Students in grades 1-4 are introduced to a wide variety of educational subjects and begin to instill a lifetime love of learning.
In our elementary school, students start their learning experience in a supportive environment, with hands-on, integrated technology, and parental involvement. By the time they move on to fifth grade, they've received instruction in language, music, art, mathematics, science, and history and have learned to manage academic responsibility with instructor support.
First grade is a building block in the strong foundation students will need for continued success at Chapin. It is a time when they begin a major transition in their intellectual growth and they begin to approach the world more logically. This year is a key year in terms of both social and academic growth as well as forming good work habits and attitudes.
The first grader is extremely open and eager to learn all she or he can. Curiosity, imagination, and enthusiasm are at their peak at this point in a child’s life.
Children will travel to Antarctica for an integrated math, language arts, and science units about penguins. They will explore solids and liquids to discover and apply the scientific method. They will learn all about planting corn and different farm animals on a trip to Howell Living History Farm - and then use this knowledge to design and build their own farm in a math unity.
Hands-on, experiential learning and design-process activities are a major component of the curriculum and allow students to explore their different learning styles.
Children explore the world through all of their academic disciplines in our immersive thematic units.
Books are a starting point to helping them experience the wonders of the many different topics that interest and tantalize the first grade mind.
Second grade is a time of social, emotional, and cognitive growth. As children gain confidence in their abilities, they develop a greater sense of independence and are more willing to take risks. Their peer relationships become increasingly important and their circle of friends broadens.
The goal for the school year is to have all second graders become excited about learning and to view their learning as an engaging, fun experience.
Second graders begin to solve problems without adult intervention and assume greater responsibility for their actions.
As expectations increase, students realize the need for structure and self-discipline.
Better organizational habits begin to develop.
Students are more observant and “tuned in” to the world around them
Their ability to make connections and to relate one concept or idea to another gradually evolves. In second grade, an effort is made to integrate curricular themes, providing opportunities for students to make connections and relate ideas.
Third grade is a transitional year that sees children through huge leaps in physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. It is a time of rapid growth and development - and it is an appropriate time to encourage and support the independence children are ready for and seeking.
The third grade curriculum allows children to expand their views through the humanities where social studies and language arts align.
Students also have many opportunities to further develop their individual “voice” by writing for a variety of purposes: to persuade, to describe, to tell a story, and to report information.
Our science curriculum bolsters students' analysis and critical thinking skills with our units that range from studies of rocks and minerals to motion and design.
Math builds on the concepts and skills presented in second grade with an emphasis on multiplication, division, and fractions.
Special field trips and hands-on learning opportunities include visits to the Sterling Mine and Churchville Nature Center.
Fourth grade is the bridge year between childhood and preadolescence. Students go through many changes throughout the year and need to feel secure, confident, and comfortable with themselves, their peers, and their surroundings. They must be able to negotiate, compromise, and mediate differences with their fellow students in acceptable ways. The irrepressible enthusiasm that fourth graders have for learning is met with appropriately challenging work that is supported by incrementally increased demands and teacher guidance.
Children leave their fourth grade year confident that they have mastered many of the skills necessary for success in Chapin’s Upper School and for taking on greater levels of independence and complexity.
During the year, students are presented a variety of opportunities to help them develop the social skills necessary to cope with all these social-emotional issues, as well as guided conversations with the US Student Character Committee. Fourth graders have an irrepressible enthusiasm for learning. This is the time when key skills, such as organization and time management, are developed for students to become independent, responsible learners. The fourth-grade curriculum includes many units of study, which allow students to view the world through the eyes of another, generally someone their own age, but perhaps in a different time or place.
Chapin’s Virtues and developing the students’ leadership role in the Lower School supports discussions on the theme of empathy across many types of literature and genre.
Our Language Arts and Social Studies lessons are strongly linked and fourth graders begin to find universal truths about relationships, families, and ultimately, about themselves.
Cooperative learning activities in social studies and science, whether working on a design challenge presentation with a partner or exploring the far reaches of the universe, encourage students to develop their critical-thinking and social skills that enhance their friendships and their learning.