Academics

Academic Programs at Daniel Webster

Dual Immersion

The goal  of our Dual Language Immersion Program is for students to develop high levels of language proficiency and literacy in both program languages while demonstrating high levels of academic achievement, and  developing an appreciation for and an understanding of diverse cultures. We do this by academic content in both languages that is aligned with the Common Core grade level standards.  We begin with instruction in Kindergarten that is 80% in Spanish and 20% in English and  gradually switch so that by  4th and 5th grade classes are 50/50 in both languages. 

 

Language Arts

We use a student-centered literacy model that empowers students to use language and literacy as a tool to express themselves, learn about others, and create change.  Our program is centered around the Teachers College Reading/Writer Workshop Model.  Below are the key learnings for each grade level. You can go to  SFUSD Elementary Language Arts Curriculum Page for more information.

Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Learning new language skills, particularly how to read, is a hallmark of kindergarten and grade 1. Students learn about the alphabet and its role in reading. They learn how to listen carefully to the sounds inside words: to play with those sounds, to rhyme. They learn to match words with beginning sounds, blend sounds into words, and use a whole range of word analysis skills. Lots of practice with all these foundational skills are potent steps toward their becoming joyful and competent readers. Through regular opportunities to think, talk, and write about rich stories and other read-aloud books, students’ vocabulary and knowledge about how the world works grow exponentially. They learn to confer with their peers about topics and texts being studied by responding to the comments of others, asking questions to clear up confusions, and following rules for discussions. Students also begin to experiment with writing and are encouraged to use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing letters to share information, ideas, and feelings. 

2nd/3rd Grade

Students in grades 2 and 3 become more independent readers and writers. These are pivotal years for students; automating the patterns they learned in K and 1 so they read with fluency and confidence will serve as a foundation for the reading demands in later grades. Students continue to learn and practice rules for matching sounds to letters that make up words, and they learn new concepts—such as words that share the same root (e.g., add and additional)—that help them figure out the meanings of new words. They also come to appreciate that some words and phrases have meanings that are not literal (e.g., a piece of cake, hang in there). Recognizing and understanding words help students read increasingly challenging stories and books and continue to build knowledge about the world. In addition to reading stories, students spend time with books or articles on subjects such as science, history, and the arts. Writing becomes an exciting way for students to use newly learned words and phrases to express ideas. They are writing clear sentences and paragraphs on a range of topics, drawing on an expanding vocabulary. They also become more confident speakers and listeners as they learn to paraphrase, clarify, explain, and report on information they hear.

4th /5th Grade

Building the stamina and skills to read widely and deeply from a range of challenging fiction, informational texts, and other materials is fundamental to grades 4 and 5. Building knowledge about subjects through informal research projects and responding analytically to literary and informational sources in history, science, and the arts are key to students’ continuing success. Through wide reading on a topic and attention to vocabulary, students learn variations in word meanings: synonyms, antonyms, idioms, and words with more than one meaning. Students solidify fundamental language skills as they use roots, prefixes, or suffixes to analyze the meanings of complex words. Students also make essential strides in their ability to explain plainly and in detail what books say—both explicitly and what is implied from its details. By devoting significant time and effort to producing numerous written pieces over short and extended time frames throughout the year, students are writing effective summaries, book reports, essays, and descriptions of characters or events.

 

Math 

Our Math program centers on the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.  Our teachers design the classroom experiences so that students have opportunities for discourse, to interact meaningfully with their peers, and to engage in Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs). All students experience the scope of mathematics for their grade by the end of the year.There is a balance of conceptual, procedural, and application within units. Conceptual understanding precedes procedures and algorithms.  Below are the key learnings for each grade level.  You can go to the SFUSD Elementary Math Curriculum Page for more information.

 

Kindergarten

  1. representing, relating, and operating on whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; and
  2. describing shapes and space.

 

1st Grade

  1. developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20;
  2. developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones;
  3. developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and
  4. reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

 

2nd Grade

  1. extending understanding of base-10 notation;
  2. building fluency with addition and subtraction;
  3. using standard units of measure; and
  4. describing and analyzing shapes.

 

 3rd Grade

  1. developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100;
  2. developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1);
  3. developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and
  4. describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes

 

4th Grade 

  1. developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends;
  2. developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition, and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers;
  3. understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

 

5th Grade

  1. developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions);
  2. extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and
  3. developing understanding of volume.

 

Science 

Our science instruction centers on physical,earth and life science.  We use the NGSS(National Generation Science Standards) aligned Amplify Program to provide students with hands-on experiential learning of the key concepts.  In each  unit students figure out a phenomenon by asking questions, gathering evidence and coming up with an explanation of how the phenomenon works  There is also a strong literacy emphasis  where students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and write about what they have learned.  You can go to the SFUSD Elementary Science Curriculum Page for more information.

 

Social Studies

Our History/Studies instruction centers on students developing as historians and social scientists.  Our teachers create lessons that use a variety of visual, oral and written resources that provide students with the opportunity to explore Geography, History and Civics.

 

This page was last updated on September 23, 2022