X
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Academics

Lower School

Grades K-4

Our Lower School (K-4) is a gateway to a world of possibilities. Your child will learn with excitement and enthusiasm in a caring and supportive environment. Our academic standards are high and we emphasize developing solid study skills, a strong work ethic, and a sense of responsibility.

List of 7 items.

  • Signature Experiences

    Peck students make memories lasting a lifetime. Just a few examples are that Kindergartners enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast, and two class plays per year.  A formal First Grade Tea is a highlight for first graders. In second grade, an International Feast to celebrate Peck’s diversity. In third grade, the patriotic State Feast culminates a cross-curricular study of the United States. And in fourth grade, a year-long integrated study of the people, places, and historical events of  American History culminates with a student-written American Timeline presentation.
  • A Day in the Life of a Lower School Student

    This is the pattern of a typical day for a student in the 2nd grade:

    8:00 Arrive; go to homeroom and hang up coat and book bag. Place homework in assigned place and hand in any notes from home. Check directions on the Smartboard for morning work and duties.

    8:15 Bell for first period. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing a song, and say the Lower School prayer.

    8:30 Language Arts period: Reading groups

    9:45 Snack/Recess

    10:00
    Math: Break into three groups

    10:40 Sports: Practice catching with ball and glove

    11:20 Lunch/Recess

    12:15 Teacher Readaloud

    12:30 Library

    1:15 Science: Rivers and rocks

    1:50 Social Studies: Begin studying Alaska

    2:40 Write homework in assignment book

    2:50 Pack up

    2:55 AfterSchool pick up

    3:00 Dismissal or AfterSchool enrichment programs begin
  • Athletics and Physical Education

    Throughout the Lower School years, students are actively engaged in daily physical education. Play is an important part of the day during recess, and structured time is also dedicated throughout the week for participation in athletic activities and physical education.
  • A Broad Academic Foundation

    Our Lower School program will foster your child’s social and emotional growth. We provide a broad academic foundation, emphasizing life skills and traits, study, and work habits. Small class sizes allow our teachers to tailor their instruction to meet the needs of all students.

    Our teachers are dedicated, supportive, and committed to helping your child gain the confidence he or she needs to master basic skills and progress to higher levels of learning—throughout their years at Peck and beyond. We pride ourselves on exceptional outcomes.

    From kindergarten through fourth grade, your child will have many opportunities to demonstrate their creativity and engage their curiosity through our core curriculum. We emphasize cooperative learning experiences and varied problem-solving approaches. We ask open-ended questions to promote your child’s analytical and critical thinking skills. Beyond a desire to develop a firm foundation of fundamental skills, we also want your child to be aware of the world around them. Our curriculum is enriched by programs in physical education, technology, languages, music, theater, and the fine arts so that your child develops to his or her fullest potential.
  • A Dynamic Parent Partnership

    We see your child’s education as a partnership—between Peck and your family. We focus on the importance of good character and work closely with you to reinforce our character education program, Individual Development and Community Responsibility (InDeCoRe). This program guides our efforts to promote positive character development throughout the Peck community.
  • Service Learning and InDeCoRe

    Our guiding force for character education is our Individual Development and Community Responsibility (InDeCoRe) program. Every trimester, we focus on one of our core values: care, gratitude, resilience, courage, respect and one rotating value that is decided upon by the rising eighth-grade class each year.

    For our younger students, we place these values in the context of self, family, and school. What, for example, does respect look like at the lunch table? For our older students, we consider these values in the local and global communities. How is respect part of a heated political debate?

    In addition to teaching about values, we expect to see those values in action, in developmentally appropriate social behaviors. Report cards reflect a student’s progress on the “Consideration of Others” rubric. In all situations we encourage students to reflect upon and take responsibility for their actions and choices.

    Instilling and reinforcing a sense of social awareness in your son or daughter is a fundamental aspect of our educational experience. Beginning in Kindergarten and extending throughout their years at Peck, students devote time and energy to serving the local and global communities through meaningful—and fun—hands-on activities.
  • Reach Across

    Upper School and Lower School students “Reach Across” several times annually with collaborative activities designed to spark conversation, creativity, friendships, and leadership.  Lower School students and their Upper School “buddies” forge bonds that last throughout their years at Peck.

Meet Dominick

The Lower School Experience

Lower School Curriculum Overview

List of 3 items.

  • Kindergarten

    The Kindergarten is full of energy, wonder, and excitement.  Students are invited to explore, to take risks, and to share in a love of learning.  We focus on supporting the whole child and nurture each individual’s emotional, cognitive, physical, and social growth in a warm, structured, engaging, and joyful environment.  Peck’s core values (respect, responsibility, care, gratitude, and courage) are infused throughout the day, as Kindergarteners learn how to be good friends and to model consideration of others.
     

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    At the center of our work is a commitment to nurturing a lifelong love of reading.  In Kindergarten, students are exposed to a print-rich environment that provides abundant opportunities for young learners to engage with the written word.  The Orton Gillingham phonics-based curriculum, in which sound-symbol relationships are introduced and reinforced, is taught through various multi-sensory activities.  The phonics program focuses on short vowel sounds and sight words.  Long vowels are introduced using “silent e.”  Students join flexible and differentiated reading groups, exploring a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.   Small guided reading groups give us the opportunity and flexibility to provide personal enrichment for each child and to develop comprehension skills.  This balanced reading approach fosters growth at an individual pace.

    WRITING

    Developing fine motor skills is an essential part of the Kindergarten program.  The D'Nealian handwriting program and Orton Gillingham program are used to help students develop their letter formation, laying the groundwork for cursive penmanship in Second Grade.  Many opportunities are provided for kindergarteners to express themselves through writing. Students write in journals and complete writing activities/tasks related to various units of study.  Students practice and reinforce their fine motor skills through a variety of multisensory activities.
     

    MATHEMATICS

    Kindergarten math is taught for 45 minutes every day.  Concepts are introduced, reinforced, and enriched through concrete, pictorial, and abstract thinking. Students focus on building number sense, decomposing numbers, and problem-solving throughout the year. These concepts enable students to learn through hands-on activities, cooperation, and collaboration.  Small guided group instruction allows teachers to meet individual needs and differentiate lessons.  Weekly homework portfolios encourage family participation and challenge students with authentic tasks and activities.

    SCIENCE, DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY

    Students in Kindergarten enjoy a combined class that engages them in science, design, and technology. This co-taught class focuses on hands-on explorations of the world and introduces technology skills and digital tools which allow students to demonstrate their understanding of science ideas. Kindergarten students engage the natural world through a sequence of hands-on activities exploring the what, how, and why of nature. Principles of design provide an opportunity for students to develop problem-solving skills, to think creatively, and to learn from mistakes. Students learn to use technology to become empowered learners, responsible digital citizens, innovative designers, knowledge constructors, creative communicators, computational thinkers, and global collaborators. 

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The social studies program exposes students to the natural world and to cultures from around the globe. Family projects and presentations encourage students to share their culture, family makeup, and customs to foster a true sense of belonging within our classroom. Family members are also invited to join the class as readers. Students learn from each other about the origin of their name, their cultural foods, holidays, and celebrations. Family flags are generated to act as a springboard for these discussions at the start of the year.  In this way, students explore the similarities and differences that make up our vibrant school community.  Seasonal interdisciplinary units are also taught throughout the year. Two in-depth units focus on the penguins of the world and discovering the beauty of the Central American rainforest. The Scholastic magazine, Let’s Find Out, is shared weekly to expose students to non-fiction articles related to their studies.

    SPANISH

    Kindergarten Spanish provides a robust learning experience at a time when young minds are particularly geared toward language acquisition.  Classes meet three times per week, including a special program called Vamos a Comer, where students practice using conversational Spanish during lunch.  With engaging stories, songs, games, and repetition of expressions and vocabulary, the Kindergarten curriculum offers a compelling and fun language environment that helps develop confidence in all students.  By the end of the school year, all basic directions are given in Spanish, and students are expected to respond in kind. The cultural aspects of the Spanish program are also woven into the curriculum, as every lower school student “travels” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year, immersing themselves in the nuances, richness, and wonders of different cultures. 
    Note: For native and heritage Spanish speakers, small group instruction during class time teaches grammar, reading, and writing skills at the appropriate level with an additional teacher. 

    ART

    Kindergarten students are introduced to the basic elements of art in conjunction with notable artists. The development of fine motor skills is continually stressed as each child begins to learn the language of art and how it applies to the creative process. Overlap, use of a horizon line, simple perspective, composition, and color theory are introduced.
     

    MUSIC

    Kindergarten students musically express themselves through singing, dancing, creating, playing instruments, and performing. The primary goal of the kindergarten music program is to enable each child to fully realize their innate musical instincts, articulated as: tuneful (to sing with expression), 'beat-ful’ (to feel the beat), and artful (to respond to the expressiveness in music). 
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Children in Kindergarten develop basic motor and spatial skills, as well as sport-specific skills and strategies.  Students learn through a verbal and visual introduction, followed by small and large group activities and games.  Learning good sportsmanship, playing fairly, and developing good character traits are major components of the program. 

    LIBRARY

    Kindergarten students visit the library once a week. They learn to understand the basic role of the library, how to locate and select books, and the excitement of choosing something to read.  Students also experience the responsibility of borrowing, taking care of, and returning a library book.  Students are introduced to the role of authors and illustrators in the creation of books and complete an in-depth look at Caldecott-winning books.
  • Grade 1

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Our commitment to cultivating a lifelong love of reading continues in Grade 1.  Our balanced literacy program consists of guided, shared, and independent reading and writing.  Students are exposed to a variety of genres in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Through small reading groups, we allow students to reach their full potential and to target specific comprehension skills.  Activities that promote fluency in oral reading and critical thinking skills are examined in small reading groups, providing individualized instruction.  Auditory comprehension is developed through reading discussions and read-aloud books.  In addition, students have many opportunities to select books to read independently in class and at home. 
     

    WRITING

    Students learn sentence structure and to communicate their ideas by writing daily.  They also develop fine motor skills and penmanship using the D’Nealian handwriting program.  Creative writing and expository writing activities provide students with opportunities to develop writing skills and to practice proofreading and editing skills in a variety of contexts.  Finally, students have the opportunity to present their writing pieces during Lower School assemblies. 
     

    SPELLING & PHONICS

    The phonics program and spelling program are integrated throughout the year.  Knowledge of sound-symbol relationships is reinforced through multi-sensory activities, games, and homework.  Weekly spelling lists and dictation skills are coordinated with specific phonemic principles based on Orton Gillingham methodologies.  The application of spelling rules in daily writing is emphasized and supported.
     

    MATHEMATICS

    Concepts are introduced, reinforced, and enriched through concrete, pictorial, and abstract thinking. Classes see students using manipulatives, games, and cooperative learning to solve real-world problems. Small group instruction allows for teachers to meet individual needs and differentiate lessons.  Emphasis is placed on number sense, place value, fact fluency, measurement, geometry, time, and money.  First graders use number bonds, number lines, place value charts, and more to help develop a deep conceptual understanding and strong mathematical foundation. 

    SCIENCE, DESIGN, & TECHNOLOGY

    This class engages students in an interdisciplinary approach to science, design, and technology. Co-taught by the Lower School's science specialist and the Lower School technology specialist, students focus on hands-on explorations of the world and are introduced to technology skills and digital tools, which allow students to demonstrate their understanding of science ideas. Students explore the world with a focus on using the five senses. First graders continue using the design process to find creative solutions and build collaboration skills. Students learn to use technology to become empowered learners, responsible digital citizens, innovative designers, knowledge constructors, creative communicators, computational thinkers, and global collaborators. 

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The social studies curriculum explores how communities work.  By investigating maps, occupations, and services, students gain a better understanding of how people work together and the different roles that form a community.  Students learn firsthand about collaboration and helping others during the design and construction of a three-dimensional town.  

    SPANISH

    First-grade Spanish continues to be conversational and immersive, creating an engaging and stimulating environment for all students to hone their language development. Students are encouraged to continue using only Spanish in the classroom. New vocabulary in Grade 1 focuses on students’ immediate surroundings, exploring classroom objects, letters, numbers, days of the week, months, clothing, food, and animals.  Investigating the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, every first grader “travels” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year. 
    Note: For native and heritage Spanish speakers, small group instruction during class time teaches grammar, reading, and writing skills at the appropriate level with an additional teacher.  

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology is integrated with academic learning goals in the Tech Lab, as well as in the classroom.  Project examples include: creative publishing and artwork using applications like KidPix, various graphic mapping activities using Kidspiration, and impactful iPad activities.  In addition, students begin to code with various hands-on activities, including Beebots and applications like Scratch Jr.

    ART

    First-grade students make great strides in their creative development. Overlap, use of a horizon line, simple perspective, composition, and color theory are reinforced. The students build upon their collection of basic symbols to create visual images, and their repertoire of familiar artists is expanded upon.  
     

    MUSIC

    First-grade students continue to develop as tuneful, beat-ful, artful musicians, while singing with healthy singing voices, feeling the beat, and responding expressively to music. The students’ innate musicianship is nurtured through activities that include pitch exploration, group and solo singing, instrument playing, movement exploration, folk dancing, and creative expression.
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    First graders build on the foundation of motor and sport-specific skills introduced in Kindergarten. Students learn through verbal and visual instruction, followed by small and large group activities and games. Many lessons introduce basic STEAM concepts. Learning good sportsmanship, playing fairly, and demonstrating care for others are a focus throughout the program.  

    LIBRARY

    First-grade students visit the library once a week.  Students learn to locate fiction and nonfiction books in the library, to listen to stories, and to develop an appreciation for authors.  During read-aloud, books support the classroom social studies curriculum and are thematically linked to seasons and the calendar.  Students enjoy an expanded selection of books while browsing the shelves and learn about caring for the library materials that they take out.  
  • Grade 2

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    In Grade 2, students learn strategies for decoding vocabulary and developing fluency.  An integrated approach to content ensures that reading exercises relate to other academic areas, allowing students to build connections and understanding.  For example, students will read about Native Americans in support of the social studies curriculum and will explore character development as part of our InDeCoRe Program.  Guided and shared reading group instruction ensures that all students are supported and enriched at the appropriate level.  In addition, students use a Reader’s Notebook to record reflective entries,  track genre preferences, and monitor reading and writing goals.  
     

    WRITING

    The basic elements of paragraph writing such as topic, detail, and conclusion sentences are taught.  Students learn to write effective, well-developed sentences and paragraphs. They are provided with many opportunities to write in different forms, such as poetry, journal writing, fiction writing, expository writing, and thematic book reports.  Cursive writing is introduced in September using the D’Nealian handwriting program, and students will be proficient in cursive handwriting by the end of the year.  Students also develop word-processing skills.
     

    SPELLING & PHONICS

    Students are given weekly spelling lists that relate to a specific spelling rule. Drawing on the methodologies of Orton Gillingham, a multi-sensory approach to spelling is incorporated in both classwork and homework assignments.  Assessments are based on the application of spelling rules in writing and dictation.  Grammar is introduced and reinforced with unit lessons on verbs, adjectives, common and proper nouns, sentence structure, punctuation, and capitalization.

    MATHEMATICS

    In second grade, new concepts are introduced through concrete, pictorial, and abstract approaches to accommodate all levels of understanding.  Teachers differentiate lessons through student-centered approaches and small-group activities to ensure that all students receive ample support and enrichment.  The concepts of place value, addition, and subtraction with regrouping are reinforced throughout the year, as well as fact fluency, geometry, measurement, fractions, money, time, and multiplication and division.  Students are introduced to bar modeling to become confident problem solvers, and learning is supported using hands-on manipulatives and math games.  

    SCIENCE & DESIGN LAB

    Students expand their knowledge of animals and plants, as well as the concept of structure and function, by observing the relationships and interdependence between living and nonliving things.  They investigate the diversity of species, adaptations, and the interdependence of plants and animals. Students also continue to practice data collection and interpretation while learning about the Earth’s changing surface through real-world laboratory activities.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The Social Studies program provides an in-depth exploration of Native Americans and a continued investigation of map skills.  Students study Native Americans by geographic regions, taking into account the tribe's indigenous dwelling, clothing, artifacts, modes of transportation, customs, traditions, and methods of farming and gathering food.  Emphasis is placed on how each tribe adapts to the specific geographic area.  Students draw connections between early American life and their own experience in the modern world. 

    SPANISH

    Second-grade students are actively involved in listening, understanding, and responding in Spanish.  Students build upon previously learned vocabulary and expressions and engage in simple conversations about their feelings, needs, weather, seasons, clothing, food, and families in Spanish. One focus of the program is to develop practical communication in Spanish using the comprehensible-input methodology, a technique that incorporates storytelling, teacher-developed materials, and engaging projects. Second-grade students use platforms such as SeeSaw, Book Creator, and Piccolage to create a record of their work that includes a digital portfolio. The use of different visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic manipulatives enhances the immersive experience.  Exploring cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, every second grader “travels” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year.
    Note: For native and heritage Spanish speakers, small group instruction during class time teaches grammar, reading, and writing skills at the appropriate level with an additional teacher.  

    TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN

    Technology skills are developed through an integrated classroom approach, directly supporting academic learning goals.  Students learn to use digital tools to become empowered learners, responsible digital citizens, innovative designers, knowledge constructors, creative communicators, computational thinkers, and global collaborators.  Students continue to explore creative multimedia tools for demonstrating their knowledge, such as Book Creator, iMovie, and Green Screen. Through the continued use of programming and robotics, students continue to build a foundation in coding.  As designers, students learn to look closely at objects and systems in their environment, exploring their complexity and finding opportunities to improve designs. Using the design thinking process, students tackle authentic problems, build empathy for users, prototype original solutions, and work through multiple iterations based on feedback and testing.  This empowering approach to problem-solving provides innovative young minds with space to grow and explore—and tools that benefit all areas of their learning.

    ART

    Second-grade students study the basic elements of design (line, color, value, shape, texture, and space) in various forms found in nature and art. Projects using new techniques and mediums are introduced, leading children to greater realistic representation. In conjunction with their social studies unit on Native Americans, second-grade artists explore various Native American arts and crafts and develop an understanding that art is a universal language. 
     

    MUSIC

    Second-grade students continue to develop musical independence and skills, building on a strong foundation that will lead to music literacy. The students’ innate musical potential is nurtured through singing, dancing, creating, and listening. Notation reading, ensemble playing, and expressiveness are experienced through the use of hand chimes, Orff instruments, and unpitched instruments. 

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Second-grade students review and build upon fundamental sport skills that were introduced in grade one.  These skills are taught using small and large group activities and games. Spatial awareness and positioning, along with game strategies, are a focus.  Innovative STEAM lessons teach laws of motion, geography, human anatomy, and math.  Academic subjects are reinforced through physical education games and activities. Learning good sportsmanship, playing fairly, and developing care for others is a focus throughout the program.

    LIBRARY

    The Second Grade begins a more advanced instructional program in the library.  Students learn the difference between fiction and nonfiction and how to locate texts. They are introduced to fiction books with chapters and are encouraged to explore and develop personal interests.  Students also practice oral poetry reading, as well as participate in a "Reader's Theater" where each child lends his or her voice to a read-aloud.  Students are introduced to a variety of Native American legends and folktales as part of their study of Native Americans around the United States.  Beginning research skills are introduced in this grade as students develop an understanding of the difference between primary and secondary sources, how to conduct an interview, and selecting a nonfiction text.

List of 2 items.

  • Grade 3

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Classroom instruction and independent activities are designed to foster a lifelong love of reading and an appreciation of literature.  The guided reading program uses small group instruction to reinforce word recognition, to develop vocabulary, and to strengthen comprehension strategies.  The curriculum integrates reading with oral and written expressive language.  Auditory comprehension is developed through group literacy discussions and read-aloud books.  Also, students use a Reader’s Notebook to record reflective entries,  track genre preferences, and monitor reading and writing goals.

    WRITING

    Children are taught the fundamentals of written expressive language with an emphasis on sentence structure, paragraph development, and mechanics.  Expanding on skills learned in second grade, emphasis is placed on adding details and context to enhance sentences.  Students write in a variety of forms, including personal narratives, informational, and opinion modes, book reports, poems, literature responses, and compositions.  Themes taken from the character education program also provide topics for assignments.

    SPELLING & GRAMMAR

    The program provides direct instruction in spelling rules and skills using a kinesthetic and phonetic-based approach rooted in the methodologies of Orton Gillingham.  An emphasis is placed on the solid understanding and application of specific spelling rules.  Regular assessments are administered using multi-sensory activities, tests, and dictation.  Correct punctuation, capitalization, and grammar rules are also emphasized.    

    MATHEMATICS

    The third-grade math program expands on concepts taught in younger grades using concrete, pictorial, and abstract thinking.  The use of bar models, number lines, and number bonds are reinforced to build a strong foundation for multiplication, division, and fractions.  Students develop mastery of multiplication and division facts and apply their understanding to solve real-world problems.  Small group teaching, student-centered activities, and cooperative games present all students with opportunities for reinforcement and challenge.
     

    SCIENCE & DESIGN LAB

    In third grade, there is a greater focus on the integration of science, engineering, design thinking, and technology in a way that builds students’ sense of agency and develops their facility with tackling complex problems.  New concepts and relationships regarding the Earth, its inhabitants, and the surrounding environment are explored in this course.  The idea of energy and its many forms is investigated through hands-on activities and design challenges.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The year begins with a focus on world geography and builds to an in-depth study of the United States with its many landscapes, traditions, and cultures.  Each child “adopts” a state in the fall and becomes an expert on his/her state by the end of the year.  Children utilize a variety of informational texts to research their states.  Each student writes a state travel guide and represents her state at a STEAM EXPO in the spring.   Hands-on activities and project-based learning activities provide children with an immersive and lasting learning experience. 

    SPANISH

    Third graders are introduced to a more formal grammar program that further builds upon their Spanish skills.  They continue to work on their listening comprehension skills, asking and answering questions in complete sentences.  An important focus of the program is to develop practical communication in Spanish using the comprehensible-input methodology, a technique that incorporates storytelling, teacher-developed materials, and engaging projects.  Students act out situations — ordering food in a restaurant; buying clothes in a store; or bargaining over the price of goods, such as might occur in a typical mercado in a South American city.  Each year, lower school students immerse themselves in the study of three different Spanish-speaking countries.
    Note: For native and heritage Spanish speakers, small group instruction during class time teaches grammar, reading, and writing skills at the appropriate level with an additional teacher.  n the study of three different Spanish-speaking countries.

    TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN

    Technology skills are developed through an integrated approach, directly supporting academic learning goals.  Students learn to use digital tools to become empowered learners, responsible digital citizens, innovative designers, knowledge constructors, creative communicators, computational thinkers, and global collaborators. Students begin to work with Google Workspace to create documents, drawings, and presentations. Creative multimedia applications such as Book Creator, iMovie, and WeVideo allow students to express their thoughts and ideas in a transformative way.  Students continue to build their coding and robotics skills through the use of Lego WeDo, Dash and Dot robots, and Scratch programming. In addition, keyboarding is emphasized with frequent individualized practice using All the Right Type. Students continue their design work through an iterative process that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving.

    ART

    Stimulating projects are created using new mediums. The Masters, as well as contemporary artists, are studied. It is expected that each student will improve his or her drawing skills while learning shading, modeling, and drawing from life.  Third-grade students can, with greater confidence, discuss their impressions of a work of art using appropriate terminology and referencing key artistic elements. Students employ the Agency by Design model when creating and developing a “product” for consumers in our Discovery Zone.
     

    MUSIC

    Third-grade students’ musical skills, techniques, and literacy continue to advance through singing, listening, moving, creating, improvising, and playing instruments. Each student’s potential is nurtured through the use of quality literature, including authentic folk songs and dances. The third graders continue to develop tunefully, beat-fully, and artfully through more complex singing games, activities, and dances. Music reading skills and ensemble playing are augmented through the use of hand chimes and recorders. 

    WOODWORKING

    Third graders are introduced to their first experience in woodworking. Children learn about woodworking safety and the proper use of several hand tools, including saws and tools for measuring. The use of abrasives and the application of wood finishes are discussed.  A plan of procedures is reviewed so children understand the sequence of steps, from start to finish, for a simple project they will make. With both traditional woodworking examples and contemporary art, students explore the ways in which wood is used in both functional and decorative contexts.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Students in third-grade focus on improving basic motor and sport-specific skills through challenges, activities, and games.  Intramural play focuses on positioning, team strategies, and teamwork.  Sportsmanship and being a good teammate are major focuses during the lessons, as students continue to strengthen their InDeCoRe values. 

    LIBRARY/RESEARCH SKILLS

    Students gain greater facility in the use of the library and a fuller awareness of the range of materials available for use when researching a topic.  With a focus on nonfiction and reference materials, students are taught to use encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases in print and in digital form.  Students are also introduced to the concept of plagiarism and age-appropriate sources citation. 
  • Grade 4

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Fourth Grade features a literature-based, integrated curriculum, where students are placed in small groups and encounter a variety of texts with themes and content that directly support the social studies curriculum.  Emphasis is placed on vocabulary development, inferential comprehension skills, fluency in oral reading, and the ability to share one’s views of a text through writing and class presentations.  Auditory comprehension is developed through group literacy discussions and read-aloud books.  Also, students use a Reader’s Notebook to record reflective entries, track genre preferences, and monitor reading and writing goals. Guided, shared, and independent reading allows for personal growth and targets individual skills.
     

    WRITING

    Students are taught to write in a variety of forms, including poetry, personal essays, and responses to literature.  They also conduct genre studies and compare texts. In each case, students fully engage with the writing process, developing and refining their ideas.  Fourth graders are expected to apply correct spelling and grammar rules when writing and sometimes use word processing software. 
     

    SPELLING & GRAMMAR

    Students are taught to write in a variety of forms, including poetry, personal essays, and responses to literature.  They also conduct genre studies and compare texts. In each case, students fully engage with the writing process, developing and refining their ideas.  Fourth graders are expected to apply correct spelling and grammar rules when writing and sometimes use word processing software. 

    MATHEMATICS

    Grade 4 math emphasizes number sense and builds student confidence while tackling challenging and open-ended problems.  The concepts of multi-digit multiplication and long division are explored through the use of models and algorithms.  Students also investigate decimals, fractions, algebra, measurement, and geometry.  Students' understanding is developed through the use of manipulatives, cooperative activities, and critical thinking exercises.  Math vocabulary is emphasized, and students use math language to communicate and explain their thinking in detail.  

    SCIENCE & DESIGN LAB

    Fourth graders continue to participate in a program that highlights science, engineering, design thinking, and technology.  Through their extended work in the course, students prototype solutions, present original experiments, and become tenacious and agile problem solvers.  At the same time, students continue to build their lab skills through observation, measurement, and the formulation of hypotheses.  Emphasis is placed on logical thinking and problem-solving.  Dynamic Earth systems are explored through research, experimentation, data collection, and presentations.  Students also investigate energy transformation and the relationship between structure and function in various organisms.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Students learn about the birth of the United States and the over two-hundred-year history that has brought us to our present state.  We look at major events over the course of our country's growth: from military engagements to the intrepid work of the diverse people who helped shape our culture, government, and world-leading industry.  This allows students to better understand where we have come from and how understanding our past will enable us to move forward.  Research techniques, use of technology, and hands-on activities present students with a variety of approaches to engage with this rich subject. 

    SPANISH

    In fourth grade, students are presented with an ambitious curriculum, as they conjugate verbs in the singular form and use them in sentences.  The use of other grammar rules (such as noun-adjective agreement) prepares students for the upper school language program. Students enhance their listening, reading, writing, speaking, and pronunciation skills with the use of student-centered activities. By practicing useful verbs (such as ser, tener, ir, gustar, comer, beber) and adding practical vocabulary (such as sports, places to go, food, hobbies, and adjectives) students can communicate about their daily life and needs.  The cultivation of respect and understanding for different cultures, as well as the development of a global perspective, is honed through discussions of current events and the study of the rich traditions and history of several Hispanic countries. 
    Note: For native and heritage Spanish speakers, small group instruction during class time teaches grammar, reading, and writing skills at the appropriate level with an additional teacher.  

    TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN

    Technology skills are developed through an integrated approach, directly supporting academic learning goals. Students learn to use digital tools to become empowered learners, responsible digital citizens, innovative designers, knowledge constructors, creative communicators, computational thinkers, and global collaborators.  Students continue to explore the collaborative and more advanced features of Google Workspace. They build and program robots, prototype original solutions, and work through multiple iterations based on feedback and testing. In addition, students refine word processing skills, as well as keyboarding fluency, using All the Right Type and various typing games.  Students continue their design work through an iterative process that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving.

    ART

    Fourth-grade students begin to view and execute the basic elements of design and drawing in a more sophisticated manner. In addition to contemporary artists and the Masters, students also study American and world folk art. Because fourth graders can successfully express a mood through their work, they can begin to critique that work, as well as make thoughtful judgments about the art in their environment. Fourth-grade artists confidently employ Agency by Design in their creative building projects.  
     

    MUSIC

    Fourth-grade students are regularly engaged in singing, moving to music, learning to read music, creating music, and listening to, analyzing, and evaluating music and music performances. In addition, students play a variety of musical instruments, including Orff instruments, hand chimes, and ukuleles. Carefully selected materials are utilized for their aesthetic value to the program and provide a framework whereby students learn to understand and appreciate their own historical and cultural heritage, as well as those of other cultures.  
     

    WOODWORKING

    Fourth-grade students are regularly engaged in singing, moving to music, learning to read music, creating music, and listening to, analyzing, and evaluating music and music performances. In addition, students play a variety of musical instruments, including Orff instruments, hand chimes, and ukuleles. Carefully selected materials are utilized for their aesthetic value to the program and provide a framework whereby students learn to understand and appreciate their own historical and cultural heritage, as well as those of other cultures.  
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Students in fourth-grade focus on improving sport-specific skills, game strategies, and spatial awareness through challenges, activities, and games.  Intramural play focuses on positioning, team strategies, and teamwork.  Sportsmanship, being a good teammate, and leadership skills are major emphases during the lessons, as students continue to strengthen their InDeCoRe values. 

 

THE PECK SCHOOL

247 South Street  |  Morristown, NJ  07960
973-539-8660
Northern New Jersey's timeless and transformative co-ed independent elementary and middle school education for grades K-8.