Lower Division

Curriculum

Our goal in the Lower Division is to create a challenging academic environment that also allows each child to develop the skills and knowledge that will serve as the foundation for success.

Curriculum Overview for Each Grade

List of 4 items.

  • First Grade

    In first grade, we maintain a balance between the acquisition of skills and the spiritual, emotional and social growth of the children. Teachers strive for a classroom atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, for opportunities of free choices within limits, and for an understanding with students of their personal and academic responsibilities. Children deserve the freedom to try, the satisfaction of doing, and the opportunity to discover.

    The rate of presentation of basic skills materials varies to suit individual needs as much as possible; however, defined satisfactory achievement levels are expected. Parents and students are kept informed of the expectations. The goals are to foster self-direction, independent functioning, and acceptance of personal responsibility.

    Learning to read, to understand, and to use the English language in oral and written form serves as the basis for instruction. Daily reading is done in groups of students with similar abilities, where oral reading, new vocabulary, comprehension, and word attack skills are taught. Weekly spelling units consist of rewriting words, decoding, word families, phonetic spellings, recognizing words in sentences, reviews and tests. English emphasis on correct usage in speaking and writing continues daily. Oral descriptions, directions, explanations, and stories give students practice in proper usage. Creative writing and directed dictation provide opportunities for grammar instruction. Library skills are taught each week during library period.

    Concept development, applying concepts to new materials and basic fact memorization are emphasized in morning math and daily assignments. Problem-solving activities help develop critical and higher-level thinking skills. Weekly computer classes provide opportunities for students to use programs for enhancing math understanding and for word processing.
  • Second Grade

    Second grade continues the first grade principles and focus of respect and opportunity for each child to grow in spirit, to experience positive emotions, to practice social skills, and to gain independent achievement through additional responsibility.

    Continued emphasis is placed on language development through discussion, learning experiences, dramatization, cursive writing practice, and compositions. Skills, confidence, pleasure, and pride in second grade work are shared and are equal goals of each classroom.

    Special learning units promote enthusiasm and cooperation among our second grade students. Some units include oceanography, space, nutrition, world travel, and Oklahoma history. A signature program in second grade celebrates 89er Day with a full day’s worth of activities that let students experience a day in the life of an early Oklahoma settler. This kind of hands-on, real-world experience helps Oklahoma history come alive through wonderful usage of project-based learning.
  • Third Grade

    Language Arts
    The primary goal of the third grade language arts curriculum is to develop fluency, accuracy, and creativity in oral and written communication. The language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are the basic tools of learning across the curriculum. The Language Arts are taught as an integrated discipline rather than as isolated skills. Language instruction is directly related to the life experiences of the student.

    Third graders review basic phonics and decoding skills and then move on to more difficult and irregular sound/symbol patterns, syllable division and dictionary study. As skills are reviewed, maintained, and expanded, students develop higher levels of thinking, including the comprehension of literal, inferential and evaluative reading material. Students will distinguish fact from opinion, synthesize ideas and information and demonstrate these skills in a comprehensive written response.

    Students will be exposed to a variety of selections to encourage a lifelong enjoyment of reading. Stories, poems, and books are shared and read aloud in class. Good literature serves as a springboard for student writing. Writing is taught as an on-going process from prewriting to publishing. The writing program creates a balance between personal and practical writing.

    In addition to specific reading and writing development, emphasis is placed on study skills, work habits, organization, independence, and responsibility.

    Mathematics
    The mathematics curriculum is based upon the assumption that math is best taught as computation skills and as critical thinking skills. Students are provided experiences that promote both practice of basic math skills and construction of meaningful insights into mathematics problem-solving and constructs.

    The curriculum is guided by seven learning goals that state that students will:
    1. Be actively involved in learning mathematics;
    2. Develop reasonable accuracy in computation;
    3. Think and communicate mathematically;
    4. Feel confident in their mathematical ability;
    5. Think critically and construct their own problem-solving plans;
    6. Use technology while solving problems;
    7. Experience mathematics as realistic, fun, and connected to their own lives.

    Reading
    Third grade students review basic phonics and decoding skills and then move on to more difficult and irregular sound/symbol patterns, syllable division, and dictionary skills. As skills are reviewed, maintained and expanded, third grade students have the opportunity to develop higher levels of thinking skills, including comprehension of literal, inferential and evaluative reading material. Students will distinguish fact from opinion, synthesize ideas and information and demonstrate these skills in a comprehensive written response.

    Students will be exposed to a variety of reading selections to encourage a lifelong enjoyment of books for educational and recreational purposes. In addition to specific reading development, emphasis is placed on study skills, work habits, organization, independence, and responsibility.

    Social Studies
    The Social Studies curriculum encompasses geography and American history. During the geography unit, the students develop map and globe skills as they explore in depth the design and components of globes and apply what they have learned to maps. They learn to use different types of maps and develop competence using an atlas as a resource.

    The students explore American history beginning with the Ice Age migration of people to the Americas and concluding with the American Revolution. They learn to interpret time lines and organize events sequentially while attending to the impact of historical events on subsequent events and the motivations of people. They also learn to recognize the principles on which our country was founded as they learn about the actions of colonists prior to the American Revolution.

    Science
    The third grade science curriculum encompasses life, physical and earth science. The students engage in hands-on activities that require them to work cooperatively with classmates. A major emphasis of these activities is on developing process skills that are critical to science. The students observe; hypothesize; predict outcomes; experiment; record data; use diagrams, graphs and charts; and draw conclusions. Subject areas include the senses, the rudiments of scientific method, states of matter, measurement, the dynamics of sound, climate, seasons, the water cycle, plant responses and activities, food chains and webs, predator-prey relationships, the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle, transpiration, populations and communities, adaptations, ecosystems, structure of the earth, plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, and the rock cycle.
  • Fourth Grade

    Mathematics
    The fourth grade math curriculum follows the guidelines of active and constructive learning as set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Students learn mathematics by practice, problem solving and working at the concrete level.

    A student’s self-esteem is a high priority of classroom instruction.  Fourth grade mathematics is a crucial stepping stone to future math success; therefore, math instruction is presented with individual success in mind.

    The curriculum covers whole number and rational number operations, including geometry and measurement.  Students practice math facts, mental math and are presented math as a problem-solving enterprise.

    Our fourth grade core curriculum is Everyday Mathematics. This program is used in conjunction with many varied teaching strategies to provide a broad mathematics education for our students.The distinguishing features of Everyday Mathematics are its focus on real-life problem solving, student communication of mathematical concepts and the use of technology. This curriculum also emphasizes parent involvement in student learning.

    Language Arts
    The fourth grade language arts curriculum is a comprehensive program that is designed to improve and enrich the student’s reading, writing, and oral communication skills.

    Fourth grade is the beginning of the intermediate reading program. During the first three grades, the students have been learning the skills that are necessary to be thoughtful readers. While previously learned skills are reviewed and maintained, the student will be embarking on the next developmental stage of reading skills-reading to learn. It is the aim of the fourth grade program to become the vehicle for stimulating interest, discovering information, and encouraging reading for pleasure and practice.

    The fourth grade writing program presents students with a variety of theme-related reading, thinking, writing, and speaking opportunities. Writing is taught as a process and is supported by the study of the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

    Social Studies and Science
    The fourth grade social studies curriculum focuses on our United States history from the Revolutionary War to the present. Complementary to the nation’s history is a study of its geography and climate. The fourth grade Celebrate America program is a culmination of the social studies objectives integrated through all areas of the fourth grade curriculum.

    The Social Studies program is used to reinforce reading and English skills by requiring students to write complete sentences, develop vocabulary and outlining skills, and to apply reasoning skills to the material presented. Map math skills also are reinforced in the curriculum. Cooperative learning and group projects are encouraged to bring the curriculum alive for the students.

    The science curriculum presents its studies through discovery/hands-on and cooperative learning. Documenting observations and discussing results of experiments also play a vital role in the students’ learning. Studies include basic chemistry, magnetism, electricity and the study of invertebrates and vertebrates, including a study of the earthworms used in vermicomposting.

    The overall goal of Social Studies and Science in fourth grade is not only to learn about American history and science but to:
    • Promote the student’s self-esteem;
    • Promote group projects that allow the student to be a functional member of a group;
    • Allow students to express their views;
    • Provide hands-on investigative experiences to every student.
Casady School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, Episcopal day school serving students in pre-k-12. Educating Mind, Body, and Spirit.