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Grade by Grade

Reading

  • In small and whole group, writing in the forms of poems, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, song lyrics, and story books are embraced and shared each day. We hope to instill a sense of wonder where words are concerned. Creating a unified interest in language and words through playful poems, songs, and stories encourages curiosity and excitement about reading.

    Each child reads alone with his or her teacher daily. Reading materials are chosen to meet individual needs and provide age-appropriate reinforcement and challenges as needed. Through multi-sensory activities, children develop critical phonemic awareness skills leading to the understanding of the sound/symbol (letter) connection and their relationship to words. Students learn to identify every letter and its corresponding sound. They brainstorm words, identify word families and begin to learn spelling patterns and rules.

    Students keep journals in which they record their thoughts, stories, and dreams and illustrate with colorful pictures. The journals build self-confidence and self-esteem as the children grow comfortable expressing themselves. Stories are routinely dictated to teachers or parent volunteers. The children's early handwriting abilities do not limit them from formulating complex and wonderful real and imaginary stories. The children's stories are shared with the group and celebrated upon being "published." Additionally, the Handwriting Without Tears program and its many tools are used to practice correct letter formation.

Mathematics

  • Our mathematics program has been designed to be hands-on and meaningful. Students experience daily exploration with varied math tools. Regular introduction of new mathematical concepts and modeling of problem solving skills are followed by opportunities for experiential learning and practice. Mathematical thinking and exploration are woven into the fabric of our day. Our innovative block building program allows children to pose and solve mathematical problems while exercising their creativity and working together.

    Real-world experiences are highlighted as effective ways to practice and understand number concepts. Examples of this include the distribution of objects such as snack plates or tallying results in a classroom vote. Children are encouraged to put objects, events and actions into all kinds of relationships. When children are asked to think about number and quantities of things that are meaningful to them, they can then quantify objects logically and compare sets.

Social Studies

  • Special projects follow the children's growing interests, need for exploration and curiosity about the world around them. Our year-long How Things Work project connects students to the community around them, while our heritage study encourages children to develop a larger world view. The overall social studies theme remains the same, but runs on a two-year loop. For instance, in studying How Things Work, children could investigate the behind-the-scenes workings of the local library, post office, and bank one year, then the fire station, bakery, and aquarium the next.

    Our many field trips encourage the children to observe the world around them and make meaningful connections.

Science

  • Topics of study each year are selected because they are within children's reach and readily available outside our door. These include learning about the seasons, birds, trees, plants, and the basic life cycle of animals such as caterpillars and frogs. Indoors, topics are selected that relate to work we are doing. Examples include exploration with magnets, construction of simple balances and ramps, and experimentation with color mixing. Discussion of the environment, recycling and conservation of materials is an on-going topic and objective.

Block Program

  • In purposeful block play, children are constantly investigating, planning and collaborating. Block play is active; it builds strong fine and gross motor work and stimulates eye/hand/body coordination. Block play provides opportunities for expansive mathematical and scientific thinking while encouraging vocabulary growth and communication skills. It also allows for rich dramatic play that supports social and emotional development.

Additional Curriculum Information

  • Innovative classes with talented specialists are scheduled throughout the week. Music, foreign language, physical education classes, and Think Lab visits are scheduled twice a week, while our guidance counselor visits once a week to talk with the children about character development and friendship skills. A focus on the whole child is at the center of our commitment to these valuable disciplines.

    Technology is available in the form of a classroom SMARTboard and access to iPads. Technology is used when and if it is the "best practice" for introducing and/or reinforcing concepts in any given subject of study.

Language Arts

  • Recognize upper and lowercase letters.
  • Identify sounds within words.
  • Blend and segment words.
  • Identify rhyming words.
  • Form sentences and use correct capitalization.
  • Explore nouns, pronouns, and verbs.
  • Collaborate with peers.

Reading

  • Read and comprehend stories and poems.
  • Generate questions and share ideas about stories.
  • Identify the main parts of a story (setting, characters, main idea)
  • Draw conclusions from stories.
  • Collaborate in small reading groups.
  • Read predictive text.

Mathematics

  • Develop number sense.
  • Rote count to 100.
  • Identify even and odd numbers and create patterns with numbers and shapes.
  • Skip count by 10s, 5s and 2s to 100.
  • Count backwards from 20.
  • Identify place value to tens.
  • Recognize number words (zero-ten).
  • Understand addition and subtraction concepts.
  • Compare numbers using < > =.
  • Identify 2D and 3D shapes and their properties.
  • Tell time to the hour and half hour.
  • Identify coins and their value.
  • Measure using standard and non-standard units.
  • Read and interpret simple graphs.

Science

  • Identify body parts and main organs.
  • Proper dental hygiene.
  • Healthy lifestyle promotes healthy body promotes healthy learning.
  • Identify seasonal changes to include weather, environment, clothing, and outdoor activities.
  • Compare and contrast animal characteristics, habitats, and adaptations throughout the different seasons.
  • Recite phone numbers, understand purpose of 911 and emergency helpers and fire safety.
  • Introduction to the Solar System and the importance of the sun as an energy source.
  • Identify plants as living things, their parts, needs and life cycles.
  • Describe ocean life native to NC and the ecological importance of keeping the ocean clean.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • My unique self and my place in the world.
  • Classroom, Lower School, Community, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
  • Holidays Around the World
  • Mapping skills
  • National holidays and important key figures

Foreign Language

  • Count 1-20
  • Recognize and pronounce correctly animal names and colors
  • Say daily weather report
  • Be able to identify parts of the body in Spanish
  • Be able to identify school supplies in Spanish

Music

  • Demonstrate ability to play pitched percussion instruments properly
  • Recognize and perform basic rhythmic notation
  • Perform basic rhythmic patterns using percussion instruments
  • Develop a repertoire of folk dances
  • Continue to develop singing voice in solo and group settings
  • Echo-sing simple songs while matching pitch

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Discover, experiment with, and manipulate new tools and media to develop techniques

Physical ED

  • Develop hand-eye-foot coordination
  • Collaborate
  • Develop Gross Motor Movement
  • Develop Fine Motor Movement
  • Learn Listening Skills
  • Have fun and be active

Language Arts

  • Recognize and use nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and articles
  • Form complete sentences using capitalization, nouns, verbs, and punctuation
  • Explore sentence types
  • Recognize contractions
  • Practice proofreading

Reading

  • Understand word patterns and rhyming
  • Identify and manipulate phonemes
  • Use clusters and digraphs appropriately
  • Identify author's purpose
  • Distinguish fact from opinion
  • Formulate questions before, during, and after reading
  • Make predictions
  • Summarize plot

Mathematics

  • Develop number sense to 100
  • Use addition & subtraction to solve problems
  • Use counting strategies to multiply
  • Identify, describe, compare, and sort geometric 2 and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Tell time to the hour and half-hour
  • Gather, organize, and analyze data to answer questions
  • Count values of different combinations of coins

Science

  • Understand and follow the five step scientific method and think critically regarding scientific topics.
  • Define general weather terminology, the water cycle as it relates to weather, and the characteristics of the four seasons.
  • Be familiar with the following Dinosaur Age concepts: Pangaea, the seven continents, the six major dinosaur types, and the periods in which dinosaurs lived.
  • Understand the difference between animal families, vertebrate and invertebrate, the four major oceans and their locations, and tidal patterns as related to gravity and the moon.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • Self
  • Community: Classroom, Lower School, Wilmington, Coastal town
  • Mapping Skills
  • Native American Pilgrim Study
  • Women's Study
  • Patriotic Symbols

Foreign Language

  • Count 1-20
  • Recognize and pronounce correctly animal names and colors
  • Say daily weather report
  • Be able to identify parts of the body in Spanish
  • Be able to identify school supplies in Spanish

Music

  • Demonstrate ability to play pitched percussion instruments properly
  • Recognize and perform basic rhythmic notation
  • Perform basic rhythmic patterns using percussion instruments
  • Develop a repertoire of folk dances
  • Continue to develop singing voice in solo and group settings
  • Echo-sing simple songs while matching pitch

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Discover, experiment with, and manipulate new tools and media to develop techniques

Physical ED

  • Develop hand-eye-foot coordination
  • Collaborate
  • Develop Gross Motor Movement
  • Develop Fine Motor Movement
  • Learn Listening Skills
  • Have fun and be active

Language Arts

  • Identify and use the parts of speech in a sentence. (nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs)
  • Recognize Statements, Questions, Commands, and Exclamatory sentence types
  • Apply the basic mechanics of writing, spelling, and punctuation to a given or self-created sentence.
  • Distinguish between the subject and predicate in a sentence.
  • Write a paragraph beginning with a topic sentence, at least three supporting details, and a concluding statement.
  • Write a friendly letter
  • Create various types of poems.

Reading

  • Demonstrate phonemic awareness when decoding words to develop fluency.
  • Use illustrations, text, and prior knowledge to make predictions and anticipate probabilities in a story.
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion statements when analyzing a passage.
  • Compare and contrast events, facts, and characters with events in their own lives or other stories they have read.
  • Decipher word meaning and vocabulary through context clues and word identification strategies.
  • Identify problems and solutions
  • Summarize main ideas
  • Elaborate on the cause and effect in a given text.

Mathematics

  • Develop number sense for whole numbers to at least 1000
  • Recall addition related subtraction facts
  • Add and subtract up to 3-digits with regrouping.
  • Develop an elementary understanding of multiplication and division.
  • Identify fractions ( 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8).
  • Develop a sense of telling time using 5-minute intervals.
  • Use coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarter) and compare the value of each
  • Create sets and find the change from $1.00.
  • Select and use appropriate units to estimate and measure length to the nearest 1/2".
  • Recognize basic plane and solid figures.

Science

  • Know and apply the steps in the scientific method.
  • Be able to describe and draw the life cycle of an insect.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the water cycle.
  • Be familiar with major body systems.
  • Be able to list the planets in order from the sun.
  • Compare and contrast Earth to the other planets.
  • Identify three types of volcanoes.
  • Define the parts of a river.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • Economic concepts: unlimited wants, goods, services, savings, and budgets
  • First Thanksgiving
  • Japanese culture, people, religion, and customs
  • Importance of the Nile River to surrounding cultures, religions, customs, and people
  • Map Skills: locating areas using a compass rose, interpreting a map key, and using map grids.

Foreign Language

  • Say basic greetings and departures
  • Recognize numbers 1-100
  • Describe holiday traditions: Dia de los muertos and Navidad
  • Recognize and pronounce correctly vocabulary on food
  • Be able to place order in Spanish at Mexican restaurant
  • Produce calendar info (day, date, season)

Music

  • Demonstrate ability to play pitched percussion instruments properly
  • Recognize and perform basic rhythmic notation
  • Participate in rehearsal and performance of a musical play based on African culture
  • Develop a repertoire of age appropriate songs and folk dances
  • Continue to develop singing voice in solo and group settings
  • Perform two simple parts independently

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Adopt and develop an understanding of a variety of media techniques.

Physical Education

  • Work together
  • Understand sports
  • Learn about teamwork as related to sports
  • Learn sportsmanship
  • Understand fitness
  • Have fun and be active

Language Arts

  • Identify and use nouns in writing
  • Understand sentence structure including word order, sentence parts, subjects, and predicates.
  • Write and publish a narrative
  • Understand and use capitalization rules
  • Identify and use pronouns in writing
  • Identify and use verbs in writing
  • Write creatively
  • Identify and use adjectives
  • Develop oral presentation skills

Reading

  • Identify and explain story elements (plot, setting, main characters)
  • Draw inferences from a text
  • Create mental images while reading
  • Engage in book clubs and reading workshops
  • Identify author's purpose
  • Distinguish between first- and third-person P-O-V
  • Explore biographies

Mathematics

  • Develop number sense for rational numbers to at least 100,000.
  • Compute with whole numbers with emphasis on mastering the multiplication facts and simple division.
  • Develop an understanding of fractions.
  • Describe, analyze, compare and classify two-dimensional shapes by properties including sides and angles (acute, obtuse, right).
  • Select attributes and appropriate standard units and tools to estimate and measure with emphasis on telling time and making change.
  • Estimate answers and solve multi-step problems, including the use of graphical data

Science

  • Differentiate between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
  • Explain the process of the rock cycle.
  • Define electricity.
  • Using a wire, a battery, and a light bulb, demonstrate an open and closed circuit.
  • Summarize the reasons that oceans are important to people.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interdependence of plants and animals in the ocean ecosystem.
  • Explain three types of forces and how they affect the way things move.
  • Identify six types of simple machines and describe how they work.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • Mapping skills
  • Introduction to local, state, and national government
  • Australia
  • Alaska
  • Economics

Foreign Language

  • Say basic greetings and departures
  • Recognize numbers 1-100
  • Be able to produce calendar information (day, date, season)
  • Recognize and pronounce correctly vocabulary for clothing and family members
  • Be able to describe holiday traditions: Dia de los muertos and Navidad

Music

  • Demonstrate basic ability to play handbells and piano keyboards
  • Recognize and perform intermediate rhythmic notation
  • Participate in rehearsal and performance of a Talent Show
  • Recognize and identify music from various world cultures
  • Continue to develop singing voice in solo and group settings
  • Improvise using the pentatonic scale

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art with an understanding that it can reflect historical events
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Adopt and develop an understanding of a variety of media techniques.

Physical ED

  • Work together
  • Understand sports
  • Learn about teamwork as related to sports
  • Learn sportsmanship
  • Understand fitness
  • Have fun and be active

Language Arts

  • Write an effective sentence as well as decipher between types of sentences, simple and complete subject / predicates, and run-on sentences.
  • Identify and use effectively parts of speech including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions
  • Use and identify proper capitalization and punctuation in writing and in all academic work.
  • Write an effective paragraph with main idea and supporting details.
  • Be exposed to personal narratives and informative paragraphs
  • Express an opinion and persuade a reader through the written language

Reading

  • Use information from a selection to draw conclusions about a character or event.
  • Determine the main idea and acknowledge important points that support the main idea
  • Collaborate with a group on a specific topic.
  • Become familiar with various reading strategies such as: sequencing, prediction, cause and effect, and author's point of view
  • Participate in a group discussion in order to further reading comprehension.

Mathematics

  • Compute fluently with whole numbers with emphasis on division.
  • Use estimation to determine the reasonableness of solutions.
  • Develop the meaning and use of fractions, to find the simplest form through factoring, and to compute using addition and subtraction.
  • Select attributes and appropriate standard units and tools to estimate and measure length, mass, capacity, and temperature and make simple unit conversions within the same measurement system.
  • Solve increasingly complex problems including the use of graphical representations and analysis of data.

Science

Students will conduct investigations and use appropriate technology to demonstrate an understanding of the following:

  • Plant growth and adaptations
  • Animal behavior and body structures
  • Skeletal and muscular systems of the body.
  • Diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy body.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • Identify parts of a map and understand how to discover the important information shown on a map.
  • Know how to use the Compass Rose, Boundaries, Inset Maps, Scale, Lines of Latitude and Longitude, Map Titles, and the Legend.
  • Understand the motivations for European exploration
  • Identify important European explorers who traveled between 1498 and 1673.
  • Understand that a time line presents events in chronological order.
  • Identify the reasons for settling the thirteen colonies and understand the adversities faced by the settlers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships of the steps to independence.
  • Evaluate why the Constitution is an important document and identify the basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
  • Understand the importance of the Louisiana Purchase and how it affected the growth of our nation.
  • Become familiar with the culture and traditions of India and China

Foreign Language

  • Say basic greetings and departures
  • Give daily weather report
  • Recognize numbers 1-100
  • Be able to produce calendar information (day, date, season)
  • Read, write, and perform short skits
  • Be able to describe holiday traditions: Dia de los muertos and Navidad

Music

  • Demonstrate basic ability to play recorder
  • Recognize and perform intermediate rhythmic notation
  • Participate in rehearsal and performance of a Talent Show
  • Recognize and identify music from various world cultures and various periods in Western history
  • Notate simple rhythms and melodies through aural cues
  • Improvise using the pentatonic scale

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art with an understanding that it can reflect historical events
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Adopt and develop an understanding of a variety of media techniques.

Physical ED

  • Develop individual skills in sports
  • Understand competition, goal setting, and sportsmanship
  • Compete at appropriate level of skills & ability
  • Be skillful and confident movers
  • Have fun and be active

Language Arts

  • Identify all eight parts of speech and use them correctly in a sentence.
  • Correctly and consistently use appropriate punctuation in writing assignments.
  • Develop and complete descriptive, personal narrative, and persuasive writing and friendly/business letters.
  • Use descriptive words in writing, focusing on vivid, precise verbs and adjectives.
  • Recognize and use correct tenses, and conjugate common verbs.
  • Use basic research skills (the internet, books and encyclopedias.)
  • Complete the following steps of a research paper: note taking, outlining, writing a paper and bibliography page.

Reading

  • Be able to read aloud grade-appropriate text with fluency, comprehension, and expression.
  • Use reference sources such as a dictionary, thesaurus, glossary, and online dictionaries to identify the meaning of an unknown word.
  • Use these words correctly in written and verbal communication.
  • Make predictions, give character descriptions, and plot analysis using textual information to support answers.
  • Write a summary of material which includes characters and the main events in correct sequence.
  • Formulate open ended questions for discussion that cover relationships between characters, events, and themes
  • Use a variety of resources (internet, encyclopedias, periodicals, and books) for further research on a subject.

Mathematics

  • Compute fluently with non-negative rational numbers (including multiplying up to four digits and using a 3-digit divisor) with emphasis on fractions and decimals.
  • Identify and use number properties to solve problems.
  • Use appropriate standard units and tools to develop fluency and flexibility with English and metric measurement systems to solve problems.
  • Identify, estimate, and measure the angles of plane shapes using appropriate tools.
  • Understand and use the properties of 2- and 3-dimensional figures to solve problems.
  • Use the process of statistical investigation to collect, organize and display, analyze and interpret data.

Science

  • Use the scientific method when participating in an experiment.
  • Collect data and understand the effect of constants and variables on an experiment.
  • Understand and use the terms density, volume, and mass correctly in relationship to the properties of air pressure.
  • Understand and discuss how geologists learn about the Earth's inner structures.
  • Explain and understand the theories of continental drift, plate tectonics and sea floor spreading, keeping in mind the difference between a scientific theory, scientific fact, and hypothesis.
  • Build and understand the workings of many weather instruments.
  • Understand the basic make up of the atom, elements, and compounds using the Periodic Chart.

Social Studies

Topics:

  • Economic, social, and cultural aspects of the institution of slavery in the US.
  • The role discrimination has played in the lives of black Americans
  • Causes and effects of the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII and the Vietnam War.
  • Westward expansion in the US and its impact on the American Indian.
  • Industrial Age in the US
  • Challenges faced by immigrants coming to America
  • Causes and effects of the Great Depression.
  • Political systems of capitalism and communism

Foreign Language

  • Greet, meet, and converse
  • Recognize numbers 1-10
  • Describe daily weather
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Peruvian history and culture
  • Describe the importance of Quinceanera
  • Describe traditions of holidays: Dia de los Muertos and Navidad
  • Produce calendar information (day, date, season)

Music

  • Demonstrate basic ability to play guitar
  • Sight sing
  • Participate in rehearsal and performance of a Talent Show
  • Recognize and identify music from various world cultures and various periods in Western history
  • Notate simple rhythms and melodies through aural cues
  • Improvise using the pentatonic scale
  • Play three simple parts independently

Visual Arts

  • Interpret art with an understanding that it can reflect historical events
  • Understand that people, places, objects and events are sources of ideas for making art
  • Gain a greater awareness of a professional artist's work
  • Adopt and develop an understanding of a variety of media techniques.

Physical ED

  • Develop individual skills in sports
  • Understand competition, goal setting, and sportsmanship
  • Compete at appropriate level of skills & ability
  • Be skillful and confident movers
  • Have fun and be active