READING: is integrated throughout the curriculum. A variety of instructional materials, trade books, and the best of children’s literature are available for students in every classroom. Our reading philosophy focuses on nurturing students to become lifelong readers. Daily activities include the opportunity to listen to stories read by others, to read with others, and to participate in both large and small instructional groups.
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Through direct instruction, students develop a variety of strategies for reading, including phonics, comprehension, and study skills. Students develop understanding and an appreciation for literature through classroom discussions, written work, projects, oral presentations, and independent reading. They are exposed to a variety of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folk tales, biographies, and plays. Additionally, children have multiple opportunities to develop purposeful listening and speaking skills.
WRITING: is an age-appropriate tool for demonstrating understanding throughout all curricular areas. Students write in journals, record scientific observations, respond to art and literature, document information in social studies, and write for personal expression. They learn that writing is a process as they draft, revise, edit, and publish their own works. Writing instruction occurs daily, including a variety of writing forms and styles, mechanics, grammar, and word usage, for individuals as well as small and large groups. When developmentally appropriate, students use computer skills for word-processing, research, and to create spreadsheets and databases.
SPELLING: Students begin in the early years with temporary spelling, which is used to set the stage for later spelling proficiency. Teachers then introduce a more formal approach beginning in kindergarten with individualized weekly lists of selected words and words from students’ writing, instruction in spelling patterns, and the application of developmentally appropriate spelling in daily work.
HANDWRITING: Although Junior Kindergarten students have multiple opportunities to engage in handwriting, formal instruction begins in kindergarten with daily practice in manuscript printing. During the second semester of second grade, cursive handwriting is introduced and reinforced in subsequent years. In both cases, legible handwriting through appropriate letter formation, size, spacing, and slant are practiced and evaluated in daily work.
MATH: Through regular assessments, teachers design programs that meet the individual needs of their students. Students progress from concrete experiences with manipulatives, such as pattern blocks, Base 10 blocks, and interlocking cubes, to abstract understanding of mathematical concepts. They apply these experiences to real-world situations as problem-solving, critical thinking, and computation are emphasized. Instruction is provided in number concepts and operations, probability and statistics, patterns and algebraic thinking, geometry, and measurement.
P.E.: Students engage in many hands-on activities in the physical education curriculum. They participate in creative movement and dance in the early years, and then learn to develop dance movements as they progress through school. Students learn to work cooperatively in group games and activities. They will apply rules, procedures, and safe practices. Students also develop specialized skills, and understand the healthy benefits derived from physical activity.
SCIENCE: Through the science curriculum, students gain essential skills and knowledge to become familiar with the natural world, its diversity, and the nature of its interdependence. They apply this scientific knowledge and thinking to real-world experiences as they gain understanding of some of the important concepts and principles of science. The natural inquisitiveness of children is nurtured through exploration-based instruction, which helps them to form questions, observe, formulate a hypothesis, graph and document findings, and interpret and evaluate what is known. Computer software reinforces concepts and provides a tool for presenting findings.
SOCIAL STUDIES: Students learn about themselves, their families and friends, their community, state, region and country. New skills are developed through explorations in geography, history, economics, civics and government, and the study of cultures. Emphasis is placed on character and leadership development, social responsibility, and an appreciation for cultural diversity. Classroom discussions, writing, dramatic presentations, role playing, art projects, literature, research projects, field trips, and computer software enhance students’ understanding of key social studies concepts. These concepts also are integrated within the language arts curriculum. Additionally, technology is used to conduct research, develop presentations, and document information.
ART: Students have multiple opportunities to view the world through creative endeavors. A variety of media such as clay, papier-mache', paint, collage materials, weaving, and printmaking provide the tool for children to create one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect their individuality. All students are exposed to the work of other artists through prints, slides, videos, and art processes. Student artwork is displayed throughout the year.
MUSIC: Movement and listening activities are incorporated into the hands-on music curriculum. Students engage in music-making through singing, listening, playing, acting, dancing, reading and writing. At each level, they expand their repertoire of songs, and are introduced to opportunities for original composition. Students learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, tone, and musical notation. They appreciate music as an expression of culture and history as they experience various styles and forms.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Based on research in natural language acquisition, this curriculum is designed to maintain a high level of interest. Songs, games, role-playing, and discussion nurture language development through an enjoyable, non-threatening experience for students. Big books and posters are used to introduce themes and facilitate responses and oral language activities. Students progress from oral experiences to reading and writing.