Lower School

Curriculum

List of 5 items.

  • Kindergarten

    LANGUAGE ARTS: phonemic awareness, phonics and sight word reading; reading aloud from several genres; listening and reading comprehension through discussion; D’Nealian handwriting; self-expression through creative writing.

    MATHEMATICS: number relationships; number combinations to ten; sorting and classification of objects; measurement of length, weight and time; attributes of shapes; data collection and recording; identification, description and extension of patterns.

    SOCIAL STUDIES: An exploration of identity through self, family, classroom community and school community; the impact of changemakers and the introduction and application of Brearley’s core values.

    SCIENCE: characteristics of leaves; the biology and ecology of earthworms; the process of composting; study of motion and forces, using marbles; water on Earth; sinking and floating; dissolving and evaporating; day and night.

    WORK AND PLAY: time to play, learn, explore and experience; block building, board games, puzzles and self-initiated projects.

    RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: character development, social and emotional learning, friendship and resolving conflicts through discussions, team-building activities, art projects and dramatic role playing.

    SERVICE LEARNING: partner with All Souls Soup Kitchen as part of the Basic Needs curriculum; focus on why soup kitchens are important in the community and debunking stereotypes about people who rely on them; make baked goods in the classroom and deliver them to All Souls; partner with local community center Stanley Isaacs for MLK Day of Service.

    HEALTH AND WELLNESS: topics include our wonderful bodies, healthy bodies, safe bodies, families and feelings.

    LIBRARY: weekly period for listening to stories, working on story-related projects and checking out books.

    ART: exploration of many media through work in two and three dimensions; development of strong fine-motor skills.

    CRAFTS: three-dimensional art projects; sewing as a lifelong skill.

    MUSIC: exploration of high and low, loud and soft, slow and fast, up and down, and beat and rhythm through singing and percussion instruments.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: basic locomotor skills, body control and body awareness are explored through FunFit, physical education and dance classes.
  • Class I

    LANGUAGE ARTS: small group classes focusing on phonemic awareness, phonics and sight word reading; nonfiction and fiction, plays and poetry for guided reading; listening and reading comprehension; spelling regular and irregular words; D’Nealian handwriting; creative writing.

    CREATIVE WRITING: emphasis on writing freely from the imagination and from the inspiration of literature; story structure, sequencing of events and character development; elementary editing of grammar and punctuation.

    MATHEMATICS: place value; number relationships and properties to 100; number combinations to 40; creation and solution of story problems; measurement of length, weight, time and money; identification and classification of two- and three-dimensional shapes; organization, representation and comparison of data; creation, description and extension of patterns; introduction to fractions, multiplication and division.

    SOCIAL STUDIES: a yearlong study of the five boroughs of New York City with attention to Transportation, geography, cultures and landmarks.

    SCIENCE: comparative study of human and animal teeth; behavior, anatomical structure and ecology of mollusks; states of matter; the solar system; comparison of seeds and germination; bird anatomy, identification.

    MANDARIN: poems, songs and games designed for a playful introduction to oral communication in a language other than English.

    RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    SERVICE LEARNING: service-learning work through partnerships with Citymeals on Wheels, including delivering meals to homebound seniors during MLK Day of Service, Harlem Grown and God’s Love We Deliver.

    HEALTH AND WELLNESS: babies and families, their births and celebrations.

    LIBRARY: listening to stories, studying authors’ work, reading and re-telling folktales, checking out books.

    ART: introduction to the tools, techniques, materials and practices of the art studio. Students learn the basic concepts associated with art-making through a variety of imagination-based projects, including travels through space and the sequential journey of a dot as it becomes a line.

    CRAFTS: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    MUSIC: introduction to rhythmic and five-line staff notation; songs sung during the year are collected in a music book that grows through the L.S. years.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one FunFit, one dance and three P.E. classes per rotation; locomotor and basic sports skills; trimester of swimming; study of Isadora Duncan, creating and performing dances about nature in conjunction with science program.
  • Class II

    LANGUAGE ARTS: small group classes focusing on phonics, fluency and reading multisyllabic words; story structure and nonfiction reading strategies; listening and reading comprehension including inferential and analytical skills; writing sentences and simple paragraphs; spelling patterns in longer words; handwriting.

    CREATIVE WRITING: emphasis on the stages of the writing process; introduction to free-form poetry.

    MATHEMATICS: place value; estimation; addition and subtraction; introductory multiplication and division; introduction to fractions; time; money; properties of numbers; units of measurement; identification and classification of two- and three-dimensional shapes; data analysis; number patterns.

    SOCIAL STUDIES: exploration of students’ names and family histories; lifestyle and culture of the Lenape people; the development of New Amsterdam; leaders in the Harlem Renaissance and the influence of jazz, art and poetry as unifying forces in American society.

    SCIENCE: study of rocks and geological change; sound and light energy, including stars; structure and function of the eye and ear; mineral identification: behavior, anatomical structure and ecology of snakes; structure and growth requirements of plants.

    MANDARIN: simple character writing, pinyin reading and basic sentence building; continued exploration of Chinese culture.

    RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    SERVICE LEARNING: partner with New York Common Pantry (NYCP) to examine hunger and homelessness: make sandwiches as part of MLK Day of Service; lead a toiletry drive for its “Project Dignity” program.

    LIBRARY: further building of skills and exploration of reading for pleasure; a study of nonfiction exploring information on animals using print books and the database World Book Online.

    TECHNOLOGY: introduction to computer graphics, including copying and pasting objects; introduction to the file server, network login, saving and retrieving files; learning how to explore new programs; robotics and basic computer programming.

    ART: an exploration of visual density through the creation of overlapping shapes. Subject matter varies but emphasizes imagination and learning about the world of art.

    MUSIC: expansion of rhythmic and intervallic vocabulary through songs with richer texts and more complicated melodic structure; continued work with the full five-line staff and pentatonic melodies. Any student who studies an instrument privately has the opportunity to perform in school-sponsored recitals.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one FunFit, one dance and three physical education classes per rotation; sports skills in static and dynamic situations; jazz and ballet; modern dance through the work of Merce Cunningham; basic gymnastics
  • Class III

    LANGUAGE ARTS: small group classes focusing on advanced phonics concepts, multisyllabic words and fluency; story structure and nonfiction reading strategies; listening and reading comprehension including inferential and analytical skills; the writing of simple and expanded paragraphs; advanced spelling patterns; grammar and punctuation.

    COMPOSITION: guided writing of a variety of assignments in connection with the social studies curriculum.

    MATHEMATICS: place value; whole number operations; relationships between whole numbers, fractions and decimals; time and money; patterns and functions; comparison of twoand three-dimensional shapes; simplification of and solutions for simple number relationships; probability and data analysis.

    SOCIAL STUDIES: exploration of identity and community; building classroom community; encouraging empathy for a wide range of human behavior; American Women’s Rights and Civil Rights movements and the injustices and historical context that prompted them; democracy; rights afforded to American citizens.

    SCIENCE: design and construction of bridges using newspaper; chemical and physical properties of common household powders; reasons for seasons; investigation of acids, bases and pH; behavior, anatomical structure and ecology of crayfish.

    MANDARIN: continued practice in character recognition and writing of simple characters; sentence composition; continued exploration of Chinese culture through the celebration of various holidays.

    RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    SERVICE LEARNING: examination of the crisis of homelessness as it relates to young children, through classroom discussion and presentations from Coalition for the Homeless and Brearley faculty.

    LIBRARY: introduction to the library online catalog and Dewey Decimal System; reading aloud of stories or chapter books; pleasure reading; exploration of nonfiction about crustaceans in collaboration with the science curriculum.

    TECHNOLOGY: introduction to touch-typing and digital citizenship; continued exploration of computer graphics and animation, saving and retrieving files, copying and pasting objects; learning new applications; robotics and computer programming.

    ART: multifaceted projects inspired by different artistic traditions and involving preliminary planning and revision as well as spontaneous creative choices.

    CARPENTRY: development of spatial and mechanical skills through the use of basic tools and practices of a wood shop; building a small functional object.

    MUSIC: one period of vocal music and one period of ensemble study per rotation in either a stringed musical instrument or soprano recorder and Orff instruments.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one FunFit, one dance and three P.E. classes per rotation; basic sports rules, concepts and terminology; building of strength, mobility and anaerobic capacity through daily workouts and cooperative games; basic concepts of dance choreography through the work of Anna Sokolow.
  • Class IV

    ENGLISH: small group classes focusing on reading comprehension, vocabulary development, analytical and creative writing, and spelling; guided reading strategies such as character mapping, self-questioning, note-taking, use of textual evidence to draw conclusions, and summarizing; reading of novels and poetry, including those that connect to History.

    WRITING: small group classes focusing on expository writing, grammar, parts of speech, sentence structure, expanded paragraphs; strategies for planning, writing and editing.

    MATHEMATICS: whole number operations; geometry and spatial relationships; area and perimeter; fractions and decimals.

    HISTORY: yearlong study of immigration and migration in the USA; comparison of the major waves of migration from the 1840s to the present day; Chinese, Irish and German immigration in the 1800s; Angel and Ellis Islands; The Great Black Migration. Students consider the pushes and pulls of migration, the enrichment of culture through the contributions of migrant communities, and issues of social justice.

    SCIENCE: factors affecting mold growth; mold structure, uses and prevention; properties of magnets; behavior, anatomical structure and ecology of selected insects; phases of the moon; simple machines including levers, gears and mechanical advantage.

    MANDARIN: continued speaking, writing and listening, with a focus on consolidation of previously learned materials; students perform a short play in Mandarin.

    LIBRARY: further study of the Dewey Decimal System and exploration of works of nonfiction; reading aloud of historical fiction; using appeal terms to identify qualities of a book and developing deeper understanding of personal reading interests.

    RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of the program begun in Kindergarten.

    HEALTH AND WELLNESS: topics include sexuality and values, images in popular culture, body image, and the changes of puberty.

    SERVICE LEARNING: students work as servers at All Souls Soup Kitchen in order to better understand hunger in the community. For the MLK Day of Service, students make placemats and other needed items in the classroom for All Souls.

    TECHNOLOGY: continued development of touch-typing skills and computer programming; creation of slideshow presentations; digital citizenship.

    ART (rotating ten-week courses):
    CERAMICS: working in clay to make a functional object, including wedding, handbuilding, throwing and glazing.

    CARPENTRY: designing and constructing a wooden object.

    PHOTOGRAPHY: working with traditional and non-traditional cameras and darkroom techniques in the practice of basic photography.

    MUSIC: continued vocal and instrumental study of strings or the alto recorder; English handbells for performance at the Winter and Last Day Assemblies.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: with a focus on strength, flexibility and overall fitness, positioning and movement strategy and its application in cooperative games; dance; FunFit.
The Brearley School
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New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-8582
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