Lower Primary (1-3)
The Lower Primary Division is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population of first, second, and third grade students with teachers creating specially-designed classroom environments and a curriculum that inspires primary age learners.
As children move into the Lower Primary Division there is a natural segue from an environment where the child is the curriculum to one in which the curriculum guides learning down specific paths. New skills and challenges are added in developmentally appropriate ways, and learning is structured to support the purposeful freedom we value and to provide each child with opportunities to move about, investigate, inquire, experiment, and exchange ideas.
A great deal of careful and thoughtful planning goes into creating differentiated classroom environments that capture children’s imagination and curiosity and help them experience joy in learning. Students are encouraged to write frequently, and as independently as they are able—both fiction and non-fiction. Small group instruction, partner reading, and individual reading are part of everyday routines.
Math concepts become more sophisticated: students may use graphing skills in a social studies project or measure time on clocks marked at five-minute intervals. These experiences help develop mathematical reasoning and scientific inquiry as children make conjectures, gather evidence, and build supporting arguments. Children begin experiencing more integrated learning through connections classes including fitness and vocal music.
Reading and Language Arts
Mastery of Reading and Language Arts is crucial at this stage of development. Students are presented with a variety of opportunities to explore reading and writing daily. Our program emphasizes mastery of phonics skills, comprehension of fiction and nonfiction texts, and oral reading with accuracy, fluency, and expression. It is our goal to develop readers who read for understanding and enjoyment.
- Small group instruction
- Individualized reading levels
- Phonics instruction
- Monitored silent reading opportunites
- Comprehension building activities
- Author studies
- University tutoring programs
- Read Naturally fluency program
- Daily book check-out
- Teacher read-alouds
Language Arts Program and Activities
- Word making activities
- Creative story writing
- Journal writing
- Experiential writing
- Editing and publishing books
- Handwriting instruction
- Use of resource materials
- Individualized spelling instruction
- Oral reports
- Creative dramatics
The Lower Primary Math program develops higher level thinking skills through the use of manipulatives and a variety of hands-on-experiences.
Math Program and Activities
- Math skills practice
- Hands-on exploration
- Memorization and speed of addition and subtraction facts
- Daily skill review
- Problem solving strategies
- Real life related projects
Science and Social Studies
Lower Primary uses themes to integrate science and social studies into the curriculum. We believe that this creates an environment that fosters the love of learning. As students personalize the acquisition of knowledge, they become excited about learning. This process motivates students to become life-long learners.
Science Program and Activities
- Small and large group instruction
- Physical Science
Social Studies Program and Activities
- Map skills
- World cultures and customs