Elementary Overview

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Elementary Overview 2017-06-05T22:11:50+00:00

As well as Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten, BBS offers Kindergarten through 6th Grade

he Bright Beginnings School Kindergarten offers a small student / teacher ratio where children get one on one reading instruction on a daily basis. Each day the students work on theme based math, language arts, science, social studies and/or art centers ranging from the rainforest and pets, to plants and insects. Many of these themes are supplemented by engaging activities such as cooking projects, a jungle safari, observing the life cycle of a butterfly, field trips to a play, a farm and Butterfly Wonderland, among other activities including an all-Kindergarten musical at the end of the year.

Kindergarten Benchmarks

First Grade at Bright Beginnings is filled with exploration and wonder as students learn about and experience the different habitats, particularly deserts. During our desert unit students learn about the animals and plants that make up the Sonoran Desert. Students will also explore the days of Ancient Egypt, our American Symbols and Famous Americans, and Animal Adaptations.

Some of the other academic achievements students work on include, mental math skills (helping students see the patterns in numbers), solving story problems using manipulatives, and writing numbers to 1,000. Students learn the proper way to write a friendly letter as well as an expository, a narrative and a persuasive assignment. Reading is practiced everyday as students work in literature groups to promote good reading strategies, spelling and phonics patterns, and comprehension strategies. Through hands-on science lessons students will also learn how to think like a scientist and use the scientific method, as well as early engineering skills for certain STEM projects.

The 2nd grade teachers at Bright Beginnings work strongly as a team to bring creative and unique ideas alive in the classroom. Some of the areas of study in science include states of matter, habitats, pollination, landforms, slow and fast changes of the earth’s surface over time. A highlight for the students is having a local bee keeper present pollination with an active bee hive. Field trips are planned according to units of study, such as visiting Rockin R Ranch at the culmination of our Westward Expansion Unit. Literacy is made up of thematic reading units. Reading instruction is taught through individual, small, and whole group instruction. 2nd graders are taught to think and analyze their reading. Many of the units taught in 2nd grade are supplemented with hands on activities that bring to life what is being studied.

Third grade at Bright Beginnings is an exciting and challenging year of academic growth. Our science units include hands-on activities in Weather/Climate, Force and Motion, Life Cycles and Traits and Environmental Impacts on Organisms. In Language Arts, the students have opportunities to demonstrate their comprehension of the material read in a number of genres including informational text. Grammar, Spelling and Writing are also emphasized throughout the school year. In Social Studies, Third Graders learn about communities in the United States and around the world. They will make posters of Rural and Urban communities, and design and create a community of their own. They will also spend time learning about Geography and our Government. Our Math classes have been developed to challenge each student. Each day, students will work on math facts, problem solving, critical thinking and small group activities.

To enhance the curriculum, our students take a variety of field trips including going to the Corn Festival at the Natural Resource Educational Center in Casa Grande; the Mesa Historical Museum; and a play at one of the local children’s theaters.

The Bright Beginnings 4th Grade teachers believe in reaching all students and motivating them to become engaged, conscientious learners. We strive to make 4th grade a year our students will never forget! Projects play a big role in the fourth grade curriculum. We make sure that each type of project has numerous educational benefits and that it is cross-curricular, spanning all subject matter. Every project allows students to develop skills in writing, oral presenting, creative thinking, and problem solving. Survival Math projects allow for real world application of math, Discovery Speeches familiarize the students with public speaking and independent research skills, and numerous Arizona projects allow students to be engaged in learning, presenting and becoming “experts” on their place in the world.

A meaningful and challenging “hands-on, mind’s-on” math curricula includes problem solving, inquiry, critical thinking, reasoning, written communication, and cooperative work. Our goal is to provide a curriculum that is mathematically rich, one which provides all students with opportunities to learn important mathematical concepts and procedures with understanding, aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Within our language arts curriculum, we use popular trade books and pieces of writing which meet the interest, needs, and instructional level of each student. In writing, we use the 6-Trait criteria-based format which offers a structure to cultivate highly creative and effective writers. Science studies include the characteristics and classification of living things, weather and climate, magnetism and electricity, and the shape of our land. In social studies, we focus on the four interrelated disciplines of history, geography, civics and government, and economics. The disciplines are centered on our study of Arizona, which drives our Social Studies curriculum.

One of the highlights of 4th grade is the field trips. Fourth grade field trips reinforce our Arizona studies. We typically visit the Heard Museum, Desert Botanical Garden, Goldfield Ghost Town, and the Arizona State Capitol.

LANGUAGE ARTS

In literature students will be introduced to the literary response format where they will be asked to draw evidence from literature or functional texts to support literary analysis and reflection. They will engage in a range of collaborative discussions where they will build on other’s ideas as well as express their own clearly. They will begin to take an in-depth look at literature structure including plot, theme, character, and setting. Students will work with different genres and become familiar with the characteristics of each. Vocabulary and grammar activities will be integrated into all aspects of the class and students will be expected to use context clues, meaningful word parts, and specialized reference materials to decipher new vocabulary. Writing instruction will emphasize clear and coherent writing using the 6 traits model. Students will learn to craft opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces. Inferencing, justifying, reflecting and making connections will be a focus throughout the course.

SOCIAL STUDIES

The fifth grade course of study will emphasize American history from the earliest Native American cultures to the Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as the issues of exploration and rebellion. Students will study several important documents created by the Founding Fathers and the democratic principles and ideals associated with them. They will be introduced to advanced-level research and be expected to apply these skills through PowerPoint presentations, written reports, and various other projects. Throughout the year students will be working and creating timelines, graphs, and charts to show historical data. They will practice locating and using primary and secondary source documents. Study skills, note taking, critical thinking and writing skills are developed in this course.

SCIENCE

Students will be introduced to inquiry-based learning. Through application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), they will develop hypotheses, conduct research, perform experiments, and formulate conclusions to summarize their learning. Students will study topics that will engage them in physical science, astronomy, geology, biology, atmospheric sciences, and laws of motion and forces. They will precisely follow multistep procedures while carrying our experiments, taking measurements, and performing technical tasks

MATH

These math courses are built upon the Common Core Standards. At each grade level, new concepts will be introduced while previously-learned concepts will be expanded, built upon, and explored on a deeper level. Students will work rigorously on critical thinking and problem solving in each course.

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number & Operations in Base Ten
  • LNumber & Operations- Fractions
  • Measurement & Date
  • Geometry

LANGUAGE ARTS

In literature students will be introduced to the literary response format where they will be asked to draw evidence from literature or functional texts to support literary analysis and reflection. They will engage in a range of collaborative discussions where they will build on other’s ideas as well as express their own clearly. They will begin to take an in-depth look at literature structure including plot, theme, character, and setting. Students will work with different genres and become familiar with the characteristics of each. Vocabulary and grammar activities will be integrated into all aspects of the class and students will be expected to use context clues, meaningful word parts, and specialized reference materials to decipher new vocabulary. Writing instruction will emphasize clear and coherent writing using the 6 traits model. Students will learn to craft opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces. Inferencing, justifying, reflecting and making connections will be a focus throughout the course.

SOCIAL STUDIES

The fifth grade course of study will emphasize American history from the earliest Native American cultures to the Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as the issues of exploration and rebellion. Students will study several important documents created by the Founding Fathers and the democratic principles and ideals associated with them. They will be introduced to advanced-level research and be expected to apply these skills through PowerPoint presentations, written reports, and various other projects. Throughout the year students will be working and creating timelines, graphs, and charts to show historical data. They will practice locating and using primary and secondary source documents. Study skills, note taking, critical thinking and writing skills are developed in this course.

SCIENCE

Students will be introduced to inquiry-based learning. Through application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), they will develop hypotheses, conduct research, perform experiments, and formulate conclusions to summarize their learning. Students will study topics that will engage them in physical science, astronomy, geology, biology, atmospheric sciences, and laws of motion and forces. They will precisely follow multistep procedures while carrying our experiments, taking measurements, and performing technical tasks

MATH

These math courses are built upon the Common Core Standards. At each grade level, new concepts will be introduced while previously-learned concepts will be expanded, built upon, and explored on a deeper level. Students will work rigorously on critical thinking and problem solving in each course.

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number & Operations in Base Ten
  • LNumber & Operations- Fractions
  • Measurement & Date
  • Geometry

Read more about Math in Focus.

math in focus