Latin School of Chicago

Lower School Curriculum Chart

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CURRICULUM 2013-14 SUBJECT Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade Language Arts covers the core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Skill development in reading begins with pre-reading activities in junior kindergarten and continues with a program that underscores reading for understanding, acquiring vocabulary, and using higher-order thinking skills to gather meaning from text. The writing process at all levels values organization of thoughts and ideas, drafts, editing and pride in authorship. Writing instruction incorporates skill development in letter formation, keyboarding, grammar, punctuation and spelling. The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary program is used to improve skills. Students express personal style through creative writing, report and essay writing, poetry, and illustration. They share their written work with different grade levels during Author's Day. LANGUAGE ARTS (1) Reading: Students are divided into four reading groups to build phonics and decoding skills, sight word vocabulary, reading fluency, appreciation for literary genres, comprehension skills, and to understand the correlation between reading and writing. (2) Writing: expressing one's thoughts in writing; cohesive paragraph; two or more paragraphs; capitalization and punctuation; penmanship. (3) Speaking: express ideas coherently, enunciate clearly and project voice; improve discussion skills; present at a lower school assembly. (4) Listening: following oral directions and remaining attentive. (1) Reading: Students read for pleasure, information and education; novels; decoding, phonics, syllabication, reading expression, reading fluency, and higher order thinking skills; learn to choose "just right" books for independent reading. (2) Writing: spelling, grammar, vocabulary, parts of speech, editing, word usage and sentence and paragraph structure; keyboarding skills. (3) Speaking: class discussions, current events reports, poetry readings, and group projects; after class presentations, students evaluations focusing on voice, eye contact, and content; present at a lower school assembly. (4) Listening: listen to their teachers read stories, give directions, and ask questions. (1) Reading: comprehension questions, group discussions and essay prompts; long-term book sharing projects based on books selected for independent reading. (2) Writing: Writer's Workshop; creative writing, reading prompts, research reports, poetry, essays, sentence structure, vocabulary, punctuation, and grammar skills. (3) Speaking: discussions, projects, small and large group work, class presentations; book sharing projects; assembly is presented to the students, faculty, and staff; lead each Friday assembly; featured speakers on Class Day. (4) Listening: discussions and group interactions. Reading Resources: Starting in SK - the program provides support with early reading for students who would benefit from more specialized reading instruction. In SK students participate in activities designed to help children sound processing. In grades one and two, the reading resource teacher conducts evidence-based reading instruction for at-risk children. At other grade levels, students meet in small groups or occasionally individually to work on word identification, comprehension, or spelling skills. SOCIAL STUDIES 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 a context of their place in the larger world. Specific units of study integrate literature, music, art, social studies and, where appropriate, math or science. Units: Explorers, Native Americans, The 50 United States, Immigration: Past and Present, South America, Chicago Connections. Research: one of the 50 states; interview an immigrant for the Ellis Island unit; a South American country to present as part of a South America museum Units: The Silk Road (China to Italy), Pioneers, Chicago, Africa, Chicago Connections. Research: African animals; Chicago History; family history to produce an autobiographical multi-media project Units: South and East Asia, Egypt, Illinois, Chicago Connections. Research: Desert Plant and Animal Reports, Egyptian God and Goddess Reports, My Life as a Pharaoh historical fiction story The lower school uses the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project's (UCSMP) Everyday Mathematics book and program. This program is built on the premise that children bring an intuitive understanding to mathematics and that much of what we do and see every day is mathematical. In addition, it gives students experience with and access to the vocabulary they need to become mathematically literate. Concepts covered at each grade level include: Numbers and Numeration; Operations and Computation; Data and Chance; Measurement and Reference Frames; Geometry; and Patterns, Functions, and Algebra. MATHEMATICS Counting to 10,000 and naming fractions; addition and subtraction through 10 + 10; 2-digit problems; model multiplication; tally charts, tables and bar graphs; maximum, minimum, mode and median; length, area, capacity, weight, temperature, elapsed time, identify and draw line segments and parallel line segments; functions Counting to 1,000,000; fractions and decimals; multiplication up to x10; operations and computation; up to 3-digit whole number mutiplication; data and chance; use certain, very likely, and impossible; estimates and measurements: perimeter of polygons, area of rectangles; time; identify and draw rays and right angles; geometric terms; multiple lines of symmetry; order of operation Counting to 1,000,000,000, decimals through thousandths; whole numbers and factors of numbers; numerators and denominators; addition and subtraction multi-digit whole number problems and decimals; know multiplication and division facts through 10 x 10; line graphs in representation and interpretation of data; estimate length and angles; perimeter and area of irregular shapes; volume; name, locate, and plot points of a coordinate grid; intersecting and parallel lines and line segments, rays, acute angles, and obtuse angles; protractors; reflections and rotations; number sentences Math Lab: Starting in first grade - Weekly math lab classes help students reinforce, apply, and extend the mathematics learned in homeroom through hands-on activities, games, discussions, and computer work. Topics covered in the Math Lab can be categorized into three main categories: (1) Number Sense (whole numbers, place value, fractions, decimals, percents, computation); (2) Measurement (length, perimeter, area, volume, weight, liquid capacity, money, time); (3) Geometry (symmetry, polygons, polyhedra, angles). SCIENCE Each homeroom class has science once every three days for a period of 40 minutes. The science lab is a stand-alone classroom, but science topics are also integrated into segments of the general curriculum. The science curriculum touches on life science, physical science and earth science topics at each grade level. Process skills are developed through hands-on activities and investigations. Some of the most important skills for students are observing, classifying and collecting data, measuring, and comparing and contrasting. Key skills: observation, classification, measurement, hypothesis. Units: biology, paleontology, physical science, human body. Research: vertebrate animals. Key skills: observation, classification, hypothesis, data collection, drawing conclusions. Units: mineral identification science, water cycle, physical science, gravity, astronomy, our moon and solar system. Research: planets. Key skills: observation, classification, hypothesis, data collection, drawing conclusions. Units: trees and tree identification, chemistry, human body, digestive system, acids and bases, physical and chemical change, egg drop. Research: trees. LANGUAGES 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 integrated approach to teaching enhances student learning and provides cultural connections in a stimulating and meaningful way. SPANISH Conversational language skills: "Who are the children of the Spanish-speaking world? How are our lives the same or different?" Students communicate about their immediate world by comparing home and school routines and foods, weather comparisons, and clothing for a vacation. Conversational language skills: "What is special about living in a big city?" Students describe their home environment and home life, neighborhood, directions, and where people are from. Conversational language skills: "How can I use my Spanish to get to know someone and to learn about the world around me?" Students will consolidate and deepen level one Spanish skills in anticiption of a successful transition to middle school language. The focus will be on conversations, storytelling and cultural connections. PHYSICAL EDUCATION Students in grades SK through 4 participate in gym class every day. Skill-building in games and sports begins with the premise that every child has athletic potential 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, mat 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. PERFORMING ARTS MUSIC - THEATER - DANCE - MOVEMENT Performing Arts are represented by general music, musical theater, band, and dance/movement classes. General music classes are structured so that all students in grades SK through 4 have music every three days. Students study the basic elements of music, incorporating methods such as Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze. Stages of learning: Imitation – teachermodeled response; Exploration – the opportunity to alter a musical experience through experimentation; Improvisation; Visualization – the use of graphic or traditional notation leading to musical literacy. Students learn about rhythm, melody, harmony and form. Throughout the program children participate in activities to develop body awareness, negotiation of time and space, and self-expression. Emphasis is placed on risk taking and exploration, listening, leadership skills and cooperation. Beginning in fourth grade, students have an opportunity to participate in band; they choose an instrument of their choice, and learn to read music and participate in an ensemble. Assemblies and the holiday programs provide opportunities for students to exhibit their skills as an ensemble. Concert Days provide individual students with the opportunity to perform for their peers. Extended Day and after school music programs offer more music and movement opportunities. Musical Theater is an early morning, optional program for students in grades 1 through 4, culminating in a spring musical production. The program in grades 1 through 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 elements and principles of art through a wide range of media and techniques. VISUAL ARTS Students learn about the color wheel; explore negative and positive shapes; experiment with the elements of texture and value; use analogous colors; investigate intermediate colors, color mixing, tinting and shading; use neutrals to create value; explore printmaking; model clay coils and slabs; draw from observation; discover new forms of contemporary art. Integrated units: Native Americans, world explorers, rain forests, and Ellis Island. Chicago connections: field trip to Museum of Contemporary Art. Students create dimension and identify the foreground, middle ground, and background in a landscape; develop the illusion of a three-dimensional space with lines, colors, and shading; make observational drawings with contour lines; use brayers, printing plates, and ink tablets to make a print; make a relief terra-cotta clay tile; measure and divide space with a ruler, explore the arts of Mexico and traditional art forms of Africa. Integrated units: Silk Road cultures, art of Africa, historic architecture of Chicago, and the pioneer landscape tradition. Chicago connections: field trip to Mexican Art Museum Students develop drawing skills with lessons on contour, gesture, and sketching techniques; make contour drawings with a range of value; work with acylic paints on canvas, mix paint to make tints and shades; compare eastern and western artistic traditions; carve a linoleum block; fold origami cranes; practice Chinese calligraphy with a bamboo brush and ink; model Egyptian clay canopic jars; use a compass to create circular patterns; create a room in perspective with a ruler and measurement tools; use iPads for researching art history. Integrated units: China, India, and ancient Egypt. Chicago connections: field trip to Oriental Institute and Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute. CHILDREN'S ROUNDTABLE Weekly Roundtable discussions, stories and activities complement the pursuit of academic excellence and intellectual growth with a concern for the social, psychological and moral development of each child. Counselors visit junior kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms weekly for 30 minutes. They lead discussions and activities that focus on "taking care of ourselves, each other and our school." Children's Roundtable is a preventative mental health approach promoting physical wellbeing and an increasing sense of personal control over one's own behavior and safety, fostering interest in and respect for differences among people, and supporting responsible, effective participation in small groups and in the community. Units include: social thinking and social-emotional learning; identify five "social smarts": brain (what do you think about in your friendships), eyes (observing others), ears (listening to others), heart (feelings of others, using your own feelings as a guide to interaction), mouth (using your words - self regulation). Students learn about talking and meeting with the counselors individually when needed. Students develop different points of view, empathy, and understanding of others; friendships: how to get along, different friendship styles, healthy friendships, how to deal with relationships when they "go sour"; teasing; self-regulation, using social smarts. Units include: groups and "popularity": understanding oneself in a group, roles people take on in groups, why groups form, "bystander" vs. "upstander" and getting involved; problem solving; interactions with peers and differences in gender and expression; gossiping; relational aggression; computers and social media within relationships; stereotyping; stress management. LEARNING LIBRARY RESOURCES Regular library classes are scheduled for students in grades JK-4. Key skills are organized into four curricular areas: accessing information, evaluating information, organizing and using information and appreciating information and literature in all formats. These main skills are reinforced and strengthened each year. The librarians collaborate 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 research, for assignments and to satisfy natural (and encouraged) curiosity. The Learning Resources program is designed to work with children who have diagnosed learning differences. Support may be provided in any curricular area. The Learing Resources teachers provide remediation, modifications, accommodations, and/or consultative services depending on each student's individual needs.

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