New School Preparatory uses a literature-based program with a focus on reading for meaning and a
reflection on the "big ideas" behind the written word. The Language Arts curriculum
stresses literacy, writing, and the study of literature.
The instructional program draws on literature from many genres, time periods,
and cultures. Novel and author study begin to expose students to different
styles of writing.
Competency in reading and writing require knowledge of the basics. New School Preparatory emphasizes
mastery of phonics, grammar, and spelling instruction at all grade levels.
Communication, both oral and written, is an integral part of the program.
Fluency in written and oral expression is fostered through learning experiences
designed for small group and whole class situations.
Writing is a daily requirement that helps students develop and communicate
ideas in persuasive, expository, literary, and expressive discourse. Students
learn that writing must have a beginning, middle, and end. Understanding
that writing has a main idea to be conveyed is the focus for this grade
Each year the students explore subjects such as fairy tales (Sleeping
Beauty), Native Americans, and the connection between literature and music
as in Swan Lake. These topics are studied in detail and developed into
a dramatic and music-dance presentation.
First Grade performs a unique version of Little Red Riding Hood
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics guidelines and a problem solving approach to mathematics form the basis of the mathematics program at New School.
Conceptual understanding is critical to a strong mathematics foundation. Concrete materials help the students explore ideas and concepts. Students learn to reason mathematically moving from the concrete to the abstract. They learn how to measure, manipulate data, and graph to present information.
Math learning is progressive. Students should fully understand one step before they progress to the next. Math drills are emphasized to ensure mastery, while problem solving encourages students to use math to solve real-world problems.
At New School, each student works at his/her own pace. This allows advanced students to learn concepts and skills beyond grade level placement.
Mathematics Guidelines for Grade One
Number and Operations
Develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections
Develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers
Connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations
Understand various meanings of addition and subtraction of whole numbers and the relationship between the two operations
Understand the effects of adding and subtracting whole numbers
Illustrate general principles and properties of operations, such as commutativity, using specific numbers
Use concrete, pictorial, and verbal representations to develop an understanding of invented and conventional symbolic notations
Model situations that involve the addition and subtraction of whole numbers, using objects, pictures, and symbols
Describe quantitative change, such as a studentís growing two inches in one year
Recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort two- and three-dimensional shapes (naming of three-dimensional shapes occurs in Grade 5 Curriculum Focal Points)
Describe attributes and parts of two- and three-dimensional shapes
Investigate and predict the results of putting together and taking apart two- and three-dimensional shapes
Recognize and create shapes that have symmetry
Create mental images of geometric shapes using spatial memory and spatial visualization
Recognize and represent shapes from different perspectives
Recognize geometric shapes and structures in the environment and specify their location
Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time (time is not identified as a focal point or connection)
Data Analysis and Probability
Sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects
Represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs
Describe parts of the data and the set of data as a whole to determine what the data show
Science has an integral relationship with mathematics. Both stress logic, conceptual
thinking, and problem-solving. Science skills build on students' curiosity and intuition. Students learn
to observe, make predictions, and work with variables as they formulate
and test hypotheses.
The science program at New School Preparatory is inquiry based and follows the standards and position statement of the National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org) and the National Science Education Standards as abstracted [here].
At New School the science program provides opportunities for students to develop understandings and skills necessary to function productively as problem solvers in a scientific and technological world. First hand exploration and investigation and inquiry/process skills are nurtured.
The social studies curriculum is designed to help develop the children's understanding of themselves as individuals, as members of various groups within society, and as members of a global community. The curriculum helps students develop an appreciation for diversity and enables them to acquire the cultural fluency necessary for successfully engaging within the larger world.
The curriculum is based on the ten thematic strands that form the basis of the social studies standards of the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) described [here].
First Grade performs a shadow puppet play as part of their study of Chinese culture
The increasingly bilingual nature of the United States and our pluralistic society mean that it is more important than ever for today's students to speak a second language.
All New School Preparatory students receive daily Spanish instruction from a second language specialist as part of the school's standard curricula. The curriculum follows the philosophy and standards of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. [Click to see standards]