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Lower School Curriculum

Classrooms in the Lower School are self-contained with enrichments in art, music, physical education, technology, library, Spanish, and Mandarin. Our low student to teacher ratio provides for individualized and differentiated instruction. Curriculum at Independent is designed to promote self-expression, encourage problem solving, and challenge our students. 

Select Grade Level

English/Language Arts

Phonemic awareness. Present literature rich in text, introduce rhyming concept. Story structure — beginning, middle, and end. Listening skills.

Math

Counting and number recognition to 10. Match, sort, classify, and compare. Sequencing. Estimation and prediction of quantity, size, and distance. 

Science

Process skills. Fire safety. Life Science: plants and animals, nutrition and health habits. Environmental Studies: protecting our Earth, renew, reuse, recycle, and repurpose. 

Social Studies

Family and traditions. Continents and oceans. World habitats and environments. Protecting our Earth. Community helpers. Independent/personal awareness skills: recognize and print personal information, emotional awareness, and choices, locomotor personal skills. 

Foreign Languages

Spanish: Greetings and introductions. Days of the week. Colors. Months of the year. Around the community. Hispanic Heritage Month. Cultural games and songs. Numbers (1-20). Body parts. Family. Clothing. Food. Cinco de Mayo. 

Physical Education

Eight locomotor skills. Balance. Under/overhand throw. Parachutes. Scoops. Circle hoops. Basketball. Jump rope. Hand-eye coordination. 

Technology

Rules and procedures. External parts of computer. Mouse control. Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills. 

General Music

Voice. Pitch. Dynamics. Tempo. Rhythm. Tone color. Music expression. Music history. Instrument construction. Concerts. 

Visual Arts

Color recognition and identification. Shape recognition and identification. Storytelling through art. 

English/Language Arts

Alphabetic principles: letter sound and identification. Reading/Writing: letters, words, sentence structure and basic stories, initial/middle/ending sounds. Sight words, color and number word identification, blending sounds, fluency and expression, opposites, rhyming words. 

Math

Numbers to 100. Skip counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s. Patterns. Calendar skills. Measurement. Time to the hour and half-hour. Coin identification and value. Addition and subtraction to 10. Tally marks, graphs, and estimation.

Science

Process Skills: scientific method. Life Science: body awareness, five senses, life cycles, living and nonliving features, habitats, plants. Weather. Environmental Studies: protecting our Earth.

Social Studies

Self awareness and understanding. Conflict management and social skills. Community helpers. Map skills. Protecting our Earth. Personal safety.

Foreign Languages

Spanish: Greetings and introductions. Days of the week. Colors. Months of the year. Around the community. Hispanic Heritage Month. Cultural games and songs. Numbers (1-20). Body parts. Family. Clothing. Food. Cinco de Mayo. 

Mandarin: Culture. Greetings and introductions. Numbers. Days and months. Family. Clothing.

Physical Education

Eight locomotor skills. Overhand throw. Parachutes. Frisbee throw. Rhythm and dance. Volleyball. Basketball. Jump rope. Bowling. Scooters. Soccer. Hockey. Nutrition. Fitness skills. Personal hygiene. Safety. 

Technology

Pre-typing skills. Printing. Bookmarked sites. Graphic art. Microsoft Word. PowerPoint. Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills. 

General Music

Voice. Pitch. Dynamics. Tempo. Rhythm. Tone color. Music expression. Music history. Instrument construction. Concerts. 

Visual Arts

Color theory. Intro to sculpture. Totem poles. Texture and pattern. 

English/Language Arts

Alphabetic principles: phonemic awareness, word analysis, word usage. Grammar: verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, sentence structure. Reading/Writing: narrative, expository, descriptive texts (compare and contrast, cause and effect, problem and solution, sequencing), story elements, prewriting, drafting, editing, revising, publishing. 

Math

Numbers to 1,000. Add/subtract 2 digit numbers. Money to $1. Geometric shapes and line segments. Length, weight, and capacity: measurement and comparison. Time to nearest 5-minute interval. Spatial and word story problems. Graphing: organization, creation, and comparison. 

Science 

Life Science: classifying matter, characterization of living things. Human Body: five senses, healthy behaviors. Earth Science: biomes, weather. 

Social Studies

Social and personal interactions between self, school, neighborhood, community, state, country, continents. Junior Achievement Program. Second Step Social Skills. 

Foreign Languages

Spanish: Greetings and introductions. Calendar. Colors. Body parts. Clothing. Community. Writing. Classroom objects. Holiday observations and Hispanic Heritage Month. Cultural games and songs. Numbers (1-30). Food likes/dislikes and manners. 

Mandarin: Culture. Greetings and introductions. Numbers. Days and months. Family. Clothing. Food. 

Physical Education

Eight locomotor skills. Overhand throw. Parachutes. Frisbee throw. Rhythm and dance. Volleyball. Basketball. Jump rope. Bowling. Scooters. Soccer. Hockey. Nutrition. Fitness skills. Personal hygiene. Safety. 

Technology

Pre-typing skills. Graphic art. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills. 

General Music

Beat and divided beat. Rhythm vs. beat. Beats of rest and simple 2-beat meters. Measures, staff, bar lines. High and low pitches. Relationship of so, mi, la. Phrasing, tempo, dynamics. Orchestral instruments. Cultural games and songs. Concerts (2).

Visual Arts

Ancient Art: Lascaux caves and Egypt. Warm and cool colors. Henri Matisse. Color and shape. 

English/Language Arts

Phonemic awareness: synonyms, antonyms, homophones, homographs, suffixes, prefixes. Grammar: sentence and paragraph structure, capitalization, punctuation, subject, predicate, subject/verb agreement, parts of speech. Reading: comprehension, story analysis, fluency, genres. Writing: creative, expository, idea generation, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Handwriting: manuscript, introduce cursive. 

Math

Operations with whole numbers, fractions, money, and decimals. Patterns, algebra, and functions. Geometry. Standard units of measure. Data analysis: statistics, probability. 

Science

Plant Life Cycles: Diversity in life cycles within ecosystems (plants), seed dispersal and pollination. Physical Science: Structure and Properties of Matter (Properties of Solids, Liquids, and Gases, as well as Chemical Changes). Life Science Ecosystems: Diversity of life cycles within ecosystems and their interdependence.

Social Studies

Neighborhoods, communities, states, nation, world. Landforms, natural resources, conservation. Basic economics. Branches of U.S. government, citizenship, symbols. Early U.S. history. People and places in history. Map skills. Junior Achievement Program. Second Step Social Skills. 

Foreign Languages

Spanish: Review—greetings, introductions, calendar, colors, clothing, food, family, classroom objects. Reading, writing, daily journal. Holiday observations and Hispanic Heritage Month. Numbers (0-40), Cultural games and songs. Idioms using tener. 

Physical Education

Eight locomotor skills. Overhand throw. Parachutes. Frisbee throw. Rhythm and dance. Volleyball. Basketball. Jump rope. Bowling. Scooters. Soccer. Hockey. Nutrition. Fitness skills. Personal hygiene. Safety.

Technology 

Pre-typing skills. Graphic art. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint. Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills.

General Music

Half notes and rests. Four-sixteenth note groups. Four-beat meter. Form, repeat signs, ostinatos. Relationship of do, re, & do pentatone. Crescendo and decrescendo. Cultural games and songs. Concerts (2).

Visual Arts

Application of line. Landscape. Making and interpreting abstract art. 

English/Language Arts

Spelling and phonemic awareness.Grammar: Daily Oral Language, sentence structure, nouns, verbs, contractions, subject/verb agreement, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives. Reading: comprehension, story analysis, vocabulary, novel studies, literary circles. Genres: realism, fantasy, biography, autobiography. Handwriting: modern cursive writing. Writing: Lucy Calkins Writing, Writer’s Workshop, narrative, expository, fiction, literary essays, memoirs. 

Math

Properties of multiplication/division.Numerical patterns. Geometric figures and their attributes. Probability. Statistical measures of data. Word problems. Measurement and estimation. Equivalent representations. Place value. Fractions as numbers. Fraction equivalence and ordering. Decimal notation. 

Science

Life Science: parts of plants, classifying animals, growth and reproduction. Physical Science: matter, mixtures, and solutions. Earth Science: patterns in Earth’s atmosphere, solar system, cycles and patterns in space. 

Social Studies

Geography and mapping skills. Kinds of communities. Making informed choices. Economics. Current events. Australia. Europe. Growth of Wichita. Junior Achievement Program. Second Step Social Skills. 

Foreign Languages

Spanish

Review: greetings and introductions, foods, calendar. Journal of date and phrases. Hispanic Heritage Month. Holiday observations. Weather. Definite/indefinite articles (El and La). Cultural songs. Numbers (0-100). 

Physical Education

Baseball. Basketball. Bowling. Football. Frisbee. Hockey. Juggling. Jump rope. Parachutes. Pickleball. Rhythm and dance. Scooters. Soccer. Track and field. Volleyball. Muscles. Nutrition. Physical fitness test. Self-esteem. Target heart rate. Team work. 

Technology

Keyboarding skills. Graphic art. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel. Educational. Applications that reinforce classroom skills. Boolean web searches. Research using developmentally appropriate electronic databases. Internet safety and cyberbullying. External hardware. 

General Music

Dotted half notes and rests. Three-beat meter. Sixteenth note and eighth note combinations. Syncopation. Absolute note letter names. Standard note duration names. Relationship of low so, low la, and high do. Part singing. Cultural games and songs. Concerts (2). 

Visual Arts

Light and space in artworks. American Indian art. Art of Ancient Rome and Byzantine civilizations. 

English/Language Arts

English curriculum based on the text Language Arts by MacMillian/McGraw Hill. Focus on parts of speech, correct punctuation, combining sentences, and writing dialogue. Spelling: three differentiated spelling lists. Spelling, phonics/sound, meaning, context, and structure of the words. Reading: novel studies. Flocabulary, The Word Up Project. Accelerated Reader. Writing: variety of writing exercises within the classroom from whole group mini-lessons to small group/individual writing time using the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop curriculum and the Six-Trait writing rubric. 

Math

Saxon Math Intermediate 5 Edition, which is the equivalent to 5th grade math. Quick recall for the basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Multiple digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. 

Science

Energy and Earth's systems. Teacher-led experiments. Next Generation Science Standards. 

Social Studies

United States geography: agriculture, economics and people of each region, map skills, intermediate directions, grids, distance and scale, longitude and latitude. Types of maps: political maps, map construction. Location of states, postal abbreviations, capital cities. Junior Achievement Program. Second Step Social Skills. 

Foreign Languages

Spanish: Review— greetings and introductions, calendar, classroom objects, weather, body parts, family clothing, indefinite articles, Hispanic Heritage Month. Holidays in Latin America. Introduction to adjectives. Sentence construction. Telling time. Written reports. Introduction to verbs. Sports. 

Physical Education

Baseball. Basketball. Bowling. Football. Frisbee. Hockey. Juggling. Jump rope. Parachutes. Pickleball. Rhythm and dance. Scooters. Soccer. Track and field. Volleyball. Muscles. Nutrition. Physical fitness test. Self-esteem. Target heart rate. Team work. 

Technology

Keyboarding skills. Graphic art. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher. Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills. Boolean web searches. Research using developmentally appropriate electronic databases. Internal parts of computer. Internet safety: cyberbullying, identifying and reporting. 

General Music

Solfege — introduction of fa and ti. Sharps and flats. Major scales. Syncopated rhythms. Music vocabulary. Sight singing/playing. Phrasing and expression. Original composition. Classical music. Folk music. Concerts (2).

Visual Arts

Art and culture of China. African tribal art. Gothic art and architecture. Islamic art and design. 

English/Language Arts

Literature: realistic and historical fiction, mystery, poetry, reader’s journal, informational texts. Strategic Reading: context clues, fact/opinion, sequencing, drawing conclusions, idioms. Writing: Lucy Calkins Writing, 6 trait, brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing of narrative, explanatory, expository, descriptive, poetry, personal narrative, persuasive, letters, style development. Grammar: sentence types, parts of speech and usage, prepositions, interjections. Oral presentations. Vocabulary. 

Math

Operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents. Daily math facts. Math investigations. Algebra: ratios, patterns, symbols, variables, coordinates. Geometry. Measurement: standard, metric. Data and probability. Place value to hundred billions. Estimation. Transformations and coordinate grids. 

Science

Process Skills: experimental process and procedures. Physical Science: classification and characteristics of matter, research atoms, changes of state, forces, motion and work, electrical energy, energy and waves, temperature and heat. Life Science: cells, traits of living things, ecosystems, communities, biomes. Human Body: cell organization, body systems: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, muscular and skeletal, endocrine and excretory. 

Social Studies

Daily Oral Geography. Second Step character program. Life in early Eastern and Western hemispheres. Early explorers — research project. Native peoples of North America: outline, research, and PowerPoint for reports, projects, and presentations. Spain builds an empire. Thirteen Colonies: founding, life, maps. American Revolution: research. American government. African American biographies. Junior Achievement Program. Second Step Social Skills.

Foreign Languages

Review: greetings and introductions, calendar, classroom objects, weather, likes and dislikes, body parts, family, clothing, food, definite and indefinite articles, verbs, possessive adjectives, sentence construction. Hispanic Heritage Month. Cultural project. Holidays in Latin America. Oral presentations. World culture through music. Soccer culture in Latin America. Intro to conjugation: AR verbs. Research reports. Ordering food in a restaurant. 

Physical Education

Baseball. Basketball. Bowling. Football. Frisbee. Hockey. Juggling. Jump rope. Parachutes. Pickleball. Rhythm and dance. Scooters. Soccer. Track and field. Volleyball. Muscles. Nutrition. Physical fitness test. Self-esteem. Target heart rate. Team work.

Technology

Keyboarding skills. Graphic art. Microsoft Word. Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher. Educational applications that reinforce classroom skills. Boolean web searches. Research using developmentally appropriate electronic databases. Internal parts of computer. Internet safety: cyberbullying, identifying and reporting. Electronic technology portfolio. 

General Music

Major and minor scales. Triplet division of beat, 6/8 time. Music vocabulary. Sight singing/playing. Phrasing and expression. Original composition. Classical music. Folk music. Concerts (2). 

Visual Arts

Art and culture of Japan. Renaissance art. Pop art. 

Band

Notes and rhythms. Unison playing. Instrumental care. Form and analysis. Concerts. 

HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions or concerns about our Lower School curriculum, feel free to contact us for more information.

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