Latin School of Chicago

Latin Lower School Curriculum Guide 22-23

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Lower School CURRICULUM MAP Reading and writing is taught through a workshop approach in which large and targeted small group instruction is utilized. Children are exposed to a variety of genres and authors throughout the year. Speaking, listening, word study (spelling), grammar and handwriting are an integral part of our students' literacy development. These skills are taught explicitly as well as integrated into the daily context of their reading and writing. 2 ND GR ADE Reading: Reading Workshop, including reading habits, inferencing, fiction, nonfiction, poetry and books in a series. Large group and small group instruction, and one-on-one instruction based on needs and goals, word study, guided reading, shared reading, read-alouds, independent and partner reading with leveled books. Writing: Writing Workshop, including units on narrative, informational, opinion, and poetry; large group and small group instruction, mechanics, grammar, word study and handwriting instruction. Building writing stamina and using mentor texts as examples of ways to write by using mechanics like adding voice and long descriptors. Lab reports are also explored. Speaking: Small and large group sharing, presentations of research and information learned; express ideas clearly, ask questions and engage in social conversation, making connections to peers and community members, using feedback for self-improvement. Listening: Read alouds, comprehension, multi- step directions to use for independent work times, discussion, making genuine and thoughtful comments and connections. 3 RD GR ADE Reading: Reading Workshop will consist of four major units, including habits of good readers, critical informational text skills, study of characters and research clubs. Writing: Writing Workshop will consist of four major units, including the habits of good writers, the art of informational writing, a unit on opinion/ argumentative pieces and fairy tale writing. Speaking: Students are regularly given opportunities to collaborate with one another, share their writing aloud, read aloud, and use discourse to deepen their understanding of topics. Listening: Because students are regularly given opportunities to collaborate and engage in discourse, they will also be using critical listening skills. We will lay the foundation for these skills in the morning meeting, as well, and monitor these in academic blocks. 4 TH GR ADE Reading: During Reading Workshop, students will read, write, discuss, be read to, work on vocabulary and comprehension and choose appropriate books. Units include: Interpreting Characters; Exploring Characters in Meaningful Ways: Comparing & Contrasting Lived Experiences Through Novel Studies; Obtaining Information from Non-fiction Texts; and Media Literacy/Social Justice. Writing: The Writing Workshop program provides opportunities for students to exercise writing skills that will support their ability to communicate ideas, thoughts and perspectives. Units include: Writing Realistic Fiction; Informational Writing; and Media Literacy/ Social Justice. Grammar skills are honed at the beginning of the year and addressed in each writing unit. Cursive and keyboarding skills are practiced throughout the year. Speaking: Students are regularly given opportunities to share their writing aloud and present in front of peers. Students also regularly read orally to aid in their reading fluency. Listening: Students practice active listening. The lower school social studies program is dedicated to providing a sound understanding of the world in which we live and an appreciation for the rich diversity of humankind. The curriculum reflects an age-appropriate, multidimensional, project-based approach to the study of people and the land. The goal is to give students a sense of others and the context of their place in the larger world. Specific units of study integrate literature, music, art, social studies and, where appropriate, math and science. 2 ND GR ADE Units: Getting to Know Our Classroom Community (The First Six Weeks), Getting to Know Ourselves and Each Other (Identity and Culture), Peace, Our Fifty States. Research: State Research. 3 RD GR ADE Units: The First Six Weeks/IdentiWE: Building Connections to Establish Community, Chicago History, Chicago Neighborhood Study, Urban Planning. Research: Chicago History, Chicago Neighborhoods. 4 TH GR ADE Units: The First Six Weeks: Community, Empathy, Respect and Exploring Identities (Unit 1); Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship (Unit 2); Peaceful Activism (Unit 3); Project-Based Biographical Research (Unit 4); Exploring Illinois (Unit 5). Research: Use informational texts, personal narratives, and literature to explore and discuss issues that matter to the students with an eye towards examining multiple perspectives, interviewing sources using oral and digital formats (e.g., Google Slides, iMovie, Keynote, Comic Life, Scratch, and posters). Communication: Students practice engaging in respectful discussions and conversations. They learn ways to navigate difficult conversations using accountable language. JK and SK have collaborated with the Erikson Institute's Early Math Collaborative to put into practice the Big Ideas of Early Mathematics. First through fourth grades are using the Singapore math program, which teaches significantly fewer topics per grade level, but in greater depth. There are two lower school math specialists who provide weekly support and resources to teachers and students in a whole class setting or in small groups. For additional challenges, students in grades 2–4 have the option to attend a weekly challenge word problem session before school. 2 ND GR ADE Numbers to 1,000; add and subtract within 1,000 with regrouping; multiplication and division with 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 (connecting repeated addition to multiplication and making equal groups in division); showing fractions with halves, thirds, fourths and eighths; time to the nearest five minutes; measuring length in U.S. and metric units; properties of 2D and 3D shapes; reading picture graphs, bar graphs and line plots; solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately, solving math tasks using most efficient strategies, understanding of place value is solidified. 3 RD GR ADE Numbers to 10,000; use place value to perform multi- digit addition and subtraction to 1,000; multiplication and division strategies within 100; extending basic facts to solve problems with 2-digit numbers with regrouping in both multiplication and division; basic understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1); rectangular arrays, area, and perimeter; describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes; telling time to the nearest minute and elapsed time; measuring length to halves and fourths of an inch. 4 TH GR ADE Numbers to 1 million; addition and subtraction within 1 million; multiplication and division facts 0–12; multiplying numbers up to 4-digits by a 1-digit number and multiplying two 2-digit by 2-digit numbers and dividing up to 4-digit dividends and 1-digit divisors; fractions greater than 1 and mixed numbers; writing, comparing, and ordering decimals; using decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100; angles and classification of triangles and quadrilaterals; tables and data interpretation; solve multi-step word problems involving all four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Science in the lower school encourages students to explore the world around them while introducing them to science concepts and vocabulary. In JK, science is integrated into daily activities and thematic units. In grades SK–4, science takes place in a stand-alone classroom. Students develop observational and record-keeping skills by collecting and recording data, taking notes and making written observations. Process skills are developed through hands-on activities and investigations. Some of the most important skills for students are observing, collecting and recording data, and developing and using models and diagrams. Through cooperative activities, students construct explanations based on evidence and design solutions. They engage in discussions and learn to communicate their ideas to others. Often, technology is integrated into the science curriculum. Students use iPads to explore concepts in depth, research and use creative applications to present information. Engineering and design challenges take place in the context of the curriculum at every grade level. 2 ND GR ADE Topics of study: Vertebrate classes, human body systems, trees, dinosaurs and fossils, electricity. 3 RD GR ADE Topics of study: Rock and mineral observations, force and motion, planets of our solar system, parachute design project. 4 TH GR ADE Topics of study: Trees and tree identification, acids and bases, physical and chemical changes, oil spill project, indoor and outdoor egg drop. Latin's language program seeks to encourage students to become motivated language learners and global thinkers, connecting to the school's mission of providing students with an educational program that embraces diversity of people, cultures and ideas. Latin has implemented a best practices program that stresses proficiency in language acquisition. The primary goal of the program is to build a vocabulary base that fosters communication and creates a degree of comfort with the language. An interactive approach to teaching through music, movement, and playful engagement enhances student learning and provides cultural connections in a meaningful, student-centered way. 2 ND GR ADE Spanish: Students continue building conversational language skills by exploring the essential question: Who are the children of the Spanish-speaking world, and how are our lives the same or different? Language goals build on the first grade topics of school, home, and free time to draw comparisons to daily life in different Spanish- speaking countries. 3 RD GR ADE Spanish: Students expand their conversational language skills by exploring the essential question: "What is special about living in a big city?" Language goals are centered around learning about our own Chicago neighborhoods and using that information to broaden our understanding of other Spanish-speaking communities around the world. 4 TH GR ADE Spanish: Students deepen their acquired language skills by exploring the essential question: "How can I use my Spanish to get to know someone and the world around me?" Language goals focus on sustaining a complex conversational exchange. In culmination of their language learning experiences, students use their skills to develop and present fictional group stories as a capstone project. Our comprehensive physical development and health program is designed to help students learn to identify and work toward short- and long-term goals, to utilize fitness technology, to persevere in solving problems, to follow directions responsibly and to work both independently and cooperatively with others. The program seeks to help students achieve active and healthy lives. 2 ND –4 TH GR ADES Skill-building in games and sports begins with the premise that every child has athletic potential is to be developed and celebrated. Physical education in the lower school emphasizes fine and gross motor skills through games, activities and sports that contribute to the growth, development and social attitudes of each student. The physical education program includes basic body management, skill development and improvement, visual-motor integration and spatial awareness. The program stresses civility and good sportsmanship for all. Low-level activities include golf, field hockey, soccer, floor hockey, bowling, scooter activities, tumbling, math games, yoga and Baggo. Multi-level activities include swimming, rock climbing and rope jumping. High-level activities include lacrosse, volleyball, softball, flag football, tee ball, softball and racket sports. Physical education teachers will coach during free choice to help with fair play and game skills. Music The performing arts program in the lower school is represented by a predominantly Orff based general music program in grades JK–4, band in fourth grade, and dance/movement activities in JK and SK. The LS music curriculum is a stand-alone curriculum that aligns with the National Performing Arts Standards and integrates elements from the language arts, mathematics, science, art, computer science and social studies curricula. In the Orff Schulwerk classroom, children begin with what they do instinctively: play! Imitation, experimentation and personal expression occur naturally as students become confident, life-long musicians and creative problem solvers. The Orff approach to teaching is a model for optimal learning in the 21st century classrooms. It facilitates curiosity and provides the space to explore and to be challenged. Music is treated as a holistic subject integrating content from mathematics, logic, science, language, social studies as well as developing skills and strategies for learning and citizenship. Orff Schulwerk music and movement pedagogy contributes to the development of the individual far beyond specific skills and understandings in the arts. The program in grades 1–4 familiarizes students with how art functions in different cultures and increases students' understanding of artists and how they use art to communicate about the world. Students learn about the elements and principles of art through a wide range of media and techniques. 2 ND GR ADE Examine the color wheel in depth; investigate negative and positive shapes; experiment with the elements of texture; explore printmaking; model in clay; build a three-dimensional sculpture; learn the genres of still life, portraiture and landscape. 3 RD GR ADE Drawing from observation; design and paint a landscape with illusionistic depth; use printmaking tools to make a Day of the Dead print with Spanish titles; model in clay; study value and form in creating a realistic still life; study modern sculpture and create a three-dimensional work of art. 4 TH GR ADE Discover contemporary art; use different drawing techniques to create value in a self-portrait; mix tints and shades with acrylic paints on canvas; carve a linoleum block for printmaking; fold origami cranes; practice Chinese calligraphy with a bamboo brush and ink and make a bamboo painting; build and model in clay. Computer science in the lower school immerses students in activities aligned with the national CSTA Standards. Students are engaged in activities that are both unplugged and plugged STEAM activities as they build their understanding of computational thinking. Block-based coding apps, programs and robots are used, including Scratch Jr, Scratch and Dash robots, to expose students to a variety of tools that can grow their interest in computer science. Students work collaboratively on developmentally appropriate projects to better understand the core concepts and practices of computer science. 2 ND GR ADE Vehicle Design Project Using LittleBits, Programming with Dash Robots 3 RD GR ADE 3D Shape Building Algorithms, Math/Design/CS Digital Embroidery Project 4 TH GR ADE Programming with Scratch: Women's History Month Project, Identity Maps Using Ozobots and Color Coding. The lower school counseling program provides a range of prevention and intervention services to support the social and emotional wellbeing of all students. The Roundtable program helps children gain a foundation in the areas of self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision making. Counselors visit each classroom JK–4 to build relationships, lead discussions, and facilitate activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing of students. In the early grades, the goal is to help children develop a vocabulary to talk about feelings. As they get older, the curriculum shifts to help children think about group dynamics and forming healthy relationships. The library program serves all lower school students. Goals are organized into four curricular areas: accessing information, evaluating information, using and creating information, and appreciating information and literature in all formats. The librarian collaborates with homeroom and special subject teachers to ensure an integrated curriculum. Students, teachers and parents are encouraged to visit the library to select materials for pleasure reading, for assignments and to satisfy natural (and encouraged) curiosity. The lower school learning resources program is designed to work with children who have diagnosed learning differences in collaboration with their teachers and families. Support is provided through individualized remediation, modifications, accommodations and/or consultative services. The primary goal is to meet the unique needs of our youngest students preparing them to be confident and resourceful learners. The lower school reading and math support programs are designed to assist struggling and at-risk students in SK–4. The process begins when a student is referred by their classroom teacher. Services are provided in small groups. Latin employs two full-time registered nurses, one in the lower school and one to serve the middle and upper schools. The nurses provide immediate emergency care, do initial assessments and work with parents and health care providers to help children with chronic conditions remain healthy at school. They also educate students, faculty and parents about health issues and good health practices. SCIENCE LANGUAGE HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES MATHEMATICS LITERACY PHYSICAL EDUCATION PERFORMING ARTS VISUAL ARTS COMPUTER SCIENCE LIBRARY COUNSELING LEARNING RESOURCES HEALTH SERVICES 2 ND GRADE 3 RD GRADE 4 TH GRADE Questions? Visit, or email us at

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