Elementary » Elementary Program

Elementary Program

The elementary program – serving kindergartners through fifth-graders — is a community of learners. Our integrated approach develops the whole child – encompassing academics as well as social, emotional, moral and physical development. We guide children to optimize their potential during this critical developmental stage of childhood. Upon completion of the entire program, a child develops the foundation upon which a lifetime of learning will rest. Each student is becoming a thinker, doer and self-directed learner. The elementary program is specially designed for busy hands and busy minds, preparing your child to excel in school and in life.

Children are placed according to their ages as of Oct. 1 of the school year. Elementary classes meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Extended program options are available.

In multi-age elementary classrooms, Chance students develop and practice important life skills under the guidance of two lead teachers in a two-year school cycle. Both teachers are trained to lead, plan curriculum and assess. The multi-age classroom meets the needs of children with teaching methods and curriculum components that are based on a child’s developmental abilities. As the school year begins, each younger student is paired with an older (returning) student, creating a powerful dynamic that is unique to this grouping. Older students practice mentoring and leadership skills; younger students are inspired by the academic and social behaviors demonstrated by older children.

Students who complete the two-year cycle grow socially, emotionally, morally and cognitively in ways that cannot be duplicated in age-specific classes. Parents choose this option because it allows children to enjoy the benefits of working with the same teachers for more than one instructional year, it provides consistency in routine and structure for young learners, and because children have unique learning opportunities with two lead teachers and peers who bring diverse perspectives and life experiences which contributes to an in-depth and far reaching education.

A typical day includes….

Literacy Development
At Chance, students engage in reading, writing, listening and speaking experiences to build their skills. Large and small group activities, as well as center choices and independent exploration, are incorporated to encompass the world of literacy.

Writing workshops include independent writing and guided writing. Journal writing supports the connection between spoken language and written language. Children explore the structure of the writing process. Publishing stories affirms their hard work and effort. More accomplished writers focus on a new genre each month and develop personal narratives, persuasive pieces, informational pieces, fictional works and poetry.

Reading workshops include independent reading and a daily read-aloud, which models fluency for emerging readers and introduces new vocabulary. Word study focuses on useful mechanics such as spelling, punctuation and grammar. Literature groups meet regularly to read together and explore common interests as students strengthen their skills.

Math Development
Real-life math experiences, math-literature connections and math games support and encourage exploration, investigation and problem-solving. The math program uses a spiral curriculum that revisits concepts and adds new components. Concepts may include: numeration and order, patterns, functions and sequences, measurement, currency, time, geometry, and exploring data and probability. A group lesson is typically followed by guided and independent practice. Students use manipulatives as they move from concrete levels of learning to abstract. Enrichment activities and research extensions invite higher-level thinking and real-world applications, helping learners see how math is naturally incorporated in other areas of learning.

Theme Study
Students explore real-life subjects in science and social studies by blending the interests of students with the standards of our rigorous program. We record what students already know, outline what they want to know and organize their studies to increase understanding of our environment, families, communities and ever-changing world. Such practice expands knowledge through questions and research and encourages meaningful, engaging projects.

Each study concludes with a written report, a visual representation and an oral presentation of what was learned. While core requirements are outlined, students have choices within the project. For example, if studying the human body, one student may choose to report on the circulatory system while another may present a study of the senses or nutrition. Methods of delivery may include the use of display boards or PowerPoint or the conducting of taste-tests and scientific experiments, to name a few.

Service Learning
Elementary students are encouraged to participate in a variety of service-learning activities. Some classes develop ongoing relationships with residents at nursing homes through on-site visits for sing-a-longs and gift-giving. Others hold yard sales or bake sales and donate a portion of the proceeds to community causes. Older students volunteer as mentors in Chance preschool classrooms. Students and Chance parents work with various community organizations such as Hope in a Backpack, Pennies for Patients, Kentucky Harvest and disaster-relief projects.


Weekly Rotations of Specialist Curriculum

Specialist classes are necessary ingredients of a comprehensive and progressive educational program, supporting the development of the whole child. Students as young as three years old benefit from our specialists in various types of instruction and experiences and our Elementary students get to dive deep into each of these areas of learning to expand who they are and learn more about the world around them.

Art lets children explore their creative visions using a variety of tools and media introduced each week. Preschool 2’s students are exposed to artistic exploration in preschool classes with their teachers and Preschool 3’s and above go to art class with the school’s art teacher. Elementary students meet with the school’s art teacher.

Our Science class brings the wonders of science to our preschool students with experiential learning and integrated outdoor discovery with the school’s science teacher. Elementary students develop understandings and skills necessary to function productively as problem-solvers in a scientific and technological world. Each student is involved in first-hand exploration and investigation, and inquiry/process skills are nurtured and expanded with hands-on activities.

Movement and PE
Chance students move to strengthen and exercise growing bodies. Preschool students are exposed to movement and games by meeting with the school’s movement teacher and their primary teachers. Elementary students meet with the school’s PE teacher and learn the value of being physically fit through organized games and activities in the Funroom or on the field.

Students gain an appreciation of music through singing and instrumentation. Preschool 2’s students explore the world of music in their classes with their primary teachers and Preschool 3’s and above go to music class with the school’s music teacher. Elementary students meet with the school’s music teacher and sing a varied repertoire, perform with instruments, read and notate, and learn music’s role in history and culture.

Outdoors Study
Chance’s nature study in our 26-acre campus strengthens the natural connection between children and their environment. Students follow their curiosity as they explore topics such as native plant life and native animals, students will touch, smell and learn about the natural world in brand new ways. By exploring their world, children become responsible members of the natural world. This time is lead by their core teacher team and can happen more than once a week as many core learning topics can be intertwined with nature.

Technology instruction, under the guidance of the school’s technology specialist in the computer lab, exposes elementary students to various educational apps, the use of the Internet with safe search and best practice querying for reliable sources and practice with keyboarding. Computers, laptops, and iPads are also incorporated appropriately into elementary classrooms to expand learning and enhance research skills.Foreign

Foreign language broadens students’ awareness of other cultures. All students have exposure through theme studies and the sharing of traditions by Chance families and teachers. Preschoolers receive integrated Spanish lessons within their school week for a fun introduction to a foreign language. Elementary students become engaged in experiences that foster cultural understanding and sensitivity along with the use of a second language under the guidance of the Spanish teacher.

With a visit to the library each week, preschool and elementary students experience rich literature, which promotes a love of books and reading. The school’s collection includes award-winning Caldecott and Newbury literature, theme study reference books and parent resource books and is regularly updated, analyzed and refreshed.