Sundance is a unique school. The best teacher to student ratio, skill based group instruction, hands on learning and an unparalleled creative and performing arts program. All this in the most nurturing environment. We will forever be grateful to Sundance for making our children shine.
The Sundance 2nd Grade Language Arts Curriculum conforms to the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) for Language Arts Literacy. Following the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop Model, the components of our Language Arts Curriculum include Guided Reading, Reading Comprehension, Novel Study, Read Aloud, Vocabulary Study, Writing and Grammar Concepts, Spelling and Handwriting.
In all our Language Arts components, we are ever mindful of creating and sustaining differentiated lessons that are tailored to all our students’ needs and skills levels.
Through an enriching and rigorous math curriculum, students will develop a strong conceptual understanding of various topics in mathematics. Students in grades 2-5, will attain mastery in all five major content areas: number sense & operations, algebra, geometry, data analysis & probability, and measurement. At the core of each unit are key concepts and open-ended problems that align with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The essence of all math learning is problem solving. At Sundance, students are taught the skills needed in order to be effective problem solvers. Manipulatives are used throughout each unit of study to help students gain a deeper understanding of concepts, and discussions of mathematical ideas are practiced daily. Students are challenged every day to become more confident learners and more willing risk-takers.
The Sundance Upper School science curriculum is based on the New Jersey Core curriculum standards for elementary grades. We use the Scott Foresman Science textbooks to help us with the scope and sequence.
Learning experiences in science include hands-on investigations using the FOSS science system, knowledge gained through observation, and regular discussions of concepts in class. Questions are encouraged, as is research into topics. Occasionally, deeper insight into specific topics is enabled through projects and presentations. The children also learn and read about famous scientists and inventors.
Unifying all these learning experiences is the fundamental development of a scientific temperament. The children become well versed in the scientific method through exposure to a variety of scientific tools during their investigations.
Given our school’s unique multi-grade classroom composition, units covered in a given year are dependent on the yearly theme and what the children were exposed to in the previous year.
Social Studies is given a dedicated two hours per week. We have 6 units in the social studies curriculum revolving around people and the communities they live in. The units discuss types of communities, reading and creating maps of communities, laws, jobs, local governments, businesses, and diversity throughout the United States. The units are very interactive allowing children to work in small groups sharing ideas about how communities should be governed, how a classroom is like a community, and how to be a better citizen. Each unit will have an end unit project completed at home. The projects provide school to home connections in the learning process. The projects are an important part of the learning process because it allows students to practice some self-education. They also get to choose how they plan to share all their new knowledge in a variety of creative ways. Each unit project will have a rubric that guides the project so that all students can “guesstimate” what their final score is before they turn it in. Some of the projects may be delivered as:
- A video presentation
- Interview script
- Poster board displays
- Making a commercial
On some occasions, families and other members of the Sundance family are invited in to see the students’ presentations.
The Visual Arts program at Sundance is designed to provide a comprehensive arts experience that enriches the overall curriculum. Students are exposed to a wide variety of two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital media projects. Students are also introduced to a multitude of artists from varying time periods and cultures with the “Artist of the Month” series. Many of the artists and art projects are intertwined with Sundance’s yearly themes in order to augment the thematic learning experience. Rounding out the arts program in the upper grades is a focus on aesthetic examination that encourages students to understand, discuss and analyze a variety of art forms. Using the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards as a guideline, the Visual Arts program helps students to explore their creativity and develop their abilities to understand, produce and appreciate art.
The Primary and Upper School Theatre Workshop at Sundance provides our students with an opportunity to develop skills necessary for success in the 21st century. We appreciate the parental support and enthusiasm for the Theatre Workshop model and show time experience that is a vital component of a Sundance education.
Our theatre program offers instruction that integrates several aspects of the art form: creative, drama, improvisation, acting, script writing, readers theatre, theatre history, directing, designing, researching, comparing art forms, analyzing and critiquing and understanding contexts. Classes are formatted to encourage teamwork, risk taking and full participation while providing fun and challenging opportunities for students to explore basic acting skills and the technical elements of theatre. Performance opportunities include a literature based stage production in the fall, a theme-based spring production (students help script, plan, produce and perform) and two variety shows where acts themselves are student generated. Students also function as stage crew and technical support.
The Physical Education program is designed for the purpose of enhancing psychomotor, cognitive, and physical development through physical body movement. Physical Education offers opportunities to develop independence, goal -setting, leadership, teamwork and sportsmanship.
- To continue developing enthusiasm and eagerness to communicate in another language
- To be actively involved and willing to participate in class
- To speak, interact and sing only in Spanish
- To enlarge vocabulary and improve writing and reading skills
- To share and learn more about other cultures and traditions
This course is designed for Constellations, Milky Ways and Galaxies students with no Chinese background. It focuses both on developing communicative competence in Chinese and also on motivating the students. The objectives enable students to form a solid foundation of learning Chinese for their further study in a fun way. The introduction to Pinyin helps students to pronounce and understand Chinese correctly. The lessons will teach students greetings, numbers, family members, animals, colors, food and drinks, school life etc. in Chinese words and simple characters. Interactive sentence patterns and Chinese cultures will be integrated in the language learning. Students are expected to understand the vocabulary in order to communicate with each other through simple dialogues. Many colorful pictures and multimedia tools are used in classes. Activities such as singing songs, telling stories, and playing games are adapted. By the end of school year students are expected to know: 20 Chinese characters and 30-50 new words, how to speak simple sentences, ask questions, and how to recite or sing several Chinese poems and songs.