Skip to main content

Curriculum

Select a below and scroll down to read more about specific subject matter. You can also click on a subject or grade to see all relevant curriculum for that option.

Preschool Language Arts

What we do

  • Pre-reading and writing skills
  • Pattern recognition 
  • Phonemic awareness and beginning understanding of sound-symbol correspondence
  • Early identification (and writing) of the letters of the alphabet 

How we do it

  • Regular interaction with books and stories in small and large groups
  • Listening and speaking in large and small groups and one-on-one
  • “Invented spelling” and discovering spelling through exploration
  • Begin to identify and write the letters of the alphabet

Preschool Math

What we do

  • Explore counting, order and numerical relations
  • Gain experience with one-to-one correspondence
  • Measurement and pattern recognition
  • Experiment with volume, spatial relationships and shape
  • Estimate, match pairs, sort and classify
  • Use pictures and symbols to represent data (graphs and charts)
  • Develop a sense of quantity or amount and understanding of the relationship of part to whole

How we do it

  • Problem-solve across all areas of the curriculum       
  • Concrete, hands-on experiences
  • Practice counting and following directions or activities in a sequence (e.g. following a recipe)

Preschool Science

What we do

  • Explore senses
  • Investigate concepts of height, weight, circumference and width
  • Explore human impact on the environment through earth-friendly habits, fruits and vegetables and transportation

How we do it

  • Pose questions, hypothesize about nature and science
  • Include details, observational drawings
  • Make attempts to record data
  • Create scientific explorations
  • Explore mathematical and scientific principles using materials (balances, links, Unifix cubes, magnifying glasses)
  • Enjoy and participate actively in recording data

     

Preschool PE

What we do

  • Basic locomotor skills
  • Balance
  • Recognize and repeat patterns
  • Listen to and follow directions

How we do it

  • Participate in PE by choice, up to three times a week
  • Learn about the body’s ability to move and use time and space in different ways
  • Participate in activities and games

Preschool Spanish

What we do

  • Sentences and phrases related to the routines and curriculum areas of the classroom and social-emotional experiences of school

How we do it

  • Spanish is embedded into each preschooler’s everyday life. Throughout the course of the day, Spanish-speaking teachers interact in Spanish with the children so that sentences and phrases are the foundation of preschoolers’ experiences with the language, rather than a collection of nouns learned in isolation.

Preschool Art

What we do

  • Line, texture, shape, form, color and pattern
  • Wide variety of art forms and cultural art
  • Media for communication and expression

How we do it

  • Open-ended exploration to build creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Art specialists visit each preschool classroom once a week and set up art activities outside three times per week
  • Preschoolers are encouraged to participate in art every day

Preschool Music

What we do

  • Singing, listening and making music with simple instruments
  • Conventions of group singing

How we do it

  • Music is present throughout the day in preschool
  • Music specialist works with the preschoolers using the Orff Schulwerk program, a hands-on, physical, fun and multicultural program
  • Nursery rhymes, singing games, folk dance and creative movement

Preschool Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Explore the natural world: soil, seeds, plants, food, bugs, farm animals, compost and water

How we do it

  • Use binoculars, magnifying lenses, measuring instruments and other tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden
  • Care for CDS animals and gardens

Preschool Community Based Learning

Emergent, based on what children notice in the world and connects with the curriculum. Please see our Community Based Learning page for more information.

Preschool Drama & Theater

What?

  • Expression, communication, imagination, collaboration

How?

  • Dramatic play areas exist in each classroom
  • Act out stories (fairy tales, books, child-dictated stories, etc.)

Kindergarten Language Arts

What we do

  • Develop concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, and knowledge of story language
  • Practice early reading strategies: using picture clues, beginning sounds, and patterns
  • Attend to characters, setting, and plot
  • Play with rhyme and rhythm
  • Approximate writing by drawing and labeling
  • Use invented spelling

How we do it

  • Reading Workshop 
    In kindergarten, students begin to establish their identities as readers while they build the foundational skills for reading during a daily Reading Workshop that includes interactive read-alouds, shared reading of poems and songs, and daily reading time. We match students to “just right” books and provide “just right” instruction in small groups with a teacher to help individual students build these skills and their confidence with them. Students explore a variety of genres (e.g. classic tales, information books) and topics/themes (e.g. pumpkins, friendship) that connect with the social studies and scientific inquiries taking place in their classrooms.
  • Writing Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group, and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions.
  • Phonics, Spelling, & Word Study
    Students begin the year with a study of the alphabet. Children are introduced to each letter of the alphabet, its shape, and the sounds it makes through stories that bring each letter to life. During daily language activities that include shared reading, shared writing, and word study activities, students develop their phonological awareness, early literacy concepts, letter and sound knowledge, and understanding of how words work.
  • Handwriting
    Letter formation is introduced and practiced using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.

Kindergarten Math

What we do

  • Count and compare numbers to 100, with a special focus on numbers to 20
  • Think about joining and separating situations as addition and subtraction
  • Sort, compare, and draw shapes
  • Combine shapes to make other shapes and complete puzzles

How we do it

Bridges in Mathematics, a leading curriculum that blends problem-solving and skill building with teaching strategies and objectives. The program combines whole group, small group and independent activities and supports the development of mathematical thinking for students through exploration, testing and reasoning.

Kindergarten Science

What we do

Our goal is to create a science curriculum that is both fun and meaningful with opportunities for hands on exploration. Students work together with materials to problem solve and experiment. Children are encouraged to discuss their work at table groups as well as during whole class discussions. Investigation skills are emphasized through student’s inquiry as students learn to ask relevant questions, make observations, take measurements, draw conclusions and evaluate experiments.

 
  • Exploring Pumpkins as Scientists
  • Layers of the Redwood Forest (Habitats)
  • Forest Stream and Trout
  • Trees as Resources

How we do it

  • Research during Reading Workshop
  • Science journals - use the five senses to make observational drawings, label our drawings and record our thinking
  • Field trips and expert visitors
  • Class terrariums and trout tank
  • FOSS kit (Full Option Science System)

Kindergarten PE

What we do

  • Running, jumping, galloping, sliding and hopping
  • Play with balls, ropes, hoops and beanbags to learn tossing, striking and catching
  • Practice elaborate movement skills

How we do it

  • Development of self-confidence to participate in multiple forms of physical activity
  • Participate in activities and games
  • Participate in PE twice a week

Kindergarten Spanish

What we do

  • Sentences and phrases related to the routines and curriculum areas of the classroom and social-emotional experiences of school
  • Vocabulary related to school

How we do it

  • Taught twice each week in small groups (11-12 students per class)
  • Focus on the development of receptive skills (listening and mimicking)
  • Oral comprehension is practiced through the use of visuals, listening to story books, Total Physical Response (TPR) and movement activities
  • Additional oral practice happens through music (songs and chants), fun activities and interactive games. Classroom teachers incorporate Spanish into classroom routines whenever possible.

Kindergarten Art

What we do

  • Line, shape, color, space, form, texture and value; the language artists use for thinking and describing artwork
  • Fiber arts: students work with wool shorn from our sheep or silk from silkworms raised in the art classroom

How we do it

  • Inspiring stories or mysterious objects; for example, the story of “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” introduces mosaic art
  • Art projects and hands-on opportunities to explore materials and concepts

Kindergarten Music

What we do

  • Drone, ostinato, non-pitched percussion, melody and harmony
  • Students learn to sing collectively and individually, echo melodic patterns and use invented and real symbols to represent musical sounds and ideas
  • Beat, tempo, mood, dynamics and melodic direction

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement and verbalization
  • Performance and reflection
  • Orff Schulwerk program: rhymes, games, simple beats, wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels

Kindergarten Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Garden pests and garden helpers
  • Cultivate empathy for the natural world
  • Practice stewardship for the land
  • Gain knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening practices

How we do it

  • Use binoculars, magnifying lenses, measuring instruments and other tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden
  • Care for CDS animals and gardens

Kindergarten Community Based Learning

Emergent, based on what children notice in the world and connects with the curriculum. Please see our Community Based Learning page for more information.

Kindergarten Drama & Theater

Optional drama in after school program

1st Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Compare and contrast and text-to-self and text-to-text connections
  • Understand setting, sequencing and making predictions; read aloud with fluency in a manner that sounds like natural speech
  • Increased phonemic awareness through spelling strategies and decoding of words
  • Use descriptive words when writing
  • Print legibly and space letters, words and sentences appropriately

 How we do it

  • Reading Workshop
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies, and decoding skills, and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a lifelong reader. 
  • Writing Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills, and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions. 
  • Phonics, Spelling, & Word Study
    Teachers introduce high-frequency words, common spelling patterns, and word solving strategies during focused mini-lessons within the Reading and Writing Workshops. Students practice and apply this learning to independent work that they complete during literacy centers and throughout the day.
  • Handwriting
    Letter formation is reviewed and practiced using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. 

1st Grade Math

What we do

  • Add and subtract with numbers to 20, including with story problems
  • Become fluent with addition and subtraction facts to 10
  • Count to 120 and learn about place value (ones, tens, hundreds)
  • Identify, sort, and draw shapes
  • Fit shapes together to make other shapes, solve puzzles, and talk about fractions 

How we do it

Bridges in Mathematics, a leading curriculum that blends problem-solving and skill building with teaching strategies and objectives. The program combines whole group, small group and independent activities and supports the development of mathematical thinking for students through exploration, testing and reasoning.

1st Grade Science

What we do

Connecting to our yearlong Neighborhood study we:

  • Investigate animals that live in our neighborhood (hawks, owls, butterflies and other insects), examining their needs, their habitats, their adaptations and their interdependence with one another and with us.
  • Explore balance, motion and stability
  • Investigate food - why we need it, where it comes from and how people choose it

How we do it

  • Practice the scientific process by asking questions, making and recording observations, exploring and experimenting with materials, and researching
  • Read alouds and independent reading
  • Field trips and expert visitors

First Grade PE

What we do

  • Introduction to floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, dance, soccer, track and field and badminton
  • Fair play
  • Cooperation

How we do it

  • Development of self-confidence to participate in multiple forms of physical activity
  • Participate in activities and games
  • Participate in PE twice a week

1st Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and phrases such as greetings, salutations, calendar, weather, numbers, family and community
  • Expression of opinions is emphasized by routinely asking and answering questions in Spanish such as “What is your favorite (color, number, day, etc.)?”

How we do it

  • Communication and expression are practiced through oral comprehension, the use of visuals, listening to story books, Total Physical Response (TPR) and movement activities
  • Additional oral practice happens through music (songs and chants), fun activities and interactive games

1st Grade Art

What we do

  • Building, design and history while working with clay
  • Three-dimensional work (sculpture) develops hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills
  • Appreciation of various cultures
  • Sewing, drawing, watercolor, tempera paint, easel-painting, magnet-making and puppets
  • Fiber arts: felting, weaving, knitting

How we do it

  • Art projects enhance academic learning
  • Math concepts, such as pattern and counting, are enforced through collage and beading

1st Grade Music

What we do

  • Personal vocabulary to describe voices, instruments and music from diverse cultures
  • Identify musical forms (e.g., phrase, echo), and read, write and perform simple patterns of rhythm and pitch using beat and rest in variations of 4/4 time
  • Use singing voices with more accuracy, and learn to improvise rhythmic accompaniments using voice and body

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement and verbalization
  • Performance and reflection
  • Orff Schulwerk program: rhymes, games, simple beats, wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels

1st Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Seed saving and Bay Area gardening
  • Cultivate empathy for the natural world
  • Practice stewardship for the land
  • Gain knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening practices

How we do it

  • Use binoculars, magnifying lenses, measuring instruments and other tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden

1st Grade Community Based Learning

The Green Hairstreak Butterfly has inspired an interdisciplinary unit involves the collaboration of seven CDS teachers and two community partners. At the start of the school year, the students analyze and reconstruct with maps and models in their School Neighborhood Study with their homeroom teachers. Then, they explore the wants and needs of animals in their neighborhood in Science at the start of winter. In Farm and Garden classes, concurrently, students learn about gardens, green spaces, insects and pollinators. Butterflies are explored in both the core and Farm and Garden classes, as well as in Community Based Learning lessons, which are integrated into science. Students explore what host plants and nectar sources are specifically needed for a healthy habitat for this delicate yet intrepid butterfly, grow these plants in our garden and transfer them in service to the butterfly, in the Sunset District, at Herbert Hoover Middle School with the organization, Kids in Parks. Herbert Hoover Middle School students are Green Hairstreak Experts and they plant the host and nectar sources alongside our first graders.

1st Grade Drama & Theater

Optional drama in after school program

2nd Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Word solving and vocabulary development
  • Compare and contrast information across texts
  • Build fluency and comprehension skills
  • Study the ways authors use word choice, figurative language, punctuation, and patterns to construct meaning and evoke feelings in readers
  • Stretch out small moments and write with detail
  • Gather evidence from texts to craft persuasive arguments
  • Use line breaks, rhythm, and figurative speech to write more clearly and powerfully

How we do it

  • Reading Workshop
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies and decoding skills and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a lifelong reader. 
  • Writing Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills, and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions. 
  • Phonics, Spelling, & Word Study
    Spelling Connections is a comprehensive spelling curriculum that provides complete, explicit, differentiated instruction that allows students to retain, internalize, and transfer valuable spelling knowledge for improved results in all areas of literacy.
  • Handwriting
    Letter formation is reviewed and practiced using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. 

2nd Grade Math

What we do

  • Become fluent with addition and subtraction facts with numbers to 20
  • Add and subtract with numbers up to 1,000
  • Measure length and solve problems involving lengths
  • Identify, describe, compare, put together, and take apart shapes

How we do it

Bridges in Mathematics, a leading curriculum that blends problem-solving and skill building with teaching strategies and objectives. The program combines whole group, small group and independent activities and supports the development of mathematical thinking for students through exploration, testing and reasoning.

 

2nd Grade Science

What we do

  • Marine mammals, life cycle, tide pools, pebbles, sand and silt and habitats.
  • Experiment with minerals and the rock cycle
  • Explore where earth materials are found and ways they are used
  • Develop an understanding that objects can have many properties, including size, weight, shape, color and texture

How we do it

  • Plan and conduct simple investigations
  • Employ tools and techniques to gather data
  • Use data to construct reasonable explanations
  • FOSS Kit (Pebbles, Sand and Silt)
    A research-based science curriculum developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley, FOSS combines proven teaching strategies with field-tested materials to promote scientific literacy and student achievement. Students construct an understanding of science concepts through their own investigations and analyses, using laboratory equipment, student readings and interactive technology. 
  • Lawrence Hall of Science (Stories in Stone)

2nd Grade PE

What we do

  • Floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, dance, soccer, track and field and badminton
  • Fair play
  • Cooperation
  • Rules and safety procedures
  • Conflict resolution

How we do it

  • Development of self-confidence to participate in multiple forms of physical activity
  • Activities and games

2nd Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and phrases/sentences
  • Further development of pronunciation and accent
  • Simple reading and writing skills

How we do it

  • Oral comprehension
  • Hands-on activities
  • Communication and expression
  • Preparing and performing skits

2nd Grade Art

What we do

  • How artists think and use materials
  • How artists from around the world provide real examples of these elements (e.g., the prints of Hokusai demonstrate shape, space and value; the work of Frida Kahlo shows color and value)
  • Fiber arts: felting, weaving, knitting

How we do it

  • Guided discoveries of materials help students expand their ideas, act on them and share their results with others.
  • Art projects and hands-on activities

2nd Grade Music

What we do

  • Explore treble clef, the C major scale and the music staff
  • Attributes of four families of musical instruments
  • Ascending/descending melody and even/uneven rhythm
  • Pentatonic scale, pitch symbols and patterns
  • Develop pitch

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Orff Schulwerk program: rhymes, games, simple beats, wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels

2nd Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Compost and support healthy soil
  • Cultivate empathy for the natural world
  • Practice stewardship for the land
  • Gain knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening practices

How we do it

  • Use binoculars, magnifying lenses, measuring instruments and other farm and garden tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden
  • Care for CDS animals and gardens

2nd Grade Community Based Learning

Integrated with the second grade tide pools unit in science, CBL classes are focused on exploring Marine Debris. How does trash get into the ocean? What types of marine debris can be found in the ocean, in what form, and where? How are scientists studying marine debris, in particular, plastics in the ocean? How much marine debris is in the ocean? Students come to their knowledge about the impacts human have on the ocean environment through inquiry, and begin to generate ideas on ways they can help. This integrated unit is comprised of a student initiated community service project that manifests at CDS, and a series of beach cleanups where classes chart and track the types of items collected. Second graders become passionate advocates for marine life and for educating others about what they learn.

2nd Grade Drama & Theater

Optional drama in after school program

3rd Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Move from learning to read to reading to learn
  • Distinguish common forms of literature and determine the underlying theme or author’s message in fiction and nonfiction text
  • Decode regular multisyllabic words
  • Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately, with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression
  • Use knowledge of antonyms, synonyms, homophones, and homographs to determine the meanings of words
  • Create paragraphs by developing topic sentences and including simple supporting facts and details
  • Revise drafts to improve the coherence and logical progression of ideas
  • Identify and use subjects and verbs correctly

How we do it

  • Reading Workshop
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group, and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies, and decoding skills, and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a lifelong reader. 
  • Writing Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions.
  • Phonics, Spelling, & Word Study
    Spelling Connections is a comprehensive spelling curriculum that provides complete, explicit, differentiated instruction that allows students to retain, internalize, and transfer valuable spelling knowledge for improved results in all areas of literacy.
  • Handwriting
    Cursive is introduced using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.  

3rd Grade Math

What we do

  • Multiply numbers from 0 to 10 with fluency
  • Multiply with numbers greater than 10
  • Add and subtract with numbers to 1,000
  • Work with unit fractions (fractions with a 1 in the numerator like 1/3 and 1/6) and add and subtract fractions
  • Explore division

How we do it

Bridges in Mathematics, a leading curriculum that blends problem-solving and skill building with teaching strategies and objectives. The program combines whole group, small group and independent activities and supports the development of mathematical thinking for students through exploration, testing and reasoning.

3rd Grade Science

What we do

  • Watersheds including how land impacts water supply and how people impact the health of the water supply
  • Bones, joints and muscles and ableism OR nutrition and food justice
  • Health and human sexuality including puberty, human reproductive system, body images and media messages

How we do it

  • Field trips and expert visitors
  • Lab investigations
  • Wetland restoration projects
  • Simulations and models
  • Project WET
  • Project WILD
  • FOSS (Full Option Science System)
     

3rd Grade PE

What we do

  • Specific skill development such as passing, dribbling, shooting, catching
  • Rules and strategies
  • Fair Play

How we do it

  • Skills practice
  • Development of self-confidence to participate in multiple forms of physical activity
  • Activities and games

3rd Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and phrases/sentences
  • Further development of pronunciation and accent
  • Simple reading and writing skills

How we do it

  • Oral comprehension
  • Hands-on activities
  • Communication and expression
  • Preparing and performing skits
  • Biweekly conversation class

3rd Grade Art

What we do

  • Line, shape, color, space, form, texture and value
  • Perception and identity to guide artistic exploration and frame discussion of the work of artists (e.g., Paul Cezanne and Georges Braque around perception; Cindy Sherman and Frida Kahlo around identity)
  • Fiber arts: felting, weaving, knitting

How we do it

  • Personal reflection and observation about featured artists
  • Art projects and hands-on activities

3rd Grade Music

What we do

  • Learn to read whole, half, dotted half, quarter and eighth notes and rests in 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 meter signature
  • Place notes on a staff
  • Compose music
  • Listen for sharps, flats and minor modalities, sing rounds and partner songs, and develop musical improvisation skills

How we do it

  • Work extensively with mood, dynamics and tempo, and listening, singing and performance emphasize a multicultural experience
  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Orff Schulwerk program: rhymes, games, simple beats, wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels

3rd Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Water use and raising chickens
  • Cultivate empathy for the natural world
  • Practice stewardship for the land
  • Gain knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening practices

How we do it

  • Use farm and garden tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden
  • Care for CDS animals and gardens

3rd Grade Community Based Learning

People with disabilities have made great strides over the past several decades to be more visible and recognized as “able” in our society. Third grade students build empathy and understanding by learning about the experiences of people with physical ability differences. The CBL unit includes an audit of the yard and first floor of our school building through a simulation activity using a pediatric wheelchair. Students can see first hand the challenges involved when entering certain spaces, attempting to access basic necessities, and accessing important information - all while in a wheelchair. This Ableism Awareness unit is intentionally taught in conjunction with the Human Body science unit. Students learn about athletes and dancers who experience living and working with a disability, and meet members of our community who advocate for them, including a physical therapist who treats people with spinal cord injuries and architects who work to redesign inaccessible spaces in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act.

3rd Grade Drama & Theater

Optional drama in after school program

4th Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, synonyms, antonyms, and idioms to determine the meaning of words and phrases
  • Draw from more than one source of information and evaluate newly-discovered information
  • Distinguish between cause and effect and between fact and opinion in expository text
  • Understand figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and how each is used
  • Create multi-paragraph compositions

How we do it

  • Reading Workshop
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group, and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies, and decoding skills, and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a lifelong reader. 
  • Writing Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole-group, small-group, and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills, and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions. 
  • Phonics, Spelling, & Word Study
    Spelling Connections is a comprehensive spelling curriculum that provides complete, explicit, differentiated instruction that allows students to retain, internalize, and transfer valuable spelling knowledge for improved results in all areas of literacy.
  • Handwriting
    Cursive letter formation is reviewed and practiced using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. 

4th Grade Math

What we do

  • Find factors and multiples of different numbers
  • Compare fractions and break fractions into smaller parts
  • Compare decimal numbers and find decimal and fraction equivalents
  • Develop efficient strategies for multiplying and dividing multi-digit numbers
  • Calculate area and volume
  • Measure and draw angles using protractors

How we do it

Bridges in Mathematics, a leading curriculum that blends problem-solving and skill building with teaching strategies and objectives. The program combines whole group, small group and independent activities and supports the development of mathematical thinking for students through exploration, testing and reasoning.

4th Grade Science

What we do

  • Magnetism and electricity including hands-on investigations that explore magnetic force, circuits, conductors and insulators
  • Life science investigation of organisms: their structures, the functions and adaptations of those structures 
  • The steps of the Scientific Process
  • Health and human sexuality including puberty, human reproductive system, body images and media messages

How we do it

  • Lab investigations  
  • Science notebooks  
  • Field trips  
  • FOSS (Full Option Science System)   

4th Grade PE

What we do

  • Skill development including trapping, throwing, lay-ups, goal tending, position play
  • Lifelong health and fitness including warm up and cool down exercises
  • Fair play
  • Conflict resolution

How we do it

  • Development of self-confidence to participate in multiple forms of physical activity
  • Activities and games
  • Fitness assessments

4th Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Pronunciation (accentuation of words, intonation, rhythm and melody of the sentence)
  • Communication (using Spanish phrases as often as possible)
  • Grammar (indefinite and definite articles, contraction of articles)
  • Gender of nouns and adjectives, plural of nouns/adjectives and subject pronouns

How we do it

  • Repeat, practice, memorize and act out different dialogues and situations based on questions and answers
  • Possess basic conversation skills: read and understand basic texts, and write sentences describing objects and people

4th Grade Art

What we do

  • Elements of art continue to provide a vocabulary to talk about art and the visual world
  • Drawing, sculpture (mixed media, clay, plaster, armatures), painting, weaving and printmaking
  • Measuring, reading and writing
  • World traditions are introduced to provide inspiration for projects and to build cultural appreciation
  • Fiber arts: felting, weaving, knitting

How we do it

  • Personal reflection and observation about featured artists
  • Art projects and hands-on activities

4th Grade Music

What we do

  • Discernment of instrumentation and origin of songs
  • Read and write music notation
  • Solfège (syllabication of musical scale notes) as well as songs, rounds and two-part harmonies are used to increase singing skills
  • How instruments are created and why they have specific shapes
  • Learn to play the recorder, guitar and percussion instruments

How we do it

  • Listen, move, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Dynamics and tempo, and listening, singing and performance emphasize a multicultural experience

4th Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Food choices and raising sheep
  • Cultivate empathy for the natural world
  • Practice stewardship for the land
  • Gain knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening practices

How we do it

  • Use farm and garden tools to make hands-on observations in the farm and garden
  • Care for CDS animals and gardens

4th Grade Community Based Learning

The Courage Project is a new project that is a collaboration of eight teachers, working across the disciplines of writing, physical education, farm and garden, community based learning, art and Spanish. Students inquire about the topics of sportsmanship, courage, bullying, and environmental stewardship, and focus on one. They then more deeply engage in the project’s driving questions: What is the problem? Why is it important? What can others do to help? Students write a public service announcement on their chosen topic and record their ideas in podcast form to be shared as part of a larger collaborative public awareness campaign.

4th Grade Drama & Theater

Optional drama in after school program

5th Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate and expression on successive readings
  • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details and clear event sequences
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking

How we do it

  • Writers’ Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions. 
  • Readers’ Workshop and independent reading
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies and decoding skills and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a life long reader. 
  • Daily grammar lessons
  • Multimedia projects and presentations
  • Individual reflection, research and writing including journals
  • Collaborative projects and activities
  • Quizzes and tests

5th Grade Math

What we do

  • Part 1 of 2-year program of pre-algebra     
  • Estimation and problem solving
  • Numbers and operations, whole number operations
  • Decimal operations, fraction operations, rates and ratios
  • Measurement, data interpretation and probability
  • Geometry

How we do it

  • Logic and applied story problems from every-day life; special projects
  • Reinforcement of concepts from Everyday Math, ASG and Jump Math programs and online practice
  • Estimation and proofing before and after applied math problem-solving
  • Student-directed exploration with Unifix cubes, base 10 blocks, Cuisenaire rods, bean counters and human body activities on a number line marked on the playground
  • Small group, whole class instruction

5th Grade Science

What we do

  • Part 1 of 2-year environmental science program includes weather and climate, recording and forecasting weather or microclimates of the San Francisco Bay Area, hurricanes and other extreme weather phenomena of Earth’s atmosphere
  • Wind, air masses and weather fronts; hydrologic cycle
  • Barometric pressure and relative humidity
  • Geologic structures: Earth’s core and plate tectonics, volcanoes, rock cycle, earthquakes
  • Geologic processes, weathering and deformation, erosion and deposition of soil formation
  • Waves and tides

How we do it

  • Scientific Inquiry and laboratory investigations
  • Multimedia projects
  • Scientific annotation and research

5th Grade PE

What we do

  • Move in an environment and explore new activities
  • Team building, cooperative activities
  • Soccer, ultimate games, capture the flag, yard games
  • Volleyball, basketball, badminton, floor hockey and juggling
  • Fitness and circuit training; track and field events
  • Physical fitness testing; bowling, bocce ball

How we do it

  • Individual, partner and group movement activities
  • Skills work, games, mile run
  • Introduction to equipment:  rackets, balls, fitness equipment and flags
  • Ball familiarization and manipulation:  tossing, catching, targets, rolling, fielding
  • Personal and social development through expansion of knowledge of organized play through participation, positive competition and personal control of emotions and body

5th Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and grammar concepts pertaining to:
  • Greetings: saying hello and goodbye
  • Getting ready for school
  • Being at school
  • Activities and free-time
  • Routines and daily life
  • Family

How we do it

  • Differentiated activities
  • Class discussions
  • Multimedia projects and presentation
  • Online activities
  • Conversation
  • Tests and quizzes

5th Grade Art

What we do

  • Painting, sewing, sculpture, needle felting, ceramics, murals, digital mediums, photography, observational drawing and more
  • Techniques with clay
  • Art and mathematics

How we do it

  • Practice skills and techniques
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Design, exploration and experimentation
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, an array of visual arts techniques and mediums are explored
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to express themselves artistically

5th Grade Music

What we do

  • Singing, beginning and advanced instrumental, choir, world drumming, dance and more
  • Ukulele: new notes, chords, scales and strumming patterns
  • The evolution of music from the early 20th century to the present: the Contemporary period.
  • Music history including Arnold Schoenberg, George Gershwin, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and Michael Jackson
  • Notes on the treble clef as well as rhythms and conducting patterns in both simple and compound meters (4/4, 2/4, 3/4 and 6/8)

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices.
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, music is a central component of the middle school experience.
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to communicate with and through music

5th Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Learn the story of our food and its impact on human health, environments, and communities
  • Engage with growing, harvesting, and cooking food
  • Interface with experts in the field to better understand the science and future of food
  • Experience hands-on lab, kitchen, and garden activities
  • Understand sustainability in relation to our food

How we do it

  • Develop an understanding of the differences between food systems: industrial/conventional; industrialized organic farming; local/sustainable; gardened/foraged/hunted
  • Gain knowledge and experience in the global implications of different food systems by understanding the journey, process, and impacts our food has on our health and the environment
  • Study domestication of crops, global ecological impacts of agriculture, plant genetics, and soil and gut micral biome

5th Grade Community Based Learning

Middle School teachers work in collaboration with the Community Based Learning Specialist to design projects that align with their humanities or science curriculum. Importantly, current events take hold strongly in the middle school and so, civic educational opportunities and service learning projects, emerge. Student interests are also taken strongly into consideration. Projects vary from year to year, yet include exploring issues like homelessness, voting, and gun control.

What we do

  • Community and school serve one another over time
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Participatory action research and public education to create campaigns and sustainable change

How we do it

  • Emergent, based on what students notice in the world and connects with the curriculum

5th Grade Drama & Theater

What

  • Empower students’ self-confidence
  • Foster respect for individuals and community
  • Create safe space for students to explore their creativity
  • Meet each at their level and challenge them
  • Build kinesthetic confidence

How?

  • Prepare audition piece
  • Meet deadlines for lines and blocking
  • Develop character
  • Learn aspects of production: directing, dramaturgy, sound, lights
  • Attend rehearsals and performance

6th Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information through the selection, organization and analysis of relevant content
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation and spelling when writing

How we do it

  • Writers’ Workshop
    Students self-select writing topics and engage in the writing process. They are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and one-to-one instruction that allows each individual student to become a more competent writer. Specific genres, skills and strategies are taught in accordance with grade level benchmarks. Students learn to use writing as a meaningful and powerful tool to communicate and express their ideas and opinions. 
  • Readers’ Workshop and independent reading
    Students are guided to self-select reading materials that are at their independent reading level and are supported with a balance of whole group, small group and individualized instruction to progress to the next level. Students are exposed to a variety of genres, comprehension strategies and decoding skills and are immersed in a culture of reading and talking about books that fosters the habits of a life long reader. 
  • Daily grammar lessons
  • Multimedia projects and presentations
  • Individual reflection, research and writing including journals
  • Collaborative projects and activities
  • Quizzes and tests

6th Grade Math

What we do

  • Part 2 of 2-year program of pre-algebra
  • Mastery with logic and problem-solving strategies and mastery in making math-related connections to the world beyond the classroom
  • Whole number operations, basic arithmetic operations, estimation, complex problem-solving using whole numbers and complex problem-solving using decimals
  • Comparing and ordering fractions and finding fraction/decimal equivalents
  • Computation of percentages, interest and compound interest
  • Number theories and properties, order of operations, property of zero, distributive, associative, commutative, and identity properties
  • Evaluation of simple numerical phrases with one or two algebraic variables
  • Squares of whole numbers, Pythagorean Theorem
  • Use of both metric system and system of measurement commonly used in the United States
  • Linear measurement including perimeter, patterns, functions and algebra

How we do it

  • Logic and applied story problems from every-day life; special projects
  • Reinforcement of concepts from Everyday Math, ASG and Jump Math programs and online practice
  • Estimation and proofing before and after applied math problem-solving
  • Student-directed exploration

6th Grade Science

What we do

  • Part 2 of 2-year environmental science program includes simple organisms, bacteria, fungi, “primitive plants”
  • Botany, botanical classification, roots, stems and nutrient cycles
  • Leaves and photosynthesis, flowers and reproduction, plant adaptations, plants in rainforest, alpine and desert environments
  • Aquatic animals: anatomy, behavior, diversity, habitats
  • Ecology – introduction to basic patterns and processes in ecosystems with an emphasis on the estuarine system of the greater San Francisco Bay/San Pablo Bay and the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta
  • Populations, keystone species, energy webs and trophic cascades
  • Foraging strategies and survival at extremes, measures and samples on biodiversity

How we do it

  • Scientific inquiry and laboratory investigations
  • Multimedia projects
  • Scientific annotation and research

6th Grade PE

What we do

  • Moving through space and time involving effort
  • Team building, cooperative activities
  • Soccer, ultimate games, capture the flag, yard games
  • Volleyball, basketball, badminton, floor hockey and juggling
  • Fitness and circuit training; track and field events
  • Physical fitness testing; bowling, bocce ball

How we do it

  • Individual, partner and group movement activities
  • Skills work, games, mile run
  • Introduction to equipment:  rackets, balls, fitness equipment, and flags
  • Ball familiarization and manipulation:  tossing, catching, targets, rolling, fielding
  • Personal and social development through expansion of knowledge of organized play through participation, positive competition and personal control of emotions and body

6th Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and grammar concepts pertaining to:
  • Making plans
  • Food
  • Shopping
  • Parties
  • Fitness and health
  • Vacation

How we do it

  • Differentiated activities
  • Class discussions
  • Multimedia projects and presentation
  • Online activities
  • Conversation
  • Tests and quizzes

6th Grade Art

What we do

  • Painting, sewing, sculpture, needle felting, ceramics, murals, digital mediums, photography, observational drawing and more
  • Frottage: develop a composition entirely made from rubbings
  • Printmaking: learn several printmaking styles such as relief, foam and photo etching
  • Using a printing press
  • Collage: combine magazine images with text

How we do it

  • Practice skills and techniques
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Design, exploration and experimentation
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, an array of visual arts techniques and mediums are explored
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to express themselves artistically

6th Grade Music

What we do

  • Singing, beginning and advanced instrumental, choir, world drumming, dance and more
  • Music from cultures of Latin America: Caribbean Islands and Central America
  • Learning songs in different languages, becoming familiar with instruments used in various cultures and comparing aspects of Latin American cultures with our own
  • Emphasis on syncopation and upbeat rhythms
  • South America, Carnaval and samba drumming
  • Rhythms that include quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes in various simple and compound time signatures
  • Rhythms and conducting patterns in 5/4 time
  • How various aesthetic qualities convey images, feeling and emotions in music

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, music is a central component of the middle school experience
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to communicate with and through music

6th Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Learn the story of our food and its impact on human health, environments, and communities
  • Engage with growing, harvesting, and cooking food
  • Interface with experts in the field to better understand the science and future of food
  • Experience hands-on lab, kitchen, and garden activities
  • Understand sustainability in relation to our food

How we do it

  • Develop an understanding of the differences between food systems: industrial/conventional; industrialized organic farming; local/sustainable; gardened/foraged/hunted
  • Gain knowledge and experience in the global implications of different food systems by understanding the journey, process, and impacts our food has on our health and the environment
  • Study domestication of crops, global ecological impacts of agriculture, plant genetics, and soil and gut microbiome
  • Choose a vegetable or fruit and research its life from farm to table to illustrate the complexity of the global food system
  • Interview farmers, plant biologists, food scientists, and industry professionals to understand the the food system which their fruit or vegetable is a part of
  • Research subjects such as seed source, planting strategy, fertilizer/pesticide applications, harvest, transport, seasonality and availability in market, processing or lack thereof, and finished product.

6th Grade Community Based Learning

Middle School teachers work in collaboration with the Community Based Learning Specialist to design projects that align with their humanities or science curriculum. Importantly, current events take hold strongly in the middle school and so, civic educational opportunities and service learning projects, emerge. Student interests are also taken strongly into consideration. Projects vary from year to year, yet include exploring issues like homelessness, voting, and gun control.

What we do

  • Community and school serve one another over time
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Participatory action research and public education to create campaigns and sustainable change

How we do it

6th Grade Drama & Theater

What

  • Empower students’ self-confidence
  • Foster respect for individuals and community
  • Create safe space for students to explore their creativity
  • Meet each at their level and challenge them
  • Build kinesthetic confidence

How?

  • Prepare audition piece
  • Meet deadlines for lines and blocking
  • Develop character
  • Learn aspects of production: directing, dramaturgy, sound, lights
  • Attend rehearsals and performance

7th Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions
  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text

How we do it

  • Shared and independent reading
  • Class discussions
  • Grammar and vocabulary lessons
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Essay writing, note taking     
  • Write and research compare and contrast papers

7th Grade Math

What we do

  • Mix of pre-algebra and algebra skills including fractions, ratios, rates, statistics, probability, number systems and number theory
  • Algebra includes graphing linear and exponential equations, solving one and two variable equations and understanding the derivation and use of linear equations in standard, intercept and point slope forms
  • Rigorous and consistent approach to solving math problems, from up front estimation to proof and confirmation
  • Proportional reasoning
  • Geometry

How we do it

  • Build student confidence in skills as a mathematician, problem solver and logician
  • Create a “tool set” of tables, graphs and charts and the supporting technical skills needed to create them
  • Apply tools such as statistics and probability to real world events
  • Build an understanding of how to detect patterns and how to represent them in graphs, tables and equations
  • Develop students’ understanding of rates and unit conversion
  • Build facility in working with equations and creating equations
  • Small group and whole class instruction
  • Test and quizzes
  • Daily math practice

7th Grade Science

What we do

  • Defining life and evolution
  • Understand cells and how they function
  • Human physiology
  • Compare human and animal physiology through dissection and observation
  • Genetics and inheritance
  • Health and disease with a sub-unit on Health and Human Sexuality
  • Tech Lab= technology explorations trough digital fabrication using open source platforms, coding and arduino boards

How we do it

  • Design and conduct simple experiments
  • Scientific inquiry and investigations
  • Multimedia projects and presentations
  • Digital fabrication
  • Capture and present data
  • Develop an understanding of how to analyze a specific result and how to synthesize work to develop useful general conclusions
  • Practice communicating and engaging in informed argument and discussion

7th Grade PE

What we do

  • Partner work and practicing conflict resolution
  • Team building, cooperative activities
  • Soccer, ultimate games, capture the flag, yard games
  • Volleyball, basketball, badminton, floor hockey and juggling
  • Fitness and circuit training; track and field events
  • Physical fitness testing; bowling, bocce ball

How we do it

  • Individual, partner and group movement activities
  • Skills work, games, mile run
  • Introduction to equipment: rackets, balls, fitness equipment and flags
  • Ball familiarization and manipulation: tossing, catching, targets, rolling, fielding
  • Personal and social development through expansion of knowledge of organized play through participation, positive competition and personal control of emotions and body

7th Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and grammar concepts pertaining to:
  • Review of ser, numbers 0- 30, the hour, nouns and articles
  • School supplies, classroom, classes
  • Verbs in -ar, questions, estar, numbers 31 and above
  • Family, adjectives
  • Verbs in -er and -ir
  • Pastimes, stem changing verbs
  • Irregular verbs
  • Vacation

How we do it

  • Differentiated activities
  • Class discussions
  • Multimedia projects and presentation
  • Online activities
  • Conversation
  • Tests and quizzes

7th Grade Art

What we do

  • Painting, sewing, sculpture, needle felting, ceramics, murals, digital mediums, photography, observational drawing and more
  • “Make room! MAKE ROOM!” Students create their own unique table setting, teapot or serving piece including plates, bowls, cups and flatware inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland
  • Slab, coil and pinching techniques as well as surface design and various glazing techniques

How we do it

  • Practice of skills and techniques
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Design, exploration and experimentation
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, an array of visual arts techniques and mediums are explored
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to express themselves artistically

7th Grade Music

What we do

  • Singing, beginning and advanced instrumental, choir, world drumming, dance and more
  • Musical traditions from all different parts of Africa
  • Drumming and movement
  • Ghana-style marimba ensemble
  • Improvisation of both tonal and non-tonal classroom instruments
  • Exploration of a new time signature (7/8)

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices.
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, music is a central component of the middle school experience
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to communicate with and through music

7th Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Learn the story of our food and its impact on human health, environments, and communities
  • Engage with growing, harvesting, and cooking food
  • Interface with experts in the field to better understand the science and future of food
  • Experience hands-on lab, kitchen, and garden activities
  • Understand sustainability in relation to our food

How we do it

  • Explore healthy eating through culinary science that focuses on understanding the story of our food and how it relates to culture, nutrition, and sustainability
  • Learn about the science of taste, flavor and aroma, plant genetics, humans’ digestive biome, and social issues surrounding policy and industry in reforming the food system
  • Draw on the facts of food labeling, nutritional information, food marketing strategies, GMOs, and the science of taste, flavor and aroma to create a recipe for a health bar
  • Participate in an “Iron Chef” simulated activity to create the health bar and be judged on the following criteria: nutrition, taste, flavor, packaging/labeling, and marketing

7th Grade Community Based Learning

Middle School teachers work in collaboration with the Community Based Learning Specialist to design projects that align with their humanities or science curriculum. Importantly, current events take hold strongly in the middle school and so, civic educational opportunities and service learning projects, emerge. Student interests are also taken strongly into consideration. Projects vary from year to year, yet include exploring issues like homelessness, voting, and gun control.

What we do

  • Community and school serve one another over time
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Participatory action research and public education to create campaigns and sustainable change

How we do it

  • Emergent, based on what students notice in the world and connects with the curriculum
  • Seventh grade projects have included partnerships with the San Francisco Food Bank, Notre Dame Plaza, Free the Children, Glide Memorial Church, Bear Creek Watershed, Give Something Back International,  Boundless Classroom, CICERO Learning Network, University of Helsinki

7th Grade Drama & Theater

What

  • Introduction to Shakespeare and a week-long intensive trip to Ashland, Oregon and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
  • Empower students’ sense of self-worth
  • Foster respect for individuals and community
  • Create safe space for students to explore their creativity
  • Meet each at their level and challenge them
  • Build kinesthetic confidence

How?

  • Prepare audition piece
  • Meet deadlines for lines and blocking
  • Develop character
  • Learn aspects of production: directing, dramaturgy, sound, lights
  • Attend rehearsals and performance

8th Grade Language Arts

What we do

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content
  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of idea following a standard format for citation
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research

How we do it

  • Shared and independent reading
  • Class discussions
  • Grammar and vocabulary lessons
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Essay writing, note taking     
  • Write and research argumentative research papers

8th Grade Math

What we do

  • Mix of pre-algebra and algebra skills
  • Processes of using and defining linear equations, including using equations to model data and deriving models from actual data
  • Four methods of solving systems of two variable equations
  • Systems of inequality and their uses
  • Factoring and simplifying a variety of polynomial equations and exponential expressions
  • Proof and number and properties of real numbers and multiple techniques for solving quadratic equations
  • Function notation and trigonometric ratios
  • Complex rate, ratio, proportion and unit problems
  • Apply statistics to analyzing current social, political and scientific issues •   
  • Exponents and scientific notation

How we do it

  • Build an understanding of how to detect patterns and how to represent them in graphs, tables and equations
  • Develop students’ understanding of rates and unit conversion
  • Build facility in working with equations and creating equations
  • Small group and whole class instruction
  • Test and quizzes
  • Daily math practice

8th Grade Science

What we do

  • Distance, velocity and acceleration
  • Force and energy and simple machines
  • Electromagnetism, sounds and light, bending the mind – quantum mechanics and relativity
  • Physics and the atom, properties of elements, bonding and compounds
  • Balancing equations
  • Acid/base reactions, oxidation/reduction reactions and exothermic and endothermic reactions
  • Tech Lab= technology explorations trough digital fabrication using open source platforms, coding and arduino boards

How we do it

  • Design and conduct simple experiments
  • Scientific inquiry and investigations
  • Multimedia projects and presentations
  • Digital fabrication
  • Capture and present data
  • Develop an understanding of how to analyze a specific result and how to synthesize work to develop useful general conclusions
  • Practice communicating and engaging in informed argument and discussion

8th Grade PE

What we do

  • Continuity, change in movement, healthy competition
  • Team building, cooperative activities
  • Soccer, ultimate games, capture the flag, yard games
  • Volleyball, basketball, badminton, floor hockey and juggling
  • Fitness and circuit training; track and field events
  • Physical fitness testing; bowling, bocce ball

How we do it

  • Individual, partner and group movement activities
  • Skills work, games, mile run
  • Introduction to equipment: rackets, balls, fitness equipment and flags
  • Ball familiarization and manipulation: tossing, catching, targets, rolling, fielding
  • Personal and social development through expansion of knowledge of organized play through participation, positive competition and personal control of emotions and body

8th Grade Spanish

What we do

  • Vocabulary and grammar concepts pertaining to :
  • Estar, ser, present progressive, direct object pronouns
  • Shopping
  • Saber, conocer, indirect pronouns, past tense, adjectives
  • Daily routines
  • Reflexive verbs, irregular past tenses, gustar
  • Food and parties
  • Past tense of stem changing verbs, comparison
  • Irregular past tense, qué and cual, pronouns
  • Imperfect tense vs. preterito, construction with se
  • Familiar commands: imperative, por/para, reciprocal reflexives, pronouns
  • Life at home, technology, doctor’s office
  • Relative pronouns, formal commands: imperative/ subjunctive form

How we do it

  • Differentiated activities
  • Class discussions
  • Multimedia projects and presentation
  • Online activities
  • Conversation
  • Tests and quizzes

8th Grade Art

What we do

  • Painting, sewing, sculpture, needle felting, ceramics, murals, digital mediums, photography, observational drawing and more
  • The overlap and relationship between mathematical concepts and art by observing and analyzing patterns in nature, structural design and aesthetics in relationship to architecture, painting and ideas for sustainable design
  • Jay Harman of PAX Scientific, Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Bauhaus movement, Leonardo DaVinci
  • 3D models in paper, wire or wood and recycled materials

How we do it

  • Practice of skills and techniques
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Design, exploration and experimentation
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, an array of visual arts techniques and mediums are explored
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to express themselves artistically

8th Grade Music

What we do

  • Singing, beginning and advanced instrumental, choir, world drumming, dance and more
  • Eighth graders do not typically have a required music class but have first choice into the music elective of their choice

How we do it

  • Play instruments, sing, movement
  • Listen, create
  • Performance and reflection
  • Inspire students’ creativity by sparking the imagination and artistic voices.
  • Through a student-centered process of learning, practice and reflection, music is a central component of the middle school experience
  • Graduate students who are prepared and motivated to pursue their creative passions and confident in their unique abilities to communicate with and through music

8th Grade Farm & Garden

What we do

  • Learn the story of our food and its impact on human health, environments, and communities
  • Engage with growing, harvesting, and cooking food
  • Interface with experts in the field to better understand the science and future of food
  • Experience hands-on lab, kitchen, and garden activities
  • Understand sustainability in relation to our food

How we do it

  • Explore healthy eating through culinary science that focuses on understanding the story of our food and how it relates to culture, nutrition, and sustainability
  • Learn about the science of taste, flavor and aroma, plant genetics, humans’ digestive biome, and social issues surrounding policy and industry in reforming the food system
  • Learn the science, art, and culture around fermented foods
  • Begin the process of fermentation with foods such as kimchi, cheese, yogurt, bread, and chocolate to understand the critical role of our human microbiome
  • Using microscopes and guest experts in the fields of food science, health, nutrition, and microbiology, delve into the importance of microbes (primarily bacteria and yeast) in our bodies that scientists are only now starting to understand

8th Grade Community Based Learning

Middle School teachers work in collaboration with the Community Based Learning Specialist to design projects that align with their humanities or science curriculum. Importantly, current events take hold strongly in the middle school and so, civic educational opportunities and service learning projects, emerge. Student interests are also taken strongly into consideration. Projects vary from year to year, yet include exploring issues like homelessness, voting, and gun control.

What we do

  • Community and school serve one another over time
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Participatory action research and public education to create campaigns and sustainable change

How we do it

  • Emergent, based on what students notice in the world and connects with the curriculum
  • Eighth grade projects have included partnerships with the San Francisco Food Bank, Notre Dame Plaza, Free the Children, Tree New Mexico, the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, NAIS 20/20 Challenge with partner school in Lahore, Pakistan, City of San Francisco (registering voters)

     

8th Grade Drama & Theater

What

  • Culminating Shakespeare play
  • Empower students’ sense of self-worth
  • Foster respect for individuals and community
  • Create safe space for students to explore their creativity
  • Meet each at their level and challenge them
  • Build kinesthetic confidence

How?

  • Prepare audition piece
  • Meet deadlines for lines and blocking
  • Develop character
  • Learn aspects of production: directing, dramaturgy, sound, lights
  • Attend rehearsals and performance