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Lower School Program Guide 2011-2012

Table of Contents i. king’s foundational documents Mission Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Educational and Curricular Philosophy . . . . . . . . 3 Our Mission and Philosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 ii. The lower school years 1. mission and program Lower School Mission Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. The Lower School Years - Exploration and Growth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Early Childhood (Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. Primary Years (Grades 1, 2, and 3). . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. Intermediate Years (Grades 4 and 5) . . . . . . . . . . 5. Lower School Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Lower School Program Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Lower School Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

2. Pre-kindergarten program Language Arts - Awareness of Words, Letters, and Sounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Math - Awareness of Shapes, Numbers, and Patterns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Social Studies - Socialization: From Self to Others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Science - Earth Science and Life Science . . . . . . 8 3. kindergarten program Language Arts - Usage of Letters and Sounds in Reading and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 . Math - Understanding the Meaning and Usage of Numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Social Studies - Recognizing the Value of Yourself and Others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Science - Exploration of the World Around You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 4. grade 1 program Language Arts - Nurturing the Love of Reading and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Math - Developing the Understanding of Numbers and the Ability to Manipulate Them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social Studies - Embracing Cultural Differences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Science - Life Science and Earth Science . . . . . 5. grade 2 program Language Arts - Application of Reading and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Math - Concept of Whole Number Computation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social Studies - United States Geography and Communities Around the World. . . . . . . Science - Earth and Life Science: The Natural World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

6. grade 3 program Language Arts - Extension of Reading and Writing Skills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Math - Establishment of Foundations . . . . . . . . Social Studies - Native Americans. . . . . . . . . . . Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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7. grade 4 program Language Arts - Integrating Reading and Writing Skills to Content. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20. Math - Developing Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Social Studies - Exploring Connecticut . . . . . . 20 Science - Life Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

8. grade 5 program Language Arts - Creating Connections. . . . . . . 22. Math - Developing Foundations. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22. Social Studies - The United States: A New Nation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22. Science - Earth Science and Physical Science. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

9. cross -grade resources and courses Art. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24. Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Physical Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Science Lab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Foreign Language. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

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i. king’s foundational documents

King’s Foundational Documents mission statement

our mission and philosophy

King is dedicated to preparing its students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

To achieve the ideals of our Mission and realize the aspirations of our Philosophy, the King community:

We provide an excellent, progressive education, grounded in the traditional disciplines of the arts and sciences, committed to the nurturing of individual potential, and designed to promote critical thinking and reasoned reflection. Using rich and innovative methods, our Teachers facilitate each student’s fullest academic and personal achievement. We champion the development of character, self-confidence, and talent through challenging intellectual, creative, athletic, leadership, and service opportunities.

• • •

• •

King believes that individual accomplishment must go hand in hand with respect for others. Our culture of respect fosters collaboration as well as independence. We embrace human and cultural diversity. We value responsible citizenship. King graduates are well equipped to succeed in college and to pursue lives of ongoing inquiry, learning, accomplishment, personal fulfillment and social responsibility.

• •

Commits itself to educational excellence. Provides a student-centered environment that encourages the exploration, discovery, and development of the uniqueness of each student. Designs a comprehensive program that offers a wide range of academic, artistic, athletic, and other enrichment opportunities in order to provide appropriate challenge and support in meeting the needs of individual students. Sustains a progressive educational community rooted in an appreciation for and an active practice of the virtues of respect, civility, and compassion. Cultivates a Faculty committed to ongoing professional growth and renewal. Implements a variety of teaching methodologies and creates meaningful assessments to help ensure that all students are progressing appropriately. Welcomes and values the wide range of perspectives engendered by the diversity of our educational community and the world around us. Engages parents and collaborates with them in support of their child’s educational process.

Approved by the King Board of Trustees, June 7, 2011

Educational and Curricular Philosophy

At King, we believe that our students bring a unique blend of interests, talents, and needs to the educational experience. Faculty design a variety of programs that draw out individuality through the process of intellectual, physical, creative, emotional, and social inquiry and expression. The King curriculum is comprised of all opportunities that run through our sudents’ daily experience with the school. All activities and interactions that define this curricular context promote the acquisition of communication skills, the cultivation of intellectual ability, the evolution of individual character, and the attainment of personal growth. The curricular goal of King is to maximize each student’s development within these four domains.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 1. mission and program

The Lower School Years LOwer school mission statement

The King Lower School serves students PreK - Grade 5. The Lower School experience lays a foundation of educational excellence and a love of learning by encouraging the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of each student in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. Children learn best in a diverse, active, and engaging environment that recognizes individual talents and learning styles. Thus, students are inspired to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and a respect for others. Child-centered classrooms focus on the acquisition and development of basic, core skills and problem solving strategies through innovative educational activities. This pedagogical approach enables our students to evolve into confident, lifelong learners who consistently strive toward their full potential while being aware of their personal learning styles. the lower school years: exploration and growth

Lower School children possess a natural curiosity and come to school eager to learn and eager to please. While exploring their sense of self, they are beginning to see their place in the world. Routine and structure are necessary for them. They are developing a sense of responsibility and they take pride in their accomplishments. Creative expression in various forms is quite evident throughout the LS years, the years of greatest physical, mental, and emotional growth and change.

Coming to school is a joyful experience for these children. In this stage of development, Teachers have a particularly profound role, although friendships and family are of utmost importance. The younger students especially love interacting and collaborating with older students and can hardly wait to be “big kids� themselves. primary years (grades 1, 2, and 3)

Children in the primary years continue to benefit from experiential learning. Many characteristics of the early years carry over, such as their natural curiosity, excitement to learn, and their love of school. They remain affectionate, energetic, and eager to please. They are now developing a sense of fair play and a value system of right and wrong. Primary students can be dramatic and over-exaggerate. They are eager to question and often think in very literal terms. While they continue to have strong family connections, the desire to be a member of a peer group and a member of the school community is growing. Still present is the deep need for approval from adults and classmates.

early childhood (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten)

Children in the early childhood years are concrete, hands-on learners who learn best through play. They love to help and are sticklers for the rules. They need places to rest and places to move. Often, they have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality, yet they love to be silly and entertain themselves and others. PreK and Kindergarten children are not afraid to express their feelings and are very demonstrative. Children at this stage are active, impulsive, exuberant, and egocentric. They are unaffected by gender and cultural differences. These children are learning how to follow directions and how to be part of a large group. Independent life skills such as zipping, tying, and buttoning are developing during these early years.

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ii. the lower school years: 1. mission and program

intermediate years (grades 4 and 5)

lower school program design

Children in the intermediate years begin to transition from literal to more abstract thinking. They are developing into more complex problem solvers and are more flexible in their approaches to learning. At this stage, they are able to recognize that a solution can be obtained through utilizing various strategies. Students in Grades 4 and 5 are developing a sense of independence and require less adult affirmation. Children feel empowered and begin to question authority. They feel very comfortable testing the waters, yet still have the need to return to their support system of parents and teachers.

The LS Academic Program focuses on building and developing basic core skills. Unique to our program is the ability to structure the learning environment to meet each child’s individual needs.

Peer acceptance is vitally important. Intermediate students want to be part of a group and are uncomfortable standing alone. Emotions are fragile as friendships constantly fluctuate. Around this time, the awareness of gender differences and physical changes becomes more pronounced. These students are heavily influenced by societal trends. As the oldest members of the Lower School, they relish their role as leaders among their younger schoolmates. The family unit provides a crucial base of support for LS children in particular. Recognizing this fact, Teachers make every effort to work with parents, providing frequent feedback and addressing concerns immediately. We expect parents to partner with us in educating their children, and welcome their involvement in LS life.

Another strength of the LS Program is the emphasis placed, both explicitly and implicitly, on fostering the social, emotional, and physical growth of each student. A safe, nurturing climate permeates the Lower School. The dedicated Faculty places emphasis on helping all children achieve, according to the best of their potential, within a physically and emotionally safe environment. This atmosphere not only promotes risk taking, but encourages it as well. In the process, children gain confidence in their abilities to be successful learners. The LS Program design supports the curricular goals established by the King community. Communication, intellectual processing, character development, and personal growth are key skills needed “to pursue lives of learning and accomplishment, personal fulfillment, and social responsibility.” The groundwork for these important concepts is established in the Lower School.

LOwer school goals

Specific goals of the LS Program are to: • foster a love of learning • develop fundamental academic skills • apply and integrate intellectual processes • recognize and support various learning styles • develop physical and artistic expression • promote individual, social, and emotional development • instill the virtues of good citizenship and social responsibility

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 1. mission and program

The Lower School Program program sequence

Language Arts Math Social Studies Science

PreK Awareness of letters Awareness of shapes, and sounds numbers, patterns

Socialization: From Earth Science/ self to others Life Science

Kindergarten Usage of letters and Understanding of the Recognition of the Earth Science/ sounds in reading meaning and use value of themselves Life Science/ and writing of numbers and others Physical Science Grade 1 Nurturing the love of Introduction/development Embracing cultural Life Science/ reading and writing of understanding of differences Earth Science numbers and the ability to manipulate them Grade 2 Application of Concept of whole U.S. geography Earth Science/ reading and writing number computation and communities Life Science skills around the world Grade 3 Extension of reading Establishment of Native Americans Physical Science and writing skills foundations Grade 4 Integration of reading Development of Exploration of Connecticut Life Science and writing skills foundations to content Grade 5 Creation of connections Extension of foundations The United States: Earth Science/ A New Nation Physical Science

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 2. pre-kindergarten program

Pre-Kindergarten Program L ANGUAGE ARTS AND EARLY LITERACY DEVELOPMENT A language-rich learning environment is provided in the Pre K classroom in order to help children develop good listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. We provide opportunities for children to practice these skills in developmentally appropriate, engaging, and fun ways. The pre-reading skills addressed include fine motor skill development, matching, patterning, left-to-right directionality, sequencing, letter recognition and formation, visual discrimination, letter-sound relationships, listening and reading comprehension, expanded vocabulary, book and print awareness, writing skills, and phonemic awareness. Children strengthen their listening skills when they hear and respond to teacher directions during games and activities. Additionally, they broaden their vocabularies when listening to stories. As they participate in class discussions about the stories, they develop better listening comprehension skills. They play with words, comparing and contrasting likenesses and differences, becoming aware of beginning, ending, and medial sounds. When they write their names each day, sing the ABCs, and participate in the “Letter of the Week� activities, they practice recognizing and writing the letters of the alphabet. When they dictate stories about their experiences with the various yearly themes, they are using their broadening vocabularies to communicate. In this way, each Pre-Kindergarten child gains beginning language arts skills in reading, listening, speaking, writing, and acquiring vocabulary. Instructional Materials Alphabet letter kits Storybooks Teacher-created materials MATH Young children learn by doing. Hands-on, concrete experiences give children opportunities to experiment with and internalize basic math concepts. Working with manipulatives helps children move from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract.

is happening naturally. They are learning about classification, size and shape, symmetry, mapping, depth, width, height and length, number, part/whole relationships (fractions), measurement, volume, and area. By creating an environment that allows children to participate in many activities we encourage the development of mathematical concepts. At circle time the children are actively engaged in class discussion. How many friends are here today? How many boys are here today? How many girls are here today? How many days have we been in school? If today is the May 15, what day will be next? Weather charts provide many opportunities for thinking mathematically. We count the number of sunny days, rainy days, cold days, warm days in the month. Did we have more rainy days or sunny days? The children learn to interpret graphs as we create other graphs of information, such as eye color, hair color, birth dates, and favorite kinds of apples. The children play with pattern blocks and explore these shapes and their relationships. For example, they discover that a regular hexagon could be divided into two regular trapezoids. In order to further develop geometric understanding, the children work with spaces on geoboards and construct various shapes, and repeat and rearrange them. They create and duplicate patterns with beads, tiles, leaves, shapes, and numerous other materials. The children use a multiple of instruments to measure weight, volume, height, and temperature. Math is presented in a developmental sequence that allows children a natural transition from one concept to another. The concepts that are integrated into the curriculum include spatial relationships, classification, patterning, one-to-one correspondence, ordering, numeration, shapes, and measurement.

Instructional Materials Math Manipulatives Teacher Created Materials

The use of manipulatives is an integral part of the students’ mathematical development in the PreK classroom. Young children learn mathematics from their manipulation of objects and their discovery of relationships and patterns in their environments. As children build with blocks in the block corner, math 2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


SCIENCE Children are innately curious about the world in which they live, and our Science Program gives them insight into understanding the world around them. During these early years, children’s natural curiosity leads them to explore the environment by observing and manipulating common objects and materials – soil, rocks, leaves, trees, flowers, rain, snow, clouds, rainbows, sun, moon, and stars. Science for the Pre-Kindergarten child can be defined as opportunities for exploring, observing, discovering, predicting, and questioning. With guidance teachers provide opportunities to continue children’s explorations in focused settings with other children. The activities are designed to engage children in questioning, predicting, attempting, exploring, creating, communicating, analyzing, reflecting and inferring. Our Pre-Kindergarten program focuses on life science, physical science and earth science.

Physical Science Playing with Water – Children can explore floating and sinking with a variety of objects.

Earth Science Observing rain and snow; watching snow melt or water freezing or evaporating. Exploring the wind with kites, pinwheels, bubbles Learning about air through experiments Observing the changes in weather from day to day, season to season, and recording them on a chart Life Science Observing the life cycles of insects that undergo significant metamorphic changes, such as butterflies Studying plants – Children observe seeds before they are planted. Then plant them, and observe the changes as the plant grows, and learn the name and purposes of parts of plants and seeds. Exploring our five senses: Sight, Sound, Taste, Smell, and Touch. These are the senses we use to explore the world around us. Instructional Materials Storybooks Teacher Created Materials

Painting with Tempera paints – Children observe how paint drips and runs, and how colors mix. Playing with Blocks – Children learn about gravity, balance, and support as they build structures. Experimenting with different weights in different positions on balance scales Experimenting with sound using different materials Exploring magnets –Children Test which magnets will or will not be attracted by magnets. Cooking – Children observe changes in matter (melting, expanding.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 2. pre-kindergarten program

social studies - socialization: from self to others

During the year, the children gain a new awareness of themselves as part of a larger group. They refine and develop their social skills by learning how to interact appropriately with their classmates at play and work. Activities foster a new appreciation for their families and personal relationships during a unit on families, which culminates with a “PreK Family Picnic.� Field trips to nearby places, such as a farm, a fire station, a police station, and a hospital, help the children gain a better understanding of people working in their community. Celebrating various holidays throughout the year, sampling different ethnic foods, or learning specific holiday songs help to develop a new appreciation for national, cultural, and religious diversity in their surrounding world. Instructional Materials Storybooks Teacher-created materials Campus and community environment

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 3. kindergarten program

Kindergarten Program language arts - usage of letters and sounds in reading and writing

Kindergarten children use their growing awareness of words, letters, and sounds to learn to read and write. Instruction occurs in both large and small group settings. Each day, children spend time in a small group at a Language Arts center for teacher-directed activities. Employing multi-sensory strategies using the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses, children learn the letters and their sounds. Phonics and reading skills are taught simultaneously. Sight vocabulary is gradually built throughout the year using a classroom “Word Wall,” containing both high frequency and phonetically irregular words. Children use these “Word Wall Words” in reading and writing. They learn phonetic skills, progressing from beginning sounds in words, to final sounds, to medial sounds. They learn the short vowel sounds, beginning with short “a” and moving to the other vowels. Word families are introduced in conjunction with the short vowels. For instance, the word family “at” would be taught after short “a” is introduced.

Instructional Materials “Sounds Abounds,” Hugh Cutts, Tina Olson “Explode the Code 1,” Educators Publishing Service “Ready to Read,” Educators Publishing Service “SPARC for Phonological Awareness and Listening Comprehension,” Susan Thomsen “Primary Phonics,” E.P.S. “I Can,” McGraw-Hill “Handwriting Without Tears,” by Jan Z. Olson, Emily F. Knagston Student journals Phonetic readers Teacher-created materials

Reading and writing are closely linked. Children write regularly about their experiences and read their writing to Teachers. Enjoyment of literature is fostered through daily oral reading, which is followed by class discussions incorporating reading comprehension on various levels. All types of literature are included – poetry, chapter books, fiction, and nonfiction. Through the experiences offered by the various Kindergarten themes, children broaden their vocabularies and develop more refined speaking skill patterns. Special presentations in school, as well as field trips, coordinate with Kindergarten themes. Listening and speaking skills are fostered through varied activities, such as Show and Tell, classroom dramas, following directions at centers, and even opportunities to speak at LS assemblies.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 3. kindergarten program

math - understanding of the meaning and usage of numbers

Our Math Program is a continuum. To ensure solid understanding and retention of skills, there is constant reinforcement and review as new, higher level skills are introduced. The program is designed to give children a deeper understanding of basic mathematical concepts through hands-on, concrete activities. Using their knowledge of shapes and colors, they make and identify more complex patterns. Building on their ability to identify the numerals from 0 to 10, they learn to count and identify the numerals to 100. They learn to skip-count by twos, fives, and tens. With their growing understanding of numbers, they learn to perform operations such as addition and subtraction using manipulatives. Incorporating language arts into the math lessons, children read, create word problems, and solve addition and subtraction stories. They gain an understanding of fractions by dividing clay shapes or pretend pizzas. Skills take on a deeper meaning as the children associate them with daily events and various themes during the year. Learning to tell time becomes more meaningful when related to everyday events. At Morning Meeting each day, children learn about money, as they complete a money chart using real coins. Through this, they learn to name and identify the value of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Later, during the rainforest theme, they practice their money skills by pretending to buy and sell tropical foods at a classroom “Rainforest Café.” During our Halloween theme, the children practice counting, measuring, weighing, and graphing using real pumpkins. Instructional Materials “Handwriting Without Tears,” by Jan Z. Olson, Emily F. Knagston Math kits Math manipulatives Teacher-created materials Singapore Math Workbooks

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

social studies - recognizing the value of yourself and others

The Social Studies Program emphasizes teaching children to see the world in a positive light, to see the value in oneself and in others. It begins with a unit on the special and unique qualities of the children and their families. During a unit on friendship, social relationships and appropriate decision making are explored. Children learn about “Warm Fuzzies” that make a person feel happy, and “Cold Pricklies” that make people feel sad. They become aware of the power of words to help or hurt. Polite manners, respect, sharing, and cooperation are modeled and reinforced throughout the year. During Fire Safety Week, the Kindergartners learn valuable potentially life-saving habits. Lessons are reinforced through a visit to a local fire station. Children gain experience during the year with being risk takers in a safe, secure environment. They try new activities within the context of a familiar, accepting classroom, such as taking part in a play or standing in front of a group to perform a song. They learn that making a mistake is acceptable and is part of the learning process. Children gain an awareness and appreciation of other people, both within our country and in the larger world. Kindergarten themes include community outreach projects, and celebrating many holidays. This provides opportunities to experience diversity and foster awareness of other cultures. Instructional Materials Maps Globe Storybooks Dollhouse with dolls representing various populations Teacher-created materials Multi-Cultural Foods


ii. the lower school years: 3. kindergarten program

science - exploration of the world around you

The Science Program encourages children to explore and to develop scientific curiosity. Classroom centers at Free Play, such as blocks and the art center, encourage free scientific exploration. Building with blocks provides opportunities to discover concepts of physics such as inclined planes. Mixing markers or paint at the art table leads to the discovery of color formation. The program also covers a range of scientific themes, such as “The Constellations,” “Animals Preparing for Winter,” and “Oceans.” Math, Language Arts, and Science are integrated into the thematic units. During their study of “Animals Preparing for Winter,” children solve addition problems using polar bears. They write a story using the facts they learned about sea animals during the “Ocean” unit. During an art period, they might construct a shark, carefully including the characteristics learned during their lessons. During a unit on plants, children plant flowers and perform experiments, placing flowers in different environments to discover the best growing mediums. When studying the Rain Forest, a local scientist visits to teach a lesson and expose students fo various jungle specimens. Field trips, literature, art projects, experiments, videos, and hands-on activities serve to solidify the lessons. Instructional Materials Scientific equipment Scientific reference materials Trade books Teacher-created materials Art Supplies

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 4. grade 1 program

Grade 1 Program language arts - nurturing the love of reading and writing The Grade 1 Language Arts Program provides systematic, explicit skills instruction that includes phonemic awareness (sounds in spoken words), phonics, decoding, and word recognition, as well as practice with sight-word vocabulary. Writing is viewed as a form of communication. Students are encouraged to write frequently and as independently as they are able. Creative writing is practiced daily in the form of journals or assigned topics. Students write in different genres, in both fiction and non-fiction. In the process of writing, students generate topics, research when appropriate, pre-write, draft, revise, edit, and share with others. The understanding gained as students write supports the process of learning to read.

Texts and Instructional Materials “Recipe for Reading,” Nina Traub “Handwriting Without Tears,” by Jan Z. Olson, Emily F. Knagston “Explode the Code,” Hall and Price “Primary Phonics” Sorkbooks A & B Steck-Vaughn Phonics Readers Modern Curriculum Press - Very First Chapters Trade books Big books Poetry books Various skill-based games and activities Teacher-created materials

Students continue to go through different stages in spelling. They begin with “invented spelling” which is a stepping-stone to conventional spelling. The spelling program uses a multi-sensory approach, which enables students to learn and retain material presented through various games and activities. They apply multiple strategies to help them incorporate these spelling skills to their written work. When children have a medley of tools at their disposal, they are better able to approach reading and other tasks with a greater sense of comfort and confidence. Students in Grade 1 learn basic capitalization and punctuation skills as they develop sentences and simple paragraphs. Students are given daily lessons in handwriting, where they are taught to print manuscript letters using proper formation and spacing. Language-rich activities using a wide variety of reading materials ensure that all students develop the skills to become fluent readers, writers, listeners, speakers, and thinkers. The specific reading concepts and skills developed in Grade 1 are decoding, vocabulary, word structure, comprehension, study skills, and fluency. Reading is connected and intertwined within the entire Academic Program in order to make it more meaningful. Reading and language arts are taught through whole class instruction, small reading groups, and individually. Opportunities for reading a wide range of texts such as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry occur throughout the day. The primary goal is to develop enthusiastic, independent, and reflective readers.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 4. grade 1 program

math - development of the understanding of numbers and the ability to manipulate them

Skills such as mental math, problem solving, investigating, and predicting are emphasized and applied every day. Math is not taught as an isolated subject; instead, math becomes part of the daily ongoing routine of the classroom. It is integrated into other subject areas such as Social Studies and Science. Students are exposed to mathematical concepts through the use of manipulatives and hands-on activities. They learn to work cooperatively in a group as well as individually. Building on many concepts gained in Kindergarten, students begin the transition from concrete toward more abstract activities. Students continue to reinforce and practice important basic skills such as place value, number patterns, and skip-counting. To help students develop strategies to solve whole number operations of addition and subtraction, they are introduced to the “More Than Memory” program. This program introduces strategies for addition so children are not expected to rely solely on memory. They learn conceptual relationships of the facts to each other. They also begin to add and subtract twodigit numbers without regrouping. Students learn new math vocabulary and translate word problems into addition and subtraction computations. They use mathematical reasoning to solve problems and make connections between one problem and another.

social studies - embracing cultural differences

Students are fascinated by the world around them and excited by their increasing ability to accept responsibility. Children study a variety of multidisciplinary units: ourselves/friendship, Native Americans, Japan, holiday celebrations around the world, Presidents, and famous African Americans. These units offer children opportunities to develop an awareness of diverse social groups and how they interact. They also learn about other cultures and countries and compare them to their own experiences. The main focus of the program is to learn how decisions are made with respect for individual responsibility, for other people, and for the rules by which we all must live: fair play, good sportsmanship, and respect for the rights and opinions of others. Instructional Materials Various trade books and poetry books Scholastic Magazine Maps and globes Computer/Internet activities Teacher-created materials

In addition, students explore the following math concepts through a wide range of manipulatives and games: estimating; graphing; measuring; telling time to the hour and the half hour; identifying simple fractional parts; and identifying pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They learn to combine values of coins to one dollar and learn to create and interpret simple graphs. Students are introduced to geometry skills and identify plane and solid figures and describe them by common attribute. Textbooks and Instructional Materials “Singapore Math Supplement,” Houghton Mifflin Connections, Grade Two, Heath Mathematics Math manipulatives: Unifix cubes, learning links, pattern blocks, geoboards, tangrams, counting beans, teaching clocks, solid figures and plane figures, calendars, coins, and various math games and books. “More Than Memory” workbooks and flash cards Teacher-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 4. grade 1 program

science - life science and earth science

Throughout the Science Program, children investigate and make sense of the natural world and the universe, and their part in it. The program provides all students with hands-on opportunities for self-discovery. They learn to organize their ideas and to use higher level thinking to solve problems. They also apply scientific knowledge to real life situations. The process skills used throughout the program are predicting, classifying, graphing, observing, recording data, and comparing. They identify, sort, count, make predictions, compare, classify, and graph results from their experiments. Each topic is introduced in a large group setting. Subsequent activities are geared toward cooperative learning groups and small groups, as well as individual learning centers. The following thematic units are integrated throughout the program: seeds, solar system, bears, health and nutrition, the body and organs, water and weather, and insects. Students learn about these topics through experiments, observations, and handson activities. The weekly science lab introduces children to the scientific method and provides them with the opportunity to conduct experiments and to apply information learned during class discussions. Throughout the program, students continue to learn that living things grow, change, are diverse, are interdependent, and interact with the changing environment. Students also apply reading, writing, predicting, measuring, and communication skills to real-world situations. Students generate graphs, create stories or poems, and write or orally report their observations. Students learn to appreciate and explore the environment and form a lasting appreciation of the world around them. Instructional Materials Trade books Poetry books Big books Scholastic Magazine Computer/Internet activities Teacher-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 5. grade 2 program

Grade 2 Program language arts - application of reading and writing

The Language Arts Program focuses on the development of students’ reading and writing skills. Students strengthen their phonetic and word attack skills, and they concentrate on increasing their fluency and on reading for meaning. Multi-sensory reading strategies are introduced and used to strengthen children’s literal and inferential comprehension, as well as to help them draw conclusions. Consistent previewing of the stories develops students’ skills of predicting and determining the meaning of harder vocabulary words. Students experience several different literary forms such as fables, tall tales, legends, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. They study the plot and setting of various stories, as well as compare and contrast the characters. They also learn to identify the initiating even or “kick-off” of a story, the characters’ nternal feelings, how to sequence events, and evaluate the resolution of a story. Reading aloud and having discussions about the stories during smaller group reading times refine the students’ oral language. They begin to demonstrate their understanding of their reading in written form and to apply spelling, vocabulary, and mechanics studied. During the second half of the school year, students prepare and present book reports that incorporate skills studied during reading group. The writing process is used to help children clearly communicate their ideas in sentences, paragraphs, and stories. The majority of writing assignments include the prewriting, drafting, editing, and final copy stages. During the editing step, students have individual conference time with their teachers. Creating webs and completing the “Quick Outline” during the prewriting stage assists students in formulating topic sentences and organizing details in the proper sequence. The goal at the end of the school year is for them to write at least six descriptive sentences about one topic. The students illustrate many of their written assignments with supporting details.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

The writing skills students cover throughout the year include parts of a complete sentence, types of sentences, sentence expansion, capitalization rules, common and proper nouns, pronouns, singular and plural nouns, action verbs, and adjectives. Students study spelling rules each week and receive reinforcement in their phonetic workbooks. They are encouraged to consistently apply these rules. Transferring information researched into writing is introduced. Students practice using reference sources, the dictionary, and recording their facts in complete sentences. They receive a review of writing in manuscript style and complete the school year learning cursive. Textbooks and Instructional Materials Reading Basals and Workbooks: “Patterns,” Level 7, Holt, Rhinehart, Winston “Pathways,” Level 8, Holt, Rhinehart, Winston “Souvenirs,” Level 9, Holt, Rhinehart, Winston Phonics: “Phonics: Level C, D,” Modern Curriculum Press Spelling: “Spelling: Level C,” Modern Curriculum Press “A Spelling Dictionary for Beginning Writers” Handwriting: “Handwriting Without Tears,” by Jan Z. Olson, Emily F. Knagston Grammar: “Grammar Grade Two,” Instructional Fair “HBJ Language,” Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Various trade books Teacher-created materials


ii. the lower school years: 5. grade 2 program

math - concept of whole number computation

social studies - u.S. geography and communities around the world

The Math Program focuses on the mastery of the basic addition and subtraction facts. Multi-sensory approaches and hands-on materials are used when a new skill is studied.

The Social Studies Program is designed to increase students’ awareness of U.S. geography. Students also become familiar with the similarities and differences of citizens in countries around the world. Units of study include an overview of: landforms and bodies of water; map skills; rural/city/country areas; Native Americans and the early Colonies; an Introduction to the American Revolution; important explorers and inventors; different cultures; and how people work.

Students are introduced to the concept of regrouping in addition and subtraction to the hundreds place. They continue to be exposed to problem solving strategies and to the steps of solving word problems. Emphasis is placed on understanding the language associated with addition and subtraction and the ability to manipulate numbers in those operations. Students complete a review of plane and solid figures and of identifying fractions. They are introduced to symmetry and congruency and practice writing simple fractions. The program also includes units on reading and writing graphs, patterning, telling time, and working with coins. Students work, ask questions, and share strategies in large and small groups and receive individual instruction. Independent and collaborative mathematical projects are incorporated throughout the school year, as are enrichment activities, in order to nurture different mathematical competencies. Math Materials “Math,” Houghton Mifflin “Heath Mathematics Connections,” D.C. Heath and Company “More Than Memory,” Rosemary Gallagher Math manipulatives: Cuisenaire base ten blocks, Geoboards, flash cards, pattern blocks,geometric forms, tangrams, fraction kits, measuring materials, clocks, money kits, wipe boards. Commercial math games Teacher-created materials Singapore Math materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

There is a great deal of integration with the Language Arts Program. Students read two books that support and extend the information learned in the social studies chapters, and to help develop their historical perspective of the topographical area introduced. They also learn to identify different directions and become familiar with using maps, map keys, and scales. Throughout the school year, children develop their speaking skills by reporting on current events articles and discussing how they can make a difference as citizens. At the end of the school year, students choose a country to research and prepare a presentation for the class. They are encouraged to share their prior knowledge and to generate questions during class discussions. Individual and cooperative group activities are incorporated into each unit of study, which demonstrate students’ application of the material studied. Textbooks and Instructional Materials “Sarah Morton’s Day,” Kate Waters, Scholastic “Annie and The Old One,” Miska Miles, Little Brown Several tall tales, folktales, and legends, fabes, and fairytales Reference materials Newspapers and “Weekly Reader” Mercator maps: world and United States Globe Scholastic theme units Teacher- and student-created materials


ii. the lower school years: 5. grade 2 program

science - earth and life science: the natural world

The focus of the Science Program is to develop students’ observation and classification skills. Students are introduced to general scientific terminology related to units on dinosaurs, the life cycle of plants and animals, endangered animals and biomes, animal adaptations, earthquakes and volcanoes, and marine biology. They begin to learn the steps in a research project and they complete simple research projects at the conclusion of the units on dinosaurs and endangered animals and biomes. The program is a combination of class discussions and hands-on activities. The weekly science lab introduces children to the scientific method and provides them with the opportunity to conduct experiments. Many of the field trips are related to the units studied. They provide students with the opportunity to apply and expand upon the information learned during class discussions and activities. Materials: “Science� Textbook, Scott Foresman Scholastic theme units Reference and library materials Internet printouts Magazines Teacher- and student-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 6. grade 3 program

Grade 3 Program language arts - extension of reading and writing skills

The Language Arts Program extends the skills and strategies learned in the primary years. As students become better readers, they are able to read more diverse selections, and therefore a natural growth in writing ability often occurs. The program activities capitalize on this natural growth by giving students assignments that interweave the skills of reading and writing, and by providing lessons and experiences in which students practice a skill in isolation before attempting to incorporate it into a larger work. By the time students reach Grade 3, they have a good grasp of phonemes and syllables and are able to decode words more easily. They are ready to tackle words with more difficult pronunciations and meanings. Weekly spelling lists, which emphasize one or two specific rules, are one method of furthering reading ability. Options are in place for students who require more challenging work. Weekly phonics assignments are meticulously coordinated to enhance spelling rules. Students may be given more challenging work when necessary. Students are given many opportunities to practice reading orally, and they participate in discussions regarding pronunciations and definitions. Students are given information about the origin of a word when appropriate and encouraged to realize the existence of related words. Students begin learning how to be active readers. This enables them to practice the following skills: questioning material before reading; skimming for unfamiliar vocabulary; and taking response notes. Teachers use a program that focuses on teaching students to recognize a specific aspect of reading such as setting, characterization, plot, etc. Skills are then reinforced using selections during small reading groups. These selections include those that come from basal reading books, classic texts, and more contemporary trade books. Students are exposed to many genres through these selections.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

The material students read is often used as a springboard for writing activities. Students are asked to demonstrate writing skills focusing on a specific aspect such as characterization, setting, or summary. These assignments may include one, part, or all of the following exercises: web or organizer; quick outline; rough draft with corrections/additions; and final draft. Students are encouraged to use checklists to ensure they proofread and check their writing for capitalization, punctuation, and completeness. Small group, whole group, and individual conferencing takes place when necessary and appropriate to help ensure that all students are reaching their potential. Another important component of the writing program is grammar. Skills include parts of a complete sentence, types of sentences, sentence expansion, and types of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and possessives. Skills are first taught in isolation and then quickly integrated into the rest of the writing program. Students are encouraged to consistently apply their grammar knowledge. Textbooks and Instructional Materials Basals: Basals: “First Chapters,” Pearson Learning Group “Next Chapters,” Pearson Learning Group Phonics: “Phonics Level D and E,” Modern Curriculum Press Spelling: “Spelling Level D,” Modern Curriculum Press Teacher-created student spelling inventory Teacher-created challenge spelling/vocabulary Handwriting: “Handwriting Without Tears” Trade Books: “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” MacLachlan “Stone Fox,” Gardiner “Author Studies,” Clements, Spinelli


ii. the lower school years: 6. grade 3 program

math - establishment of foundations


The Math Program lays the foundation for skills used during the rest of students’ LS tenure. The concepts learned in Grade 2 are reviewed and assessed in the first weeks of school.

The Science Program revolves around the theme of energy. Within this theme are five areas of study, two science fairs, and many opportunities for exploration, discovery and discussion. Throughout the year students’ practice using the scientific method.

Beginning with numbers to 1,000,000 and ending with a unit on decimals, students explore and practice math procedures using a combination of visual, auditory, oral, and kinesthetic approaches. “How?” and “Why?” are questions commonly asked by teachers. Once a math skill is taught, it becomes part of a rotation of skills that students practice each day. Some of the math units include: multiplication and division concepts and facts; long multiplication and division; identifying and comparing fractions; geometry basics; and beginning decimals. Instructional Materials “Math, Level 3,” Houghton Mifflin “Math, Level 4, Houghton Mifflin Teacher-create”d materials Manipulatives

The five areas or study are sound, motion, light, heat, and simple machines. Students participate in handson topic-specific workshops led by High Touch High Tech. Twice during the year the students are involved in exhibitions – the Sound Fair and the Invention Convention. Students are involved in researching, planning, developing, and creating for each exhibition, where they also practice their public speaking skills. At the end of the year, a field trip to the New York Hall of Science helps students to see energy concepts applied. The weekly science lab introduces the children to the scientific method and provides them with the opportunity to conduct experiments. Instructional Materials

social studies - native americans

The Social Studies program begins with The U.S. geography and map skills learned in Grade 2. The focus then shifts to the rich heritage of the Ancient American Indians. Students research specific nations in groups in conjunction with the study of explorers occuring in Grade 5. Students in Grades 3 and 5 then share their findings with each other. The 5th grade and 3rd grade then share their findings with each other.

“Reading Essentials in Science—Energy Works!” Book Series: “Sound, Motion, Heat, Simple Machines” By Perfection Learning K’Nex Kits: Simple Machines

Students develop an appreciation for the customs and beliefs of Native Americans in the Northwest Region. They learn about the origin, language, dwellings, tools, food, and traditions by becoming Native Americans of a specific tribe. Students make critical decisions such as what to trade with explorers or whom to elect as chief. Once students gain a historical perspective of Native life in the Northwest region, they are asked to make a comparison with other regions as well as how Native Americans live today. Research skills and study skills such as note-taking, outlining, and paraphrasing are woven throughout the program. A field trip to the Pequot Museum and Research Center gives the students a first-hand look at the Native Americans indigenous to Connecticut. Instructional Materials Explorers: A Simulation of Encounters Between Native Americans and European Explorers, Interact Storypath: Northwest Coast People

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 7. grade 4 program

Grade 4 Program language arts - integration of reading and writing skills to content

The Language Arts Program builds upon basic reading, writing, and speaking skills and concepts taught at earlier levels, while beginning to integrate these basic skills into various content areas. Emphasis is placed on word attack skills so students can develop their reading fluency. Students work to understand and identify main ideas to further develop comprehension skills. They are taught to interpret a variety of reading materials to look for context clues, to make inferences and predictions, and to draw conclusions. Through our reading materials themes such as tolerance and respect for differences of others are explored. Vocabulary development is emphasized through trade books, along with a supplementary vocabulary text. Grammar and spelling skills are taught in isolation and are then integrated into students’ daily writing. The writing program coordinates with students’ reading. Identifying main ideas and supporting details are then transferred into creating topic sentences and expanded details. Emphasis is placed on creating paragraph unity and using transition words to create coherence. By the end of Grade 4, students are expected to write a well-developed descriptive paragraph. Students also develop critiquing and proofreading skills as they share their writing with classmates and the school community. Instructional Materials “Vocabulary Workshop,” Orange, Sadlier-Oxford “Summer of the Swan,” Byers “Number the Stars,” Lowry “Perloo the Bold,” Avi “Junior Great Books,” The Great Books Foundation Spelling Workout, Pearson Learning Teacher-created materials

math - development of foundations

The Math Program focuses on developing basic computational skills and reasoning processes. A goal is to have students automate their basic math facts in order to apply them to more complex math processes. After a brief review of addition and subtraction, students move into multiplication, division, and fractions. Units of geometry, measurement, and graphing are also covered. Emphasis is placed on developing different types of written and oral word problems. Manipulative materials and math games are used to heighten students’ interest in math concepts. The students are clustered and grouped based on work pace, standardized testing, beginning-of-year inventories, and teacher recommendations. These clusters are fluid and flexible. Instructional Materials “Math, Level 4,” Houghton Mifflin “Math, Level 5,” Houghton Mifflin Math manipulatives Teacher-created materials social studies - exploration of connecticut

The Social Studies Program is designed to promote an understanding of our home state. Students learn about the state’s physical features, its first inhabitants, its development into one of the 13 original colonies, its role in our nation’s fight for independence, its economy, its government, and the role Connecticut plays today. The influence of immigration and the effects of the development of Conneticut and the U.S. as a whole is explored. This exploration and study provide the foundation for the culminating project, the state research paper. Each student researches a state and, following established research guidelines, writes a two- to three-page paper. The students are then given the opportunity to practice their oral presentation skills at the States Fair. Instructional Materials “The Connecticut Adventure,” Gibbs Smith Teacher-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 7. grade 4 program

Science - life science

Life science is the focus in Grade 4. The purpose is to develop students’ ability to read, think, and participate in science. Students are introduced to general scientific terminology related to units on plants, animals, and body systems. Research skills are also incorporated. Students are asked to choose an endangered animal and write a research report following established research guidelines. A multitude of hands-on experiments and projects accompanies each unit. The weekly science lab introduces children to the scientific method and provides them with the opportunity to conduct further experiments. Many of the field trips are related to the units studied. They provide students an opportunity to apply and expand upon the information learned during class discussions and activities. Textbooks “Science Horizons,� Silver, Burdett & Ginn Teacher-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 8. grade 5 program

Grade 5 Program language arts - creation of connections

Students become creators of their own learning by making meaningful connections through their literature and writing. Students are asked to uncover the deeper meaning and hidden messages found in great literature, both fiction and non-fiction, by drawing upon personal experiences, other stories, and the larger world around them. Through careful reflection and insight, students begin to see how the stories they read and the pieces they write are not single experiences, but are interwoven and connected through their academic and social being. Throughout the Language Arts curriculum lessons address issues centered around includsion and plurality. Summarizing, questioning, identifying point of view, predicting, paraphrasing, and other comprehension skills are practiced so children become more proficient readers. Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary skills are built through isolated practice and then applied to everyday writing. The writing process is broken down into different phases, namely, prewriting, drafting, editing, and publishing. This is internalized as students create narrative, descriptive, and expository writing pieces throughout the year. Research skills, organizational methods, and time management are fundamental aspects for every student as they undertake various reports and longterm projects. All students are expected to be able to articulate and present information in a clear and appropriate manner. Instructional Materials “Junior Great Books, Series 5, Book 1,” Great Books Foundation “The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963,” Christopher Paul Curtis “Tuck Everlasting,” Natalie Babbitt “Where the Red Fern Grows,” Wilson Rawls “Vocabulary Workshop Blue,” Sadlier-Oxford “Writer’s Express,” Kemper, Nathan, and Sebranek “The Language of Literature,” McDougal Littell “Spelling Workout,” Modern Curriculum Press Teacher-created materials

Students are exposed to basic concepts in geometry, logic, statistics, algebra, probability, and number sense. Problem solving skills underlie all facets of the program, with emphasis placed on process rather than product. Developing and articulating strategies to demonstrate conceptual understanding overshadows the importance of simply arriving at the right answer. Students are encouraged to move from the concrete to the abstract level of cognitive skills according to their stage of development. Instructional Materials “Math, Level 5,” Houghton Mifflin “Math, Level 6,” Houghton Mifflin Teacher-created materials social studies - the united states: A NEW nation

The program centers on the development of the U.S. as a nation in the Western hemisphere. Students develop a sense of the past in order to better understand the present. Using the Age of Exploration as a starting point, students are introduced to the concept of colonization. Students are asked to identify and interpret the events as diverse cultures interact. They follow the journeys of Western European explorers to the New World. The American Colonial period is then studied and researched extensively. The Civil Rights era is also studied and serves as the background for an integrated project. By integrating skills taught in Language Arts, students produce a formal written research report on a topic of their choice. They also are responsible for creating a visual display and giving an oral presentation to the school community. Students continue to study the growth of our country as they follow the course of the Revolutionary War and the development of our country’s governing document, the Constitution. A three-day trip to Boston in late Spring serves as a wonderful culminating event. Study of current events and weekly periodicals help children become well-informed citizens who understand local, national, and global events that shape their lives.

math - development of foundations

The Math Program is designed to increase student proficiency in computational skills and reasoning processes. Skills introduced in Grade 4 are reviewed and expanded with increased complexity.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

Instructional Materials “America’s Story, Colonial America 1600-1750,” Sundance Publishing “United States,” Harcourt Brace Social Studies “Time Magazine for Kids,” Time, Inc. Teacher-created materials


ii. the lower school years: 8. grade 5 program

science - earth science and physical science

The Science Program is designed to help students develop an attitude of inquiry and to search for simple explanations about the natural and physical phenomena in the world around them. Areas of study include weather, earth and space, matter, energy, and force. Everyday concrete examples are used to help explore and simplify the more abstract and “invisible� science that surrounds us. Weekly science labs provide handson activities that encourage children to discover scientific concepts through careful observations, discussions, and investigations. The scientific method is introduced. Texts Harcourt Science, Harcourt School Publishers Teacher-created materials

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 9. cross-grade resources and courses

Cross-Grade Resources and Courses art


The Art Program trains students to use and respond to visual modes of expression. The objectives of this program are to:

The Music Program’s goal is to develop an appreciation of music and to help students begin a life-long relationship with music.

• gain understanding that art is an important means of communication, self-expression, and personal satisfaction • learn the vocabulary and concepts of visual language • develop skills and techniques in a variety of mediums • gain experience in problem-solving and decisionmaking • examine the arts and crafts of the past and present in many cultures • value good craftsmanship as well as creative application of skills and techniques to original ideas

The General Music program is designed to encourage students to:

By the end of Grade 5, students have been exposed to a wide variety of materials, techniques, principles, vocabulary, and tradition. They have increased confidence and the skills to express their ideas visually. In evaluating their success, they learn to understand the process of critique. Students also realize the importance of collaboration and independent work habits. The Art Program reflects the mission of King by encouraging personal achievement in the studio. There is a wide range of opportunities for success and growth. Students’ experiences in the art studio encourage and foster a range of work styles, which continue to be important in their development into young adults. The diversity of work styles – independent, in collaboration with others, and respectfully side by side with other students – mimics their future work environments. The program is planned and taught taking a range of learning styles and abilities into consideration. At the end of each term, a formal evaluation is written, summarizing the growth, accomplishments, and goals for future work in the studio. In the studio, students are orally assessed while the work is in the planning stage, in progress, and completed on each project. This happens on an individual basis, as well as in group critiques.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

• “think” tunes (knowing a large body of American folk songs as well as varied other multicultural and styles of music) • feel rhythm and beat in their bodies • respond expressively to music Based upon the National Standards for Music Education, all LS Music classes are assessed through five content standards and skill areas: Vocal & Instruments Skills Content Standard: Student, alone and with others, sings and/or plays instruments, using a varied repertoire of music. Reading and Notating Music Content Standard: Student reads and notates music. Creating & Improvising Music Content Standard: Student can create music through improvising melodies and variations as well as composing and arranging music within specified guidelines. Listening to, analyzing, describing and evaluating music Content Standard: Student listens to, responds to, analyzes, evaluates, and describes music. Performance Skills Content Standard: Student continues to respect and improve in his/her knowledge of performing music.


ii. the lower school years: 9. cross-grade resources and courses

Using methods drawn from the Kodaly and Orff music educational philosophies, singing is the first primary skill developed in each LS music class. Vocal development is taught and assessed through children’s singing games, tonal/rhythmic and solfege exercises, and age-appropriate choral music. Movement activities and the use of classroom instruments also play a key role in LS Music. LS classroom instruments include: hand-held percussion (maracas, woodblocks, tambourines, hand drums, jingle bells), Orff (xylophone, metalaphones, and glockenspiels), autoharp, dulcimer, guitar, piano, and soprano recorders. Music literacy also plays a critical role in the LS Music Program. A sequential musical literacy method is used to introduce and develop each student’s reading ability. Following assessment of tonal and rhythmic audiation aptitude, each student’s unique learning style and musical skills are built upon through singing, playing, listening, moving, writing, and reading music. In addition to classroom and in-school assemblies, all students participate in two major school performances: the Holiday Concert in December and the Moving Up Ceremonies in June. Various grade level performances are also highlighted throughout the year, including a Grade 3 soprano recorder unit and performance and a Grade 5 Spring Musical. Instrumental Program The Instrumental Program objective is to introduce, develop, and train each student to have a solid basic knowledge of an instrument. This includes focusing on musical qualities such as a good sense of tone, rhythm, pitch, intonation, sight-reading, and overall musicianship. The program is open to Students in Grades 4 and 5. Small group lessons and ensemble rehearsals meet on campus before and after school. Performances are held at least twice a year during major LS musical performances.

physical education

The Physical Education Program challenges students to reach their fullest physical and intellectual potentials through various physical and kinesthetic awareness activities. Students are encouraged to focus on their own abilities, rather than those of others, and to develop a strong sense of good sportsmanship and cooperation in their interactions with classmates. The program emphasizes free exploration, body awareness, and proprioceptive (awareness of movement within the body) activities with modified equipment and physical examples for Grades PreK2. Through various activities, students learn to work individually, with multiple partners, and within groups. Emphasis is placed upon cooperation, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. In Grades 3 and 4, classes are more sports oriented. Specific developmental skills, rules, and strategies of sports are taught, as is good sportsmanship. The concept of learning a specific sport and being successful at it are the main goals, rather than who wins. Ample opportunities are provided for all students to reach their greatest potential in these areas, in their own way and at their own pace, in order to lay the foundation for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Library Media Center program: Library and Research

PreK and Kindergarten In Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, students are introduced to the library and exposed to variety of authors and genres. Students develop an understanding of proper library behavior and a respect for books and other library materials. Students learn the role of the author and illustrator and can begin to recognize authors and illustrators. Grade 1

Students in Grade 1 begin to develop an understanding of how the library is set up. They begin to understand that the library is divided into sections according to what the books are about, i.e. fiction, non-fiction, etc. During our “Stories From Around the World” unit, Grade 1 students “travel” to different continents and read a folktale or fairy tale from a country on the continent.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


The students then visit a corresponding web site and complete an activity. Grade 1 also completes an author study. The classes read all of Tomie dePaola’s “Strega Nona” books. They learn to recognize the author’s style and how his stories are organized. Then, as a class, the children write and illustrate their own original “Strega Nona” story. Grade 2 In Grade 2, students have become more familiar with the organization of the library. They can independently locate familiar topics on the shelves. Students still enjoy listening to stories and have a chapter book that is read throughout the year. During “Diggin’ up Dinosaurs,” students in Grade 2 choose a dinosaur to research. Using pre-selected library books and web sites, the students gather and record specific information about their dinosaur. Finally, children draw a picture of their dinosaurs using the information they have gathered. “Endanger Danger” coincides with the biome unit. The students again use two pre-selected web sites to gather information about their endangered animals. Then the students use KidPix to create a “missing poster” with the information for their animal in order to call attention to their animal’s plight. The third trimester project is a literature project. “Cinderella Around the World” exposes students to different cultures through variations of the Cinderella stories. After reading at least one traditional tale, one male version of the tale, and one modern day spin on the tale, the students compare and contrast the components from the stories. Using this information as a guide, students then create their own Cinderella stories with their teacher. Grade 3 In Grade 3, students come to the library more often than in the earlier grades. During their time in the library, children still enjoy listening to a chapter book, but they are also starting to research some more complex topics. They are also becoming more familiar with the organization of the library and are learning the Dewey Decimal System.

information on their topic. They begin to develop the ability to pull appropriate information from their sources, and also determine if there are enough sources available about their topic. Some topics that the children research are natural disasters and space. The final trimester project is Native Americans. The students use books available in the library to research a Native American tribe. They complete a gradeappropriate works cited page, consisting of author and title. After they have completed their research, students use the information they have gathered to create their own Native American villages. Students then present their drawings and information to their classmates. Grade 4 Grade 4 students still enjoy listening to a variety of stories and a chapter book throughout the year. Students come to the library more frequently. Applying the skills they learned in Grade 3, students are better able to navigate their way through the library. In the first trimester, Grade 4 researches animals of their choice. Using the resources available in the library and from approved web sites, children continue to expand their skills: locating specific topics in the library; pulling appropriate information from sources; and utilizing the parts of the book that will help them locate the information. Students create a fact sheet and draw a picture of their animas,l organizing the information that they have gathered. During the second trimester, students complete miniresearch projects to help reinforce the skills they worked on during the first trimester. The third trimester project in Grade 4 is “State the Facts.” Students select a state to research, and gather information about their state using the library resources and appropriate web sites. Students create a presentation board to display their information. The concluding activity of the project is the “State Fair” when classmates, other grade-level students, Teachers, and parents enjoy what the children have discovered about their states.

In the first and second trimesters, students complete mini-research projects. These projects help students learn in which section of the library they may find

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


ii. the lower school years: 9. cross-grade resources and courses

Grade 5 In Grade 5, students come to the library more often then in the earlier grades. They still enjoy having the opportunity to listen to a chapter book or other stories that are read to them during the year.

Students are able to make good observations, understand important relationships between mathematics and science, approach problems in a logical way, use a scientific method approach to experimentation, and use basic scientific terminology. The program promotes a spirit of inquiry and curiosity.

In the first trimester, students work on a group research project about explorers, “Exploring the World of Old.” The groups research the life and explorations of select explorers and create an Explorer Profile. Throughout this project, students keep track of where they found their information on a source sheet.

Developmental concerns are taken into account in several ways. Units are shorter for the younger children; Grade 1 units run about two weeks, while Grade 5 units comprise one per quarter. Lessons are more concrete for younger students, although the work is basically as hands-on as possible in all classes. Grade 1 class periods are shorter as well. These arrangements are the result of constructive reflection on how different age groups learn best.

During the second trimester, children work in groups to research the Civil Rights Movement, “We Shall Overcome.” They research influential people or events and how they affected the Civil Rights Movement. Using pre-selected resources and web sites, students learn to filter the information to find the most relevant and developmentally appropriate facts. Similar to the first trimester project, students keep track of where they found information. The final project is “Colonial America.” Students work individually, researching a Colonial American topic such as occupations, events, or historical people. Utilizing all the skills they have developed during their time in the Lower School, children research their topic by searching out their own appropriate resources from those available in the library and through the library web site. Throughout this final project, students continue to keep track of where they found their information. They create a works cited page and add it to their finished papers. The Colonial Fair is the culminating event that showcases the hard work of each student and demonstrates what he/she has learned in the LS Library. Science Lab The objectives of the LS Science Program reflect the school’s Mission Statement by encouraging students to draw their own conclusions, form hypotheses, and work collaboratively with their peers, both in the science lab and in the classroom. The Science Program is designed to instill inquisitiveness in each student and inspire each student to become a life-long learner. While students are not formally graded on their work in the laboratory, they are challenged and their interest in science is stimulated. By the time students leave the Lower School, they have been introduced to all major science topics in a grade-appropriate way. They also have had extensive lab experience and are familiar with important lab techniques and methods of collecting data. They are familiar with the metric system.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide

Foreign Language LS Spanish has implemented the Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) Program. Students are encouraged to develop, reinforce, and refine their language skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture. Listening gives students the opportunity to practice discriminating sounds and to listen to the Spanish version of some favorite books. Speaking promotes communication so students are encouraged to interact with Pepito, our Spanish puppet, in a friendly and informal atmosphere. They also sing songs and play games. Reading gives the students the occasion to examine short texts, to recognize vocabulary already familiar to them, and to take the risks in determining the meaning of the context. Writing promotes and reinforces familiar vocabulary through creative and original sentences using these words in new combinations. Cultural connections have been built into the various unit components by singing and listening to music that represents the Spanish culture. Students have the opportunity to acquire a basic understanding and appreciation of cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. These language skills are developed through several methods, including the Natural Approach and Total Physical Response (TPR). The Natural Approach presents a learning environment related to children’s surroundings, needs, interests and everyday life, as well as the continued positive reinforcement, comments, and display of students’ work. TPR promotes the use of appropriated nonverbal communication: mime, gesture, and sign language in the acquisition of the language. Children feel more confident responding to


ii. the lower school years: 9. cross-grade resources and courses

given commands and directions from the Teacher in a small or whole group setting. In addition students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 work in the textbook “Viva el Español” in order to continue practicing their language skills. Counseling Department Overview The LS Counseling Department facilitates the social and emotional development of all of our students through the development, implementation, and coordination of the social skill, life skill, emotional development, and prevention programming for the Lower School. The Counseling Department provides individual and small group counseling and support for students. It provides support and guidance for Teachers and Administrators in working with individuals or small groups of students. It provides support and guidance for parents as well as referrals to community resources. Types of Programs Stranger awareness programs and new student integration process PreK-Grade 5 Social skill and emotional development programming PreK-Grade 5 Team building and life skill programs, Grades 3-5 Sexuality Program, Grade 5 PreK-Grade 2 The Counseling Department provides counseling and support for students in individual and small group settings as needed. It provides support and guidance for teachers and Framework Directors in working with individual or small groups of students. It provides support and guidance for parents as well as referrals to community resources. Grades 3-4 The Counseling Department provides team building programs, counseling, and support for students in individual and small group settings as needed. It provides support and guidance for teachers and Administrators in working with individuals or small groups of students. It provides support and guidance for parents as well as referrals to community resources.

as needed. In Grade 5 we introduce our Sexuality Curriculum, which addresses the social, emotional, and physical changes of puberty. The Counseling Department also provides support and guidance for teachers and Administrators in working with individuals or small groups of students. It provides support and guidance for parents as well as referrals to community resources. Media & Technology

Grade 3 In Grade 3 Media & Technology is an integrated part of the classroom curriculum. Lessons are taught using a wireless laptop cart, allowing work to become projectoriented. Students are introduced to developmentally appropriate uses of technology, including multimedia design, podcasting, and information literacy. Throughout the year, students work in collaborative groups on episodes of King Kast – King’s Lower School Podcast. Throughout the King Kast, students are introduced to new ways of communicating and learning, as well as learning valuable 21st century skills. In the third trimester, students work in small groups to create a short video. During this unit the students are instructed on how to create a two-minute commercial from start to finish. Beginning with storyboarding, each group works together through all the different phases of production, ending with an original infomercial about simple machines! Grade 4 In Grade 4 Media & Technology is an integrated part of the classroom curriculum. Lessons are taught using a wireless laptop cart, allowing work to become projectoriented. Students are introduced to developmentally appropriate uses of technology, including multimedia design, podcasting, and information literacy, as well as keyboarding instruction. Throughout the year, the students work in collaborative groups on episodes of King Kast – King’s LS Podcast. Throughout the King Kast, students are introduced to new ways of communicating and learning, as well as learning valuable 21st century skills.

Grade 5 The Counseling Department provides team building and class bonding programs, counseling, and support for students in individual and small group settings

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


Grade 5 In Grade 5 Media & Technology is an integrated part of the classroom curriculum. Lessons are taught using a wireless laptop cart, allowing work to become projectoriented. Students are introduced to developmentally appropriate uses of technology, including multimedia design, podcasting, and information literacy, as well as keyboarding instruction. Students are introduced to FirstClass, King’s online student community, and are given personal email accounts. Throughout the year, students are instructed in the CyberSMART curriculum, which empowers students to use technology safely, responsibly, and effectively. Classroom discussion time is dedicated to thoughtful conversations concerning cyber bullying, ethics, as well as safety and manners.

2011- 2012 Lower School Program Guide


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LS Program Guide  

LS Program Guide