Kindergarten is the place to establish friendships to last a lifetime, and to build a community of lifelong learners. In Kindergarten, we develop social, academic, and physical skills that are the foundation for later years. We work together in large group and small group situations, learning how to share, take turns, and listen to one another. We love to listen to new books and talk about our experiences. Each day we explore letters and letter sounds as a foundation for reading and writing. Math concepts include counting and comparing numbers, using beginning addition and subtraction, measuring and comparing units, and working with 2-D and 3-D shapes. Science and social studies curriculum includes the senses, plant growth, seasons and weather, and learning about us and our families. These skills are presented over the course of the year, and are integrated throughout our day.
First graders come to school filled with enthusiasm and excitement about learning. Our classroom provides a nurturing place for the children to grow as members of a learning community. A major focus of first grade is the development of literacy skills. The children are immersed in reading and writing on a daily basis. Students participate in guided reading groups, read-alouds, shared reading and independent reading practice. They have opportunities to write in a variety of contexts and genres. The students also do daily word work including phonics, high frequency words, spelling and grammar. We are using the McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders program. Our math program is Math in Focus. This is based on the Singapore math model. We focus on number concepts, place value, addition and subtraction, measurement and geometry. Problem solving skills and mathematical reasoning and the use of strategies are incorporated into the program on a regular basis. Science and social studies themes are incorporated through an interdisciplinary approach. Our science topics include: plant and animal life cycles, habitats, weather, features of the earth, magnets and sound. Social studies topics are: communities, beginning mapping skills, transportation and holidays.
Second graders come to school with enthusiasm and imagination. They tend to be sensitive and can have intense moods that change quickly. They tend to work hard at everything they do and need private time to manage their new thoughts and feelings. Second graders receive support to increase the work skills and patience they need to accomplish their goals. In second grade students engage in lessons and practice reading and writing daily. They make great gains in time spent reading, the length of the books they comprehend, and in the quality and quantity of each writing piece they produce. Language and math skills are further developed. Science and social studies theme work is integrated with literacy and math as much as possible. In second grade, we continue to build on foundations for developing literate, independent, functional, and successful citizens. At Russell Elementary School we are RESpectful and RESponsible.