We Are All Alike; We Are All Different

Year-Long Essential Questions

  • How are we alike?
  • How are we different?
  • How is respect for all diversities developed?
  • How can we help others?

Communication and Language

Language development is not only an important aspect of social development, but is the foundation for all learning.  Language is at the core of everything we do. The language skills of four- and five-year-olds are expanding rapidly. At this age, children  communicate using more complex sentences and are rapidly expanding their vocabularies.  Following multi-step directions is a crucial skill learned at this stage, as is giving explanation of their own first-hand experiences.

Students are immersed in a language rich environment on a daily basis.  The major language considerations covered throughout the year include articulation, social language development, and receptive and expressive language.  

By the end of the year, students will...

Speech and Articulation

  • speak clearly so as to be understood by others
  • use a voice level appropriate to the situation, and age-appropriate vocabulary
  • articulate sounds correctly

Social Language

  • express personal wants and needs
  • interact comfortably with peers and adults
  • listen without interrupting
  • take turn in conversations

Receptive Language

  • label common objects
  • respond logically to questions
  • understand and correctly use prepositions

Expressive Language

  • speak in complete sentences
  • relate experiences sequentially

Linguistic Intelligence (Reading)

A love of reading is fostered in the 4/5s program as students are exposed to a wide variety of literature and print on a daily basis.  Children at this level are curious about reading and see themselves as potential readers.  They are highly motivated, and will often choose to role-play themselves as readers.  Although students primarily rely on pictures to retell a selection, they are aware that print tells a story.  During read-alouds, they may chime in with a familiar or predictable word or phrase; after hearing pattern, rhyming, or predictable books many times, they may even memorize them.  These children enjoy rhyming and playing with words, and will recognize familiar words such as their names or favorite places. 

Phonemic Awareness, Concepts of Print, and Comprehension of Story are the major foci, and by the end of the year, students will be able to...

Phonemic Awareness

  • identify words that rhyme, and provide two words that rhyme
  • clap out syllables in words
  • repeat simple chants or rhymes
  • have letter/sound recognition

Concepts of Print

  • understand directionality of print
  • understand that print has meaning
  • identify key parts of a book (i.e. author, title, illustrations)
  • recognize most uppercase letters.

Story Comprehension

  • identify major characters
  • recall 1-2 key events
  • accurately answer questions about story
  • connect read-alouds to own experiences
  • often predict logical outcome

Linguistic Intelligence (Writing)

Through Morning Message, journaling, and the Writing Center, students come to understand that writing is an important and powerful form of communication.  For 4/5s, writing is as much an oral language activity as it is a writing one.  Students think and act like writers and illustrators because they spend time doing what writers and illustrators do.  Through oral retellings of their stories, the audience comes to understand exactly what meaning the student planned for the print and pictures to convey. In the 4/5s, children explore written language by composing letters, making lists,  and creating story books.  They are interested in all kinds of writing tools, and are learning to print capital letters through the Handwriting Without Tears program.  

Throughout the year, students will learn to...

  • use correct pincer grip when holding writing instrument
  • use scissors correctly
  • use scribbles, shapes, pictures and letters to write
  • explain intended meaning of drawings and writings
  • ask adult to label picture or transcribe oral thoughts
  • experiment with a variety of writing tools and materials

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Through a variety of hands-on and real-life experiences, children have opportunities to learn, explore and build on their knowledge.  By the end of the year, students will demonstrate an understanding of the following concepts:

Number and Operations

  • rote count through 20
  • identify more or less by sight
  • count sets of numbers with 1:1 (match to 20)


  • consistently sort objects in more than one way
  • copy, recognize and create different patterns composed of color, shape and size


  • name and recognize basic shapes (i.e., circle, triangle, square, rectangle, oval, diamond)
  • label shapes used to create structures


  • identify measures of quantity (i.e. small, large, short, tall, heavy, light)
  • sequence daily schedule

Data Analysis

  • identify important data from pictorial graphs
  • given a template, graph data

Problem Solving

  • understand what problem is asking and develop plan to solve it
  • follow plan to completion
  • explain how an answer was obtained

You’re invited to our Fall Open House!

Behind our red doors, New City students engage in hands-on, experiential learning, develop lasting friendships within a diverse group of peers, play hard, and dream big. Join us at our Fall Open House on Saturday, November 10, to learn more about our school. We promise New City School is unlike anywhere you’ve been before! RSVP by visiting www.newcityschool.org/oh

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