Home Program Academics
Park Day School’s robust academic program focuses on learning outcomes and developing intrinsic motivation. Learn more about assessments and how teachers provide feedback in an environment that doesn’t rely on a stand-alone score or letter grade to assess understanding and knowledge.
With carefully scaffolded instruction, expert teachers guide students to find the connection point between their own interests and various topic areas. With hands-on investigations and design challenges, students are encouraged to explain their thinking in a variety of ways. They are challenged to think critically and take academic risks. The goal is to develop a lifelong love of learning, where students find satisfaction through development and mastery of academic challenges. Through their studies, students come to understand from a very young age that their words and ideas are valued, and can be used for connection, inspiration, understanding, and to make change.
Language Arts at Park Day focuses on empowering students to read, write, listen, speak, and defend their ideas. We strive to foster intellectually curious, independent thinkers who use literacy to make sense of the world. Teachers implement a balanced approach to reading that incorporates guided reading strategies, phonics, individual instruction, small discussion groups, and class activities. Students learn to respond emotionally and intellectually to what they read. They research what they don’t know, and think critically about what is in front of them. Most importantly, they are encouraged to lose themselves in books, and find their passion on their journey to becoming lifelong readers.
Our early readers program uses Fountas & Pinnell which includes one-on-one formative and summative assessments. Our K-4 spelling program is Phonics, Spelling and Word Study, and beginning in 5th grade, our spelling practice uses Words Their Way. During the generative creative process, students in our youngest grades are encouraged to use estimated spelling first in order to focus on getting their ideas on paper.
Through direct and implicit instruction, students develop oral and written vocabulary, learn the decoding and encoding skills needed to construct meaning, and become practiced in how to best communicate their thoughts and ideas. Writing occurs daily in the classroom through journaling, research report, learning logs, persuasive paragraphs, descriptive paragraphs, and essay construction. Peer and teacher feedback plays a pivotal role and revising and editing is considered an integral part of the learning process. Teachers make themselves available to coach and encourage each child, and pride themselves on helping every student succeed.
Here are some examples of recent Language Arts assignments:
7th Grade Tell-Tale Heart
3rd Grade Story Plays
Mathematics at Park Day cultivates a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, instills proficiency with key core skills, and develops student ability to solve complex and novel problems. Students are encouraged to find multiple ways to solve problems and show different ways of thinking. This is a vital way to help students build more flexible and efficient ways to solve increasingly complex problems. Hands-on activities engage them in exploring, developing, testing, discussing, and applying mathematical concepts.
Our goal is to help young people develop into confident mathematical thinkers who understand the why as well as the how, who can see connections, and use their mathematical knowledge in innovative ways to solve problems throughout their lives. Students use hands-on tools and techniques to count, measure, build, design, sort, arrange, and cook as they gain mathematical understanding. Small group math centers provide an opportunity for teachers to cluster students in evolving differentiated groups for comprehension and peer inspiration.
The Bridges in Mathematics program is the foundation for teaching math in the Lower School, and in Middle School students learn pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability. The math curriculum in 8th grade is Algebra 1, and students who successfully complete the course receive UC credit for their studies. Alongside this curriculum, our teachers endeavor to inspire student engagement through real-world mathematical applications. Integral to every mathematical project, is communication. Students are expected to justify their ideas, listen to classmates’ alternative strategies, and approach problem solving in multiple ways.
Watch Video: Mathematical Problem Solving
Questions! They are the launchpad for all scientific inquiry. How do we create experiments that test what we want to find out? What is the difference between reasoning, a claim and evidence? How do scientists verify their data and share it with others? How can we discuss and represent various viewpoints of a scientific issue? At Park Day School, students learn to approach the world with curiosity, applying the scientific method to make discoveries for themselves.
Specific study areas are assessed and selected using personal relevance to students’ daily lives, local and global events, the availability of local resources and field trip opportunities. Next Generation Science Standards, and student and teacher interests help guide the scope and sequence as well. Concepts exploring biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, and engineering are woven throughout the curriculum and often appear and reappear in increasingly complex ways as students move through the grades.
Climate change and environmental ecology play a significant role in our scientific studies school wide. Ethics in science and the government’s role in science are integral aspects of the curriculum in the upper grades. Teachers work collaboratively with specialists in the Learning Garden, Innovation Workshop, and the Art studio to blend student interests, and explore emerging ideas in science education.
Watch Video: Scientific Thinking
The Learning Garden is a living laboratory where lower school students explore the natural world. They learn about animal husbandry through tending our chickens, study the diverse wildlife on campus, and gain valuable agricultural and culinary skills. Learning from and caring for Park Day School’s four-acres of land, located in the center of what was once a bustling Ohlone-Chochenyo village, is central to our community culture.
Lessons in our expansive garden campus encourage students to become stewards of the environment and the keepers of its history. As a daily practice, and in our studies, we honor the Ohlone Peoples who cared for this land for so many generations before the arrival of European colonizers in 1776. Classes incorporate curriculum from LifeLab, Occidental Arts Camp, Ecology Center, FOSS, and Edible Schoolyard. The program is closely integrated with science and social studies curriculums and adapts to emerging student interests in collaboration with each grade’s classroom teachers.
Social Studies at Park Day revolves around two core standing inquiries: “What do we think we know?” and “What do we want to learn?” As students explore history, culture, and community around the world, areas of inquiry typically shift partway through a unit of study towards areas of growth, change, and social justice: “What if, and how can we…?”
Teachers integrate significant world events to inform Social Studies content, being mindful of age appropriate stages of development and the different natures inherent in each cohort of students. As a result, topics and activities may vary from year to year while learning goals remain consistent. Educators teach grade-level skills and concepts including primary and secondary source research, organizing written and oral thoughts, sentence structure, language, persuasive reasoning, critical thinking, presentation, and delivery. Because Social Studies brings together so many topics, including history, government, economics, civics, sociology, geography, and anthropology, students frequently participate in multi-week layered projects. Students often vary their final presentations using different formats including interactive slide decks, video, written reports, art, theater, and more.
An important theme at Park Day is perspective taking and increasing awareness of the voices of native people, immigrants, and under-represented groups of people. As a school, we strive to use history to learn about our present, and view it as a jumping off point to make positive change in the world today.
Here are some examples of recent Social Studies projects:
6th Grade Hammurabi’s Code
2nd Grade Biography Project
Spanish learning begins in Kindergarten in authentic and engaging ways similar to how children learn their first language in their home: through social interactions, playing games, singing, listening to and reading children’s literature, and by engaging in hands-on projects. A foundation of vocabulary is built with an emphasis on oral language and within a cultural context. Because we have a wide range of students at various levels of Spanish language proficiency, from native speakers, to children coming from immersion pre-schools and grade-schools, to first time speakers, our Spanish program is thoughtfully differentiated throughout the grades.
By the time students reach 8th grade, they have enough language and understanding to spend a week speaking only Spanish during a grade-wide cultural immersion trip to Mexico. When a student moves into middle school, Spanish class frequency increases from twice a week to three and then four days a week, and the conversational emphasis grows.
A typical class in the upper grades may find students viewing presentations or short news clips in Spanish, and writing responses to those which are then used as catalysts for group discussion. Grammar studies are integrated into the reading and discussion of short novellas in the upper grades. During the 8th grade trip to Mexico, students attend classes and workshops with other students from the local area to learn traditional Mexican skills and crafts. Accompanied by their teachers, students also have the opportunity to explore local culture and architecture, natural resources management, and more.
Watch Video: K-2 Spanish
At Park Day School, student use of technology is viewed as a path to a wider understanding of, and engagement with, the world. As we move forward into the 21st century, there are key skills commonly understood to be necessary for today’s students to stay competitive in a changing world and eventual job market. Technological and media literacy can serve to leverage and more widely disseminate research, perspective, and creativity. It serves as a way to create a connected environment for collaborative projects. It provides an innovative and fresh way for students who may communicate better through video or coding to share their ideas.
Technology at Park Day as viewed as one of many versatile tools made available to students. The innovation workshop uses digital fabrication tools and other technology-based design instruments both in open lunch-recess workshops, and in class. Chromebooks are introduced in third grade, when students first begin more formal lessons in how to utilize coding and programming. Third grade is also when students begin researching and writing select assignments using computers in class. This is the introduction to the computer as a productivity tool.
All technology at Park Day is viewed as a tool for enriching the academic experience. With teacher guidance (and complemented by Parent Education), students learn digital citizenship, as well as how to have a healthy relationship with technology in their lives.
Park Day School provides a challenging academic program while offering a structured, support system for students who may encounter learning challenges along the way. Classroom teachers and Learning Specialists consult regularly in support of individual students who may be struggling in a particular area. The primary role of the Learning Specialist is to help support classroom teachers to ensure each child is learning successfully. For students with more persistent struggles, families may privately employ outside educational therapists, many of whom choose to coordinate with the school to support students on campus before, after, or during school hours.
At Park Day School, we employ three Learning Specialists who support K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th grades. Learning Specialists serve as educational partners and coaches, helping classroom teachers create and implement differentiation strategies to support students while communicating regularly with parents to ensure each student has 360-degree support.
Our lower grade Learning Specialists take lead in managing initial learning assessment suggestions and provide direct student support in a variety of ways, including regular classroom push-in times and short-term small-group instruction. They work closely with parents and teachers if an individual learning challenge begins to manifest. Learning Specialists are a primary resource and support system for families with a student who is already engaged with outside educational support. The Learning Specialist role in this case is to ensure that the communication between outside educational supports and the classroom teacher is successful, and that support for the student is aligned between home and school.
Park Day School’s interactive Curriculum Matrix reflects our planned curriculum across grades and subjects. It is a broad guide as our child-centered responsive curriculum adjusts to student needs, interests, and current events to make the most of each learning moment. Themes; key concepts; sample tools, lessons and activities; sample books and resources are outlined for each subject area and grade.
Social and Emotional Learning
Design, Make, Engage
Community Outreach and Service Learning
Click a subject to view its curriculum across all grades. Click a grade to view its curriculum across all subjects. Click a (+) to view a single subject for a single grade.
What is math and how do we use it? What math manipulative tools are there? How do math tools help me? What can we learn from the calendar? How can we sort and graph to count, compare and learn things?
Number and Operations: Counting, recognizing and subitizing numbers and quantities.
Problem solving/Mathematical Process and Communication: Developing problem solving strategies and ways to represent one's thinking.
Measurement: Gathering, organizing, understanding and representing information.
What numeral matches the number of objects I see? What does the numeral '5' mean? How high can I count? Do I know this number? Which numbers do I know how to write? Which ones do I not know how to write? Which is more? Which is less?
Counts and recognizes numerals up to 30; matches numeral to picture representation as in 'Show your thinking' and Skill Board Math; counts 1:1 with various manipulatives and in games; writes numerals up to 20. Demonstrates the understanding of the concepts of addition and subtraction and uses manipulatives to solve problems (two groups, each less than 10). After building elaborate structures with wooden blocks with their partner, children count the number of blocks used in their construction. In celebration of 10th day and 100th day of school, children are immersed in activities that the enable them to count up to 10 or 100.
How can I show this information in an organized way? Based on the information I have, can I make an estimate/prediction?
Children bring in apples and as a class, we sort them by color and graph the information and sample the apples and graph our favorites. During our seed investigations, the children bring in seeds from home and sort them by attributes they identify (size, shape, color, kind, texture). Recognize how things are same/different; represent information in an organized way; read and interpret simple graphs; conduct simple surveys; recognize possible and impossible outcomes.
What are the basic geometric shapes (2D and 3D shapes)? What are some attributes of the geometric shapes? Which of these (strings, tubes, Unifix trains...) is longer, shorter (heavier/lighter, taller/shorter)?
Develops mathematical vocabulary and uses it as in observation shape hunts. Identifies and groups objects by different characteristics. Covers a given shape in different ways with pattern blocks. Measures with standard and non-standard units; children plant corn seeds and measure its growth using Unifix cubes, centimeter cubes and standard inch rulers.
Can I predict what comes next in this pattern? How can I sort these objects? Which of these groups has more/less? How will this number change if I add (take way) 1 (or 2)?
After observing patterns on a snake's body, children build their own paper pattern block snakes. They also identify the 'unit' of their pattern. Using different games like 'Compare', children apply their understanding of more and less and the functions of numbers.
How can I solve this problem? Does my answer make sense? How can I explain it to others so they can understand? Will it help to use mathematical language? Will it help to draw or should I use objects to show my thinking? Do I understand my classmate's explanation?
Showing their thinking using mathematical vocabulary from mathematical concepts. Children solve teacher-made and their own story problems that emerge from daily activities. Sharing strategies enables the children to learn from each other.
Investigations In Number, Data and Space by TERC; Nimble with Numbers; Making Math Real; Marcy Cook; Marilyn Burns; teacher created materials.
How can you solve real life problems using numbers? What approaches and strategies will you use? How do you determine which data is important? How can you demonstrate and communicate your understanding?
Problem solving/Mathematical Process and Communication: Determining, analyzing, and applying relevant data and vocabulary to daily problems with real world applications.
Number and Operations: Developing different strategies for solving both addition and subtraction problems through meaningful mathematical explorations and problems.
Number and Operations and Algebra: Moving from hands-on exploration to symbolic expression of one's thinking.
To solve this problem, will I use addition or subtraction? How are addition and subtraction similar and different? What information is important to solve this problem? Can I count sets of objects by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s? What numeral matches this quantity? How does our number system work? How can I show a three-digit number using blocks or charts?
Games to compare more a less; making reasonable estimation using jars of objects; daily equations; work with number lines and number tiles; counting, identifying and using coins, understanding and memorizing number facts to 10; using doubles and neighbors to solve equations.
How are these things alike? How are they different? What is the common attribute?
How can you collect information and put it into a graph? How can a graph show more, less and equal to? What are the different kinds of graphs and how do you read them?
Surveying people in our community; graphing real objects and sharing our results; representing graphs on paper; using Venn diagrams to create and compare sets; using attribute blocks; activity with personal attributes and artwork: Who am I?
How can I measure the growth of a plant? What kinds of things can I use to measure an object? What can we use to measure? Why do we use a standardized unit of measurement? How do you know what time it is? How do you write it down?
What are the names for different two and three dimensional shapes?
Measuring and recording the growth of plants using rulers, yardsticks, centimeter cubes and base ten rods. Comparing the length, weight and volume of two or more objects in the room. Using pattern blocks to name and extend shapes, telling time games and activities with clocks. Solving puzzles with tangrams. Daily calendar activities. Using vocabulary to describe proximity, position and direction.
What is the pattern? Can I continue it? What patterns do I see on the 100's chart?
What patterns do you see in math? When writing your equation, what symbols will you use? Which symbol will I use to show which number is more? Less? The same as?
Identifying and continuing simple and more complex patterns; using the symbols for more/less; identifying which number is smaller or greater, playing a variety of games involving more or less, identifying patterns in math and on 100's chart, identifying patterns on the calendar, using written symbols to represent math thinking.
How can I show my thinking using words, pictures, or equations? Do I agree or disagree with my friends' thinking? Can I explain how I solved my problem to my friend?
What strategy can I use and what makes sense? Is there another way to solve this problem?
Write equations using symbols (+, -, = , <, >); solve daily stumpers. "Prove It," Read It Draw It, Solve It. Working cooperatively with partners. Using sketches, diagrams, manipulatives, and equations to demonstrate thinking. Daily equations and math journals. Using mathematical vocabulary to explain thinking; sharing strategies with partners.
Marcy Cook; Investigations in Number, Data and Space by TERC; Read it Draw It Solve It; Stumpers; Prove It; Daily equations; Nimble With Numbers; Arithemetwists; Marilyn Burns; 100s charts; various manipulatives including junk boxes, tiles, pattern blocks, interlocking cubes and base ten blocks.
How does our number system work? How can noticing and figuring out patterns in math help us to see how numbers are related and connected to each other? How can we use what we already know about math to help us make connections and build upon our understanding of math? How is math useful beyond the classroom, and how can it help us in our every day lives?
Number and Operations: Developing an understanding of the base ten numeration system and place value concepts.
Number and Operations & Algebra: Developing quick recall of addition facts and related subtraction facts and fluency with multi-digit addition and subtraction.
Mathematical Reasoning: Determining how to use tools, materials and strategies to approach and solve problems and to share mathematical thinking.
How do I know a quantity of a number instantly? How do we make useful groups to help us count easier? What does recognizing patterns on a hundreds chart help us understand math? How does grouping in tens and knowing about tens help us? How does skip counting help us count an amount more quickly to find out how much is there? What is addition? What is subtraction? What does difference mean and how does it help us in subtraction?
Discovering patterns and relationships between numbers using the hundreds chart. Counting and adding using a number line or tallying. Building numbers using base 10 blocks to reinforce understandings about place value and number quantity up to 1,000. Developing an understanding of place value using place value games and the Place Value Menu. Finding number equations using addition and subtraction to 20. Learning addition with regrouping and subtraction with regrouping, Identifying coin values and bills using money tile math books. Developing mental math strategies using +10 games and the Mental Math Loop Game.
How can we learn to organize information in order to make data more accessible? How does analyzing data help us answer questions? What makes a mathematical occurrence more likely or unlikely to happen?
Identifying important information in graphing activities. Learning how to interpret and record data on graphs such as: birthdays, letters in their names, etc. Making predictions about patterns based on previous knowledge during our daily calendar math time. Solving number riddles based on relevant clues to see what is likely or unlikely to happen.
How can we identify more complex patterns, and then how can we predict what happens next based on what you know? What are the features of different shapes and how are they related? What tools do we need to measure a line? How do we measure circumference? How many different ways can we say the time on an analog clock? How many different ways can we show one whole when using fractions? How do we write the parts of a fraction?
Finding patterns and building spatial relationships using the geometric shapes in tangrams, pattern blocks and geoboards, and using children's stories such as Grandfather Tang's Story. Understanding how to tell time using clocks. Estimating and checking measurement ideas using activities such as finding out the wingspan of bats. Exploring the difference between inches, centimeters and non-standard units by finding the length of our arms and legs, finding the heights of classmates and measuring objects in the room. Comparing the length or height of animals using information from our endangered animal research project. Exploring concepts of less, more and equivalency using the Fraction Kit Game.
How can we understand the relationship between patterns, numbers and how they are used (functions)? How do we use algebraic symbols to represent a problem? How do we solve for a missing variable? How can we use what we see to help us think about what is missing? What is the problem really asking us to solve?
Solving number puzzles for a variable using Marcy Cook Weight Logic problems; Mystery Numbers and Cuisinaire Rod algebra puzzles; Finding multiple solutions and algebraic thinking strategies using activities from Nimble with Numbers and TERC;
Figuring out missing quantity between two numbers on a hundreds chart.
How can talking about our own strategies help us further understand our mathematical thinking? How can talking and sharing math ideas with others help us discover a variety of useful ways to approach and solve problems? How do we listen to comprehend ideas that others are sharing?
Making decisions about how to set up a problem using games. Sharing different ways to solve problems; creating and solving problems designed by students. Describing how to decide on which tools to use (such as manipulatives or sketches) to solve addition and subtraction problems. Sharing strategies to reach more favorable outcomes in math games. Working together to share ideas, engage in math-related discussions and to gain multiple perspectives on mathematical approaches; Group Solutions Puzzles.
Investigations in Number, Data and Space by TERC; Nimble with Numbers; Making Math Real; Marcy Cook; Marilyn Burns; Box It or Bag It; Groundworks: Algebraic Thinking; Mathland; teacher created materials.
What does it mean to be mathematically literate? How can we find connections between the math strands to better understand a concept? How can using mental math and logical thinking develop my fluency and efficiency? What skills can I develop from seeing other students' problem solving strategies? How can setting goals and playing games help me memorize my basic facts?
Number and Operations and Algebra: Developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for basic multiplication facts and related division facts.
Number and Operations: Developing an understanding of fractions and fraction equivalence.
Geometry: Describing and analyzing properties of two-dimensional shapes.
How can I connect and use what I've learned in early grades to work with and understand larger numbers? How can I understand patterns to help me solve new problems? How is addition and subtraction related to multiplication and division? How can understanding landmark numbers help me make reasonable estimates and solve problems? How are common decimals and simple fractions related?
Applying understanding of number and place value to solve computation problems both mentally and with pencil and paper. With number lines and number charts, using landmark numbers to think about numbers efficiently, to estimate, and determine reasonableness of answers. Through games and number talks, understanding multiple strategies for computation with multi-digit numbers.
Building arrays, writing riddles, and playing games students view multiplication from several perspectives: geometric, numerical, and within real-world contexts. Timed tests, goal setting, observing number patterns, and playing games assists in learning of basic multiplication facts from 0-12. Building graduated cylinders and using scale models develops understanding of the connection between division and fractions. Building fraction kits and using them to solve problems develops understanding of fractions as unit parts of a whole and are used to add, subtract, order and compare fractions.
Where around me do I see examples of displayed data? How do data and probability in the world affect my decisions? How can I organize the data I collect and display it so someone else can understand? How can I use the information that I am gathering to help me strategize and make choices?
Designing investigations to answer a survey question. Collecting data using observations, surveys, and experiments. Making decisions about how to most clearly present their data collection. Representing data on a bar graph, line plot, pictograph, and simple pie chart. Comparing different representation of the same data. Developing familiarity with major concepts of probability: likely, unlikely, fairness, sampling, sample-size.
How can I build, draw and describe the geometric shapes that I see? What parts of shapes can be measured? How can I use what I know about common shapes to understand, measure and describe less common shapes? What tool makes sense to use while I am measuring? What are the units that I can measure with? How can I convert my measurement from feet to inches or inches to feet? How can I use measurement skills to deepen my understanding of fractions? How can my understanding of multiplication help me tell time?
Developing visual-spatial skills through building shapes, making rotations; drawing three-dimensional shapes; solving the 4-Triangle Problem; building and using Pentominos and Tangrams.
Describing relationships and comparing geometric figures; i.e. size, orientation, congruency, similarity, angle size and number. Exploring, identifying, and classifying two and three-dimensional shapes. Understanding that geometric shapes can be composed and broken down into other shapes.
Making decisions to choose appropriate units of measure for length, weight, volume, temperature and time. Using yard sticks, rulers, thermometers, measuring tapes, and scales during problem solving activities and to measure familiar objects. Making comparisons and developing use of estimation as a measurement tool. Exploring congruency and developing understanding of fractional parts through working with fractional parts of a ruler. Developing an internal sense of time passage/duration of time, and through use of stopwatches while performing tasks.
How can I use patterns on the 100's chart to understand multiplication? How can I communicate my mathematical thinking with numbers and symbols? How can I explain in words the patterns and changes in numbers? How can I use equations to express equality?
Identifying and listing items that come in groups. Writing and solving multiplication and division riddles. Solving simple problems that include one variable. Developing the understanding of equality and recording mathematical expressions of equivalency while playing games and using online applets. Using and understanding the commutative and distributive properties to solve multiplication and division problems.
How can I describe and communicate location of objects in the world on paper? How can I communicate to someone the unit of measurement that I have used to measure? How can I explain my thinking to my classmates and others, using symbols, diagrams and words? What strategies can I learn from my classmates? How are our strategies similar and different?
Using student literature to explore the language of mathematics and to identify, quantify and solve problems. Selecting appropriate units of measurement, and other tools and manipulatives to solve problems; partner and small group work on real life projects and problems that do not have an obvious process or solution; applying known processes and skills to solve related, more complex problems.
TERC-Investigations in Number, Data, and Space; Third Grade Math by Suzy Ronfeldt; About Teaching Mathematics by Marilyn Burns; Making Math Real by David Berg; Math Matters by Chapin and Johnson; Lessons for Algebraic Thinking by Wickett, Kharas and Burns; Math and Literature by Shefield and Burns; NCTM-www.nctm.org (Curricular Focal Points)
Building on my skills with addition and subtraction, how can I become more competent using multiplication and division to solve problems? What kinds of numbers exist beyond natural or whole counting numbers (including fractions, decimals, and negative numbers)? How do we use these numbers in basic operations, especially addition and subtraction? How do I compare and analyze two-dimensional geometric shapes? How do I develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships? How do we use measuring, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems involving angles, perimeter and area and in our every day lives?
Number and Operations: Deepening understanding of numbers that exist beyond natural or whole counting numbers (including fractions, decimals, and negative numbers).
Number and Operations & Algebra: Developing competency and fluidity using multiplication and division to solve problems.
Measurement: Developing a deeper understanding of area, perimeter, and the properties of two-dimensional shapes.
How can we accurately solve problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? How can we understand and work with larger numbers up to 100,000? How do we use estimation and rounding to help us solve problems? When is it best to use estimation and when should we calculate exact answers? How are decimals, fractions and percents different from whole numbers? How are decimals, fractions and percents related? How do we decide which is best to use in a situation? How does our understanding of decimals fit with what we have been learning about equivalent fractions?
Demonstrating and practicing alternate models for multiplication and division such as open arrays, partial products, repeated addition, repeated subtraction, and the traditional algorithm. Using known multiplication relationships to solve more complex problems. Weekly timed math facts tests. Playing equivalent fraction games including "Fraction Fish" and "Fringo". Playing "place value" games including "Close to 100 and Close to 1000." Multiplication activities such as "Target 300" and "Pathways."
How do we create hand-drawn charts and graphs to represent data that we've collected? How can we use the capabilities of software such as Microsoft Word to create charts and graphs? How do we determine which type of chart or graph to use (such as pie chart, line graph, bar graph, etc.)? How can we predict the probability of outcomes of simple experiments and test our predictions? How do we analyze and describe the shape and important features of a set of data?
Graphing contents of individual boxes of raisins, bags of M & M's, and Skittles. Reading and interpreting charts and graphs in Social Studies. Graphing the change in temperature over time of a quantity of boiling water after the addition of ice cubes. Creating "spinners" to represent likelihood of outcome.
How do we use tools including rulers and tape measures to determine attributes of shapes including length, width, height, diameter, and circumference? How do we use protractors to measure angles? How do we use thermometers (and correctly read them) to measure temperature? How do we calculate area, perimeter, diameter, and circumference and understand their relationships? What are the attributes that we use to differentiate and identify various types of triangles and quadrilaterals?
Estimating and measuring length, weight, and volume using both metric and American units in a series of science experiments. Follow range of recipes to make "green cleaners". Cut up various polygons, measure their angles and create posters proving rules such as "The sum of the angles of a triangle equals 180 degrees." Measure the diameter and circumference of various cylinders, analyze the ratio, and "discover" pi.
How do we describe and make generalizations about predictable patterns of change that we observe? How do I represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols?
Calculating how many presents are received in "The Twelve Days of Christmas," discovering the inherent patterns, and presenting findings visually. Playing games including "Mystery Number" and "Digit Place" game. Design a growing animal using pattern blocks, describe its pattern of growth using pictures, words and algebraic equations.
Making decisions about how to set up a problem using games. Sharing different ways to solve problems; creating and solving problems designed by students. Describing how to decide on which tools to use (such as manipulatives or sketches) to solve addition and subtraction problems. Sharing strategies to reach more favorable outcomes in math games. Working together to share ideas, engage in math-related discussions and to gain multiple perspectives on mathematical approaches.
Investigations in Number, Data and Space by TERC; Nimble with Numbers; Making Math Real; Marcy Cook; Marilyn Burns; Groundworks: Algebraic Thinking; Mathland; Everyday Mathematics; various Math Solutions Publications; Math on the Menu; teacher created materials.
What roles do percents, fractions and decimals play in the different strands of mathematics and what are their applications in every day life? How can understanding statistics, data analysis, and probability help us more accurately and realistically interpret the world around us? How can developing algebraic thinking and reasoning skills help us better understand the laws and properties of our number system?
Number and Operations: Moving flexibly between fractions, decimals, and percents; understanding their relationships and developing strategies for comparing, ordering and computing.
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability: Predicting the probability of outcomes of simple experiments, testing the predictions, and expressing and analyzing the results using a variety of numerical and graphic representations.
Algebra and Function: Describing, extending, representing, and analyzing geometric and numeric relationships using words, tables, graphs, and equations.
What are the special characteristics of numbers, such as prime, square, multiple, and factor? Do I understand the value of and can I read and write numbers through the billions, including decimals to the thousandths and express numbers in exponential form?
Can I use my knowledge of numbers and mental math strategies to make reasonable estimates when computing numbers? Can I accurately add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers and decimals with multiple digits? How are fractions, decimals and percents related? How are they interchangeable and what are their specific applications? Can I add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators? Can I use models, benchmarks and equivalent forms to judge the value of fractions and decimals?
Creating Palindromic numbers; finding prime numbers using the Sieve of Eratosthenes; solving number puzzles using special characteristics of numbers, such as prime, square, multiple, and factor; prime factorization of whole numbers. Understanding our base ten place value structure and playing dice games to represent and compare whole numbers and decimals. Developing an understanding of exponential notation and scientific notation. Finding all the factor pairs of multiples of 100 and building arrays to represent them. Reading and analyzing the book, If the World Were a Village (of 100 people), to practice using percents to convey demographic statistics. Creating number lines that show fraction, decimal and percent equivalency and using them as a resource for games and problem solving. Interpreting fundraising thermometers as a representation of a fraction amount of a whole and as a fraction part of a monetary goal.
What can we learn from data when we analyze it in different ways? How can I use such measures as mean, median, and mode to analyze and compare data from an experiment, and to make convincing statements about the data? How can I use fractions, decimals, and percents to represent and compare data? Do I understand probability as determining how likely something is to occur? Can I design a probability experiment that yields a variety of results? What will result from repeating a probability experiment? How does the theoretical probability compare with the experimental probability in an experiment?
How can I use the results from a probability experiment to predict the odds of various outcomes occurring? How can I use fractions, decimals, percents, and graphs to represent and analyze results of a probability experiment?
Devising a physical education challenge for second and fifth graders, then using various measures such as mean, median, mode, fractions, decimals, and percents to compare which group performed better. Doing a survey, analyzing the results, and making convincing statements. Engaging in probability experiments with coins and dice, analyzing the results using graphs and matrices, and expressing those results as percents, fractions and decimals. Creating a probability game in which there are five to eight outcomes. The odds of each outcome are based on analyzing the results of 250 trials of a controlled experiment. Students in every grade attend the probability fair.
When the area is kept the same, but a new shape is made, how does the perimeter change? What shapes with the same area, have the greatest perimeter?
Can I find the volume of a rectangular solid? If the volume of a rectangular solid is kept the same, but the dimensions are changed, what happens to the surface area? What is the relationship between a rectangular solid's dimensions and its surface area? Can I recognize, name, and categorize polygons? Can I use my knowledge of familiar angles as reference points to estimate or find the actual measures of unknown angles? Can I locate points and create polygons on a coordinate grid? What are effective applications of various metric and standard units and how are they related?
Measuring and comparing the perimeters of shapes made from 5x5 cm. squares that have been cut apart and pieced together in different ways. Building and charting the dimensions and volume of different rectangular solids and looking for consistent relationships between these numbers. Deriving the formula for volume of rectangular solids. Investigating how many different rectangular solids can be made with a fixed number of cubes and building models out of centimeter cubes and paper; finding the surface area of each model and comparing the surface area to the dimensions; making a variety of one piece jackets for a chosen model. Using coordinate geometry as a way of replicating polygon pictures drawn on a coordinate grid. Finding different ways to categorize triangles and quadrilaterals and playing Guess My Rule. Finding the sizes of angles in Power Polygons manipulatives using different strategies including combining and partitioning benchmark angles.
What are negative numbers and how do you do simple calculations with them?
How can the concept of zero pairs be used to solve addition and subtraction problems with integers? What is the order of operations and how do you use it to solve problems?
How can mathematical relationships and structures be represented and analyzed using algebraic symbols? How can ordered pairs be graphed in the four quadrants of the coordinate plane?
Finding unknown numbers in sentences with different operations; solving algebraic puzzles by replacing variables with digits 0-9; adding and subtracting integers using colored discs to represent positive and negative numbers; using algebra tiles to model algebraic expressions and solve them.
How can specific mathematical vocabulary be used to communicate concepts, problem solving methods and strategies, and results? How can context, math knowledge and understanding be used to reason through a given problem? How can a variety of strategies be applied to solve problems? How can math thinking be communicated clearly verbally and in written form?
Writing to express mathematical thinking, problem solving strategies and conceptual understanding. Applying math strategies and skills to real life situations and multi-step projects. Explaining the results of probability experiments to adults and students of all ages; using a variety of student made charts and graphs and verbal presentations differentiated for different ages.
Investigations In Number, Data and Space by TERC; Nimble with Numbers; Bits and Pieces. Marcy Cook; Algebra Works. Decimal Squares; Fraction Bars; Cuisenaire Rods; Power Polygons.
What math skills do we need to know to learn algebra? In what parts of mathematics do we need to be fluent for everyday living? How do we take a test? How do we create formulas to help you solve problems or make predictions? How do we show our thinking and tell how we solved a math problem? How can we not be amazed by the complexity and beauty of numbers?
Number and Operations: Developing an understanding of and fluency with multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. Connecting ratio and rate to multiplication and division.
Algebra: Writing, interpreting, and using mathematical expressions and equations.
How can we use our multiplication and division facts to efficiently solve to complex problems in new situations? How do we convert fractions, find exponents, or figure out percents? How can equivalent fractions connect us to using decimals and percents? How are fractions, decimals, and percents used in everyday life? What is amazing about Fibonacci, prime, rational, or square numbers or square roots? How do we calculate time or quantities in other bases (binary, base five, base sixty)?
Mental math drills and games enforce math facts and a positive attitude toward math. New applications of multiplication are explored such as the lattice method, short-long division, or in formulas. Converting decimals and percents back to fractions to solve problems is the core foundation of pre-algebra. Once we have equivalent fractions set up, we can find a fraction between a fraction (6/12 ? 7/12), we can order fractions from least to greatest, and we can add, subtract, multiply and divide with ease. What often gets taught and learned as tricks or shortcuts is fully explored so that all the operations with fractions make sense.
How do we organize collections of data to make sense of it and then how do we communicate our interpretation of the data? How can statistics fool us if we aren't careful? How do we analyze data that has been given to predict future, possible outcomes? How can we model what may occur the future?
Interpreting graphs require a skill set that includes understanding how graphs are made in their various formats ((bar, stem and leaf, coordinate-type, etc.). Once we know how graphs work, we can discern bias and draw conclusions. We need to also organize numbers depending on what we are seeking: Mean? Median? Mode? Tying into algebra, we can show how a formula looks as a line or curve on a graph?
The language of the sciences is numbers. How else would people, the world over, understand blue prints, recipes, or instructions without numbers and agreed upon units of measurement? How do we live in a society that uses standard measurement (inches, pounds, ounces) and be part of a world that uses the metric system? How do we generate our own number lines (rulers) using first estimation then equivalent fractions? When we measure angles of a circle, what conventional terms are required to communicate angle size? Why and how do we use Pi to find the area and circumference of circles? When we see regular polygons, how do the number of sides and angles relate, again, so that we could predict the number of sides if we know that total angle sum or vice versa?
Knowing standard measurements is important since it is culturally relevant at home and outside the classroom. For exposure though, the metric system and all its applications and vocabulary should happen more frequently in the school setting. Generating number lines, estimating, and measuring often using metric units will lead to fluency. We use liters to find liquid volume, weigh in grams, and measure length in meters- all the while seeking equivalences in smaller or larger units. In geometry we measure shapes by their angles and perimeters and we find unknown measurements. We apply formulas such as r2 or 2 r to measure circles.
How can we create a formula to take care of tedious and time-consuming calculations? How can we make predictions by generating a formula that works no matter what numbers are input? What do we do with numbers that are on the left side of zero? How do we use exponents to communicate very large or very small numbers? When solving an equation, what are the parts on either side of the equal (or not) sign? When we solve an equation, what order to we treat the numbers so that we all get the same answer? Using ratio and proportion, how can we rely on equivalent fractions to help us find any unknown quantities?
The Number Devil novel teaches us about exponents, square roots, square numbers, prime numbers, triangle numbers, and many useful and simply beautiful number concepts. In science classes, we use exponents (scientific notation) to communicate vast distances in space or miniscule weights of molecules. Math problems are provided that at first appear daunting until one applies a plan and finally comes up with a formula to simplify the tasks. For instance, how many handshakes would be shared among 39 classmates [n(n+1)/2]? Or, how much money does a goblin earn in 30 days if it earns $.01 the first day, doubling the previous day's amount [(n-1)2]?
How do we show our thinking when we solve a problem? How can we fully communicate the steps to your solution using sophisticated math vocabulary and clear, logical sequencing? How can we depict our solutions in words and also with diagrams, graphs, or matrices? Can we find other ways to solve that are innovative, come out of collaboration, and use the new technology we have?
A weekly logic problem must be solved using all the number sense one can muster. These problems require a lengthy solution that can be easily handled with the application of a formula, a graph, or a diagram yet must be explained thoroughly so anyone can understand both the problem and the solution. In the textbook, investigations are posed that students must solve using the pre-algebra skills they are learning. Most of the learning comes from word problems while the practice follows with computation. To a great extent, it will be our ability to apply our math skills to complex problems that will help create a sustainable future on this planet.
Textbook: Connected Mathematics II (Pearson Hall); The Number Devil- a novel by Hans Magnus Enzensberg; AIMS- Activities Integrating Math and Science; GEMS- Great Explorations in Math and Science; Peggy McLean Consulting; NCTM- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
How do I make sense of a problem and persevere in solving it? What are the tools and the level of precision appropriate for this problem? How can I model my thinking mathematically, communicate my strategy, and evaluate the reasoning of others?
Algebra and Functions: Multiple Representations of Information. Developing an understanding of connections between a graph, a table, an equation, and the underlying narrative.
Number and Operations; Geometry and Measurement; Data Analysis and Probability: Proportional Reasoning. Extending understanding of ratio and developing problem-solving skills based o, n recognizing and solving proportions.
Geometry and Measurement; Algebra and Functions: Pattern Recognition. Extending measurement of 2-dimensional shapes to 3-dimensional configurations; recognizing how a change in a di, mension affects area and volume.
What is a rational number and what are s,, , ome methods for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing them? How can we express decimals and percents as rational numbers? What are some strategies for comparing rational numbers and for finding their approximat, e locations on a number , line? What are inverse operations? How can we find and use equivalent fractions to solve proportions? How do rational numbers relate to the slope of a line? How can we compare rates to find which one is more efficient or, practical? How can I find a unit rate? What is the difference between part-to-part and part-to-whole relationships and how do I know which one is appropriate?
Students solve visual puzzles by finding the fraction or percent of the figures shaded. Stud, ents "graph, " fractions on a coordinate grid, using the numerator as the y-coordinate and the denominator as the x-coordinat, e; the results show the linear relationship between equivalent fractions and reveal fractions to be a representation of slope, and a means of comparing rational numbers. Investigations in "Comparing and Scaling" provide opportunities to compare ratios through unit rates, proportions, and percents. A couple of classic problems are-The Dakota Problem: How many people would have to move from one state to the other in order for North and South Dakota to have the same population density? And The Passat Problem: The French determine fuel efficiency in liters of gas per 100 km; what is the French version of 22 miles per gallon? For operations with integers, students learn, Making Math Real's "battle or teamwork" strategy as well as their vertical number line with the hot-air balloon and birds and sandbags.
How can we use our math tools to generalize about the world around us? How can we use these tools to predict or project patterns of behavior?
Students design and implement a survey of their peers, recording their data in multiple forms and interpreting the data in comparison statements using ratios, percents, fractions, and difference. Students compile data from a group credit card project, analyze how money was spent, and generalize about the spending patterns.
How do we determine whether two figures are mathematically similar? What are the consequences of two figures being similar? How can we use projection to scale up the size of a figure? What are the appropriate tools and units for measuring length, angles, perimeter, area, surface area, and volume? How does scale factor affect the relative angle measures, lengths, areas, and volumes of similar figures?
Use of rubber-band stretchers, projection techniques, and copier ratios to scale an image. They compare corresponding sides, angles, and area to determine the effect of scale factor on these measurements; because area involves scale factors in two directions, the area is changed by the square of the scale factor. Students discover that the ratios between the sides of two similar figures are equal; in other words, sides of similar figures are proportional. They use this skill to interpret scale drawings. "Stretching and Shrinking" provides the basis for this fundamental study. A study of angle measurement comes up in the "Time Out" challenge, where students use proportional reasoning to discover a pattern and a formula for determining the angle formed by the hands on a clock at any given time.
How can I record data in a meaningful way? What are independent and dependent variables and how do they show up on a table and a graph? How do I select a scale that will allow me to show my data in a meaningful way? What are the advantages and disadvantages of representing information in a graph, a table, an equation, or a narrative? How do I recognize a linear relationship in a table? How can I use an equation to describe the relationship between two variables? How can I find in-between values on a table or graph? How do I know whether to connect the data points on a graph? How can I use a table, graph, or equation to solve a problem? How do order of operations and the distributive property work in helping us to simplify and solve equations?
Students practice translating data from one format to another: graph, table, equation, and narrative. In the process they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each format: graphs show trends visually, tables give precise data, equations allow for calculation, and narratives can explain the reasons behind the changes. "Variables and Patterns" provides the structure for this study. The function game challenges students to identify the change in values on a table and to express it as a function. Two and three lines graphs are the inspiration for storytelling challenges. Translating a narrative of a bicycle trip to a graph gives students an opportunity to work together as teams and to compare their interpretations with other teams' work.
Connected Mathematics 2; AIMS Historical Connections in Mathematics; AIMS Proportional Reasoning; Making Math Real; Projects from NCTM, BATDC, and CIT conference workshops; various manipulatives.
What is this mathematical language called algebra? What are its rules-its grammar and idioms? How can I interpret it and use it to communicate what I see and understand?
Number and Operations: Equivalence. Developing fluency with the properties of equality and laws of exponents in order to solve equations and inequalities.
Algebra: Functions. Grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships.
Geometry and Measurement: Multiple Representations. Developing a concrete basis for understanding functions through the use of graphs, models, and manipulatives.
What does it mean to solve an equation? Do all equations have solutions? What is the first step? Is it always the same? Is there a set way to approach solving an equation? What are the properties of equality that allow us to restate an equation in simpler terms? How is it different to solve an inequality? What are exponents and the laws for working with them? What does it mean to factor a number or a polynomial? What is an irrational number? How do we know if a number is rational?
After becoming familiar with number tricks that can be represented using boxes and circles, students are presented with balances that "weigh" known and unknown quantities. They apply an intuitive sense of equality, subtracting and dividing as necessary, to discover the unknown weight. This practice is followed by a more formal presentation of the properties of equality. The distributive property is demonstrated as sets of zip-lock bags through which you can "see" but not change the contents; you must remove the contents from all bags before proceeding to solve the equation. Solving equations is likened to playing chess, where moves are limited by rules, and strategy determines success. A challenge activity-the Four 9s-asks students to express all of the numbers from 1 to 100 using exactly four 9s, no other numbers, but whatever non-numerical symbols or operations they choose. Students learn to use square roots (? - the square root of 9 is 3), factorial (! - the square root of 9 factorial <3!> is 6), and point nine repeating (0.9... = 1), and in collaboration with classmates, arrive at finding all of these values. Students look for the error in a "proof" that if a=b, then 1=2.
What is a function? Are all functions linear? What are direct and inverse variations? Are there other kinds of functions? What does an equation tell us about the shape of a graph? How does a change in the equation affect the shape of the graph? What does it mean to solve an equation in two variables? What does it mean to solve simultaneous equations? Do all simultaneous equations have solutions? How many? Can we find the equation for a line if we know two points? If we know one point and the slope? Why or why not? How about an equation for a line parallel or perpendicular to a given line? What about inequalities in two variables? What do their solutions look like? Is it possible to use inequalities to define the interior of a polygon whose vertices have known coordinates? How cool is that? Besides being cool, what might these equations and graphs mean? What do they have to do with the real world?
After many hands-on experiences making tables and graphs from equations in pre-algebra, students might tend to believe that all two-variable relationships are linear. In the fall we consider distance, rate, and time problems, where an increase in rate leads to a decrease in time for a given distance, and recognize an inverse variation. We refer back to area and volume patterns that we discovered in pre-algebra and find second and third degree equations. In the spring, we consider projectile motion, another opportunity to play with quadratic equations and their graphs as parabolas. A project is introduced in the fall as a goal for the term, and few students are convinced at that point that it is even possible: plot three points in distinct quadrants, connect them to form a triangle, and define the interior of that triangle by writing three inequalities. The second semester focuses on making sense of polynomials, with a particular emphasis on quadratics. While technology is used in whole class presentations, students do graphs by hand.
How can polynomials be represented concretely? How can the distributive property be shown visually? What patterns are possible using pattern blocks and which are not? How can irrational numbers be found on a geo-board? How can the area of irregular shapes on the geo-board be found? What is the Pythagorean Theorem? How can it be proved geometrically? Algebraically? How can we use it to find the distance between any two points?
Geometry labs provide an opportunity for concrete application of algebraic concepts. Using Algebra Lab Gear, students internalize the difference between x and x-squared. They experience different ways of representing negative numbers and balancing equations. Geo-boards provide an opportunity to discover the Pythagorean Theorem and to recognize various irrational numbers represented as distances between pegs. A simple folding exercise leads students to find a square whose side is exactly ?2.
Is there a right way to approach a problem? How can I visualize and represent a word problem mathematically? What does it mean to "show my work" when I did it in my head?
Middle school marks the end of "right-answer" math and the transfer to math reasoning. Students learn multiple forms for the equation of a line, and for each a technique for graphing efficiently. They practice solving simultaneous equations through graphing, adding or subtracting to remove a variable, or substituting. They learn strategies for representing word problems in diagrams or sketches as well as in mathematical symbols. As we progress into work with polynomials and multi-variable equations, students learn to appreciate the paper trail of a precise and systematic approach. They review their tests and describe the mathematical misconceptions leading to their errors. Answers to most homework assignments are given in the back of the text, so the emphasis is on process rather than answer.
Elementary Algebra by Harold R. Jacobs, Geometry Labs by Henri Picciotto, Projects from National Council of Mathematics (NCTM), Bay Area Teacher Development Collaborative (BATDC), and California Institute of Technology (CIT) conferences, workshops; various manipulatives.
What are scientists? How are we scientists? How do scientists find out what they want to know?
How are kites made? How do kites work? What makes a kite stay up in the air? What is a volcano? What makes a volcano erupt? What are the different kinds of volcanoes?
Where does wood and paper come from? What are their attributes and properties? What can we do with wood and paper?
What is a seed? Where can we find seeds? Can we eat all seeds?
What makes a tree a tree? Why are trees important? How do we take care of trees? What trees grow in California? What are the parts of a tree and what do they do? How can we tell trees apart? What kinds of bugs are in our garden?
Observing shapes of trees and leaves; recording how many acorns sprouted; sorting seeds and leaves, hypothesizing about forest care; predicting how many paper clips it will take to sink a small piece of wood; inferring the strength of particle board vs. plywood.
Wood projects: making boats, planes, or animals using saws, drills and hammers. Making particleboard and plywood, making recycled paper and paper maché bowls. Collecting, sorting, growing and harvesting seeds in pots indoors and in garden beds. Constructions and play with natural objects in our Nature Zone.
FOSS: Trees, Wood and Paper, GEMS, Children's non-fiction and fiction literature, various online resources, teacher made resources, natural objects, field trip to Valle Vista Regional Park to plant tree seedlings.
How do we, as scientists, research? How do scientists experiment? How do scientists share findings? What are the cycles of the natural world?
What are the seasons of the year? How do you know when the seasons change? What changes do you observe? What creates weather? What is a cycle? What is a system?
What are the different states of matter? What are their different characteristics and properties? How can one state of matter change? What is the cycle of water?
What is a habitat? What do plants and animals need to grow and thrive? How do plants and animals adapt to their specific habitat? What cycles are evident in nature? How do human beings impact the environment?
Investigating the water cycle and states of matter; using tools to measure temperature, evaporation, and solutions; study of animal and plant habitats and cycles of metamorphosis and photosynthesis
Habitat installation; study and model construction of the four types of bridges; live insect and plant studies; harvesting and cooking from the garden; individual research projects; study of tadpoles and earthworms
Delta, FOSS: Air and Weather, Teacher created materials, field trips, research materials and books
What kinds of informed predictions can we make from observing patterns in science? Where can we find cycles in science? How does understanding different cycles help us see how the world is interconnected? How can we take care of our land so that our earth is healthy and clean?
What materials make up the Earth's crust? What are the causes of weathering? How is weathering connected to the water cycle? How are rocks different? How can we classify rocks? What are natural resources? How can we conserve natural resources?
How can understanding forces inform our predictions about balance and motion? How can we use evidence to inform our scientific understandings and conclusions?
What makes humans unique? How are our five senses connected to body parts, systems and functions? What are bats? How do bats help humans? How are megabats and microbats similar and different? What species are endangered and why? How do animals adapt to their habitat? What do plants need to grow?
Sketches, journals, observations, sorting, classification with charts, hands-on projects and experiences
Counting bones in the human body; experiential model of the digestive system; learn classic fingerprint systems and solve a simulated mystery; investigate balance and motion in paper objects and tops designed by students; classifying and observing rocks and minerals; research and create dioramas of endangered animals; comparing wingspans of bats; harvesting and planting in the garden; learning the botany of plants
Learning Garden Curriculum, FOSS: Balance and Motion, GEMS, AIMS, Field trips, various non-fiction science picture books, various on-line resources, educational films
How do scientists use observation and data collection to predict outcomes of investigations? What is the difference between evidence and opinion?
How does the moon's appearance change and why? How does perspective relate to these changes? What are some tools that we can use to study astronomy? Why does the night sky appear to change with the seasons?
What is energy? How does it travel? What is magnetism? What is electricity? How do batteries, wires, bulbs, motors and switches work? How can I use a complete circuit to create a project that shows my understanding?
What is adaptation? How do people, plants and animals adapt to their environment? How are habitat and adaptation related? How does a change in the environment affect how people, plants and animals live? How can we conserve electricity?
Observation and data collection; predicting outcomes of scientific investigations, using a sound board to chart vibration, writing hypotheses.
In depth study and research report on birds and adaptations; birdwatching and habitat restoration. Interdisciplinary projects involving land stewardship and native plant garden. Dyes, teas, food and weaving projects. Study of observable movements in the night sky: moon, stars and sun. Hands-on study of energy and electricity. Students use what they know to create a culminating project that requires construction of a complete circuit and switch.
AIMS, FOSS: Matter and Energy and Sun, Moon and Stars, GEMS, literature and books on birds, Chabot Space and Science Center, Astro Society, NASA website for educators, various online resources, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.
How does my hypothesis compare to my observations? How do scientists verify their data and share it with other scientists? How do we set up experiments that test what we want to test? Why is it important to keep accurate lab notes?
What concepts and tools do geologists use to discover what the earth is made of? What are the processes that formed the earth? What is the earth made of? What are the different features of the earth?
How do people use the metric system? When and how do we use grams, liters, and meters?
How do scientists test for and discover unknowns? How do scientists develop predictions, and make and support conclusions?
What are the principles that govern how machines work? How can we use the concepts of friction, gravity, inertia, kinetic energy and potential energy to help explain the way things work?
Can we find out the contents of an unknown substance by comparing it to others we know?
In general, how toxic are popular commercial cleaners? What effect do some of the ingredients have on humans and the earth? What are the alternatives? What can we do to help our community reduce garbage? What is puberty? How do I change as I go through puberty?
Measuring distance, weight and volume using the metric system; analyzing minerals as the components of rocks; using geologists tests and tools; using data from go-carts to determine friction and design improved go-cart; testing for indicators in powders to determine content of mystery mixture; researching commercial cleaners, measuring ingredients to create and replicate effective and safe cleaners.
Designing and building mini go-carts; testing for indicators on five white powders and applying lab results in investigations of mystery mixtures; measuring liquid volume of assorted containers
Breaking apart rocks and investigating their components; using vinegar to test for the presence of calcite in a variety of rocks; making and marketing environmentally friendly cleaners; create and display signs for local businesses that encourage patrons to reduce napkin use; unit on puberty.
FOSS: Measurement, Solid Earth, Models and Designs, Delta's Mystery Powders, various online resources; literature; films.
How can I write a testable question for investigation? What is a variable? What is a controlled experiment?
How is the solar system organized? In what ways are the planets the same and in what ways are they different?
How does Earth's atmosphere work, and why is it important? What is the greenhouse effect? What is climate change?
What elements make up Earth's and other planets' atmospheres? What is their molecular structure?
What are the effects of gravity on different planets?
How does carbon move from one system to another in the carbon cycle?
What is energy and where does it come from?
How does the human reproductive system work?
How do people, communities and industries impact their local watershed? How do pollutants in a watershed affect plant and animal life? What actions can people take to protect their watersheds?
What is the role of photosynthesis in the carbon cycle?
How does current human resource use affect the gases in Earth's atmosphere? In what ways will human behavior influence the future of Earth's atmosphere?
What is puberty? How do I change as I go through puberty?
Building a model of the SF Bay; enacting a class tableau of the SF Bay watershed; engaging in a complex simulated aquatic environmental disaster investigation; studying stream and redwood forest ecology at Westminster Woods Environmental Education Program; calculating different results for jumping, throwing, and running challenges based on gravity on different planets; building models of atmospheric molecules; creating an investigation to show how carbon moves from one system to another; creating a simple generator, building wind turbines
Using chemical indicators and bio-indicators to test water for acidity, phosphates, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen; investigating and exploring aquatic life; using photos and facts to classify planets by their various properties; using BTB solution to detect carbon dioxide in many systems; analyzing non-renewable and renewable energy sources
Kids for the Bay; FOSS: Water Planet; Lawrence Hall of Science Environmental Detectives; Chabot Observatory Climate/Energy materials
How do scientists use the scientific method? Using all the senses, what tools do we use to observe? How is energy cycled in the Earth's systems? How is the Earth is a "living" system of interconnected influences?
What does the theory of the Big Bang tell us? What is the dynamic relationship between volcanoes, earthquakes and crustal plates? How does heat flow under the Earth's crust? What happens where the plates meet? How are volcanoes identified? What are the main rock types? How does weather and climate create a biome?
What is an atom? How are atoms arranged in the Periodic Table of Elements?
How are molecules arranged? How do molecules change motion in the four different states of matter? What is light? How do we describe and measure the light energy that comes from the sun?
Why and how does heated matter (high pressure) move toward cooler matter (low pressure)- thermodynamics?
How are biomes and their climates influenced by humans? What alternatives are there for conserving the Earth's biomes? Are we running out of fresh water? What type of scientist could I be when I grow up? How are female and male anatomies different and/or alike throughout development? What occurs during puberty? How is gender different from sexuality?
Periodic Table & Element report; water/states of matter unit- oral reports; plate tectonics, volcanoes, & earthquakes videos; climate and biomes books; I-Search branch of science unit; sex and sexuality booklet.
Use a sampling of tools to observe, such as: microscopes, sketching, measuring, dissecting, modeling; record & analyze data; inquiry cycle- post experiment questions; science notebooks
FOSS: Earth History, GEMS: Plate Tectonics; NASA 3-D View- Lithosphere, Hydrosphere
What are scientific questions? What is the use of the scientific method? How can I use it to learn, discover and share information? What is the difference between a claim and evidence? How can I discuss and represent various viewpoints of an issue?
How does each of us learn? How can I identify what way I learn best? How does the human brain function?
What are the basic principles of ecology? What do adaptations to a specific ecosystem look like? What does deforestation of the tropical rain forest look like and whom does it affect?
What are systems? What is the skeletal system and what does it look like?
How does it function? What is human health? What are the parts of my body and how do they work? How does diet and nutrition affect the functioning of our bodies?
What is emotional health? How does my environment and choices affect it?
What is the importance of diversity among living things on the planet? How is sustainability connected to diversity in an ecosystem? How are our choices affecting various ecosystems around the world? What is ecosystem restoration and what can we do to help/become involved? How can we sustain a "green" science classroom and school environment?
Wetlands models; wetlands restoration field trip; Tropical Rain Forest debate; skeleton drawings; Peeps experiments; Leaf printing or plant design; ongoing laboratory investigations.
Formulating questions in a variety of ways; recording observations in multiple ways; identifying and developing supporting evidence for claims; comparing data; using multiple forms of measurement; representing their ideas verbally and in writing; writing conclusions; using the scientific method as a tool in labs.
GEMS, Project Zero's ecosystem curriculum; current scientific articles; college level texts; literature; NSTA recommended books; Project NEED resources.
How does the scientific method work as a tool for discovery? What is the difference between a claim and evidence? How do you write a question so that you can collect qualitative or quantitative data?
What is matter? What are states of matter? What are chemical reactions?
What are acids (and bases) and how do they cause acid rain? What chemical reactions take place in the formation of acid rain?
What is climate change and how are chemical reactions reflected in the causes and solutions? What types of energy and transformations are there?
What is human health? What are the parts of my body and how do they work?
How do I create a safe place for myself, both physically and emotionally?
What are sustainable practices? What are sustainable ways to create and use energy? What simple changes can we make in our use of resources? What is environmental justice and who is affected by it? Where do life science and physical science overlap when looking at environmental issues? How can we use our energy bike to meet our energy needs and collect data?
Debates about climate change and/or acid rain; design and build models of either solar "cars" or passive solar buildings; build Rube Goldberg type machines to demonstrate different principles of physics; filed trip to either amusement park or ice rink to conduct physics experiments; use of an energy bike where students produce the electricity they need in the classroom.
Formulating questions in a variety of ways, recording observations in at least three ways (writing, images, graphs and charts), identifying and developing supporting evidence for claims; comparing data; reflecting on learning in writing, using various forms of measurement, feel comfortable NOT answering all their questions, representing ideas verbally, using the scientific method as a tool in laboratory investigations; writing conclusions for investigations;
Who Am I? Who Are You? Who Are We? How can we learn together? How can I be a friend in this community?
Developing a positive self-image; vocabulary of classmates as friends; how friends behave toward one another; expressing appreciation' acknowledging and celebrating similarities and differences; validation and appreciation for all differences and family structures; recognizing and expressing emotions appropriately; awareness of the community; listening to one another; taking turns; mutual respect; we all have needs, feelings, rights and responsibilities.
Student created book, "The Friends Book;" family project; classroom as community project; reading buddies with third graders; buddies with sixth grade mentors; allies as friends; self-portraits with accurate skin tone; role playing; learning I statements; learning to use statements of needs; generating classroom agreements; helper jobs to take responsibility for classroom and materials.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Jesse's Dream Skirt by Bruce Mack, King and King by Linda De Haan, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, The Colors of Us by Karen Katz.
How can I recognize and solve problems in our community? How do my words show appreciation and respect? How can we build an inclusive community?
Learning how to handle success and disappointment responsibly;
Each person can make a difference; everybody matters; being aware of others' feelings and needs and taking initiative to act; becoming aware of individuals that make up the school community and their contributions; connect and empathize with children outside our immediate community; sharing and inclusion; awareness of religious and cultural differences through celebrations, food, speakers, and families; awareness of material resources and privilege; environmental responsibility; breaking down gender stereotypes.
Introduce class characters and puppets that model respectful, thoughtful and responsible behavior; daily appreciations; use of the "signal" - stop, focus, listen respectfully; "Dear Diary" - reflections on the day; UNICEF projects; self portraits; author's chair; recycling and compost monitors; hygiene kits for the homeless; Dr. Martin Luther King focus on black Americans who make/made a difference; family posters.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Uncle Willie's Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo Ryan, Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen, The Hard Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers; We Are All Born Free (The Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures; At This Very Minute by Kathleen Rice Bowers, Peace Begins with Me by Katherine Scholes; Charlotte's Web by E.B. White; The Okay Card Game by Todd Parr.
What are our rights? Does everyone have equal access to rights?
What should be the rights and responsibilities for people? Does everyone have equal access to books? Who lives in America? Why do people immigrate to America?
Our community is made up of people from all over the world; awareness of literacy, privilege and resources; development of philanthropy; understanding reasons for immigration; awareness of contributions of immigrants and unwilling immigrants; awareness of interdependence and cooperation among cultural and racial groups; cooperation and interdependence among diverse groups of people can effect social change.
Rights: UN Declaration of Rights to the child; child labor studies; US constitution, citizenship, and civil rights; who we are and the meaning of our names; biography projects.
Immigration: immigration and migration awareness; ancestor mapping; symbolism of Statue of Liberty and its history; immigration guest speakers; felt board story of immigration; great depression; Ellis Island/Angel Island role plays and skits.
Literacy: book drive; library access unit; reading to preschoolers.
Various biographies, including but not limited to: of Frederick Douglass, Ruby Bridges video, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marion Anderson, Garrett Morgan, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Malcolm X; Sarah, Also Known as Hannah by Lillian Hammer Ross; Amelia's Road by Linda Jacobs Altman, Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman; Hannah's Journal by Marissa Moss; Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story by Eve Bunting.
What role do I play in my classroom community? How can I help? How do I hurt?
How can I contribute and learn from others? What are my strengths and challenges?
How can we support one another as individuals?
How can I support my local community?
What kind of a learner am I, and what are my individual needs?
What are stereotypes?
The impact of poverty in our community; further exploration of concepts of privilege; our natural environment impacts how plants, animals and people live;
We all learn in differing ways and have varying needs; empathy and support for one another's learning styles; understanding of, and respect for various Native American cultures; words and tone have power; media literacy.
field trips to Coyote Hills and Oakland Museum; artifact kits; build dioramas; learn CA geography and regions; discussions on gender stereotyping and learning differences; cooperative games and activities that build teamwork; weekly class meetings with student generated agendas; Dave Nettles cooperative adventures; reading banned books and censorship discussions; blanket collection for St. Mary's Community Center; media awareness lessons; winter family traditions focused on gifts - not consumerism; "big words" writing project based on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Cultural Heritage Choir - discussion of slavery and music.
Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patrica Polacco; Bill's New Frock by Anne Fine Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell; Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare; Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo; The 100 Dresses by Eleanor Estes.
How does perspective impact the telling of history? How is the past relevant to today? Who am I and how am I changing? What is my opinion and how am I forming it? How did different groups impact California? How am I impacting California?
Identification of the prevailing mainstream perspective and alternate views to critically analyze history; awareness of racial stereotypes and their impact; recognition of social cues and self-regulation; identification of diversity and racism in early California society; understanding of the challenges and contributions of Chinese immigrants; in depth exploration of aspects of Japanese culture, past and present including the internment of Japanese American during WWII;
respect for individual's developing identity and changing bodies as we enter puberty; recognition of the impact of cliques, social pressure, gender roles/stereotypes, popularity; awareness of collective and individual responsibility to care for our environment.
Rancho/Mission period of CA history from multiple perspectives; review books for racial stereotyping; Gold Rush studies and simulation- contrast white male "dominant" perspective with women, slaves and other underrepresented voices of this history; lessons on tenets of Christianity to understand motivation of missionaries; Chinese immigration: Alien Exclusion Act, and building of transcontinental railroad; Japan and the Japanese-American experience; interviewing survivors of internment camps and reading articles and special publications from the news on internment; leading schools recycling efforts; working with local restaurants to reduce paper waste.
By The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleishman; Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman, The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps by Steven Krensky, Mieko and the Fifth Treasure by Eleanor Coerr, The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck; Journey to Topaz, by Yoshiko Uchida Digger by Jerry Stanley, "Rancho Days" artifacts suitcase from Oakland Museum, Gam Saan Haak reader's theater by Amy Chu Finkle and adapted by Bob Rollins
What is it like to be in someone else's shoes? How can I (each individual) be an agent of change? How do we recognize bias now and in history?
Whose story am I hearing when I study history? Who else has a story about this?
Celebration of diversity; empathy for others; awareness of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination and their effects; interconnectedness with others and the environment; activists working for environmental change; exposure to concept of socioeconomic differences and how they relate to inequities in resources, power and privilege; teamwork, cooperation and communication - nonviolent conflict resolution; understand the origins and development of slavery in America; the responses of enslaved people to their condition and the ongoing struggle to resist and overturn the institution of slavery; understand the struggles of oppressed individuals who have succeeded in the face of prejudice and discrimination; injustices inherent in European exploration and colonization of North America.
Week long Mosaic Immersion Project, including Cross the Line, and Unusual Dinner simulation of inequities; "I Am From" poems; Multiple Intelligence survey and graph; research and dramatization of the work of a variety of environmental justice leaders; water shed awareness and creek studies; Roanoak vignettes; study of slave narratives and the lives of leaders of rebellions: preparation and presentation of dramatized interviews and biography projects; the civil rights movement, "the world as a village."
Witnesses to Freedom by Linda A Rochelle RR Moton High School, Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1961 by Christopher Paul Curtis, Hoot, Flush both by Carl Hiassen, The Jacket by Andrew Clements, If The World Were a Village by David J Smith, A Picture of Freedom, The Diary of Clotee by Patricia McKissack, Roanoke: PBS video
How do I represent myself to others and as a leader? How do I serve as a role model and ally to younger students? How can I face personal and group challenges and inspire others to be their best selves?
How does one's class status limit or allow for opportunities for advancement, both historically and contemporarily? Who has the power to make decisions?
How do underrepresented groups attain equal status in our society?
How do we govern ourselves? What are the differences and pros and cons of different styles of government?
Self-actualization though meeting challenges and public presentations and responsibilities; advocacy for and responsibility to peers and school-mates; greater awareness of global norms; understand evolution of global power inequities; with knowledge comes the responsibility to help; relationship of food, poverty and hunger; influences of religious and political leaders (Siddhartha and Mao); local, national and world current events; representation of perspectives in media; transition from childhood to adolescence; solidarity with and celebration of various cultures and family structures; stereotypes of mathematicians and scientists; white privilege; LGBTQ rights; gender variance; environmental justice.
Ropes Challenge Course; Kiva microloan activity; Global Schoolroom film making; study of ancient China and 20th Century China; contrasting capitalism and communism; study of ancient and 20th century India and caste system; sixth grade dramatic presentation for entire school community; preparation activities for pride day; family stories; history and current struggle for gay rights; memoir writing unit; 3-D view science curriculum (sponsored by NASA); green science night science fair projects; current events discussions (some focus on race/class/ethnicity); power over others vs. power with others simulation.
The Pearl by John Steinbeck; House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros; Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang; Gandhi film; Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake; The Misfits by James Howe; One Teacher in Ten - Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories edited by Kevin Jennings;
Two Teenages in 20 - Gay and Lesbian Youth edited by Ann Heron; Let's Get Real film and curriculum
Who am I and what do I have to say? How does lens, experience and place in society effect bias? What does it mean to be an activist? How does an individual learn, how does a community learn and how do we measure learning? How can I contribute to my community and society? What kind of public impact can personal writing have?
How do we test drugs and cures on human beings fairly and accurately? What is environmental justice and injustice, and who is effected by it?
Development of feelings of safety to explore personal identity without judgment or decisions; explore how to be activists and challenge everyday language; understand the working of the human brain and diversity of learning styles; awareness of medical ethics and impact on life; analysis of the economic and political climate of early US History and the transformation through slavery; causes and legacies of Civil War; sociological examination of race relations in the US.
Examining stereotypes in literature; protest / persuasion letters; exploration of economic imperatives and inequities; pledges of resistance and pledges of allegiance; Filmigration unit: interviews and documentation of teenage immigrants in our community; Tuskagee experiment study; human mazes; tropical rainforest project.
Noble Savage, The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother by James McBride; My People Are film and lessons; Hungry Planet.
What do I value and why? What does it mean to be an activist? How does class, rank and privilege effect me and others? Where do ethics fit into scientific research? What does a just and equitable society look like? How does the past effect the present? What cultural biases exist in science? How does the media affect our perspective? How does learning another language and culture help me better understand my own identity? How does credit debt impact our economies?
Examining effects of a variety of stereotypes; awareness of the global norm, compared to the local norm; understand the depth of inequities of resource distribution; to understand the world, one must explore many perspectives; explore how our representation of the world through maps represent our bias; explore living conditions for people around the world; research how material wealth is generated and what effects resource distribution; understand the European expansion, the Renaissance and its impact on cultures worldwide; preliminary understanding of the conflicts in the middle east.
Bias and perspective research on the internet; international current events; mapping; statistical tools and models; European expansion research project comparing regions, cultures, politics and economics; product production web; credit card project; reframing of data and graphing from the media; Day of Silence recognition; graduation project: multi-media presentation answering the question: who am I and what do I have to say?
How do we know ourselves to be "readers"? How do we know ourselves to be
"writers"? How are reading and writing related? Why is good handwriting
important? Can I write neatly and legibly? What can I learn from listening
to a story or another's presentation? How do I show I am being a respectful
listener? Why do I need to be a good listener? How can I say what I am
thinking so that people can hear and understand me?
Learns what it means to be a member of the audience. Learns to express
ideas in a clear, related and organized way. Learns to listen to others
attentively and respectfully when they are speaking.
Enjoys and comprehends stories in many forms. Interprets stories through
pictures and words. Recognizes print in the environment and learns the
value of words and language. Learns letter names, sounds and word families.
Understands that there are many ways to read, and many skills to help one
read. Recognizes and begins to use picture cues, phonics skills and common
sight words to read simple text. Begins to read one's own writing.
Understands that we use writing to communicate. Dictates ideas, thinking
and stories to create finished works, such as patterned texts, thematic
booklets, and fiction and nonfiction stories. Listens for sounds to help
identify letters needed while writing. Uses "estimated spelling" and some
conventional spelling. Understands that writing the "school way"
(standardized manuscript) is necessary for others to be able to understand
Write and publish writers' workshop and thematic stories, and create
journals and booklets. Such writing features phonetic spelling, patterned
text and high frequency words. These give the child the opportunity to read
independently and to each other. Two such booklets are "My Ten Dot Book"
and "My Rain Book."
Write, illustrate and publish group and individual books, like "Our
Friendship Book," that are written by the children and/or taken by
dictation. Children read their stories weekly from the class "Author's
Chair." All works are read throughout the year and are celebrated at an
end-of-the-year culminating event.
A signature project that crosses disciplines and combines reading, writing,
listening and speaking is our "Partnered Block Building Project." Pairs of
children build fantasy constructions for a week each using hardwood blocks,
little animals and all kinds of other objects. The pairs make a major
presentation to their parents and the class community where they get the
opportunity to answer questions and listen to comments and appreciations. A
booklet including photos of the stages of the construction and commentary
by the builders is made for each child.
Teacher resources: Fountas and Pinnell, Launch a Primary Writing Workshopby Lucy Calkins, Fountas and
Pinnell Leveled Literacy Programs, Fountas and Pinnell Comprehensive
Phonics, Spelling and Word Study, Reading Revolution Judy
Kranzler, Words Their Wayby Donald R. Bear, Handwriting Without
Tears, The Writing Road to Reading by Romalda Bishop Spalding and
Mary Elizabeth North,
Student Literature: library books, assorted reading series and featured
authors, such as Eric Carle, Patricia Polacco, and Mo Willems.
How can I demonstrate respectful listening and why is that important? How
can I organize and express my thoughts and feelings clearly to other
people? What types of books do I like to read and what types of books do I
like to listen to? What tools and strategies can I use to become a more
fluent reader? What was important and interesting about what I just read?
What is my "just right" reading book? What are all the different ways we
can communicate through our own writing? Why is good handwriting important?
How do I spell the words I want to use when I am writing?
Listen to and make relevant, on-topic contributions to discussions. Listen
to and follow multi-step directions. Listen attentively and give specific
feedback, questions and comments when sharing writing with classmates.
Demonstrate interest in listening to and reading books. Use a variety of
strategies to read. Recognize and read common sight words. Know the
features of different types of informational and fiction books. Read
individually in "just right" reading book with an adult two times each
week. Participate in a balanced literacy program including guided reading,
shared reading, individually as well as in small and large groups. Compare
and contrast authors' techniques and styles.
Demonstrate interest in telling, dictating and or writing a story. Write
independently and generate topics. Use reasonable estimated and
conventional spelling. Learn to read and spell the first 100 high frequency
Learn how to form upper and lowercase manuscript letters and to write
neatly and legibly.
Re-read one's own writing to make revisions and edits, and take suggestions
Weekly literacy centers that include word games, sorts, guided reading,
word puzzles, and writing activities.
Research a topic of interest and share knowledge with a visual aid during
an oral presentation to the class.
Write, illustrate and publish both fiction and informational books
throughout the year and present them in a "meet the author" celebration at
the end of the year.
Use writing and observational drawings to explain scientific thinking.
Teacher resources: Various works by educators and authors Lucy Calkins'
Writer's Workshop model, Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy
Programs,Fountas and Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word
Study, Explode the Codeby Nancy M. Hall from Educators Publishing
Service. Clues to Meaningby Ann L. Staman. Words Their Way by Francine Johnston, Marcia Invernizzi, Donald R.
Bear, and Shane Templeton. Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.
Student literature: library books, independent reading books, assorted
reading series and featured authors.
How can I use what I learn from book talks to help me discover new
books/literature? How does empathizing with a character help me to
understand a story better? What are my favorite genres of writing? How can
I use what I know about myself and my experiences to craft and shape my
writing? What makes a good story? What makes poetry "poetry?" How is poetry
different from prose? How can I make my research project come to life? What
editing skills can I use to make my writing clearer? How can I present my
writing in a way that makes sense and communicates clearly to my audience?
Express thoughts in a clear and organized manner. Project voice clearly to
classmates. Participate meaningfully in class discussions and stay on topic
while speaking. Contribute thoughtful responses to student run literature
discussions. Memorize and recite well-known poems by poets such as Maya
Angelou, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and Emma Lazarus. Share and
collaborate on writing pieces. Listen attentively and give specific
feedback, questions and comments when sharing writing with classmates.
Learn how to select a "just right" independent reading book. Participate in
a balanced literacy program including guided reading, shared reading,
individually as well as in small and large groups. Determine main ideas and
significant details from literature. Summarize key elements of fiction and
non-fiction pieces. Compare and analyze: styles, genres and a variety of
authors. Study components and features of biographies through read-alouds
and reader's workshop choices. Examine various genres of poetry and note
figurative language, rhythms and techniques. Utilize reading strategies to
make sense of content and to understand unknown words and new vocabulary.
Write and share weekly reflections and personal interests through journal
time. Recall and describe weekend activities for use as a benchmark of
writing and editing progress. Examine and write various genres of poetry
inspired by timeless pieces. Explore and incorporate figurative language,
such as simile and metaphor, into original works. Use reasonable estimated
and conventional spelling. Learn to read and spell the second 200 high
frequency spelling words. Learn how to form upper and lower case D'Nealian
letters and to write neatly and legibly.
Select and research a historical figure who has made a difference to write
about for biography project. Students prepare and perform in costume a
first person oral presentation for parents and classmates after completing
Create poetry throughout the year and recite/perform selected original
works during spring Author's night. Contribute to published class
Select new vocabulary and present it to classmates for "word of the day"
activity and class book.
Complete a name project by researching the meaning of one's name, writing a
name story, and exploring name patterns through art, math and poetry.
Explore concept of time and milestones in one's life by documenting and
projecting into the future creating a lifeline.
Use knowledge and learning gained from author or genre study to create a
story "inspired by" or "in the manner of" that author/genre.
Write about personal everyday experiences, memories and "expert" stories to
share with the class community.
Teacher resources: Bay Area Writers Project model. Various works by
educators/authors Regie Routman and Lucy Calkins.
Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Programs
Fountas and Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study
The poetry of Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Nikki Giovanni. Various poetry
and biography books, teacher created materials.
Student literature: The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown, Quick as a Cricket by Audrey and Don Wood, Tar Beach by
Faith Ringgold, My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits, Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel, The Name Jar by
Yangsook Choi. Authors: Patricia Polacco, Tomie de Paola, Eric Carle,
Lucille Clifton and various poets.
How do I communicate my thinking and learning? How can I tell what this
story is really all about? What do I like to read and why? How do I gather,
sort and organize key information about my research topic and present it to
an audience in an interesting way? What do I know about each genre and how
do I use that information to write? What are the elements of a good story?
How do authors craft a good story? How is writing a script or play unique
from other genres of writing? What kind of feedback helps authors revise
and improve their writing?
Share summaries and opinions during group reading. Make appropriate
contributions to discussions and class meetings. Speak clearly using
appropriate conventions, expression and volume. Orally share written work
and solicit feedback during author's chair. Give pertinent feedback to
peers in response to oral presentations.
Read grade-level text fluently. Demonstrate understanding of main idea and
supporting details while reading. Use phonetic skills to read unfamiliar
words. Generate questions and make connections between texts and other
areas of study. Respond to literature orally and in writing. After reading
literature, create 3-D models and other artforms to demonstrate their
understanding of plot, character, setting and historical place in time.
Read text in a variety of genres. Begin to read to learn and to gather
information. Find relevant facts and rewrite them in their own words during
Choose and research a topic of interest related to the third-grade science
or social studies curriculum. Collaboratively write, edit and perform a
play based on student-generated stories. Study and write memoirs, poems,
book reviews, fiction, opinion pieces, and news articles. Edit, revise and
practice spelling, conventions of print and grammar through mini-lessons
and teacher conferences based on student writing. Write legibly in print
and learn cursive writing.
Children write, edit and perform story plays.
Research, write, organize and illustrate three reports related to science
or social studies.
Write, illustrate and publish group or individual books, and class
magazines throughout the year.
Collaboratively read novels and engage in book talks and create related
Listen to and discuss daily oral reading of class novels.
Teacher resources: The Reading Zoneand In the Middle by
Nancie Atwell, The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Caulkins
Fountas and Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study, Writer's workshop model and teacher created materials.
Student literature: The Island of the Blue Dolphins andBlack Star Bright Dawnby Scott O'Dell,The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare,Truth Is a Bright Star by Joan Price, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Chasing Vermeer
by Blue Balliett, The Green Book by Jill Patton Walsh, Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
How can I keep in mind multiple perspectives of characters in a situation
or event while I'm reading? How do authors show different perspectives? How
can I share my life experience through oral and written storytelling? How
do I choose and refine a research topic of interest so that it is
productive and focused appropriately? What is expository writing? What are
the structures, conventions and logic of expository writing that make it
different from narrative writing? How can I organize and sequence
information in my writing so that others can read and learn from me? How
can I use multiple resources (books, internet) to learn, write and teach
others? How can I use technology to present information to others? How can
I incorporate information and research in my writing to persuade others?
Express thoughts in a clear and organized manner. Make appropriate and
relevant contributions to activities and discussions. Participate
thoughtfully and actively in literature discussions. Learn and integrate
appropriate grade level vocabulary. Show effective presentation skills.
Read with accuracy and appropriate pacing, intonation and expression.
Understand relationship between reading and thinking; utilize comprehension
and metacognition strategies to make meaning from texts. Respond to
literature orally and in writing. Demonstrate understanding of grade level
expository texts. Navigate and read a variety of texts to research and
gather information for expository writing. Read historical fiction to
understand and think critically about historical events. Demonstrate
understanding of California history; recognizing the way cultures in
California were impacted by historical events. Use mentor texts to
understand relationship between literature and student writing.
Write effective narrative pieces that include character description,
setting, sequence of events, and sensory details. Write effective
expository pieces of varying lengths, from informational paragraph to
formal report. Use feedback and revise to clarify, elaborate, or improve
meaning and focus; edit for spelling and common conventions of grammar and
punctuation. Use typing program to develop proficiency in keyboarding
skills. Use computers to draft and publish works.
Write and publish works in a variety of genres throughout the year
including personal narrative, research report and perspective writing.
Students write "fate cards" and perform skits during "gold rush simulation"
game in social studies. Write individual personal narrative pieces starting
from pre-writing organization through editing, revising and feedback
discussions. Research and write a report on a self-chosen topic and
prepares presentation including a handmade "visual aid" that culminates in
a presentation to peers. Write and mail a "miner letter" from the point of
view of a '49er. Write articles about aspects of overnight field trip to
gold country, collaborating to publish a class newspaper. Research, write,
and present information about various aspects of turn of the century
historical events and social movements throughout California History.
Teacher resources: The Reading Zone and Lessons that Change Writers by Nancy Atwell, Writing Skills by
Diana Hanbury King, Bay Area Writing Project, Words Their Wayby
Bear and Ivernicci, Vocabulary from Classic Roots,Lee Mountain, Mosaic of Thought, Susan Zimmerman, Reasoning and Reading
by Joanne Carlisle, teacher created materials. Student literature: Class
assigned literature connected to social studies units: Zia by
Scott O'dell, Valley of the Moon: The Diary of Maria of Rosalia de Milagrosby
Sherry Garland, The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner by Laurence Yep, By The Great Horn Spoon
by Sid Fleischman, Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida. Nonfiction
books on topic of student's choice for research project and books chosen by
student for independent reading at school and home.
How can I express my thoughts in a clear and organized manner and make
appropriate and relevant contributions to discussions? How can I most
effectively present oral projects? How can I read aloud with accuracy and
appropriate pacing, intonation and expression? Do I comprehend content area
nonfiction texts and show my understanding through written and/or oral
responses? Do I comprehend literature and show my understanding by
participating thoughtfully and actively in literature discussions? What
techniques do published writers use and what impact do they have on the
audience? How can I use these techniques in my own writing? How do I make
use of feedback to revise and improve on the content of my written pieces?
How can I accurately use the mechanics of writing (grammar, punctuation,
and spelling) to present my writing to my readers?
Participate by listening and contributing to student run book group
Learn to orally present current event summaries in a clear, organized and
engaging manner. Improve ability to contribute relevant comments in
discussion, focus attention on the speaker, and respond with depth and
insight. Create and perform dramatic presentations for a variety of
Identify and analyze varying authors' styles and their impact on the
Annotate texts to more effectively interact with them and to improve
Determine main ideas and salient information in fiction and nonfiction
texts. Use context and previous knowledge to infer meaning. Summarize text
effectively. Use excerpts to illustrate points and derive meaning from
fiction and nonfiction text. Trace and analyze character and plot
development throughout a novel. Generate varying themes from text.
Synthesize new information from fiction and nonfiction text. Sustain
independent reading at or above grade level for 30-45 minutes.
Analyze different genres of writing, noticing the structure and techniques
writers use and the effect they have on audience. Incorporate these
techniques to enhance writing. Use prewriting strategies such as
brainstorming, webbing, and outlining. Use feedback and revise written
pieces to clarify, elaborate, or improve meaning and focus. Edit for
capitalization, spelling, and common conventions of grammar and
punctuation. Write well developed and logically sequenced expository
pieces. Use research skills capably and incorporate facts and details in
writing. Write effective creative writing pieces with voice, pacing,
character and plot development. Write effective poetry with imagery,
rhythm, form, and thoughtful word choice. Develop word processing skills
using Google docs.
Create and publish an individual magazine focused on a self-chosen topic
(as a year-long project). The magazine includes: an editorial, a profile
(based on an interview of a subject), a research-based feature article, a
short story, poetry, advertisements, and various other creative features.
Prepare thoughtful questions and responses to literature to share and
develop in a small group discussions (selections below). Create a script
that conveys essential conflicts and themes involved in the historical
interaction between the English and Algonquians on Roanoak island in the
late 1500s (integrated with Social Studies). Perform vignettes before an
Create original poems in various styles, including a self-portrait poem, an
imagery poem, and
a poem based on significant excerpts from literature.
Teacher Resources: Units of Study in Opinion, Information and Narrative Writing by
Lucy Calkins, Poetry Everywhere by Collom and Noethe,
Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School
by Georgia Heard, Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in Elementary School by Katie
Sentence Composing for Elementary School: A Worktext to Build Better
by Don and Jenny Killgallon, Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action by
Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels
Student Literature: The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich,Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis, Elijah by Christopher Paul Curtis, and My Brother Sam Is Dead by Collier and Collier.
How do I share my voice? How do I recognize and discuss themes in the books I read? What do I find provocative and profound in the world of text? How can I use mentor texts to develop my own creative voice in my writing? How can stream of consciousness writing help me develop ideas? How do I write an effective essay? How do I organize my research to write a solid research report?
Speak about essential messages that stir genuine insight and deep thought. Ask questions that further the conversation. Originate and evolve personal voice through speech. Identify major themes in literature. Prepare oral interpretation of written work to present to a variety of audiences in a various settings.
Recognize "just right" books and find time to read every day. Relate literature to personal experience, other works and world events. Thoughtfully interpret and respond to literature. Share personal opinions of literature, and make effective recommendations to peers. Identify and discuss perspectives and elements of social justice and injustice in literature.
Use previously taught and new conventions in writing accurately. Use clear organization and sequence to write complex essays and reports. Use mentor texts as models for writing. Recognize and incorporate effective writing techniques in original works. Rearrange early drafts to fully elaborate ideas in effective revision. Respond with specific and useful feedback to peers' writing and ideas. Develop original synthesis of concepts covered in the curriculum. Originate and evolve personal voice through writing.
Students write personal poems at the beginning of the year representing their personality and interests.
Each sixth grader is paired with a kindergarten buddy, and interviews that friend and writes and illustrates an adventure story with the buddy as the hero to present as a gift.
Writes and publishes five paragraph essays on various topics.
Students choose a social justice topic to explore in depth and conduct an I-Search. The I-Search (Macrorie, 1998) empowers students by making their self-selected questions about themselves, their lives, and their world the focus of the research and writing process. The strong focus on metacognition-paying attention to and writing about the research process methods and extensive reflection on the importance of the topic and findings-makes for meaningful and purposeful writing.
Students select and analyze profound passages and respond to them in journals.
Students write letters to each other and the teacher reflecting on and talking about themes, author's intent and connections they've made in books they have read.
Students create graphic novels based on their study of Hindu Mythology in their Ancient India social studies unit.
Teacher Resources: The Reading Zone and Lessons That Change Writers by Nancie Atwell. In the Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading and Literature by Nancie Atwell.
Who am I and what I have to say? Why read? What makes culture? How do we code switch? What do I have to say as a critical reader? Why is the "essay" such an important form of academic writing? What can I imagine the world will be like in at least 20 years? How does a theme affect the impact of a novel for me as a reader? How is language a tool to look at our own culture and thinking? How does that change - with time, with context? How do the structures of culture build on the values shared by communities?
Describe ideas and opinions with clarity in classroom discussion. Choose communication styles appropriate to specific audiences. Argue effectively and civilly for your personal point of view. Respond with useful feedback to peers' writing and ideas. Speak and listen with focus and consideration, participating in the creation of a positive learning environment. Present regular book talks, sharing your reactions and opinions about literature with the class.
Recognizes "just right" books and finds time to read every day from a wide variety of young adult and transitional novels and memoirs. Regularly finishes books, rates books, and abandons books that don't "fit." Reads independently, consistently, joyfully, accountably and fluently. Recognizes and locates pertinent facts and quotations for different purposes. Expands personal reading territories and reads critically. Explores personal understanding through detailed examination of text and reactions. Interprets facts, structures and styles in literature. Discovers themes and writes about the ideas about living that authors weave into literature.
Recalls and uses previously taught writing structures and conventions. Explains the "why" and "how" underneath personal concepts and claims in non-fiction writing. Uses learned essay structures and strategies for different purposes: expository, persuasive, personal. Uses an effective "writing process" to fully develop writing with clear organization and sufficient detail. Develops strong opinions and claims, based on evidence. Reflects on personal progress to self-assess and guide future choices. Discovers personal reasons to create and finish original pieces of writing. Crafts and deepens personal voice in writing and speech.
Autobiography of a Learner: Students conduct research into their experiences as a learner, collecting evidence from years of school work, from learning experiences in arts, sports, family activities, travel, etc. Evidence is used to write a cumulative self-portrait, to illustrate moments of learning and personal learning styles, to present a fluency in class, and to take ownership of learning successes and challenges.
Convention Investigation: In groups, students identify punctuation and usage rules that they don't know yet, research one rule, create posters and mnemonics to share the rule, and then teach the class.
Forward Vision: Through excerpts from dystopian and utopian fiction, students consider the structures that support and create "culture." After reacting to different authors' visions, students imagine their own future, crafting a culture at least 50 years in the future, and deciding if their vision will be utopian, dystopian, a response to cataclysm, or a result of natural development. Students will use writing and an artifact to teach the class about their future vision.
Teacher resources: The Reading Zone, In The Middle, Lessons that Change Writers, and A Poem a Day: a Guide to Naming the World all by Nancy Atwell. Internship at the Center for Teaching and Learning, Edgecombe, ME, Studio Habits of Mind by Lois Hetland, Project Zero curriculum planning guides, seminars, Summer Institute, Cambridge, MA
Student literature: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salmon Rushdie, Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez, The Color of Water by James McBride, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune by Lori Aurelia Williams.
Excerpts from: 1984 by George Orwell, Always Coming Home by Ursula LeGuin, Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Gate to Women's Country by Sherri Tepper, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk.
Poetry study: Mary Oliver, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, Richard Wright, June Jordan.
Who am I and what do I have to say? What is my writing process? When do I know what's true? Why - and how - do we tell stories? What is the power of poetry? How do "fantasy" and "make believe" teach "real-world" messages? How can symbol and metaphor deepen an author's message? What did I have to figure out to be able to read this story? Why did the author tell this story? How do bias and context affect an author's point of view? What impact does my audience have on my purpose when I create? When do my values affect my assumptions?
Shakespearean in the Garden: Alongside studies of cartography and primary sources in Social Studies, students dive into a project in both Language Arts and Drama with selected scenes from Shakespeare's plays - investigating the evolution of the English language and Shakespeare's poetry and prose. Cross-curricular studies will include perspective in Art, scoring songs from the plays in Music, deducing a chemical formula from Macbeth's 3 witches' potion, etc. This project culminates in an installation of written work and recordings, accompanying the production of student acted and directed scenes from the play, environmentally staged in the PDS garden.
A Nice Little Story: After reading and discussing bias, metaphor and intent in "A Nice Little Story" from Grace Llewelling's The Teenage Liberation Handbook, students develop criteria for an effective allegory, work individually to craft extended metaphors that express their own biases about education and the institutions of education.
Poetry Enmasked: Using plaster of paris, paper maché, paints and decorations, students create masks of themselves and companion poems that share a unifying symbol or theme. This project is a high point of a yearlong study of poetry. Masks and companion poems are displayed for the community after students present them in class.
Who is this important changemaker? (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Wangari
Mathai, Jr., Dolores Huerta, Harriet Tubman, etc.) Why do we learn about
her/him/them? How and why do people celebrate various
holidays around the world? How are people different and alike around the
world and how can we celebrate that? What is community? Who makes up our
community? How can I help to make our community a better place for
everyone? How can I make a difference?
Understand that every single person can make a big difference in people's
lives, either acting on one's own or collectively. Recognize that people
can make a difference in many ways, such as speaking, writing, protesting,
or creating or doing things. I am a part of a class (and school) community
and my words and actions affect those around me. Each individual has a
responsibility to participate in making things good for everyone in our
community through kind words and actions. People celebrate holidays to
recognize something that is important to their community and/or culture
and/or religion, such as historical and natural events. Holidays sometimes
celebrate similar things and sometimes they are different.
Students tell stories, read books, role-play, sing and create
representations to learn details about the lives of leaders and
changemakers. Parents and community members come into the classroom to
share their family celebrations. For some holidays children cook, make art,
or engage in performances that are part of holiday traditions. We might
bake gingerbread cookies, fry latkes, decorate the building with rangoli
patterns, or perform the Lion dance. Students participate in spontaneous
projects that focus on ways of being a responsible or helpful community
member. For instance, after hearing the story Maddi's Fridgeby
Lois Brandt, the children were inspired to collect food and donate it to
the Alameda County Food bank. Every year we collect and germinate acorns,
care for the seedlings and plant saplings in the Valle Vista EBMUD Staging
Area to restore an oak woodland which will keep the air healthy and the
watershed clean. We respond to situations in the world in which we
creatively decide we can help.
In a Nutshell
by Joseph Anthony and Cris Arbo, Grandmother Oakby Rosi Daggit, Grandpa Tree by Mike Donahue, Trees (Eyewitness book and
CD), Field trips to Valle Vista (EBMUD) Regional Park, local oak groves,
and local Farmers' Market. Colors of Usby Karen Katz, All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka, Moses by
Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson, Mama Miti by Donna Jo
Napoli, Barack Obama by Nikki Grimes and Bryan Collier, Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson,I Have a Dreamby Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, When Marian Sang
by Pam Munoz Ryan, Sam and the Lucky Moneyby Karen Chinn.
Where does my family come from? Who is in our community? What communities
am I connected to? What are the different religious and cultural
celebrations that are celebrated in our community? How are they similar to
and different from one another? How do foods reflect the lives and culture
of people throughout the world? How are they similar and different? Why is
important to learn about cultures that are different from my own? Why are
maps important and how are they used? How can I be an active agent in
supporting the lives of people in our community? Who are some leaders who
worked for justice and equality? How did they make a difference? How can I
be a responsible citizen in my school community?
Understand that one person can make a difference in another person's life.
Recognize that we live in a very diverse community and that we can
appreciate and celebrate differences.
Take action to solve problems that we learn about in our community and our
Articulate the difference between "need" and "want."
Demonstrate respectful listening and participate in class discussions.
Students participate in a family potluck to celebrate our cultural heritage
through foods and projects from our family study.
Students serve as ambassadors to other classes in the school as they
explain the significance of a school wide project aimed at a larger social
problem. Examples include UNICEF, recycling, Pride Day, social and
community issues, playground issues and homelessness.
Students identify a problem in the larger community and work together to
find ways to make a difference in the lives of others. Examples include
hygiene kits for Alameda County Healthcare for the Homeless and a food
drive at Thanksgiving.
Collected biographies, histories and folktales; field trip to Oakland
Museum for Black History Month; guest speakers for Pride Day; CARE week
speakers and visitors; Family Support Services of the Bay Area social
workers visit; Alameda County Healthcare for the Homeless speakers and van
visit; UNICEF literature.
Why do people immigrate to America? How do immigrants influence and shape
our nation? How does studying about immigration help me connect with and
understand the lives and cultures of people around me and in the world? How
does my knowledge about maps and their use help me understand my world? How
does understanding and learning about the past help me think about the
present and the future? How can I use what I learn about from famous
leaders who have worked for justice and equality to inspire me to act? What
are rights and responsibilities? Does everyone have equal access to rights?
How can I use my rights and responsibilities to be an active, supportive
member of my community? How can I use my rights and responsibilities to
change my world in a positive way?
Distinguish that each one of us has a unique ancestry and family history
that influences and shapes who we are. Understand that the United States of
America is comprised of people from all over the world with diverse
cultures and beliefs.
Can give examples of ways that immigrants contribute to our country and
culture. Understand and value that we are members of a diverse community
and that differences and similarities are worthy of celebration. Expand on
map skills by reading and creating maps. Collaborate together to work
toward sharing resources. Explore how to reuse and repurpose existing
materials. Begin to understand the differences between cities, states,
countries and continents. Understand that each of us is a unique person
with rights, responsibilities and needs, and every choice we make has a
cause and an effect.
Students research where their families have immigrated from and use this
knowledge for a variety of school projects, such as helping to create a
second-grade immigration garden, creating ancestry boxes, and writing
stories and poems. Students enhance their understandings about immigration
with guest speaker visits, including members of our immediate school
community and visits from nearby International High School students who
share about their lives.
Students collaborate together to create a school-wide book drive campaign,
then find ways to promote the book drive within our school community before
sorting and delivering books. Students integrate their studies by exploring
related ties to reading and literacy, such as delving into a hands-on
exploration about the history of books and writing.
Students participate in weekly all-second grade social studies discussions
and activities, such as making milagros and learning about Dias de Los
Meurtos; hearing about the immigration history of the United States via
presentations, stories and guest speakers, and celebrating important
cultural days and festivals.
Students research and present a biography report highlighting the
accomplishments of an African American or woman to share with classmates.
Collected biographies, histories, folktales. Field trip to Oakland Museum
for Dia de Los Muertos. Guest speakers for Pride Day. CARE week speakers
and visitors. CAL performances field trip.
How do people and animals adapt to their environments?
What are the major environmental regions in California? What geographical
elements make them unique? How can understanding
geographic regions help me to understand why people and animals live and
adapt the way that they do? Who are the indigenous peoples
of our region? What did they value and how did they live? What resources
were available to them? How can I begin to understand Ohlone life by
thinking about what is around me? What stereotypes do I
hold about Native people? Where did those stereotypes come from? How did Native Californians think about land and animal
resources? How did they preserve resources for future people? What began to
change when Europeans came here? How can I use what I have learned about
the way Native Californians cared for the land and animal resources to
inform how I live?
Explore books, artifacts, pictures, and short films to develop an
understanding of the life and culture of Native Bay Area people. Research
and report the history a North American Indigenous culture. Compare and
contrast our modern lives here with the lives of the original people of
this land. Make deductions about why people of this land have changed and
adapted. Develop appreciation and value for another culture through the
creation of a first person journal chronicling the life an Ohlone child.
Study California and US maps and identify elements of a map including
scale, compass rose, and a key. Locate and describe the major environmental
regions, landforms and cities in California.
Spend a day in an Ohlone cultural immersion program at Coyote Hills
Regional Park. Read Island of the Blue Dolphin and recreate a
scale model of the island, including elements of the Tongva tribe described
in the novel. Gather and grind acorns, prepare acorn mush in the
traditional California Native American way. Create and label a relief map
of California that includes the major geographic regions. Steward and
cultivate a Native plant garden for use in Ohlone studies.
sland of the Blue Dolphin
by Scott O'Dell, The Ohlone Way by Malcom Margolin and Map Skills by Catherine M Tamblyn. East Bay Regional Parks Teacher
Resources. Teacher created materials.
What are the major events in California history that made California what
it is today? What was the impact of the Spanish missions systems on the
different groups of people in California? How did the missions, ranchos,
and gold rush change the natural environment of California? Who were some
of the major groups to immigrate to California and what was their
experience? How can I learn about and discuss current events? How can I
think critically about how news and information is presented?
Understand the impact of Spanish missionaries and missions on California
and the lives of Californians. Explore and discuss many aspects of the
development of California and the lives of Californians, including the
three main routes to the gold fields, tremendous and historically rare
opportunities created by the gold rush and the diversity of the gold rush
population. Analyze prevalent racism of the times, xenophobia and
inequality, and the legalized discrimination against Chinese immigrants as
exemplified by the Exclusion Act, and the contributions and struggles of
the builders of the transcontinental railroad. Investigate the xenophobia
toward Japanese Americans during the WWII era and the resulting Japanese
internment experience. Understand that there were multiple social movements
in California working towards equality at the end of the twentieth century
leading up to today.
Students go on a three day field trip to Coloma Outdoor Discovery School.
Gold rush simulation game with students as "miners", learning information
about the gold rush to earn "gold nuggets" during mining rounds, and acting
out "typical" miner scenes as short skits.
Students write from the perspective of a miner. They take on a miner
identity and write and mail an authentic looking letter home based on their
Students participate in a Reader's theater performance of Gam Saan Haak, which dramatizes the experiences of Chinese
railroad workers and the adversity they faced.
Using literature and research, students create multimedia presentations
through a critical lense showing past and present action of social
California History for Kids: Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the
by Katy Duffield, Oh California by Houghton-Mifflin, History of Us by Joy Hakim and
Digger: The Tragic Fate of the California Indians from the Missions to
the Gold Rush
by Jerry Stanley. Oakland Museum "suitcase" exhibit for California Rancho
period, simulation by Interact. Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko
Uchida. Ziaby Scott O'dell The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, Gam Saan Haak
What information about the Earth's land, water, climates, environments,
populations, and human activities can be discovered by investigating
various kinds of maps? How and why did European nations claim, invade, and
conquer Native American lands in the Western Hemisphere? What information
about European claims and conflicts can be inferred from historical maps?
How and why did Algonquian and Elizabethan cultures clash in 16 th century America? What were the various trades in Colonial New
England in the 17th Century and what was their importance in the
communities? How did differing political and economic ideas and interests
lead to the American Revolution? What are the origins of the institution of
slavery in America and how did it develop? How did enslaved people respond
to their condition? What was the ongoing struggle to resist and overturn
the institution of slavery? What significant work did young people engage
in during the Civil Rights Movement and how did their actions pave the way
for more equality for marginalized groups in our society today? How can the
brave actions of young people in the past inspire us take action in our
world today? What can we learn from summaries of current events in the
areas of the environment, civil rights, the presidential realm, and
profiles of people? How do significant current events impact our community,
and us, as individuals?
Read and create a map using symbols and a key. Use primary and secondary
source reference materials resourcefully and effectively. Understand
elements of maps such as key, compass, scale, and coordinates. Understand
varied formats and purposes of different maps such as political, physical,
vegetation, demographic, and climate.
Use maps as a resource to draw conclusions about historical and current
events. Demonstrate understanding of pre-Columbian and Algonquian cultures.
Use critical thinking to analyze early interactions between European and
Algonquian peoples in 16th Century North America. Research a
colonial trade or an aspect of Algonquian daily work. Explore the origins
and development of slavery in America, the responses of enslaved people to
their condition, and struggles to resist and overturn the institution of
slavery. Extrapolate from historical fiction to better understand the
complexities of historical phenomena, such as slavery and the American
Revolution. Study differing political and economic ideas and interests that
led to the American Revolution, considering the contributions of a wide
range of people. Research, analyze and summarize a current event using
reliable periodical sources and present the information orally.
Map a three-dimensional model that shows land and water features of the
Earth, use geography vocabulary in a thematic context. Using an overlay
create another kind of map using the same physical contours.
Create a dramatic vignette that brings to life a meaningful moment of
conflict in the story of Roanoak Island. Link together the series of class
vignettes, to convey the historical significance of the clash of cultures,
Elizabethan and Algonquian, in 16th century America.
Design a simple, authentic Colonial costume and enact chores of Colonial
American daily life, during "Colonial Day."
Research a Colonial American trade or an aspect of Algonquian daily work.
Recreate an authentic scene of the trade/work in a diorama. Write
historical journal entries from the perspective of a character in the
diorama scene, and teach others about the trade through an exhibition
Learn the stories of some distinctive Americans who were enslaved, who
resisted and successfully escaped.
Learn about individuals and groups involved in the American Revolution
whose voices are not often heard.
Boston Children's Museum kits -Native American Games and Colonial New
England Farm Life. Explorers simulation from Interact. The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I by Kathryn Lasky. Roanoak,
PBS video. Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis.
Teaching Hard History: A Framework for Teaching American Slavery
by Teaching Tolerance. Slavery and the Making of America, PBS
video. Your Travel Guide to Colonial America by Nancy Day.Cobblestone Magazine. Seeds of Change The Story of Cultural Exchange after 1492by
Sharryl Davis Hawke and James E. Davis.Brown Paper School US Kids Historyseries.Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis. My Brother Sam is Dead, by Collier and Collier.
Sixth graders begin the year with a unit on identity and independent reading before focusing on ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, India and Greece.
What makes us human? What can we learn from the people and civilizations who preceded us? Why do we uncover our past? How can I/we make a difference? What is mindfulness? How can I be mindful? Why be mindful?
How do we know about our ancient past? What do archaeologists do? What do we know about our first civilizations?
How do the ideals and values of Ancient China affect us in today's society? How did Confucianism address the problems that plagued the Chinese society? Why was the Silk Road so beneficial to the Chinese Civilization? What are the common geographical features in ancient civilizations and how do they impact the development of agriculture? What common factors serve to unite people with different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds?
Why is the study of ancient Egypt so enduring? What do we know about ancient Egyptian society?
What is satyagraha? What is efficacy? What does it mean to be Indian? How has India's diversity affected its history and vice versa? What is happiness? What are the similarities and differences between the religions that originated in ancient India?
Understand the basic building blocks of a civilization and the roles archaeologists, anthropologists and historians play in constructing history. Examine the Silk Road and its impact on the region of Ancient China. Compare and contrast the ancient philosophies of Daoism, Confucianism and Legalism. Complete diagrams that compare and contrast Confucianism, Daoism & Legalism. Write artistic responses to excerpts from the Tao Te Ching. Research and write a report on a topic from Ancient Egypt. Explore and study the origins of non-violent resistance.
Conduct a mock archaeological dig and create board games that reflect learning about Mesopotamia. Compare and contrast Confucianism, Daoism & Legalism through self made diagrams. Create artistic responses to excerpts from the Tao Te Ching. Visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, write research reports and create a project using the design think framework to illustrate what they've learned in their report. Read and analyze graphic novels based on Hindu Mythology and tour the SF Asian Art Museum. Create "satyagraha" social justice project, including research on a topic students feel passionate about where they want to make a difference.
Egypt night is an annual event culminating the study of ancient Egypt. Students engage in the design thinking process (discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution) which bolsters their creativity and deepens their higher order thinking skills to produce final projects ranging from a scale model of the great pyramid, a mummy, or a journey through the Egyptian after life.
World History: Ancient Civilizations, McDougal Littell
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
Various novels, plays, and myths
Library reference and periodical materials
To Live (film)
National Geographic Egypt Series
Junior Scholastic Egypt Edition
Gandhi: A Manga Biography
Because seventh and eighth graders are in classes together much of the time, the 7/8 social studies curriculum is taught on a two year cycle. One year's focus is World History, and the other year's focus is US History.
How do maps achieve different aims? How do two dimensional maps compromise accuracy to represent the globe? How do historians study and evaluate primary sources to piece together an understanding of the past? How do primary, secondary and tertiary sources, including maps, reflect the perspective and bias of their creators?
How do cities, kingdoms, and empires emerge from family groups and villages? What makes a civilization "Great?" What makes them "good for people?" How can we measure this? What regional patterns emerge when we compare data like Gross Domestic Product, life expectancy and literacy, and how might we explain these patterns? How did geography and trade routes affect the development of African empires such as Ghana, Mali and Songhai? What are the major stereotypes about Africa, what are their impacts, and what can we do about them?
How have humans adapted to the geography of the Arabian Peninsula? How did Islam originate and how did it spread? What are the main beliefs and practices of Islam? How wide is the range of how Islam is practiced today? What are the major misconceptions about Islam, where do they come from, and what can we do about them? How is Islam connected to Judaism and Christianity? What were the major contributions made during the Golden Age of Islam? What is feudalism, and why did people participate in it? How did the bubonic plague spread and what were its impacts? How did the Golden Age of Islam pave the way for the European Renaissance?
What is going on right now in the news? What is race? What is racism? What is socio-economic class? What is cultural humility? What is justice?
Create and evaluate maps for different purposes. Evaluate primary sources. Recognize perspective and bias in secondary and tertiary sources. Read secondary and tertiary sources for information. Summarize, pull out key ideas and synthesize information. Pursue effective web based research, and evaluate sources for credibility. Prepare an effective presentation. Work collaboratively with a group. Study for, and show understanding on tests. Ask questions that further class discussion and personal inquiry. Write an effective persuasive essay using historical evidence. Cite sources using a standard format.
Create useful maps of the Park Day School campus. Create a color-coded infographic map that compares one set of data such as GDP or literacy rate. Find patterns and make inferences about regional similarities and differences. Create informative signs for our classroom's Mercator world map projection. Gold/Salt trade simulation. Write a brief biography based on primary sources. Write a persuasive essay about the Shakespeare authorship controversy. Research important "firsts" in human history and add images with explanation to our classroom's time-line. Research current events topics that speak to you and present them to the class. Prepare power point presentations to teach the class about a new topic. Design a quiz to assess your teaching and the class's understanding after your presentation.
History Alive! The Medieval World.
Current events articles from Jr. Scholastic and Upfront: The New York Times for Teens.
Seeing Through Maps: The Power of Images to Shape our World View by Kaiser and Wood.
Eyewitness to History edited by John Carey
A Little History of The World by E. H. Gombrich
Through African Eyes by Leon E. Clark
Africa in World History by Gilbert and Reynolds
Africa's Discovery of Europe by Northrup
Many resources from Boston University's African Studies Center Outreach Program
Out of Bounds Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverley Naidoo
Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel
Women in the Material World by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel
Harper Collins Student World Atlas
The Atlas of Human Rights by Andrew Fagan
The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers' Struggle PBS documentary
Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin by Bennett Singer and Nancy Kates
Miss Representation a documentary by Jennifer Newsom
What are civil rights? What are human rights? What rights are protected under the constitution? How does the constitution change and how has it changed? What rights of indigenous peoples have the U.S. government recognized, and what rights have been abused?
How do historians study and evaluate primary sources to piece together an understanding of the past? How do historians write secondary and tertiary sources? How do primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, including art, reflect the perspective and bias of their creators?
How did the many peoples that currently inhabit the Americas come to be here? How did geography affect the indigenous cultures, economies, trade and urban development of Central and South America? How were the Aztec and Incan empires defeated by the Spanish? What were the driving factors behind European colonization, the revolutionary war, and the creation of the union? What inner conflicts have threatened this union? What happened to other lands in the Americas that were colonized by Britain, France or Spain? How did the United States expand from 13 original colonies to 50 states? What drove this expansion, and what ideas justified it? How did racism develop to justify race-based slavery? How have people throughout history organized to make changes and to protect civil and human rights? (Women's suffrage, feminism, abolition, civil rights, gay pride, workers and labor unions, education reform, prison reform) Has it always "gotten better" in the U.S.? What happened during and after the period of Reconstruction? Why do humans go to war? How has changing military technology changed what it means to go to war? What drove the U.S. to fight the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I and II, the Vietnam War and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is "the American dream" and is it real?
Investigate the historical mystery of John Smith and Pocahontas using and evaluating primary sources. Create an infographic map of the United States showing migration patterns. Write a brief biography of a person who fought for social justice. Write a persuasive essay on what it means to be an American. Research current events topics that speak to you and present them to the class. Prepare a power point presentation to teach the class about a new topic. Design a quiz to assess your teaching and the class's understanding after your presentation. Constitutional Convention simulation.
History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism
The American Spirit by Thomas Bailey and David Kennedy
History Lessons: How Textbooks From Around the World Portray U.S. History by Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward
The Cartoon History of the United States by Larry Gonick
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
The History of US by Joy Hakim
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
A Young People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff
Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America by Jim Carnes, Teaching Tolerance
Experiencing Race, Class and Gender in the United States by Roberta Fiske-Rusciano and Virginia Cyrus
The Color of Water by James McBride
Who can be an artist? What kind of artwork do I like to do? How can we share our ideas and discoveries while we work? What is the difference between an outline and a form?
How are artists and scientists alike?
Kindergarten artists explore materials using various media and themes and work in both two and three dimensions. Students create a positive art community by sharing materials and ideas and working and cleaning up together collaboratively. Students build self-confidence through experimenting and learning new skills, and through acceptance of mistakes as a part of learning. They learn to value and enjoy the process and the element of magic and surprise inherent in creating works of art. Children also develop awareness of the group and appreciate the diversity of interpretations of the lesson. They appreciate the unique atmosphere of the art studio and benefit from viewing work from all grades on display.
Stamping and printmaking; simplified printing techniques that expose students to quick image making and repeats. Community building through group murals from individual works. Learning how to draw a form without outlines; using basic shapes and other techniques that foster understanding of form. Explorations with clay, guiding students with steps that facilitate good connections, textures, proportions and details for animal forms. Blending colors, oil pastel and paint blending allows students to explore color and invent their own colors. Creating wire sculptures inspired by Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams. Building a cityscape; students explore a familiar view and observe details such as skyline, foreground, contrast, building size, windows and the people who live in this setting. Sewing on paper; intersecting lines, crosses, and the variation of simple stitching.
What should I do if my project is not what I expected or not sturdy? When I want to make changes in my drawing, how can I do it besides using an eraser? How can we accept mistakes as surprises in our work? How can I make my sculpture stronger? How do pictures in books support or tell the story? How can one wire sculpture become part of a bigger class installation? What size makes sense for this work? Is this sculpture the subject for more elements and background?
First grade artists build from kindergarten lessons with a deeper focus on the development of their work. Subject, foreground and background, contrast and line variation come into play. Small motor skills are strengthened. Skills such as tying knots, making wire sculpture connections and building 3-dimensional forms from paper develop patience using steps to develop a successful final piece of work. Simple printmaking projects include stenciling, repeated patterns, and fabric design. Freedom to choose a subject or material allows self discovery and opportunity to problem solve. Group work encourages unity among students to support all levels of ability. Students begin to develop their voice and style as an artist, supported by classroom discussion. The working art studio is an excellent place to teach social justice skills for young students. A wide range of media and concepts, including formatting, designs, drawing, color interplay, storytelling and beginning technical vocabulary form the students' art foundation.
Still life bicycle studies; worms eye view drawings; fabric and paint resist; straw blowing; clay forms and introduction to clay technique. Paper sculpture cities; scenery boxes, recycled art. Mural, etchings, weavings, accordion books. Calder inspired wire bicycles, primitive bark painting inspired wallets, multi media collage boards; painting, simple printmaking, Balinese shadow puppets and mono prints.
How does my art and show my interests and show tell people about me? What do you think this artwork represents to the artist who did it? What makes my artwork look more realistic now, instead of flat or cartoon like? How is spray painting with a stencil different than with working with a brush? Can I make an animal form without drawing it? What techniques can I use besides an outline in my drawing? How can we put our forms together into a mural and make it look unified? What art words can I use to describe what I am seeing in this painting?
In second grade, students begin to express a desire for the knowledge and tools to make their art inspirations look more representational. They are introduced to drawing with basic shapes, which also reinforces small motor control. Projects focus on the complete composition and increasing awareness of subject and background. Preliminary ideas are taken to final work through the use of thumbnail sketches, the selection process and choices of media. Symbols and storytelling guide the art process. Artists study a diversity of cultural expressions while finding new reasons people create. Students learn techniques to make more secure connections in their sculpture and see the interdependence of each step. A long-term doll project uses most of the skills taught in previous grades, which gives students a chance to evaluate their understanding of previous techniques. Reinforcing the value of art within the community teaches the social justice lesson of supporting peers, sharing opinions respectfully and working toward a common goal, such as an exhibit.
Rock paintings based on aboriginal art; pastel studies of Odilon Redon's surrealist Painting. Primitive South Pacific and African inspired body forms with cutout negative spaces. Dot build up drawings. African Maasai collars with pattern studies. Basic shapes of animals; Eric Carle style illustration book covers. Immigration dolls. Large scale scenery painting; less dominant hand drawings; group mural, printmaking, capturing the texture of an animal. Latin carnaval chekeres made of recycled materials; learning the story of an Orangutan orphanage in Sumatra through art.
Does my work tell something about me, the artist? Do I have a signature style like book illustrator Eric Carle, or the Fauves from the French impressionist period? Why does each piece of art look different even though we all had the same lesson? Does each piece have something in common? How can I select my best ideas and develop them? How can a preliminary sketch help me before I go to the final work? What is the difference between the silhouette and the surface details? Am I observing and drawing, or drawing from my memory? What common theme can we find when all our individual work comes together as a display? What is different?
Students develop their art in third grade using techniques such as balancing space and using foreground and background with realistic spatial awareness. Lessons focus on using light and shadow, basic shapes, and combining words with art to send a message. Drawing skills are refined adding negative space, use of line variation, silhouette, color washes, and balance of the composition. As they create art, they observe the world with an awareness of what is real, what is invented, what is possible, and what is done for the sake of fun and fantasy. Personal identity is expressed with self-portraits of their inner selves as well as their face. Problem solving becomes more challenging, so students turn to one another for support, not just the teacher. Third grade students are able to do long term projects. They learn how to express and develop an idea by following methods of many diverse cultures. Students are encouraged to interpret the lesson in their own way as they borrow ideas from other traditions.
Basic shape animal forms, things in motion, painting symbols on rocks, one line Chinese dragon drawings. Dome designs on egg shells, number design mobiles, Brazilian body art, outdoor drawing of trees (worm's eye view). Planning a composition in a group. Talouse Lautrec style poster and large banner design. Triptych panels of spirit portraits, black and white design, circle designs, stencil spray painting. Hand made paint brushes, paper maché bead making and necklaces.
If only lines are used to draw a face, how can I achieve realism and a sense of 3-dimension? What effect does using shadow give to a face? What steps do I need to take to transfer my thumbnail sketch into a 3-D mobile? How can I make the brim and the centerpiece of a paper hat come together with a strong connection? What do I learn about a master artist's style when I use it as inspiration for my own work? How can my work reflect elements of the artist's style and still show my style?
Fourth graders come to the art studio ready to challenge themselves and the project. By now, they have developed a strong identity as an artist regardless of skill level. They have skills to interpret the lessons personally while still following steps and guidelines. Students learn to use a chart for accuracy in creating the correct proportions of the face. Learning how to utilize previous techniques within an open choice format empowers students to problem solve. Learning how to achieve 3-D with values of light and dark opens students to explore realism. Exploring master artists who challenged the norm and broke rules (The Fauves) while finding their own style encourages young artists to find themselves through the creative arts. The projects alternate between free interpretation and controlled acc, uracy. Respect for traditions is balanced with the exciting freedom that comes from finding a new, personal, approach. Many projects interface with their social studies focus.
Fourth graders have a longer art class. Classes begin with ten minutes of silent sketchbook meditation. This meditation allows time to focus, warm up and provides freedom to pursue individual interests and ideas before working with a structured lesson. Student discussion provides time to share inspirations and make connections to previous lessons and projects.
Painting in the style of Aboriginal artists. Using dot build up, telling a story with a symbol, illustrating lightning and thunder, rolling paint instead of brush stroking it.
Paper cut out forms in the style of Matisse; fabric collage self portraits in the style of The Fauves; Japanese shrines with the "three wise monkeys". Exploring elongation of the figure with Giacometti sculpture and Kenyan batiks. Charcoal portraits wearing hats of many cultures; still life drawing that get disassembled and reassembled with intentional negative space. Aerial views of Japanese food. Dia De Los Muertos skulls and hat mobiles. Using Sonia Delaunay's "geometric abstract " style to inspire watercolor compositions.
What statement does my artwork make? Is my sense of humor and playful presentation a way to offer the viewer a flip on tradition, or is it intended to make us laugh? What new techniques do I discover when I take time, add layers and develop my ideas? Can I teach this to friends and pass on new ideas? Should artists strive for a realistically perfect image? What happens to the subject when the color is enhanced, unrealistic or if the proportions are unrealistic? Why do you think younger students incorporate outlines in their drawings? What are the differences between true form and outlines? When are outlines useful? How can outlines help describe a 3-D form? Does my color fill the form completely, or is it sketchy? Does an animal's color fill its form? How can I depict an animal in motion? How do I react to unfamiliar art styles? How can I withhold judgment and view art with an open mind?
Fifth grade students are interested in exploring how and why art has a powerful impact on people. They learn new techniques to enhance their art, such as distortion and realism. Looking deeper means studying subject matter in a more refined way. Lessons force artists to compare different cultural art techniques by trying to do them with respect for that culture. Fifth grade art curriculum develops skills for accurate body proportions. Students draw figures prior to instruction in proportion and contract those with drawings completed using an accurate body chart. Fifth graders pull from their foundation of skills fluidl. They make choices independently and further refine and reflect upon their own style. Children of this age are keenly aware of social justice and there are many opportunities to apply it to the working group. Individual expression comes with a responsibility to speak your mind and heart appropriately.
Stories are added to illustrations to connect the power of art and words. Group critiques encourage students to use their art vocabulary as a communication tool and give opportunities to reference master artists. The intention of enlightening others, making social change, or inviting alternative perspectives through art comes into play in this grade.
Using distortion, drawing with sand and glue in Black history portraits. Fashion designs, building a theatrical headdress; logos in black and white; art frames. Indian and Arabic henna body art, hand studies. Proportions of the body. African doll statues with recycled materials. Writing about one's work. Using symmetry to draw the orangutan face. Non-traditional multicolored portraits, less dominant hand portraits, non-figurative paintings. Birds in flight, group mural, printmaking.
What are my strengths as an artist? What media do I feel most comfortable using? What techniques and skills have I developed? What explorations am I ready to take on next? What does art mean to me? Who is art for? What design principles can I use as a framework to express myself visually? What factors distinguish artistic styles? What is the role of an artist in American society? What is the role of the artist in cultures around the world? How are two and three dimensional art works alike and different? How do artists convey meaning through forms, media and symbols?
Appreciation of the contributions of artists to society. Understand styles of art from prehistoric to contemporary. Utilize principles of design. Use elements of line, form, proportion, rhythm, texture. Understand the principles of one and two point perspective. Produce work that demonstrates skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, crafts, ceramics and graphic design. Create work using tactile and visual textures. Demonstrate safe handling of tools, materials and equipment.
Students create one of a kind art books that were inspired by the Chauvet caves in southern France. Students were asked to search their imaginations, memories and personal history and create symbols that tell their individual stories in order to notice the connections between ancient art makers and contemporary artists.
In conjunction with the music teacher, students create a three dimensional "portrait" of a musical instrument of their choice. Plein air painting inspired by the Park Day campus and the works of Henri Rousseau and his Urban Jungle series. Assemblages inspired by Surrealists.
How can I approach this project with "outside of the box" thinking? How are ideas connected and expressed in works of art? How can I create the illusion of depth in two-dimensional works of art? How has art been changed by technology? How is art persuasive? What principles of design are evident in this work of art? How does media influence meaning? What art vocabulary can I use to describe works of art? How does a work of art evolve as it is made and how can I decide when it is done?
Solve design problems using color relationships selected from the color wheel and use principles of design to express ideas and create images, including proportion, rhythm, balance, emphasis, variety, and unity. Understand and master one-point and two-point perspective to create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional drawing. Use appropriate art media and techniques to create both visual and tactile textures in works of art. Utilize fantasy as a means of expression in works of art. Identify the components of an artist's style, including materials, design, methods, and subject matter. Identify major art movements and relate to changes in science and technology. Examine and discuss the elements of art, the principles of design, art techniques, and art media as they influence meaning in works of art. Identify the relationship between art processes and final solutions. Demonstrate inquiry skills and appropriate art vocabulary for describing, responding to, interpreting and evaluating works of art.
In conjunction with language arts teachers, create three dimensional illustration inspired by a line of text from their favorite novel. Create art as social protest through a mixed media collage. Render a realistic value study inspired by iconic heroes of the 21st century. Paint an interpretation of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" utilizing color theory, perspective and painting techniques. Using collographic printmaking creates a series of images inspired by the flora found on the Park Day campus.
How is my sense of self-identity changing? How is this represented in my art? How can different people interpret messages in art at different times of their life? How can messages of art be interpreted differently among differing cultures? What does art convey about culture? How is the perception and interpretation of art changed by the viewer? How is art a reflection of a historical period or event? What my artistic problem solving style? Who is the target audience for specific works of art? Can art represent complex contradictions? What abstract concepts can I incorporate into my art? What kinds of art do I appreciate?
Recognize, distinguish and appreciate art and cultural influences of different cultures and historical periods. Analyze, compare, interpret, and evaluate art of self, other students and major artists. Practice art as contemporary artists do, creating work based on critical social themes and visual culture. Identify universal themes from visual culture. Identify and describe elements and principles in the visual arts. Develop aesthetic values and the technical skills needed to perceive and interpret visual images in various media through realism and imagination. Build a sound foundation in the language of visual expression through learning and experiencing the art elements and principles of design. Use the design process and creative problem solving to see connections beyond the art studio. Recognize, distinguish and appreciate art and cultural influences of different cultures and historical periods. Develop a portfolio for application to visual arts programs and careers in art.
Small-scale three-dimensional self-portraits based upon the work of Canadian artist Jeffrey Farmer. Shallow relief inside a box using only a natural object (cardboard) and a rubber glove inspired by a famous Picasso's surrealist sculpture. Group graphic novel. Large-scale realist portrait created of individual mosaic-like tiles. Warhol-style pop art color prints of ordinary objects. Unique graffiti name tag inspired by Keith Haring.
What does my singing voice sound like? What does my speaking voice sound like? What is a steady beat? What is percussion? What is a xylophone? What is bubble space? What is the walking beat? Jogging beat? Giant steps beat? Skipping beat? What is percussion? What are the four tribes of percussion? What is a quarter note? What songs come from West Africa? From India? From the United States?
Kindergarten students are introduced to music and movement with the same playful sense they already bring to their learning. Songs, speech, nursery rhythms, games and stories are an integral part of their activities; they explore various percussion instruments and are introduced to the families of xylophones.
Voice: Discriminate between high and low pitch, singing vs. speaking and opposite qualities (loud/soft, fast/slow, staccato/legato, etc).
Rhythm: Steady beat, echo clapping, speech-derived rhythms and simple rhythms with voice and body percussion are explored.
Movement: Explore wide range of locomotor movements [walk, run, tiptoe, giant steps, skip, gallop, etc.] and non-locomotor movements (swing, shake, sway, etc). while maintaining personal body space throughout music class.
Instruments: Become familiar with percussion instruments & introduction to xylophones.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Identifying steady beat, quarter notes and quarter rests and identifying and naming four categories of percussion.
Cultural Unit: Songs and games from around the world, story plays.
Monchy the music mouse (echo singing story); Percussion play using the story about the Giant; "Che Che Kule" from West Africa (using percussion and voice); song for Diwali and a Winter Song of light; "Peas Porridge Hot" nursery rhyme with vocal qualities; cup music notation; playing movement games (freeze into shapes, move to various beats).
When do I use my singing voice vs. my speaking voice? What is sol-mi and la? What is a quarter note and quarter rest? What is a folk dance? What songs come from West Africa? From India? From the United States? From other parts of the world?
First grade musicians continue the discovery of recognition in music: patterns in rhythms various beats, melodies tempo and texture. They also begin to name things in music (for example, calling the walking beat quarter notes, naming sol-mi and la notes and recognizing them in a melody). Students dive into playing the barred instruments, and also begin "writing" music with props.
Voice: Learn to match pitch and gain confidence in singing voice, occasionally sing alone.
Rhythm: Pat, stamp, walk and clap on the beat; name the beat and "write" the beat with props, then rhythm notation. Introduction to quarter notes and quarter note rests.
Movement: Move whole body or isolated parts to the beat and create gestures, listening for cues in music and beginning folk dances.
Instruments: Categorize un-pitched percussion in four families (skin/drum, metal, shaker, wood) and introduction to the barred instruments, including mallet technique and instrument identification.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Write quarter notes and quarter rests with props and rhythm notation. Identify sol, mi and la (G/E/A) in songs and begin to memorize hand motions for solfege.
Cultural Unit: Songs, games and dances from around the world.
Monchy the music mouse (echo singing story); Percussion play using the story about the Giant; "Che Che Kule" from West Africa (using percussion and voice); song for Diwali; "Peas Porridge Hot" and "Intery Mintery" nursery rhyme with vocal qualities; cup music notation; the "opposites game" where students learn qualities and texture of voice (both chanting and singing); playing movement games (freeze into shapes, move to various beats); xylophone orchestra playing-using songs to tell stories while playing on the barred instruments.
What is a pentatonic scale? How do I write out an eight note? What are Chinese percussion instruments? How does a lion dance for Chinese New Year? What kinds of songs and did African American kids make up? What are notes? What is a melody? What are the names of the notes?
Second graders continue to explore music and movement, only with more sophistication and with the support of verbal and visual representation. Students begin to distinguish between major and minor melodies and transfer rhythms from their voices to movement, percussion and xylophone.
Voice: Full pentatonic scale (Do-Re-Mi-Sol-La): , singing and use of symbolic notation for pitches (higher and lower placement, hand and body signs etc.); recognition of major and minor melodies and beginning singing the blues (introduction to blues melody).
Rhythm: Transfer speech-derived, rhythm to the instruments (un-pitched and barred) and basic notation representation through objects, and abstract written symbols.
Movement: Experience large group folk dances and develop expressive movement skills (concepts of weight, level, direction, duration, etc.).
Instruments: Developed technique in playing a variety of percussion instruments and xylophones.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Introduction to triple meter; write out quarter note, quarter rest and eighth notes; differentiate between rhythm and steady beat; knowledge of full pentatonic scale (do-re-mi-sol-la); use symb, olic notation for pitches; , learn letter names for pitches.
Cultural Unit: Chinese Lion Dance for Lunar New Year; African-American songs and music games.
Singing with "Sol" and "Mi" the singing bears; using the first letter of our names to improvise; moving to and from home place, playing with rhythmic phrases in movement; Chinese Lion dancing and Chinese Luogu percussion ensembles; Singing in Spanish for Dia de los Muertos & in honor of Cesar Chavez; Folk dances from Europe; Afro-American songs, games and dances.
How do I sing and sign in solfedge? What is melody? How do I write a half note, whole note and triplet? What does a 16 beat phrase feel like in movement? How can I express that phrase? What is a recorder? What is technique? What is embouchure? Can I indentify instruments from Mexico? What instruments are native to the Americas?
Third graders explore the joy of improvisation, with a focus on more complex ensemble work. Distinguishing between duple and triple meter is an important focus. Students take additional music classes during the week to study their first instrument: recorder.
Voice: Reinforce recognition, sign, ing (solfege) and singing of pitches, and singing in rounds, introduce harmonic singing.
Rhythm: Continue work with quarter, quarter rest and eighth notes, plus introduce half, whole notes and triplets.
Movement: Continue developing vocabulary for expressive movement. Complexity of movement increases: complex improvisational movements and choreography, with students playing music for movers, etc.
Instruments: Increase ensemble work in improvisation and set pieces, plus introduction to the recorder: exploration of the basic techniques and beginning notes on the soprano recorder (during the spring semester)
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: melodic notation through recorder study.
Cultural Unit: Native American Music & South American music.
Name game using various numbers of beats to learn people's names; Percussion ensembles (using a lot of improvisation); Home note/ home place improvisation (moving in time and coming back to one's "home place" within a specific unit of beats, transferring the concept to xylophones; musicians playing for dancers, dancers playing for musicians; cup rhythm notation (students create own phrases); Cho-co-la-te chant and music activity from South America; Singing in Spanish for Dia de los Muertos & in honor of Cesar Chavez; Folk dances from Europe; West African, Mexican, South American and Native American songs.
What is harmony? What is two and three part harmony? What is a meter? How do I express � time in movement? What is clave? What is a polka? What is multi-part singing and playing? How many words can I spell with the note names on the xylophone? Can I sing all the note names and play xylophone at the same time? What is a chord? What is a triad? What is a chord progression? What does "taiko" mean in Japanese?
Building upon their musical foundation, fourth grade musicians review music and movement concepts, refine their experiences and continue to explore the world in music.
Voice: Work on singing with two and three part harmony.
Rhythm: New rhythmic skill introducing a variety of new and familiar meters (2/4, 3/4, 4/4 time) and the performance of music with multiple rhythmic textures and playing with clave rhythm. Continue to work with rhythm notation and introduce triplets and dotted notes.
Movement: Folk dances with more complicated steps are introduced.
Instruments: Each student holding own musical part in ensemble playing.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Identify notes on xylophone, spell words, play the phrases. Work with musical vocabulary such as the following: chord, triads, chord progression.
Cultural Unit: Square dancing and Polkas for Gold Rush and Japanese music and movement.
"The Banana Song" from Central America (clave, chord progression and triads discussed in learning the song/xylophone piece); Spanish ranchero song "Adios Amores" (singing in two part harmony); Home note/ home place and transferring the concept to xylophones; cup rhythm notation (students create own phrases); Japanese Taiko drumming.
What are poly-rhythms? How do I lead singing? What is 6/8 rhythms? What is the African Diaspora? What is Afro-Latin music? Can I hear a chord progression in a song? Can I identify in a piece of music a I, IV, V, IV Chord progression? How do I learn how to play the drum set?
Fifth grade musicians master and name the basic skills and dive deeper into traditions from Africa and the Diaspora.
Voice: Students continue to work in choral work-expand multi-part singing. Students sing more complex songs in Spanish and African languages. Students begin to lead singing at All School Sing.
Rhythm: Further study and performance of meters, including 6/8, and notated syncopation and clave rhythm. Study and performance of poly-rhythms through percussion ensemble work.
Movement: Review and master the body of folk dances learned in subsequent years.
Instruments: Begin to foster student's independence for creating arrangements in ensemble work-student led arrangements. Begin drum set playing.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Identify the following: chord, triads and chord progression. Notate syncopated and clave rhythms.
Cultural Unit: African music in the Diaspora (i.e. jazz, Afro-Cuban).
"Louie, Louie" and a study of its roots in mambo music; chord progression and triads; Home note/ home place movement; drum set lessons; "Now I Walk in Beauty/Camino en la Belleza": sung in a round, students create rhythm landscape; Dia de los Muertos game (song and movement); "Chocolate" game as it relates to multiple intelligence and music; 6/8 songs on xylophone; "Al Citron" the cup game from Mexico, transfer to xylophone and notate; calypso percussion study.
How can I analyze a song? What are the chord progressions? How can I improvise a solo? How do I write a song? What makes a successful song?
Six graders get to help decide what to study in music class, based on their annual project. They also work on composing, accompanying and arranging the music. They participate in the annual Family Winter Sing (a special PDS event in December).
Voice: Students continue choral work-expand multi-part singing and take on solo, duet or smaller ensemble work.
Rhythm: Further development of ensemble playing, including guitar, keyboards and drums in ensemble playing.
Movement: Review expressive movement.
Instruments: Continue to foster student's independence for creating arrangements in ensemble work-student led arrangements.
Theory/Musical Vocabulary: Continue to learn vocabulary that governs popular music (verse, chord, bridge) to prepare us for an introduction songwriting in the spring.
Cultural Unit: Sub-Saharan Africa, India and contemporary music (USA).
Students vote on working on a specific style of popular music, followed by music history lesson surrounding that style; preparation for various performances (2010 project: Family Winter Sing); student leadership in leading and creating music performances and projects.
What musical elements make a song great and can I hear them at work through "active listening"? What are the elements of music and how do they act together to make a song catchy, emotive, more effective? What do I need to know about rhythm, melody and harmony in order to be a confident musician and composer? How can these skills apply to any instrument I choose to play? Can I hear the distance between two notes in a melody? Can I recognize and perform a variety of essential rhythms? Can I hear the difference between major and minor tonalities? How deeply can I practice the application of these skills by performing? Do I feel comfortable reading and writing music notation?
As a Seventh Grade musician, I begin to formalize my musical understanding, having been exposed to a variety of music across cultures. Now I start to analyze the rhythms, melodies and harmonies of more familiar music from the Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop and R&B traditions. I begin the practice of "ear training", learning to hear syncopated rhythms, the distance ("interval") between notes, the difference between major and minor harmonies. I also begin a serious exploration of music notation, as a critical skill for advanced study and a necessity for high school band programs.
As a practical application of my new music skills and understanding, I focus on performing a several pieces of culturally important music with my class - in particular, songs of social justice. By studying these songs deeply, and performing them in class, I learn how their particular use of rhythm, melody and harmony creates a deep emotional impact. In this way, I begin to explore music as a practical vehicle to express my feelings about the world in which we live, and my hope for a better world.
How can I take my musical skills to the next level? Do I understand the process of "loop practicing", and how it can help me perfect my performance of new phrases or patterns? Am I able to hear and play all intervals within the octave? Do I understand the basics of scales and how three- and four-note chords are formed? Do I have a basic understanding of 20th century American music history, and the foundations for Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk, R&B and Hip Hop music? Do I feel comfortable reading and writing music notation, and how can I develop greater literacy? How can I apply my new skills to deepen the emotional impact of the music I perform, or the songs I compose? How is music recorded, and what are the specific steps in this process?
As an Eighth Grade musician, I continue mastery of the structural elements of a song and dig deeper into my analytical and performance skills. Using ear training software, I continue to train my ear to hear intervals within the octave, and use "subdivision" to hear and perform even more complicated rhythms. I apply my new skills consistently, performing songs that contain challenging rhythms and/or unfamiliar harmonies. I learn to workshop unfamiliar parts of a song, using "loop practicing" to fine-tune my performance and perfect new skills quickly. I also expand my music notation literacy to include dotted notes, ties, accents, and odd time signatures. I also begin to explore the process of recording music, touching the surface of a new application for my musical skills and understanding.
Continuing to apply my new skills and understanding, I practice and perform new and challenging pieces of social justice music, on Orff instruments as well as the familiar instruments from modern popular music. As a class, we creatively rearrange and re-orchestrate the songs to make our frequent public performances more vibrant and unique. As a class project, we begin the process of recording a performance of our music, experiencing the detailed steps that go into making a great studio track.
Children have class twice weekly in single class groups for 45 minutes. The class is a movement and dance format specially designed for children this age with a specially trained dance teacher. Mid-year, kindergarteners are occasionally invited to participate with the first graders in the regular physical education program to help them transition to more active play.
What will we do in movement class? How do I balance and control my body? What are the names of the parts of my body? How can I move just one part of my body? How can I mirror a friend's movement? What do I notice when others perform? How can I show my ideas with my body? How can I work with others to create a dance?
Creativity, equity and a sense of the individual as a part of the classroom community is encouraged through movement and dance. This extends beyond motor development, as children are encouraged to make connections between language, expression, and culture. Children are encouraged to build self-control and risk-taking to build their confidence and skills. We work toward individual children developing an awareness and knowledge of his/her body, followed by exploration with open-ended and expressive activities. Other elements of class are composition and presentation.
Five to six year olds are working on developing concepts, team work and cooperation, focus and self and body control. They learn to combine movement elements and to hold a shape or stance. Dance and body vocabulary is introduced. Cooperative work includes mirroring or shadowing, creating and copying patterns, and observation skills. They identify and name what they are doing, which increases their dance language, and allows them to explore movement more complexly.
Children have class twice weekly in whole grade (double class) groupings.
What is my role in the game? What is the goal? How can I help make this game be fun for everyone? What do I need to do to play? How can I include others?
Inclusion and participation are defined and taught, with modeling and support from classroom teachers. Concepts of safe group play, fairness and cooperation are integrated into all activities. Children are encouraged to conceptualize the goals and outcomes, rules and play procedures. The chief goal is happy, productive play for everyone. Children are supported to be attentive and focused, and to exhibit joyful participation and inclusion. Physical education is an opportunity for children to grow and develop physically while fostering positive self-esteem and identity as a member of a group.
The program capitalizes on all-group, full participation games. They are recreational and cooperative in nature and are played on our soft turf field or on sand. Children are given opportunities to enter comfortably into the game and to exit and re-enter as necessary to build confidence and understanding. Games incorporate running, chasing, dodging, cooperating, hiding, kicking, throwing, and staying alert as the game and opportunities and strategies unfold for oneself and others. They are designed to enhance body and muscle control, balance, physical coordination and skill development.
How can I be a good team member? How can I encourage my team and classmates? What strategy can I use to capture others? How fast can I run and turn? How can we work together as a team? What do I do if I don't understand a game? How does my participation affect my team? How can I play fairly? How can I be a good sport when winning or losing?
Inclusion and participation are further defined and taught. Games and activities from the previous year are reintroduced and further developed with children adding ideas for variations on the play. Concepts of safe group play and cooperation are integrated into all activities. Children are encouraged to conceptualize the goals and outcomes, rules, play procedures and to discover increasingly complex strategies. The chief goal is happy, productive play for everyone. Children are supported to be attentive and focused, and to exhibit joyful participation and inclusion. Games are designed so there is always an opportunity to reenter a game if one is captured or out. Physical education is an opportunity for children to grow and develop physically while fostering positive self-esteem and identity as a member of a group. Concepts of fairness, and being a good sport and ally are addressed when needed both individually and through group discussion.
Games continue to incorporate many opportunities for a high degree of physical play. Activities naturally incorporate running, hiding, chasing and dodging for agility and awareness. Games also focus on cooperating, throwing and kicking and staying alert and turned into the game. All activities are presented to continue to develop agility and body control and management. Some techniques are introduced with hockey sticks and boffo sticks, which help develop hand-eye coordination. Children begin to learn team cooperation and group strategizing.
How am I growing as an athlete? What new skills have I learned? What are my strengths? What ideas can I contribute? How can I support all team members and help them grow as an athlete and team member? How does my participation affect others? When is it important for me to lead? When is it important for me to encourage others to lead?
Games and activities continue to be recreational and promote full participation and inclusion. Class rules and procedures continue to be a primary focus. Group cohesion becomes increasingly important for success. By third grade, many children are playing on teams outside of school, which can create varying interest and skill levels among students. Capabilities and physical self-awareness can often affect performance and involvement. Games are designed to promote equal advantage and opportunity with inclusion and group outcome as the ultimate aim. Games often have multiple roles and responsibilities so that all children feel that they are necessary and integral to the game and the team's success.
Basic physical development continues to be emphasized. Activities naturally incorporate running, hiding, chasing and dodging for agility and awareness. Games also focus on cooperating, throwing and kicking and staying alert and turned into the game. We modify traditional games, such as soccer and hockey, producing hybrid activities that utilize the skills needed for these sports in a less traditional format while giving children more roles to perform. Children are given the opportunity to explore their abilities and perform new tasks. We use a variety of equipment to give children ample opportunity to learn new skills. Games are presented as cooperative and recreational rather than competitive. Children are continually encouraged to add to the rules and procedures to create more opportunities to cooperate as a team and to include everyone, as well as to learn from mistakes and missed opportunities.
Children have class twice weekly, once in whole grade (double class) groupings and once in single class groupings.
How am I changing and growing as an athlete? What new games can I play? What do I need to practice? How can I improve my participation and skill? How can I support my team? What role do I play in my team? How do I contribute to a positive and encouraging sports class for everyone? How can we handle differences of opinion? How is sports class at school different than my team sports outside of school? How do I handle winning, losing and personal disappointments?
Large group double physical education classes continue to focus on group recreational games with full participation and inclusion as the aim. Single class small group classes begin to work on team games with defined skills, techniques and strategies for teamwork. Class rules and procedures continue to be a focus, as the group needs to be cohesive for games to succeed. By fourth grade, many children are already playing on single or multiple teams outside of school, which can create varying interest and skill levels among students, as well as a sense of competitiveness present in team sports. Capabilities and physical self-awareness and self-regulation are stressed and linked to performance and healthy involvement. Games are designed to promote equal advantage and opportunity with inclusion and group outcome as the ultimate aim. Games often have multiple roles and responsibilities so that all children can feel that they are necessary and integral. Group discussion becomes more important to promote self-reflection and a cooperative team spirit. Children contribute to problem solving and solutions to keep play happy for everyone regardless of skill levels and the rate of skill development.
Techniques for developing physical skills are introduced more formally as part of the curriculum. This includes instruction on how to use traditional sports equipment, such as baseball bats, hockey sticks and boffo sticks. It also includes instruction in body mechanics to enhance throwing, catching, kicking and hitting. Team games are introduced, including soccer, baseball, team handball, hockey, boffo ball, and various versions of kickball, dodgeball and some modified versions of basketball and volleyball. The emphasis continues to be on ways to everyone to participate and contribute to the team, so rules are modified to allow for a greater degree of success for all skill and interest levels. Physical development and skills necessary for games continue to be practiced through games rather than more typical drills. This provides more incremental and enjoyable training sessions. For example, we play a soccer "gaga" game and a soccer bowling game, both of which require multiple repetitions of kicking for accuracy and effectiveness. These hybrid games are recreational and help keep intrigue and enjoyment levels high while performing physical tasks.
How am I changing and growing as an athlete? What new games can I play? What skills have I gained or improved? What do I need to practice? How can I improve my participation and skill? How can I support my team? How can I mentor others? What role do I play in my team? How do I contribute to a positive and encouraging sports class for everyone? How can we handle differences of opinion? How is sports class at school different than my team sports outside of school? How do I handle winning, losing and personal disappointments?
Large group double physical education classes continue to focus on group recreational games with full participation and inclusion as the aim. Single class small group classes continue to work on team games with defined skills, techniques and strategies for teamwork. Children are becoming physically and mentally more capable and discussion about strategy and technique with the goal of group success more possible at this age. This is also true of discussion about topics like sports play and fair play and how it effect both oneself and the teamwork necessary for successful play. Class rules and procedures continue to be a focus, with the expectation of personal responsibility and involvement. By fifth grade, children who have been playing on organized teams outside of school are starting to show dramatic skill improvement and become mentors for others and contribute to the team enthusiasm and participation. Teachers create heterogeneous teams for class games so everyone gains from mentorship and fair opportunities for play. Capabilities and physical self-awareness and self-regulation are stressed and linked to performance and healthy involvement. Games are designed to promote equal advantage and opportunity with inclusion and group outcome as the ultimate aim. Games often have multiple roles and responsibilities so that all children can feel that they are necessary and integral. Group discussion becomes more important to promote self-reflection and a cooperative team spirit. Children contribute to problem solving and solutions to keep play happy for everyone regardless of skill levels and the rate of skill development.
As the capabilities of the children advance, so does the discussion about techniques and physical skills. Instruction is included for more traditional games with equipment, such as baseball bat mechanics, correct hockey stick handling, the ability to run, pass, dribble and throw for team handball, and basketball handling, dribbling, passing, and shooting. We continue to work, on concepts of b, ody mechanics to further enhance throwing, catching, kicking and hitting. Soccer skills are incorporated into numerous hybrid soccer games with physical coordination of the lower body is highlighted. The emphasis continues to be on ways to everyone to participate and contribute to the team, so rules are modified to allow for a greater degree of success for all skill and interest levels. Physical development and skills necessary for games continue to be practiced through games rather than more typical drills. This provides more incremental and enjoyable training sessions.
Children have class twice weekly, both in single class size groupings.
How am I changing and growing as an athlete? How are traditional team sports similar and different from recreational games? Where do I need to focus to improve? How can I improve my participation and skill? How can I support my team fairly? What role do I play in my team? How do I contribute to a positive and encouraging sports class for everyone? What strategies can I learn and devise particular to each sport? How can we handle differences of opinion? How is sports class at school different than my team sports outside of school or on Park Day teams? How do I handle winning, losing and personal disappointments and successes? Does my participation vary in our small group classes vs. our larger coed classes?
At this age level, both boys and girls are apt to show a great interest in playing organized games together. Children are used to a high level of participation during their recess and lunch times, and this leads to a desire to play more traditional games during physical education class. Soccer, basketball, team handball, hockey, and an introduction to volleyball all are a part of the program. We also continue to play many hybrid games based on the traditional sports listed above, with modified rules that enhance interest, develop skills within a game rather than a drill format, and encourage inclusion and more opportunities for participation for all children's interests and skill levels. By sixth grade, both boys and girls are showing the ability to handle complex strategies in their team play. Large group double sports classes still will focus on group recreational games with lots of high energy and intrigue. We use the full playing area for such games since the children are very good runners at this point. Single class, small group classes continue to work on team games with defined skills, techniques and strategies for teamwork. Class rules and procedures continue to be a focus, as the group needs to be cohesive for games to succeed.
Tradition instruction in sports techniques and proper use of equipment continues to be a key focus. Children are apt to show a great deal of ability at this age level. We continue to offer a lot of soccer, and soccer hybrid games, basketball, team handball, hockey, boffo ball, and volleyball. Sixth graders are also given the opportunity to participate and train with the seventh and eighth graders on our Park School teams, which compete with other schools. Techniques for developing physical skills are still discussed in detail and a focus of practice. Many hybrid games encourage body mechanics of throwing, catching, dodging, and kicking. We still instruct on correct use and handling techniques of sports equipment such as baseball bats, hockey sticks and boffo sticks. We also include instruction in body mechanics to enhance throwing, catching, kicking and hitting.
Students have class twice weekly; class size is between 14-18 students and runs for 50 minutes.
Why do I warm-up my body? What do stretching and strengthening exercises do to help my physical fitness? How is increasing my heart rate helping my physical fitness? What role do I play within a team? Why are rules and fair play important to the enjoyment and functioning of the game? What does it mean to transition between offense and defense? How can my team change its strategy to become more successful? What kind of skills or insight do I bring to my team and the game? How does my motivation and understanding of the rules play into my participation during class?
Students really begin to dive into team sports in seventh grade. Throughout the year students begin to notice their role within a team. The benefits of regular physical activity, basic training principles that improve fitness, cardio and respiratory endurance, the role of exercise, strengthening and flexibility are all touched upon. Helping students develop proper attitudes towards winning and losing, sportsmanship and the role of teamwork are heavily emphasized. Strategies for offensive and defensive situations are further encouraged and explored during the seventh grade.
In seventh grade students begin to notice their increase in strength and size. Encouragement of risks in individual skill mastery is encouraged. Communication around team play and strategy is abundant during game time. Sports include team handball, baseball, hockey, basketball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, badminton, soccer, yoga, and cooperative dodgeball.
Student have class twice weekly; class size is between 30 - 35 students with a lead and assistant teacher and runs for 50 minutes. Classes devoted to fitness will represent one third of a student's time in physical education.
Why do I warm-up my body? What do stretching and strengthening exercises do to help my physical fitness? How is increasing my heart rate helping my physical fitness? What role do I play within a team? Why are rules and fair play important to the enjoyment and functioning of the game? What does it mean to transition between offense and defense? How can my team change its strategy to become more successful? What kind of skills or insight d, o I bring to my team and the game? How does my motivation and understanding of the rules play into my participation during class? What sports do I prefer and why? What field positions do I prefer and why?
The eighth graders begin with the benefit of all that they learned the prior year and more rapidly move into team play. They are encouraged to reflect further on themselves as athletes and capitalize on opportunities to take on leadership in sports. The benefits of regular physical activity, basic training principles that improve fitness, cardio and respiratory endurance, the role of exercise, strengthening and flexibility are all touched upon. Helping students develop proper attitudes towards winning and losing, sportsmanship and the role of teamwork are heavily emphasized. Strategies for offensive and defensive situations are further encouraged and explored during the eighth grade.
Encouragement of to take their individual skill mastery further is encouraged. Communication around team play and strategy is abundant during game time. The role of team leadership is explored more in the eighth grade. Sports include team handball, baseball, hockey, basketball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, badminton, soccer, yoga, and cooperative dodgeball.
Why do we learn Spanish? Will learning Spanish be fun?
How do I best learn Spanish? What does Spanish sound like?
Develop listening comprehensions skills by observing or acting out a physical cue or movement. Beginning Spanish vocabulary: greetings, colors and numerals, animals, simple phrases.
Episodes #1&2, Hola Niños, TPRS® methodology (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Includes dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. Latin roots; history, race, and music of Mexico. Indigenous observances of Aztec people (Dias de los Muertos). Latino civil rights activists (Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta).
Hola Niños, Episodios. TPRS® methodology (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Total Physical Response Storytelling: An Introductory Spanish Course for Grades K-3 by Carol Gaab. The Instructor's Notebooks and other TPR® books and games by Ramiro García & James Asher. Puppet shows, games and teacher made materials.
Why do we learn Spanish? Will learning Spanish be fun?
What is my learning style for listening and speaking? What is my learning style for understanding? What Spanish vocabulary can I use to communicate?
Develop listening and speaking comprehensions skills by observing and speaking abut physical cues or movements. Students are lead t, o answer simple and complex yes / no questions about studied vocabulary. Spanish vocabulary: days of the week, food, emotions, greetings, colors and numerals, animals, contextualized phrases.
Episodes #3&4, Hola Niños, TPRS® methodology (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) includes dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. Latin roots; history, race, and music of Mexico. Indigenous observances of Aztec people (Dias de los Muertos). Latino civil rights activists (Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta).
Teacher made resources; Total Physical Response books by Ramiro Garcia & James Asher; "Hola Niño's" curriculum; Total Physica, l Response Story Telling: An Introductory Spanish Course for Grades K-3, by Carol Caab. Spanish storybooks, games and teacher developed materials.
Why is it important to learn Spanish? How are Spanish and English similar and different? Where do Spanish speaking people live in the world? What are some differences among Spanish speaking countries? How do we speak, read and write sentences in Spanish?
Students listen to increasingly complex stories in Spanish, and expand their vocabulary base. Students are lead to answer questions using the targeted, vocabulary in full sentences. Elementary reading and writing projects using newly acquired language. Spanish vocabulary: body parts, adjectives, verbs, days of the week, food, emotions, greetings, colors and numerals, animals, c, ontextualized phrases.
Episodes #5-7, Hola Niños, TPRS® methodology (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) includes dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. Latin roots; history, race, and music of Mexico. Indigenous observances of Aztec people (Dias de los Muertos). Latino civil rights activists (Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta).
Teacher made resources; Total Physical Response books by Ramiro Garcia & James Asher; "Hola Niño's" curriculum; Total Physical Response Story Telling: An Introductory Spanish Course for Grades K-3, by Carol Caab. Spanish storybooks, games and teacher developed materials.
How did I learn English? Why did I learn English? What did learning English help me to do and with whom? If I couldn't hear or speak, how would I communicate?
Why is communication important? What are some ways I transmit a message, if not through words?
Skills and processes as indicated in the TPR Storytelling® methodology. Language acquisition: receptive and expressive skills such as listening, speaking, and reading and writing. G, rammar: conjugation of the singular 3rd person. Explore Identity and different family structures and family vocabulary using the chart "la familia de Luisito" (Property of Total Physical Response®
Episodes #1-2, Cuéntame, TPRS Publishing, Inc. include dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. African roots, history, race, music of Africa. The Tainos in Puerto Rican heritage; Mexican migrants.
Cuéntame, Episodios 1-2, TPRStorytelling® TPRS Publishing, Inc.
Cuéntame Extended Readings, TPR Storytelling® TPRS Publishing, Inc.
The Instructor's Notebook, and other Books and Games by Ramiro Garcia, TPR®
An assortment of children's literature for directed or FVR (Free Voluntary Reading).
Why is it important to learn Spanish? Where do Spanish-speaking people live in the world? How does learning a language help you understand people?
How does language help us connect to others? How are language and culture inseparable? How do people communicate non-verbally across cultures?
Skills and Processes as indicated in the TPR Storytelling® methodology. Language acquisition: receptive and expressive skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar: conjugation of the singular 2nd and 3rd person, common structures, most frequently used verbs, and connector words. Learn vocabulary about the students' daily environments (identities): family, friends, self, possessions, and daily life (food, drink; residence, city/regi, on, etc), stating simple facts about what they do and how they live in Spanish.
Episodes #3-4, Cuéntame, TPRS Publishing, Inc. include dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. African roots, history, race, music of Africa. The Tainos in Puerto Rican heritage; Mexican migrants, undocumented workers, immigration issues.
Cuéntame, Episodios 3-4, TPR Storytelling® TPRS Publishing, Inc.
Cuéntame Extended Readings, TPR Storytelling® , TPRS Publishing, Inc.
El nuevo Houdini, TPRS Publishing, Inc.
The Instructor's Notebook, and other Books and Games by Ramiro Garcia, TPR®
An assortment of children's literature for directed or FVR (Free Voluntary Reading).
Where do Spanish-speaking people live in the world? How does learning a language help you understand people? How does language help us connect to others? How are language and culture inseparable? How does language help us understand how people view their world?
Skills and Processes as indicated in the TPR Storytelling® methodology. Language acquisition: receptive and expressive skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar: conjugation of the singular 1st, 2nd and 3rd person, uses of the possessives, common structures, most frequently used verbs, and connector words. Learn ten questions to speak to people in their language and interview a Spanish speaking person and ask them basic questions about their life; family, place of origin and work. Use the communicative context of "to arrive," "to go," "to work."
Episodes #5-7, Cuéntame, TPRS Publishing, Inc. include dialogues, written exercises and storytelling. African roots, history, race, music of Africa. The Tainos in Puerto Rican heritage; Mexican migrants, undocumented workers, immigration issues. Puerto Rican citizenship and political history with U.S. and Spain.
Cuéntame, Episodios 5-7, TPR Storytelling® TPRS Publishing, Inc.
Cuéntame Extended Readings, TPR Storytelling® , TPRS Publishing, Inc.
Piratas, TPRS Publishing, Inc.
An assortment of children's literature for directed or FVR (Free Voluntary Reading).
How is the Spanish alphabet different from the English alphabet? Will I learn the mechanics of Spanish grammar? How do I use a Spanish/English dictionary? How can a Spanish/English dictionary help me? Am I going to be able to complex write sentences in Spanish?
Spanish instruction increases from two to three days per week and from exclusively TPRS methodology to incorporate other instructional methodologies. Building from previous studies and vocabulary, students develop conversation including extensive family and classroom vocabulary and helpful classroom phrases. Students compare the Spanish and English alphabet. They internalize the different articles and their rules: el, la, los, las, un, una, unos, unas, and rules for making nouns and adjectives plural. Learn pronouns, and review the mechanics of conjugating in present tense -ar,-er and -ir verbs. Introduce the irregular verb Ir (to go); learn how to use a Spanish/English Dictionary.
Spanish is Fun, Wald, read short stories, answer written questions. Emphasis on conjugations, using a grid and other tools. Research traditions celebrated in Mexico relating to Día de los Muertos. Play games, including an outside relay race while conjugating. Create and publish an alphabet book for kindergarten buddies.
Spanish is Fun, Wald. Así Escribimos, Kosnik. Realidades 1A, Prentice Hall.
Will I be able to understand what I read in Spanish? Will I be able to write a story in Spanish? Will I be able to have a conversation about my weekend in Spanish? What is the connection between language and culture? What are the experiences in school for Latino children in United States?
Focus is on conversation and reading and writing comprehension. Write continually for 10 minutes in Spanish every week and chart progress including the number of words written within the time limit. Read Pobre Ana and Patricia va a California. With Realidades 1A, Prentice Hall, students learn and review the pronouns, the mechanics of conjugating regular verbs, irregular verbs in present, imperfect, and preterite tenses. Learn the traditions celebrated in Mexico about Día de los Muertos, how to make papel picado, cempasuchiles, ofrendas.
Every Monday, students have a conversation about their weekend in Spanish and are asked and answer questions in Spanish. Field trip to San Francisco City College to see the Pan Americana Diego Rivera mural; lunch in the Mission district, ordering in Spanish; tour and reflection on the Missions murals. Cross-disciplinary, collaborative project with language arts and art teachers: Frida Kahlo self-portrait study. Students learn about Kahlo's art and life. A self-portrait is painted in Spanish class and Spanish oral and written language is used to describe who they are in that moment of the self-portrait.
In small groups and in collaboration with language arts teacher, students create a three dimensional city--either a utopia or a dystopia. All city structures and areas are labeled in Spanish and students produce oral and written navigation instructions for various focus points in the city.
Pobre Anna, Blain Ray. TPR® methodology. Patricia va a California, Blain Ray. TPR® methodology. Realidades 1A, Prentice Hall.
Focus on conversation and reading and writing comprehension. Write continually for 10 minutes in Spanish every week and count progress including the number and types of words written. Read Casí me muero and ¿Dónde está Eduardo? With Realidades 1B, Prentice Hall, students learn vocabulary centered on time, shopping and travel in preparation for an international trip (see Signature Projects under Learning at Park). Review the mechanics of conjugating regular verbs, irregular verbs in present, imperfect and, preterite tense. Reflective tense is introduced. Learn the traditions celebrated in Mexico about Día de los Muertos, including making papel picado, cempasuchiles, and ofrendas.
Every Monday, students have a conversation about their weekend in Spanish and are asked and answer questions in Spanish. Ongoing pen-pal project with the Chumpepokes School in Peru--a Quechua speaking community. Letters are written in Spanish about school life, learning a new language and things shared in common among the students. While on a field trip to the Fruitvale district, students take Spanish lessons in making Mexican artisan ice cream and making Mexican bread. Students create their own Spanish lesson plans and teach in Spanish through the Paso a Paso (step by step) project. Student use presentation boards, powerpoints and props to outline the materials, ingredients, and instructions in Spanish. Examples of past projects include lessons in origami, making chocolate cake, cartoon drawing and making a salad. Cross-disciplinary collaboration with drama, art, and language arts teachers to create an interactive Ofrenda. Students dramatize and describe people they choose to honor during the Día de los Muertos / Days of the Dead. Geography project to research three Spanish-speaking countries and create postcards from each city with detailed Spanish descriptions of their travels. Research is shared through an oral presentation and Spanish travel brochure. Students answer questions orally on topics such as population, currency, history, culture and food.
Casi me muero, Blain Ray. TPR® methodology. Donde esté Eduardo, , Blain Ray. TPR® methodology. Realidades 1B, Prentice Hall.
How does my body feel? (hungry, thirsty, tired, etc.?) What feelings have I
experienced? What feelings can I name? How am I feeling now? What "picks me
up?" What is easy/hard for me?
Do I take care of my belongings? What do I need to stay in my "bubble
space?" What do I need to do my work? (Headphones? Visual timer? Sit alone
spot?) Can I state my needs?
Can I "read my friend's face?" Can I include a friend? How are we alike and
different? How can I help my class community? (jobs, helpers, friends,
allies) How can I show appreciation of my friend(s)?
Do I notice what is happening around me? How do the choices I make affect
those around me? How do I problem-solve with friends? (I statements. . . )
Do I stretch myself to include others in play and new ideas in learning? Do
I "stretch my brain and heart?"
We are all friends. We can be allies to each other. We greet each other and
make eye contact with the people we are talking to. We use "I" statements
to solve problems. We practice "mindfulness" and take "mindful" moments. We
share appreciations. If we see a problem, we can do something about it.
Weekly job as daily "Greeter," mindfulness daily, playground debriefs
daily, "Feelings" vocabulary development (writing about our experience with
different feelings; happy, sad, lonely, frustrated, proud, excited,
nervous, content or peaceful, etc.), book readings and discussions relating
to social emotional topics and "changemakers," our Family unit for getting
to know each other, examining "Needs" versus "Wants" in conjunction with
Empty Bowls Day,
Mindfulness Curriculum (Mindful Schools), Omnibus Guidelines K-5, Yardsticks by Chip Wood, Belonging by Mona Halaby,
Various trade books (
Bad Case of Stripes, Franklin in the Dark, Badger's Bad Mood, How to Be
a Friend, A Quiet Place, Madie's Fridge
, "Changemaker" biographies and more)
How am I feeling? What things do I have a lot of experience with? What are
some things I am working on and need help with? Do I think before I act?
What are the consequences for my actions?
What are some things I can do when I feel frustrated or have a problem?
What can I do to help my community? What steps can I take when I have a
need, a goal or a task to complete? What is happening around me? Do I take
care of my belongings?
How is my friend feeling? Can I read a friend's face and body language? How
am I the same as my friends, and how am I different? What do I appreciate
about my friends?
Do I participate in problem solving with my classmates? If so, how
do I help friends in my community? Do I take what I have learned about
others, and apply it in other situations? Do I try my best to solve
problems with friends?
If you see a problem, DO something about it! Use "I" statements-- how are
you feeling and what do you need? Sharing appreciations with one another.
There are many different ways to repair a problem.
Class meetings once a week. Daily mindfulness practice. Book readings and
discussions relating to social emotional topics. Family unit for getting to
know each other and appreciating family traditions and make up. Examining
"Needs" versus "Wants" and donation of food items to local families in
by Barbara Shookhazen, Yardsticks by Chip Wood, Belonging
by Mona Halaby
How do I identify and communicate how I am feeling? How can I be a friend
and ally? How can I use my words and actions to be more inclusive?
What are the ways I can handle conflicts constructively? What tools and
strategies can I use to help with self-regulation? What can I do to take
responsibility for my actions, even when it's hard?
In what ways do I demonstrate an understanding that everyone is different
and has different needs? How do I show patience when waiting my turn? How
can I work with others and listen to their ideas? Do I know how to "read"
How can I contribute thoughtfully and positively to my community? How am I
aware of my tone and voice when I communicate my thoughts and ideas? How am
I mindful of the impact of my actions, words and body language?
How do I handle conflicts: Do I know how to get help from my friends, or
help them when they need it? How can I use class meetings to help me use my
voice, help me build more empathy, and to listen attentively? How can I
show gratitude and appreciation when others share their skills, stories and
talents with my community?
Ally, Friendship, I-message, Inclusion/Exclusion, Respect, Appreciation,
Class meeting, Morning Meeting routines, daily mindful moment,
student-generated role-plays to teach social skills, appreciations as a
routine for building self-esteem and for developing empathy/gratitude
Responsive Classroom, Belonging: Creating Community in the Classroom by Mona Halaby,
MOSAIC Project, various picture books such as
A Bad Case of Stripes, How Full is Your Bucket?, Master of Mindfulness,
Weslandia, Last Stop on Market Street, Tight Times
What space and tools support my learning? How can I be aware of my needs as
a learner/friend? Can I identify a range of emotions? Can I learn from
mistakes and trusts that they help me grow?
How can I practice self-control in my relationships and my learning? What
tools do I need to help me reflect on areas for future growth? What can I
use to help me keep track of, and care for my personal belongings? How do I
recover from adversity? How can I demonstrate impulse control?
What do I do to show empathy for others? How can I demonstrate my ability
to compromise? How do I show a genuine appreciation? In what ways do I
How do I accept responsibility for my actions? What strategies can I use to
solve conflicts constructively? What can I do to maximize my participation
in classroom activities by making good choices? How can I work
collaboratively on a project and take everyone's opinion into account?
In what ways do I treat others with consideration and respect? How do I
solve my interpersonal conflicts? What tools do I use? How can I be a
leader to model mature behavior to those younger than us at school? What
can I do to notice the emotions of others around me?
Inclusion, Respect, Appreciation, Empathy, Flexibility, Self-control,
Perspective taking, "Do you want to solve it?"
Class meetings, Self-evaluations, Written reflections, Classroom
Positive Discipline, Responsive Classroom, Belonging: Creating Community in the Classroom by Mona Halaby
How do I identify what I am feeling and needing? How can I be aware when I
am using a fixed mindset as opposed to a growth mindset? How can I approach
my learning with a growth mindset? Can I identify when I am in my comfort,
stretch, or rip zone? What tools do I need to do my best learning?
What strategies can I use to be an independent problem solver? Do I
remember to raise my hand before sharing an idea? Can I practice stopping,
cooling off, and taking a deep breath when I'm starting to feel frustrated
How can I practice using my I-statements independently? How can I honor all
diverse voices, ideas, and perspectives? How can I empathize with differing
ideas, perspectives, and emotions?
How can I attempt to compromise in a calm and respectful manner? How can I
take responsibility for my actions and be aware that my actions impact
Do I try to independently resolve a conflict with others? Do I practice
attentive listening while working in small groups? Do I engage
cooperatively in order to complete a task in groups?
Recognizing and naming feelings and needs. What does it mean to be an ally?
Friendship, I-statements, inclusion/exclusion, mutual respect, gratitude,
attentive listening, empathy, communication skills, assertiveness,
self-advocacy, character strengths/life skills, growth and development,
racial identity, gender Identity
Growth Mindset videos, Growth Mindset language sorts, Growth Mindset art
activity, class meetings/whole 4th grade meetings, Morning Meeting
routines, mindfulness, mindfulness of Competition lesson, mindfulness
games, role-plays, Periodic Table of Character Strengths, Non Violent
Communication cards, Non Violent Communication worksheets, Non Violent
Communication modeling and examples in whole class novels, character
strength & life skills modeling through picture books, I-statements,
Mosaic values, Mosaic songs/lyrics, Comfort/Stretch/Rip Zone lessons,
Music/Art Feeling activity, Quick Writes, Internal/External Identity
Lesson, Internal/External Identity Partner Portraits
Non Violent Communication
by Marshall Rosenberg; Non Violent Communication GROK cards; MOSAIC
Project; Carol Dwek & Jo Bowler Growth Mindset Resources;Claiming Face by Maya Christina Gonzalez; Responsive Classroom; Tribes; Yardsticks by Chip Wood; various
picture books, The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Thinking,
How can I recognize, communicate, and understand my emotions? How are my
emotions linked my behavior? Can I recognize when I need to "reset" to help
regulate my emotions? What are the personal qualities and skills that I can
contribute to build a stronger class community? What personal skills and
interests would I like to work to develop, and what steps do I need to take
to achieve my goals?
How can I recognize the intensity of my emotions and impulses what tools
help me regulate them? How can I use emotional awareness to make a positive
choice with regard to resolving a problem? How does a positive attitude
contribute to my level of engagement and success?
How can I show empathy and be an ally for my peers? What message does my
tone, body language, and facial expression send to others? How can I work
cooperatively with others to accomplish a goal?
How can I participate in effective group decision making? How can I balance
my personal opinion with the ideas of others to come to a group decision?
How can I give authentic and specific appreciation to others? How can I
handle conflicts using the five tools for conflict resolution (stop,
listen, talk, empathize, plan)? How can I use class meeting discussions to
address issues affecting the class and the school community?
Do I show genuine encouragement and appreciation to others? Do I recognize
and respond to relational aggression, with myself or others?
Five Tools for Conflict Resolution - Stop, listen, talk, empathize, plan;
ally; I-message; inclusion; respect; appreciation; passive; assertive;
aggressive (differentiation); relational aggression; attentive listening;
empathy; stereotype; prejudice; discrimination
Class management jobs, personal goal setting and review, daily mindful
moment, five-fingers consensus gauge for decision-making, student-generated
role-plays to teach social skills, student-led class meetings following a
predictable format with agenda topics submitted by students, regular
personal written reflections, rubrics for evaluating effective and
responsible group work, appreciations as a routine part of class meetings
Positive Discipline in the Classroom,
Responsive Classroom, MOSAIC Project
How can I describe a range of emotions and the situations that cause them?
How can I describe and demonstrate ways to express emotions in a socially
acceptable manner? How can I notice when I am using a fixed mindset as
opposed to a growth mindset? How can I approach my learning with a growth
How can I describe personal skills and interests that I want to develop?
How can I explain how the adults around me can support school success and
responsible behavior? How can I set goals and work towards achieving them?
How can I monitor my progress on achieving a short-term personal goal? How
can I respond productively to the feelings and needs of myself and my
How can I identify verbal, physical, and situational cues that indicate how
others may feel? How can I describe and honor the expressed feelings and
perspectives of others?
How can I demonstrate the ability to respect the rights of self and others?
How can I demonstrate knowledge of how social norms affect decision-making
and behavior? How can I identify and apply the steps of systematic
decision-making? How can I generate alternative solutions and evaluate the
consequences for a range of academic and social situations? How can I
identify and perform roles that contribute to the school community?
How can I identify differences among and contributions of various social
and cultural groups? How can I demonstrate how to work effectively with
those who are different from myself? How can I describe approaches for
making and keeping friends? How can I contribute to and work effectively in
groups? How can I describe causes and consequences of conflicts? How can I
apply constructive approaches to resolving conflicts?
A Park Day graduate is a Changemaker who is curious, has integrity, is
engaged, is kind, is courageous. Reset, resilience, Growth Mindset,
decision-making, planning ahead, values, relationships, boundaries,
perspective taking, stress management, thoughts and emotions, conflict,
inclusivity, cause and effect, bullying and upstanding, harassment,
Advisory program, daily greetings, circles of power and trust, scaffolded
advisory shares and discussions, group building and group growth activities
within advisory program, scaffolded public peer acknowledgements, personal
goal setting and review, sign language letters as silent communication
tools so that students can strategize and support uninterrrupted learning
in the classroom environment, "New Eyes" appreciations, ropes course, open
workshop with student-chosen projects, regular personal and academic
Developmental Designs Program, SEEDS, Soul Shoppe Program, The Advisory Book by Linda Crawford, Westminster Woods Challenge
Course, Violence Prevention Educator Zephira Derblich-Milea
How can I analyze factors that create stress or motivate successful
performance? How can I apply strategies to manage stress and to motivate
successful performance ?
How can I analyze how personal qualities influence choices and successes?
How can I analyze how making use of adults can contribute to school and
life success? How can I set a short-term goal and make a plan for achieving
it? How can I analyze why I achieved or did not achieve a goal? How can I
support the feelings and needs of my classmates?
How can I predict others' feelings and perspectives in a variety of
situations? How can I analyze how my behavior may affect others?
How can I evaluate how honesty, respect, fairness, and compassion enable me
to take the needs of others into account when making decisions? How can I
analyze reasons for school and societal rules? How can I analyze how
decision-making skills improve study habits and academic performance? How
can I evaluate strategies for resisting pressures to engage in unsafe or
unethical activities? How can I evaluate my participation in efforts to
address an identified school need? How can I evaluate my participation in
efforts to address an identified need in the local community?
How can I explain how individual, social, and cultural differences may
increase vulnerability to bullying and identify ways to address it? How can
I analyze the effects of taking action to oppose bullying based on
individual and group differences? How can I analyze ways to establish
positive relationships with others? How can I demonstrate cooperation and
teamwork to promote group effectiveness? How can I evaluate strategies for
preventing and resolving interpersonal problems? How can I define unhealthy
peer pressure and evaluate strategies for resisting it?
Advisory program, daily greetings, circles of power and trust, scaffolded
advisory shares and discussions, group building and group growth activities
within advisory program, minicourses, personal goal setting and review,
river rafting, regular personal and academic written reflections.
Developmental Designs Program, SEEDS, Soul Shoppe Program, The Advisory Book by Linda Crawford
How can I analyze how thoughts and emotions affect decision-making and
responsible behavior? How can I generate ways to develop more positive
How can I set priorities in building on strengths and identifying areas for
growth? How can I analyze how positive adult role models and support
systems contribute to school and life success? How can I identify
strategies to make use of resources and overcome obstacles to achieve
goals? How can I apply strategies to overcome obstacles to goal
How can I analyze similarities and differences between my own and others'
perspectives? How can I use conversation skills to understand others'
feelings and perspectives?
How can I demonstrate personal responsibility in making ethical decisions?
How can I evaluate how social norms and the expectations of authority
influence personal decisions and actions? How can I evaluate personal
abilities to gather information, generate alternatives, and anticipate the
consequences of decisions? How can I apply decision-making skills to
establish social and work relationships? How can I plan, implement, and
evaluate my participation in activities that improve school climate? How
can I plan, implement, and evaluate my participation in a group effort to
contribute to the local community?
How can I analyze the origins and negative effects of stereotyping and
prejudice? How can I demonstrate respect for individuals from different
social and cultural groups? How can I evaluate the effects of requesting
support from and providing support to others? How can I evaluate my
contribution in groups as a member and leader? How can I analyze how
listening and talking accurately help in resolving conflicts? How can I
analyze how conflict-resolution skills contribute to work within a group?
Advisory program, daily greetings, circles of power and trust, scaffolded
advisory shares and discussions, group building and group growth activities
within advisory program, Spanish immersion international trip, personal
goal setting and review, regular personal and academic written reflections,
high school preparation process, graduation preparation process.
How can I use traditional technology to change and create with wood?
How is a plan a tool?
How do the properties of wood direct how it may be used?
How can I be safe with and supportive of my peers in the workshop?
What are the properties of materials that float and sink?
What are the properties of wood, and how do they affect how we use it?
How do we draw and write a plan for something we want to make?
How and why do we use measuring tools?
Students design and build a wooden boat model in order to demonstrate their
understanding of making a plan; balance, symmetry and measurement;
the properties of wood and craftsmanship; foundational building skills.
How can I use traditional technology to change and create with different
types of materials?
How does a material's properties direct how it may be used? How do I choose
what material to use for a project?
How does taking something apart help me to understand how it works? How
might its parts become something new?
How can I use my design and build skills to prototype solutions to real
How can I ask for and give support to my peers?
How can I learn about and understand others' needs in order to make
something to support them?
What makes a community? Introduction to technology and how things are made:
mechanical, electrical and electronic objects. What ideas do we have for
solving a real world problem? How do designers, builders and engineers
Explore the concept of community through designing and building a cardboard
"Open": Explore the parts, purposes, and materials of an everyday household
If you see a problem, do something about it!: Repurpose take apart parts
and recycle materials into inventions addressing real world problems.
What kinds of thinking do designers incorporate into their work?
How can I listen for and address someone else's needs?
How do engineers approach design?
How can I use scientific information to inform my design?
How can I use my planning, design and build skills to prototype solutions
to real world problems?
How does building a physical model of something help me understand a
Community and individual needs: Interview, design and build a friendship
space for two classmates.
Balancing Creatures: How might we build a sculpture that balances on one
point, using our learnings about balance, center of gravity and
Coasters: How might we build a roller coaster that demonstrates our
understanding of the behaviors of rolling round objects?
Ancestry boxes: How may I build and add to a box such that it represents my
family ancestry and my understanding of immigration?
How can I physically interact with the computer using new technologies?
How does electricity work? How is electricity present in our world?
How can I use electrical engineering in a project?
What is a system? How am I a part of systems that make up our world?
Community: Who am I in our community? How can I make a physical
representation of the things that are important to me?
Bird Studies: How might we use our understanding of birds and wetland
ecosystems to address the problem of trash in the ocean?
Culminating science project: How can I demonstrate my expert knowledge
about a bird through applying my understanding of electricity and physical
(How can I build a three dimensional prototype to represent a given
How can I share resources to help develop stronger communities?
How can I design and build something useful for my school community?
How can I use workshop technologies to demonstrate my learning?
How can I support my peers within the context of the workshop?
How can I use peer support to help achieve my project goals?
Students collaborate with student partners from Emerson Elementary, a
public school from our neighborhood, to design and build something useful
for both school communities. This partner build project is a collaboration
between the Community Outreach and Service Learning program and the
How can I contribute to the physical infrastructure of my community?
How does the Design Thinking process facilitate design solutions?
How does digital fabrication support design and manufacturing?
How does precision in measurement affect outcome?
Science and math: Design and construct a solar house model which excels in
addressing thermal energy. Model must meet specified dimensions within
Math, 2-D computer design and fabrication, environmental science: Identify,
research and design tree signs for the campus.
How is making a plan a tool?
How is engineering present in design and manufacturing?
What are some advantages and challenges of digital fabrication?
How can I be a leader in helping my team determine a vision and make and
execute a plan?
Math and Science concepts: Average 6th Grader, Lissajous pendulum studies,
music program boom pipes.
Electronics: Using harvested parts from appliances and other machines, and
without applying any direct human force to it, move a ping pong ball 5+
feet across a plain.
Social studies: Ancient River Civilizations: design a museum exhibit that
shares your expert knowledge and that is both interactive and educational
for museum visitors.
Community and campus support: Design and build a middle school gathering
space; Design, build, and process the materials for the Nerdy Derby East
Bay Mini Maker Faire event experience.
How do trees contribute to a healthy environment?
What can I do to help preserve and restore a watershed?
Science: oak woodland habitat study, watershed, properties and uses of wood
Social Studies: communities, interdependence, activism
Students learn about the oak trees and their role within a watershed area.
Students collect acorns and raise oak saplings throughout the year.
Oak saplings are planted in habitat restoration areas in the East Bay and
EBMUD: Watershed Stewardship Program
How can I be an active agent in supporting the lives of people in our
How can I be a responsible citizen in my community?
Social Studies: families, communities, exploring needs vs. wants
Science: nutrition, hygiene
Students learn about and lead campaigns (Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, making
Thanksgiving boxes, collecting items for hygiene kits for the homeless) in
our school community for outside community organizations that support
people in need.
Family Support Services of the Bay Area
Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless
How can I be an active agent in supporting literacy in my community?
How does the access to books impact literacy development?
Social Studies: equity and access
Language Arts: reading and literacy, favorite books and authors
Science: reduce and reuse
Students lead an annual school-wide book drive to collect books for a local
school and/or literacy program.
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland Literacy Coalition
Emerson Elementary School
1951 Coffee Company
How do healthy bird habitats impact the health of an ecosystem?
How can I be an active agent in supporting healthy ecosystems?
Social Studies: Bay Area environmental organizations, regional parks
Science: birds, ecosystems, habitats, food webs
Students volunteer for community organizations that support birds and bird
Golden Gate Audubon Society
Save the Bay
East Bay Regional Parks
Social Studies: Temescal neighborhood history, school communities
Math: measurement, estimation, balance
Students collaborate with student partners from Emerson Elementary, a
public school from the Temescal neighborhood, to design and build something
useful for both school communities. This partner build project is a
collaboration between the Community Outreach and Service Learning program
and the Design ME program.
What is food insecurity? How does food insecurity impact people in our
How do our volunteer efforts contribute to the fight against hunger and
Social Studies: hunger in Alameda County, food insecurity
Students volunteer every 8-10 weeks at the Alameda County Community Food
Bank and help sort fresh produce for the various distribution sites.
Alameda County Community Food Bank
How do parks and green spaces contribute to a healthy community?
How can I help maintain a park/green space within our neighborhood
Social Studies: neighborhood activism, community engagement, urban/open
Science: greenbelts, native/invasive species,
Students volunteer at Frog Park in the Rockridge-Temescal greenbelt.
Students help with park clean-up, ongoing playground equipment care and
stewardship of a butterfly garden 3-4 times throughout the school year
Friends of Frog Park
How can I actively support systems and organizations that help the larger
How do my volunteer efforts contribute to the larger community?
Social Studies: local history, community activism, economic diversity,
environmental justice, education
Science: ecosystems, estuary habitat, native/invasive species
Students volunteer with their advisory group at a community partner site
3-4 times over the course of the school year.
Lake Merritt Institute
Friends of the Cleveland Cascade
social justice, economic diversity, racial justice, local history
: ecosystems, watershed, native/invasive species, habitats, aging,
St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County
Merrill Gardens Senior Living