Overview

The elemen­tary teach­ers develop a social studies theme for the school year and build an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary curricu­lum around the theme. Science, math, the arts, and language arts are all inte­grated with that theme. Empha­sis is placed on active learn­ing expe­ri­ences for the students.

Language Arts

Using a balanced liter­acy approach, language arts is inte­grated into all curric­u­lar areas and includes reading, writing, speak­ing, and listen­ing. The five compo­nents of a balanced liter­acy reading program are inde­pen­dent reading, guided reading, shared reading, read aloud, and word study. This approach allows teach­ers to differ­en­ti­ate instruc­tion based on the needs of each student. The writing program aims to help students comfort­ably put their ideas on paper and cele­brate the effort and process, not just the product. Students brain­storm, draft, revise, edit, and then publish differ­ent pieces through­out the year. Spelling is inte­grated daily into reading and writing. Words Their Way, Wordly Wise, and Explode the Code are used to support and enhance student learning. 

Respon­sive Classroom

In each elemen­tary class­room and through­out the elemen­tary school, a sense of commu­nity is fostered using the Respon­sive Class­room approach. Conflict reso­lu­tion, team­work, collab­o­ra­tive learn­ing, and class meet­ings are strate­gies used to build a sense of indi­vid­ual and collec­tive respon­si­bil­ity and to meet social and emotional learn­ing needs. In each class­room, the day begins with morning meeting where students greet each other, share announce­ments, and engage in commu­nity build­ing activ­i­ties. Through­out the day, students prac­tice the skills of listen­ing, respond­ing, empathiz­ing, and respect­ing peers and teachers.

Every­day Math

Math instruc­tion and learn­ing is enhanced by the use of the Every­day Math­e­mat­ics program. Every­day Math­e­mat­ics was devel­oped by the Univer­sity of Chicago School Math­e­mat­ics Project to enable elemen­tary school chil­dren to learn more math­e­mat­i­cal content and become life­long math­e­mat­i­cal thinkers. The content in each grade provides all chil­dren with a balanced math curricu­lum that is rich in real-world, problem-solving oppor­tu­ni­ties. Teach­ers also inte­grate the math curricu­lum with the class theme, supple­ment the program’s mate­ri­als when neces­sary, and use a variety of group­ing strate­gies to increase student learning.

Science

Teach­ers design their science curricu­lum each year, inte­grat­ing it with the social studies theme and empha­siz­ing hands-on expe­ri­ences. Science learn­ing often takes place at Waverly’s organic farm and on field trips. Our approach allows students to think crit­i­cally and creatively, problem-solve, and learn funda­men­tal science skills such as asking ques­tions, creat­ing hypothe­ses, perform­ing exper­i­ments, and drawing conclu­sions, both in indi­vid­ual and group settings.

Well­ness

At Waverly, well­ness is an age-appro­pri­ate, posi­tive approach that empha­sizes the whole person, with a focus on students’ phys­i­cal, emotional, intel­lec­tual, and social devel­op­ment. Respect for one’s self and others, commu­nity build­ing, healthy rela­tion­ships, sexu­al­ity, concepts of diver­sity, equity, and toler­ance, gender expression/​identity are taught in depth. Elemen­tary school students examine stereo­types, social media, and empow­er­ment strate­gies. Students learn basic anatomy and phys­i­ol­ogy, receive an overview of puberty, and explore concepts of consent. Students in the early elemen­tary school attend well­ness in two 10-week units while students in the 5th/​6th grades have well­ness every other week for the full school year.

Outdoor Class­room

The outdoor class­room devel­oped for the elemen­tary program gives oppor­tu­ni­ties for students to use and manip­u­late new mate­ri­als. There are spaces and mate­ri­als for climb­ing, digging, water play, build­ing, tricy­cle riding, and paint­ing. A variety of rotat­ing sports equip­ment is used for emer­gent games and phys­i­cal activ­ity. All the elemen­tary classes have a minimum of 20 minutes for recess and 45 minutes for lunch. Students in the preschool and kinder­garten have more sched­uled outdoor play time.

Athlet­ics

Elemen­tary students in the 5th and 6th grades are able to partic­i­pate in middle school sports teams. Middle school teams play in fall, winter, and spring sports in the Foothill League. Sports include flag foot­ball, volley­ball, basket­ball, soccer, and tennis. Read more about athletics.