Kindergarten - Grade 5 • We Teach The Uncommon Core.™
The Mead School prides itself on delivering a rich curriculum that seamlessly marries academic rigor with emotional and social growth. We believe that learning goes well beyond the 3 R’s and the 4 walls of a classroom, and is most memorable when it is delivered in a personally meaningful way. Cross-curricular, experiential learning is the norm, allowing learners to find their voices, take some risks, and cultivate their intuition, imagination and creativity.
The main goal of the Kindergarten - Grade 1 curriculum is to provide fun, hands-on, enjoyable learning experiences for all the children. We meet the child where they are with their academic skills. In the 2nd & 3rd Grade Center, students are sharpening skills, beginning to take on more complicated material, and developing analytical abilities. By 4th & 5th Grades, students are becoming independent learners, possessing a keen sense of how they learn and knowing what comes to them naturally. These years support further exploration, increasing skill acquisition and some mastery.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Development
Language Arts lessons involve regular handwriting practice with letters and numbers using the PAF handwriting program. Students also participate in daily journal and story writing activities. We work in small book club groups for reading instruction and phonics review. Students also have book buddy reading partners with older children in the school.
In Language Arts, students learn strategies to become stronger readers. With curriculum, along with proprietary materials, students work on becoming better. Emphasis is placed on reading fluently at each level. Using McGraw Hill’s Wonders storywriters, they practice good sentence structure, punctuation, and explore organizational methods that help them prepare for more complex writing assignments. Handwriting is practiced. The cursive alphabet and Touch Typing are introduced.
The Language Arts program is designed to encourage and nurture a love of reading and writing. Students continue with McGraw Hill’s Wonders curriculum, and are stretched to continually build upon the skills acquired with a goal of becoming competent and confident readers and writers. Spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing skills are taught through high-interest texts, and online tools and games. Weekly journal writing and special projects, including the annual Ferguson Library Literary Awards, allow children to discover their inner author.
During Math curriculum lessons, students use a variety of manipulatives to practice their skills. They also use practice books and participate in the First in Math computer program to review topics that are taught in class. Students are introduced to the Math Mammoth curriculum beginning in 1st Grade.
Math topics in 4th and 5th Grade encompass the following domains: Number Sense & Operations, Patterns & Algebraic Reasoning, Geometry & Measurement and Data Analysis & Probability. Continuing with the Math Mammoth and Mead’s proprietary curriculum, instruction begins with the current level of each student’s mathematical understanding. From that entry point, the curriculum is designed to promote engagement and to create deeper and more lasting understanding. The goal is for students to recognize that math is useful every day and to cultivate in each student, a belief in their own ability.
The Science curriculum is largely created around the interests of the children in the class, and coordinates with learning in other subject areas. Topics frequently include the solar system, human body, animals and their habitats and planting. The students have opportunities to experiment and grow plants in the greenhouse.
Students explore the Spanish language through a variety of authentic & popular songs, literature, games and hands-on learning activities. Students also learn about diverse cultures and celebrations in Spanish-speaking countries by experiencing their music, folklore, literature, symbols, celebrations and traditions. The curriculum mimics the social studies curriculum wherever possible, and also includes basic greetings, classroom commands, parts of the body, numbers 1 to 20, primary colors, shapes and expressing emotions.
Students in 2nd Grade are exposed to the language, customs and festivities of Spanish speaking countries through a number of media, such as authentic songs and literature including poetry. Students learn through games and hands-on activities. In 3rd Grade, some simple readings and writings are introduced, often by playing with word puzzles or creating labels for objects in or outside of the classroom. Grammar is presented sequentially and acquired through a natural and passive approach of exposure. Particular attention is given to festivities and holidays of Spanish- speaking countries through the creation of crafts and projects.
Students in 4th and 5th Grade work on skills needed to become more comfortable in speaking, reading and writing in Español. The curriculum is taught with a thematic approach, and is inspired by the typical interests of children. Hands-on activities such as the creation of posters, comics, songs and role-playing are used to facilitate a love for language learning. Some reading and written materials are used from the book, “Viva el Español, Qué tal?”, “Hola”, and “Adelante”. Grammar is presented sequentially and acquired through a natural approach of exposure.
The Social Studies curriculum focuses on exploring the students’ knowledge of self, self in community (eg: classroom, school, family, town, state, country, world) and self in relation to peers. This BIG and complex work takes place each day throughout the year during morning meetings, conversations with teachers/peers, engaging in problem solving and brainstorming processes and exploring concepts together both in small and large groups.
The 3rd and 4th Grade classes combine for Social Studies, to explore American History from the American Revolution and early slavery to western expansion and the Civil War. Students participate in a broad range of collaborative cross-curricular activities that are designed to engage and enhance their learning. Each unit culminates in an experiential project.
Students in 5th Grade combine with the 6th Grade as they focus on the origins and basic beliefs of five world religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. The course is designed to address the knowledge and assumptions the students have, along with what they want to know. Students are asked to think critically and sensitively about the religious world.
The Kindergarten - 1st Grade Values Curriculum is focused on fostering and developing each student’s sense of self and self-in-community. An important part of knowing one’s self is having the understanding of how and why we feel the way we feel and what we can do with those feelings. Developing each student’s understanding of how to be a positive member of the group while also cultivating and developing empathy and compassion for others is another key tenant of the curriculum. Through problem solving activities, and small- and large-group work, students explore how to advocate for their own needs while also respecting the needs of others and the group. The Values Curriculum is the thread that runs throughout each and every Kindergarten and 1st Grade experience at Mead.
The focus of the 2nd and 3rd Grade Values curriculum is to better understand self and self as a part of community. Students are encouraged to identify their emotions and develop their emotional intelligence. Through modeling and scaffolding, students are empowered to use words to express and advocate on behalf of their feelings. Students are encouraged to find their voice, to respectfully express and receive ideas, to think about individual wishes and those of others, to act when the moment is right and to imagine and intuit a meaningful world that can be thoughtfully developed. The classroom discourse encourages independence and collaborative problem-solving as this age is driven to strategize in all forms of group "games." Values projects focus on self-reflection through shared art projects, games and daily questions or discussions.
The focus of the 4th and 5th Grade Values Curriculum is for students to acknowledge and develop a better understanding of self and the impact of the choices they make. Organizational skills are demonstrated in weekly classes where strategies are introduced, initially practiced and actively reinforced. Within the Values weekly classes, students have opportunities to decide democratically on activities such as creating games, playing existing games, watching videos chosen by the HCD, or planning for upcoming events. In conjunction with class discussions, these activities help students find ways to challenge themselves, build self-awareness and foster self-advocacy.
Kindergarten Physical Development curriculum explores both fine and gross motor skills as well as locomotor skills and balance. Body and space awareness are taught in both large areas of play and smaller classrooms. Instructional and direction-driven games are conducted. Beginner sports skills are introduced in Grade 1 to build proper physical techniques that are applied in fun and engaging games. Team building activities are also introduced to encourage cooperative play.
Beginner sports skills are honed and introduced, including proper throwing techniques, rolling a ball with two hands or one, underhand and overhead catching, striking skills, kicking, bouncing and trapping. Balance and locomotor skills are taught through instruction and applied in fun and engaging games. Cooperative play is encouraged through team building activities.
The Physical Development Curriculum consists of four areas: team sports, beginner fitness, team building activities and new sport exposure to emphasize overall healthy lifestyle patterns. Game rules, sportsmanship, fair play and “doing your best” are highly reinforced. All students have the opportunity to participate in seasonal team sports. Soccer, basketball and softball are offered as the primary sports with games scheduled against other similarly-sized schools.
Grades K and 1 explore the fundamentals of movement and dancemaking through improvisation and structured movement activities. Activities encourage the development of kinesthetic awareness and individual expression, and skills such as coordination, balance, rhythm and spatial awareness. Emphasis is placed on developing physical control and practicing developmentally appropriate motor skills.
2nd and 3rd Grade students continue to explore the fundamentals of movement and dancemaking through improvisation and structured movement exercises. Emphasis is placed on helping students identify and find confidence in their own unique ways of moving while practicing developing age-appropriate motor skills. Activities encourage the development of kinesthetic awareness and individual expression, and skills such as coordination, balance, rhythm, and spatial awareness. Students are introduced to movement concepts as they exist in every day life and through cultural dances, including folk dances.
In 4th and 5th Grade, students explore the fundamentals of movement and dancemaking by working as movers and observers. Through improvisation and structured movement exercises, as well as exposure to a variety of world movement forms, students develop a vocabulary for identifying the range of movement possibilities that exist in the body.
Students use imaginative and collaborative skills in songwriting lessons to build lyrics with poetry (particularly rhyming) as their foundation. Use of many different instruments in the Music Room is encouraged as a way to explore possible melodies and rhythms. The auditory information immediately promotes refinement and editing of melodies. Group Sing allows children to express themselves vocally and physically with the support of their peers. Learning songs from a variety of musical traditions gives them a chance to develop skills such as singing in tune, language acquisition and memorization.
Formal learning of musical notation and music appreciation is a focus of the 2nd and 3rd Grade program. Through a variety of musical experiences, children learn the fundamental elements and skills of music. Some of these elements are melody, harmony, rhythm, listening, composition, form, sensitivity and dynamics, emotional expression, performance/sharing and the development of relative pitch.
Learning musical notation and music appreciation continues to be the focus of the 4th and 5th Grade program. The goal of the program is to have these skills available to children as they progress through their musical experiences at Mead. Specialized musical opportunities are offered to students, including Wind Ensemble. Student performances are held twice a year for friends and family.
The focus of K/1 Art is an introduction to material, as well as exposure to new processes and techniques. Emphasis is placed on expression, as well as the development of a basic art language to be built upon throughout the years.Projects include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, weaving, sewing and ceramics. Students will talk about the intentions of their artwork to classmates. Each student has an “endless” sketchbook for class assignments and individual journaling.
2nd and 3rd Grades focus on hands-on exploration of familiar materials, as well as exposure to new processes and techniques. Emphasis is placed on expression, as well as the development of a basic art language, to be built upon throughout the years. Materials and concepts explored by students include Baroque figures, color mixing/color theory, illustration, clay, sewing, papier-mâché, Picasso portraiture and personal sketchbook.
4th Grade Art emphasizes expression, as well as the development of a basic art language, to be built upon throughout the years. 5th Grade students build their skills while working toward individual goals, conceptual thinking and self-expression. Open Studio Times are available for students to come into the Art Center to work independently, pursuing individual ideas and materials.
The goal of Creative Drama class is for students to feel safe enough to explore their imaginations and interact with each other on stage. Theatre Games such as “I’m a Magician”, “Pass the Sound & Movement”, and “What Are You Doing?” build connections among students while reinforcing listening and observation skills. Characters and emotions are explored through “Make a Story” exercises. This work naturally transitions into study of story structure and conflict resolution.
Theatreworks class gives 2nd and 3rd Grade students a solid foundation for theatre arts at Mead. Students learn the fundamentals of improvisation, in order to learn a particular style of theatre, but also to learn basic foundations of acting technique. Students practice learning to be part of an ensemble on stage and the differences between cooperation and collaboration. Students focus a great deal on the skill of receiving, which forms the basis of all offers onstage. We move on to exploring the elements of a scene in a play, its structure and format and investigating the elements in playmaking.
Playmakers class offers an introduction to the world of play creation for 4th graders. Students can determine if they wish to learn the more formal elements of play production, or enjoy the more immediate and spontaneous climate of dramatic play, as they build a story of their own making into a piece of theatre on the
stage. “Make-A-Play” Workshop is for 5th Grade students to explore all aspects of play production. These students work on a play which they create and write, or adapt themselves. Students explore what collaboration means and practice using cooperation as a stepping-stone to the more difficult skill of collaborating to create art.
September - June
Monday - Friday | 8:40 AM - 3:30 PM
Minutes from the Merritt Parkway!
1095 Riverbank Road,
Stamford, CT 06903.
Kindergarten - Grade 1 • $32,550
Grade 2 - Grade 3 • $35,545
Grade 4 - Grade 5 • $37,075
Grade 6 - Grade 7 • $38,895
Grade 8 • $40,380