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1st and 2nd Grade




Overview
 
Two grades. One classroom. Starting in grades 1-2, students enter a mixed age group environment. By interacting with children whose ages and abilities are varied, they learn to help and be helped by other children. They gain an appreciation for the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of their classmates. Because students are placed with the same homeroom teacher for two years, teachers have time to evaluate each child’s progress and to support their individual learning needs.
 
In grades 1-2, students continue to develop language-based skills along with an appreciation for literature. Students’ writing fluency develops as we integrate writing across all subjects, encouraging students to use writing to interpret research, present information, and express ideas and emotions. Children learn that mathematics is a language for describing and understanding the world. Teachers encourage students to search for spatial and numerical relationships and patterns and to solve problems creatively, articulating the process as well as the solution.
 
Core Curriculum
Language Arts – our curriculum is designed to keep students reading at grade level or above. Through regular assessment, we work to place students in the appropriate literacy classroom designed to build on each learner’s strengths and to shore up any weaknesses.

Writing – our curriculum centers on content, process, and product. This manifests itself in particular in writing. At this level, we are encouraging young writers to develop their “voice” and to produce writing that introduces characters, develops drama, and produces a solution.

Math – we use the Go Math curriculum. Designed to equip students with a strong foundation in mathematics, topics are covered in depth and taught to mastery.

Science – gifted students need flexibility and they find it in a science curriculum that builds on fundamentals in earth science, physical science, and life sciences. Students are encouraged to develop higher level questioning and reasoning skills.

Social Studies – building on the civics lessons of working together in classrooms, we begin a further exploration of history, social organizations, civilization building, and the student’s role in the world.
 
Additional Curriculum
 
Music – students develop music appreciation skills, explore the basic elements of music and ready for future concerts and programs.

Art – emphasizes production of art works and development of appreciation for the interdisciplinary connections found in art.

Physical Education – nutrition and its link to movement and health continue to be our focus.

Spanish – introductory Spanish language skills are fostered along with an appreciation for culture.

Technology – takes what students are learning in the classroom and provides an interdisciplinary approach to make meaningful connections.

Adroit – Adroit is a combination of makerspace, design challenges and design thinking.
 
Field Trips, Speakers, and Overnights

A large part of Stargate’s curricular support comes in the form of field trips and guest speakers. Students in the 1-2 program make approximately one field trip per month. Guest speakers also visit the school on a regular basis to discuss a variety of topics.

Even in first and second grade, students also participate in outdoor education. We start in the primary grades with one big day-long adventure, to help them prepare for longer stays in the mountains for grades 5-8. Homeroom teachers organize these events and keep parents informed about the field trip program.