Student art painting musicians

Vari­a­tions on Some Themes

Each year, the elemen­tary teach­ing teams develop a social studies theme, and they build an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary curricu­lum around this theme incor­po­rat­ing language arts, math, science, the arts, and commu­nity. Many of the skills needed to be success­ful in the acad­e­mic disci­plines inter­sect; the fluid nature of a theme-driven curricu­lum gives teach­ers the flex­i­bil­ity to teach and rein­force these skills across the curricu­lum. Read on to learn more about this year’s themes!

The three preschool teach­ers, Jeanny, Marina, and Connie’s theme for the preschool students is Here we grow! Their specific inten­tions for this year are to nurture joy and build community. 

This year in kinder­garten, Susan and Victo­ria will guide the students in Affirm­ing Diver­sity Together. As new members of the Waverly learn­ing commu­nity, the children’s initial kinder­garten expe­ri­ences will be crafted through their online engage­ment with their teach­ers and each other. There will be ample time for hands-on explo­ration and play during the day. 

Oonagh and Maria’s kinder­garten and first grade students will be learn­ing all about Forest Ecosys­tems. They plan to delve into this wonder­ful theme through reading, writing, art, and science.

Brit­tany and Yanndery’s first and second grade classroom’s theme is rooted in Story­telling. Students will explore family stories and stories of ances­try. They will also explore the many ways stories are told, through music, art, and spoken and written stories. Students and teach­ers will explore the diverse stories of indi­vid­u­als and commu­ni­ties through­out our world.

Rains and Rebecca’s second and third grade class­room will explore Story­telling and Systems: How we under­stand and orga­nize our world. Students will read and learn about differ­ent story­telling tradi­tions, ranging from oral to written to told through art. Story­telling will be a point of entry to affirm the students’ own stories and iden­ti­ties and learn more about each other and them­selves. These students will also study systems – essen­tially, struc­tures that deter­mine the way things are connected and orga­nize our world. Students will learn about differ­ent systems through science and nature, engi­neer­ing, and govern­ment, and talk about how systems dictate the power struc­tures in society. 

Kevin and Megan’s fourth grade class will study Cali­for­nia Diver­sity, its land, and people. Through­out its history, Cali­for­nia has been a desti­na­tion for people from all over the world, with its boun­ti­ful coast­line, Central Valley ripe for farming, snow-capped moun­tains, dense pine forests, expan­sive desert, and rivers filled with the promise of gold. Students will learn about California’s history and cele­brate the diver­sity of people and cultures. 

Both Stina and Sahaj’s and Molly and Emily’s fifth and sixth grade classes will share the same theme, Explo­ration: From Sea to Shining Sea. Both class­rooms will be explor­ing cultural inter­ac­tions in early Amer­i­can history, with an empha­sis on the perspec­tives and expe­ri­ences of people who have been largely left out of the tradi­tional” narra­tives. Their studies will lead them in explo­rations through science, math, liter­a­ture, writing, and art, as well as personal explo­ration of self and each other’s beliefs.