Elementary School (K-5)

Kindergarten and grade 1

The Riverside Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms are homey, nurturing environment where the whole child is honored and their excitement for learning and exploring is kindled and fed.

The formal Language Arts program is divided into: read-aloud, guided reading, independent reading, partner reading, word study, and a writer’s workshop approach to writing.

The goal of Kindergarten Math is to build a strong foundation for math concepts through routines and hands-on experiences.  The goal of the First Grade Math Program is to ensure that students are confident and comfortable using their knowledge of numbers.  Children explore: number order, addition and subtraction, problem solving, shapes, and place value. The kindergarten and first graders use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt "Go Math" a curriculum that aligns with the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

In Science and Social Studies, children learn about various topics through story, activity, exploration, and experiment.

Spanish teacher, Nathan Gair, visits the K-l classroom twice weekly to provide early learning in a foreign language.

Grades 2 and 3

The Riverside Grades 2 and 3 program encourages students to discover strengths within themselves and each other and to take those strengths and utilize them to assist in becoming the best learners that they and their friends can be. While large group teaching is sometimes used, each child is viewed as an individual, and thus has their own set of expectations, sometimes at grade level and sometimes far beyond.

In the second and third grade classrooms all areas of Language Arts are addressed and integrated throughout the curriculum to help students improve their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students’ abilities are of broad range in each of these areas, but every child brings their unique strengths forth to share with the group providing a rich environment and allowing each to shine in their own way, and in turn, earning the respect of their classmates.

The Mathematics program in the two-three classroom is a comprehensive system of mathematics instruction which includes multiple instructional approaches allowing for differentiation. The second and third graders use "Eureka Math" a curriculum that aligns with the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

Students in second and third grades will loop through two years of Science studies. The major foundations will be learning through inquiry, and hands-on activities. When students use inquiry, they utilize processing skills as scientists do. They use their observations to make an inference or prediction to formulate a testable hypothesis.

Social Studies and Geography for grades two and three loop through two years of study related closely to whole school events; i.e. Geography/Biography Fair, Mythology Day, and classroom integrated studies; i.e. Tropical Rainforests, World Oceans.  Students participate in making and obeying rules, voting, conflict resolution, jobs, and citizenship. We discuss and read about the past and the present and make comparisons. We learn about how different groups of people celebrate the holidays. The students are introduced to globes and maps.

Spanish teacher, Nathan Gair, visits the 2-3 classroom twice weekly to provide early learning in a foreign language.


Grade 4

The 4th grade is a time for deep learning and exploration! In previous grades, students have been building the foundational tools for writing, reading, and mathematics. In 4th grade, students will now begin putting these tools to use as they delve into deep questions. In order to accomplish this, students are faced with many challenges and projects where they can apply their skills to such questions as “how do scientists work together to solve problems” or “what did it mean to be an American in the 18th century?” While we still spend time in reading and writing strategies, our language arts curriculum begins to become intricately folded into our studies of the world around us (past, present, and future). In addition to academic skills and problem solving, students will work throughout the year on critical skills such as collaboration, organization, time management, and developing a growth mindset. 

In the 4th grade reading program, “Great 8” reading strategies (strategies for deeper thinking and understanding of texts) are used. The 8 strategies are: making connections, visualizing, summarizing, evaluating, predicting, inferring, monitoring, and questioning. Reading is also heavily incorporated into other projects and subject areas.

One of the major goals of writing in 4th grade is to help students build their writing stamina through working on creative stories of their own choosing. Writing is also heavily incorporated into other projects and subject areas, so students also work on informational writing, and writing based on evidence. 

The Math Program consists of units on multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, basic geometry, measurement and data

The 4th grade Social studies program is the study of Vermont history (colonialism, Revolutionary War and events leading up to it). Students focus on the people involved, cause and effect

Fourth grade students learn how to be a scientist through experiments, variables, working together to solve problems, making claims and backing them up with evidence. Units are challenge-based and focus on using science to solve problems.


Grade 5

Active is an appropriate word to describe the 5th grade learning program. Projects are used that integrate math learning with engineering design or nature learning.  Fifth grade is a time when students spread their wings and use their foundational knowledge developed in earlier grades, of operations in math or basic English usage for more independent problem solving. Student's develop skill in expressing their critical thinking through both formal speaking and writing, and practice managing a variety of tools for organizing and tracking their learning in preparation for middle school learning. 

In the 5th grade, student learn independence and management skills needed for longer term learning projects. Their writing and speaking experiences are integrated. Modeling and nature studies integrate the math and science program.  Social studies is learned through role playing.