It is Main Lesson time in the 1st through 3rd grade hallway and just before the holiday vacation the children were busy learning about reading, writing and arithmetic.
In the first grade, the students practiced their numbers with first grade class teacher Ms. Chrisann DiDonato. "It’s about one-to-one correspondence," she said. "This is a basic math skill for all students. On the surface, we’re counting shells and pebbles. But more importantly, we are labeling numbers, matching sets and comparing number amounts." Through a fun game, Mrs. DiDonato has the children estimate the number of shells and pebbles in the pile and the students tell her their guesses to see how the number is actually written.
Next door, the second grade students are working on writing short synopses of the stories they learn in class. Remarked second grade class teacher Mrs. Cait Platz, "This work encompasses daily grammar lessons – such as basic parts of speech, punctuation, and capitalization. Spelling is emphasized as a direct means to convert speech into the written sentence." Watching the students diligently work in their books, one notices that penmanship is also crucial. "Handwriting is continuously developed so the students can read their own compositions with ease. Finally, reading skills are also mastered as the students read and reread their own writing."
In third grade, the students are applying more creativity and imagination into their main lesson books. "After listening to a story," said third grade class teacher Mrs. Jutta Goble, "I ask the students to write the story down. Accompanying each composition are colorful pictures. The children take great pride in their best handwriting."
The early childhood and lower school teachers constantly aim to foster the development of imagination and creativity – precious qualities that are vital to childhood development and beyond. In nursery and kindergarten and through the early lower school years, these skills and methods of learning are nurtured and developed to a greater degree each year. As these new skills are developed, the children are introduced to all the wonders of reading, writing and arithmetic.