First and second grade students learn about art, culture, and the natural world in their explorations of continents and cultures, offering a window to the world!
In our combined first and second grade classroom, students learn through holistic, thematic units balancing science and social studies with in-depth learning about our yearly topics. Our curriculum includes multi-sensory learning experiences, collaborative projects, scientific inquiry, library research, field trips, and guest lessons. As an independent school, we are able to be responsive to our students’ particular interests, experience learning in the real world through a school-without-walls approach, and stay committed to creating lessons with a lens of equity and current, research-based practices.
The first and second grade is a fully integrated community with differing expectations based on ability and needs. Students are flexibly grouped for academics, allowing each student to get the support or challenge that they need. Students and teachers work together to create individual goals and reflect on their progress throughout the year. Integral education allows for students to not only integrate multiple perspectives and academic disciplines, but also to learn together with students who are a bit younger and older than they are, giving students an opportunity to learn from their peers when they are the youngest and experience the role of being a leader when they are the oldest. As a community, students collaborate to set classroom agreements and expectations. We intentionally develop student relationships through community building activities. In addition to community building in the classroom, we value the connections between home and school in the ways that parent relationships allow us to know the child as a whole human being.
Challenging the Mind, Nurturing the Spirit
With a focus on creativity and self-expression, students are encouraged to take risks with their art, writing, and design. Our thematic units offer the opportunity to explore the world through different perspectives, artistic mediums, and cultural contexts. Our reading selection features works from a diverse range of authors and story characters. We constantly update our classroom library to include relevant books as well as classic children’s literature. The thematic curriculum is used to learn information as well as to spark imagination and curiosity about our global community. Emphasis is placed on cultivating a love of reading, deepening development of independent learners, increasing self-sufficiency with problem-solving skills, and developing the empathy, communication, and self-awareness to listen to others and express themselves authentically.