Lower School
(1st to 5th Grade)

 

ISB’s  holistic approach to education in a language immersion setting prepares students for the intellectual challenges of the next phases of their education and personal growth. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer - both in the classroom and in the world outside.ISB’s Kindergarten-5th Grade program incorporates local and global perspectives and issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at six related, transdisciplinary themes that provide the breadth of exploration across disciplines. Throughout the curriculum, students engage in six-week long transdisciplinary Units of Inquiry, focusing on such themes as “who we are”, “where we are in place and time”, and “how the world works”.

By developing their inquiry skills at this early stage, students become active learners and have the opportunity to take charge of their own learning. All units also incorporate field trips to give real-life context to what is being learned in the classroom.

1st Grade to 5th Grade Overview

  • 1st–3rd Grades: 75% instruction in the target language (French or Spanish), 25% in English
  • 4th–5th Grades: 50% instruction in the target language, 50% in English
  • Culturally and linguistically authentic classrooms: Books and resources are primary language only (not translated), and teachers bring in their own cultural backgrounds to reinforce lessons
  • Head teachers are native speakers in their language of instruction
  • Core subjects (Math, Science, Reading, Writing, Social Studies) are taught in an interdisciplinary manner everyday, with additional weekly classes in Art and Science and twice weekly classes in Physical Education and Music (twice weekly in 2nd Grade-5th Grade, weekly in 1st Grade)
  • Twice daily recess
  • School Day Hours: 8:30am–3:30pm (extended care available from 3:30pm–6pm)
  • Project-based learning is incorporated into each unit, allowing students to build their skills and synthesize learned content

Keep Exploring:

2nd Grade Future Astronauts Blast Off to Outer Space

There was a buzz of excitement in the 2nd Grade classrooms as students began their next unit of inquiry on outer space. First, students reflected on their prior knowledge by writing and drawing what they already knew about the solar system, and then, they moved on to their space adventures! “This is the best unit for 2nd Graders!” says Paulina Bemporad, 2nd Grade English Teacher. “We tap into the wonder and imagination for space exploration, investigating our Solar System as we integrate science, math, physics, language, literacy, and social studies.”

A Powerful and Intimate Conversation Between ISB 5th Graders and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez

Each year, as part of the Civic Symbols and Constitutions unit of inquiry, the 5th Grade class sets off to Washington, D.C. to further understand how our the Constitution and other political documents are used to govern the country and to explore the ways that monuments and civic symbols express the common values of our society. While field trips have been put on pause during the pandemic, the class has been enjoying virtual field trips and meetings with special visitors as they learn more about the United States government. Last week, the 5th Graders were very fortunate to have a virtual visit from Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, New York’s 7th Congressional district representative, which includes their own school community in Carroll Gardens as well as several other surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods.

La Tierra en Movimiento

The 5th Grade “Moving Earth” unit encompasses Earth’s changes and how those changes can affect our lives. No one could have predicted that students would be exploring this unit while living through a historic pandemic, but the current context gave students a deeper connection to their studies and a very real lens through which to develop inquisitive questions. Students launched the unit by investigating the Earth’s changes and the human response. To explore this, Spanish 5th Graders interviewed people who have lived through various disasters from all around the world.

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