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322 Maple Street | Manchester Center, VT 05255 | 802.362.7137

Lower School

Overview

Maple Street School’s Lower School spans the elementary school years, Grades K-4, where we build a strong academic foundation.  Our rigorous and stimulating curriculum helps students to master core academic skills including writing, reading, language development, public speaking, mathematics, and science while also integrating critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. In addition, students have classes in art, PE, French, choral music and instrumental music five times in the course of two weeks. With small class sizes, we are able to cultivate a child’s natural curiosity and inculcate values; it is our goal that each child be actively involved in his or her learning process.

Teachers recognize that each child is unique; all must be given opportunities to experience success, and all must be challenged at their own levels of development. Teachers take into account individual learning styles, and students learn strategies which best suit their styles.

We begin standardized testing in Grade 3 with the ERBs as we believe that this type of test is good practice for the future. Even so, teachers do not teach to the test. We want our students to have hands-on experiences both in the classroom and beyond. We seek to take children off campus to expose them to events and places that provide a worthy experience. In addition, our building was designed with a door to the outside in every classroom so that classes take advantage of the natural world.

During these early years, focusing on values is of utmost importance, and our Courage to Care program seeks to inculcate moral habits of the heart including:

  • Care for self
  • Care for others
  • Care for one's environment
  • Authentic Listening 
  • Transitions/ Independence
  • Moral Decision Making
  • Self Control
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Homework

We ask every student to sign a student covenant at the beginning of each year that reflects our community values, and our primary morning meeting program guides students in the exploration of topics such as friendship, decision-making, and conflict resolution in sessions focusing on social skills.

K

Language Arts

Reading: beginning with concepts of print, letter-sound associations, story elements, retelling, and aspects of informational texts

Writing: use letter-sound to write recounts, retells, poetry, and informational texts

Comprehension: describe the beginning, middle and end of stories, identify characters, make connections to self, and predict what happens next

Spelling: beginning and ending consonant sounds emphasizing phonetic rather than conventional spelling

Phonological awareness: segmenting and blending phonemes, manipulating phonemes within words, listening to long- and short-vowel sounds, and consonant sounds within words

Oral language: finding and using voice for presentations in class, primary meetings, and all-school meetings

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: count with one to one correspondence (to 30), compare sets up to 10, addition and subtraction using manipulatives

Algebra and functions: sort and classify objects

Geometry and measurement: tell time to the hour, identify 2-D geometric shapes, compare length, weight and capacity of objects

Statistics and probability: recognize, extend and construct simple patterns, use pictographs and bar graphs

Social Studies

Content: world holidays, Vermont and US geography

Skills: map-making, map reading, beginning research

Investigations: art, cooking, music, dance         

Science

Environmental: forests, apples, trees, forest animals

Life Science: water cycle, frog life cycle, butterfly life cycle

Earth Science: crystals, clouds, snowflakes

Skills: introduction to scientific investigations, collaborative experimentation

Investigations: snowshoeing, Merck Forest hiking, apple picking, tracking

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials including paint, clay, wood, and watercolors

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork

Introduction: elements of art including line, color, texture, and form

Exposure: artwork based on a variety of artists and cultures, through art prints and books

French

Listening and speaking: introduction to French with puppets, drama, music, and movement activities

Reading and writing: beginning literacy activities based on retelling familiar stories

Exposure to grammar & vocabulary: greetings, numbers, colors, commands, animals, questions, locations, clothing, selected adjectives, emotions, family members and movement verbs          

Music

Singing: canons, solfeggio

Rhythm: activities and games, expressive movement

Playing: pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette

Physical Education

Introduction: movement education

Mastering: basic fine and gross motor skills

Exposure: cooperative activities and games, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness

Investigations: rhythmic movement and creativity

Technology

Basic operations: handling with care, navigating the hardware

Ethical use: personal safety, care for property, introduction to sources

Tools: game-based learning software

Health

Introduction: personal safety, household health, proper hygiene, disease prevention

Exposure: nutrition

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: care for classroom and school grounds

Respect/Empathy: honoring differences, manners and word choice, kindness, communication skills

Goal Setting/Reflection: willing to listen and act upon teacher feedback

Personal responsibility: listening skills, self control, independent transition skills

Teamwork/Collaboration: participation, conflict resolution

Community responsibility: participation in all-school events, class service projects      

Homework

optional

1

Language Arts

Reading: use knowledge of phonemes and syllables to read unfamiliar words; use context clues to determine word meaning; attend to the details of a text; identify story elements; introduction to nonfiction text; predict; visualize; make connections

Writing: use graphic organizers to plan for writing; write a complete sentence using upper-case letters and punctuation; spelling; proper letter formation

Spelling: beginning and ending consonants; short vowels; consonant digraphs; blends; high frequency words

Oral language: class discussions, storytelling, readers’ theater performances, presentations at primary meetings

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: count, read, write, and compare numbers to 999; group objects into ones and tens; count mixed collections of pennies, nickels, and dimes to $1; count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, to 100; solve basic math facts (+, -) using 2-digit numbers

Algebra and functions: introduction to the concept of functions by describing and extending growing patterns; solve for missing addends, subtrahends and minuends

Geometry and measurement: tell time to the half hour; identify, describe, and compare 2D and 3D geometric shapes; estimate and measure length using standard units

Statistics and probability: collect, organize, and graph data        

Social Studies

Content: continents, China, Antarctica, cultural awareness

Skills: map-making, map reading, comparing and contrasting

Investigations: art, cooking, language, music, folktales, media

Science

Environmental: pond and water

Life Science: butterfly life cycle, penguins, and farms

Earth Science: natural cycles of day, year, seasons

Physical Science: paper gliders

Skills: introduction to scientific method of questioning, hypothesizing, investigating, analyzing

Investigations: field explorations, Hildene and local ponds, collaborative experiments

 Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials including paint, oil pastels, colored pencils, clay and paper

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, increasing awareness of elements of art including line, color, texture, and printmaking

Introduction: patterns in the environment; art vocabulary

Exposure: art history and famous artists, identifying art genres such as landscapes and portraits

French

Listening and speaking: practicing French with puppets, drama, music, and movement activities

Reading and writing: language manipulation activities based on familiar stories

Exposure to grammar & vocabulary: greetings, numbers, colors, commands, animals, questions, locations, clothing, selected adjectives, emotions, family members, furniture, shapes, weather, foods, and movement verbs

Music

Singing: canons, solfeggio

Rhythm: activities and games, expressive movement

Playing: pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette

Expanding knowledge: musical terms

Physical Education

Builds on and expands: movement education

Mastering: basic fine and gross motor skills

Exposure: cooperative activities and games, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness

Investigations: rhythmic movement and creativity, fundamental skills of team and individual sports

Technology

Basic operations: handling with care, navigating the hardware

Ethical use: personal safety, care for property, introduction to sources

Tools: game-based learning software

Health

Introduction: personal safety, household health, proper hygiene, disease prevention

Exposure: nutrition

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: care for classroom and school grounds

Respect/Empathy: honoring differences, manners and word choice, kindness, communication skills

Goal Setting/Reflection: willing to listen and act upon teacher feedback

Personal responsibility: listening skills, self control, independent transition skills

Teamwork/Collaboration: participation, conflict resolution

Community responsibility: participation in all-school events, class service projects

Homework

10 minutes on paper tasks
15 minutes of reading or being read to

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2

Language Arts

­Reading: use knowledge of phonemes and syllables to read unfamiliar words; use context clues to determine word meaning; attend to details of a text; identify story elements; use nonfiction text features to locate information in informational text; predict; visualize; make connections; compare and contrast; read with expression; identify “just right” books

Writing: use graphic organizers to plan for writing; maintain one topic; write in complete sentences; add descriptive details (adjectives, verbs, synonyms, similes); vary sentence beginnings and end punctuation; self-edit capitalization, punctuation, spelling; use legible handwriting

Spelling: silent-e; short vowels; vowel teams; r-controlled vowels; plurals; compound words; contractions; open and closed syllables; procedure for spelling multi-syllabic words; introduction to syllable division rules

Oral language: group discussions; story retellings; presentation of biographies and informational reports; readers’ theatre performances; sharing at primary meeting        

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: count, read, write, and compare numbers to 999; group objects into ones, tens, and hundreds; count mixed collections of coins to $2 and make change; quickly solve (+, -) combinations to 20, using a variety of strategies; add or subtract double-digit numbers with manipulatives, pictures, number lines, or place value

Algebra and functions: discover a variety of patterns on a calendar or number line; use patterns to make predictions; recognize and extend a wide variety of repeating, growing, and simple number patterns

Geometry and measurement: tell time to 5 minutes; classify 2D shapes by number of corners and sides; classify 3D shapes by face shape and number of edges, faces, or vertices; combine several shapes to create a single new shape; estimate and measure length in standard and non-standard units

Statistic and probability: recognize when games depend on chance and predict likely outcomes; create, read, and interpret a variety of picture, bar, and line graphs

Social Studies

Content: Native Americans, Mexico, famous Americans

Skills: cultural awareness, map skills, comparing/contrasting, biographical research and informational reports

Investigations: art, cooking, music, language, folktales, media

Science

Environmental: meadows and insects

Physical Science: marble rollers

Life Science: life cycles

Skills: application of scientific method including observing, questioning, hypothesizing, concluding, and investigating constants and variables

Investigations: field explorations, journaling, collaborative experiments, Hildene, and local field trips

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art material including paint, fabric, clay, and yarn

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, skills of perception, spatial concepts, and weaving introduced

Introduction: texture and neutral colors, create combinations of elements of art including patterns, line, color, texture, and form

Exposure: animals in art, neutral colors

Development: art vocabulary

French

Listening and speaking: building conversational French with puppets, drama, music, and movement activities

Reading and writing: emergent writing, retelling familiar stories, play-based narratives, songs & answering questions

Exposure to grammar & vocabulary: greetings, numbers, colors, commands, animals, sizes, questions, locations, clothing, adjectives, emotions, professions, family members, furniture, shapes, weather, foods, and movement verbs

Music

Singing: canons, solfeggio, vowel pronunciation, enunciation

Rhythm: activities and games, expressive movement

Playing: pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette

Expanding knowledge: musical terms, rhythmic composition

Physical Education

Introduction: fitness, team concepts and tactics

Mastering: basic fine and gross motor skills

Exposure: cooperative activities and games, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness

Investigations: rhythmic movement and creativity, fundamental skills of team and individual sports

Technology

Basic operations: handling with care, navigating the hardware

Ethical use: personal safety, care for property, introduction to sources

Tools: game-based learning software

Health

Builds on/expands: personal safety, household health, proper hygiene, disease prevention

Exposure: nutrition

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: care for classroom and school grounds

Respect/Empathy: honoring differences, manners and word choice, kindness, communication skills

Goal Setting/Reflection: willing to listen and act upon teacher feedback

Personal responsibility: listening skills, self control, independent transition skills

Teamwork/Collaboration: participation, conflict resolution

Community responsibility: participation in all-school events, class service projects

Homework

20 minutes on paper tasks
15 minutes of independent reading

3

Language Arts

Reading: identify character attributes; predicting; making connections; summarizing main idea; sequencing events, visualizing, elements of story, conflict resolution, author’s message; guided reading, read aloud, listening center, partner reading; class novels, fairy tales, independent reading

Writing: autobiographical, creative, correspondences, narrative, poetry, and research papers; introduction to cursive Spelling: blends and digraphs, vowel teams, prefixes and suffixes, homophones, contractions

Grammar: capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, parts of speech, tenses, possessives

Oral language: sharing at morning meetings, formal oral presentations for parents, dramatic productions

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: counts, reads, writes, and compares numbers to 100,000, counts collections of bills and coins to $20 and makes change for up to $5, knows math facts to 20 (+, -) and multiplication facts to 10x10, knows when estimation is appropriate and estimates within reason

Algebra and functions: creates and extends a wide variety of patterns by identifying a rule, creates and uses tables, charts, and graphs, uses the conceptual understanding of equality

Geometry and measurement: identifies, classifies, and compares 2D and 3D shapes by specific attributes and properties, identifies lines of symmetry, identifies the relationship between US and metric measurements, tells time to the nearest minute, determines perimeter and area of rectangles and polygons identifies and draws points, lines, line segments, and angles

Statistic and probability: reads, interprets, and compares data from a variety of representations, conducts a survey and displays results, uses mode, median, mean to determine patterns and trends

Social Studies

Content: geography of Central America, South America, Middle East, and NE Africa, culture of modern Egypt and history of Ancient Egypt, culture of Brazil

Skills: map-making, map reading, research using nonfiction text and internet, cultural awareness

Investigations: cooking, exploring artifacts, art, language

Science

Environmental: rivers and streams

Physical Science: electricity and magnetism

Life Science: rain forest

Skills: application of scientific method including questioning, hypothesizing, predicting, concluding, and investigating variables

Investigations: field explorations, Montshire Museum, journal, mural, hands-on experiments, Keynote presentations

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials including paint, papier mâché, clay, and wood

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, skills of sewing and puppet making introduced

Exploration: texture, create elements of art including color puzzles, classroom connections, Egyptian fairytales

Exposure: art history and famous artists

Expansion: art vocabulary

French

Listening and speaking: conversational French, story, theater, song, and improvisational drama

Reading and writing: play-based narratives, songs, story-writing, answering questions

Exposure to grammar & vocabulary: greetings, classroom commands, polite words, expressing approval or disapproval, forming simple questions, making requests, locations, body parts, clothing, adjectives, emotions, numbers, weather, days of the week, school nouns, concepts of masculine & feminine, singular & plural, and movement verbs

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics

Playing: recorder, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette

Expanding knowledge: musical terms, reading and writing notation

Physical Education

Introduction: activities to sharpen skills and footwork

Development: all aspects of personal fitness and goal setting for endurance, speed, flexibility and strength.

Continued exposure: cooperative games and group initiatives from Project Adventure, individual and team sport skills when in season for soccer, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, all racquet skills, lacrosse, baseball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Expanding knowledge: team play, tactical skills, and good sportsmanship.

Technology

Basic operations: signing in and out, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, discerning sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research

Health

Builds on/expands: knowledge of personal health and safety

Exposure: first aid, risks of alcohol use and smoking, dangers of second-hand smoke

Maintaining: healthy nutritional habits

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the Environment: promote awareness, local exploration

Respect/Empathy: building and caring for friendships, problem-solving

Goal Setting/Reflection: formal long-term goals, social and academic, verbal short term goals

Personal responsibility: best effort, self-advocacy, time management skills

Teamwork/Collaboration: listening to others, taking turns, respectful language

Community responsibility: class service projects

Homework

25 minutes on paper tasks
25 mins independent reading, beginning study skills

4

Language Arts

Reading: independent read alouds, guided reading, literature circles and class novels, independent reading, word study; questioning, predicting, summarizing, main idea and supporting facts, story sequences, inference, story elements, themes and genres

Writing: complete sentences and paragraphs, creative writing, punctuation and capitalization, formal letters, poetry, and development of cursive

Spelling: open and closed syllables, silent-e, r-controlled, syllabication rules, bases, roots, prefixes and suffixes

Grammar: capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, parts of speech, possessives, subject-verb agreement, prepositional phrases

Oral language: sharing at morning meetings, formal oral presentations for parents, dramatic productions

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: adds and subtracts 4-digit numbers with multiple regroupings, identifies place value to billions, multiplies 3-digit by 2-digit numbers, divides a 5-digit number by a 2-digit divisor with or without a remainder, adds and subtracts fractions with like and unlike denominators, simplifies fractions, reads, writes, and identifies place value of decimals through the thousandths place

Algebra and functions: solve simple algebraic equations, identify and explore concepts of the associative, commutative , and distributive properties, generalize a pattern for the nth arrangement, know the implications of changing the value of one side of an equality relationship

Geometry and measurement: sketch 2D figures to scale, use a compass, straightedge, and protractor, identify the concepts of congruence, flips, slides, and rotations, identify parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines, identify, define, and construct congruent and right angles, plot and identify points on a coordinate grid, measure length to the nearest 1/4 inch and millimeter

Statistic and probability: draw conclusions and make predictions from a variety of representations, collect, organize, and display data, analyze patterns, trends, range, and clusters, describe likelihood of an event as a fraction, percent, or decimal

Social Studies

Content: Continents, geography and culture of Japan and Vermont, U.S. states and capitols

Skills: map-making, map reading, research using nonfiction materials and museum collections

Investigations: cooking, exploring artifacts, visit to historic sites and state capitol

Science

Environmental: mountains

Physical Science: flight

Life Science: human body systems

Earth Science: minerals and rocks

Skills: hands-on experimentation, computer applications, scientific methodology, research

Investigations: Montshire Museum and Stratton Mountain

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials including paint, oil pastels, pastels, colored pencils, wood, clay and paper

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, skills of drawing self-portraits, comic books, and hero dolls

Exploration: production of works of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fibers and ceramics

Exposure: art history and famous artists, visiting museums and outside art opportunities

Expansion: art vocabulary

French

Listening and speaking: conversational French, story, theater, song, creative story-retelling, and improvisational drama

Reading and writing: play-based narratives, songs, story-writing, answering questions

Exposure to grammar & vocabulary: greetings, classroom commands, polite words, expressing approval or disapproval, forming simple questions, making requests, rooms in a house, foods, clothing, instruments, modes of transportation, adjectives, emotions, numbers, weather, days of the week, school nouns, concepts of masculine & feminine, singular & plural, making sentences negative, and movement verbs

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics, opportunity to join chorus

Playing: recorder, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, opportunity to join band

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette, chorus and band performance

Expanding knowledge: musical terms, reading and writing notation, utilizing composition software

Physical Education

Introduction: varied activities to sharpen skills

Development: all aspects of personal fitness and goal setting for endurance, speed, flexibility and strength.

Continued exposure: cooperative games and group initiatives from Project Adventure, individual and team sport skills when in season for soccer, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, all racquet skills, lacrosse, baseball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Expanding knowledge: team play, tactical skills, and good sportsmanship.

Technology

Basic operations: signing in and out, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, discerning sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research

Health

Builds on/expands: knowledge of personal health and safety

Exposure: first aid, risks of alcohol use and smoking, dangers of second-hand smoke

Maintaining: healthy nutritional habits

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: promote awareness, local exploration

Respect/Empathy: building and caring for friendships, problem-solving

Goal Setting/Reflection: formal long-term goals, social and academic, verbal short term goals

Personal responsibility: best effort, self-advocacy, time management skills

Teamwork/Collaboration: listening to others, taking turns, respectful language

Community responsibility: class service projects

Homework

25 minutes on paper tasks
30 mins independent reading, intro to planners & reading logs