Latin School of Chicago

Lower School Curriculum Chart

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CURRICULUM 2013-14 SUBJECT Junior Kindergarten Senior Kindergarten First 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: alphabet recognition and letter-sound correspondence; reading to and with their teachers, to their peers and independently. (2) Writing: names, capital letters; journals; label and explain illustrations. (3) Speaking: perform for each other and parents through poetry, movement and story telling; show-and-tell. (4) Listening: stories, conversations, group discussions, songs, rhymes, poems; understand and interpret the spoken word. (1) Reading: phonemic awareness; sound-symbol connections, sight word exploration and various other literary experiences. (2) Writing: journals; group stories; group books and poems; letter and number formation. (3) Speaking: class discussions; show-and-tell; news share; performances for small and large groups. (4) Listening: stories read by teachers; group lessons and discussions; following directions. (1) Reading: trade books, phonics books, supplemental practice books in reading groups; daily independent reading. (2) Writing: journals, creative writing, informational pieces, and nonfiction reports; punctuation, capitalization rules, sentence formation, story structure, and organization of ideas. (3) Speaking: news presentations, small and large group presentations, and dramatic play activities; express and clarify ideas, ask questions, and engage in social conversation; present at a lower school assembly. (4) Listening: stories, poetry, drama, directions and discussions. Reading Resources: Starting in SK - 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 with phonemic awareness. In grades 1 and 2, 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 and science. Units: New Friends & New School, Family Holidays and Traditions, Seasons, Transportation, Chicago Connections. Research: read class books based on ongoing observations and accumulation of facts Units: When I Was Little…Now That I am Big, It's Winter!, Our Country: Now and Then, Getting Ready for First Grade. Research: bats, spiders, ocean animals and study of a children's author Units: School and local communities, Architecture, Geography, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales From Around the World, Mexico, Chicago Connections, Author's Day. Research: animals from Mexico MATHEMATICS 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. Numbers and counting; shapes and patterns, introduction to manipulatives, charts and data; measuring tools and sequences Counting to 100 using 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s; introduction to mental math, math terms and math games; collecting and organizing data; measurements, money; working with 2- and 3- dimensional shapes; patterns; math games Counting to 1,000 using manipulatives; odd and even numbers, wholes, halves, thirds and fourths; 2-digit addition and subtraction and fact families; working with money; calendars and clocks; number sentences using +, -, =, <, > 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 in JK and SK is integrated into the ongoing daily experiences students encounter. Students develop observational and record-keeping skills by conducting surveys, recording and reporting information, making and reading simple graphs, comparing physical attributes of objects, exploring cause and effect relationships and working with materials of various composition. SCIENCE Units: Staying Healthy, Ecology & Recycling, Endangered Animals. Units: Pumpkins, Bats and Spiders, It's Winter!, Under the Sea, The Human Body, The Earth and Its Climates, Trees. Each week children participate in hands-on science activities. Research: ocean animals for class presentation. 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. Units: biology, chemistry, earth science, astronomy Key skills: observation, classification, measurement. 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: Greetings and good byes; introducing one's self; counting up to 10; describing items using color and size words; describing seasons; clothing for the seasons; commands including stand up, sit down, watch, listen; statements of preference. PHYSICAL EDUCATION Movement class: students develop body awareness, negotiate time and space, self-expression and creatively through movement, rhyming and music. Children participate in Yoga, dance and activities that support gross motor skills. Conversational language skills: "Who am I and who are you?"; describing themselves, their family, friends and their school environment; discussing weekend activities; describing the weather. Conversational language skills: "What are my routines?"; Describing their school classes, activities, and after-school and weekend routines; identifying home routines and responsibilities; expressing their preferences. 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 in the lower school 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 – teacher-modeled response; Exploration – the opportunity to alter a musical experience through experimentation; Improvisation; Visualization – the use of graphic or traditional notation leading to musical literacy. They 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 Program is an early morning, optional class for students in grades 1 through 4, culminating in a spring musical production. Daily classroom art activities and exploration of art materials and media. VISUAL ARTS Projects: family portraits, working with shapes to create images, painting leaves from observation, imaginative creature drawings. Classroom art activities include collage, construction, printmaking, painting, drawing, and scrapbooking. Materials include clay, yarn, string, pipe cleaners, fabric swatches, wooden craft sticks, and other types of media. The SK program emphasizes the importance of the process as well as the finished product. Children's art projects are displayed in the classrooms throughout the year. Projects: three self portraits throughout the school year, painted wood sculptures as part of a unit on trees, and an Earth and It's Climates scrapbook. 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. Students develop motor skills while learning to identify varieties of lines; recognize organic and geometric shapes; learn about the color wheel; mix paint to make secondaries from primaries; explore texture, use principles of repetition, balance, and radial design; construct a balanced and stable three-dimensional form; model a form in clay. Integrated units: family portraits, architecture, fairy tales and Mexico. Chicago Connections: field trip to 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 focused 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. Piloting the Incredible Flexible You curriculum. Students develop vocabulary to talk about feelings and fears; recognize verbal and non-verbal expression of feelings; learn to manage emotions and behaviors effectively; and understand and respond to the feelings of others. Students expand vocabulary for talking about feelings and emotions by: brainstorming win-win situations; learning how to express strong feelings effectively; understanding and appreciating differences; friendships: and identifying the characteristics of a good friend and how to be a good friend. 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 Learning Resources teachers provide remediation, modifications, accommodations, and/or consultative services depending on each student's individual needs.

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