Elementary Curriculum

Lower Elementary—Grades 1 & 2

The Lower Elementary program at The Spring Hill School is designed to transition the child from the stage of a sensorial relationship with the environment to learning through intelligence and imagination. Primary children say, “Help me do it myself”, and elementary children say, “Help me think for myself.” They are interested in what is fair and just, and are becoming outgoing and social. Their need for organization and routine is replaced with a drive to learn more information.

The role of teachers is to ‘strike the imagination’ and guide discovery. Lessons are given to individuals, small groups, and the whole class. Spring Hill teachers are committed to the success of each child and individualize curricula to appropriately engage and challenge them. Because our school is small by design and our student-teacher ratio is low, social/emotional needs of children are addressed organically during school time as well as through specific components of the curriculum.

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year, and parents also may consult with teachers at any time. We encourage families and caregivers to become involved and there are many ways to participate in our wonderful educational community. Assessments are done three times per year. Teachers work with students on academic and emotional skills for test taking that reduce anxiety and help them understand their role in their own learning.

Curriculum

Reading & WritingHistoryMath & ScienceMusic, Art + SpanishPE, Wellness + Social/Emotional Development
Phonics, reading strategies, fluency + comprehension, elements of a storyLand + water forms, mappingMathematical Mindset & growth mindsetWeekly music classes focus on voice, drumming, rhythm + composition; appreciation study of musicians such as: Mozart, Debussy, Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Aretha FranklinDaily physical education: Individual and team building activities that help students develop skills and confidence, sportsmanship, motor skills, coordination, and risk-taking through physical fitness
Literature circles, Reader's Theater, independent + reading, poetry recitation, music integrationConcepts of timeMathematical Content Standards and Eight Mathematical Practice StandardsWeekly art classes and appreciation study of artists such as: Chagall, Calder, Picasso, Faith Ringold, Monet, Georgia O'KeefeFrequent conferencing to ensure that each child feels safe and valued
The history of writing, handwriting (print + cursive)Fundamental needs of peopleMaking sense of problems + persevere in solving them; use appropriate tools strategicallyDaily Spanish classes focus on speaking, writing, vocabulary, and cultural studyMindfulness classes
Grammar + word studyEarly AmericaAddition, subtraction, place value, multiplication, measurement + geometry“Sing & Speak” Spanish Community meetings, conflict resolution
Handwriting, cursive + printStudy of remarkable peopleSystems in physical, life, earth + space sciences, patterns of light + soundStewardship + care of environment
Journal writing, self-expression, verbal presentation of knowledge + ideasPresidentsLiving + nonliving things, classification, ecology, botany, zoology, interdependence of living things, research projectsService learning
Types of writing: expository, narrative, persuasive, and descriptive writingCivil rightsDesign Thinking: creative problem solving using empathy, creativity, innovation + collaboration

Nutrition, cooking + gardening

Schedule

 MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAY
8:30–8:45Gathering, Singing, MindfulnessAll-School Community Meeting
8:45–9:00Work Period, Small-Group Math Lessons
9:00–9:30Art/Makers
9:30–10:30Science & Geography
10:30–11:00Community CircleScience Experiments
11:00–12:00Spanish/PEMusic/SpanishExtended Work PeriodSpanish/PE
12:00–1:00Lunch
1:00–2:00Language ArtsGardening, Cooking, Sewing, PE
2:00–2:30Story + Dismissal
2:30–3:00Language Arts/Class JobsYoga, Drama, PESpanish/PELanguage Arts/Class JobsClass Job/Weekly Reflections

Upper Elementary—Grades 3 & 4

Students in Upper Elementary are hardworking, industrious, and curious. They are concerned with fairness and justice, global issues, and relationships. At this stage, young learners can concentrate on reading and thinking for long periods of time and enjoy logic and problem solving. To support this important stage of development, the Upper Elementary curriculum and classroom is dynamic, challenging, and engineered with purposeful work in order to help develop confident, caring, and global citizens. Students and teachers collaborate to develop academic and social emotional goals and, as a result, students in Upper El own their education!

Spring Hill teachers are committed to the success of each child and individualize curricula to appropriately engage and challenge students. Because our school is small by design and our student-teacher ratio is low, social/emotional needs of children are addressed organically during school time as well as through specific components of the curriculum.

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year, and parents also may consult with teachers at any time. We encourage families and caregivers to become involved and there are many ways to participate in our wonderful educational community. Assessments are done three times per year. Teachers work with students on academic and emotional skills for test taking that reduce anxiety and help them understand their role in their own learning.

Curriculum

Humanities + LiteracyScience + MakersMathSocial + Emotional DevelopmentSignature Programs
Building a reading life, reading to learn, character studies, comprehension, accuracy, fluency, expanding vocabularyNGSS Science Bundles, garden, integrated arts, research projects, data collection + analysisMathematical Mindset & growth mindsetFrequent conferencing to ensure that each child feels safe and valuedDaily Spanish classes, study of culture
Reading workshop, independent + shared reading, music integrationScience & Makers classes (inspired by Stanford d.school, Design Thinking & scientific inquiry)Abstract + quantitative reasoningMindfulness classesWeekly music classes focus on voice, drumming, rhythm and composition
Opinion, expository, poetry, narrative persuasive essays, historical fiction, journaling, thesis-based essays, research + citationsEvidence of patterns + systems in the natural and designed worldAttention to precisionCommunity meetingsWeekly art classes with comprehensive visual arts curriculum, creative expression, and art appreciation
Writers workshop, Reading without Tears, grammar + word studyLiving things, traits of organisms, survival + habitatMathematical Content Standards and Eight Mathematical Practice StandardsConflict resolutionMakers classes and projects integrate hands and mind with practical and vocational skills such as sewing, weaving, print making, pottery, cooking, metal arts, tinkering, coding, and model making
Speaking + listening, presentation of knowledge + ideasWeather + climate, energy, forces + motion, aquaponicsFour operations, place value, fractions, introduction to decimals, measurement + geometry, statistics, data + probabilityStewardship + citizenshipDaily physical education: Individual and team building activities that help students develop skills and confidence, sportsmanship, motor skills, coordination, and risk-taking through physical fitness
Citizenship, government, California history + geography, local economies, Native Americans, immigration

Schedule

 MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAY
8:00–8:30Indoor/Outdoor Play
8:30–9:00Morning Meeting, Singing, MindfulnessAll-School Community Meeting
9:00–10:30Language Arts/MathLanguage Arts/MathLanguage Arts/MathLanguage Arts/MathLanguage Arts/Social Studies
10:30–11:00PE/Spanish
11:00–12:00PE/SpanishPE/Spanish
12:00–1:00Lunch
1:00–2:00PE/SpanishSTEM/MusicSTEM/ArtPE/SpanishSTEM
2:00–3:00Social StudiesSocial Studies

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