PRIMARY GRADES CURRICULUM
In the primary grades, our goal is to provide a strong educational foundation for our students. Each teacher works to create a print-rich environment in the classroom in to order to foster the growth of literacy awareness and the development of independent learning skills in every student. We, at Peirce, strive to build a community of learners within every classroom through the implementation of Social Emotional Learning techniques that are embedded in our Responsive Classroom Approach to Teaching and Learning, our Education Through Music program, our Character Education curriculum, as well as our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports discipline program.
Our curriculum for reading and writing focuses on balanced literacy. Balanced literacy is a comprehensive teaching approach which encompasses teacher “read aloud” stories, shared reading and writing, as well as guided and independent practice in reading and writing. During these “Learning to Read” years, emphasis is placed on phonemic awareness, decoding, comprehension, and oral fluency. We use a basal reading program along with small group guided reading instruction to teach the reading strategies needed to become a skillful reader. The primary classrooms implement the Writing Workshop method to develop every child’s writing skills. The students experience different forms of writing throughout the year; narrative, story writing, expository, poetry, etc. The Writing Workshop method provides students with constant exposure to various stages of the writing process.
Mastery of basic math skills is the primary goal of our mathematics instruction. Students build on the awareness of numbers and their properties. Through hands-on math instruction, students gain knowledge in number concepts and operations. Students learn to utilize tables, graphs, and charts for reasoning and problem solving. Estimation, measurement, time, and money are also covered throughout the year.
Students are actively engaged in our science curriculum. Our primary classrooms often include real world observation and exploration to learn about plants, animals, weather and other science concepts throughout the year. Students also learn about the earth and the environment. They begin to take an active role in protecting the environment through our “Playground Clean-Up Day” to support Earth Day and Arbor Day. With the development of their writing skills, students learn to research and report on several concepts such as animal habitats, endangered species, and planets. Culminating activities may include a field trip that is directly related to a science unit of study in order to reinforce a concept that is learned in the classroom.
Through our social science curriculum, students explore our country’s rich cultures, various landforms, and diverse communities. Students learn about the national holidays of the United States as well as the important historical figures that are celebrated each year. U.S. government, economics, and mapping skills are introduced in the primary grades. Our international country of study is also integrated into our social science curriculum throughout the year. Student-made artifacts representing the country of study are showcased at our annual International Dinner in January and the International Exposition in the spring.
** Students in grades 2nd-3rd participate in the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center’s Executive Functions Program.
~~ Please click on Executive Functions excerpt for more information regarding the RNBC program of study.
*** Students in grades 2nd-3rd participate in the First Move Chess program.
~~ Please click on the First Move excerpt for more information regarding the America’s Foundation for Chess program of study.
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