Lower Elementary Program — Grades 1-3

Program Goals:

  • The three-year curriculum is designed so that children revisit, build on, and deepen their understanding of many broad topics with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.

  • Present Cultural Subjects (Botany, Zoology, Physical Science, Geography, and History), Language Arts, Writing, Mathematics, and Geometry as a totally integrated curriculum.

  • Provide personalized instruction in Mathematics and Language Arts.

  • Enrich the curriculum through Art, Music, Spanish, Fitness Education, Computer Lab, Health, Science Lab, Drama, and Conflict Resolution; a study of Greek & Latin Roots starts at 3rd grade.

  • Equip students with tools for successful learning as self-directed learners, leaders, and group members, including collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, conflict resolution, communication, presentation, organization, time management, and the use of technology for research and writing.
Lower Elementary Large Bead Frame
Large Bead Frame Multiplication

This student is solving two-digit multiplication equations using the Large Bead Frame. This is one of six materials we use to practice the process of multiplication, and the first that we use to introduce children to the partial products that combine to make final products, the answer in multiplication.

Outdoor Classroom

The newly redesigned Lower Elementary outdoor classroom provides space for students to explore the natural world, care for the environment, and move their bodies. Here we see two students discussing how to do multiplication, using the river rock as their materials. What a great moment!

Lower Elementary - Intro to Checkerboard
Introduction to the Checkerboard

One student beamed as she said, “This is the biggest number I’ve ever read!” These students practiced composing and reading numbers on the Checkerboard using bead bars. This is an important first step before they learn to use the Checkerboard to practice the process of multiplication. In case you’re wondering, this number is 124,326,451.

Fitness Education: Extinction

What a glorious day for our Elementary students to get some exercise and build cooperation and planning skills. This game is called Extinction. The students in the middle are the wolf pack. They are in pairs, holding onto a rope, and have to plan and work cooperatively with each other to tag the other students, who are the buffalo. The game isn’t over until all of the buffalo have become extinct by being tagged by the wolves. The students love this and take turns as members of the wolf pack or buffalo.

Rhyming Words

This student is using our word study drawers to deepen her phonemic awareness and support reading fluency. Older students, who have already demonstrated competency in rhyming, check her work for her. She can make changes, if she needs to, before she writes the words.

Lower Elementary Animal Kingdom

This Lower Elementary student is working on a big work, The Animal Kingdom Chart, which requires concentration for long durations. She learns that animals are organized into groups called Phyla which include Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Annelida, Arthopoda, Mollusca, Echinodermata, and Chordata. That’s a mouthful!


We used our courtyard to discover what a perimeter is and how to measure it. We measured the perimeter in “feet”. Back inside our building, the children were excited to use rulers to measure the perimeter of the Elementary and EC hallways.