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Kindergarten/First Grade

This is a summary of the basic curriculum applicable to Kindergarten and Grade 1. The curriculum is expressed in learning objectives for students at the primary level. Progress along a continuum of learning is the goal; therefore, at any time, a student may be working on skills that are at, above or below his or her assigned grade. To the extent possible, teachers provide each child with material at his or her own level of achievement in language arts and mathematics. By the end of first grade, most students have learned what is presented here; many go beyond. Children who need additional help may receive it through remedial or special education services.

Self-confidence is fundamental to a child’s success in school. Children should learn that persistence, together with loving, firm, supportive help from both parents and teachers, can result in success. To provide this support is our mutual task.

Ideally, during his or her career at the Ray School, each student will acquire an appropriate body of knowledge and specific abilities as a learner, a person and a member of the school community. Successful life-long learners develop self-confidence, initiative, curiosity, creativity, a willingness to take risks, respect for self and others, enjoyment of learning, and good citizenship. At the Ray School, these traits are developed through studies designed to help each child reach the following goals by the end of fifth grade.

Key Results

  1. Children will use language thoughtfully to express and receive information.
  2. Children will use basic mathematical concepts and skills.
  3. Children will use analytical, systematic, intuitive and creative methods to solve problems.
  4. Children will use the scientific method to explore the physical and natural science.
  5. Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies.
  6. Children will begin to understand themselves, their relationships and their responsibilities.
  7. Children will be able to participate in, appreciate, and enjoy experiences in the arts.
  8. Children will develop responsibility for their health and physical fitness.

Language Arts

The goal of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach children to use language thoughtfully and to express and receive information and ideas.

Children learn to read and write in the same way that they learn to speak-that is, by using their emerging literacy in meaningful situations. In school, we provide children with numerous opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write. The necessary details of reading and writing are taught most effectively in contexts meaningful to the student.

This curriculum is a guide for teaching all the language arts. It includes listening and speaking as necessary parts of reading and writing. It presents a variety of literary experiences to foster a sense of meaning and enjoyment in learning to read and write.

Listening

  • Exhibit good listening/attending skills
  • Discriminate sounds, rhyming words
  • Understand letter/sound correspondence
  • Discriminate volume, pitch and similar sounds
  • Listen to obtain information
  • Listen critically
  • Listen for enjoyment
  • Understand speaker’s message
  • Identify feelings expressed by others
  • Follow three step directions
Speaking
  • Use concept words (above, under)
  • Recall and share information
  • Describe feelings of a character in a story
  • Categorize and classify words
  • Ask questions; answer questions appropriately
  • Share experiences in group (in logical sequence)
  • Call objects by name
  • Initiate and respond to conversation
  • Use eye contact
  • Speak clearly with appropriate volume
  • Speak in complete sentences
  • Stay on topic in group discussions
  • Use descriptive language
  • Speak in logical sequence
  • Clearly articulate information and own thoughts
  • Enjoy using language: drama, choral reading, singing, plays, chanting of poems
Print Awareness
  • Understand that a spoken word can be printed
  • Recognize letters of the alphabet
  • Recognize words that begin with the same letter
  • Recognize that print is read from left to right
  • Locate parts of a book (front, back)
  • Recognize: pages of a book are ordered
  • Interpret picture clues
  • Recognize: printed words are separated by spaces
  • Identify corresponding upper- and lower-case letters
  • Recognize: a sentence is made up of words
  • Recognize: capitalization and punctuation mark the beginning and end of a sentence
  • Understand concepts of letter, word, sentence
  • Locate words in well-known text read aloud
  • Recognize quotation marks as indicator of dialogue
Reading

Students will progress through the developmental stages of oral and silent reading. Students will read for meaning.

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness

  • Identify and make oral rhymes
  • Identify and work with syllables in spoken words (clapping syllables)
  • Identify and work with onsets and rimes in spoken syllables (r-an, k-ind)
  • Identify and work with individual phonemes in words (identifies first/last/middle sounds in words)
Vocabulary/Word Recognition
  • Identify own name in print
  • Name common opposites
  • Develop a sight vocabulary
Word Analysis
  • Use consonants, long and short vowel sounds, consonant clusters, beginning and ending sounds
  • Use r-controlled vowels
Word Analysis: Structural
  • Introduce words, prefixes, suffixes, root words, contractions, compound words, and syllables
  • Introduce possessives, plurals, abbreviations
Word Analysis: Contextual
  • Use reading strategies-e.g., illustrations, self- correction, semantics, phonetic clues and syntax
  • Use context of a story to read unfamiliar words
Comprehension: Literal
  • Attend to punctuation when reading aloud
  • Recall facts and details
  • Recall sequence of events in a story
  • Introduce written directions
  • Recognize beginning, middle, and end of story
  • Identify characters and settings of a story
Comprehension: Interpretive
  • Identify character emotions
  • Draw conclusions, predict outcomes and begin to make inferences
  • Relate text to personal experiences (make text-to-self connections, text-to-text connections and text-to-world connections)
  • Recognize main idea of a story
  • Place self in story and tell how he/she would think, feel, act
  • Differentiate between fiction and non-fiction
  • React to the mood of a story
  • Understand cause and effect
  • Generate questions to promote understanding of the story
Writing

Pre-Writing

  • Brainstorm ideas for possible topics for writing
  • Express ideas aloud
  • Draw pictures to illustrate ideas
  • Select a topic to develop
  • Plan story structure
Composing
  • Draw a picture to label and discuss
  • Spell first and last name correctly
  • Begin using phonetic spelling
  • Use correct beginning consonants
  • Begin using conventional spelling of high frequency words
  • Draw a picture and and write a related story of several sentences
  • Write a story with a beginning, middle, and end
Introduce revising strategies such as:
  • Giving constructive feedback to peers, as modeled by the teacher
  • Responding to suggestions to revise own work
  • Rereading own work to assure the meaning is clear
  • Expanding his/her own story
  • Deleting unwanted portions of own story
  • Substituting new words for words in the first draft
  • Using a variety of sentence patterns
Introduce editing strategies such as:
  • Use complete sentences
  • Capitalize proper nouns and beginning of a sentence
  • Use correct end punctuation
  • Correct selected spelling errors using classroom word lists, spelling dictionary or adult assistance
  • Spell grade-level high frequency core words correctly
  • Commas in a series
  • Correct pronoun usage
  • Abbreviations
  • The possessive form
Sharing Work
  • Participate in the writing process to publication
  • Read own stories to classmates regularly
  • Write a message that makes sense to an audience
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Gain confidence in sharing finished work
Grammar

Introduce the usage of:

  • Nouns (Naming words)
  • Verbs (Action words)
  • Adjectives (Descriptive words)
  • Phrases vs. sentences
Mechanics

Capital Letters:

  • Sentence beginnings and the word “I”
  • Names of people and places
  • Days, months, holidays
  • Titles for people
  • Titles of books, poems
Introduce Abbreviations:
  • Titles for people
  • Time and dates
  • Measurements
Punctuation Marks:
  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Exclamation marks
  • Introduce quotation marks for dialogue
  • Introduce apostrophes in contractions, possessives

Spelling

Learning to spell is a developmental process. Phonetic spelling is an important stage in this process. Spelling instruction includes helpful strategies and some useful rules that can help children learn to spell. The goal of the spelling program is to help students become competent, independent spellers and encourage them to apply their spelling skills across the curriculum in meaningful writing experiences.

  • Students learn to use resources such as dictionaries, word lists, word walls, and word banks
  • Words most frequently used in writing
  • Words governed by reliable or phonic generalizations
  • Content area words
  • Students learn a variety of techniques to help learn new spelling words such as:
    • Learning to spell words as whole unit
    • Developing visual imagery
    • Trying alternate spellings to see which one looks correct
    • Sounding out word
    • Learning to spell in clusters or by “chunking” (t-each-er)
    • Using mnemonics
    • Thinking of related words
    • Thinking of word parts
  • Students learn and use proofreading skills that may enable the writer to distinguish between correct and incorrect spelling.
Handwriting/Zaner-Bloser
  • Use proper writing position and correct pencil grip
  • Write left-to-right and top-to-bottom
  • Use upper-and lower-case manuscript correctly
  • Establish left or right dominance
Library Skills
  • Recognize that the library is a multimedia center
  • Borrow materials from library using proper borrowing procedures
  • Take proper care of books and library materials
  • Know parts of a book: cover, title, author, illustrator, table of contents
  • Locate easy-reader and “everybody” books in library according to author’s last name
  • Build confidence in using the library
Information/Research Skills


  • Organize information
  • Know how to find appropriate information
  • Utilize prior knowledge
  • Use pictures to find and record information
  • Introduce the use of dictionary skills-e.g., alphabetizing, guide words
  • Begin to interpret maps, graphs, charts
  • Locate and use a variety of appropriate nonfiction materials in library/media center
  • Introduce non-fiction conventions such as: captions, headings, table of contents, index
  • Begin to record information using key words
Literature
  • Look at books independently
  • Recognize work of a variety of authors and illustrators
  • Recognize versions of the same story
  • Recognize a variety of literary genres

Mathematics

Children will learn that mathematics is an integral part of everyday life. They will begin to value mathematics and use basic mathematical concepts and skills. Children will gain an understanding that the components of problem solving, communication, reasoning, connections, and estimation are major processes woven through all mathematical concepts. They will learn to use communication skills of gathering and comparing data as well as the study of patterns and order.

Problem Solving

  • Frequent use of manipulatives to investigate and solve new mathematical situations through problem solving
  • Begin to use strategies such as: making a list, drawing a picture, looking for patterns, etc.
  • Discuss and write about problem solving strategies
Reasoning
  • Use addition and subtraction to complete or create a number pattern
  • Identify and describe what comes next in a pattern
  • Verify answers to problems
  • Explain why an answer is correct or incorrect and whether or not the answer is reasonable
  • Explore number families: 2+3=5; 3+2=5; and 5-2=3; 5-3=2
Communication
  • Discuss mathematical concepts and relationships
  • Use objects, draw pictures, and use numbers to illustrate mathematical concepts
  • Write about mathematical topics and mathematical experiences presented in class
  • Discuss estimates and predictions in small groups and with the class
  • Reflect on mathematical concepts by responding to “What if…” questions
Connections
  • Explore and discuss the relationship of addition and subtraction
  • Connect mathematical applications, such as graphs, tables, and other math skills, to social studies, science, and children’s literature
  • Explore and make connections between mathematics and the use of shapes in art and the use of rhythm patterns in music
  • Connect mathematics to the real world and write about these connections
Number Sense and Numeration
  • Count by ones, twos, fives, and tens up to 100
  • Count and write numbers 1-100
  • Identify and use even and odd numbers
  • Order a set of numbers (0-99) from smallest to largest
  • Name the whole numbers immediately before or after a given two-digit number
  • Compare two-digit numbers and identify which is more or less
  • Use a place value model to represent numbers up to one hundred
  • Explore patterns in the 100 chart
  • Explore deconstructing numbers into their various groups, e.g., 100 as ten groups of 10, two groups of 50, etc.
Concepts of Whole Number Operations and Computation
  • Represent the joining and separating of sets to show the understanding of addition and subtraction
  • Develop addition algorithms using manipulatives
  • Use manipulatives to develop the concept of subtraction as well as to build mastery of specific subtraction facts
  • Compare and discuss strategies to determine reasonableness of answers
  • Demonstrate mastery of subtraction facts based on their knowledge of addition facts to 10 and discuss the connection between addition and subtraction
  • Use estimation and mental computation to solve problems where exact answers are not required
Patterns
  • Recognize, describe, extend, and create patterns, e.g., ababab, abbabb, abcabc
  • Recognize and classify by attributes
Geometry and Spatial Sense
  • Introduce the concept of two- and three-dimensional figures
  • Recognize and create symmetric figures
  • Recognize and describe geometric shapes and structures in the environment
Measurement
  • Introduce measurement using length, time, and money
  • Develop an understanding of how to measure using standard and/or non-standard units
  • Recognize coins and values
  • Explore concepts such as area, volume, weight, temperature, and length, e.g. using a ruler, scale, etc.
Data Analysis and Probability
  • Construct and interpret verbal or written graphs from collected data
  • Pose questions, gather, and interpret data
  • Make predictions

Computer Study

Kindergarten

  • No formal introduction to computers
  • Exposure to activities and games on the computer during choice times
Grades 1 & 2

Word Processing and Multimedia

  • All students will help produce and publish a piece of writing that relates text to hand-drawn or computer graphics. This may involve dictation of captions for a picture.
  • Introductory commands, such as save and print
Simulations and Problem solving


  • Students will use the computer for games in math, language arts, or problem solving ( i.e. Widget Workshop, Number Maze, Anno’s Learning Games).
  • Introduction to programming concepts with simulations such as Delta Drawing or Microworlds
System Skills
  • Students will become familiar with introductory keyboard commands such as return, delete, shift, open, and quit.
Content Instruction
  • All students will visit the lab at least four times during the year with their classroom teachers for groups lessons with the technology specialist. Lessons will involve problem solving skills with the computer.
  • Students will use the computer to practice skills in the content areas, i.e., math or language arts.

Science

Children will have experiences that enable them to understand and confidently use the scientific method. The content areas covered in our curriculum scope and sequence include physical science, life science, earth science, and health. The cornerstones of the scientific method include inquiry, questioning, investigation, observation, and measurement. Reflection and collaboration are important in this process.

In K-1, the meadow habitat is a primary laboratory for exploration and inquiry. Children will become aware of the diversity of animals, plants and living things in that habitat. They will observe interactions of living things in that habitat and become familiar with the changes in plants and animals that occur over time in that habitat. Children will study at least one meadow insect, and first grade students will do a meadow animal project. Grasses, flowers, seeds, insects, birds, and mammals will be observed in this habitat. Students will become aware of how all of their senses are important tools for obtaining information about the meadow. Students will begin to consider what they know about our earth from experiences in this meadow habitat.

The process of investigation will help students realize that becoming involved, remaining open to new ideas, and risking failure are all critical to scientific discovery. In the course of their studies, children will employ the following skills:

Observe

  • Use senses to gain information
  • Look for patterns
  • Describe observations
  • Compare and contrast similarities and differences
  • See continuity and change as exemplified in life cycles and seasonal change.
  • What are characteristics of each season, and what are the impacts of seasonal change?
  • Recognize and describe life cycles
  • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant observations
  • Describe interactions between living things in an environment
  • Describe how living things respond when exposed to helpful or harmful situations
  • Recognize and describe what makes a habitat and what is important about a particular habitat
  • Recognize and describe needs of living things
  • Describe how and why we care for living things and their habitats
  • Describe how and why we care for seeds and plants
  • Recognize how certain tools help to extend our senses

Record Results of Observations

  • Describe, draw, count and/or measure
  • Record relevant observations using language and pictures
  • Explain their observations and experiences

Ask Questions

  • Learn to identify questions that may lead to exploration and investigation
  • Propose an answer to an initial question
  • Draw simple conclusion based on observations
  • Discuss possible new questions

Gather Information

  • Identify and/or compare sources of information
  • Recognize how we gather information and learn from each other
  • Name materials used in exploration
  • Estimate and/or make predictions

Classify objects according to one or more attributes or properties

  • Identify methods of sorting
  • Describe similarities and differences of objects, organisms, and life cycles

Work cooperatively and respectfully on scientific investigations

  • Share findings with the group or class

Social Studies

Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies. In addition, they will begin to understand themselves, their relationships, and their responsibilities to themselves and others.

Children will develop an ever expanding sense of place by starting small with what is familiar.

The K/1 curriculum includes the following themes: family, traditions, and the concept of community, including town, state, country and continent. Other appropriate themes may be used to cover the following:

History and Culture/Traditions

Children will learn:
  • What is a tradition?
  • What makes traditions important?
  • What traditions are important to your family?
Self
  • Become confident and cooperative members of the community
  • Know about themselves and other members of the community
Family
  • Understand their places in the world by starting small, with something they know and is familiar
  • Appreciate their own families
  • Appreciate that there are many kinds of families
Community
  • Build a foundation for citizenship
  • Understand that a community is a group of people who live and care about things together, e.g., classroom, school, neighborhood, and town
  • Develop an understanding of “Where do I live?”
  • Appreciate people’s different roles in and contributions to the community
State
  • Name their state
  • Locate their state on the US map
  • Understand that a state is made up of many communities and special places
Country
  • Understand that our country is made up of many states
  • Appreciate the cultural diversity in our country
  • Understand that our country is called: the United States, the United States of America, the US, and the USA
  • Recognize the flag of the United States and be introduced to the symbolism of its stars and stripes
Continent

The following objectives will be introduced:
  • Understand that a continent is a large area of land
  • Name our continent
  • Locate our continent on a map/globe

Health

Children become aware of healthy practices and choices. Essential questions include: What does it mean to be healthy? What choices are you able to make to be healthy? Why is health important? What influences our choices? What foods provide us with good nutrition? What are healthy snacks? These questions provide an age appropriate foundation for future learning about personal health and physical well-being.

Physical Education

Our mission in physical education is to help all students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to lead healthy, active lifestyles throughout their lives. Students develop motor skills, identify movement concepts, and work to maintain a health enhancing level of physical fitness in a safe and structured environment. Our curriculum is designed to help students develop acceptable social and personal behaviors in physical activity settings.

The K-2 students are called “Learners.” They learn basic motor skills like throwing, catching, or kicking and they practice movement patterns, for example moving in pathways or different directions. All skills are used in movement activities and game play. The Learners are given a lot of class time to learn, practice, and refine basic motor skills.

Arts

The arts program fosters and promotes the following qualities:

  • Conceptual understanding through structured experiences
  • Aesthetic values
  • Creative behavior involving divergent thinking, problem solving, and the extension of the imagination
  • Craftsmanship and valuing of work, using a variety of tools, media, materials, and processes
  • Understanding the content of art, including the study of art history and cultures, art criticism, and art production
  • Understanding one’s self by exploring self-expression

Children will explore line, color, texture, shape, pattern, balance, art history and cultures, art appreciation/criticism and evaluation by using various media and methods.

Each year, children build upon skills developed previously through drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpting, and textile work. In addition, all classes will create art that correlates to our PTO- A.R.T. gallery artist.

Music

General music at the Ray School is full of hands-on activities that help students learn the concepts of music and the art of listening. The majority of general music classes use the Orff-Schulwerk method, a teaching approach which promises that we and our students will interact as partners in making music. Playing instruments , singing and moving are treated as ensemble experiences, requiring mutual awareness and cooperation in order to create successful musical expression. Improvisation and composition are an integral part of this process. Some of the materials used in class may include barred instruments, recorders, bells and simple percussion.

Additional instrumental and vocal opportunities are available. Students in 4th grade may elect to study violin in group lessons while 5th graders may choose violin, cello or one of the traditional band instruments. Chorus is a requirement for all 3rd and 4th graders and is optional for 5th graders.

In December, two concerts are held: one by students in grades K-2 and another by the singers in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade choruses. These older choruses also perform in late spring. Throughout the year, children may participate in mini-recitals, giving them an opportunity to showcase skills learned outside of school. The maxi-recital in June is reserved for 5th graders only.

It is our goal that all students leave the Ray School with a well-rounded knowledge of music and a deep desire to learn more.

Special Education

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), special education at Ray School will provide individual education programs (IEPs) that enable children with identified disabilities to make steady educational progress, while participating to the greatest extent possible in the mainstream classes and the curriculum described herein.

Affective Education

A comprehensive guidance and counseling curriculum encourages lifelong skills in the following areas: personal, social, emotional, educational, moral, and the world of work. Children will work to gain competence in self-understanding, social skills, decision making, and self-care. The subject of drug and alcohol abuse is introduced in kindergarten and continued in later grades.

Bonding to Family and School
  • Appreciate self as special
  • Feel included and part of a group
  • Help others feel included
  • Acknowledge feelings and respond to them
  • Understand that everyone has problems
Skills
  • Ask someone for something
  • Say “NO” to sexual and physical abuse
  • Abide by ground rules for discussion of sensitive topics in front of others
  • Ask someone to do something (assertiveness)
  • Say “NO” to trouble
Drug and Alcohol Information
  • Appreciate the dangers of unknown substances
  • Understand drugs, their effects, and chemical dependency