Elementary School: educating the whole child
At Weizmann, students learn core skills through an integrated curriculum based on nationally-recognized academic programs. The core academic subjects are enriched with classes in the arts, second language study (Hebrew), STEAM, physical education, and Jewish studies.
We are committed to maintaining small class sizes and to differentiated teaching strategies that fit individual students' educational and social development.
At all grade levels, we expand upon the academic curriculum with specialized programs, including upper grade/lower grade buddy programs, field trips and project-based learning.
Weizmann Day School emphasizes social-emotional learning across the curriculum.
In our kindergarten and first grade programs, Weizmann uses Eureka Math. The curriculum teaches students to think about math conceptually. Eureka Math builds students’ knowledge logically and thoroughly to help them achieve deep understanding.
In our upper elementary grades Weizmann Day School uses Saxon Math, a program designed to teach a new mathematical concept daily, while constantly reviewing previously learned concepts. This provides students with an in-depth, comprehensive foundation in math at each grade level.
In all of our elementary classrooms, math is viewed as a living, vital part of our everyday lives. Students use math across all subject areas as part of integrated units and classroom projects. Manipulatives are used to solve problems and for deeper comprehension of abstract concepts.
Because of our small class size and the ability to give students individualized attention, we are able to assess each student, determine their level of math skill mastery and accommodate appropriately.
Our students learn the history of their community, their families, their state and country, and different peoples through texts, novels, plays, and field trips to historical sites, museums, and special exhibitions.
The study of history is often taught in integrated units, combining several academic subjects and, frequently, art or drama.
Students also participate in cultural exchange activities with children from other schools.
Weizmann follows the California History Social Science Framework in our elementary program.
1st Grade: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Geography of the Community, Symbols, Icons, and Traditions of the United States, Life Today and Long Ago, Economics: Goods and Services
2nd Grade: Families Today and in the Past, Geography and Mapping Skills: People, Places, and Environments, Government Institutions and Practices, Economics: People Who Supply Goods and Services, Biographies of People Who Made a Difference
3rd Grade: Geography of the Local Region, American Indians of the Local Region, Development of the Local Community: Change Over Time, American Citizens, Symbols, and Government, Economics of the Local Region: Choices, Costs, and Human Capital
4th Grade: Physical and Human Geographic Features That Define California, Pre-Columbian Settlements and People, European Exploration and Colonial History, Missions, Ranchos, and the Mexican War for Independence, The Gold Rush and Statehood, California as an Agricultural and Industrial Power, California in a Time of Expansion, California in the Postwar Era: Immigration, Technology, and Cities, Local, State, and Federal Governments
5th Grade: The Land and People before Columbus, Age of Exploration, Cooperation and Conflict in North America, Settling the Colonies, The American Revolution, The Development and Significance of the U.S. Constitution, Life in the Young Republic, The New Nation’s Westward Expansion
We take a balanced literacy approach to teaching reading and writing. Our students receive explicit phonics and grammar skills instruction in addition to reading authentic texts and writing for authentic purposes. Students see themselves as readers and authors and reading and writing becomes an exciting part of their lives.
In the early elementary years, we use Lucy Calkin’s and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Units of Study in Reading and Writing, a workshop curriculum.
In the upper elementary grades, reading instruction is focused on building a lifelong love of reading.
Students are encouraged to explore a variety of authors and genres, making connections between texts, and from texts to their own lives and the larger world.
Critical reading and writing, journal and story writing, poetry study, reading and writing fiction and non-fiction, literature circles and reading groups, and drama and school plays, all are essential parts of our program.
Our science curriculum is inquiry- and problem-based, and includes planning and carrying out investigations, obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, and designing solutions for real-life problems.
Our science specialists use a variety a resources, such as the FOSS (Full Option Science System) Program, developed by Laurence Hall at UC-Berkeley, Pearson’s Interactive Science textbooks, materials from California’s Education and Environment Initiative, and STEMscopes, designed around the Next Generation Science Standards.
Beginning in kindergarten, the in-depth curriculum includes developing experiments and using observation, and includes a class science project for our annual school-wide science fair.
The upper elementary science program continues to build on science and engineering skills, as students participate in authentic, project-based learning.
Students develop and use models, learn to argue from evidence, and practice mathematical and computational thinking.
Our Elementary science program culminates with a three- day trip to AstroCamp Science Camp in the San Jacinto Mountains, where students participate in science enrichment programming as well as in outdoor educational experiences.