Lower School

(Nursery to 5th Grade)

ISB’s Lower School curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child, building their social, physical, linguistic, academic, and emotional skills. The curriculum is explored both in the classroom and beyond its walls through regular curriculum-relevant field trips, guest speakers, and overnight trips that extend and further enrich the learning experience.

 

Best Practices

ISB’s Lower School Program takes the best practices of the U.S. education system, combined with the French National Curriculum, and curricula from Spanish-speaking countries.

Curriculum Overview

Inquiry plays a critical role in inspiring and motivating children to learn, in addition to its role in helping to assess student learning. Critical thinking and communication skills are developed in the classroom, providing a platform to feed students’ natural curiosity and spark deeper discussions.
Teachers and classrooms provide a true language and cultural immersion experience for our students. Our native speaking teachers bring diversity and culture to the classroom, using French and Spanish resources to ensure an authentic immersion experience and create a language-rich classroom for native and non-native speakers.
Standard foundational grade level math skills are taught at every grade level. The IB program brings the  important added layer of math explored through the lens of  the Units of Inquiry. Stand alone math classes cover the grade-specific math skills, while the PYP provides real world applications of these learned skills. Math at ISB exists as an essential readily applied skill. IB at ISB
What PYP Math Looks Like:
-Manipulating multi-digit numbers, and learning about scale, by building a historical timeline about explorers as part of the Third Grade Explorers unit -Learning about longitude, latitude, and geographic coordinate systems as part of the Fifth Grade Mapping the World unit -Collecting data about what kind of transportation the community is using, entering that data, graphing it, and analyzing it as part of the First Grade Transportation unit -Reading and interpreting primary source graphs about immigration as part of the Third Grade Immigration unit
ISB’s Lower School science specialist brings an ongoing science lens to the Lower School curriculum through the Program of Inquiry. The science specialist works in close collaboration with the classroom teachers to tie science knowledge and skills to the current Unit of Inquiry to create meaningful and contextual science experiences. Students learn the foundations of science skills such as inquiring, observing, experimenting, data collecting, analyzing data, and hypothesizing. Learning about and putting to use the tools of a scientist is essential to the ISB science program.
Lower School art is a process-oriented program that intentionally links to the Program of Inquiry and the units being explored in the classrooms. Art specialists collaborate with classroom teachers so that art explorations and projects support and enrich classroom inquiry. The art program allows for artistic and individual creativity through process-oriented work and reflection. The Annual Visual Arts Show is the culmination of a year’s hard work and showcases an amazing range of student talent and diverse media exploration.
The music program focuses on the three main aspects of music: listening, performing, and composing. Through the integration of these three components, students broaden their knowledge and understanding of music, its origins, and its diverse cultures and traditions.  Experienced music specialists expose their students to the foundations of music. Throughout the year, the music specialists work with the classroom teachers and the Program of Inquiry so that the music program is directly connected to the units being lived out in the classroom.
Literacy at ISB begins with a rich emergent literacy experience in the Preschool, explored holistically through the lens of the Units of Inquiry. Kindergarten begins the journey of biliteracy through a balanced literacy approach, as students plunge into reading and writing in two languages. With the use of detailed literacy maps developed in three languages, teachers implement both a structured linguistic approach and cognitively sequenced approach to literacy so that both skill and craft are refined. Using well-researched methods of literacy instruction, and literacy taught in the context of meaningful content through the lens of the units of inquiry, teachers work to deepen ISB students’ experience in reading and writing. Students leave the Lower School as confident readers and writers in two languages.

ISB’s French program follows the objectives outlined in the French National Curriculum, and classes are structured according to the cycles of the French Ministry of Education. Nursery, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten are part of Cycle One. Cycle Two comprises 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grades. Cycle Three includes the 4th, 5th, and 6th Grades. In order to expose students to the culture of the French-speaking world, ISB uses authentic materials and participates in French network school projects put forward by the French Ministry of Education, in addition to using resources sourced directly from francophone countries around the world.

For more information about the French school system:

http://eduscol.education.fr/pid26689/school-education-in-france.html

For more information about the French curriculum:

http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid95812/au-bo-special-du-26-novembre-2015-programmes-d-enseignement-de-l-ecole-elementaire-et-du-college.html

L’ISB suit les programmes du Ministère français de l’Education Nationale.  Nos classes sont organisées par cycles, conformément aux programmes français. Les Petite, Moyenne et Grande Sections forment le Cycle 1. Le Cycle 2 comprend les classes de CP, CE1 et CE2. Le Cycle 3 regroupe les classes de CM1, CM2 et 6ème. Afin d’exposer nos élèves à une culture francophone riche et variée, nous utilisons les ressources recommandées par le Ministère de l’Education Nationale dans nos enseignements. Nous participons activement à des projets innovants et motivants autour de la langue française et des programmes français.

Pour plus d’information à propos des programmes français:

http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid95812/au-bo-special-du-26-novembre-2015-programmes-d-enseignement-de-l-ecole-elementaire-et-du-college.html

ISB's Spanish program follows the objectives outlined in the Spanish National Curriculum. In order to expose students to other Spanish-speaking cultures, ISB's Spanish program also introduces authentic materials from other Spanish-speaking countries and educational resources from the Cervantes Institute.

El programa de español de ISB sigue los objetivos establecidos por curso y ciclo en el currículo de España. Con el objetivo de exponer a los alumnos a otras culturas hispanohablantes, el programa de español en ISB también utiliza materiales de otro países de habla hispana y recursos educativos del Instituto Cervantes.

The PE program aims to instill a lifelong love of physical exercise to students. Students work with physical education specialists to build strong locomotor skills and grow an awareness of their physical bodies in life and in space. Learned skills are applied to individual and group games. Strong collaboration skills and the positive attitudes of sportsmanship are exercised through the application of the IB learner profiles. IB at ISB
  • Inquiry-based Learning
    Inquiry plays a critical role in inspiring and motivating children to learn, in addition to its role in helping to assess student learning. Critical thinking and communication skills are developed in the classroom, providing a platform to feed students’ natural curiosity and spark deeper discussions.
  • Language Immersion
    Teachers and classrooms provide a true language and cultural immersion experience for our students. Our native speaking teachers bring diversity and culture to the classroom, using French and Spanish resources to ensure an authentic immersion experience and create a language-rich classroom for native and non-native speakers.
  • Math
    Standard foundational grade level math skills are taught at every grade level. The IB program brings the  important added layer of math explored through the lens of  the Units of Inquiry. Stand alone math classes cover the grade-specific math skills, while the PYP provides real world applications of these learned skills. Math at ISB exists as an essential readily applied skill. IB at ISB
    What PYP Math Looks Like:
    -Manipulating multi-digit numbers, and learning about scale, by building a historical timeline about explorers as part of the Third Grade Explorers unit -Learning about longitude, latitude, and geographic coordinate systems as part of the Fifth Grade Mapping the World unit -Collecting data about what kind of transportation the community is using, entering that data, graphing it, and analyzing it as part of the First Grade Transportation unit -Reading and interpreting primary source graphs about immigration as part of the Third Grade Immigration unit
  • Science
    ISB’s Lower School science specialist brings an ongoing science lens to the Lower School curriculum through the Program of Inquiry. The science specialist works in close collaboration with the classroom teachers to tie science knowledge and skills to the current Unit of Inquiry to create meaningful and contextual science experiences. Students learn the foundations of science skills such as inquiring, observing, experimenting, data collecting, analyzing data, and hypothesizing. Learning about and putting to use the tools of a scientist is essential to the ISB science program.
  • Art
    Lower School art is a process-oriented program that intentionally links to the Program of Inquiry and the units being explored in the classrooms. Art specialists collaborate with classroom teachers so that art explorations and projects support and enrich classroom inquiry. The art program allows for artistic and individual creativity through process-oriented work and reflection. The Annual Visual Arts Show is the culmination of a year’s hard work and showcases an amazing range of student talent and diverse media exploration.
  • Music
    The music program focuses on the three main aspects of music: listening, performing, and composing. Through the integration of these three components, students broaden their knowledge and understanding of music, its origins, and its diverse cultures and traditions.  Experienced music specialists expose their students to the foundations of music. Throughout the year, the music specialists work with the classroom teachers and the Program of Inquiry so that the music program is directly connected to the units being lived out in the classroom.
  • Literacy
    Literacy at ISB begins with a rich emergent literacy experience in the Preschool, explored holistically through the lens of the Units of Inquiry. Kindergarten begins the journey of biliteracy through a balanced literacy approach, as students plunge into reading and writing in two languages. With the use of detailed literacy maps developed in three languages, teachers implement both a structured linguistic approach and cognitively sequenced approach to literacy so that both skill and craft are refined. Using well-researched methods of literacy instruction, and literacy taught in the context of meaningful content through the lens of the units of inquiry, teachers work to deepen ISB students’ experience in reading and writing. Students leave the Lower School as confident readers and writers in two languages.
  • French Program

    ISB’s French program follows the objectives outlined in the French National Curriculum, and classes are structured according to the cycles of the French Ministry of Education. Nursery, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten are part of Cycle One. Cycle Two comprises 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grades. Cycle Three includes the 4th, 5th, and 6th Grades. In order to expose students to the culture of the French-speaking world, ISB uses authentic materials and participates in French network school projects put forward by the French Ministry of Education, in addition to using resources sourced directly from francophone countries around the world.

    For more information about the French school system:

    http://eduscol.education.fr/pid26689/school-education-in-france.html

    For more information about the French curriculum:

    http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid95812/au-bo-special-du-26-novembre-2015-programmes-d-enseignement-de-l-ecole-elementaire-et-du-college.html

    L’ISB suit les programmes du Ministère français de l’Education Nationale.  Nos classes sont organisées par cycles, conformément aux programmes français. Les Petite, Moyenne et Grande Sections forment le Cycle 1. Le Cycle 2 comprend les classes de CP, CE1 et CE2. Le Cycle 3 regroupe les classes de CM1, CM2 et 6ème. Afin d’exposer nos élèves à une culture francophone riche et variée, nous utilisons les ressources recommandées par le Ministère de l’Education Nationale dans nos enseignements. Nous participons activement à des projets innovants et motivants autour de la langue française et des programmes français.

    Pour plus d’information à propos des programmes français:

    http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid95812/au-bo-special-du-26-novembre-2015-programmes-d-enseignement-de-l-ecole-elementaire-et-du-college.html

  • Spanish Program

    ISB's Spanish program follows the objectives outlined in the Spanish National Curriculum. In order to expose students to other Spanish-speaking cultures, ISB's Spanish program also introduces authentic materials from other Spanish-speaking countries and educational resources from the Cervantes Institute.

    El programa de español de ISB sigue los objetivos establecidos por curso y ciclo en el currículo de España. Con el objetivo de exponer a los alumnos a otras culturas hispanohablantes, el programa de español en ISB también utiliza materiales de otro países de habla hispana y recursos educativos del Instituto Cervantes.

  • Physical Education (PE)
    The PE program aims to instill a lifelong love of physical exercise to students. Students work with physical education specialists to build strong locomotor skills and grow an awareness of their physical bodies in life and in space. Learned skills are applied to individual and group games. Strong collaboration skills and the positive attitudes of sportsmanship are exercised through the application of the IB learner profiles. IB at ISB

Learn more about ISB’s Lower School.

Literacy Week 2018

Amid the frenzy of Election Day and Parent Teacher Conferences, the ISB community came together to transform the gym for the 14th Annual Multilingual Book Fair: a forest of enticing French, English and Spanish literature, and to celebrate Literacy Week. The enthusiasm for the events stretched far and wide.

Le cycle d’investigation: Les objets témoins du passé

Pour “entrer dans le sujet” de cette nouvelle unité, les élèves de CM1 (4th grade) ont joué les archéologues et déterrer des objets. Ils les ont nettoyés à l’aide de pinceaux, observer à la loupe, dessiner, puis ils ont fait des fiches décrivant ces objets. Ils sont arrivés à la conclusion que sur un site archéologique les objets les plus anciens sont enterrés le plus profondément et les objets récents se trouvent plus en surface.

Service Learning at ISB

Throughout our students’ time at ISB, they are asked to take action in various ways, both as part of the curriculum and through stand alone initiatives. In the curriculum, the community service program builds as students advance through the Primary Years Programme (PYP - PK 3's through 5th Grade) and Middle Years Programme (MYP - 6th Grade-8th Grade), culminating in the MYP Community Service Project each student completes in 8th Grade. In addition to the classroom and individual service projects, ISB also organizes two school-wide service days, Local Day of Service and Global Service Day, to align with our goal of ensuring that our students become locally- and globally-minded.

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