• Overview

    Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade

    Morgan Park Academy’s Early Childhood program consists of full-day Pre-K (3), Pre-K (4), Kindergarten and 1st grade. In addition to the lead teacher, Pre-K sections are also staffed by a full-time aide.

    The primary learning outcome of the Early Childhood program is to address the whole child in the areas of social, creative, cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Activities and lessons are designed to ensure a developmentally appropriate, child-centered program. The curriculum is teacher-created and responsive to the children’s interests, needs, and individual levels of development.
    It is the Academy’s belief that young children learn best through play and meaningful experiences. Structured activities are coupled with free explorations at various learning centers that are visited by the students throughout the day. These centers may include dramatic play, math, literacy, art, science, nature, fine motor, and construction.  Centers are often created around interdisciplinary themes or the letter of the week.
     
    Academics are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner. It is important that children at this age develop an experiential background and a love of learning. The language arts curriculum focuses on four main components: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Everyday Math (K-1) which is the basis of the primary math experience, emphasizes that math is a real part of everyday life. The science curriculum allows children to explore and observe the environment around them. The social studies curriculum is designed to help children organize and develop their perception of themselves and their world. Students also take a trimester of French, Spanish and Mandarin, forming the base for their study of world languages throughout their Lower School years.
     
    Character education, including building self-esteem and developing social skills, involves highlighting the theme, The MPA Way (Be Kind and Do Your Best), through role modeling and reinforcing positive social interactions. The wellness program further enhances these themes.
  • Pre-K (3-4)

    Pre-K Curriculum

    The Pre-K program includes developmentally appropriate and rich opportunities for engaging in academic readiness activities, creative exploration, socialization, and play. Nurturing physical, cognitive, and social-emotional growth, our Pre-K program fosters the development of the whole child. Through open-ended and structured activities our Pre-K curriculum is child-centered and is driven by the children’s needs, interests, and levels of development.

    Cooperation, sharing, and problem-solving skills are essential components of our early childhood curriculum.We recognize that children learn primarily through play and meaningful experiences. Therefore, structured activities are coupled with free exploration at various learning centers. Through these offerings, children make choices, explore materials, and begin to develop critical thinking skills. Initiating and appropriately interacting with peers and teachers is a skill that is taught and reinforced throughout the early childhood years.

    Language Arts
    The four components of the language arts curriculum include pre-reading, pre-writing, listening, and speaking. Pre-reading skills that students develop while in Pre-K include recognizing and writing their own name, using illustrations to understand the story, left-to-right reading directionality, recitation and recognition of the alphabet, knowledge of front and back of books, an introduction to authors and illustrators, awareness of beginning sound-letter associations, rhyming, and knowledge that a “string” of letters creates a word. Each classroom provides a print-rich environment to foster these skills.

    Pre-writing skills begin with fine motor and letter formation activities that incorporate a variety of materials. As students develop, they begin to form the letters of the alphabet, numbers, their names, and other simple words. The Pre-K 4-year-olds follow the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum. Through this program, the children write letters, numbers, learn about shapes, and more.

    Speaking and listening are key aspects of our Pre-K day. Classroom rules and routines help establish social skills and how to be a productive member of a group. Through verbal sharing, show and tell, and presenting the letter box, students learn to speak in front of their peers. In addition, they learn how to be an audience member.

    Mathematics
    The focus of the mathematics component is on developing children’s number sense. This is achieved through daily hands-on math encounters. To develop an awareness of numeration, students use manipulatives to demonstrate one-to-one correspondence. The three-year-olds are expected to recognize and count from one to 10, and the four-year-olds from one to 20. They also learn to estimate by determining more orless, and create individual number books.

    Geometry work includes free play with pattern and wooden blocks, being able to name basic shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star, octagon, and geometric solids), recognize these shapes in everyday objects, and use the shapes in art activities such as collages. Students learn about money through free play in the dramatic play center (e.g. grocery store, restaurant, etc.).

    The Pre-K classrooms create classroom graphs based on specific thematic units. Patterning is incorporated throughout the early childhood curriculum. In addition, students learn about calendar patterns, hand-clapping patterns and counting patterns. Children explore measurement through hands-on activities such as water and sand play, free play with measuring tools, and weighing activities using a balance scale.

    Science
    The objective of the science curriculum is to make the environment familiar to children via hands-on explorations of everyday objects. This includes thematic units that may arise from the children’s interests. Examples tend to include: weather, colors, magnets, nature, insects, and animals. In addition, Pre-K studies the life cycle of apples and pumpkins.

    Social Studies
    The Social Studies curriculum is designed to help each child develop self-perception. Class discussions and activities revolve around the child, family, school, neighborhood, and world. Integrated units may include The MPA Way (Be Kind and Do Your Best), community helpers, Global Explorers Week (country of study varies yearly and for each classroom), All About Me, and various cultural and national holidays.

    World Languages
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin. Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages. The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.

    Students receive three weekly classroom lessons. Lessons focus on kinesthetic and musical activities such as dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level;  instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts and cultural celebrations, traditions, and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include zoo animals, simple and cultural food, and/or traditional dance.

    Pre-K Art
    Young children are primarily process-oriented artists. Multiple opportunities to explore the media are necessary before they can be expected to create a purposeful art piece. Because of this, the preschool art program does not focus on the end product, but rather on the process that the child experiences. By designing process-oriented art encounters, the children’s skills in drawing, painting, pasting, cutting, tearing, and sculpting can be extended to their fullest potential. Furthermore, all artistic endeavors, great or small, are appreciated.

    Students use the following media throughout the school year: pencils, markers, crayons, tempera paints, watercolor, clay, pastels, chalk, collage and play dough.

    Pre-K French
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive three weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on kinesthetic and musical activities such as dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level;  instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts and cultural celebrations, traditions, and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include zoo animals, simple and cultural food, and/or traditional dance.

    Pre-K Mandarin
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive three weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on kinesthetic and musical activities such as dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level;  instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts and cultural celebrations, traditions, and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include zoo animals, simple and cultural food, and/or traditional dance.

    Pre-K Music
    The music component broadens the children’s exposure to a wide range of songs and instruments in order to increase their appreciation of music. Formal music class is three days a week for three-year olds and four times a week for four-year olds. The program’s goal is to help children become confident in their abilities to express themselves and have fun through music. Songs are sung multiple times and children have free and structured exploration of musical instruments and various sound-makers. Upper School band members visit, introduce, and play their instruments. The children also have the opportunity to create their own songs and sound-makers.

    Pre-K P.E.
    The physical education program emphasizes individualism, self-direction, guided exploration, creativity, and the Movement Theory.  The large majority of activities center on movement, both loco-motor and non-loco-motor.  Activities such as jumping, hopping, walking, running, and skipping fall into the loco-motor category, with bending and stretching, pushing and pulling, shaking, bouncing and circling for the non-loco-motor.  Along with these, manipulative skills (throwing, catching, kicking, etc.) and games of low organization are introduced. The students are introduced to partner and group activities, teaching them appropriate socialization and teamwork.

    Pre-K Spanish
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive three weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on kinesthetic and musical activities such as dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level;  instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts and cultural celebrations, traditions, and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include zoo animals, simple and cultural food, and/or traditional dance.

    PreK Library
    The two main goals of library instruction are to foster a love of literature and to help students learn the skills to locate, assess, and apply information. Pre-K three and four-year-olds come each week to the library to listen and react to a read-aloud story and play a game or do an activity that relates to the book’s theme.  

  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten Curriculum

    The main objective of the Kindergarten program is to develop the whole child socially, intellectually, physically, creatively and emotionally. The enhancement of the child’s self-esteem and growth of a healthy self-image are valuable assets that can be instilled in a child in Kindergarten. The program is tailored to meet the needs, developmental levels and interests of each student in order to provide a positive environment that fosters an enthusiastic attitude toward lifelong learning.

    Language Arts
    The reading readiness program places an emphasis on the development of literature awareness and “how print works,” as well as the acquisition of specific skills. In compliance with this philosophy, each child’s readiness or actual reading level will depend on his/her personal maturation on all levels. Through an eclectic approach including whole language, Wilson Fundations, phonics, and author studies, the reading program offers varied approaches and focuses. Specific skills that are emphasized include letter recognition, letter-sound associations, phonetic word approach, word sense, story order, predicting outcomes, rhyming, word families, real vs. fantasy, cause and effect, sight vocabulary, and comprehension.

    Literature-based material and texts used include Big Books, picture books, emergent readers, leveled readers, and classroom created books. Sight vocabulary is introduced and reinforced through the daily message and Kindernews. The daily Kindernews is published monthly to further reinforce basic sight vocabulary within the context of a sentence.

    Through the writing process, students accurately print the alphabet (upper and lowercase), apply letter-sound associations, and progress through the stages of writing development. These skills are acquired through activities such as: Wilson Fundations, our Color Me Happy weekend writing, journal writing using illustrations and transitional spelling, story response activities and group language experience stories.

    The language arts curriculum focuses on the four main components of speaking, listening, reading and writing. All areas are integrated throughout the day, and the value of each component is recognized. Language Arts units are integrated with math, science, and social studies themes when applicable. Varied language arts centers provide opportunities for reinforcement and enrichment throughout the year.

    Mathematics
    The mathematical strands that are stressed through the Everyday Math program include: counting, numerations, operations, time, measurement, money, geometry, attributes, patterns, graphing, symmetry and 100th day of school. Each strand is designed as a spiral that begins at a simple level and grows with the child’s experience. At times, a week-long unit stressing a particular concept is presented.  All concepts are presented, learned, and practiced primarily through hands-on activities rather than worksheets stressing rote learning.
     
    Calendar Corner is an integral segment of the Everyday Math program. Calendar routines focus on the day, month, year, days of the week, counting forward and backward, place value, patterning, graphing/interpreting weather, compiling data with tally marks, and keeping track of the number of days in school.
     
    The Home Links enhance the home-school connection by providing students with meaningful, engaging activities to do at home that reinforces what is being taught in school and relate mathematics to everyday life.
     
    Science
    The science curriculum revolves around different topics, which are sometimes dictated by student interests. There are integrated units that explore topics such as colors, water, trees/leaves/seeds, and animals. Life cycles studied may include apples, pumpkins, and butterflies. These units of study are, at times, reinforced through our Let’s Find Out newspaper and learning center explorations.
     
    Social Studies
    The Social Studies curriculum is designed to help each child develop self-perception. Class discussions and activities revolve around the child, family, school, neighborhood, and world.  Integrated units may include The MPA Way (Be Kind and Do Your Best), community helpers, Global Explorers Week (country of study varies yearly and for each classroom), current events, and various cultural and national holidays.  These units of study are, at times, reinforced through our Let’s Find Out newspaper and learning centers.

    Centers
    Thematic centers often offer exploration and reinforcement of lessons in the areas of reading, math, science, and social studies. Play based centers provide students with opportunities to develop social skills such as sharing, taking turns, cooperation, and collaboration. Classroom centers may include art, writing, dramatic play, science, games, literacy, math, construction, and fine motor.

    World Languages
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts, family and cultural celebrations, traditions and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include food and simple weather terminology.

    Kindergarten Art
    Projects in Kindergarten are geared toward stimulating imaginative potential and developing visual awareness. A variety of materials are used such as paper, crayons, chalk, oil pastels, watercolor, tempera, cloth, yarn, as well as two dimensional projects. Basic elements of art are introduced, which include color, form, line, shape, space texture, and value. Originality of thought is stressed and children are aided on an individual basis.

    Kindergarten Character Ed
    Character education encompasses how to follow the MPA way of “Be Kind and Do Your Best.”  Doing your best covers goal setting, celebrating individuality, being proactive, and practicing mindfulness. The topic of kindness includes encouraging students to walk in someone else’s shoes, being open to diversity, and tapping into another person’s feelings through empathy.  

    Character education in early elementary (K-3) involves helping students identify their intricate emotions while giving them skills to control those emotions. Classes learn about personal space, how to read body language, polite listening skills, knowing when to self-regulate, and understanding when to reach out to a teacher when they have maxed out their personal resources.

    Kindergarten French
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts, family and cultural celebrations, traditions and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include food and simple weather terminology.

    Kindergarten Library
    The two main goals of library instruction are to foster a love of literature and to help students learn the skills to locate, assess, and apply information.  Beginning in kindergarten students visit the library weekly to learn about how to find books, practice information literacy skills, and enjoy read-aloud time with a discussion of books chosen for literary qualities, age appeal or connections to subjects being studied with their homeroom teachers.  Kindergarteners check out one book at a time and practice being responsible for taking good care of these books and bringing them back on time.

    Kindergarten Mandarin
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts, family and cultural celebrations, traditions and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include food and simple weather terminology.
     
    Kindergarten Music
    In Kindergarten, children focus on recognizing the level difference between the different functions of the voice: speaking, singing, whispering, and shouting.  The students will begin to learn how to engage the singing voice, eventually becoming comfortable singing alone and with in a group.

    When the focus shifts to playing instruments, the children will learn to keep a steady beat.  They will demonstrate proper technique in a broader collection of rhythm instruments and applying body percussion rhythms to various classroom instruments.

    The children will begin to distinguish various instruments and voices through recordings and visual aids.  They will also continue to create dramatizations and pantomimes as applicable to songs while following choreographed movements.

    Kindergarten P.E.
    The physical education program emphasizes individualism, self-direction, guided exploration, creativity, and the Movement Theory.  The large majority of activities center on movement, both loco-motor and non-loco-motor.  Activities such as jumping, hopping, walking, running, and skipping fall into the loco-motor category, with bending and stretching, pushing and pulling, shaking, bouncing and circling for the non-loco-motor.  Along with these, manipulative skills (throwing, catching, kicking, etc.) and games of low organization are introduced. The students are introduced to partner and group activities, teaching them appropriate socialization and teamwork.

    Kindergarten Spanish
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  No written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include greetings and expressions of courtesy, the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, colors and shapes, body parts, family and cultural celebrations, traditions and customs.  Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include food and simple weather terminology.
     
    Kindergarten Technology
    Our students will learn technology through a content-area based curriculum, by acquiring technology skills using software and multimedia. Technology integration will be used to enhance discipline-specific curriculum areas, as well as to further engage students in a differentiated instructional setting. This will be achieved with iPad 1:1 integration in classrooms and computer labs.

    Grades K-4 will complete a series of Microsoft Plus Technology Projects that integrate Microsoft products into learning Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Publisher, and Paint.

  • filter_1

    1st Grade

    1st Grade Curriculum

    Reading and Language Arts
    In first grade, the primary emphasis is on linking reading and writing as they relate to the whole child. In addition to the whole language approach, a concentrated study is also placed on word attack skills with the initial development of vocabulary and comprehension skills, using basal readers, workbooks, children’s literature and material relating to auditory and visual recall. Students learn to read independently, orally, and strategically.

    Language Arts is interrelated with our reading and whole language approach. The program includes the development of the understanding of sentence structure using capital letters, punctuation, and the use of capital letters for proper nouns. Initial instruction is given in basic language usage concepts; sentence structure, plurals, possessives, and describing words (adjectives, adverbs). The main purpose of language arts is to communicate effectively, recognize patterns in words, and write stories with a focus.

    A writing workshop gives the children the opportunity to utilize and apply these skills. Personal and imaginative experiences, as well as literature-based topics, provide the incentives to stimulate written expression. Penmanship skills are taught and reinforced during the year. Spelling words and grammar exercises are emphasized in relation to the whole language program.

    Mathematics
    Mathematics students build mastery and confidence of basic skills through a spiraling curriculum. In first grade, they learn the basics of numeration and counting, explore the use of a calculator and gain a basic understanding of money. Students learn basic addition and subtraction, and begin to work with fractions. Problem-solving skills are developed throughout the course, and students learn to order and sequence data that they have recorded, and they display data using graphs. Foundational skills in geometry with 2D and 3D shapes are explored, as are skills in estimating, measuring, comparing, and recognizing patterns.

    Science and Health
    Through discussion and simple experiments, first-grade students explore a variety of topics in the life sciences, earth science, physical science, and the human body. Skills that are stressed include communication, observation, gathering data, making inferences and conclusions, classification, and experimentation.

    In the life science unit, students learn about trees and plants, gain an understanding of the systems that help them grow, and learn about insects and their life cycle. In the physical science unit, learners explore the idea of matter, the five senses, and the scientist’s tools. For earth science, students explore the themes of weather and the seasons. During the units on health and the human body, students delve deeper into how their five senses work in practice, and learn about nutrition and good health.

    Social Studies
    A weekly news publication is the source for the topics discussed and explored in the classroom. Current events, people in the news and world problems are emphasized on a weekly basis. Students also explore their world through map and globe work. The overarching goal of the program is to develop students’ self-concept while learning to have positive and caring interactions with others.

    The first-grade social studies curriculum focuses on the relationships of individuals with their families, communities, and cultures. We celebrate diversity and recognize patterns that exist throughout diverse cultures. Each year we focus on learning about one particular country, and enjoy various ethnic foods as part of our International Day celebration. We compare and contrast our own civilizations with those of early settlers like the Native Americans and Christopher Columbus, as well as modern figures like the presidents of the United States and Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout our studies, we integrate basic geography skills which include reading a map and recognizing symbols.

    World Languages
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin. Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages. The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons. Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes. Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students. Very minimal written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially. Core topics covered include a review and expansion of previous core topics as well as classroom expressions, numbers up to 50, pets, school and classroom objects, and cultural traditions, celebrations, and customs. Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include the calendar, weather, emotions and/or relevant idiomatic expressions.

    1st Grade Art
    Projects in 1st grade are geared toward stimulating imaginative potential and developing visual awareness. A variety of materials are used such as paper, crayons, chalk, oil pastels, watercolor, tempera, cloth, yarn, as well as two dimensional projects. Basic elements of art are introduced, which include color, form, line, shape, space texture, and value. Originality of thought is stressed and children are aided on an individual basis.

    1st Grade Character Ed
    Character education encompasses how to follow the MPA way of “Be Kind and Do Your Best.” Doing your best covers goal setting, celebrating individuality, being proactive, and practicing mindfulness. The topic of kindness includes encouraging students to walk in someone else’s shoes, being open to diversity, and tapping into another person’s feelings through empathy.
    Character education in early elementary (K-3) involves helping students identify their intricate emotions while giving them skills to control those emotions. Classes learn about personal space, how to read body language, polite listening skills, knowing when to self-regulate, and understanding when to reach out to a teacher when they have maxed out their personal resources.

    1st Grade French
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin. Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages. The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  Very minimal written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include a review and expansion of previous core topics as well as classroom expressions, numbers up to 50, pets, school and classroom objects, and cultural traditions, celebrations, and customs. Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include the calendar, weather, emotions and/or relevant idiomatic expressions.

    1st Grade Library
    The two main goals of library instruction are to foster a love of literature and to help students learn the skills to locate, assess, and apply information. Students visit the library weekly to learn about how to find books, practice information literacy skills, and enjoy read-aloud time with a discussion of books chosen for literary qualities, age appeal or connections to subjects being studied with their homeroom teachers. This year students are on a new schedule for library visits—coming two or three times a week for one semester and coming just for book checkout every other week the other semester.

    1st Grade Mandarin
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  Very minimal written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include a review and expansion of previous core topics as well as classroom expressions, numbers up to 50, pets, school and classroom objects, and cultural traditions, celebrations, and customs. Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include the calendar, weather, emotions and/or relevant idiomatic expressions.

    1st Grade Music
    Children will begin to move from one vocal function to another.  They will start to recognize when the singing voice is engaged.  First graders will identify basic instrument groups (wood, metal, “skins”).  They will also identify various non-pitched and pitched percussion instruments by name.  The children will demonstrate appropriate playing technique on a variety of classroom instruments, accurately echo rhythmic patterns using body percussion and standard body percussion instruments, and they will discover and maintain a steady beat on instruments when listening or singing songs.  They will decipher that a beat is different than rhythm.  The children will understand that some rhythm patterns are long and some are short, melodies move high/low and up/down.  They will begin to learn different mallet techniques while learning the different forms of music.  Finally, first grade will become comfortable singing and playing in an ensemble with additional musical activities occurring simultaneously to unison singing.

    1st Grade P.E.
    The physical education program emphasizes individualism, self-direction, guided exploration, creativity, and the Movement Theory.  The large majority of activities center on movement, both loco-motor and non-loco-motor.  Activities such as jumping, hopping, walking, running, and skipping fall into the loco-motor category, with bending and stretching, pushing and pulling, shaking, bouncing and circling for the non-loco-motor.  Along with these, manipulative skills (throwing, catching, kicking, etc.) and games of low organization are introduced. The students are introduced to partner and group activities, teaching them appropriate socialization and teamwork.

    1st Grade Spanish
    The curriculum for World Languages exposes children to the study of French, Spanish and Mandarin.  Our program allows children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in all three languages.  The goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as to integrate essential 21st-century skills in the early childhood program.  

    Students receive five weekly classroom lessons.  Lessons focus on communicative, kinesthetic and musical activities such as skits, dance, movement, songs, and rhymes.  Many hands-on materials, visuals, and technology are used to engage the students.  Very minimal written work or homework is intended in this program at this level; instead, the children are encouraged to learn experientially.  Core topics covered include a review and expansion of previous core topics as well as classroom expressions, numbers up to 50, pets, school and classroom objects, and cultural traditions, celebrations, and customs. Time permitting, the curriculum may expand to include the calendar, weather, emotions and/or relevant idiomatic expressions.

    1st Grade Technology
    Our students will learn technology through a content-area based curriculum, by acquiring technology skills using software and multimedia. Technology integration will be used to enhance discipline-specific curriculum areas, as well as to further engage students in a differentiated instructional setting. This will be achieved with iPad 1:1 integration in classrooms and computer labs.

    Grades K-4 will complete a series of Microsoft Plus Technology Projects that integrate Microsoft products into learning Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Publisher, and Paint.