Curriculum > Lower School

Sewickley Academy is committed to preparing young people

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  • For a Lifetime of Discovery and Learning

    A rigorous educational program promotes academic excellence and teaches students to think and learn both independently and cooperatively. The curriculum is demanding, but flexible enough to accommodate individual learning styles and interests. Teachers are innovative and creative inside and outside the classroom, and students are encouraged to strive to reach their full potential in all that they do. 

Grade 1

List of 12 items.

  • Dance

    Young children begin to experience movement in the Early Childhood Music program, but formal dance instruction begins in Grade 1. All Academy students are expected to take dance while in the Lower School. In Grade 1, the program focuses on rhythm, coordination, physical strength and stamina, but choreography is introduced as children learn that dance requires moving in a sequence of steps. Creative movement is also emphasized.
  • Educational Technology

    Grade 1 students learn to use technology for creative expression and how to access age-appropriate information. Children improve their fine motor skills as they practice using a mouse and tablet touch screen. They create their own media in a variety of tools including Wixie, a cloud-based authoring software for children. They experience introductory programming concepts in multiple environments including Bee-Bot robots and Scratch Jr. for iPad designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • Health

    The focus is on personal hygiene as well as personal safety at school and home. The program teaches children how to appreciate difference and cooperate with others. It begins to develop simple problem-solving skills regarding safety and injury. It introduces the components of healthy living, social skills, self-esteem, and self-worth.
  • Literacy Program

    Reading 
    Reading instruction takes place constantly throughout the day, both in whole group activities and targeted, small group work.  Grouping is fluid, flexible and dependent upon the needs of individual children.  Sally Weir, the reading specialist, will co-teach small groups so that all children have the opportunity to work with her as well as with the classroom teacher.  We launch our reading workshop by determining your child’s reading level using the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level program.  When your child’s beginning level is determined, they receive a bin of books at their independent level, which we call “just right books.” The children are screened throughout the year, and reading material is adjusted to fit their needs. 
       
    We use a combination of basal readers (Harcourt Trophies), leveled readers, and trade books.  Students will read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Grade 1 utilizes the Reading C.A.F.E. (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Extended Vocabulary) and The Daily 5 - Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing.

    Writing
    Students will write daily. The core of the writing curriculum is the daily Writing Workshop, in which children create stories, poems, and books of their own. Writer’s craft will be taught through both small group and whole group lessons. Conventions such as capitalization, punctuation, and use of familiar spelling patterns will be taught and expected in everyday writing.  
     
    The vocabulary of The Six Traits of Writing will be taught and used as the children evaluate and improve their own writing.  The six traits of good writing are ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions.  Children will study the work of many authors as they learn to “read like writers,” studying favorite books for ideas and inspiration as they develop their own writing.

    Word Study
    The Fountas and Pinnell Phonics Program introduces various spelling patterns and sounds.  Word study provides students with opportunities to investigate and understand the patterns in words through a variety of activities in class. Spelling "rules" are not just dictated by the teacher for students to memorize, rather, spelling patterns and generalizations are discovered by students.    

    Printing
    Handwriting Without Tears is used to focus on the proper formation of lower and upper case letters.  Appropriate pencil grip is also stressed.  Printing is taught cohesively during word study activities.
  • Mathematics

    Bridges in Mathematics 
    The program provides a strong foundation in number sense, mental math, and math in the real world. 
     
    Establishing Classroom Math Routines
    Everyday Uses of Numbers
    Visual Patterns, Number Patterns, and Counting
    Measurement and Basic Facts
    Place Value, Number Stories, and Basic Facts
    Developing Fact Power
    Geometry and Attributes
    Mental Arithmetic, Money, and Fractions
    Place Value and Fractions
     
    Although the same topics are studied by all students at the same time, the sophistication and complexity of the work is differentiated according to students’ readiness.  Small groups are constantly shifting to provide the necessary support and challenge to every child while providing an opportunity to work with a variety of classmates.
  • Music

    Children learn proper vocal skills and learn to match pitch while singing, maintain a steady beat, explore their own ideas through creative movement, and mirror the teacher when playing specific instrument accompaniments on Orff instruments.
  • Physical Education

    The Grade 1 physical education program builds on the basic skills learned during the Early Childhood program. Children begin to engage in basic cooperative games, and focus on skill building, including throwing and catching balls, basic tumbling, and agility skills.
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  • Science

    Science is a hands-on, inquiry-based program of studies that includes Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The students collaborate, explore, and discover as they engage in activities both outdoors and in the lab. The Grade 1 curriculum includes topics such as Organisms and Habitats; Light and Shadows; Balance and Movement; Sink and Float; and Garden Explorations. A highlight is creating their own woodland habitat terrariums to house insects and plants. Students use notebooks and the Seesaw app to record their observations and reflect on their learning and they construct an understanding of concepts through active exploration.
  • Social Studies

    The topics cover a year-long focus on community. Communities are groups of interdependent people working together for a common purpose. Membership in any community involves both rights and responsibilities. 
  • Theater

    Students participate in weekly assemblies and grade level thematic productions generated by themes and curriculum. Grade 1 children participate in "The Circus," a show of music and songs about animals and life in the circus.
  • Visual Arts

    Students learn to identify images and symbols in art, nature, and the environment. They also develop increasingly sophisticated observational skills that allow them to express ideas, feelings, and values in color, form, and spatial relationships. Students begin to work with life drawing and basic figure and portrait techniques, and experiment with depth in two-dimensional works. Grade 1 students learn to analyze, compare, and judge the artworks of others as well as their own and gain an appreciation of their own aesthetic values as well as those of people of different cultures.
  • World Languages

    Pronunciation and intonation improve through hearing and retelling stories containing idiomatic expressions. The focus is on speaking the language. 

Grade 3

List of 12 items.

  • Dance

    Children begin to learn the contexts and simple choreography of classical dance: ballet, tap, jazz, modern. Creative movement continues to be an important part of the dance experience, as children experiment in small groups with combinations that they’ve learned.
  • Educational Technology

    Students in Grade 3 access information by logging into the school website, practicing keyboarding by using Typing Pal Online and become more experienced in the presentation of finished work using a variety of tools. They discover how to control the flow of electricity through a circuit. Basic programming using Scratch, a program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a highlight of the year.
  • Health

    Along with addressing good personal hygiene, Grade 3 focuses on making healthy food choices with regards to snacks, good social habits, and being physically active.
  • Literacy

    Reader’s Workshop 
    This program helps to instill the lifelong habits of strong readers, including choosing books wisely and building stamina. Children develop and hone-in on comprehension strategies. The students will be guided to make connections, visualize pictures of words, ask questions, make predictions, apply context clues, develop inference skills, and summarize. An important strategy that students will use is sticky notes to refer to the evidence in the text; document answers or predictions by the evidence in the text.

    Units Covered:
    • Building a Reading Life
    • Reading to Learn (nonfiction)
    • Character Unit (focusing on main characters and how their perspective drives a story)
    • Book Clubs (reading books with friends)

    Lessons consist of:
    Mini-lessons
    Cozy reading “just right books”
    Small group and individual conferences
    Unit Assessments (Pre and Post)

    Language Arts
    • Word Study, Fountas and Pinnell: emphasis on phonics and spelling patterns.
    • Handwriting without Tears: emphasis on cursive
    • Grammar Workshop: instruction and practice for grammar, usage, and mechanics
    • Writing Workshop: personal narrative, informational writing, persuasive writing, research projects, state reports
  • Mathematics

    Bridges Math curriculum is a rigorous, coherent, engaging program that is accessible to all learners. This program encourages students to problem solve in different ways and check their work. Students play games that review strategies and skills, as well as, discuss and display their learning with their peers. 

    Units covered: 
    • Addition and Subtraction, Linear Measurement
    • Multiplication and Division
    • Estimation of Multi-digit problems
    • Measurement, Time, Mass, and Volume
    • Geometry, Perimeter, Area, and Fractions
  • Music

    Children begin to practice vocal skills as they learn proper breath support, posture, and diction. Rhythmic experiences move from aural to visual as students become ready. They become aware of the tone and mood of songs by mirroring and traditional treble staff notation. In addition, children learn repeat signs, key signature, time signature, sharp/flat signs, and musical forms.
  • Physical Education

    Children develop a positive lifelong attitude toward physical activity and its benefits and strive to perform to the best of their abilities. They acquire age-appropriate fundamental skills, an understanding of rules and strategy, and an appreciation of sports citizenship and cooperation. In addition to sports skills, students engage in agility activities such as tumbling, hula hoops, perceptual motor rhythm games, balancing, and obstacles.
  • Science

    Science is a hands-on, inquiry-based program of studies that includes Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The students collaborate, explore, and discover as they engage in activities both outdoors and in the lab. The Grade 3 curriculum includes topics such as Plants; Animal Studies; Weather and the Water Cycle; Simple Machines; Matter Matters; and Garden Exploration. A highlight is researching and writing an animal book in collaboration with their courses in art, Spanish, library science, and writing. Students use notebooks and the Seesaw app to record their observations and reflect on their learning and they construct an understanding of concepts through active exploration.
  • Social Studies

    Concepts introduced:
    • Using and creating maps
    • Identifying landforms
    • Identifying the states and regions in the United States
    • Identifying important resources in each region of the U.S.
    • Learning about historical events through experiential learning 
  • Theater

    Children participate in weekly assemblies and grade-level productions generated by themes and curriculum. Grade 3 students create a show around the 50 states as part of the Social Studies curriculum.
  • Visual Arts

    Students explore a variety of materials, mediums, and techniques associated with traditional drawing and painting. They begin to focus on composition and design and practice observational skills such as visual recall, blocking-in, contour drawing, texture, and gestural drawing.
  • World Languages

    Children improve pronunciation and intonation in Spanish. They progress from hearing and retelling stories orally to beginning to read and a write.

Grade 5

List of 12 items.

  • Dance

    The Grade 5 fully-staged musical play is the culmination of the Lower School Dance and Music program and an interdisciplinary project of the Dance, Music, and Theater Departments, in which every Grade 5 student participates.
  • Educational Technology

    Building on the programming skills learned and practiced in the lower grades, Grade 5 students collaborate on project teams as they develop ideas for how engineers share work fairly. They design robots and make movies to document their process. Many choose to continue with robotics after-school. All students learn game programming and practice participating constructively and safely in an online community.
  • Health

    Peer pressure, the importance of friendships, the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, bodily changes in adolescence, nutrition and exercise, social skills, and hygiene are major topics in Grade 5.
  • Literacy

    Reader’s Workshop
    • Interpretation Book Clubs
    • Nonfiction
    • Research-based argument
    • Fantasy Book Clubs

    Writer’s Workshop
    Mirrors the topics from the reader’s workshop. Reading and writing go hand in hand. If you can think it, you can say it. If you can say it, you can write it. If you can write it, you can make someone feel it. 

    Learning outcomes:
    We learn to write by reading. How we read has a direct impact on our writing lives. In order to become better writers, we read to read broadly. 
    When we finish reading a book, we should have a sense that we ourselves are changed or that we view the world differently. 
    Oftentimes, writers embed life stories into their stories. Students are encouraged to research authors to learn more about their perspective. 

    We want our students to become more alert readers by “close reading” or thinking about reading while they’re reading. 

    Sign Posts:
    Contrast contradiction: when a character acts in a way that is different than they started at the beginning of the story.
    A-ha moments: when the character realizes something important.
    Tough questions: When the character asks or tells themselves something hard
    Words of the wiser: When another character gives the main character sage advice
    Again and again: when the author takes a phrase or word that is repeated throughout the story that means something 
    Memory moment: when the author makes the timeline more complex due to a memory 
     
    Writer’s Workshop
    • Personal Narrative
    • Research Report (nonfiction and opinion-based)
    • Memoir 
    Learning Outcomes
    Find an author who they admire and dissect their writerly moves so that they can borrow and apply those moves.
    Find their voice. To highlight and magnify the parts of writing that they find challenging so that they can begin to master them. 
    Tell a story that means something to them.

    Word Investigation
    1. What does it mean?
    2. Origin
    3. Structure
    4. Relatives
    5. Sound
  • Mathematics

    Bridges in Mathematics
    This curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts, the proficiency of these skills, and the ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. There is a combination of whole group, small group, and independent activities. 

    Units:
    • Expressions, Equations, and Volume
    • Adding and Subtracting Fractions (decimals and percentages)
    • Place Value and Decimals
    • Multiplying and Dividing Whole Numbers
    • Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
    • Graphing, Geometry, and Volume
    • Division and Decimals

    Number Corner
    Calendar lessons and activities that preview content that will be covered later
  • Music

    The program is divided into general music and chorus. General music focuses on areas like note-reading using the soprano recorder, rhythmic exercises using body percussion, and various singing and listening exercises that reinforce basic musical concepts, including pitch, rhythm, scales, keys, dynamics, chords, and form. In chorus, all Grade 5 students learn a choral repertoire and prepare music for performance. Singing in two-part harmony, singing in a world language, and using solfege syllables for scale identification are important aspects of the choral program.

    Students may elect the Band or String Ensemble, which continues to be an elective class for those who wish to play a particular musical instrument. Band and String students learn more advanced musical notation and rhythms, develop rehearsal skills and musicianship, learn a variety of musical symbols and expression marks, develop an understanding of harmony and playing with different parts, and  acquire the skills necessary to play in an ensemble. Students rehearse and play in two formal concerts each year.
  • Physical Education

    Children play many types of team games, such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse, honing their basic throwing and agility skills. Grade 5 students take the "physical best" fitness test.
  • Science

    Grade Five science begins with a study of the universe on a broad spectrum and works its way back to the human person.  We will study the different types of galaxies, life cycles of stars, our solar system, and finally the Earth and its relationship with the moon.  As a culminating activity, every child will participate in a field trip to the Challenger Learning Center, located at Wheeling Jesuit College, where she/he will work in teams to complete a simulated space challenge.
    We will then focus on the Earth’s atmosphere, followed by the hydrosphere (oceans and water), environments, and solar energy. 

    In science, we believe that developing the skills necessary to be successful in life are critical for every child to learn at an early age.  

    Objectives:
    Children will:
    • demonstrate knowledge and purpose of resource materials
    • communicate effectively about science
    • organize and interpret data
    • demonstrate knowledge and purpose of lab equipment
    • understand and apply concepts 
    Topics:
    • The Classical Astronomers
    • Universe and Galaxies
    • Stars
    • Earth and Moon
    • Atmosphere
    • Hydrosphere
    • Environments
    • Solar Energy 
    • Biology
    Materials:
    • Exploring the Universe  - Prentice Hall
    • Exploring Planet Earth - Prentice Hall
    • Water Planet – FOSS
    • Environments – FOSS
    • Solar Energy – FOSS
    • Galaxies, Stars, and Nebulae - National Geographic
    • Computer Technology
    • Science Lab
    • Manipulatives  
    Field Trips:
    • Challenger Learning Center – Moon, Mars, and Beyond
    • Aquatic Adventure (Fern Hollow Nature Center) 
  • Social Studies

    Identity and leadership
    Collaboration
    Geographic and Environmental issues 
    • local, regional, and global scales
    • Identify common elements/themes, key features of problems
  • Theater

    By the time children are in Grade 5, they have been on stage dozens of times. Goals in Grade 5 include self-confidence, the ability to speak memorized and ad-lib lines, and comfort in front of an audience. Children continue to participate in weekly assemblies. All Grade 5 students participate in the fully-staged Grade 5 music and dance production in the spring.

    Recent Performances:
    • Bots! (Cancelled due to COVID)
    • Super Happy Awesome News
  • Visual Arts

    By the end of Grade 5, students can identify the styles of celebrated artists. They have studied stained glass windows of gothic cathedrals, cave paintings, and stylized figures, such as those of William Johnson. They will have used the following materials for drawing: graphite pencils, pastels, pen and ink, watercolors, tempera, acrylics, and craft clay.
  • World Languages

    Children can participate in simple conversations in the target language, have a broad understanding of a variety of cultures where Spanish is spoken, and continue to build on relationships with students in other countries through web‐based communication.

Grade 2

List of 12 items.

  • Dance

    Children learn and become comfortable with a sequence of dance steps, such as social dancing and musical stage dancing. Children learn to dance with partners and in groups. They also learn that dance is an expression of emotion as well as of culture.
  • Educational Technology

    In Grade 2, students produce original, imaginative work. They learn how to create an animation that communicates an idea, and how to make multimedia presentations with images, including photos they take, and sounds. They become proficient with planning programs to control Bee-Bot robots and build their knowledge of coding in multiple environments.
  • Health

    Building on the practices of personal hygiene, proper hand washing, and care of self and others, the program introduces additional components of healthy living, such as beginning discussions of nutrition and exercise, social skills, self-esteem, and self-worth.
  • Literacy

    Reading
    In Grade 2 our students are held accountable for understanding what they read. We engage in discussions before, during, and after reading a book. Whole group lessons stem from the Harcourt reading series and are supported by Readers’ Workshop that utilizes mini lessons to build specific skills. 

    Students will be able to reread for fluency, apply phonemic awareness, and use reading comprehension strategies in a variety of genres.

    Spelling
    Students explore a weekly phonetic spelling pattern and develop strategies that support the transition toward conventional spelling. Students display mastery of assigned words and expand their vocabulary development as they learn to spell challenge words (vocabulary words used in class during thematic units).

    Writing
    Students will practice writing to share ideas, inform, entertain, and persuade. They will work to master manuscript handwriting and will be introduced to cursive formation using the Handwriting Without Tears program.

    Writer’s workshop:
    • Writing steps:
    • Drafting
    • Editing
    • Revising
    • Publishing

    Genres:
    • Friendly letter
    • Paragraphs
    • Informational writing
    • Personal narratives
    • Poetry

    Goal: For students to feel comfortable getting their thoughts down on paper and to not get caught up on spelling during the brainstorming and writing rough drafts.
  • Mathematics

    Bridges in Mathematics
    The Bridges in Mathematics program emphasizes the development of a conceptual understanding of math patterns through hands-on games, math investigations, and morning calendar routines. Students will master addition and subtraction facts to 20 and developmental math strategies for working with numbers between 0-1,000.

    T.O.P.S
    Techniques in Problem Solving. Students will work independently to solve various visual math word problems.
  • Music

    Children begin to explore rhythmic and melodic notation through pictorial and traditional representation. Grade 2 students are also introduced to time signatures, instrument families, treble clef, and line and space notes.
  • Physical Education

    Many different games are introduced, incorporating skill development, rules, and strategies while concentrating on fitness. Teamwork, fair play, and sportsmanship are stressed. Children learn and practice throwing and catching, footwork and agility, and play intramural soccer, badminton, volleyball, and beginning baseball.
  • Science

    Science is a hands-on, inquiry-based program of studies that includes Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The students collaborate, explore, and discover as they engage in activities both outdoors and in the lab. The Grade 2 curriculum includes topics such as Dinosaurs and Fossils; Nutrition and the Digestive System; Sound Energy; Resources and Conservation; and Garden Exploration. A spring highlight is caring for live chickens during their study of birds and eggs. Students use notebooks and the Seesaw app to record their observations and reflect on their learning and they construct an understanding of concepts through active exploration.
  • Social Studies

    Topics of Study:
    • Communities
    • Nutrition
    • Native Americans
    • Pilgrim Life
    • USA (symbols, heroes, attributes of character)
    • Polar World
    • Earth Care
    • Rainforest
  • Theater

    Grade 2 students begin to feel more comfortable performing for a large audience after their performances in "Hooray for the USA," a show that honors the colors and music of the USA. Students participate in weekly assemblies and other grade-level productions generated by themes and curriculum. Morning meetings and oral reports provide many opportunities for developing confidence around sharing information in front of groups.
  • Visual Arts

    Grade 2 students begin to refine and manage a rudimentary art vocabulary for critical analysis and judgment. They begin to manipulate and build with a variety of media as well as improve eye/hand coordination with pencil, brush, and various art tools.
  • World Languages

    Children begin to learn about cultures and countries and that they are different from their own. They also connect and speak with children in countries around the world through classroom technologies. Most of the instruction is in the target language and taught by fluent faculty members.

Grade 4

List of 12 items.

  • Dance

    Children learn more complex choreography and experiment with more creative movement. They learn to respect their bodies and the bodies of their peers and begin to appreciate dance as an art form. Children participate in simple programs and perform once a year for small groups of parents.
  • Educational Technology

    Students in Grade 4 explore the question, “How do inventors work?” They use circuit kits, write more complex computer programs and invent robots to solve challenges. They participate in publishing, graphing, presentation, and word-processing activities in their core classes. Many choose to join our after-school robotics program, where they experience two additional programming environments.
  • Health

    Discussions begin about puberty and changes that occur, healthy body image, the role of emotions, and how to make good decisions. The impact of drugs and alcohol is also introduced.
  • Literacy

    Reading Workshop
    In Grade 4 we focus on reading as an accumulation of progressive skills. We also believe reading is a social activity and we create structures for students to talk about stories and grow ideas together, make connections across texts, and debate what stories teach us about the world. In the classroom, students have some choice in what they read. For example, during a unit of study about historical fiction, students are asked to read books within the genre. At this age, there is an expectation that students are finishing approximately one book a week. 

    Each day, reading workshop begins with a mini-lesson that teaches a specific reading strategy. The teacher models this strategy, and then students are prompted to try the strategy themselves with a shared text provided by the teacher. Following the mini-lesson, the students read independently for approximately half an hour. During this time, the teacher confers either with individual students or with small groups about their reading. The workshop ends with students meeting in partnerships  (two students working together to push each other as thought partners) or book clubs (groups of four students reading the same book and meeting regularly) to talk about the books which they are reading.

    Some units of study that are taught are:
    • Interpretation and Character
    • Nonfiction Reading Strategies
    • Reading for Research
    • Historical Fiction
    • Synthesis and Analysis
    Writing Workshop
    Grade 4 students engage in writing workshop on an almost daily basis. Like reading workshop, writing workshop follows the structure of a whole class mini-lesson followed by independent writing time. During this independent time, teachers confer with individual students or groups of students giving feedback and teaching strategies that students use to strengthen their writing. Attention is paid to the structure of genre as well as to the craft of writing. In Grade 4, students learn to write well in three different structures: narrative, expository, and opinion-based writing. We believe that children engage more with topics about which they feel passionate, therefore students are frequently given topic choice within parameters to encourage self-motivation. We approach the use of grammar through two lenses: 1) as a courtesy to the reader and 2) as a strategy for adding meaning to your written work.  
  • Mathematics

    Bridges in Mathematics
    In Grade 4, there is a focus on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts, the proficiency of these skills, and the ability to solve complex and novel problems. By looking for patterns and relationships between multiple problems and computations, students develop flexible thinking and learn to decompose difficult problems into a series of smaller, more manageable ones. A combination of direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration is used to guide children’s mathematical development. Whole group, small group, and independent activities are utilized on a daily basis, giving teachers the flexibility of meeting each student’s needs.

    Topics:
    • Multiplication
    • Division
    • Fractions and Decimals 
    • Geometry
  • Music

    Students build on the aural and visual skills they’ve practiced in the lower grades. They combine aural, written, and performance skills to play the recorder as modeled and guided by the teacher. They also demonstrate note-reading skills as they accompany vocal songs using Orff/Unpitched percussion instruments. They also learn new components of written music including dynamics, natural sign, descant, legato, staccato, and canon.

    In Grade 4, students may join Band or String Ensemble, an elective class for those who wish to engage with others in making music while learning to play a musical instrument. Students develop musical skills through the use of a method book and a variety of introductory pieces.
  • Physical Education

    Sports skills and citizenship, cooperative games, and perceptual motor rhythm games form the core of the program. Grade 4 students take the "physical best" fitness test.
  • Science

    Science is a hands-on, inquiry-based program of studies that includes Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The students collaborate, explore, and discover as they engage in activities both outdoors and in the lab. The Grade 4 curriculum includes topics such as Scientific Skills and Methods; Water Resources; Human Anatomy and Organ Systems; Energy, Magnetism, and Electricity; Space Travel; and Garden Explorations. A highlight is the Prosthetic Leg Design Challenge, in which students culminate their study of the muscular-skeletal system and adaptive medicine by building a prosthetic leg of their own design. Students use notebooks and the Seesaw app to record their observations and reflect on their learning and they construct an understanding of concepts through active exploration.
  • Social Studies

    The Grade 4 social studies curriculum is a study of both the social sciences and humanities. We focus not only on history, but also on geography, economics, communities, and how they change over time. The primary goal of social studies is to learn about people and their impact on each other and the world around them. Our curriculum is integrated into our reading and writing workshops, along with science. As an example, during our historical fiction unit in reading, students will learn about historical timelines and patterns that repeat throughout history. Another example can be found in our nonfiction unit in reading. Students will develop their nonfiction reading through a project on Natural Disasters. They will practice their nonfiction and persuasive writing while they learn the impact on communities and how people survive during these natural disasters. It also integrates well with the properties of water and water resources in science. Our aim is for students to be active and engaged members of a global community.
  • Theater

    Children participate in weekly assemblies and grade-level productions generated by themes and curriculum. Grade 3 students create a show around the 50 states as part of the Social Studies curriculum.
  • Visual Arts

    Grade 4 students demonstrate aesthetic perception by identifying color, texture, shape, size, line, proportion, scale, symmetry, texture, and pattern. The subject matter may include still life, landscapes, architecture, aspects of figurative studies, and portraits. Students are also introduced to famous artists, such as Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Van Gogh.
  • World Languages

    Building on the increased proficiency of students in pronunciation, intonation, and culture, students learn to read and write in the target language. Most of the instruction is in the target language and taught by fluent faculty members. Through the use of technology, students communicate face-to-face with students from countries around the world.

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