Lower School Curriculum Progression

Browse through the disciplines to see the continuum of each academic course from Pre-K through fifth grade in the Lower School.

Music

Grade: Pre-K

Music

The pre-kindergarten music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 30-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Steady beat

  • Introduction of percussion instruments

  • Expand upon pre-kindergarten classroom units


Grade: K

Music

The kindergarten music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 30-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative

movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Holt’s “The Planets”

  • American music

  • Orff instrumental introduction







Grade: 1

Music

The first grade music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 30-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Songs of the American Revolution

  • Orff introduction of chordal patterns

  • Theme and variations in orchestral works


Grade: 2

Music

The second grade music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 40-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Reading the written score

  • Creating a score for their original poetry

  • Recognizing musical form ABA








Grade: 3

Music

The third grade music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 45-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Recorders

  • Theatre

  • Extensive score reading for instruments


Grade: 4

Music

The fourth grade music experience creates an active space for the whole child’s creative potential. Meeting twice every 6 days for 45-minute sessions, the program focuses on introducing rhythm, melody, and notation while engaging the whole body in creative movement. Performance opportunities broaden the singer’s vocal literature and offer skills in public presentations. Sample units of study:

  • Guitars

  • Reading two-part vocal core

  • The orchestra








Grade: 5

Music

The fifth grade music experience offers choral and instrumental opportunities. Building

on skills mastered during the previous grades, the fifth grade spends 55 minutes once is 6 day cycle in a performance choral group, reading scores in unison and two parts of music from different eras and cultures. An additional 45-minutes once in a 6 day cycle  session provides a hand chime experience. Both choral and instrumental classes require the students to creatively interpret the music, while working together as one large unit. Sample units of study:

  • Preparation for leadership role in the Grandparents’ Day Concert

  • Culminating end-of-year fifth grade concert

  • Experience large chime ensemble

Physical Education

Grade Pre-K

Physical Education

The pre-kindergarten physical education program encourages participation in a wide variety of activities and promotes cooperation and sportsmanship. Body management, locomotor skills, and rhythmic activities are emphasized through fun and highly inclusive

games. Components of our program include:

  • Locomotor skills: running, skipping, galloping, side slides, and jogging

  • Jump rope and rhythmic movement, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Gross motor skills: throwing, catching, kicking, striking

  • Balance and Coordination

  • Gymnastics Skills: Tumbling, jumping


Grade: Kindergarten

Physical Education

The primary focus of physical education in kindergarten is gross motor skills. We will

introduce and work on different locomotor skills in a fun and active way. Games and

activities are structured to be inclusive, highly active, and fun for all students; academic

and wellness concepts will be integrated. Kindergarten students come to PE twice a

week, and they have a movement class every Wednesday. Components of our program

include:

  • Locomotor skills: running, skipping, galloping, side slides, and jogging

  • Jump rope and rhythmic movement, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Gross motor skills: kicking, striking, throwing and catching

  • Cooperation and sportsmanship

  • Balance and coordination

  • Gymnastics: Jumping, tumbling, balance, arm strength


Grade: 1

Physical Education

Students in first grade will continue to build on the locomotor movements learned in pre-k and kindergarten through a variety of fun and engaging activities. Games will be highly inclusive, and all students will leave the gym or field having participated and having found success in the skills that we are learning. Our goal is to enhance students’ quality of life through active living and healthy decisions. Components of our program include:

  • Locomotor skills

  • Gross motor skills such as kicking, striking, throwing and catching

  • Cooperation and sportsmanship

  • Introduction of sport-specific skills: basketball, soccer, hockey, and volleyball

  • Jump rope and rhythmic movement, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Gymnastics: Jumping, tumbling, balance, arm strength


Grade: 2

Physical Education

The physical education program for second grade emphasizes participation in a wide

variety of fun and active games and activities. Our goal is to introduce many different

activities so that students are equipped to choose a healthy and active lifestyle. We

will participate in fun locomotor games as well as a variety of sport drills and games.

Games and activities are designed to be both fun and challenging for all skill levels, with cooperation and sportsmanship always a primary focus. Components of our program include:

  • Chasing and fleeing games which focus on locomotor movements, as well as body space and control.

  • Sport units: basketball, soccer, volleyball, kickball, baseball, Frisbee, and jump rope, badminton, gymnastics, yoga

  • A dance unit, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Fitness testing through Fall Fitness Day

  • Emphasis on sportsmanship and teamwork throughout all units.




Grade: 3

Physical Education

Our third grade physical education curriculum emphasizes team games and cooperative activities. Games and activities are designed so that all students can find success, regardless of experience or skill level. We will work on many sport- specific skills and gross motor skills in a variety of fun activities. The goal is to give students the tools necessary to live active and healthy lifestyles in and out of school. Components of our program include:

  • Throwing and catching games that focus on gross motor skills

  • Sport specific units: basketball, soccer, floor hockey, Frisbee, badminton, volleyball, baseball, and jump rope, yoga, gymnastics

  • Dance unit, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Field games unit, which culminates with Field Day at the end of the year

  • Fitness testing through Fall Fitness Day




Grade: 4

Physical Education

The Physical Education program at Carolina Day School emphasizes active living

through participation in a variety of games and activities. Games are designed for all

students to be successful in each class. Fourth graders come to PE three times a week

for 30-minute classes. The cornerstone of all activities is teamwork and cooperation.

Components of our program include:

  • Throwing and catching games that focus on gross motor skills

  • Sport specific units: basketball, soccer, floor hockey, Frisbee, badminton, volleyball, baseball, yoga, gymnastics and jump rope

  • Dance unit, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Field games unit, which culminates with Field Day at the end of the year

  • Fitness testing through Fall Fitness Day


Grade: 5

Physical Education

Our goal is for fifth graders to leave the lower school with a good framework in a

variety of sports and skills, so they can be successful as they move to the middle

school. Students come to PE with their class twice a week for 30 minutes, and they come together one time a week as a whole grade for 30-minute intramural games. The fifth grade intramural time stresses cooperation and team play through a year-long games competition. Points are awarded not only for scoring, but also for good sportsmanship and effort. In class we will continue to work on sport specific skills as well as fitness concepts. Components of our program include:

  • Throwing and catching games that focus on gross motor skills

  • Sport specific units: basketball, soccer, floor hockey, Frisbee, badminton, volleyball, baseball, yoga, gymnastics and jump rope

  • Dance unit, which culminates with our annual lower school family dance

  • Field games unit, which culminates with Field Day at the end of the year

  • Fitness testing through Fall Fitness Day and the Fitness Gram

  • Intramural competition emphasizing sportsmanship and team play

Art

Grade: Pre-K

Art

Beginning in January, children enter the art room as for the first time, and it is a truly magical time filled with exploration and discovery.  Students work on two-dimensional artwork such as drawing with colored pencils, markers and oil pastels.  They also use watercolor paints and explore techniques of collage and printmaking.  During Pre-K art students learn about basic Elements of Art such as shape, line, and color.  Some sample areas of focus are:

  • Experimental drawing and painting

  • Drawing with shapes to create a recognizable form

  • Using recycled materials and paint for printmaking



Grade: K

Art

Two and three-dimensional art forms such as drawing, painting, and sculpture give voice to each child’s imagination and individuality. Children progress at their own pace, and process is much more important than finished product. Students have a chance to really explore their unique creativity while working on fine motor skills.  The Elements of Art are explored this year- line, shape, color, texture, form, and space.  Projects are often integrated with students’ academic classroom topics. Sample areas of focus:

  • Introduce the vocabulary of art and design

  • Observe, interpret and discuss works of art

  • Learn to control and manipulate scissors, paintbrushes, glue, and clay tools

  • Cooperate by sharing tools and art materials with tablemates




Grade: 1

Art

This class builds upon the Kindergarten year with increased class time that reflects the First Grader`s growing attention span. Students continue to explore basic elements of art through two and three-dimensional projects. Drawing, painting, sculpture, and simple printmaking are presented with projects that require increased dexterity. Children progress at their own pace, and process is much more important than finished product. Highlights include drawing with a variety of materials, using multiple types of paint, clay sculpture and collage.  Projects are often integrated with students’ academic classroom topics. Sample areas of focus:

  • Study the basic elements of line, texture, color, form, and space

  • Expand on students’ vocabulary of art and design

  • Observe and interpret works of art-both modern and historical

  • Using children’s literature to incorporate art learning


Grade: 2

Art

Second Grade art continues to explore the elements of art through two and three-dimensional art projects. Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, weaving, glue batik and clay work round out the year. Children progress at their own pace, and process is more important than finished product. Highlights include observational flower paintings, self-portraits, still life drawings, and CD weaving. Specific projects may vary from year to year in response to new ideas and academic classroom topics. Sample areas of focus:

  • Study the basic elements of line, color, texture, form, and space

  • Expand on students’ vocabulary of art and design

  • Observe and interpret works of art

  • Explore art history through imagery and books

 




Grade: 3

Art

In third grade art we continue to explore the elements of art through two and three-dimensional lessons and projects. Drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, folk crafts, and clay work round out the year. Children progress at their own pace, and process is much more important than product. Highlights include hand-built and glazed clay mugs, underwater creature watercolor painting, intricate paper cuttings, and paper mache sculptures. Specific projects may vary year to year in response to new ideas and academic classroom topics. Sample areas of focus:

  • Study the basic elements of line, color, texture, form and space

  • Expand on students’ vocabulary of art and design

  • Observe and interpret works of art

  • Explore art history through imagery and books


Grade: 4

Art

Fourth grade art continues to explore the elements of art through two and three-dimensional projects. Drawing, painting, oil and chalk pastels, charcoal drawing, printmaking, hand sewing, and clay work round out the year. Children progress at their own pace, and process is more important than product. By this time considerable skill is developing in the areas of drawing/painting and clay work. Sensitivity towards well crafted artwork is starting to be emphasized. Highlights include gyotaku fish prints, hand-sewn ‘germ monsters’, medieval inspired paintings, and imaginative symmetrical drawings. Specific projects may vary each year in response to new ideas and academic classroom topics. Sample areas of focus:

  • Study the basic elements of line, color, texture, form and space

  • Expand on students’ vocabulary of art and design

  • Observe and interpret works of art

  • Explore art history through imagery and books




Grade: 5

Art

In the fifth grade students continue to explore the elements of art through two and three-dimensional projects. Advanced projects in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fiber arts, and clay round out the year. At this stage projects are more complex, typically involving four to eight class sessions to complete. Children progress at their own pace, and process is still more important than product. By fifth grade, students have developed specific skills and control of materials and tools with clay, drawing and painting, and sculpture.  Awareness of craftsmanship is emphasized. Highlights include religious architecture drawings, self-portrait drawings, and a multi-media ceramic and weaving project.  Some projects will be selected to reinforce classroom studies and may vary from year to year. Areas of focus:

  • Create advanced projects that explore line, color, texture, form and space

  • Use the vocabulary of art and design in discussions about class projects and art history

  • Observe and interpret meaning and emotion in the visual

  • Art history through imagery and books

Library

The lower school library supports the Carolina Day School curriculum, encourages reading, and promotes research. More than 20,000 titles are available to students and parents via the web-based catalogue, along with a variety of electronic databases, print periodicals, DVDs, and audio resources. The library program is designed to foster a love of reading and to teach skills in locating and evaluating information. A primary focus is on providing appropriate and enticing materials for diverse reading interests and wide ranging reading abilities, so all students can find materials to support their learning and joy of reading. Lower school students are welcome to independently visit the library throughout the school day with their teacher’s permission.


Grade: Pre-K

Library

In the first semester, Pre-K students visit the library twice during the six day class rotation. The second semester schedule includes one visit per rotation (the other class time is spent in art). Weekly library visits include:

  • Carefully selected literature designed to foster early literacy skills

  • Active listening and practice of early literacy skills during picture book reading

  • Interactive storytelling, fingerplays, and songs

  • Literature selections that reinforce classroom curriculum

  • Independently selecting books to borrow and responsibly return


Grade: K

Weekly library visits include:

  • Introduction to a variety of authors and genres intentionally selected to foster early literacy skills

  • Reading from the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees

  • Active listening, practice of early literacy skills, and contributing to class discussions

  • Interactive storytelling, fingerplays, and songs

  • Independently selecting books to borrow and responsibly return


Grade: 1

Weekly library visits include:

  • Read alouds focusing on world folk tales, spooky stories, and the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees intentionally selected to foster early literacy skills

  • Active listening, contributing to class discussions, and  practice of early literacy skills

  • Introduction to locating library materials

  • Selecting appropriate books for independent reading

  • Checking out books independently


Grade 2

Weekly library visits include:

  • Author study of Chris Van Allsburg’s picture books

  • Exploration of the Caldecott Medal criteria

  • Analysis and evaluation of new picture books to identify those deserving Caldecott recognition

  • Locating books related to personal interests

  • Voluntary participation in the Caldecott Challenge reading and writing program

  • Reading and evaluating books by the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees


Grade 3

Third graders are invited to participate in voluntary Literary Lunch Societies during their lunch times. These single gender societies vote to select the titles they read and discuss. Weekly library visits include:

  • Book talks to promote reading across genres

  • Analysis and evaluation of new picture books to identify those deserving Caldecott recognition

  • Voluntary participation in the Caldecott Challenge reading and writing program

  • Reading books by the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees

  • One-on-one reader advising

  • Exploring the library’s arrangement of resources

  • Beginning to use the web-based catalog to locate books

  • Introduction to the library’s subscription databases

  • Direct instruction in reading nonfiction


Grade 4

Fourth graders are invited to participate in voluntary Literary Lunch Societies during their lunch times. These single gender societies vote to select the titles they read and discuss. Weekly library visits include:

  • Book talks to promote reading across genres and the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees

  • Analysis and evaluation of new novels and nonfiction to identify those deserving Newbery recognition

  • Voluntary participation in the Newbery Challenge reading and writing program

  • One-on-one reader advising

  • Exploring the library’s arrangement of resources

  • Use of the library’s subscription databases

  • Use of the web-based catalog to locate books and other appropriate resources

  • Direct instruction in reading nonfiction


Grade 5

Fifth graders are invited to participate in voluntary Literary Lunch Societies during their lunch times. These single gender societies vote to select the titles they read and discuss. Weekly library visits include:

  • Book talks to promote reading across genres and the North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees

  • Analysis and evaluation of new novels and nonfiction to identify those deserving Newbery recognition

  • Voluntary participation in the Newbery Challenge reading and writing program

  • One-on-one reader advising

  • Locating, gathering, and interpreting information in the library’s print and electronic resources

  • Use of the library’s subscription databases

  • Use of the web-based catalog to locate library resources

  • Direct instruction in reading nonfiction

Spanish

Grade: PK

Spanish

The World Language Program at CDS begins in Pre K, with a total of 30 minutes of exposure time in the rotating week, divided into two 15-minute sessions of complete immersion. The program is intended to introduce students to the unique sounds of Spanish, as well as to get them excited about learning something completely new.  We work to pique students’ curiosity about other cultures and points of view and to foster a love of language learning throughout their lower school language experience.

Students explore basic words, phrases, songs, and games in Spanish. The vocabulary and structures used in class are intentionally selected and worked into activities to give students the necessary exposure and practice time to process the communication patterns and skills. Total Physical Response, or TPR, is the main method used to teach Spanish, using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles.  We create a class atmosphere that is lively, fun and safe.  Sample units of study:

  • Greetings

  • Basic commands

  • Courtesy expressions

  • Numbers 1-10

  • Colors









Grade: K

Spanish

Spanish continues in Kindergarten, with a total of 60-minutes of lively Spanish classes each rotating week, divided into three 20-minute sessions of complete immersion. Our program focuses on listening and familiarizing students with the sounds, common phrases, basic vocabulary, and culture of the diverse Spanish speaking countries around the globe, keeping the focus on communication. Total Physical Response, or TPR, is the main method used to teach Spanish, using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles.  We create a class atmosphere that is lively, fun and safe, as we incorporate songs, art projects, role playing, realia, and a myriad of games. Cultural activities are also introduced to promote curiosity, awareness, respect, and perspective. Sample units of study:

  • Greetings

  • Basic commands

  • Courtesy expressions

  • Commonly used phrases

  • Numbers 1-10

  • Colors, shapes and patterns

  • Stating likes and dislikes

  • Selected action verbs










Grade: 1

Spanish

Students extend their Spanish classes to four 20-minute session of complete immersion in the rotating week. The program focuses on consolidating and expanding the vocabulary and skills built in kindergarten. We work on developing basic Spanish phonemic awareness, while keeping the focus on the students’ listening skills. At this level students are welcomed to begin their language exploration by trying to reproduce and speak the target language. Total Physical Response, or TPR, is the main method used to teach Spanish, using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles.  We create a class atmosphere that is lively, fun and safe, as we incorporate songs, art projects, role playing, realia, and a myriad of games. Cultural activities continue to be introduced to promote curiosity, awareness, and respect. Sample units of study:

  • The Spanish alphabet and the letter sounds

  • Expressing emotions

  • Expressing likes and dislikes

  • Numbers 1-30

  • Geometric shapes and patterns

  • Parts of the body and face

  • Farm animals

  • Food

  • The calendar

  • The weather









Grade: 2

Spanish

Students continue their Spanish exploration by increasing their contact time to 90 minutes per rotating week, divided into four separate sessions of total immersion. The classroom becomes a common and familiar space to learn, as students expand their knowledge of the Spanish language on an almost daily basis.  The program continues to focus on enhancing students’ listening skills, but more attention is placed on phonemic awareness and developing speaking skills. At this point most students are developmentally ready to begin the challenge of trying to read and even write simple ideas in Spanish. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities are aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles, as we incorporating songs, art projects, role playing, realia, and a myriad of games. Cultural activities continue to enhance understanding and respect for the multiple and diverse Spanish speaking countries. Sample units of study:

  • The Spanish alphabet and the letter sounds

  • Consonants and vowels

  • Commonly used phrases

  • Commonly used cognates

  • Stating likes and dislikes

  • Responding to and giving commands

  • Asking for and providing personal information

  • Numbers 1-50, addition and subtraction

  • Classroom objects, colors, and basic descriptions

  • Clothing, weather and seasons

  • Telling the time

  • Prepositions of place








Grade: 3

Spanish

Students increase their contact time to 100 minutes per rotating week, divided into two 30-minute sessions and two 20-minute sessions. This frequency allows students to quickly familiarize themselves with the demands and expectations of learning a new language. Phonemic awareness exercises aimed at consolidating and improving listening and speaking skills take center stage in third grade. Focus is placed on being able to describe situations and in sharing personal interests. Students are introduced to the use of the Symtalk methodology that allows them to manipulate parts of the language, creating communicational chunks, solidifying vocabulary and introducing simple language structures in a completely immersed Spanish classroom setting. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities are aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles, as we incorporate songs, art projects, role playing, realia, and a myriad of games. Cultural activities continue to enhance understanding and respect for the multiple and diverse Spanish speaking countries. Sample units of study:

  • Personal introductions

  • Conversation Starters

  • Descriptions using The Symtalk books (speaking, reading and writing)

  • Action verbs in present and continuous forms (descriptions)

  • Telling the time

  • Introduction to Geography: “The American Continent”

  • Vocabulary expansion

  • Self portrait puppet video project









Grade: 4

Spanish

Fourth grade students have 100 minutes of contact hours per week, with four 25-minute sessions in the rotating week. The program focuses on consolidating and improving the students’ speaking, listening, basic reading, and basic writing skills. Students continue the use of the Symtalk method, allowing them to consolidate their knowledge of what Spanish should look and sound like at a basic level. The Exploring Spanish books and audio materials provide a basic foundation for the communication goals expected at this level. Self-study aids, like the Duolingo App and the Quizlet App created by the teacher, allow students to become more responsible and independent, and they also provide further motivation to improve their language skills. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) activities are aimed towards engaging students’ different learning styles, as they incorporate songs, art projects, role playing, realia, games, and oral presentations. Special interest is placed on the exploration of the diverse cultures of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Students create presentations and learn to express themselves more fluidly and with more attention on authentic pronunciation.  The exit Spanish level competency in our fourth grade corresponds with the Novice High level established by the ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages). Sample units of study:

  • The numbers 0- …

  • Acting and giving commands

  • Greeting and expressions of courtesy

  • Regular verbs

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Descriptions using the present progressive in Spanish

  • Phrases to navigate the Spanish class

  • Describing objects with common adjectives

  • Gender and number agreement with nouns and adjectives

  • Common cognates

  • Geography of South America, Central America and the Caribbean

  • “Me, Myself, and I” physical descriptions and personality traits

  • My family

  • Families of Latin America

Language Arts

Grade: Pre-K
Language Arts
Language arts is a multi-media, multi-sensory program that offers each child a variety of experiences with language and literature in order to build skills and to develop a love of language and expression. Language exploration with age-appropriate activities, including dramatic play, helps a child to achieve a positive self-image, to relate to other children, and to verbalize ideas and feelings. Children learn letter names, shapes, and sounds, and identify words that have these initial sounds. Additionally, an environment rich in books, stories, songs, and manipulation introduces and develops recognition, comprehension, and sequencing skills. Examples of skill-building activities:
  • Conversing in a group setting
  • Learning to recognize letters and sounds
  • Listening to a variety of literary genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, folk tales
  • Participating in story dramatizations
  • Expressing oneself through drawing and story dictation
  • Gaining comprehension skills in retelling, comparing and contrasting, and sequencing
 
Grade: K
Language Arts
The language arts program in kindergarten is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.
This phonetically based reading instruction is multi-sensory, utilizing visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities. Phonological and phonemic awareness are the focus of small-group instruction. There is a daily emphasis on literature-rich experiences that are thematically based and incorporate both vocabulary and comprehension activities.
Cursive handwriting is taught with the focus on lower-case letter formation and proper pencil grip. Prewriting activities lay the groundwork for formal-handwriting instruction.
Key areas of focus:
  • Letter-naming fluency
  • Initial-sound fluency
  • Phonics instruction
  • Cursive handwriting
 
Grade: 1
Language Arts
The first grade literacy program is comprised of four main components: reading, writing, word study, and speaking/listening. Our program teaches skills and strategies for developing decoding, visual memory of sight words, and comprehension through reading both controlled and noncontrolled text. Reading materials include selections from Flyleaf Publishing, Spire, and A to Z reading. The theory that writing is a process is introduced to students at this grade level. Students also write informally in weekly journals. Children are taught spelling patterns and rules of a sequence based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, using Wilson Foundations as a guide. Skills of speaking and listening are acquired through such activities as class meetings, Readers’ Theater, and collaborative presentations. Students learn and use cursive writing for all written expression. Sample unit of study:
  • Poetry
  • Fables
  • Reading responses
  • Creative writing
  • Basic research writing
Grade: 2
Language Arts
The second grade language arts curriculum incorporates a balanced approach between the appreciation of literature and explicit skill development in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through guided reading lessons and opportunities to practice reading independently, second graders learn comprehension strategies for both fiction and nonfiction texts.  Resources include Open Court’s Collections for Young Scholars,trade books, and novels. Students learn to write through a workshop approach, with direct instruction through mini-lessons and many opportunities to revise and edit with peers and teachers. The spelling program is a multi-sensory, sequential, phonics-based approach that incorporates grammar and mechanics. Speaking and listening skills are developed through class discussions, performances, and Paideia seminars, which are collaborative, intellectual dialogues facilitated by open-ended questions about a text. Sample units of study:
  • Flat Stanley study and letter writing
  • Byrd Baylor author study
  • Book publishing
  • Differentiated novel studies
  • Civil rights hero research and summaries
Grade: 3
Language Arts
The third grade language arts curriculum incorporates a balanced approach between the appreciation of literature and explicit skill development in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through guided reading lessons and opportunities to practice reading independently, third graders learn comprehension strategies for both fiction and nonfiction texts. The writing program is focused on developing paragraph-writing skills.
Students write narrative, creative, and expository paragraphs using science and social studies content. They are given many opportunities to practice grammar and writing mechanics through revising and editing with teachers and peers. The spelling program uses a multi-sensory, sequential, phonics-based approach. Speaking and listening skills are developed through class discussions that incorporate open-ended questions regarding texts, reader’s theater, and Paideia seminars, which are collaborative, intellectual dialogues. Sample units of study:
  • Fiction and nonfiction: study of rivers in social studies
  • Fiction and nonfiction: astronomy, animal habitats, and sound in science
  • Research for expository writing: ancient Rome, and Asian countries
 
Grade: 4
Language Arts
The fourth grade language arts curriculum consists of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Reading is taught through children's literature, including novels that integrate with the social studies content and also novels that lend themselves to the teaching of elements of literature. Vocabulary and word-study skills are strengthened as novels address various themes. Spelling lessons focus on the six-syllable types and morphology, including prefixes, suffixes, and roots. The writing component stresses the use of a systematic, step-by-step writing process. Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills happen in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings. Sample areas of study:
  • Class novels
  • Literature Circles
  • Gender-based book selections
  • Grammar
  • Structured paragraph writing
  • Creative story writing
  • Five-paragraph essay
  • Journal writing
  • Thoroughly crafted answers to discussion questions
Grade: 5
Language Arts
In the fifth grade reading program, an appreciation of different genres of literature is emphasized. Students connect themes in literature to prior knowledge of people and the world, while also working to develop reading strategies for constructing meaning and acquiring new vocabulary. Instruction is provided in reading strategies for fiction and expository text. There is an emphasis on root words, prefixes, and suffixes with the weekly spelling lists, and students learn about basic grammar rules, including parts of speech, through their vocabulary studies and through their own personal writing. The goal of the writing component in the language arts curriculum is to help students become effective communicators using the written word. Students use the writing process to create several different types of written expression. Opportunities to develop listening and speaking skills occur throughout the year.  Sample areas of study:
  • Writers’ Workshop
  • Strategies for Writers (six traits of writing)
  • Writing process
  • Spelling
  • Grammar (mechanics)
  • e-portfolio
 

Mathematics

Grade: Pre-K
Mathematics
Math activities in the pre-kindergarten program provide for growth in problem solving through the use of concrete manipulatives such as Unifix cubes, geo-boards, pattern blocks, Cuisinaire rods, and games. The math program is based on the desire to make math real for children, and it is integrated into every area of the curriculum. Students learn one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, counting by tens, and sorting; they also develop skills in classification, graphing, and patterns, and they practice estimation and measuring. Calendar activities and counting are part of each day's activities. Skill-building activities include:
  • Number recognition – most students master to 100
  • Sorting and classification
  • One-to-one correspondence
  • Counting by tens to 100
  • Learning about basic graphing, patterning, problem solving, measuring, and sequencing
  • Reviewing geometry and spatial relations in shapes and puzzles

Grade: K
Mathematics
The Math in Focus (the U.S. version of Singapore Math) Kindergarten program consists of classroom learning experiences structured around the Introduce – Discover – Explore – Apply format:

  • Introduce invites children to sing, clap, rhyme, and discuss colorful, playful scenes presented in the Big Book while the teacher systematically elicits related math talk.
  • Discover provides hands-on work in small groups or pairs to allow children to act out or engage actively with the new math idea.
  • Explore reinforces and enhances concepts as children go one step further with the concept.
  • Apply provides children the opportunity to work independently with paper and pencil to practice the new concept or skill.
 
Grade: 1
Mathematics
The Math in Focus(the U.S. version of Singapore Math) first-grade program provides challenging practice problems to help broaden children’s thinking skills and extend their understanding of concepts. The problem-solving questions are designed to challenge students to use relevant strategies for non-routine problems. Sample units of study:
  • Building problem-solving skills and strategies
  • Counting, comparing, and writing numbers to 100
  • Adding and subtracting 1-digit and 2-digit numbers (with and without regrouping)
  • Adding three digit numbers (with and without regrouping)
  • Classifying and sorting shapes and patterns
  • Measuring length and weight
  • Using calendars, time, and money
Grade: 2
Mathematics
The Math in Focus (the U.S. version of Singapore Math) second grade program provides challenging practice problems to help broaden children’s thinking skills and extend their understanding of concepts. The problem-solving questions are designed to challenge students to use relevant strategies for non-routine problems. Sample units of study:
  • Building problem-solving skills and strategies
  • Counting, comparing, and writing numbers to 1,000
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing using bar models
  • Measuring length, mass, and volume in metric units
  • Telling time
  • Recognizing bills and coins
  • Introduction to fractions
Grade: 3
Mathematics
The Math in Focus(the U.S. version of Singapore Math) third-grade program provides challenging practice problems to help broaden children’s thinking skills and extend their understanding of concepts. The problem-solving questions are designed to challenge students to use relevant strategies for non-routine problems. Sample units of study:
  • Building problem-solving skills and strategies
  • Using models to solve real-world problems involving the four operations
  • Making and interpreting data from bar graphs
  • Identifying fractions of a set
  • Finding angles and identifying lines
  • Understanding area and perimeter of figures
Grade: 4
Mathematics
The Math in Focus (the U.S. version of Singapore Math) fourth-grade program provides challenging practice problems to help broaden children’s thinking skills and extend their understanding of concepts. The problem-solving questions are designed to challenge students to use relevant strategies for non-routine problems. Sample units of study:
  • Building problem-solving skills and strategies
  • Multiplying and dividing with 1-digit and 2-digit numbers
  • Using tables, graphs, data, and probability
  • Adding and subtracting with fractions and decimals
  • Understanding relationships between fractions and decimals
  • Studying angles, line segments, area, and perimeter
Grade: 5
Mathematics
The Math in Focus (the U.S. version of Singapore Math)fifth-grade program provides challenging practice problems to help broaden children’s thinking skills and extend their understanding of concepts. The problem-solving questions are designed to challenge students to use relevant strategies for non-routine problems. Sample units of study:
  • Building problem-solving skills and strategies
  • Multiplying and dividing with 2-digit numbers, fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals
  • Solving equations and evaluating inequalities
  • Finding area of a triangle, and surface area and volume of three-dimensional shapes
  • Using ratios and percents, and finding the probability of an event
  • Applying properties of angles, triangles, and four-sided figures

Science

Grade: Pre-K
Science
The science curriculum includes a variety of activities designed to offer hands-on instruction about the world around us. It integrates a wide range of activities to stimulate the child’s curiosity through relevant life experiences. Observation, experiments, and field trips enhance the concepts. Units of study include apples, monarch butterfly metamorphosis and migration, pumpkins, five senses, germination, water cycle, seasons, dinosaurs, air and wind, oceans, and oviparous and viviparous animals. Skill-building activities include:
  • Observation and description skills
  • Sensory activities
  • Classification and identification
  • Construction and manipulation
Grade: K
Science
Kindergarten science focuses on systems, showing how all the individual parts work together to make something function properly. The science program in kindergarten is a combination of hands-on experiments as well as direct instruction. The science units are woven into the study of the seven continents to show the connection between where people/animals live and how they live.
Units of study:
  • Climates and weather
  • Biomes / habitats for animals and people
  • Space
 
Grade: 1
Science
Students in grades one through five use Science and Technology for Children, which is an innovative hands-on science program. It is designed to provide all students with stimulating experiences in the life, earth, and physical sciences. Field trips, guest speakers, labs, and multi-disciplinary projects throughout the year enhance the various topics. Sample units of study:
  • Simple machines
  • The human body
  • Plants and animals of Western North Carolina
Grade: 2
Science
The Science and Technology for Children program provides students the opportunity to learn age-appropriate concepts and skills and to acquire scientific attitudes and habits of mind. In the primary grades, children begin their study of science by observing, measuring, and identifying properties. Asking questions and exploring the scientific method is also a part of each unit.
Sample units of study:
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • States of Matter
  • Plants
Grade: 3
Science
In the Science and Technology for Children program, students experience the focus/
explore/reflect/apply learning cycle. This learning cycle is based on research which suggests that every learner actively constructs their own knowledge, and children learn science best in a hands-on, experimental environment where they can make their own discoveries. Using the Scientific Method, students engage in authentic scientific inquiry and experimentation.  Sample units of study:
  • Sound
  • Astronomy
  • Ecology through the Eco-Team from Warren Wilson College
  • Animal studies
Grade: 4
Science
Students are engaged in the hands-on program of Science and Technology for Children (STC) developed by the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). Children explore objects, organisms, and science phenomena. They discuss observations and investigate their ideas. Students also engage in a science inquiry project emphasizing the scientific process during the fourth grade.  Sample units of study:
  • Measuring time
  • Germs: scientific experiment conducted
  • Electricity:  circuits and magnetism
Grade: 5
Science
Students experience units of study that provide the opportunity to learn age-appropriate concepts and skills and to acquire scientific attitudes and habits of mind. Students in the fifth grade begin moving through a progression of experiences that culminate with the design of controlled experiments. Fifth grade students are also responsible for a science research project and oral presentation. Sample units of study:
  • Ecosystems
  • Chemistry
  • Geology of US National Parks
  • The Red Cross program: “Reaching Adolescents and Parents”

Social Studies

Grade: Pre-K
Social Studies
The pre-kindergarten program begins a journey in social studies that provides a foundation for history, geography, and other social sciences with the intention that many of the topics we introduce through our curriculum will be studied again in the higher grades. These explorations include the four oceans, Native Americans, Dr. Martin Luther King, The Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the Wild West, Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and more. Skill-building activities include:
  • Membership in school community
  • American holiday celebrations
  • Map exploration
  • People in history
  • Current events
  • Diverse people and cultures
Grade: K
Social Studies
Kindergarten social studies focuses on systems, showing how all the individual parts work together to make something function properly. The year-long curriculum moves from the child’s immediate locality gradually to the world beyond where they live. Studying selected topics in world culture and geography fosters curiosity and the beginnings of understanding about the larger world. Units of study include:
  • Local community: my home, school, town
  • North Carolina and the USA, including the arrival of Pilgrims to the New World
  • The seven continents, including cultures / celebrations, geography, famous landmarks
  • The solar system and space travel
Grade: 1
Social Studies
Based on the overarching theme of “Origins,” first graders explore topicsm, which include North Carolina/Appalachian history and their own family roots and history. Students begin the year by building a foundation of knowledge about the world around them. Basic geography skills include a study of continents, the meaning of country and state, and national symbols. Bringing in their own family heritage through a cultural heritage unit is an important part of making connections between other cultures and how they have influenced life in the North Carolina Mountains. Students then explore the history of the Appalachian Mountains through song, dance, crafts, and story-telling. Field trips, guest speakers, and projects throughout the year enhance the various topics. Sample units of study:
  • Appalachian studies
  • Cultural heritage and identity
  • Cherokee Studies
Grade: 2
Social Studies
Second graders continue their study of history and geography following the Core Knowledge sequence. Students read The Pearson Learning /Core Knowledgehistory and geography texts, in addition to trade books for each unit.  Journal writing, Oregon Trail simulations, activities to form a better understanding of segregation, and taxation activities are incorporated within our various units. Geography and map skills are integral to our studies throughout the year and are incorporated into the thematic units of study. Sample units of study:
  • American Revolution
  • Westward Expansion
  • Civil Rights
Grade: 3
Social Studies
Third graders study challenging and interesting material as they engage in learning more about the history and geography of their world. In addition to reading trade books, students use The Pearson Learning/Core Knowledgetexts for some social studies units. Learning geography skills and working with maps are an integral part of the social studies program, and special emphasis is placed on studying the important rivers of the world. Children learn to interpret facts, make connections, and conduct research while studying world and American history. Sample units of study:
  • Rivers
  • Ancient Rome
  • Asia
  • Exploration of North America
Grade: 4
Social Studies
Fourth-grade students use The Pearson Learning/Core Knowledge history and geography textbooks to study world and American history. The year-long study of geography includes reading and interpreting various types of maps, longitude and latitude, and world landforms. Several pieces of literature used in language arts coordinate with the units in social studies, and students write research reports on selected topics. Sample units of study:
  • Europe and Middle Ages
  • Africa – history, geography, current events
  • American presidents
Grade: 5
Social Studies
As a complement to our year-long theme of transformation, students delve into three units of study during the year. They begin with a unit about comparative world religions, during which students learn the research process, including outlining and note-taking skills, and writing a compare and contrast essay. While engaged in a unit about the European Renaissance, students explore the questions surrounding the transformations that occurred in Western Europe during this time period. Students also explore the transformations, which took place during the 20th century, as modern inventions changed the way people lived. Extensive work with maps constitutes the fifth-grade geography focus. Sample units of study:
  • Comparative world religions
  • The Renaissance
  • 20th Century America
  • World geography and using maps
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