elementary curriculum overview

Language arts

The primary goal of language arts in our elementary program is to inspire students to read for pleasure, learn new information, share their thoughts and feelings, and speak confidently and dynamically. To meet those goals, we follow the "Daily 5" format for our literacy block.

Daily 5 is a program that focuses on intentional instruction with extended periods of practice in order to increase reading and writing achievement. This program gives the students choices within parameters where teachers monitor student growth and progress. The five components that students can choose from each day are:

  1. Read to Self
  2. Work on Writing
  3. Word Work
  4. Read to Someone
  5. Listening to Reading

Here is a list of some of the resources and assignments we use to implement the five components.

Reading – CAFÉ

This program focuses on the strategies that students need to be stronger readers. The students learn strategies for comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding their vocabulary. The students work on reading skills independently, in small groups and in full class settings.

Word Work - Words Their Way

Each week, students are given a list of words to work with and sort based on a word feature that they need further practice with. Once a week they will be given a word work test to track their growth.

Writing 6+1 Traits of Writing

While focusing the key traits of writing and the writing process, we focus on narrative writing. We will explore other genres of writing throughout the year.

Grammar- Shurley Grammar

Throughout the year students will practice various grammar skills. Students will learn how to apply these skills to their own writing compositions.r.

MATH

First through fifth grade math instruction and curriculum are carefully designed to allow students to connect with, build upon, and refine their mathematical understandings. Students use metacognitive strategies when they engage in solving mathematics problems to not only understand specific concepts, but also the process by which they learned them. Six content strands are at the core of instruction in all grade levels: number and numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, measurement and reference frames, geometry, patterns, and functions, and algebra. These six areas are broken down further into grade-level goals which are linked to formative assessments. Teachers work closely in teams to design instruction of both remedial and enrichment needs allowing them to support students at all levels.

History and Social Studies

A strong understanding of history and social studies is the foundation of well-informed, civic-minded citizens. Our 1-5 scope and sequence begins with exploring relationships that students have within their immediate circle of family, friends, teachers, and neighbors. Then students learn the basics of geography, economics, and citizenship in the context of expanding their view to include the local community. Learning broadens from there to an awareness of local and global communities, the exploration of different cultures, and public service roles. Finally, students begin to learn about American history from the first migration into the Americas to the 20th Century.

Science

Just as children explore concentrically larger circles of community in social studies, the science curriculum teaches them to understand and appreciate the physical world around them. Students take part in engaging, hands-on investigation focused on the following three areas, with an emphasis on engineering and applying these scientific topics through experimentation and creation.

Life Science: Plants and animals – their diversity between habitats; similarities and differences from the past; internal and external structures that uniquely help them with growth, survival, and reproduction; diversity between habitats; patterns of behavior and stages of life; variation of traits from other species and within their species; and how they are affected by change.

Physical Science: Matter and forces - properties and functions of different kinds of matter, how they affect the way objects move, how matter can be changed, how light and sound travels, effect of balanced and unbalanced forces, gravitational force, patterns in wave motion, how energy is transferred by sound, light, heat, and electric current, energy and how it is produced and transferred, and identify matter as particles of matter too small to be seen

Earth Science - patterns in movement of the sun, moon, stars, and Earth; patterns in interaction among the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere; weather in different climates and seasons; processes that shape the Earth’s surface; Earth’s features; water, its states and distribution; resources from the Earth; and human impact on the Earth