NFSIS Curriculum


In Kindergarten, we begin the elementary school journey building community through play and peer relationships. We value the journey of childhood and the space and time to learn these valuable tools. Our units of study connect with the changing of the seasons, with science and nature. Our literacy work supports rich oral language development. The child is immersed in "life activities" that support the child's physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. Activities may include: creative play, watercolor painting, sewing, letter and number writing, math manipulatives, woodworking, nature walks, singing, verses and movement, storytelling, play-acting, and puppetry.

The Kindergarten curriculum establishes solid foundations for work in the Grades in the following areas—as natural parts of the Kindergarten student’s activities:

Grade 1

The first grader begins the school year with a sense of wonder and imagination that they feel deeply connected to. At this age they are also eager to learn and explore their new capabilities in an academic way. For Language Arts the first graders learn to write, and then read, as they are immersed in stories, fairy tales, poems, and songs. Students turn pictures into letters and then write short phrases or summaries, creating their own books with beauty. Math is a social subject combined with movement, rhythm, singing times tables, and using real world stories. The four functions are introduced and number sense is built through math instruction and games. Science is studied with hands on experiences and observation in gardening, nature studies, and hikes; observing how the world changes around them.

Children further express their learning through visual arts, drama, music, and dance. To develop spatial coordination and fine motor skills the teacher creates playful exercises with beanbags, movement, string games, recorder playing, form drawing and writing. Social emotional learning is emphasized throughout the school year to create and build a healthy classroom community, creating something of use and beauty each day.

In first grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:

Grade 2

Second grade is a time of awakening awareness in the world around them for the 7/8 year old. The overarching theme of metamorphosis weaves through the year. Language arts are taught through telling stories and tales, which are then illustrated and the students compose short compositions guided by the teacher. Throughout the Language Arts blocks, basic skills are woven into the lessons to develop writing structure, handwriting, phonics, and spelling. Students’ capacity for reading grows through writing and reading what they have written as well as working in reading groups. In mathematics students work with larger numbers this year and further practice the four functions. They focus on relationships and patterns as they memorize the rest of their times tables, 1 through 12, work with carrying and borrowing, and place value. Math is practiced regularly with games, movement, and rhythmic activities.

The science curriculum strives to develop a respect and appreciations for the natural world. Even the most ordinary things that surround us have a history and story that create wonder and curiosity. The students sharpen their observation skills watching the habits of animals and the nature of the plants around them. As the seasons change, so does the world, and all is impacted by the weather. The season turn into months as each student makes his or her own calendar. Engineering begins as students create pop-up books.

In second grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:

Grade 3

Third grade is a year of building independence and new connections in the classroom community. Through our studies of shelter building, Hebrew mythology, the solar system, geology, states of matter, our students develop important stamina and skills. Our year culminates with an empowering and transformative overnight outdoor education trip.

In third grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:

Grade 4

Fourth grade is a year of exciting changes. Students rise to new levels of independence and academic responsibility as we guide them through our integrated units of study in Colorado history, geography and government, Norse mythology, and structures of life. We teach the Colorado state standards through arts integration, such as using drama and visual arts, as well as using traditional skill based learning. Fourth graders also focus on crafting longer pieces of writing, and reading novels that are often integrated with the unit study. More is asked of the fourth grader in terms of academic work and social awareness as they leave their early childhood stage and begin the journey into middle childhood.

In fourth grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:

Grade 5

Fifth grade is a time of big academic and social growth. We delve into the units of weather, chemistry, human body including human growth and development, American history through the Constitution, and ancient India, Egypt and Greece. We look at history, geography, civics, and economics through the voices of those that are often unheard in a traditional historic context. Each unit is academically rigorous integrating writing and reading, and it is taught with the school’s main focus of arts integration in mind. The year traditionally culminates with an outdoor education trip.

In fifth grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:

Grade 6

The children entering the twelfth year in the sixth grade begin to experience an important change in their physical bodies. In earlier years, their movements were naturally graceful (generally speaking), but now a certain clumsiness often appears, as if the children don’t know quite what to do with their bodies. On the inner level the child is entering strongly into a conscious awareness of the skeletal system. The child is more aware of gravity and weight; growth in the skeletal and muscular systems challenge the student’s capacities for balance and coordination, They are seeking a conscious recovery of order and control over themselves.

In sixth grade, the following curriculum components are introduced:


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