Children in First and Second Grades remain with their teachers in homerooms. Morning classes typically have emphasis in reading, writing, reasoning, science and math, in small groups where appropriate. Afternoon subjects include Spanish, social studies, music, sports and art, provided by specialty teachers in various locations in the school.
A walk around campus may find lower school children singing in the music room, happily at work painting in the colorful Art Room, or practicing for a presentation on the stage in the Evans Library.
The development of critical thinking skills is a focus for every subject. An emphasis on reading comprehension and exposure to the best in literature, as well as special activities throughout the year, cultivate a deeper love of reading and learning. Students are encouraged to analyze and ask questions, while at the same time treating their teachers and fellow students with courtesy and respect.
First Grade activities always include those that enhance reading skills and literacy. They might study the states with students assigned a particular state of the Union, or a famous historical figure, and at the conclusion, giving a presentation. A favorite event is the reading of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory….a much anticipated chocolate party follows. First Graders often do an informational unit all about their individual families.
Second Graders begin a festive Christmas season with the reading of The Polar Express, and ends with a special event to celebrate the message of that much loved book.
They also might participate in an endangered animal project, as well as several STEM activities during each month. They look forward to the Mystery Reader activity every Friday, when a “surprise” parent or grandparent comes to class and reads a book.
In Third Grade, students develop a deep love for reading as they dive into a biography unit about the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss. The book “Who Was Dr. Seuss” is enjoyed in reading class. A variety of Dr. Seuss’s well-known books are read aloud and used to teach specific reading skills, such as the concept of sequence when listening to the book “The Cat in the Hat.”
International Day is a favorite, and hands-on science experiments are ongoing.
Active learning takes place in many corners of the campus…a positive energy is felt both inside and outside the classroom.
Children learn through free-play the values of kindness and sportmanship. Mid-morning and afternoon recess times are closely supervised by teachers and coaches.
The art room at Evans is a busy and colorful reminder of the emphasis we place on creativity. Under the energetic guidance of our art teacher, students look forward to these classes and the opportunities to dive into watercolors, pastels, chalk, clay, and stitchery.
One important part of Lower School is giving students opportunities to step outside their comfort zone by reaching out to others. The process is valuable in two ways; assistance is given to those in need and students gain a greater appreciation for what they have. They come to inderstand what is meant by “the joy of service.”