• Students in kindergarten focus on transitioning from preschool to an elementary school environment. Kindergartners become more independent learners while continuously building social-emotional skills and fine tuning motor skills. Kindergartners focus on all academic subject areas of literacy, math, science, and social studies, as well as participate in all co-curricular areas of art, creative drama, library, music, Spanish, and physical education.
  • At the kindergarten level literacy is of the utmost importance.  As emergent reading and writing skills develop, students engage in a workshop approach that encourages a love for and interest in reading and writing for authentic purposes. This student-centered approach continues through eighth grade. Students receive handwriting, phonics, spelling and word study instruction as well.
  • A true conceptual understanding of numbers is the backbone for our approach to math at the kindergarten level.  A strong foundation in number sense allows students to manipulate and play with numbers as they begin to count accurately, combine and pull apart larger numbers, create and identify patterns, and subitize.  Discourse around strategies and approaches through Number Talks and peer conversations emphasize the importance of the process of mathematics and contribute to deep knowledge acquisition.  
  • Kindergartners become scientists as they ask questions that interest them, engage in investigations collaboratively with peers, record observations, and develop ideas for observed phenomena.  One of the highlights of the science curriculum is the study of the life cycle of chicks and the raising of life chicks in the classroom.  The unit comes to a close as the chicks hatch and spend a week in the kindergarten room.
  • The social studies curriculum focuses on what it means to live in America and the identification of American symbols. Students learn about the roles and responsibilities of community workers and jobs that are essential to a society. As a culminating activity, students pick a profession to represent and perform for an audience in a pretend “Town Meeting.”

1st Grade

  • Students in first grade become more independent learners and practice self-advocacy skills in a safe and nurturing environment.  Social-emotional growth and peer relationships are vital at this age and students learn to work collaboratively in a productive way.
  • First graders develop reading fluency, word recognition and decoding skills through the reading and writing workshop. Most importantly students begin to know themselves as writers and readers and learn how to find “just right” books to practice reading at the appropriate level. The Daily 5 approach adds structure to our language arts curriculum while providing differentiated, engaging activities. Students receive handwriting, phonics, spelling and word study instruction as well.
  • During math instruction, students develop more complex strategies to work with larger numbers.  First graders begin basic geometry, measurement, problem solving as well as data and chance; learning the foundation for building strong math skills.  Most importantly, students engage in frequent discussions about strategy use through number talks and peer collaboration.  
  • First graders practice the habits of real scientists.  They ask and identify investigable questions, develop models, plan and conduct investigations, apply observations in the identification of patterns, and use tools to design and build.  The science curriculum is incredibly engaging and experiential as students investigate high interest topics such as sound, animal survival, and patterns in space.
  • Social studies focuses on the theme of Patriotism and emphasizes what it means to be an American, and why we have rules and laws.  The Shining Moment involves a project fair based on America and Patriotism. Students present about U.S. History, famous landmarks and influential Americans.

2nd Grade

  • Second graders are passionate learners and immensely enjoy cooperative work. At this age students begin to take more risks, but also crave structure and fairness.
  • In reading and writing workshop, students continue their writing skills through the creation of a state report in conjunction with social studies. Second graders complete personal narratives and their writing becomes more complex and descriptive. Students continue to build reading stamina through lengthier and more complicated books.
  • Second grade science is highly engaging and interactive. Students practice science and engineering skills as they are asked to design a tool or object to solve a simple problem as well as develop accurate models.  The young scientists focus on making careful observations and measurements for data collection, analyzing data to draw conclusions, and developing methods of data collection through a focus on quantitative information and graphing.  The final step of communication is emphasized as second graders construct arguments from evidence to support a claim.  Students explore physical earth topics such as matter and its behavior, life topics of animal and plant diversity, and study earth science through an examination of the effects of wind and water on the shaping of land.  
  • By second grade Math, the students have progressed in their computation skills and now focus on more advanced measurement, expand their understanding of place value and relate the concept to money, and examine geometry through a study of transformation and symmetry. Most importantly, students practice persevering around challenging problems, thinking critically and communicating their reasoning both orally and in writing.  
  • In social studies second graders study the 50 states in the order in which they were brought into the union.  Students learn basic facts and use this knowledge during the subsequent economics unit.  The Shining Moment asks students to apply their state knowledge in a new and original situation.


Contact Us

North Park Elementary School 2017 W Montrose Chicago, Illinois 60618
Phone: 773.327.3144      Fax: 773.327.0331