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.
Click to see a clip of the 2nd Grade class's production of Charlotte's Web
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 Two
Number and Operations
Use multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten number system
Develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers
Understand situations that entail multiplication and division, such as equal groupings of objects and sharing equally
Develop and use strategies for whole-number computations, with a focus on addition and subtraction
Develop fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction
Use a variety of methods and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, paper and pencil, and calculators
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
Describe, name, and interpret direction and distance in navigating space and apply ideas about direction and distance
Relate ideas in geometry to ideas in number and measurement
Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time (time is not identified as a focal point or connection)
Understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units
Select an appropriate unit and tool for the attribute being measured
Measure with multiple copies of units of the same size, such as paper clips laid end to end
Use repetition of a single unit to measure something larger than the unit, for instance, measuring the length of a room with a single meterstick
Use tools to measure
Develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates
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].
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]