Elementary School Curriculum - Hancock Day School
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Elementary School Curriculum

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Kindergarten Curriculum

Elementary school students attending kindergarten at Hancock Day School in Savannah focus on early readiness skills, phonics, reading, math, and social sciences. All core skills are also supported through art, physical education, music, Spanish, and technology teachings. Appreciation of literature is fostered throughout the school year as students visit the HDS library as a means of enhancing classroom collections.

Kindergarten Language Arts

  • Demonstrate phonemic awareness
  • Read fluently with good comprehension
  • Communicate effectively when writing and speaking

Kindergarten Math

  • Understand the meanings, uses and representations of numbers
  • Investigate characteristics and properties of geometric shapes
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Understand patterns, measurement, addition, and subtraction

Kindergarten Social Studies

  • Understand people and events celebrated by national and religious holidays
  • Identify American symbols and understand the meaning behind them
  • Identify and locate objects on a map

Kindergarten Science

  • Develop an understanding of types of weather, seasons, the five senses, landforms and habitats, products from animals, ocean animals, and dinosaurs
  • Understand the life cycle of a butterfly and plants
  • Investigate, observe and learn to pose questions
1st Grade Curriculum

The first grade curriculum, as part of the elementary school education at Hancock Day School in Savannah, incorporates a reading program with strong emphasis on phonics and reading comprehension. In addition to the comprehensive study of basal readers, students are also introduced to novel units, poetry, and various literature genre.

Everyday Mathematics education at HDS supports strategies that teach students to add and subtract whole numbers based on previous work with small numbers. First grade students build understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction by comparing a variety of solution strategies including methods to add within 100 and subtract multiples of 10. Whole number relationships and grouping in tens and ones are also fundamentals taught at this grade level. Measurement, describing, and recognizing geometric shapes, and initial understandings of properties such as congruence and symmetry serve to introduce students to reasoning skills.

Science and Social Studies are taught through teacher created thematic units. Students engage in sorting and classifying, explorations of various materials, experiments, practicing the scientific method, and drawing conclusions. Engaging students in reading and listening to stories about the past are learned as part of Social Studies while American History education speaks to the nation's founding and first colonies.

Additional skills are taught to first grade students as part of the HDS private school education in the following areas:

1st Grade Language Arts

  • Discriminate sounds and words, produce rhyming words, blend sounds and syllables to form words
  • Segment sounds, decode words, develop, and apply vocabulary
  • Read a variety of styles of literature and develop phonemic skills
  • Practice spelling words and understand vocabulary words used in context
  • Develop and practice the writing process including grammar skills and sentence structure
  • Continue to develop listening and organizational skills

1st Grade Mathematics

  • Develop skills for number awareness, place value, money, addition, subtraction, geometry and measurement
  • Begin to recall addition and subtraction facts
  • Develop concepts of time, temperature, and estimation
  • Work in cooperative groups and understand and use math terms

1st Grade Science

  • Units of study including the sun, moon, and stars, trees, weather, mass and matter, plants, and animals
  • The scientific method is introduced and culminates with an individual science project

1st Grade Social Studies

  • Study of America including important symbols, historical figures and love of country
  • Map skills and geography terms as well as awareness are introduced
2nd Grade Curriculum

Elementary school students attending second grade at Hancock Day School in Savannah will build upon knowledge gained in previous grade levels to expand their understanding in core courses of study. Language, Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies provide a holistic approach to education in order to deepen comprehension and enhance the curiosity of these eager learners. Communication skills, written expression, grammar understanding, and mechanics and spelling are the primary focus of language and reading. Math education will hone addition and subtraction skills already learned and also introduce the concepts of multiplication and division. Science teachings explore the areas of geography, astronomy, and physical science while Social Studies broadens understanding of the history of Georgia as well as the influence of Native Americans in shaping the nation.

Additional skills are taught to second-grade students as part of the HDS private school education in the following areas:

2nd Grade Language Arts

  • Decode and define a variety of vocabulary words; Define and identify synonyms, homonyms, and antonyms; Use dictionaries and the thesaurus to broaden vocabulary
  • Continue phonics skills; Identify base word, prefix, and suffix and apply rules of syllabication

2nd Grade Reading

  • Read a variety of genres for information and pleasure
  • Use inference and recall details in order to understand text
  • Refine research skills

2nd Grade Mathematics

  • Use a variety of learning techniques including manipulative, educational games, and technology
  • Recall addition and subtraction facts
  • Introduce multiplication and division

2nd Grade Science

  • Study of the life cycle of insects, plants, and animals
  • Describe the physical attributes of stars and planets
  • Identify habitats of endangered animals

2nd Grade Social Studies

  • Explore the relationship of Native Americans with settlers in North America
  • Strong focus on the colony of Georgia including important people, landforms, major cities, and significant events
3rd Grade Curriculum

The elementary school curriculum for third grade at Hancock Day School in Savannah emphasizes critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, grammar, and a variety of writing processes in all subject areas. Through the Everyday Mathematics program, students develop concepts and skills over time using multiple strategies. A major goal in third grade is to teach students to be organized, responsible, and more independent with their own schoolwork. Differentiated instruction, including cooperative learning and partnerships, helps expose students to a variety of learning styles.

Additional skills are taught to third-grade students as part of the HDS private school education in the following areas:

3rd Grade Language Arts

  • Read a variety of literature daily and practice a variety of comprehension strategies
  • Practice writing concepts, writing mechanics, cursive, sentence structure, and grammar and usage
  • Develop and practice the writing process, spelling, and vocabulary words

3rd Grade Mathematics

  • Continue to improve math facts, including addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Develop skills with multiplication and division of whole numbers, place value, fractional understanding, and measurement skills
  • Practice number routines that include time, calendar, estimation, and temperature
  • Communicate mathematical ideas, work in cooperative learning groups, and understand mathematical terms

3rd Grade Science

  • Use appropriate tools to gather data and draw conclusions
  • Carry out, record, and develop simple experiments
  • Engage in studies of earth science, life science, and physical science

3rd Grade Social Studies

  • Use biographies to explore important Americans and events that shaped the nation
  • Engage in discussions and practice of geography skills
  • Learn the fifty states and their abbreviations using a US map
4th Grade Curriculum

The elementary school curriculum for fourth grade at Hancock Day School in Savannah stresses independence and responsibility. Students read a variety of novels, use writing for many purposes, and apply correct grammar skills. A focus of fourth grade education is to build confidence needed for new skills, especially in the area of mathematics. Social studies and science incorporate the hands-on lessons indicative of independent school education, and off-campus field trips further enhance the classroom curriculum. Fourth grade is a year of growth, both physically, and academically.

Additional skills are taught to fourth-grade students as part of the HDS private school education in the following areas:

4th Grade Reading

  • Develop comprehension and reasoning skills by reading a variety of literary texts and genres

4th Grade Grammar

  • Enhance grammar understanding as used in all parts of speech, writing mechanics, and reference-materials

4th Grade Mathematics

  • Expand multiplication and division to 2 to 3 digit numbers
  • Explore geometric shapes, measurements, data analysis, and early algebra

4th Grade Social Studies

  • Increase knowledge of early North American explorers through the start of the Civil War

4th Grade Science

  • Study the earth's atmosphere, energy, simple machines, electricity, magnetism, and space
5th Grade Curriculum

Students attending fifth grade at Hancock Day School in Savannah will acquire the skills necessary to confidently move from elementary school to middle school by year's end. Expanding on the core courses that have been taught thus far, students will sharpen their skills in language, math, social studies and science through a challenging and engaging curriculum.

Specific skills taught to fifth-grade students as part of the HDS private school education include the following:

5th Grade Language Arts

Students will practice a variety of reading strategies to help them interpret text on a meaningful level. Fifth graders engage in guided reading, literature circles, whole-class instruction, and independent reading to strengthen the practices of life-long readers. Journal writing, the use of mentor texts, and writing workshops facilitate fifth grade development of writing skills.

  • Practice reading and identification of a variety of texts and genres including drama, poetry, and fiction.
  • Use fiction writing to analyze literary elements and understand an author's craft including the use of figurative language, foreshadowing, flashback, imagery, tone, and dialogue
  • Study informative texts as a means of summarizing the central idea, analyzing information, recognizing cause and effect, drawing conclusions, and understanding graphic features
  • Write work with a clear focus, sufficient detail, coherent organization, and effective use of voice and conventions for a variety of purposes
  • Engage in brainstorming, editing, revising and publishing written work
  • Identify and practice the use of grammatical and mechanical conventions while building a complex sentence structure
  • Develop vocabulary based on novel studies and the Wordly Wise vocabulary series
  • Master spelling based on syllabication rules, spelling patterns, frequently used words, and challenging content words

5th Grade Social Studies

Fifth grade Social Studies content includes a study of American History from the American Civil War through World War II. Students are exposed to a variety of instructional mediums including textbooks, historical fiction, interactive Smartboard activities, educational videos, informative local field trips, independent studies, and group projects.

  • Explore the causes, course, and resulting effects of the American Civil War and Reconstruction through traditional and hands-on experiences
  • Discuss and analyze westward expansion, the Industrial Revolution, and immigration in the United States through primary and secondary sources of education
  • Discuss major domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the United States becoming a world power and how this led to the U.S. involvement in WWI and WWII

5th Grade Mathematics

In the fifth grade, students continue to build upon skills and concepts mastered in prior grades with the Everyday Math program. Please refer to the EDM link for skills and concepts taught at the fifth grade level.

5th Grade Science

Units of study are based on the National Science Education Standards and include life science (classifying organisms, cells, body systems, and ecosystems) and physical science (matter-properties and changes, forces, simple machines, forms of energy, and electricity).

  • Study of life science including understanding the structure and function of living systems, populations and ecosystems, as well as diversity and adaptations of organisms
  • Focus on physical science and specifically properties and changes in property of matter, motions and forces, as well as transfers of energy

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