same or similar in English and Spanish
  • Parts of speech
  • The use of genders and plurals when speaking in Spanish
  • Introduce the concept of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Learn how to express action
  • Explore the relationship/difference between American and Spanish names
  • Explore "getting to know people" in Spanish
  • Practice dialogue
  • Create and perform skits
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.

Fifth Grade

Grade 5 Art

  • Explore the artwork and life of Chuck Close then, using mathematics and measuring, create a large scale animal portrait using oil pastels
  • Study the history of masks and create plaster masks
  • Continue to elaborate and emphasize drawing techniques
  • Integrate art projects with the study of Egypt
  • Participate in sketchbook assignments and challenges
  • Examine artist Grant Wood and create a new American Gothic
  • Participate in an independent arts project based, managed and structured upon students' interest
  • Enjoy increased freedom in the art room to explore materials and creativity

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. 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
  • Make predictions based on evidence in the text
  • Locate specific information in reference sources
  • Read different genres, such as historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry and expository text
  • Maintain a consistent schedule of independent reading
  • Write responses, essays, summaries and book reports
  • Offer oral responses to written material

Writing Objectives:

  • Write for a sustained period of time
  • Improve sentence structure
  • Apply level-appropriate punctuation skills
  • Organize sentences into paragraphs
  • Proofread and edit 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
  • Look critically at one’s own writing
  • Evaluate and revise a first draft
  • Write for a variety of audiences

Spelling Objectives:

  • Identify and apply spelling rules to written assignments
  • Improve homophone 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 and the internet.

Skill-Building Activities:

  • Become competent navigating the fiction section while reshelving books as one of the fifth grade jobs
  • 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 Destiny catalog to locate fiction and nonfiction independently
  • Participate in lessons on Internet safety
  • Explore digital citizenship
  • Use critical thinking skills to evaluate Websites in conjunction with Ancient Egypt studies
  • Effectively form search strategies
  • Utilize school databases for research
  • Complete library-based green screen projects

Grade 5 Math

The fifth grade Math in Focus program centers upon the continued building of a solid mathematical foundation. Students learn concepts through visual lessons, practice skills through instruction and activities, and apply knowledge through extensive problem solving opportunities.

The course focuses on:

  • Comparing and ordering, and rounding whole numbers into the millions
  • Simplifying number expressions through patterns, estimation and order of operations
  • Rewriting fractions to enable addition and subtraction
  • Applying multiplication and divisin to whole numbers, fractions, and mixed numbers
  • Evaluating relationships among fractions and decimals
  • Using concepts related to whole numbers to solve problems with decimals
  • Exploring the use of letters as variables in expressions and inequalities
  • Solving real world problems using al simple operations as well as algebraic expressions

Grades 2-5 Music

After we establish an extensive base of "tuneful, beatful and artful" experiences in the early grades, students are prepared to progress to more in-depth musical skills. The Conversational Solfege curriculum provides students with an accessible yet challenging introduction to reading and writing musical notation. We experience music literacy skills in sequence, using a pattern of activities designed to provide students with the optimal opportunity to internalize the language of music.

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

Grades 4-5 Science

These objectives are goals for all grades beginning in pre-kindergarten and developing through fifth grade:

  • Develop comfort and enjoyment for exploring nature and respect for the variety of life in a forest ecosystem.
  • Observe the forest layers from floor to canopy
  • Develop an appreciation for the tiny life on the forest floor by looking under logs and leaves
  • Practice basic skills for hiking in a group
  • Explore scientific concepts by using a variety of intelligences: language, logic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, and social interaction
  • Practice problem solving and innovative thinking through hands-on challenges

These objectives are developed in first, second, and third grade are reinforced throughout the fourth and fifth grade.

  • Build scientific literacy by making connections between observations of everyday phenomena and scientific language and concepts
  • Develop science process skills such as observing, measuring, communicating, drawing diagrams, comparing, organizing information in tables, classifying, inferring, and testing inferences
  • Practice cooperative learning skills

Additional objectives for grades four and five:

  • Practice the scientific method: Define variables, writing an experimental question and hypothesis, measure and collect data, write a conclusion, and generate new questions to explore.

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

Grade 5 Spanish

  • Reinforce and build vocabulary
  • Reinforce and build on grammar and parts of speech
  • Expand on verb conjugation
  • Greetings and using verbal courtesy
  • The words for describing the weather, months and seasons
  • Vocabulary for articles of clothing
  • Expand number counting and knowledge up to the millions
  • Give presentations to peers using Spanish
  • Culture:
    • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Read stories related to the culture

Grades K-5 Wellness

Students in kindergarten - grade 5 explore unit themes that focus on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Each grade experiences developmentally appropriate lessons that teach skills along with brain-builders, songs and the use of puppets to help reinforce the lesson along the way.