Lower Elementary: Grades 1-3
The child enters the elementary classroom excited about the new academic challenges, the greater responsibility he feels for his environment and the people in it, and his curiosity about the larger world.
Each school year begins with the traditional stories called the Great Lessons. These stories introduce the history of math and language in addition to each of the fields of science in such a way as to spark the imagination in the child. The afternoons are then filled with group science experiments and independent work which support these stories and fulfills the child’s curiosity. Oral Spanish lessons, art and PE are also enjoyed in the afternoon.
Phonics, Reading Comprehension, Word Study, Handwriting
Every morning the child diligently works to develop the skills of phonics, reading comprehension, word study and handwriting. By playing with miniature environments, such as the farm or forest, the child builds an understanding of the parts of speech. He then uses this understanding to analyze sentences in English and Spanish.
In math, the child uses concrete materials to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. He then moves on to discovering visual patterns with multiplication and division with materials such as the checkerboard and square of Pythagoras. The child moves from experiencing geometric shapes sensorially, to defining, comparing and measuring these shapes.
The children frequently make presentations to their peers and also participate in three drama productions per year, with one being in Spanish. They perform American historical dances as well as dances from other cultures, from the Viennese waltz to Bhangra or Punjabi dance. They accompany many of the songs and dances playing instruments taught to them by a teacher certified in the Orff Schulwerk method.