Academics

Lower School

Where Children Begin to Find Their Edge

With an educational environment that focuses on the academic, social, and emotional needs of each child, the Heritage Hall Lower School is a welcoming place where children begin to find their edge by developing a lifelong love of learning.

Our strong core curriculum consists of project-based learning units, cross-age activities, and a comprehensive approach that incorporates art, music, Spanish, physical education, library skills, and technology. Heritage Hall Lower Schoolers are engaged, challenged, intellectually curious, and happy!

CURRICULUM

List of 7 items.

  • Early Childhood Center (ECC) - PS and PK

    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.

    WEEKLY SPECIALS

    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.

    ECC CURRICULUM

    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 Wonders 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 Math Expressions, which provides a consistent thread of mathematical understanding throughout 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 SMART Boards, computers, light tables, 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).
  • Kindergarten

    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.
    Morning Procedures
    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.

    Workshops
    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.

    Morning Meeting
    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.

    Calendar Time
    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.

    Reading/Language Arts
    We use the Wonders 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 Saxon Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears to supplement our Wonders 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 simple, clearly defined strokes to make handwriting a breeze!

    Lunch
    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 kickball.

    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.

    Specials
    P.E.: 20 minutes Tuesday-Friday: Our coaches 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. Champney is incredibly talented! He teaches the students lyrics and movements for the songs we sing at Charger Shine. The students especially enjoy cultural and seasonal songs. Mrs. Champney coordinates a kindergarten musical each spring that the students perform in the Howard Theatre.

    Library: 30 minutes per week: Kindergarteners love visiting Mrs. Story each week in the library. She teaches them basic library routines, like checking out and returning books and using a shelf marker. Mrs. Story 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 performing fables.

    Art: 45 minutes per week: Mrs. Bramble, uses a variety of art techniques and materials with kindergarteners. The students anxiously await spending time with Mrs. Bramble each week. Several of her students have even won national and local awards for their artwork!

    Spanish: 20 minutes, four days a week: Students participate in 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
    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 entries each day. As the year progresses, they are asked to incorporate specific skill-based concepts in their writing.

    Math
    Math is integrated into many different activities in our classrooms. Math Expressions 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 the 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
    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.

    Science
    Each kindergarten class rotates to science on Fridays. Every week, students are provided 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 community service/social studies. This opportunity 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 SMART Board 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 Wonders lessons, which are based on social studies, with a culminating activity and/or a field trip, or guest speaker.

    Technology
    On Fridays, each kindergarten class rotates to Mr. Bramble'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 SMART Board, 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 SMART Board 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.

    Cross-age Teaching
    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!

    Homework Policy
    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.

    Newsletters
    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, upcoming school events, reminders, and classroom photographs and videos.

    Parental Involvement
    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.
  • 1st Grade

    Morning Procedures
    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, and getting started on a Morning Wake-Up. The Morning Wake-Up is a review of skills that allows daily practice of foundational skills. We review these foundational skills during a group time where group discussion and teacher observation can take place. This allows for authentic assessments of the children as they demonstrate various skills. 
     
    Rotations (Have-to's Centers, Reader's Choice, Teacher Time)
    Each day we have four rotations. They include: teacher time, centers, reader’s choice and have-to’s. Have to's consist of fifteen activities on varied subjects. Each Have-To is a review of skills and concepts previously introduced. Ideally, the children will complete three a day (15 by the end of the week). There are five Centers (math, language, writing/fine-motor, and science/social studies, technology). Reader's Choice consists of five activities (one a day). These language activities are: Read to Self, Listen to Reading, Word Work, Work on Writing, and Mystery Job. During Teacher Time, students work on specific reading skills with the teacher and go over reading homework from the previous night and/or other activities/skills.
    • Reading, grammar, vocabulary, phonetic and spelling components from our Wonders Reading Curriculum
    • Leveled Fluency reads
    • Leveled reading comprehension practice
    • A variety of leveled trade books from classroom libraries
    • Phonetic skills practice through the use of a phonic workbook by Saxon Phonics
    Reading/Writing/Spelling
    Wonders is our reading program. We also use other resources in order to meet the needs of the individual child. We work on comprehension, fluency, phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary and stamina.

    First graders have spelling words each week. We do many activities with the words throughout the week in class (abc order, finding the words in a dictionary, stamping, writing, painting, shaving cream, playdough, etc…). We also have Challenge Words. These words are an extra challenge, and they love learning them. We encourage students to “risk to try” these words on their weekly spelling test. 

    Students need to understand the structure of a sentence and have a knowledge of the basic parts of speech. This will enhance writing. Students write daily in their journals. They learn to write paragraphs and stories. They are encouraged to use inventive spelling and learn to use the word wall and other resources. We want them to learn to be independent and confident writers. We use Handwriting Without Tears as our formal handwriting resource. 
     
    Math
    Our first grade math curriculum (Math Expressions-Houghton Mifflin) helps children make sense of math by exploring, discussing, and demonstrating their understanding of key concepts. It focuses on building number sense by engaging our students in an assortment of interactive activities. It revolves around number sense strategies: (1) building number sense through part-whole thinking, (2) understanding place value, and (3) breaking numbers into decomposed parts or friendlier numbers, ones that are easier to work with in the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). It incorporates model drawing, which uses units to visually represent a word problem. Students learn to visualize what a word problem is saying so they can understand the meaning and how to solve the problem. First graders also do daily, timed math facts. We learn mental math, which teaches students to calculate in their heads without using paper and pencil. We teach students to understand math in stages, beginning with concrete (using manipulatives such as counters, number disks, dice, etc.), then moving to pictorial (solving problems where pictures are involved), and finally working in the abstract (where numbers represent symbolic values). Through the process, students learn numerous strategies to work with numbers and build conceptual understanding. 

    Science and Social Studies
    Social Studies Weekly and our Wonders Reading series cover a wide variety of topics throughout the school year. Many of our topics follow the calendar and include folktales/fables, nocturnal animals, magnets, shadows, winter celebrations, migration/hibernation, American Symbols, and social insects. We engage in hands-on activities within our units and incorporate theme related jobs as a part of our daily rotations. We also read books, watch video clips, and learn to do research.

    Specials (technology, Spanish, music, art, p.e.)
    Our first graders have many opportunities throughout the week to expand and broaden their talents and knowledge through our enriching specials programs. Students 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 a 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. Some of their work will be displayed during our Art Gallery fundraiser for a school in Africa. Library class is attended once a week as well. Students listen to stories, participate in learning activities and check out books of interest. Spanish is four days a week in the Spanish classroom. Students are immersed in the language, as well as the cultural aspects. We love to see the diversity unfold! Technology class is once a week in the technology lab. Students dive into the technological world through the use of iPads and laptops. Our Heritage Hall Chargers are very fortunate to have so many enriching opportunities every week.

    Community Service
    At Heritage Hall, students and teachers are encouraged To Learn, To Lead and To Serve throughout their lives. In order to help our children live these words, first grade participates in two community service projects. In November, the children are asked to perform chores at home to earn money to buy meals that are provided by The City Rescue Mission. This is to help serve our local community. We also serve internationally by creating our Art Gallery. Students study famous artists, make a guide book about the artists and prepare their own art. Student made art is hung in our very own art gallery and viewed by family and friends. Family members can purchase the art, and the money raised benefits Pambe Ghana, a school in Africa. Through our community service projects at HH, we are teaching students to become global minded citizens. 

    Lunch and Recess
    We eat lunch in our classrooms. Students can purchase meals through our wonderful Venue 104 or bring a lunch from home. During lunch, the children get to socialize with their friends and practice good manners. Recess is immediately following lunch. We have two playgrounds and lots of room for running around. During inclement weather, we have indoor games/activities.
  • 2nd Grade

    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.
     
    Language Arts
    Our Language Arts curriculum is an important focus in second grade. We individualize the reading for each student. The program includes:
    • Wonders
    • Robust vocabulary
    • Novel Ties which bring novels to life
    • Shurley English
    • Spelling tests with challenge words and dictation sentences
    • Supplemental and enriching skills packets
    • Writing
    • Comprehension
    • Fluency practice
    Handwriting
    Second graders get the opportunity to learn cursive writing using Handwriting Without Tears in the second semester of school.
     
    Math
    Through the Math Expressions curriculum, 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
    • Place value
    • Addition and subtraction (single and multi digit wi)
    • Money
    • Measurement
    • Time
    • Geometry
    • Fractions
    • Problem solving
    • Multiplication

    Social Studies
    Social Studies embraces many topics that are taught using discussion, hands on activities, and field trips. In addition to world history, we focus on Oklahoma history as well as current events in our area.  Some main topics we teach and discuss are:
    • Community involvement
    • Teamwork
    • The Constitution
    • The government
    • Leadership
    • Supply & Demand
    • Economy
    • Map Studies
    • Cardinal Directions

    Science
    Science encompasses many topics. We provide opportunities for observation, classification, and problem-solving. We incorporate much of our science through our reading curriculum Wonders.
    • Life cycles
    • Nutrition
    • Insects
    • Human body
    • Magnets
    • Simple machines
    • Weather

    Homework
    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.
     
    Service Learning
    The second grade selects a meaningful service project each year. Most recently, the second graders have conducted a diaper and formula drive to support Infant Crisis Services. 
     
    Specials
    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
    • Technology  – 30 minutes once a week
    • Spanish – 30 minutes four times a week
  • 3rd Grade

    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.”
     
    Language Arts
    Using Wonders, 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
     
    Math
    In addition to Math Expressions, 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
    • Measurement
    • Multiplication concepts and facts
    • Division concepts and facts
    • Fractions
    • Geometry
     
    English
    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:
    • Shurley English
    • 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
    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
    • Vikings
    • Early Americans
    • Canada
    • Thirteen Colonies
    • Geography
     
    Science
    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
    • Landforms
    • Rocks and minerals
    • Resources
     
    Specials
    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
    • Technology – 30 minutes once a week
    • Spanish – 30 minutes four times a week
     
    Homework Policy
    Homework is a part of the third 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.
     
    Service
    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.
  • 4th Grade

    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. Our fourth graders are the leaders of the Lower School and are expected to serve as positive role models for the younger Chargers.
     
    Reading
    The center of the 4th grade reading curriculum is the Wonders reading series. The reading series covers various literary genres, as well as spelling, vocabulary, and writing exercises. Theme, setting, plot, characterization, and literary 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 four in-class novels during the course of the school year and complete four book reports.
     
    Math
    Using Math Expressions, 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.
     
    English
    Students use Shurley English 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.
     
    Integrated Studies
    Fourth grade students participate in integrated studies, 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 life. 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 Food Bank service project that fourth graders organize each year.
     
    Specials
    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
    • Technology Class- 40-minute class, 1 day a week  

    Homework Policy
    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.
  • World Languages

    The Lower School Spanish program includes grades ECC-4. Introducing world languages to students in these grades capitalizes on their language acquisition abilities in this prime stage of their formal education. In addition to traditional teaching methods, we use newer techniques, including Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). This method introduces only a few key words or phrases at a time and uses repetitive questioning techniques to provide a high level of comprehensible input – the main building block for language acquisition. (For more information on TPRS, please visit www.tprstorytelling.com.)

    Learning about other cultures is also an important aspect of acquiring a foreign language. Early in the year, we learn a little bit about the Aztecs, Spanish colonization, and Mexican Independence Day. We also learn about holidays such as Día de los Muertos, Christmas, Hanukah, Three Kings’ Day, and Cinco de Mayo, as well as investigating other cultures that have influenced the Hispanic world, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans. In today’s ever more global society, it is important for the students to gain an awareness and appreciation for the differences and similarities between our own culture and that of our Spanish-speaking neighbors

MEET OUR LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY

MEET OUR TEAM

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Betsy Horn

    Betsy Horn 

    Head of Lower School
    405.936.3129
    University of Oklahoma - BA
    University of Oklahoma - BS
  • Photo of Tena Highfill

    Tena Highfill 

    Director of LS Operations
    405.749.3010
    Southern Nazarene University - BS
    University of Central Oklahoma - BA
  • Photo of Jennifer Bradford

    Jennifer Bradford 

    Assistant Head of Lower School
    Oklahoma State University - BS
  • Photo of Allison Morris

    Allison Morris 

    LS Guidance Counselor
    405.749.3010
    University of Central Oklahoma - M.Ed
    Oklahoma State University - BS
  • Photo of Jenny Campbell

    Jenny Campbell R.N. 

    School Nurse
    Oklahoma City Community College - Associates Degree, Nursing
    Oklahoma State University - B.S., Nutritional Sciences