Elementary Curriculum

The elementary curricula are divided into nine areas. Core subject areas include language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health. These subjects are instructed by the regular classroom teachers on a daily basis. Related Arts areas, including art, health/wellness/fitness, music, and instructional media (library), are offered on a weekly basis and are instructed by teachers certified in each specialized academic area.

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LANGUAGE ARTS – The language arts program is organized around a strong reading- writing connection. Instruction includes phonics, strategy/skills development, spelling, handwriting, and analytical writing domains. A rich assortment of children’s literature along with anthology or core literature supports the teaching of language skills including speaking and listening. The result is an integrated, literature-based language arts program that leads to a natural development of communication skills.

MATHEMATICS – The study of mathematics develops the student’s ability to calculate, apply concepts, and solve problems. Children are taught to value math and communicate its concepts. Sound thought processes and problem solving skills are developed leading to self-reliance in the student’s mathematical ability. Technology, including the use of calculators and computers, is an integral part of this program.

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SCIENCE – The science program is designed to include hands-on, process-oriented experiences, which emphasize discovery through inquiry, observing, communicating, classifying, predicting, measuring, and verifying. The curriculum is divided into three areas and ten strands as follows:

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EARTH – Ocean, Geology, Universe, Weather
PHYSICAL – Chemistry/Matter, Physical Forces, Motion/Force/Work
LIFE – Animals, Plants, Human Body
Demonstrations, experiments, the use of technology, integration of content areas, and on-site visits are all part of an active and involved instructional program.

SOCIAL STUDIES – Students will develop civic responsibility as well as an appreciation and understanding of basic human needs, cultural diversity, and an interdependence of the world community. The program is based on history as the unifying discipline and will include designated strands of geography, people, economics, contemporary issues, and political science. Critical thinking skills will be developed along with problem-solving techniques designed to help students resolve conflict.

HEALTH – Health instruction is designed to give students an opportunity to develop positive health attitudes and practices which enable them to make intelligent decisions about their bodies and environment. Units in nutrition, safety, body systems, and communicable diseases are offered along with drug education and sex education programs.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION – Students will participate in a variety of skills, games, and activities designed to develop an understanding of basic motor skills and increase their physical proficiency. An awareness of the importance of physical fitness through lifelong activities will be developed as well. Students will gain a sense of sportsmanship and leadership.

ART – Elementary art incorporates the content and skills of four disciplines: art history, production, aesthetics, and criticism. Experiences are provided in a variety of media, both two and three-dimensional. Students develop an understanding of different cultural, social, and ethnic traditions. On a personal level, students are able to express themselves as creative individuals. They also learn to perceive, interpret, and value art.

MUSIC – Elementary students are taught the basic elements of music including notation, rhythm, melody, and vocabulary. They also respond to music, sing, and play instruments to expand their knowledge and music appreciation. Instrumental music instruction is offered beginning in grade 4 in the areas of strings, percussion, brass, and woodwinds. Students in the upper elementary grades may participate in band, orchestra, chorus, and other vocal and instrumental ensembles.

INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA – Each school houses a library collection providing rich resources for the development of an appreciation of good literature. The library program supports the entire elementary curriculum with resources organized through a web based catalog system available to each classroom and also accessible from students’ homes. In addition, World Book Online Encyclopedia is available through school and home access.

All areas of the curriculum are supported by educational technology. All elementary classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard and a ceiling projector. Elementary buildings also have laptop carts and teachers use a course management system to enrich and extend learning opportunities and enhance student collaboration. These technologies are used as part of the daily ongoing instructional program in an effort to better equip our students with 21st Century skills.

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