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 how basic needs are met, families are constituted and holidays are observed in similar and different ways throughout the world.

    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; and the behavior and anatomy of gerbils.

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

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

    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: one gymnastics, one dance and three physical education classes a week focus on independent skills and creative movement, as well as spatial awareness, body control and basic locomotor skills through exploration and guided discovery; gymnastics: preparatory movements and basic body positions on the apparatus; dance: use of musical instruments and story books enhance learning of movement vocabulary.
  • 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.

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

    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 AND RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    LIBRARY: listening to stories, learning the location of fiction and nonfiction, checking out books; stories from around the world.

    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 a sequential journey of a dot as it becomes a line, and travels through space.

    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 Lower School years.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one gymnastics, one dance and three physical education classes each week; locomotor and basic sports skills such as throwing, catching and dribbling, and jumping and landing; swimming for one trimester; dance: study of Isadora Duncan and, in conjunction with science program, creating and performing dances about nature.
  • 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: recent topics have included exploration of students’ 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 AND RESPONSIBILITY: continuation of program begun in Kindergarten.

    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. Each girl who studies an instrument privately has the opportunity to perform in school-sponsored recitals.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one gymnastics, one dance and three physical education classes each week; sports skills in static and dynamic situations; jazz and ballet; modern dance through the work of Merce Cunningham; basic gymnastics routines; improving conditioning and increasing flexibility.
  • 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 two- and 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; democracy; rights afforded to American citizens, and the injustices and historical context that prompted these movements; student-driven service learning project.

    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.

    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; reinforcement of the concepts of saving and retrieving files, copying and pasting objects; learning new applications and 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; one period of ensemble study in either a stringed musical instrument or soprano recorder and Orff instruments.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION: one gymnastics, one dance and three physical education classes each week; basic rules, concepts and terminology of sports; 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: a yearlong study of immigration and migration in the USA; comparison of the major waves of immigration beginning with Native Americans and European colonists; topics include forced migration of Africans and the Underground Railroad; 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: structure, uses and prevention of mold and its ecological role as a decomposer; 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; research project on insects in second semester.

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

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

    ART (rotating ten-week courses):
    CERAMICS: working in clay to make a functional object, including wedging, handbuilding, throwing and glazing.
    CARPENTRY: designing and constructing a wooden object.
    INTRODUCTION TO 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: positioning and movement strategy and their application in cooperative games, with the focus on strength, flexibility and overall fitness; dance; gymnastics.
The Brearley School
|
610 East 83rd Street
|
New York, NY 10028
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(212) 744-8582
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