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Heritage Hall Lower School will remain on our normal schedule today. In the event of early-afternoon extreme weather, lower school students will be ushered to our secure storm shelter in the Upper School. Charger Kid Care will be in operation today as scheduled. Any parents concerned about the weather conditions may check out their children early.
The rescheduled Heritage Hall Baccalaureate will be at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on 4400 North Shartel on Tuesday, May 21, at 6:00 pm. All members of the Heritage Hall community are welcome.
Please Check our website for any daily schedule and weather related updates.
Head of Lower School
Welcome to the Heritage Hall Lower School!
We invite you to visit us.
The journey begins in the Early Childhood Center and continues through the fourth grade. Our goal is to ensure that our students reach their full potential and to celebrate their individual differences and gifts.
We recognize that it is our responsibility to prepare our students for the future and our ever-changing world with the following:
- A strong core curriculum which help our students become problem solvers, creative thinkers, cooperative learners, and technologically proficient
- Project-based learning units with partner and small group collaboration
- Cross-age learning with middle school and upper school students
- Enrichment classes: art, music, Spanish, physical education, and library science
- Character education: integrated in every aspect of school life, our character education program supports the school motto, To Learn, To Lead, To Serve, and promotes the Lower School creed, which states, “That each child shall come to know the value and wisdom of Kindness, Truth and Service to others.” We also model and teach Heritage Hall’s core values: Moral Courage, Personal Responsibility, Active Kindness, and Intellectual Purpose.
- Community service: our students embrace the value and importance of community service because each grade level participates in service projects.
It All Starts Here!
The Heritage Hall Early Childhood Center (ECC) is designed to facilitate a responsive, cooperative learning environment. Our carefully selected teaching staff fosters the growth of responsible, self-reliant, adaptable children. We understand that every child has his or her own unique social, emotional, intellectual, and physical rates of development. The ECC curriculum objectives are integrated and presented in a way that embraces the learning style of each child. We use brain-based research findings, individual assessments, higher level questioning techniques, and a variety of “Hands On” materials and tools. Our students excel academically, become aesthetically appreciative, culturally literate, and globally aware. Your child will be taught the life skills needed to be a successful, productive, responsible citizen in today’s world. We are a community of learners.
Ready – Set – Go
Our day begins the minute the children walk through the doors of our ECC building. They are greeted individually and then participate in a one on one “Question of the Day” activity. Questioning strategies encompass all areas of the curriculum including the arts and personal preferences. Students then follow specific procedures that promote independence and personal responsibility as they organize their belongings for an active day of learning. Shine Time is a teacher led interactive total group lesson that takes place twice a day. These lessons are concept driven and introduce or reinforce specific skills in language, phonics, reading, math, science and social studies. This time is used for class celebrations, calendar business, and a student driven planning session to outline the day.
The ECC day is then divided into 3 distinct “Learning Adventure” rotations. Teachers are trained to use a responsive, multi-step, center based, approach that includes student driven project based activities. A 1-8 student teacher ratio allows for individualized, as well as collaborative instruction and facilitation. Each child has a personal Job Card, which are used by the students as they plan, decide, choose, follow through and evaluate the work they are doing. Guided play with intellectual purpose embraces the child as they develop their social, emotional, physical and academic skills. Outdoor Exploration, ECC Fine Dining, Rest Time activities, and a variety of daily and weekly specials round out our day.
Outdoor Exploration: Heritage Hall has two specially designed playgrounds the children use twice a day. Children have the opportunity to interact with peers a year older or younger than themselves. All teachers in the ECC use this time to observe and facilitate social, emotional, and physical development. The playgrounds at Heritage Hall are extensions of the ECC classroom.
Fine Dining: Whether students bring a lunch from home or eat the healthy meals prepared on campus, all children and teachers participate in a “fine dining” experience in the ECC. Everyone uses and applies meal-time etiquette rules. Students are complimented as they “risk to try” new foods. Topics of conversation permeate tabletop discussions. Students each have cleanup tasks to complete before the dining experience comes to a close.
Rest Time: 40 minutes a day is devoted to Rest Time. Students are actively taught breathing and yoga techniques to relax their bodies. Instrumental musical selections accompany this period of relaxation. Students rejuvenate their minds and bodies for an active afternoon of learning.
Daily Specials: Our full time students attend daily Music and Physical Education classes. The P.E. coaches have developed a detailed physical education curriculum based on the requirements and needs of the early childhood student. In music class students are exposed to a variety of musical skills and techniques. Children actively learn musical concepts through song and dance. Each year our students participate in an Early Childhood musical, performed on stage at the Howard Theater.
Library classes are attended once a week. Students participate in a variety of language art lessons. The children check out books to take home and basically celebrate the joy of many literature adventures.
Cooking class is a delicious way to reinforce academic concepts taught in the classroom. Our ECC center has its own kitchen and culinary tools, designed to be used by small, eager hands.
The Outdoor Classroom has been specifically designed to extend learning opportunities outside. A series of 8 outdoor centers reinforce curriculum goals through the use of sand, water, and wind. Trikes, wagons, a playhouse, and a variety of small container gardens promote a wide variety of learning opportunities. Parachutes, jumping and climbing equipment, along with student sized mops, tools, shovels and brooms make this element of our center a hit with everyone.
Curriculum overviews are sent home every 4 weeks. They outline the concepts to be covered in each of our academic areas. Daily Digital documentation, in the form of a newsletter, is sent electronically. A hard color copy of this newsletter goes home in the child’s home folder each day. These newsletters are a resource to be used to promote an open dialogue between parent and child.
Language Arts curriculum begins in the print rich environment of the ECC. Communication through writing, reading, speech, and drama are emphasized. Dictation taken of the children’s own words are showcased. Very early in the school year the children begin to “risk to write” their own words and stories. Children’s rates of development in the writing process follow predictable patterns of development. We use the school wide reading series Storytown along with a wide assortment of nursery rhymes. rhyming, predictable and phonemic readers. The 5 main components of our reading curriculum are: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary building and comprehension applications. Emergent readers are given a variety of outlets to explore language, empowering them with the essential skills they will need to become capable, independent readers and communicators. Handwriting is considered a fine motor skill. We use materials from the HWT (Hand Writing With Out Tears) Curriculum. Our first integrated theme unit of the year is LINES. We explore lines everywhere. All our letter and number formations are constructed by using lines and curves.
Math is integrated through hands-on learning experiences throughout the day. Students are introduced to the foundations of mathematical concepts such as number sense, geometry, graphing, measurement, time, money, and number stories. We incorporate a variety of materials to ensure that children are able to create meaningful experiences in these areas. The school adopted a math program by Houghton Mifflin, which provides a consistent thread of mathematical understanding through out the grade levels. Class project work makes “hands-on” applications of these concepts more meaningful and concrete
Social Studies - Science Units are integrated into every aspect of our ECC curriculum. Units are designed with the purpose of developing in the children the awareness of how they are needed as functional, participatory, responsible problem solving members of their family, school, and community. Global responsibility begins in our own community. Scientific exploration with the many materials provided or collected by the ECC students, along with the numerous field trips we go on each year, brings the primary elements of the scientific method to life. Geography, cultural understanding, team building, and leadership skills are integrated into the ECC curriculum.
Field Trips: We go on an average of 14 community field trips per year. These trips encompass experiences in all integrated areas of our curriculum. We have buses available for our travels. These learning experiences embrace the concept of the world as our classroom. From seining the river, to fine dining in a 5 star restaurant, field trips are a key component to the Heritage Hall’s Early Childhood program.
Service Learning: Service Learning is integrated throughout the curriculum and used to emphasize intellectual purpose, active kindness, personal responsibility, and moral courage. Campus wide cross-age teaching opportunities allow students to apply their acquired educational understandings and skills in purposeful service to others within our own school community. Outreach service to the community at large reinforces the importance that each of us has as functional members of society. We participate in 8 ongoing projects per year.
Humanities: A series of artists and composers are highlighted monthly. From Mozart to Matisse, Picasso to Tchaikovsky, students become aesthetically aware and appreciative of the contributions the great masters have given us. A “hands-on” approach to the arts, allows students to create their own rhythms and masterpieces. Children have a working applicable knowledge of the elements of portraits, landscapes, still life, pop art, and line design.
Technology: Our ECC has all top of the line technological tools to use with our students and by our students. Children have access to Smartboards, computers, light tables, iPods and digital cameras. Our center has 15 iPads and numerous apps to enhance our academic program. Teacher training is ongoing. The ECC technology curriculum is used to train our students in the care, and proficient use of these tools.
Parent Involvement: Parents are pivotal to the success of our ECC program. We partner with parents to provide the best possible educational opportunities for their children. Our HHSPA parent association provides many additional opportunities for parents to volunteer in a wide variety of activities. Parents plan class parties, special events and can volunteer to help with school wide and class projects. Field trips, parent centers, and special classroom presentations top the list for volunteer requests.
We have numerous center-wide programs for parents to attend. All parents are welcome to join us on Fridays for school-wide assembly called Charger Shine (8:15 am in the LS Gym).
The foundation for life long learning is established here!
Heritage Hall’s Early Childhood Center… A Community of Learners
Heritage Hall kindergarten teachers focus on individualization and strive to provide their students with an education unique to each child in their classroom! High expectations are held for each of our students and we encourage them to challenge themselves by using higher order thinking, active inquiry, and problem solving skills. Our kindergartners participate in hands-on learning experiences and purposeful play daily. We are preparing our students to become resourceful, responsible, responsive, and reflective leaders of our community.
Every morning, you can find a friendly, clean, colorful hallway full of teachers eagerly awaiting their students. The kindergarten teachers greet their students enthusiastically and praise them for entering the hallway on their own and for hanging up their own belongings in the hall. This is just one of the many ways we promote independence. Each student has a responsibility to bring in needed materials and place them in a specific place in the classroom, which is a simple way for students to practice accountability. This is a skill that carries over into the classroom and sets the tone for a successful day.
After a student has completed Morning Procedures, he/she begins Workshops. These are a series of independent activities that foster development and maturity in students. Workshops emphasize routine, encourage responsibility, require accountability, and promote independence. The students improve fine and gross motor skills and literacy and math skills that we will build on throughout the year. Students also learn how to navigate the room, practice time management and follow multi-step directions. This is the perfect time for the classroom teacher to spend quality time with each student and assess his/her progress.
This motivates children by addressing two human needs: the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging and the need to have fun. It involves having students meet every morning at the same time in a predictable format. The meeting consists of a greeting, sharing time, a group activity, and news and announcements. It is used to encourage and practice social and emotional learning in all children. Morning Meetings help the children know that they are in a safe and nurturing environment.
Several math concepts are integrated during calendar time including number recognition, counting (rote, skip, tallying), even/odd, quantity, one-to-one correspondence, place value, sequencing/ordinal positioning, patterning (creating, extending, and naming), graphing (interpreting and collecting data), time (day, month, year, hour, half hour), weather, seasons, temperature, money (coin value and recognition, coin combinations), number line (addition and subtraction), predicting and estimating.
We use the Storytown reading series to teach literacy, which focuses on the five major components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Each teacher has several leveled readers to aid in reaching all learners and to provide constant, ongoing assessments to meet each student's individual needs. New Sight Words and Robust Vocabulary are introduced weekly.
We also use Phonics Dance and Handwriting Without Tears to supplement our Storytown curriculum. Phonics Dance is used in a whole group and small group settings with chants and movements to auditorily and kinesthetically teach memorable phonics rules. Handwriting Without Tears is also used during whole group or small group instruction with a series of simply, clearly defined strokes to make handwriting a breeze!
We are able to eat lunch in our classroom. Students can purchase a meal through our cafeteria or bring a nut-free lunch from home. Lunch is an excellent time for children to grow socially! Students practice vocabulary skills, spatial relations, safety guidelines, independence, and manners.
Morning Recess and Afternoon Recess
These 30-minute periods are other meaningful times for socialization, experimentation, problem solving, and motor skill development. We encourage the children to use all playground equipment including slides, monkey bars, climbing structures, and the tire-swing to enhance gross motor skills. The children may also make sidewalk chalk creations, jump rope, hula-hoop, and play organized games such as foursquare, basketball, and kick ball.
Each teacher on duty monitors the playground and expects each child to use the safety precautions and adhere to the playground rules set by and explained by the kindergarten team.
P.E.: 20 minutes Tuesday-Friday: Coach McRay and Coach Brewster are fun loving, energetic, and so sweet! They integrate pieces of our kindergarten curriculum into exciting movement activities and games that the students adore. These opportunities help students improve their gross motor skills, encourage activity, and promote teamwork. Our students always look forward to P.E.!
Music: 20 minutes Tuesday-Friday: Mr. H. (Mr. Hagiwara) and Mr. B. (Mr. Bramble) are incredibly talented! They teach the students lyrics and movements for the songs we sing at Charger Shine. The students especially enjoy the cultural and seasonal songs. Mr. H. and Mr. B. also coordinate a kindergarten musical each spring that the students perform in the Howard Theatre.
Library: 30 minutes per week: Kindergarteners love visiting Mrs. England-Burnside each week in the library. She teaches them basic library routines, like checking out and returning books and using a shelf marker. Mrs. England-Burnside is the most entertaining reader on campus! When she reads aloud, she gives all the characters voices and reads very enthusiastically. She also plans engaging activities for the students, such as writing and perform fables.
Art: 45 minutes per week: Our award-winning art teacher, Mrs. Hoge, uses a variety of art techniques and materials with kindergarteners. The students anxiously await spending time with Mrs. Hoge each week. Several of her students have even won national and local awards for their artwork!
Spanish: 20 minutes, four days a week: Profe leads an exciting, energetic, and memorable Spanish class every Monday through Thursday! Students learn several new vocabulary words including general greetings and responses, numbers, months of the year, animal names, and color words, just to name a few.
Journaling is an important part of phonemic spelling, story sequencing, and handwriting practice. Students are expected to record the date and their thoughts and illustrate their journal entry each day. As the year progresses, they are asked to incorporate specific skill-based concepts in their writing.
Math is integrated into many different activities in our classrooms. Harcourt School Publishers is the math curriculum used in kindergarten. Math is taught using individual, small group, and whole class activities that are hands-on learning lessons paired with the opportunity to record data.
Aside from the math skills that we focus on during calendar time, kindergarteners also work on the following skills throughout the year: recognize, model, and write numerals 0-30, apply relative positions, describe solid and plane figures, identify fractional parts (whole and half), trade pennies, nickels, and dimes, recognize the value of quarters and dollars, compare, order, and measure length, and create and model addition and subtraction problems.
The kindergarten teachers promote meaningful learning through use of math tubs, math journals, and technology. Math tubs are opportunities for students to explore the topics we have covered using a variety of manipulatives. Math tubs allow students to work in cooperative groups. Math journals are used to reinforce and review math in a creative way.
Centers are stations set up throughout the classroom where children engage in purposeful play that enhances a specific learning activity. Children choose the center they wish to work in and decide on the amount of time to spend there. The learning center approach provides a time when children explore and practice skills to their own satisfaction. These centers provide children with opportunities for hands-on learning, cooperative learning, social interaction, real-life problem solving, autonomous learning, and open-ended activities.
Each kindergarten class rotates to Mrs. Harris for science on Fridays. Every week, Mrs. Harris provides students with authentic, hands-on, inquiry-based experiences to explore a new science topic. Students work individually and in small groups to conduct investigations and participate in experiments and observations.
We focus on chemistry (how things change), biology (the study of living things), earth science (weather and seasonal changes) and life science (life cycles of plants and animals). Literacy is integrated into many of our science lessons, whether it be reading a specific book, creating a graphic organizer during a group writing activity, keeping a science journal, or participating in a song or movement activity.
Community Service and Social Studies
On Fridays, each kindergarten class rotates to Mrs. McKone’s room for community service/social studies. Mrs. McKone guides the children in helping people and animals in our world. Some service projects are specific to our Heritage Hall community, like recycling paper goods on campus. Other service projects are geared more towards helping the Oklahoma City metro area, like providing the Central Humane Society with blankets, food, treats and toys for dogs and cats. There are also national service projects that the children are involved in, like raising money by singing valentines with proceeds going to Hearts for Africa.
Each kindergarten teacher is also responsible for teaching social studies throughout the week. We use National Geographic Young Explorer to teach several topics. The magazine offers beautiful, detailed photographs and interesting, kid-friendly information about animals, people, and events from a variety of places in our world. It also has an interactive technology component that we will use on the SMARTboard as our students read along with their copy of the magazine. We do several fun projects and art activities to support learning and to teach others about what we’ve learned.
Many of our field trips directly relate to a community service or social studies topic. We enjoy helping and learning from members of the community. We conclude most Storytown lessons, which are based on social studies, with a culminating activity and/or a field trip, or guest speaker.
On Fridays, each kindergarten class rotates to Mrs. Halferty’s room for technology. Kindergarten has a cart equipped with 16 iPads that are used for playing literacy and math games, practicing handwriting and fine motor skills, creating presentations, taking photos and videos, and learning how to properly care and use an iPad.
Each kindergarten classroom also has a SMARTboard, which is used for whole group instruction, such as using the document camera to observe small objects/creatures in detail, reading a story or article aloud, or watching an educational video. Children also use the SMARTboard to practice literacy or math skills during Center Time.
You will also find an all-in-one Mac computer in each kindergarten room. Children use this to chart their lunch count each day during Workshops, to practice literacy or math skills during Center Time, and to improve their hand-eye coordination and mouse skills.
Our brilliant cross-age teaching coordinator, Mrs. Warner, has helped the kindergarten teachers connect our students with amazing Chargers throughout the entire school! Our fourth grade friends help us walk to assemblies, plays, and special events held across campus. They have also taught us how to correctly throw Frisbees. The third graders help us cook a simple snack each week, which is something that the kindergarteners always look forward to doing! The second graders teach us how to play board games and show us how to have good sportsmanship. Our students look up to these wonderful leaders and get a kick out of seeing them in the hallways of the Lower School.
We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to also work with Middle and Upper School students. We have visited the Middle School to learn from a Spanish class about Dia de Los Muertos, we made our own ice cream, we planted beautiful flowers around campus with a science class, and we visited a group of theatre students who performed several fairy tales for us. A photography class even came down to the Lower School to teach us how to photograph letters in nature!
In the Upper School, we have made gingerbread houses with the seniors and visited an English teacher’s classroom to learn more about his career. Upper School students have visited the Lower School, too. A Chinese class taught us how to draw a panda and write familiar words in Chinese with a real calligraphy brush and ink. We have had Upper School students come to our classrooms to assist us in editing writing samples, to play math games with us, and to read to us during lunch.
Cross-age learning doesn’t stop at the high school level. We have also visited the administration building to deliver singing valentines! The kindergarteners are so excited about learning from and teaching other Heritage Hall students and teachers at any age. Our students, patrons and staff members are wonderful role models for the kindergarteners!
Kindergarten students are expected to complete ten minutes of homework nightly. We feel that this is an appropriate amount of time for five and six year-olds to spend on their homework for several reasons.
The purpose of homework in kindergarten is to review and continue practicing the skills learned in the classroom. The kindergarten teachers also like for our students and their families to maximize their downtime at home by playing games, exercising, and spending quality time together. We encourage each family to spend at least twenty minutes per night reading to or with their child and feel that this supplements regular homework nicely.
The amount of time students spend on homework increases each year and these times have been thoughtfully determined by teachers with young children's capabilities and development in mind.
Each kindergarten teacher maintains a classroom website to keep parents informed about what their child is doing in his/her classroom. This information can include topics of study, new Sight Words and Robust Vocabulary for the week, field trip information, volunteer requests, birthday alerts, up-coming school events, reminders, and classroom photographs and videos.
Parental involvement is welcomed and appreciated, and we have several opportunities for our parents to share their talents with us. Parents may also volunteer for other school-wide activities held outside the classroom.
Heritage Hall is a warm, inviting place to be. We are excited to greet our students each morning as they arrive. We promote independence at the start of each day by encouraging students to enter the first grade hall on their own and hang their own belongings in the hall. Each student is then responsible for bringing needed materials into the room and putting them in a designated spot, making a lunch choice, and picking up a Morning Wake-up, a review of skills that allows daily practice of foundational skills. Each first grade class also reviews these foundational skills during a group time where group discussion and teacher observation can take place. It also allows for authentic assessments of the children as they demonstrate various skills.
Each rotation lasts 1 1/2 hours each and include:
- Workshops which consist of fifteen activities on varied subjects. Each workshop is a review of mastered topics and should be done independently by each child. Ideally, the children use time management skills to complete all workshops by the end of the week.
- Five centers which cover math, phonics, social studies or science, art, and geography or writing. Each child travels to one center for each day of the week. Centers review mastered skills and are done independently.
- Readers’ Choicefocuses on reading-centered activities such as listening, writing, and phonics or spelling games. During this time, the teacher is free to call each child over for an individualized reading lesson that meets each child's reading level. This program is filled with a wide range of teaching resources and opportunities to help each child reach his or her full potential:
- Reading, grammar, vocabulary, phonetic and spelling components from a Harcourt School Publishers' Story Town
- Leveled reading comprehension practice
- A variety of leveled trade books from classroom libraries
- Weekly handwriting practice with a D’Nealian Handwriting Practice and Review Workbook
- Phonetic skills practice through the use of a phonics workbook by Modern Curriculum Press
Students practice phonemic rules each week by working with a list of spelling words that review a phonemic rule. Each week a variety of skills are practiced using the spelling words, and a test is given on Friday.
Grammar and Composition
First-graders need to understand the structure of a sentence and have a knowledge of the basic parts of speech and how to use them in order to enhance writing. Multi-sensory grammar introduces and reinforces definitions of the parts of speech. Patterns are used to help students compose original sentences of varying lengths and complexities. Our students write daily journal entries, self-created books, stories, literature responses, and personal narratives. They learn to write a 5 sentence paragraph with a topic sentences, 3 supporting sentences, and a closing sentence.
Lunch and Recess
We eat lunch in our classrooms. Students can purchase a meal through our cafeteria or bring a lunch. During lunch, the children get to talk with their friends, practice using lunchtime etiquette, and enjoy literature and programs that correspond with our units of study. It is a fun time for teachers to interact with students in first grade. A 30-minute recess follows directly after lunch. We have two wonderful playgrounds. This is a fun time for the children to interact with their peers.
During journal time the children may write in their journals on a subject they choose or on a topic provided by the teacher. They are encouraged to be creative and use inventive spelling, which means they use their phonics skills to sound out the words, and to write a specific number of sentences on the topic. The number of required sentences increases as the year progresses. Each journal entry is also illustrated by the child. To provide a restful atmosphere while journaling, each child eats a snack and listens to quiet music. Sometimes children share their writing with the class using the Smart Board.
Our first graders have many opportunities throughout the week to expand and broaden their talents and knowledge through an enriching specials program. They participate in a physical education class four days a week where they have the opportunity to work on gross motor skills, learn group cooperation, and start the process of learning rules for a variety of different sports. They also attend music class four days a week where they learn music techniques, sing, dance and practice to be part of a musical production. Once a week, the first graders go to art class. They use many different art mediums and art techniques to create masterpieces all year long. Library is also a class that our children attend once a week. They participate in language arts lessons that help promote a love of books and reading. Each child also has the opportunity to check out books that can be taken home to enjoy. Four days a week, our first graders participate in Spanish class.
Focuses on building number sense by engaging our students in an assortment of interactive activities. We use a problem solving approach that develops critical thinking. A variety of teaching methods ranging from hands-on manipulative practice, workbook review, partner work, whole group instruction, and individualized help allows for a successful math experience for all children. Providing spiraling practice with counting money, telling time, place value and measurement increases mastery. In first grade, our foundational math skills are taught through HSP Math by Harcourt School Publishers. We then enhance the first grade math program to meet each child’s needs by incorporating other materials, activities, and tools.
Science and Social Studies
Many of our topics follow the calendar and include folktales and fables, nocturnal animals, magnets, shadows, winter celebrations, migration and hibernation, American symbols, and social insects. We do many hands-on activities within our units and incorporate theme related jobs as part of the morning rotations. Along with activities, we read books and do research on the Internet. Topics of study rotate between science and social studies topics.
At the end of each day, each child has a job that he or she completes around the room in order to promote community and responsibility within the classroom.
In order to help our children live the school motto, first grade participates in two community service projects. In November, the children are asked to perform chores at home to earn money to buy Thanksgiving meals that are provided by The City Rescue Mission in order to help serve our local community. The first graders also have the opportunity to serve the international community by creating an art gallery, which includes self-made guidebooks and pieces of art inspired by famous artists. The art gallery is open to family and friends and is used to earn money to benefit Pambe Ghana, a school in Africa.
The students at Heritage Hall have an abundance of opportunities to benefit from the technology that is available. The first graders have a cart equipped with 16 laptops that are used for researching on the internet, playing educational games, practicing keyboarding skills, creating presentations, and learning proper care and use of computers. The lower school also has a computer lab furnished with laptops and Ipads that can be used to enrich units of study. Each classroom has a Smart Board that is utilized by teachers and students throughout the day.
Second grade marks increased independence in learning. We continue to build on fundamental skills and stress quality and accuracy of a finished product. It is a year to increase responsibility by helping children become more accountable for homework and daily work. Organizational skills are also an important element in becoming a more responsible second grader. There are a variety of developmental levels in second grade. We challenge each student at his/her own learning level. This helps each child to feel self-confident and successful. With this confidence, they are more willing to take risks in the learning environment. We want every child to continue to have a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning.
Our Language Arts curriculum is an important focus in second grade. We individualize the reading for each student. The program includes:
- Harcourt Storytown reading series
- Robust vocabulary
- Novel Ties which bring novels to life
- Shurley English jingles
- Spelling tests with dictation
- Supplemental skills packets
- Phonics skills using Modern Curriculum Press
Second graders get the opportunity to learn cursive in the second semester of school.
Math skills are taught in a variety of ways to support the philosophy that math is a way of thinking. We make use of manipulatives, SMART Boards, problem-solving and logic activities, daily drills, and supplemental practice pages. Second graders are provided whole group and individualized instruction to keep children challenged and engaged in mathematical thinking. Listed below are the main topics we teach.
- Number sense
- Addition and subtraction
- Problem solving
Social Studies embraces many topics that are taught using discussion, hands on activities, and field trips. Topics include:
- Maps and globes
- Westward Expansion
- Civil War
- Civil Rights
Science encompasses many topics. We provide opportunities for observation, classification, and problem-solving. We incorporate field trips and a bi-monthly science lab to provide further investigations in these areas:
- Life cycles
- Human body
- Simple machines
The purpose of homework in second grade is to review skills that have been taught in class. Homework is designed to help your child practice time management by working each evening to complete the packet. Homework goes home on Monday and is due on Friday morning.
The second grade service project is raising money to help support Autism. Autism is a condition that affects the way some people's brains work. The second graders raise money through selling t-shirts, tattoos, and magnets. The children also raise money by having parents and friends sponsor them in the autism walk. The walk is held at the Heritage Hall football field. By increasing each child's awareness of autism, the children are taught tolerance, understanding, and respect for others. This instills empathy and compassion, and children will learn to treat people the way they would like to be treated.
In addition to our base curriculum students participate in the following activities outside of the classroom:
- Art - 50 minutes once a week
- PE - 25 minutes 4 times a week
- Music - 25 minutes 4 times a week
- Library - 30 minutes once a week
- Computer - 30 minutes once a week
- Spanish - 30 minutes four times a week
Third grade is a year of developing crucial organizational skills and patterns of responsible choices, in addition to a challenging curriculum. At the beginning of the school year, daily agenda books are introduced as a means of keeping track of daily work and assignments, as well as a communication tool between students, parents, and teachers. Focusing on the importance of moral and social development is a key component to the basic structure of our school day. We believe it is imperative to emphasize our motto; “…that each child shall come to know the value and wisdom of kindness, truth and service to others.”
Using Harcourt Storytown, reading, spelling, phonics, and robust vocabulary development are emphasized. We individualize the reading for each student. A variety of genres, including realistic fiction, fantasy, non-fiction folktales, and biographies are studied. We challenge the students in assigning book reports for the first time in their school career. Other aspects of our program include:
- Detailed summary writing
- Weekly spelling and dictation tests
- Shirley Jingles
- Comprehension skills
In addition to the Scott Forseman-Addison Wesley curriculum, we continually provide opportunities for exploration and development which promotes the understanding of math concepts to be applied to real-life situations. A highlight of third grade math is mastery of multiplication facts through ten. Topics studied include:
- Place value and money
- Time, data, and graphs
- Multiplication concepts and facts
- Division concepts and facts
Third graders cover a variety of topics in both grammar and writing. We begin the year with a unit on types of sentences and sentence structure. We then move to a unit on descriptive writing. Other topics studied throughout the year include:
- Parts of speech including common and proper nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and articles.
- Writing genres include: How-to paragraphs, biographies, narratives, and letter writing.
Social Studies in the third grade at Heritage Hall uses the Pearson Learning textbook: History and Geography. We enrich this curriculum with class projects, cooperative groups, and field trips. Topics studied throughout this year include:
- Ancient Rome
- Early Americans
- Thirteen Colonies
Pulling from a variety of sources, we investigate the solar system, weather, human body, and plants and animals. Students perform and conduct experiments directly related to the topics studied. Other topics studied throughout the year include:
- Water cycle
- Endangered species
- Rocks and minerals
In addition to our base curriculum, students participate in the following activities outside of the classroom.
- Art - 50 minutes once a week
- PE - 30 minutes 4 times a week
- Music - 30 minutes 4 times a week
- Library - 30 minutes once a week
- Computer - 30 minutes once a week
- Spanish - 30 minutes four times a week
Homework is a part of the fourth grade program. To better prepare for middle school, fourth graders are expected to keep track of their own work and homework in their daily agenda.
Our service learning focus in third grade is “going green.” We stress the phrase “reduce, recycle and reuse” to instill the importance of taking care of our planet. On a daily basis, the children are recycling and reusing various materials such as snack wrappers, water bottles, and paper. Included in our service learning curriculum is a weekly lesson focusing on different ways children can help save the planet. Weekly, the children learn important life skills and values in our Character First curriculum.
Learning, leading, and serving are activities that characterize the Fourth Grade at Heritage Hall. Fourth grade students develop their reading, writing, math, and problem-solving skills while learning life skills and good citizenship.
The center of the 4th grade reading curriculum is the Harcourt Storytown reading series. The reading series covers various literary genres, as well as spelling, vocabulary, and writing exercises. Theme, setting, plot, characterization, and literacy devices are discussed. In addition, the students practice the skills of using context clues, following a story sequence, making inferences, and writing summaries. Students read two in-class novels during the course of the school year and complete four book reports.
Problem solving, application, and writing about math are the focus of the 4th grade math curriculum. Students continue to practice all number operations, working toward mastery and speed. Other areas covered include measurement, estimation, rounding, geometry, fractions, and decimals. Students explore Hands-on-Equations, an introduction to algebra.
Students use Shurley English and Easy Grammar as they solidify their knowledge of types of sentences, punctuation, capitalization, and parts of speech. Students develop the skills necessary to write well developed paragraphs and essays.
Fourth grade students participate in an integrated studies class which combines science and social studies, with the goal of understanding the broader concept of how topics relate and how knowledge can apply to a student’s live. Students study maps, landforms, weather and water, biomes, animal and plant classification, and rocks and minerals. These areas are then applied to the 4th grade study of Oklahoma and the United States. Fourth graders are also introduced to the human body and nutrition; this study directly relates to the service projects that are completed during the school year.
Fourth grade is offered a wide variety of special courses for additional curricular enrichment.
- Physical Education—30-minute class, four days a week
- Music—30-minute class, four days a week
- Library—30-minute class, 1 day a week
- Art Studio—50-minute class, 1 day a week
- Spanish—30-minute class, 4 days a week
- Mobile computer cart—various class times
Homework is a part of the fourth grade program. To better prepare for middle school, fourth graders are expected to keep track of their own work and homework in their daily agenda.
Fourth graders are the student leaders of the Lower School. They are responsible for the daily opening exercise in class, for the raising and lowering of the Lower School flags, and for leading the opening at Charger Shine each Friday morning. Throughout the year, the students focus on character building, striving to model kindness and service to others.