- Prekindergarten & Jr. Kindergarten
- First Grade
- Second Grade
- Third Grade
- Fourth Grade
- Fifth Grade
- Character Education
- Specialists Programs
Prekindergarten: Learning to Operate Successfully in a Group while Maintaining Autonomy
Our multi-discipline and integrated curriculum encourages self-confidence, independence and good character, while also teaching the children how to participate successfully in a group setting. It establishes a broad foundation of knowledge, and teaches the prerequisite skills necessary for success in our Kindergarten.
Junior Kindergarten: Benefiting from the "Gift of Time"
Some students need the "gift of time" to prepare for Kindergarten. Often summer-birthday children and others who need more time to mature, benefit from a program that is more advanced than Prekindergarten, but not as rigorous as our Kindergarten program. In Junior Kindergarten, each subject area is taught to higher levels than in Prekindergarten, with alphabet skills to include both lower- and upper-case letters, and more direct instruction of sound/symbol relationships. The additional experience with phonetics and phonics sometimes is enough for some students to begin reading, which is then fostered individually by the teacher. Mathematical skills are also taught beyond Prekindergarten expectations, allowing JK students to learn to count further, match more numerals to the respective quantity, understand more complex concepts, and solve more complicated word problems. The same holds true for other areas of the curriculum. The Junior Kindergarten program may follow the same unit themes as Prekindergarten, but the content is broadened and more in depth, and the related projects require higher level skills.
The following information provides a “snapshot” in to the Prekindergarten/Jr. Kindergarten course overview for the month of November:
Seasonal theme: Fall/Fall Harvest
Social Studies & Science Theme: Family Traditions & Nutrition
Field Trips & Special Events: Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Feast
Ongoing Academic Units:
Amble through the Alphabet
• letter recognition; sound identification; initial consonants & vowels
• numeral recognition; sets; counting; one-to-one; simple + & -
• shapes; colors; sizes
Weekly Group Science
• liquids; solids; gases; inertia; explosions; simple machines
Ongoing Developmental Activities:
• gross motor skills; fine motor skills
Language & Cognitive Development
• listening; comprehension; speaking clearly; increasing vocabulary; memorizing; retelling a story; creative thinking
Social & Emotional Development
• adjusting to school; making friends; caring and sharing; following directions; learning to work; problem solving
Ongoing Specialists Activities: Music, Drama, Computers, Library
Learning to Focus and Engage in the Learning Process
Kindergarten at Warren-Walker School is a full day, academic and highly enriched, program. We believe wholeheartedly that bright, capable five-year-olds benefit greatly from our multi-faceted program taught by dynamic, experienced classroom teachers, and a cadre of talented specialists. Much of Kindergarten’s year-round special activities revolve around a very unique program developed by Warren-Walker School teachers called A Trip Around the World. The principal program is taught in small groups of students which allows for lots of student-teacher interaction, personal attention, and stimulating activities. The Kindergarten classes take all of their field trips together as well as daily PE and wellness classes. The language arts program challenges students to read and write as they develop sound language skills and a love of fine literature, and our Math program develops strong algebraic concepts and problem solving skills incorporating direct instruction and cooperative learning. This snapshot of first quarter in Kindergarten is designed to demonstrate the overall breadth and unique qualities of the curriculum, while outlining the main themes and essential skills that are taught:
Language Arts: Explicit and systematic phonics instruction starting with letter sounds and letter recognition, beginning sounds and CVC words
Mathematics: Numbers to ten providing a solid understanding of number sense and problem solving skills
Science: Trees and weather; our five senses
Social Studies: All About Me, Family, Friends, Community, discovering the USA, Maps
Specialists: Spanish: family & house; PE: run & gallop; Music: Creative movement; Art: Thanksgiving; USA landscape & symbols; Computers & Library
Character Education: Building a Community; Responsibility; Courage; Interrelationships; Settling differences
Gaining Independence and Adjusting to More Demanding AcademicsFirst grade is an exciting time of growth, development, and learning! Students in first grade make astounding progress in language arts, allowing them to unlock the code to reading and writing. Our language arts program covers a multitude of key principles for reading success, including phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Students practice these skills through a variety of strategies including listening, spelling dictation, blending, interactive phonics notebooks, decodable readers, anthology books, interactive projects, and hands-on learning. In addition, students practice letter formation, sentence structure, and many types of writing including personal narratives, opinion, nonfiction, fiction, persuasive letters, and poetry. Students are taught creatively through whole group instruction, small group instruction, and one-on-one support to ensure all student needs are met.
Mathematics: Counting & comparing numbers 1-20, addition and subtraction, fact families, shapes and patterns
Science: Intro. to science, exploring light and sound
Social Studies: building community, where we live, maps & geography skills
Character Education: Friendship; Responsibility, Courage
Honing the Basic Skills, Achieving High Levels of Fluency, and Gaining Confidence
The goal of Second Grade is for students to develop academic confidence within each subject area and gain new skills in each Specialist program. Reading skills soar, as comprehension supersedes basic fluency. Writing skills develop to remarkably sophisticated levels, as they explore expository, descriptive and narrative writing. Students build a conceptual understanding of mathematics by developing critical thinking skills and advancing problem solving proficiency. All students achieve beyond grade-level expectations with beginning multiplication and division while enrichment maintains interest and enthusiasm. In addition to primary classroom instruction, students attend daily PE & Spanish classes, as well as art, music, library and information technology on a weekly basis.
The following information provides a “snapshot” in to the Second Grade curriculum during the fall months:
Reading: themed units taught through multiple genres & class novels develop students' love for reading and hone comprehension skills
Language Arts: spelling, grammar, writing processes and writing styles
Mathematics: place value to 1,000; adding fluently within 1,000
Science: earth's materials: pebbles, sand & silt
Social Studies: communities; exploration of geography through maps
Drama & Field Trips: Second Grade Play
Computers & Library: Touch-typing techniques
Character Education: Courage, Respect
Becoming More Competent Scholars and Responsible Citizens
Third Grade students work year-round on what will ultimately be a personalized bound book of their own work at year's end. The collection includes well-developed creative writing, poetry, essays, reports, selected works from classmates, special memories, and photographs. This becomes a special keepsake that highlights the important accomplishments and memories of Third Grade. "Literature Circles" occur throughout the year, as well. Students are assigned certain jobs while reading (such as discussion director), each responsible for "teaching" the other students in their circle, all the while helping to improve reading comprehension and writing skills, as well as promote responsibility and accountability. Social studies and science become more important, as breadth of knowledge, higher level thinking about complex subject matter, and content comprehension are emphasized. Native American culture, the rain forest, and force are examples of challenging topics. An overnight at Indian Hills Camp is a highlight of several valuable field trips. The students sleep in teepees, learn about the Kumeyaay and the use of natural resources and the land. They play cooperative games of Native American origin, take a night hike, pound Yucca into rope, and enjoy legends told by a mountain man around the campfire. Simultaneously with all of this, students attend PE & Spanish class daily, as well as art, music, drama, library and technology on a weekly basis. Following is a snapshot of the 3rd grade’s first quarter curriculum:
Reading: Class novel – Because of Winn-Dixie; dictionary skills & vocabulary
Language Arts: types of sentences; writing process; ending punctuation; complete sentences; subject/predicate; writing for fluency; journals; creative writing; paragraph writing; nouns (singular & plural; common & proper); commas; similes/metaphors
Mathematics: mental computation; multiples; even/odd #s; subtraction with re-grouping; graphing; addition review; time/elapsed time; making change; measurement; fractions; multiplication; area and perimeter; map scale; logic
Science: weather and climate; forces in motion; structure of life
Social Studies: Communities – geography & map skills; reading graphs; compass skills
Spelling: spelling of long & short vowel sounds; cursive – lower case letters; manuscript maintenance
Computers & Library: Touch-typing techniques
Going Beyond and Reaching Out
As fourth-grade students, children are encouraged to surpass expectations in all facets of language arts and mathematics. Not only does this grade level focus on academic proficiency, but also on developing key life skills, such as public speaking. Our tailored program seeks to instill greater confidence and poise in social interactions, enhancing their abilities to express, engage, and persuade effectively and comfortably. The program emphasizes vital public speaking strategies, active listening, audience engagement, and articulation.
We connect what we learn in the classroom to the wider world, often through field trips and activities. A significant part of the year is dedicated to studying California history, with experiential learning as a key teaching method. In the fall, visiting Mission Trails helps students delve deeper into California Native American life, experience, and culture. Later in the spring, students and parents journey east to Indian Hills Camp in Jamul, stepping back in time to experience the spirited atmosphere of the California Gold Rush. Each student will select a state for an in-depth research project during the academic year. They will use our class and library resources to compose a comprehensive report. The culmination of this project will be the annual State Fair in June, where each student can present their chosen state's unique attributes to their peers, teachers, and parents.
Our science curriculum, adhering to the Next Generation Science Standards, is underscored by frequent hands-on projects, including an engaging "Invention Convention". All these activities ensure that the children can experience and understand complex topics practically. Simultaneously, physical health, artistic expression, and technological knowledge are nurtured, with PE and Spanish classes being daily features and art, music, drama, library, and technology sessions unfolding each week.
The following information provides a “snapshot” in to the Fourth Grade curriculum during the second quarter:
Literature: Read aloud; In-class novels; Read Theory; (4) book projects
Composition: Novel essays; Comprehensive 5-paragraph essays; Letter writing; California Native Americans; essential questions
Grammar: Wordly Wise; spelling; compound sentences; parts of speech; proper paragraph structure
Math: multiplication; division; multi-step word problems
Science: "Inventin Convention"
Geography/Social Studies: California Ranchos; Gold Rush; Railroads; Statehood; 49ers
Computers & Library: Touch-typing techniques
Practicing Leadership Skills
Powerful literature units are integrated with the study of American History in fifth grade. It's one thing to learn the facts about our nation and begin to understand big ideas like democracy and equality, but it's even better to experience them with the characters of great books, such as Johnny Tremain. Challenging mathematics lessons reinforce the basic skills of math, yet expand each student's math awareness and problem solving expertise. In science, fifth graders take an in-depth look at the oceans and what lives in them, visiting the tide pools and presenting group reports on marine ecosystems. Fifth Grade students learn leadership skills through their daily opportunities to lead. They learn to share the vision of the school, strive to make a difference, help each other, use good judgment, and perform small but effective acts of selflessness. For our weekly campus Flag Ceremony, they raise the flag, lead the flag salute, and provide announcements to students and parents. They are also involved in community service projects throughout the year. In the spring, they hike to the top of a mountain to reinforce how character traits such as perseverance and self-discipline help us reach our goals. Most importantly though fifth graders are being prepared throughout the year both academically and socially for the transition to Middle School. Simultaneously with all of this, students attend PE & Spanish class daily, as well as art, music, drama, library and technology on a weekly basis. The following information provides a “snapshot” in to the Fifth Grade course overview during the second quarter:
Literature: Novel – Bud not Buddy; book projects: Biography/ Autobiography
Composition: sentence & paragraph formation & expansion; creative writing; five-paragraph essay; expository writing
Grammar: Eight parts of speech; mechanics
Math: basic facts; number theory; concepts; operations with whole numbers, exponents, rational numbers and roots
Science: Earth science; weather
Social Studies: Colonial times; world expansion; birth of American slavery; Star of India
Computers & Library: Touch-typing techniques
An environment that encourages optimum academic progress must also promote high standards of character and behavior. Warren-Walker School's administration, faculty, and staff desire to foster a respect for others and a sense of responsibility in each of our students. To achieve these goals, we have carefully crafted our Character and Leadership Program, using input from experts, respected colleagues, and parents.
Each month we focus on one of our core values or a theme:
September: Friendship/Building a Caring Community
March: Good Judgment
Students are helped to develop these personal qualities through special lessons and assignments with guidance, daily experience, and discipline – and to demonstrate them in their daily lives.
Unique to Warren-Walker Schools are the many enrichment programs taught by highly qualified dedicated, full time teaching professionals. The goals of these programs are to expand the classroom learning experience, integrate interdisciplinary opportunities, and develop a well-rounded foundation of skills in our students.
Understanding the importance of learning Spanish in Southern California, teaching begins in kindergarten and is taught daily. Through direct instruction, dialogue, repetition, recitation, art, play, and song, students learn basic vocabulary, common phrases, and short dialogues leading to a very strong foundation when entering our Middle School. Most of our middle school students test into Spanish III or IV when entering high school, and the facility to learn a second language has led many to try a third.
Knowing the importance of daily exercise and physical activity for our students, Physical Education is taught daily beginning in Kindergarten. Wellness and yoga instruction enhances the physical education program through weekly sessions starting in prekindergarten. Developing healthy habits and good lifestyle choices is key to every student's success, and the Lower Schools' PE & Wellness program is lively and interactive, with an emphasis on cooperative play, not competition.
Formal art instruction begins in Kindergarten, although classroom art is readily taught in prekindergarten and junior kindergarten. The focus of study in the beginning is on the basic elements of art - line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value. Students are taught to look at things from an artist's perspective, and work on drawing skills. The principles of design become an emphasis, as well. The students learn how balance, emphasis, pattern, rhythm, proportion, unity, and variety are used in a work of art, experimenting with them in various projects. "Art with the Masters" is a favorite topic, used to emphasize important aspects of art and art history. "Careers in Art" is another area of instruction, and students are taught a variety of skills including graphic design and cartooning. The topics are re-taught each year at higher levels with projects of increased complexity.
Beginning in Prekindergarten, students have regular music classes and drama for an extended period leading to a production at each grade level involving singing, dancing, and role-playing in full costume. On performance day, each class play is performed twice, once for students and faculty, and again for family and friends. In Middle School, students will each play an instrument in our concert band. Their knowledge of music gained at the Lower School makes it possible for these students to participate in a concert by December of their sixth grade year.
Instruction in computer and library skills begins in prekindergarten through our strong Information Literacy and Technology Curriculum. In this "age of information," students must learn how to access resources efficiently and effectively. The Information Literacy & Technology teacher assists our core curriculum teachers in helping students find the information needed to complete projects and write well-developed reports. Wonderful literature is shared with the children, from all genres, which is available in the classrooms, as well as the libraries. In Library, students learn about library cataloging, library etiquette, and efficient use of the school library and online catalogs. In Computer classes, students are taught about online safety, digital footprints and citizenship, typing skills, Google search skills, Google applications and a variety of other online tools introduced via the grade level's core curriculum. Each year in the Computers and Library classes, tiered skills are taught for a continuing level of understanding. All of this combines to help students create quality, in-depth research projects, written essay units, and digital projects such as slideshows, digital media/graphics, and coding concept. Even our youngest students star with basic concepts of coding, problem solving, and clear instruction with the utilization of "Code-a-pillars", "Dot & Dash", and other hands-on activities.
Interested in learning more? Please call 619-223-3663 or simply click the button below to have a member of our Admissions Team contact you!