Our Curriculum

Math- In combination class, 2/3 grade, we are working on multiplication and division.  We will begin working on place value up to the 1,000's.  Having excelled on those lessons, the 2/3 grader has completed the lessons on Properties on Addition (commutative, associative and identity) and Patterns.  After Thanksgiving break, she will focus on regrouping and subtracting three-digit numbers and subtracting across zeros.  In 5th grade, we are working on fractions, least common denominators, comparing fractions and identifying fractions on a number line. The 2/3 grader is currently working on over and underestimates and estimating sums and differences.   We are currently working on elapsed time.

Social Studies- We just finished up with the three branches of government and the role of the United States in worldly affairs.  We are currently studying states and capitals in the US and we are learning the song "Fifty Nifty".  On Wednesdays, the children share a current events report.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, the students have continued to discuss the Native Americans and Pilgrims.  The older students have begun their study of our nation's neighbors.  We are currently studying the economy and culture of Canadians.  After the unit on Canada, we will begin to focus on South American neighbors.  Now that our unit on Mexico is completed, in the New Year, we will focus on Latin America and also resume of studies in Spanish via The Rosetta Stone Program.  It's January and we've begun our studies of Northeast Africa and Asia by creating a KWL chart, noting what we know, what we would like to know and what we have learned.  Studies about Africa will continue until to February when we will learn more about Egyptian gods and goddesses and kings and queens.  Also, with Chinese New Year approaching, the students will learn about the "Year of the Tiger" and they will enjoy a delectable Chinese-inspired cuisine.  Today is President's Day and the children are learning about presidents of the past and the present president.  They were in awe to learn that the White House has 132 room and 35 bathrooms and that the large presidential jet, Air Force One, has a medical clinic on board!  In the process, they even learned another usage of the word "Cabinet" (as it relates to the people appointed to help the president).  This week, the students will compose letters to President Obama with hopes of him writing back! During the month of March, we will study western Africa. Afterwards, (by mid-March) we will begin our study of Asia.   We have begun our study of Asia.  At the conclusion of this unit, we plan to visit The Palace of Asia restaurant and watch parts of the Ramayana geared towards children.  With the arrival of U.S. Census 2010, the children will help complete the section pertaining to him/herself. 

Science-We will continue to focus on physical and chemical changes of matter.  Lately, with the recent discoveries of water on the moon and the pint-size ancestor of T-rex, Raptorex, science has taken a spin!  Also, with the media attention over the H1N1 virus, we have discussed the differences among viruses, fungi, bacterium and protozoan and how to limit the spread of germs.  For January, the students dicussed things that happen in the winter such as hibernation, migration and winter fun activities!  In honor of Dental Month, the children are learning about heatlhy tooth-care habits, parts and functions of the teeth.  Women have and are making big developments in the science field!  During the month of March, in honor of Womens' History Month, we will discuss some of the many contributions that women like Patricia Bath, Jane Goodall and Ellen Ochoa have made.  Now that Spring is here, the children are observing changes in nature.  The preschoolers have discussed cherry blossom trees and they have observed the growth of the trees. whereas the older kids are focusing on how plants reproduce.

Writing-We have focused on types of sentences.  We are now focusing on how to write a good paragraph and the students have began to create personal narrativesWriting in the family journal is an on-going assignment. The students will begin to enhance their writing by writing more descriptively.  One of their writing assessments included an essay about a s/hero.  The goal was to think of characteristics of a hero/heroine and to think of someone who exemplifies those characteristics.  In the New Year, they will focus on paragraphs that explain.  The goal with each writing assignment is to go through the five stages of the writing process until they complete a copy ready to be published.  During the month of February, we will review catergorizing data and begin writing their research report on a topic of their choice.  To do the research report, students will be 'banned' from using the internet; instead, they will need to find their data in encyclopedias and almanacs.  This will re-inforce the idea although computers are great, they must know how to access information via other means.  The students have completed their month-long project on "The Valley of Kings. Queens and Pharoahs of Ancient Kemet/Egypt".  This month, in honor of Womens History Month, the children will compose essays about a woman that they value and they will gain the opportunity to practice/hone their interviewing skills.  They will formulate good, open-ended questiions to gather more information about thir interviewee.  During the last week of March, they students will do an oral book on a woman of their choice.

Language Arts-The students were just tested on parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, articles), and dictionary skills.  They will begin to focus on adverbs, prepositions and conjuctions.  The students have completed a test on various types of verbs (action, linking and helping) and overall did an fantastic job!  They have learned about various reference materials such as the atlas, thesaurus, Guiness World Book of Records, and almanac and have practiced using most of those reference materials so far.  For fun, the students enjoyed re-arranging letters in words to create anagrams.  For example field=filed and lamp=palm etc.  The children have completed an unit test on Grammar, Mechanics & Usage and reading charts and graphs.  To demonstrate ways to sequence data, the students have analyzed anc created their own Flow Charts "sequence strips."  The students have just completed a unit test on different types of pronouns (possessive pronouns, object/subject pronouns etc) and will review comparative and superlative adjectives.  the students will also review prepositions.  To integrate Language Arts and Science (in honor of Dental Month), the students will have a Scavenger Hunt locating "teeth" (tooth shapes cut from paper) with preposition/position words on them.  During the end of February, the students have focused on giving oral reports using note cards. In March, we will focus on completing book reports and composing friendly letters.  As always, we will focus on the five steps of the writing process. 

Reading- The students read independently during D.E.A.R Time (Drop Everything and Read) and keep a log of their readings.  In addition, we do read alouds where the older children take turns reading chapters from selected trade books and also Books of the Month, where the teacher read selected stories aloud. Students continuosly work on reading skills such as comprehenion, sequencing and inferencing. During Halloween, the students were exposed to poems and plays by Edgar Allen Poe via the Weekly Reader website.  Although they enjoyed many of the stories such as The Pit and the Pendulum and Tell Tale Heart by Poe, although suspenseful, seldomly were they scared.  Recently, for Reader's Theatre, the students performed the play "Sequoia and His Talking Leaves."  Also, each week, we continue to focus on a new story from the 5th grade reading text book and complete practice pages that connects to the story of the week. We just completed a theme on "Heros".  In the New Year, we will focus on "Pourquoi Tales" or stories that explain 'why' things are the way they are and stories that focus on Nature.  We are focusing on how nature can be both a friend and foe.  The students will create various types of poems, such as haiku and acrostic, to express their views on nature.  Reading texts for the month of February will be tradebooks written by people of African-descent.  We will also focus on stories about Africa.  During the month of March, we will focus on Chinese folktales and myths.  It is mid-March and the children loved the Chinese folktales entitled Sweet and Sour:  Tales from China.  For the remainder of the month, we will read mini-biographies of women who have made/are making contributions to the world!

Spanish-The students continue to work on the Rosetta Stone, Teach Your Baby Spanish, Hooked on Spanish and I Can Learn Spanish software programs.

Spelling/Vocabulary-The students are continuously learning new words, spelling patterns, origin of words and prefixes.  They enjoy spelling bees.  The upper grade students are given "Words of the Week" (or WOWs) to look up and are encouraged to use those words in everyday speech.  Some of their newest words include: consecutively and sacred, allot vs a lot, gentrification, sage, carp...  The pre-schoolers have begun to work on their Word Wall which consists of rhyming words and sight words.

Supplementals-Our curriculum is supplemented by articles and activities from Weekly Reader, Parents Magazine, Highlights and other materials found on-line, at the library, and in the community.

Technology Integration-To practice skills they've learned, the students use websites which include, but are not limited to:  www.harcourtschool.com, www.ourcourts.com, www.brainpop.com, www.whitehouse.gov, Highlights for Kids, Natgeo for Kids.  and ING's website.

* Our program wraps around during the whole school year.  For example, whereas many schools focus on parts of government during the end of the school year, we pick up wherever we left off before our last break (which was the summer break).


Books of the Month (read aloud by teacher) and D.E.A.R. Themes (independant reading)

Sept. -Captain Underpants, and  Tippy Lemmey

Oct. - James and the Giant Peach and Skeletons Don’t Play Tubas

Nov.- Oliver Twist, and Now that I’m Eight

Dec. The Jungle Book, and Kwanzaa Tales  (DEAR Theme:  Non-fiction)

Jan.  Philosphies of Life, Stories for Young Children (DEAR Theme: Poetry, Writers of African descent)

Feb. Barbie and the Pyramid Adventure, Ancient Egyptian Tales (DEAR Themes:  Egyptian (Kemet) gods and goddesses, pharoahs, African queens and kings ,the study of the birth of religions, and Science themes)



(Tentative) Upcoming Books of the Month:

parts of the Ramayana

Torti Tales:  Stories from West Africa

Magic School Bus SeriesAquamarine

R.L Stine, Hatcher, other classical stories

 Aesop Fables











As of 10/26, we are ahead of schedule. We have read all of the books for Sept, Oct and November. Independantly, Qawiyya has read Aquamarine and several chapter books by Mary Osborne and Aliyy has read The Jungle Book.