Elementary Curriculum

Mathematics: Our mathematics curriculum is designed to ensure all students have an opportunity to become mathematically literate, as well as logical and conceptual thinkers. Students are provided with a full range of mathematical topics including algebra, probability, geometry, measurement, numeration, patterns, and operations. CHA’s math curriculum also provides learning opportunities for problem solving, reasoning, communicating, and applying mathematics to other curricular areas. 

Language Arts: C.H.A.’s language arts curriculum presents a balance of literature, writing, word study, speaking, and grammar. Students are encouraged to demonstrate critical thinking skills, expand their reading comprehension, to write with clarity and purpose, and to speak in a confident, fluent manner. Opportunities to read for enjoyment, cultivate their personal voice, and understand and appreciate various genres and multicultural literary themes are also provided.

Science: C.H.A.’s science curriculum develops scientific literacy in order to help students make informed and effective decisions in their life. Through activities in the physical, life and earth sciences the program provides hands-on experiences where children can learn by actively participating in the scientific method. Students are actively involved in developing scientific skill and concepts, working cooperatively and independently, and conducting research or experiments. 

Social Studies: C.H.A.’s social studies curriculum prepares students to be informed, responsible and contributing citizens to our society. Our students are instilled with respect for the rights and beliefs of others in this diverse world through the study of history, geography, economics, political science, cultures, government, and current events students examine cultural and historical events from a global perspective.

Please explore the matrix below for more detailed information on how each grade addresses these core elementary curriculum subjects.

Downloads

  Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade Fifth Grade
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Kindergarten Language Arts

What we do

Language Arts:

  • Comprehending setting and main characters in a story
  • Making predictions
  • Recalling beginning, middle, and end
  • Mastering all letters and sounds
  • Mastering consonant blends
  • Mastering vowel blends

 Writing:

  • Writing to label a picture
  • Writing with phonetic spelling
  • Explaining a picture with a word or sentence
  • Using beginning punctuation and capitalization
  • Spelling sight words accurately
  • Writing to tell a story, persuade, and inform

How we do it

Reading:

Our program incorporates whole language and strong phonics instruction to ensure that our students develop a firm reading foundation. We use Imagine It reading curriculum for sight words and comprehension and Word Wires to build a solid phonics foundation. Word Wires teaches our students to know how their mouth forms sounds as they learn letter sounds as well as teaching tricky phonics rules in a fun way. We also use a structure called Daily Five to give students an opportunity to practice reading books at their level and working in small groups with a teacher. Daily 5 is literacy program in which students work independently in five areas: read to self, read to someone, word work, work on writing, and listen to reading.

Writing:

The Kindergarten students learn to write through a program called Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing. The students develop stories about their lives and write “all about books” about something that interests them. They also practice persuasive writing to make the world a better place. Through our Handwriting without Tears program, students also learn letter formation, spacing, punctuation and proper capitalization.

First Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Recognize problem and solution relationships in text
  • Use inference skills to decipher information in context
  • Interpret information from fiction and nonfiction sources
  • Strengthen and build reading fluency
  • Plan, write, and revise personal narrative stories
  • Strengthen phonetic skills and spelling strategies
  • Practice handwriting skills

How we do it

  • Students gain experience of working independently and in peer groups to develop reading and writing skills.
  • Students select reading materials using the IPICK (Independence, Purpose, Interest, Comprehension, Know the Words) rules.
  • Students learn about various genres of reading literature.
  • They also build reading comprehension skills, vocabulary, and a deeper connection to text.
  • The Imagine It! curriculum helps with reading comprehension.
  • The Wired for Reading curriculum helps with phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling.
  • The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum guides handwriting practice.
  • Students are supported in whole group and one-on-one instruction in order to clearly and effectively express their ideas in writing.
  • Students participate in small-group guided reading circles.

Second Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Recognize problem and solution relationships in text
  • Use inference skills to decipher information in context
  • Interpret information from fiction and nonfiction sources
  • Strengthen and build fluency
  • Plan, write, and revise personal narrative stories
  • Plan, write, and revise poetry and nonfiction pieces
  • Strengthen phonetic skills and spelling strategies 

How we do it

Reading:

Daily 5, CAFÉ strategies, and Accelerated Reader are used to structure the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks.  With guidance, students self- select reading materials at their independent reading level.  Whole group, small group, and individualized instruction are used to support them in progressing to the next level.  Houghton Mifflin reading curriculum together with Literature Circles is used to expose students to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies, and decoding skills.

Writer’s Workshop:

Students focus on the three types of writing: 1) to inform 2) to persuade 3) to entertain.  Through the use of writing journals, the Lucy Calkins writing curriculum, and the use of the writing process, students will become stronger writers.  Students are guided to effectively communicate their ideas and express themselves creatively through fictional and nonfictional stories.

Spelling, Vocabulary Development and Handwriting:

The linguistic-based Wired for Reading program helps structure our spelling and vocabulary curricula and provide differentiated instruction that allows students to practice, strengthen, internalize these skills. Handwriting Without Tears curriculum is used for handwriting mastery. 

Third Grade Language Arts

What we do

Read literary and informational texts closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts:

  • Key Details
  • Central Ideas
  • Word Meanings
  • Reasoning & Evidence
  • Analysis Within or Across Texts
  • Text Structures & Features
  • Language Use 

Produce effective writing for a range of purposes and audiences:

  • Write and revise brief/full narrative texts
  • Write and revise brief/full informational texts
  • Write and revise one or more paragraph opinion pieces
  • Accurately use language and vocabulary in writing
  • Edit appropriate grammar usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
  • Learn proper cursive handwriting techniques and write in cursive fluently

Employ effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences:

  • Interpret and use information delivered orally
  • Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker 

How we do it

Writers’ Workshop - Lucy Calkins Curriculum
Students self-select writing topics in addition to teacher directed prompts. Students are taught the writing process using partner editors and teacher direction. They are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Grammar lessons are taught on a weekly basis using the Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series, in addition to Thinking Maps.

Readers’ Workshop
Daily 5 is used for leveled reading development. Accelerated Reader is used to monitor student’s individual reading level and goals. The Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series, in addition to Thinking Maps are utilized for whole group reading and reading strategy lessons.

Spelling and Vocabulary Development
Using interactive lessons that focus on the strategies and rules behind spelling and vocabulary, students will build the skills needed to determine the why and how behind the English language. Wired for Reading strategies are taught and applied.

Handwriting
Cursive Handwriting is introduced through the ‘Handwriting Without Tears’ series.

Fourth Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Literacy groups: biographies, novel units
  • Reading comprehension skill building: Daily Comprehension Practice Journal
  • Independent reading: Accelerated Reader
  • Non-fiction and current events: Time for Kids magazine
  • Book projects and classroom presentations every trimester
  • Vocabulary building: Spelling Connections and Wordly Wise
  • Cursive handwriting
  • Grammar, usage, and mechanics: Language Roundup and Daily Oral Language
  • Writer’s Workshop and the Writing Process
  • Writing genres: narrative, persuasive, expository, creative writing, letters, poetry
  • Research reports

How we do it

Accelerated Reader:
Students are guided in selecting appropriately leveled books for independent reading. After completing a book, students take a short comprehension quiz on the computer and earn points based on the number of correct answers.

Literacy Groups:
Facilitated by the teacher, students read and discuss chapter books, short stories, and poetry in large or small groups. Students build fluency by reading aloud, develop their vocabulary through exposure to new words, and increase comprehension through discussions about theme, characters, and author’s purpose. Reading for meaning and talking about books encourages students to develop the habits of life-long readers. Students read, analyze, and discuss current events, human interest pieces, and geography using Scholastic News magazine.

Book Projects:
At least once each trimester, students create a book project using specific guidelines and rubrics provided by the teacher. Students then present their projects in front of classmates and parents, giving them the opportunity to practice their oral communication skills and active listening.

Writer’s Workshop:
Students write from assigned or self-selected topics. They engage in the writing process, starting with a rough draft, editing and revising, rewriting, and finally publishing. Feedback is provided by other students and one-on-one instruction from the teacher. Specific skills are taught through direct instruction and applied to independent writing.

Spelling and Vocabulary Development:
Students use Working Words in Spelling and Wordly Wise for spelling and vocabulary practice.

Handwriting:
Students practice cursive handwriting using the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting program. 

Fifth Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Reading Units: Adventure, Mystery, Multicultural
  • Reading Response
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Informational Text Decoding
  • Writer’s Workshop
  • The Writing Process
  • Narrative, Expository, and Persuasive Writing
  • Daily Oral Language and Write 4 Today
  • Independent Book Projects each Trimester
  • Poetry Unit
  • Research Reports
  • Oral Presentations
  • Cooperative Projects

How we do it

  • Read on-level novels orally with accuracy, appropriate rate and expression in small group settings
  • Accelerated Reader and Weekly Reading Logs allow students to read novels of their choice and practice building reading stamina
  • Write persuasive essays on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and supporting details and information
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences, using descriptive vivid details and clear event sequences
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to properly use conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
  • Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas, opinions and creativity through one-to-one instruction, whole group, and small group.
  • Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process.
  • Individual students become more competent writers
  • Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies and decoding skills
  • Grammar lessons
  • Multimedia projects and presentations take place throughout the year for book report presentations, country reports and more
  • Individual reflection, research and writing including journals
  • Collaborative projects and activities
  • Quizzes and tests

Kindergarten Math

What we do

  • Number sense
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Patterns
  • Graphing
  • Money
  • Time and Calendar

How we do it

The Singapore Math curriculum enables students to learn math concepts through meaningful lessons and hands-on tasks. Students are taught concepts to gain a solid foundation in mathematics. We also incorporate the workshop model for differentiated instruction. 

First Grade Math

What we do

  • Numbers 0 to 10
  • Number Bonds
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Position
  • Numbers to 20
  • Shapes
  • Length
  • Weight
  • Capacity
  • Comparing Numbers
  • Graphs
  • Numbers to 40
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Halves and Fourths
  • Time
  • Numbers to 100
  • Money

How we do it

  • We use Singapore Math for whole group and small group instruction.
  • Students explore with math games as a math enrichment tool.

Second Grade Math

What we do

  • Numbers to 1000
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Length
  • Weight
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Money
  • Fractions
  • Time
  • Capacity
  • Tables and graphs
  • Geometry 

How we do it

  • Singapore Math is used for whole group and small group instruction. The structure of the approach begins from concrete, to pictorial, and lastly abstract; enabling students to deeply understand mathematical concepts.
  • Model drawing is heavily influenced to problem solve all mathematical problems.
  • IXL Math and Mad Minutes are used to reinforce and practice basic facts.
  • Math games are used as an enrichment tool.

Third Grade Math

What We Do

  • Unit 1: Numbers to 10,000, Unit 2: Addition and Subtraction, Unit 3: Multiplication and Division, Unit 4: Multiplication Tables of 6, 7, 8 and 9
  • Unit 5: Data Analysis, Unit 6: Length, Unit 7: Weight, Unit 8: Capacity
  • Unit 9: Money, Unit 10: Fractions, Unit 11: Time, Unit 12: Geometry, Unit 13: Area, Perimeter, and Volume 

How We Do It

  • Singapore Math is used for whole group and small group instruction. It blends problem solving and deeper level mathematical thinking to support growth and development of concepts.
  • IXL Math and math sprints are used to reinforce and practice basic facts.
  • Students are encouraged to solve challenging word problems and to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Manipulatives are used to problem solve and model thinking.
  • Group tasks are used to encourage collaborative problem solving and use of mathematical language.
  • Math games are used as an enrichment tool.

Fourth Grade Math

What we do

• Unit 1: Whole Numbers
• Unit 2: The Four Operations of Whole Numbers
• Unit 3: Fractions
• Unit 4: Geometry
• Unit 5: Area and Perimeter
• Unit 6: Decimals
• Unit 7: The Four Operations of Decimals
• Unit 8: Congruent and Symmetric Figures
• Unit 9: Coordinate Graphs and Changes in Quantities
• Unit 10: Data Analysis and Probability
• Unit 11: Measures and Volume

How we do it

• Singapore Math is used for whole group and small group instruction. The curriculum blends problem solving and deeper level mathematical thinking to support growth and development of concepts.
• IXL Math and math sprints are used to reinforce and practice basic facts.
• Students are encouraged to solve challenging word problems and to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
• Manipulatives are used to model thinking and problem solve.
• Math projects, math games, and group tasks are utilized to promote student engagement and collaborative problem solving.

Fifth Grade Math

What we do

  • Unit 1: Whole Numbers
  • Unit 2: More Calculations with Whole Numbers
  • Unit 3: Fractions
  • Unit 4: Multiply and Divide Fractions
  • Unit 5: Perimeter, Area, and Surface Area
  • Unit 6: Ratio
  • Unit 7: Decimals
  • Unit 8: Percentage
  • Unit 9: Fractions
  • Unit 10: Angles
  • Unit 11: Average and Rate
  • Unit 12: Data Analysis
  • Unit 13: Algebra 

How we do it 

  • Singapore Math is used for whole group and small group instruction. It blends problem solving and deeper level mathematical thinking to support growth and development of concepts.
  • IXL Math and math sprints are used to reinforce and practice basic facts.
  • Students are encouraged to solve challenging word problems and to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Math games are used as an enrichment tool.
  • Math projects are assigned to promote student engagement and application of concepts learned in class.

Kindergarten Social Studies

What we do

• Families & Friends
• Long Ago & Today
• Australia/Antarctica
• A Big Wide World
• Our Country, its A Great Place

How we do it

The Kindergarten students participate in their first school Cultural Fair by studying about Australia and Antarctica. The children learn about the world around them through the Houghton Mifflin’s My World program. We incorporate field trips to give students real world experience with what we have learned in class.

First Grade Social Studies

What we do

  • Wampanoags and the First Thanksgiving
  • Families in their Neighborhoods
  • Safari to Kenya: Land and the People

How we do it

  • Students gain hands-on experience through each Story Path topic.
  • They work cooperatively to solve problems and gain a real world perspective.

Second Grade Social Studies

What we do 

  • Important national symbols
  • Mapping skills
  • Our Community
    • What makes a community?
    • What causes a community to change?
    • How are communities alike and different?
  • Meeting Our Communities Needs and Wants
    • What goods and services do communities provide?
    • How do communities make decisions that affect the whole community?
  • Participating in Our Community
    • How do communities solve problems?
    • What are the roles and responsibilities of community members?
    • How can we make a difference in our communities? 

How we do it

  • Students explore their community through research to understand their role in their community. An emphasis is placed on developing skills to participate in meaningful discussions.
  • Houghton Mifflin curriculum is used to reinforce concepts.
  • Field trips allow opportunities to explore the history of the local area, including Pioneer Farm Museum.
  • Resources from local non-profit agencies are specific to Western Washington.
  • Teacher-designed materials help meet Washington State Learning Standards.

Third Grade Social Studies

What we do

  • Map skills
  • The West
  • Country Study/Cultural Fair
  • The Midwest
  • The East
  • The South
  • Connections to Our World
  • State Reports

How we do it

  • Class discussions
  • State projects and presentations
  • Assessments
  • Question text during reading and listening
  • Use simple note-taking strategies
  • Match information found with questions and predictions
  • Interpret or explain main idea and support with evidence
  • Activities and projects

Fourth Grade Social Studies

What we do

  • WA State History throughout the year…
  • What is History?
  • Geography is the Stage
  • Cultural Fair: Greece
  • Native People
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Explorers & Fur Traders
  • Presidents
  • Early Immigration & Settlement
  • Oregon Trail
  • Territories & Treaties
  • Lewis & Clark Simulation

How we do it

  • Use the textbook Washington: Our Home to learn about state history, native people, exploration and settlement, government, industry, and geography.
  • C.H.A.’s social studies curriculum prepares students to be informed, responsible and contributing citizens to our society. Our students are instilled with respect for the rights and beliefs of others in this diverse world through the study of Washington State history, geography, economics, political science, cultures, government, and also current events students examine cultural and historical events from a global perspective.
  • Students participate in a Lewis and Clark simulation activity to gain greater understanding of the challenges faced by the Corps of Discovery as well as what Lewis and Clark learned about the land, plants, and animals they encountered during their journey.
  • Each year, students study the history, geography, music, food, art, language, and music of a different European country, helping them gain insight and better understand different cultures.

Fifth Grade Social Studies

What we do

  • First Americans
  • Explorations and Settlement
  • Research Papers
  • Creating a Nation
  • Washington D.C.
  • Civics and Government
  • U.S. States & Capitals
  • Revolutionary War

How we do it

  • Interactions between cultures as well as the exchange of goods, ideas, beliefs and technologies.
  • The impact that trade has on the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies and goods
  • Creation of our United States Government
  • Discover how our nation started and the creation of our Constitution
  • Study the Three Branches of Government and Checks and Balances
  • Projects, multi-paragraph writing and discussions
  • Multimedia projects and presentations
  • Reading from various primary and secondary sources
  • Individual reflection, research and writing
  • Collaborative projects and activities 

Kindergarten Science

What we do

  • Animals, Plants and Their Environment
  • Weather and Climate
  • Engineering
  • Pushes and Pulls 

How we do it

We use science kits to engage students in exciting hands-on science activities such as making wind flags and building “rollercoasters.” We also use the Engineering is Elementary program from the Boston Museum of Sicence to practice the engineering design cycle, and build bridges and sailboats in the process. Students practice using tools to make measurements and record data. We incorporate field trips to give students real world experience with what we have learned in class.

First Grade Science

What we do

• Organisms: observing seeds, aquariums, and terrariums
• Light and Sound: observing the properties of light and sound waves
• Astronomy: observing the night sky

How we do it

• Students observe seeds and create aquariums and terrariums to learn about living things.
• Students experiment with different materials that create light and sound waves.
• Students learn about the various components of the Earth, Solar System and other celestial objects.

Second Grade Science

What we do

  • Processes that Shape the Earth 
  • A Sticky Situation: Earth Materials Engineering Kit 
  • Structures and Properties of Matter 
  • A Work in Process-Solids and Liquids Engineering Kit 
  • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems 
  • Thinking Inside the Box: Designing Plant Packages 
  • Engineering Design Process 
  • Invention Convention 
  • Habitats 
How we do it
  • Scientific understanding is integrated with engineering using Engineering is Elementary Curriculum from Boston’s Museum of Science. Hands-on engineering kits are used to make observations, construct explanations, and design solutions. 
  • Hands-on science kits teach physical, life and earth sciences through inquiry. 
  • Content is enhanced through field trips and journals. 
  • Harcourt Science curriculum is used for basic vocabulary and reference. 

Third Grade Science

What we do

  • Ecosystems:  Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Scientific Method:  Observe and Investigate, Hypothesis, and Conclusion
  • Life Cycles: Growth and Development of Organisms
  • Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • Magnets: Balanced and Unbalanced Force
  • Industrial and Simple Machines 
  • Earth Systems: Weather Hazards

How we do it

  • Houghton Mifflin curriculum
  • Lab investigations
  • STEM night
  • Science notebooks
  • Engineering is Elementary Kits
  • Technology integration

Fourth Grade Science

What we do

  • Engineering Design Process
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Islandwood Environmental Camp
  • Changes to the Earth’s Surface
  • Molecules to Organisms:  Structure and Processes
  • Waves and their Applications

How we do it

  • We use the Engineering is Elementary curriculum for hands-on investigations applying the Engineering Design Process.
  • Students perform a variety of hands-on investigations that compliment content.
  • Content is enhanced with field trips and multi-media projects.
  • Students use a Science Journal throughout the year to set up investigations, record data, and answer comprehension questions.

Fifth Grade Science

What we do

  • Science Methods and Measurement
  • Engineering and Problem Solving
  • The Solar System and the Universe
  • STEM project: Aerospace: Designing Parachutes
  • Energy and Ecosystems
  • Natural Resources
  • STEM project: Ecosystems: Cleaning an Oil Spill
  • STEM project: Environmental: Designing Water Filters
  • Earth’s Oceans
  • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • Chemical Reactions
  • STEM project: Ocean: Designing Submarines 

How we do it

  • Students learn investigation and inquiry skills, science methods, and the engineering design process.
  • Students perform a variety of hands-on investigations that complement content.
  • Content is enhanced with field trips and projects.
  • Students use the Engineering is Elementary curriculum from Boston’s Museum of Science to design, test, and improve solutions to engineering problems.
  • Students use a Science Journal throughout the year to set up investigations, record data, and answer comprehension questions.