Curriculum, Scope & Sequence

Language Arts: Language objectives in Early Childhood Three include helping children learn to follow simple directions, increase their listening skills, and expand their vocabulary.  Language development depends on our ability to draw children into dramatic play, discussion/conversation, stories, songs, and group activities.  We teach new vocabulary words everyday in the use of stories, songs, and fingerplays.  All of these activities are integrated across the curriculum.

Math: Math fun in early childhood three is everywhere!... recognizing basic shapes, counting objects, and naming numerals.  In the three year old program, children are beginning to distinguish sizes and proportions; they are replicating simple patterns and learning calendar concepts.  We have many developmental materials that help to teach math concepts to children and we encourage them to select and play with these manipulatives.

Science: The purpose of Science in the early childhood three program is to further develop the curiosity and inquisitiveness with which young children are born.  The children are introduced to seasons and seasonal changes through exploration inside and outside of the classroom.  They will learn about the basic needs of people, animals and plants.  The children will learn the rudimentary rules for caring for our environment.  Hands-on activities help the children identify their five senses while learning how those senses enhance their daily lives. 

Social Studies: Social Studies in early childhood three promotes an awareness of the uniqueness of each individual child.  We also explore the similarities of the children and their familial relationships.  Learning cooperative play and work with the classroom “family” of children is paramount.  Appreciating the rights of others and being accepting of suggestions and directions is an important goal.  The children will learn new responsibilities as a member of a classroom peer group.  They begin to understand where they fit in at Aylett Country Day School.

Language Arts: Language Arts in Pre-Kindergarten Four provides readiness activities for the areas of reading, writing, and auditory discrimination.  Development of skills is integrated across the curriculum.  These include: following directions, increasing vocabulary and using expressive language; listening to stories, and predicting words and actions that come next in a sequence; being introduced to upper case letter names and consonant letter sounds; using crayons, scissors, and pencils in a variety of teacher directed activities, and maintaining journals

Math: Pre-Kindergarten four mathematics provide students with a diversity of materials to explore the basic concepts of math that are used in everyday life.  Children work independently; one on one with a teacher; in small groups, with and without teacher guidance.  Mathematics is integrated across the pre-kindergarten four curriculum in thematic units.

Science: Pre-kindergarten four science allows children to explore the basic needs of human life, animal life, and plant life.  The children use critical thinking skills to question, compare, and contrast the needs of humans, animals, and plants with experiments, exploration, individual and small group activities, and field trips.  Science is integrated across the pre-kindergarten four curriculum in thematic units.

Social Studies: Social studies in the pre-kindergarten four program encourages the student to become aware of his/her place in the world as an individual, a member of family, and as a citizen of the classroom and school community.  Having a daily classroom job, being responsible for one’s personal belongings, participating in the development of class rules, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions prepares a student to function in a socially acceptable manner.

Language Arts: The pre-kindergarten five language arts program encourages enthusiasm for the spoken and written word.  The program provides activities that enhance the normal development of a young child’s language and lead to the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Integrated themes of study encourage the relationship between reading and writing.  Students are introduced to a variety of literature through the classroom and school.  They are read to daily, and they participate in activities which include recalling details, sequencing events, predicting outcomes, identifying main ideas, recognizing rhyming patterns, and drawing inferences.  The students engage in daily activities that develop fine motor control, such as an introduction to handwriting skills.  The confidence in acquiring language readiness skills is the basis for a life of independent learning.  

Math: The pre-kindergarten five mathematics program allows children the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts and skills.  Children are introduced to these concepts across the curriculum.  The program stresses concepts of shape, pattern, ordination, one-to-one correspondence, numeral, counting, graphing, sorting, comparing, spatial reasoning and categorizing at different levels.  Teachers encourage the use of math vocabulary and problem solving techniques.  Manipulatives, teacher designed activities, the daily calendar, puzzles, and games provide a diversity of experiences for children of different ability levels.  Students are encouraged to work both cooperatively and independently.

Science: The pre-kindergarten five science curriculum is based on the premise that children possess a natural curiosity.  The program allows children to explore and investigate their surroundings both inside and outside of the classroom.  Through observation, simple experiments, making nature crafts, and a variety of hand-on activities, children discover the characteristics and needs of human, plant and animal life.  The children develop an increased awareness of an ever-changing environment as they observe both daily weather and seasonal changes.  Large and small group activities encourage communication, sharing of ideas, sorting and classifying.  Field trips reinforce and enhance learning.  The pre-kindergarten science curriculum reinforces the value of active participation in reducing waste, pollution, and reusing materials in the world around them.

Social Studies: The social studies curriculum in pre-kindergarten five builds upon the child’s knowledge of the world around them.  Units are integrated across the curriculum.  These units build upon the child’s understanding of himself as an individual, as a member of a family group, and as a citizen of a community.  A positive attitude towards good citizenship is nurtured as teachers help children to understand the need for rules.  Citizenship skills are reinforced as children are encouraged to accept responsibility and consequences for their actions.  Children expand their appreciation of their heritage through the study and celebration of holidays and individuals who have directly and indirectly influenced their lives, as well as recognizing the importance of inclusion and diversity among their peers. The pre-kindergarten social studies program creates a foundation on which students can begin to acquire the attitudes and critical thinking skills the need in order to function in an ever-changing world.  

Language Arts: Our kindergartners are immersed in a print rich environment which encourages an appreciation for reading. Students receive explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies. Students also develop oral language skills, phonological awareness, vocabulary and comprehension. Other skills taught include sight word vocabulary, letter recognition and formation, and spelling concepts.  Phonics instruction is based on the Orton Gillingham method which uses a multi-sensory approach.   Throughout the year, teachers implement whole group, small group and individual instruction for guided reading and writing. 

Math: The kindergarten math curriculum is designed to provide students with hands-on opportunities to explore math concepts. Units taught include number sense, computation, attributes of two dimensional shapes and three dimensional figures, graphing, patterns, and measurement.  Our students discover that math is everywhere, through practical application and by applying problem solving skills.   

Social Studies: The kindergarten social studies curriculum focuses on community.  Students are challenged to see their role as a citizen in both the classroom and the larger ACDS community.  There is an emphasis on citizenship, patriotism and the importance of valuing others.  Students  develop an awareness of historical events and figures that have made a notable impact.  

Science: Curiosity about the child’s world is expanded upon in kindergarten science through a basic study of the environment with teacher made, hands-on units.  These units include seasons, life cycles, senses, and animal habitats.   Students make observations, collect data, and conduct simple experiments to investigate the world around them.

Language Arts: In first grade, students work toward a goal of becoming independent readers and writers.  There is an emphasis on a phonetic approach to reading using the Orton Gillingham method in conjunction with the practice of basic sight words.  Students are immersed in a literature-rich environment and encouraged to use listening and speaking skills.  Teachers use whole class, small groups, and individual instruction to strengthen fluency and build comprehension skills.

Students work toward the goal of constructing complete sentences, using rules of capitalization and punctuation.  The writing process is introduced as students brainstorm, create graphic organizers, and combine sentences into paragraphs.  Students are encouraged to express themselves clearly and concisely using oral presentations.

Math: The first grade mathematics program is based on a foundation in basic addition and subtraction facts (0-20), number sense including place value, skip-counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, recognition of numbers (0-200), problem solving, estimating, geometry, measurement (money, time, length, weight, volume), graphing, fractions, sorting and patterning.  Math vocabulary is introduced and emphasized.  Students are engaged through kinesthetic and interactive activities and use manipulatives to demonstrate their understanding of concepts taught.   

Science: The first grade science program begins with a study of the child’s everyday world and how science affects it.  Teachers build upon a child’s natural curiosity about the world around them.  Students investigate by making observations, collecting data, and participating in experiments.  Topics include animals, plants, matter, Earth and space systems, cycles in nature, and natural resources.  Emphasis is placed on relationships among objects and their interactions with one another (sun and Earth, seasonal changes, and plant/animal activities).

Social Studies: The first grade social studies program introduces an awareness of one’s self as an individual, family member, and citizen in a larger community. Students study holidays, symbols, traditions, famous Americans, the state of Virginia, the continents and oceans. Teachers engage  students  through the use of maps, charts, globes, and current events.  

Language Arts: The second grade literacy program encourages a love for and appreciation of reading.  Students are immersed in a print rich environment and exposed to both fiction and nonfiction texts.  Teachers use a variety of methods including whole group, small group, and interactive read alouds.  Novel studies are used to improve fluency and build comprehension.  Students engage in daily journal writing and are given many opportunities to write creatively. Language concepts developed include parts of speech, types of sentences, and word tense. Each week student’s focus on a different spelling feature or pattern as well as high frequency words.  Students also work on mastering legible print and begin making the transition to cursive writing. 

Math: The development of mathematical concepts and basic arithmetic skills is accomplished through the use of manipulatives, technology, interactive games and classroom instruction. Students extend previously learned skills in order to deepen their understanding of number sense. Students continue to develop their problem solving skills in order to become more independent thinkers.  The curriculum also focuses on addition and subtraction, measurement, graphs, money, time and building math vocabulary.   

Social Studies: The second grade social studies curriculum focuses on the history of the United States through the study of historical figures as well as diverse ethnic origins, customs and traditions.  Emphasis is placed on the contribution of others who helped to improve the lives of the American people. 

Science: A broad range of science skills are introduced through the second grade program.  Students are given opportunities to make detailed observations, draw conclusions and explore the world around them.  Units of investigation include matter, life cycles, weather patterns, and  plant and animal habitats.  Students collect data in order to make real world connections. These connections foster students’ curiosity about the natural world.  

Language Arts: The third grade language arts curriculum continues to focus on developing literacy skills. In small groups, students use novel studies to strengthen fluency and comprehension, as well as expand vocabulary. The students are exposed to a variety of nonfiction and fiction texts. The classroom teacher uses the Orton Gillingham approach to build upon previous word analysis skills. The approach utilizes multisensory, sequential and systematic phonics instruction. Throughout the year, students compile a portfolio that demonstrates use of the writing process. This includes various types of writing. In addition, students have daily practice with cursive writing.

Math: The third grade math curriculum places an emphasis on hands-on learning, problem solving skills, and strengthening mental math. Practical scenarios are created for students to apply learned concepts and vocabulary. The curriculum focuses on multiplication and division through 10 x 10, comparing, and representing fractions and mixed numbers. In addition, students will create and solve single and multi-step word problems. Lastly, properties of geometrical shapes are explored and students will identify, combine and subdivide polygons.

Social Studies: The third grade social studies curriculum includes project-based learning and cross curricular instruction. It begins with an introduction to the heritage and contributions of the peoples of Ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the West African Empire of Mali. Students continue developing world map skills as well as basic economic and civic concepts.

Science: The third grade science curriculum expands on content learned in previous grades. Earth science, life science, and physical science fosters students' natural curiosity and equips them with the information and tools to apply science concepts to real world problems. Students  engage in project-based learning, experiments, and simple investigations to apply their scientific knowledge. Topics included are animal adaptations, various ecosystems, and the water cycle.

Language Arts: 

  • Reading: Students in the fourth grade read a variety of novels designed to strengthen student’s fluency and comprehension skills, while fostering a love of literature. Inquiry-based instruction in whole-group and small-group settings is student-centered and discussion-based. Students learn to: recognize features of a variety of literary genres; identify examples of figurative language; and apply higher-level thinking skills such as inferring, predicting, analyzing, and synthesizing information from the written text. 
  • Writing: The fourth grade writing curriculum focuses on effective oral and written communication skills.Teachers focus on elements of effective writing including: pre-writing, drafting, editing and proofreading.Students learn to craft well written paragraphs that include a topic sentence and supporting details. Oral communication skills are strengthened through opportunities to present information in a clear, concise manner.
  • Word Study: Spelling and vocabulary concepts are taught throughout the year to improve writing structure and clarity. Students broaden their vocabulary using the Wordly Wise program. This program focuses on things such as multiple meanings, word tense, root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Students are challenged weekly with spelling words that focus on a different spelling feature or pattern. 

Math: The 4th grade math curriculum focuses on mental math, computational fluency, real-world problem-solving, and logical reasoning skills. In addition to place value and basic operations with whole numbers, fractions, numerical patterns, data analysis, and probability are studied extensively using a variety of instructional methods, manipulatives, and hands-on activities.

Science: The fourth grade science curriculum aims to foster and enhance students’ knowledge and curiosity about the physical and natural world. Students will experience three different science domains; physical science, life science, and earth and space science.  Students work independently, in small groups, and in large groups to use the scientific method as a means to explore new concepts. Teachers encourage students to ask questions, apply prior knowledge, and to use problem-solving skills learned in other disciplines to learn more about the world in which they live. 

Social Studies: Through a range of sources and mediums, fourth graders learn about Virginia’s geography, economy, government, and history from the time of her early Native American inhabitants to the first European settlement, to the post-Civil War Era. Instruction is designed to provoke thoughtful analysis and contextual understanding of Virginia's history, cultures, features, and peoples from a range of diverse perspectives.

Language Arts: 

  • Reading: The fifth grade reading curriculum includes explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies.  Skills included, but not limited to, are main idea, theme, summarizing, inferencing, comparing and contrasting, and cause and effect.  Teachers use small group instruction based on a student’s instructional reading level.  Novel studies are used to improve fluency and build comprehension.  This provides students an opportunity to expand their vocabulary and demonstrate comprehension of both fiction and nonfiction texts.  Achieve 3000 is used as an ongoing assessment tool to determine a student’s Lexile level and target individual learning goals.  Cross curricular projects are used as another tool to enhance background knowledge and improve reading skills. 
  • Writing: The writing program is designed to improve both written and oral communication skills. Written skills are developed through the steps of the writing process which includes brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Grammar and mechanics are improved by focusing on specific writing techniques each month. Students use various writing styles such as narrative, poetry, descriptive, and expository. Oral communication skills are strengthened through demonstrating comprehension of a research topic by presenting the research to others.  Presentation styles include speeches, slide shows, and interviews.
  • Word Study: Spelling and vocabulary concepts are taught throughout the year to improve writing structure and clarity.  Each week students focus on a different spelling feature or pattern. Students broaden their vocabulary skills using the Wordly Wise program.  This program focuses on things such as multiple meanings, word tense, root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

Math: The fifth grade math curriculum encourages students to be independent thinkers and apply problem solving strategies to real life situations.  Teachers use a hands-on approach to make connections.  This includes using modeling, representations, and various math tools to enhance understanding.  Students extend their knowledge of whole numbers through order of operations and problem solving with all operations.  The relationship between fractions and decimals is examined.  Students also explore computation and estimation using fractions and decimals. A unit of measurement focuses on area, perimeter, volume and metric conversions.  Students build on previous knowledge to develop a deeper understanding of geometry.  Students will collect and analyze data with statistical measures of mean, median, mode and range as well as create and analyze graphs.

Social Studies: The fifth grade social studies curriculum focuses on US Geography.  Students extend their knowledge of map skills.  Physical features throughout the five regions are explored such as natural resources, bodies of water, mountains, landmarks and attractions. Students compare and contrast the geographical features and climate of the five regions.  A culminating “National Park Road Trip” project involves planning a trip across the country to visit national parks.  Students will choose parks and plan all aspects of the journey.  This allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the history, culture and nature of that region.

Science: The fifth grade science curriculum is designed to encourage students’ curiosity of the physical and natural sciences while providing them with tools and information designed to foster interest and to promote stewardship. Students are challenged to think critically and creatively and to apply skills and concepts learned in other disciplines to the scientific world.  Students explore topics such as force, motion, energy, matter and earth’s resources and constant changes.   

Middle School English concentrates on the following areas: literature, grammar-usage and mechanics, vocabulary, and writing. Because writing is a life-loong activity and because writing calls to play the use of many skills and concepts (main idea, details support, logical organization, critical thinking) different forms of it (descriptive, expository, narrative, creative) are practiced and honed throughout the year. 

A major emphasis is placed on grammar - “the basics”. Because the student will write more and more as the year progresses, it is essential that he has a solid foundation on which to build and create. 

Sixth Grade Literature: An active reader, the student will identify and explain: character, setting, plot, conflict, theme, mood, perspective - as well as predict, infer, analyze, summarize, and evaluate. Reading materials will include a variety of literary excerpts, short stories, folklore, poetry, non-fiction, and works such as Pawana’s Journey and The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. 

Seventh Grade Literature: The seventh grade literature curriculum is designed to be a transitional course between the sixth grade introduction to literature and the more challenging eight grace course. Seventh graders focus on reading for details and writing about the literature. They become familiar with a list of literary terms that are their “tools” for analyzing the genres. Students participate in class discussion, group work, and opportunities to share reading through “book talks”. Students learn to fine-tune their written responses by using pre-writing strategies and a paragraph model that can be useful in essay writing across the curriculum. They are also introduced to reading strategies such as highlighting and annotating for improved comprehension. 

Eighth Grade Literature: The eighth grade literature curriculum is a survey course that is designed to prepare the eighth grade student for the more in-depth study found in a high school curriculum. It is taught as a separate class from the English class in order to give the students an intense course in analyzing and interpreting literary works. Students read and analyze short stories, mysteries, classical literature, and the novel. Students hone their skills in highlighting and annotating to ensure upper level comprehension. Student led book discussions are a focus of the program.

Math 6/7: This is a course in basic operations, decimals, fractions, percent, solving equations, problem-solving, number theory, geometry, and measurement.  It is taught using a sixth grade level textbook where it is highly structured for students to master basic mathematical skills and given an introduction to algebraic concepts.  Students who complete the course will take Pre-Algebra in the next level.

Pre-Algebra: The Pre-Algebra math curriculum continues to emphasize the foundations of algebra.  Students who successfully complete Pre-Algebra should be prepared to study Algebra I in the next level.  Topics in Pre-Algebra include proportional reasoning, integer computation, solving multi-step linear equations, and recognizing different representations for relationships.  Students will apply the properties of real numbers in solving equations, solve inequalities, and use data analysis techniques to make inferences, conjectures, and predictions. 

Algebra I: If students excel in Pre-Algebra, they can be placed in the accelerated Algebra I course.  The course will cover topics in linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations and inequalities, solving and graphing quadratic equations and inequalities, simplifying radical expressions, and reviewing geometric applications.  Students should be helped to make connections and build relationships between algebra and arithmetic, geometry, and probability and statistics.  Connections also should be made to other subject areas through practical applications. Students who successfully complete this course can advance to Geometry or Algebra II in ninth grade.

Geometry: This class is the final course on the accelerated math program in the middle school if students have successfully completed Algebra I in the 7th grade.  The course includes, among other things, properties of geometric figures, trigonometric relationships, and reasoning to justify conclusions.  Methods of justification will include two column proofs, indirect proofs, coordinate proofs, algebraic methods, and verbal agreements.  A gradual development of formal proof will be encouraged.  Inductive and intuitive approaches to proof as well as deductive axiomatic methods should be used.  The curriculum includes emphasis on two and three dimensional reasoning skills, coordinate and transformational geometry, and the use of geometric models to solve problems.  A variety of applications and some general problem-solving techniques, including algebraic skills, should be used to implement those standards.  Calculators, computers, graphing utilities (graphing calculators or computer graphing simulators), dynamic geometry software, and other appropriate technology tools will be used to assist in teaching and learning

6th Grade: This course covers basic principles and concepts of life science, physical science, and earth science in a way that corresponds with different learning styles.  This includes, wherever possible, words, hands-on, minds-on, visual experiences, and applications in an effort to provide an opportunity for students to learn their way.  It includes a strong emphasis on experimental design and incorporates writing, research, and a field trip.

7th Grade: This is an in-depth course in life science that continues to build cognitive, laboratory, and research skills acquired in sixth grade.

8th Grade: The eighth grade physical science course offers the students a chance to learn about the laws that govern our physical world.  The students learn to make observations, hypotheses, and conclusions based on experiments.  This course draws on mathematical concepts and gives the student some real-world applications for the math they have learned.  Special group and individual projects give the students opportunities to discover basic theories of physics and chemistry.

6th Grade: The sixth grade social studies program is a study of the first half of United States history. The course begins with the migration of native peoples and continues through the Jeffersonian era. In addition, a unit on the American Civil Rights Era is completed in January or February, to coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and/or Black History Month. Each unit is viewed from political, economic, and social perspectives and includes concepts of geography and civics. The history of the US is explored through a chronological and thematic approach, and integrates social studies and critical thinking skills. Ongoing attention is given to current events.

7th Grade:The seventh grade social studies program is a survey of United States history from political, economic and social perspectives. Beginning with a study of the Jacksonian Era, the course covers units such as westward expansion, the American North and South, and new social movements, including abolition, women’s rights, and immigration. The course concludes with an examination of the American Civil War. Each unit is viewed from political, economic, and social perspectives and includes concepts of geography and civics. The history of the US is explored through a chronological and thematic approach and integrates social studies and critical thinking skills. Ongoing attention is given to current events.

8th Grade: The eighth grade course covers the study of Civics. Students learn and analyze principles of the United States’ constitutional democracy with a focus on the history and creation of our government. Topics include respect for the rule of law, civic duty, and political tolerance. Geography and/or current events are given ample focus in conjunction with each unit to show relationships between past and present and to shed light on current world issues. Students are continuously challenged to use problem-solving and decision-making skills during the learning process. 

6th Grade: The sixth grade Spanish focuses on basic, everyday vocabulary and phrases appropriate to age and grade level. Thematic units based on topics such as the school classroom, places in the community, animals, seasons, holidays, and weather are used to introduce concepts. Students learn vocabulary, conversational elements, simple grammar, and points of cultural interest. 

7th Grade:The seventh grade Spanish class is the first half of the high school-level Spanish I course.  Through successful completion of both seventh and eighth grade Spanish, the student has the opportunity to earn highschool credit.  Thematic units are used to introduce vocabulary, grammar, and culture. The course offers an oral, auditory, reading, and written language study. Points of cultural interest increase awareness of cultural differences.

8th Grade: The eighth grade Spanish class is the second half of the high school course, Spanish I.  Through successful completion of both seventh and eighth grade Spanish, the student earns high school credit.  The course offers immersion into a complete oral, aural, reading and writing language study.  Points of cultural interest increase awareness of cultural differences.

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