Math knowledge and skill in the elementary school is developed and taught through the Singapore Math pedagogy, which emphasizes concept mastery, a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, metacognitive reasoning, and the use of model drawing to solve problems. At the heart of the program is the promotion of deep understanding of math concepts fostered through open-ended questioning and discussion and visualization of mathematics. For more information about the Singapore Math program, you may wish to consult our ISY Singapore Math Guide for Parents.
English Language Arts
Immersing students in language and promoting the joy and value in reading are hallmarks of our English Language Arts program in the elementary school. The program emphasizes skills’ development in reading literature and informational texts, writing narratives, opinion and informational pieces, knowing and using English language conventions and vocabulary, and in listening and speaking. A variety of classroom structures and instructional approaches are used to develop these skills including the reading and writing workshop, book clubs/literature circles, small group instruction, one-to-one coaching, and centers. Core resources used include Reading Street, Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study in writing, and of course, engaging literature, poetry, and informational texts. English language arts, science, and social studies are integrated (wherever possible) to provide connections and optimize understanding.
To view our schoowide English Language Arts vision and aims, follow this link.
Exploration and application of science concepts and processes using hands-on materials and investigations are the emphases of science in the elementary school. Grounded in a coherent sequence of content and skills from Kindergarten through Grade 5 across the three areas of science—life science, Earth and space sciences, and physical science—science learning utilizes the investigative materials provided by the Full Option Science System (FOSS) developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University at California, Berkeley. To view the science topics across the elementary school, click here.
To view our schoowide social studies vision and aims, follow this link.
Providing a well rounded, balanced education for all students, the elementary school offers the following specialist programs: World Languages, Physical Fitness and Health, Computer Technology, Music, Visual Arts, and Library.
Beginning in Grade 1, ISY offers instruction in French or Mandarin designed for students learning an additional language who do not have native fluency in the language. Instructional emphasis is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing and learning about the culture of the target language via these skills. ISY believes that learning an additional language is integral to the development of internationally minded students who are confident, reflective, and multi-lingual communicators. Language development in more than one language advances cognitive growth, cultivates lifelong learning, and promotes cross-cultural communication.
Materials used in instruction include French or Mandarin leveled textbooks and workbooks, games, realia and visuals, video, audio, and texts/novels in the target language. Students engage in a variety of activities to foster language acquisition including role-playing, singing, and authentic, real-world projects.
Students attend two 45-minute class sessions a week.
Click here to view the elementary school world language courses.
Physical Fitness and Health
Elementary students from Kindergarten through Grade 5, engage in a wide variety of physical fitness activities and games all of which are designed to promote good health, self-esteem, confidence, and a physically active lifestyle. Students attend two 45-minute Physical Fitness and Health sessions weekly.
You may wish to view the ISY Physical Education Program Vision and Aims here.
Computer technology classes in the elementary school meet once a week and are comprised of three areas of focus: digital citizenship, information communication technology (ICT), computer science, and keyboarding. The technology program seeks to develop in students the skills to be flexible and adept users of technology, applying learned skills within meaningful learning contexts. The elementary school technology team coordinates with homeroom and specialist teachers to integrate technology with learning across disciplines.
To view the computer technology vision and aims statement, click here.
The purpose of music education at ISY is to provide an avenue for creative expression, to nurture aesthetic awareness, to foster a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of music, and to develop the important life skills that come with the discipline and practice involved in improving and gaining musical aptitude. In the Elementary School music classes, students develop the building blocks of music literacy and learn a repertoire of music through singing, playing instruments, dancing, listening and performing. Classes are designed to promote the joy of creating, making, and experiencing music by involving children in developmentally appropriate and holistic learning experiences.
To view the ISY music vision and aims statement, click here.
The Elementary School visual arts program promotes the exploration of a wide range of creative processes involving visual art techniques, language, and principles to build confidence and skills in students. Describing, evaluating, and reflecting upon artworks allow students to make art connections to oneself, to other subject areas, and to the world. All elementary school art students create portfolios and display their work during the Elementary Art Evening in May.
Students in the elementary school attend library classes once a week. There, students learn to navigate the library and learn the foundational skills of information literacy. The joy of reading is also promoted in the library where students have the opportunity to check out and renew books for independent reading.
The Elementary School at ISY provides a caring and nurturing environment where students feel safe to learn, play, and take on new challenges. It is committed to supporting the individual needs of students in an academic environment.
Guiding Principles and Beliefs About Responding to Students’ Individual Needs
At ISY we believe that—
- Differentiation of instructional practices is inclusion put into practice.
- All students learn in different ways and have unique learning styles, therefore, all students benefit from a personalized, differentiated approach to learning.
- The meaning of differentiation is “a teacher’s response to the to the diverse learning needs of a student.” (Tomlinson, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2008)
- The uniqueness and diversity of the ISY community is valuable and enriches the experience of all students.
- Incorporation of research-based effective instructional practices provides equal access to the curriculum for all students.
- Differentiation is most successful in a culture of collaboration.
- Student success is amplified with partnerships forged between the school, teachers, parents, and students.
For more information about inclusionary practices, procedures, and communication at ISY, please view our Inclusion Policy.
Tomlinson, Carol A. The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A., and Caroline Cunningham Eidson. Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide for Differentiating Curriculum, Grades 5-9. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A., Kay Brimijoin, and Lane Narvaez. The Differentiated School: Making Revolutionary Changes in Teaching and Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008. Print.
The elementary school provides a comprehensive counseling program that assists students in reaching their personal, social and academic potentials. The program utilizes a holistic approach where teachers, administration, parents, and community members (when appropriate) are involved to collaborate and develop an environment where students become responsible global citizens and contributing community members. The elementary school counseling program delivers classroom instruction on life skills and offers individual counseling to students with a variety of social-emotional needs.
Areas addressed through the elementary school counseling program are:
- Skills in communicating, cooperating with others and resolving conflict
- Building of social-emotional competency
- Developing student leadership capacity to serve local and global communities
- Promoting critical thinking and creative problem solving
- Fostering behaviors that support good physical and mental health
- Student goal setting
- Helping students work through challenges
To view the ISY Counseling Philosophy and Beliefs, click here.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) program in the Elementary School provides specialized instructional support to ensure that EAL students simultaneously develop academic English and have full access to a rich curriculum across disciplines. EAL instruction encompasses skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language all the while striving to respect the integrity of each student’s cultural identity.
The EAL program can be characterized by providing both push-in and pull-out support: In Kindergarten, students attend EAL two times a week for 45 minutes during an agreed upon time between the classroom teacher and EAL teacher. In Grades 1-5, EAL students attend classes during the World Languages B blocks two times a week for 45 minutes. EAL support classes are self-contained, but activities and materials are related to those being used in the grade-level classroom. In addition, EAL teachers support their students within each EAL student’s homeroom classroom (push-in support).
The purpose of grades at ISY is to communicate student achievement of standards (learning outcomes) and the ISY Expected Schoolwide Learner Results to students, parents, school administrators, and other institutions.
The primary purpose for reporting grades is to communicate student achievement and behaviors that support learning. Elementary report cards document student performance at the end of each trimester and provide information regarding strengths and areas to improve. The intent of report cards at ISY is to provide a common understanding of a child’s progress and to facilitate growth.
Our mission in the ISY Elementary School is to cultivate, nurture, and promote enthusiasm for life-long learning. We aim to develop global citizens that are compassionate, curious, open-minded, reflective, and principled. Cultivating these qualities and living by them requires bravery. We encourage our students to be critical and ethical thinkers, as well as risk-takers, so that may contribute positively to their communities and the world.
To achieve this aim, the Elementary School offers a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum that is relevant, engaging, stimulating, and challenging. The learning is designed to develop strong foundational skills in math, language arts, social studies and science. Specialist subjects such as French, Mandarin, art, music, information technology, library, life skills, and physical fitness and health complete a holistic program that is dedicated to developing the entire child as a learner.
Teaching this curriculum is a qualified and motivated faculty that is devoted to the success of our students. The Elementary School teachers provide quality instruction founded on research-based best practices.
The authentic learning experiences our classroom and specialist teachers provide promote the thinking, understanding, and skills that enable individuals in the Elementary School to succeed
That the Elementary School values academic excellence and has high expectations of all its students is central to its culture. The result is an elementary school that is genuinely friendly, compassionate, and inclusive; the type of school of which everyone is proud to belong.
Elementary School Principal