Grades K – 8
Intelligence, strong values and a solid work ethic allow our students to stand out and succeed in today’s world. The curriculum at ECDS is designed to provide students with the skills and perspective necessary for them to achieve their highest potential. Using vertical integration, individualized programming, and a problem solving orientation, we provide an exceptional learning environment. While we have established consistent performance standards and evaluation criteria, we are constantly reviewing programs and goals to insure that our curriculum remains up to date and innovative.
Mathematics At the core of our math curriculum is the belief that in order to embrace mathematics as an essential building block of a productive life, students need to engage in mathematical exploration on a daily basis. We also understand that students think uniquely and differently. For this reason, we use a foundational philosophy that we apply to any of three math programs that are chosen specifically to fit students’ needs. All three programs align to a set of core mathematical standards that reflect best practices in curriculum and instruction.
Our philosophy pulls from the key foundations of the Singapore Math model. This model hinges upon four essential beliefs:
First, we value the importance of working deeply and thoroughly with number relationships that enable students to develop a strong number sense.
Second, as research in best practice shows, children learn new skills in a particular order. It is often referred to as the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Approach. First, we address concepts in a concrete manner. Next, students work with picture models that represent the concrete materials. Then and only then, they learn through abstract concepts that we think of as symbols such as 74-23=51.
The third essential belief is the use of metacognition. Metacognition refers to thinking about our own thinking. This is often utilized as an instructional strategy where teachers model the thinking behaviors necessary to complete a mathematical task. Transferring this skill, students can check in on and explain their thinking process as they work. This boosts executive function in the brain.
The fourth and final essential belief hinges on the value of discussion and sharing unique methods and ideas when engaging in problem solving. We encourage problems to be solved in a variety of methods or approaches, just as each child’s brain is unique. Discussion based lessons allow for ongoing rich discourse where solving problems creatively and/or in a variety of ways can be reinforced.
The main program we use is a direct offering from the Singapore Math approach; it is called Dimensions Math. This is the most the most up to date Singapore Math program that addresses the key foundations in a comprehensive way.
A second program we use is called JUMP Math. This program is designed to teach discrete skills and address the smaller steps embedded in the mathematical process. This evidence-based program helps replace anxiety around math with understanding of math. This program bodes well for a subset of our students.
Finally, we use Math Mammoth, a very thorough and well designed program to supplement and support learning and curriculum for all students. This program is very effective because it simply, yet rigorously, concentrates on helping students truly understand the concepts of mathematics. The program utilizes effective visual models that come before abstract models which supports our essential belief that concrete and visual models are necessary before abstract.
Through a thorough, comprehensive, as well as individualized approach to our math curriculum, Easton Country Day school efficiently and effectively meets the needs of a variety of students at once.
Research shows that professionals must be familiar with a wide range of instrumental methodologies when teaching reading. Each child has a unique learning style and the instruction needs to be flexible enough in their teaching to meet each child’s needs. At ECDS the teachers are well versed in numerous approaches to reading including a variety of Phonics systems and Literature Based Instruction. Our goal is to develop lifelong readers who use critical thinking skills to comprehend literature in a variety of genres. Over the course of study students will:
1. Demonstrate competence in the skills and strategies of the reading process.
2. Demonstrate competence in skills and strategies for reading literature.
3. Demonstrate competence in applying the reading process to specific types of literary texts.
4. Demonstrate competence in applying the reading process to specific types of informational texts.
5. Demonstrate competence in using different information sources, including those of a technical nature, to accomplish specific tasks.
6. Demonstrate a familiarity with literary works
One of the primary mediums for communicating knowledge within academic circles is the written word. At ECDS it is of the utmost importance that students develop exemplary writing skills. Each core subject area requires the student to be proficient in one or more specific styles of writing. Students are required to develop the skills necessary to become, versatile, flexible, interesting writers. Over the course of study students will:
1. Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
2. Demonstrate competence in using a variety of styles of writing.
3. Consistently use appropriate grammar and mechanics when composing.
4. Effectively gather and use information for research purposes
5. Will use the written word to effectively communicate ideas and knowledgeSTEM CLASSSTEM STEM projects focus on real-world issues and problems through the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There is use of computers, ipads, robotics equipment, 3D printers and other technology depending on the grade and project that is presented. These technological tools are provided in class with the exception of computers as students are encouraged to bring their own laptops when it’s necessary. STEM lessons are guided by the engineering design process. In class, students are involved in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration, all the while in groups or teams. STEM projects allow for multiple right answers and reframe failure as a necessary part of learning.
Social Studies/ History
Cultural diversity and understanding cultural perspective is an integral part of Easton Country Day School. Understanding the interconnectedness and interdependence of national history, world history and current events is the main focus of our history curriculum. Our younger students immerse themselves in cultural studies. They learn to compare and contrast local, state and federal government both past and present as well as explore the cultures and governments of many countries of the world. At the middle school level the students receive in-depth knowledge of the USA and Europe from a historical perspective. As they learn how and why the world got to be the way it is they begin to compare and contrast decisions made by past political figures and those made today. Over the course of study students will:
Kindergarten- Grade 4
1. Understand the concepts of families and communities as they live and work together.
2. Understand that there are many different cultures in our country as well as around the world.
3. Understand the history of the United States, including an awareness of different states, cultures, demographic principles and values, and the cultures that contributed to its development.
4. Understand the history of Connecticut from Pre-colonial times to the present.
Lower form units will cover Native American studies, China, Medieval times, Africa, each students country of origin, and ancient history.
Through the use of class textbooks, projects and report writing, and hands-on activities, students will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the following periods of United States History (towns, religion, warfare, politics, culture, economics, etc.):
a. Pre-colonial times (- 1620)
b. Colonization (1620 – 1763)
c. Revolutionary times (1763 – 1820)
d. Expansion and reform (1820 – 1860)
e. Civil War and Reconstruction (1860 -1877)
f. Industrial United State (1870 – 1900)
g. Early 20th Century
h. The Great Depression and WWII (1929 -1945)
i. Post-war United States (1946-1970)
j. Contemporary United States (1968 – 1999)
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the following periods in World History (religion, culture, warfare, politics, economics, etc.) through the study of the countries of the world:
a. The beginnings of human society
b. Early civilizations (10,000 BCE to 4000 BCE)
c. Empires, religions, traditions (4000 BCE to 300 CE)
d. Global expansion (300 CE – 1770 CE)
e. Age of Revolution) 1750 CE – 1900)
f. The 20th Century
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the following periods in European History (religion, culture, warfare, politics, economics, etc.)
a. The Dark Ages
b. Medieval times
d. Age of Exploration
e. Industrial Revolution
4. Demonstrate an understanding of Civics:
a. What a government is and what it should do
b. What a democracy is and how it works
c. What the US Constitution is, how it was established, and how it works
d. Understand the importance of sharing values, beliefs and participating in American democracy
e. Understand political parties, campaigns, and elections, in American politics
f. Understand the meaning of citizenship in this country and the responsibilities it carries
Achievement of above goals will be determined through success on chapter tests and finals, class projects, research and report writing, and verbal communication of knowledge at the social studies fair
1. Understand the characteristics and uses of maps, gloves, and atlases.
2. Understand the concept of latitude and longitude lines.
3. Know the location of places and geographic features.
4. Understand the concept of regions and spheres.
5. Understand the spatial organization of the earth’s surface.
In the ever changing world of technology the computer curriculum at ECDS focuses on the essential knowledge and skills that students need to be lifelong, responsible learners in the area of technology. We strive to educate our students to be knowledgeable of computer programs (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word etc.), keyboarding, flexibility and creative problem solving are essential tools. Over the course of study students will:
1. Understand the characteristics and uses of computer hardware, software and operating systems.
2. Master keyboarding
3. Use software programs that include; Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point
4. Be able to use the internet as a research tool
5. Understand internet etiquette and rules of safety