Curriculum

Upper School

3rd Grade

Highlights of the third grade program include:

Math

  • Further exploration into place value, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, graphing, geometry, word problems, measurement, probability, statistics and pre-algebra
  • Emphasis on developing problem solving skills using a variety of methods and strategies
  • Ongoing assessment includes individual practice, quizzes and tests

English Language Arts

  • Reading: a novel-based literature program including novels, short stories, folk tales/fairy tales and picture books
  • Focus on comprehension, context clues, vocabulary enrichment, character development, reading for information, literary devices and author’s purpose
  • Junior Great Books program integrates literature and student-centered discussions while emphasizing critical thinking. Stories grouped by key age-appropriate social and emotional themes
  • Parts of speech, punctuation, basic grammar rules and editing are studied
  • Writing mechanics of a formal paragraph are mastered
  • Cross curricular integration of quality writing
  • Writing assignments include expository, narrative, persuasive, proper letter writing format, creative stories, poetry and a reference report
  • Improvement and mastery of cursive writing with an emphasis placed on proper formation of letters

Social Studies

  • In depth studies of communities, symbols of our country, national parks, California Indian tribes and map skills
  • Skills include reading for information, taking notes and building study guides as a study tool for formal assessments
  • Reference report on a California Indian tribe, which includes paragraph writing, creating a bibliography, an oral presentation and a creative art project

Science

  • Hands-on science lab program allows students the opportunity to use the scientific method and inquiry to investigate the world
  • Science exploration of energy, heat, matter, force and motion, simple machines, rocks and minerals
  • Skills include: reading for understanding, note taking, vocabulary study and building study guides as a study tool for formal assessments

Study Skills

  • Importance of time management with multiple assignments
  • Prioritization and organization of schoolwork with the use of a planner
  • Skills introduced include: how to organize, write and manage a research paper

Public Speaking

  • Confident communication skills further developed with oral presentations on given topics and reports

Art

  • Art is integrated throughout the curriculum to allow students to express their ideas through a variety of mediums
  • Photography unit and culminating project of displayed photos
  • Our Parents’ Club sponsors Art in Action, a study of fine art

Music

  • Students learn to sing, read music and play a soprano recorder with an emphasis on melody, beats and rhythm
  • All students participate in our December Holiday Show and the annual Spring Sing

Technology

  • Software and applications include: Mavis Beacon Typing, Pages, iWork, Education City, KS2 Bitesize, HyperStudio 5 and various search engines
  • Basic keyboarding skills are reinforced and practiced each week
  • Several projects using online sites and other software support the third grade curriculum

Physical Education

  • Students develop large motor skills through individual and group activities in a fun and accepting environment while promoting physical fitness and good sportsmanship
  • GROWFIT PE program is a fun, game-based approach that provides the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life
  • Teamwork and positive play are encouraged

Spanish

  • Students review the prior year’s vocabulary while working on ease of conversation with new common phrases to include sports, feelings, community, traffic, telephone etiquette and transportation
  • Exposure to the culture of Spanish speaking countries through activities, music and basic high-use vocabulary
  • Introduction to writing simple sentences, responses to questions, common verbs and beginning verb conjugation

4th Grade

Highlights of the fourth grade program include:

Math

  • Introduction of pre-algebra including order of operations and ratios
  • Further investigation and practice with fractions, geometry, data /statistics, word problems and standard/metric measurement
  • Emphasis on developing problem solving skills using a variety of methods and strategies
  • Ongoing assessment includes individual practice, quizzes and tests

English Language Arts

  • Reading: a novel based reading program with an emphasis placed on comprehension, infer/predict, cause and effect, group discussion, vocabulary and character analysis
  • Focus on summarizing, sequencing, compare/contrast, note taking, projects and five paragraph essay writing
  • Junior Great Books program integrates literature and student-centered discussion while emphasizing reading comprehension, critical thinking and writing. Stories are grouped by key age-appropriate social and emotional themes
  • Daily grammar instruction includes parts of speech, punctuation and editing
  • Outlining and mapping skills taught to improve composition of 5 paragraph essays and creative writing pieces
  • Emphasis on quality writing in all curriculum areas

Social Studies

  • In depth studies of California Indians, European settlers, California history and geography
  • Skills include: reading for information, taking notes and building study guides as a study tool for formal assessments
  • Projects, research papers and interactive units allow for deeper understanding

Science

  • Hands-on science lab program allows students the opportunity to use the scientific method and inquiry to investigate the world
  • Science exploration of earthquakes, weather, oceans, space, volcanoes, heat and energy
  • Skills include: reading for understanding, note taking, vocabulary study and critical thinking
  • Several culminating projects are presented throughout the year

Study Skills

  • Importance of time management with multiple assignments
  • Prioritization and organization of schoolwork with the use of a planner
  • Skills include: writing and managing a research paper, note taking, use of graphic organizers and how to build a study guide for unit tests

Public Speaking

  • Confident communication skills further developed with oral presentations on given topics and reports

Art

  • Art is integrated throughout the curriculum to allow students to express their ideas through a variety of mediums
  • Our Parents’ Club sponsors Art in Action, a study of fine art

Music

  • Students continue to sing, read music and play a soprano recorder with an emphasis on melody, beats and rhythm
  • All students participate in our December Holiday Show and the annual Spring Sing

Technology

  • Introduction of the iPad program
  • Skills include: online research and Keynote presentations
  • Software and applications include: iWorks, iStopMotion, PS Touch, Keynote, Pages, Notability, Garage Band, Adobe Ideas and Tap Typing
  • Many assignments are submitted online using eBackpack

Physical Education

  • Students develop large motor skills through individual and group activities in a fun and accepting environment while promoting physical fitness and good sportsmanship
  • Our SPARK PE program is designed to be inclusive, active and fun
  • Teamwork and positive play are encouraged

Spanish

  • Students review the prior year’s vocabulary while working on ease of conversation with new common phrases to include sports, feelings, community, traffic, telephone etiquette and transportation
  • Exposure to the culture of Spanish speaking countries through activities, music and basic high use vocabulary
  • Continued practice with a text that encourages strong vocabulary development and explores complex grammar structures such as noun/verb agreement, singular/plural and gender of nouns

5th Grade

Highlights of the fifth grade program include:

Math

  • Mastery of pre-algebra, place value, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, ratios, proportions and percents
  • Additional areas of study include data, statistics and probability, integers and equations and the geometry of plane figures
  • Emphasis on developing problem solving skills using a variety of methods and strategies
  • Ongoing assessment includes individual practice, quizzes and tests

English Language Arts

  • Reading: a novel based reading program with note taking, group discussion, projects and essay response
  • Focus on interpreting text while paying close attention to literary devices such as foreshadowing, symbolism, characterization and plot structure
  • Junior Great Books program integrates literature and student-centered discussion while emphasizing reading comprehension, critical thinking and writing. Stories are grouped by key age-appropriate social and emotional themes
  • Utilization of the Six Traits of Writing
  • Daily grammar instruction includes parts of speech, punctuation, and editing
  • Emphasis of quality writing in all curriculum areas, formal reports and projects

Social Studies

  • In depth studies of European exploration and U.S. History through the American Revolution
  • Skills include reading for information, taking notes and building study guides as a study tool for formal assessments

Science

  • Hands-on science lab program allows students the opportunity to use the scientific method and inquiry to investigate the world
  • Science exploration of atomic structure, biology of the human body and plant life, living systems, ecosystems, biomes and energy
  • Skills include: reading for understanding, note taking and vocabulary study
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the scientific method, students participate in the annual school science fair and the San Mateo County STEM Fair

Study Skills

  • Importance of time management with multiple assignments
  • Prioritization and organization of schoolwork with the use of a planner
  • Skills include: writing and managing a research paper, note taking, use of graphic organizers and how to build a study guide for unit tests

Public Speaking

  • Confident communication skills further developed with oral presentations on given topics and reports

Art

  • Integrated throughout the curriculum to allow students to express their ideas through a variety of mediums
  • Our Parents’ Club sponsors Art in Action, a study of fine art

Music

  • Students continue to sing, read music and play a soprano recorder with an emphasis on melody, beats and rhythm
  • All students participate in our December Holiday Show and the annual Spring Sing

Technology

  • Continuation of the iPad program
  • Skills include: online research and Keynote presentations
  • Software and applications include: iWorks, iStopMotion, PS Touch, Keynote, Pages, Notability, Garage Band, Adobe Ideas and Tap Typing
  • Many assignments are submitted online using eBackpack

Physical Education

  • Students develop large motor skills through individual and group activities in a fun and accepting environment while promoting physical fitness and good sportsmanship
  • Our SPARK PE program is designed to be inclusive, active and fun
  • Teamwork and positive play is encouraged

Spanish

  • Students review the prior year’s vocabulary while working on ease of conversation with new common phrases to include sports, feelings, community, traffic, telephone etiquette and transportation
  • Exposure to the culture of Spanish speaking countries through activities, music and basic high use vocabulary
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