Kindergarten is where the basic building blocks of literacy and arithmetic are formed. Lessons include:
- Learning the alphabet (including sounds of letters, words, pronunciations);
- Sharing ideas and feelings through speech, drawing, and writing;
- Exploring music, movement, and playmaking;
- Identifying numbers and counting to 100; and skills through a variety of texts and further expand their math skills.
Students in first grade build upon their knowledge of words, math, and the world around them with lessons that include:
- Understanding place values and whole numbers;
- Addition and subtraction of numbers up to 20;
- Telling time; and studying the structures and behaviors of living things.
Second graders develop reading and writing skills through a variety of texts and further expand their math skills. Second grade students learn to:
- Edit their own writing.
- Ask “who, what, where, when, why, and how” questions about what they read;
- Solve math-based word problems;
- Use standard units of measurement; and
- Explore basic Earth science.
In third grade, students study the world around them, learn how to express their ideas clearly, and improve their mastery of math. Third grade students:
- Solve problems with multiplication and division of numbers up to 100;
- Develop an understanding of fractions;
- Learn about world communities and cultures;
- Study how plants and animals live in and adapt to their environments; and
- Are expected to take NY State Math/ELA exams (Grades 3–8) for the first time.
When students reach fourth grade, they will learn to:
- Identify themes or main ideas of texts, take notes, research, and organize information;
- Add, subtract, and multiply fractions;
- Measure angles, mass, and time;
- Investigate the properties of energy, motion, electricity, and magnetism; and
- Study organisms and ecosystems, and the ways in which water, land, and air interact.
Students in the fifth grade—the last grade before middle school—spend their time preparing for the material they will study in grades 6–8. Some of what fifth graders learn includes:
- The use of figurative language;
- Studying the use of decimals to the hundredth place;
- Developing an understanding of volume and geometry;
- Exploring the use of advanced fractions, measurements, and exponents; and
- Studying world geography, Western cultures, and early Western societies.