Lower School Curriculum

Grades K-4 at Greenwood Friends School are the years when children become readers, writers, and mathematicians, developing confidence and enthusiasm as they experience success in a literature-rich environment. Teachers and students work together as a whole group, in small groups and one-on-one reading, writing, and working with words daily. Each student’s interests, skills and abilities are taken into account as teachers gently encourage them to challenge themselves and continue moving forward.

Our Everyday Math curriculum sets the stage for lots of engaging math games and activities. Students learn math concepts as they solve everyday questions – for example, they survey the class and create graphs to communicate about each other as well as make decisions. Hands-on activities help children develop number sense and experiment with simple operations.

Annual thematic studies are a unifying thread which allows students to apply their  skills as they observe, question, design investigations and share results.  Students explore social, cultural, and scientific concepts through hands on experiences, including a rich variety of field trips, visits from experts, and classroom experiments.

Students engage with reading, writing, working with words, every day; these are the cornerstones of Greenwood’s literacy program.  A delight for reading is encouraged with lots of genuine literature and carefully guided practice.  Each student spends time reading with a buddy, by themselves, or with a teacher.  Writing workshop is just one  way in which students are nurtured as authors.  Student-made bulletin boards, displays, reports, and books give genuine reasons to write.

Community: Inspired by the Quaker belief that there is that of God in every person, teachers take time to get to know each student individually, culturally, and developmentally. Community is carefully built and consciously nurtured. With adult support and guidance, children are taught how to negotiate with each other and problem-solve as conflicts arise.  As learners, students rely on each other as resources, teammates, appreciative audiences, and constructive critics.

The importance of human creativity and expression is understood first-hand as students learn to use genuine tools and techniques to make art and music.  Dances, displays and performances are a regular part of school life.

The specific skills of negotiation and mediation are taught as teachers help students create their own community of learners. With guidance, students practice using honest and direct communication as they learn to take turns, use “I messages” and make suggestions when conflicts arise. Students see a variety of cultures and diversity within themselves and our program especially as they experience classes in languages and cultures, movement and folk dance, music and art.