What does learning look like at the elementary level at Village?
What are our core beliefs on how kids learn?
At The Village Elementary School in Houston, Texas, we believe in educating the whole child. Students are most receptive to learning when they feel safe, secure, and happy. Because of this, we weave social and emotional learning into our academic and elective classes.
We want students to be engaged in hands-on learning prompted by their own curiosity and interests. Therefore, we base our curriculum around project-based learning. This allows inquiry-based instruction, collaboration, and engagement to naturally flow through the educational day. Lessons, assignments, and assessments are designed for and adjusted to each child’s level and needs.
In kindergarten through 2nd grade, your child establishes a firm foundation in reading, phonics, spelling, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition to these core subjects, instruction in art, music, technology integration, Spanish and French languages, and physical education all enhance your child’s learning experience.
Each child is individually supported in Village’s learning community with relationships and resources that foster confidence, problem solving, creativity and a love of learning.
In Grades 3 and 4, your child receives instruction that provides the best preparation for their continued learning and growth. This includes departmentalizing the 3rd and 4th grade classes, which are taught by specialized teachers.
The following teaching areas are important components of our elementary school curriculum:
English Language Arts
Phonics training begins in kindergarten and expands during each academic year, with an emphasis on building vocabulary, reading comprehension, analysis, and other higher-order thinking skills. In upper elementary school, reading comprehension and literary analysis are emphasized using poetry, short stories, fiction, and nonfiction.
Your child is encouraged to practice their reading skills across the academic disciplines. Their learnings are reinforced in our science and social studies classrooms, where students are encouraged to analyze, deduce, evaluate, formulate opinions, and make connections.The reading/writing connection is emphasized, and the themes used in reading tasks are also covered in writing assignments, which give students the opportunity to practice writing in different ways.
Our learners engage with writing through the workshop method, in which they're encouraged to write and think for themselves. Students learn the mechanics of writing—spelling, grammar, handwriting, and organization—as an integral part of both verbal and written communications. After being exposed to various writing styles through literary connections and classroom workshops, Village students take written pieces from draft to publication.
Our mathematics instruction is designed to create a clear understanding of the mechanics of computation through the use of manipulatives to make concepts concrete. Critical thinking skills are an integral part of the process. We emphasize the importance of mathematics by focusing on problem solving and the development of higher-order critical thinking skills, through real world application.
Our science program is based around an integrated study of life science, Earth science and physical science. Students participate in a variety of hands-on labs and study topics in depth through project-based learning units, which connect science lab-based experiences with classroom instruction.
Students learn world, American, and Texas history, geography and mapping skills. Much of the focus in social studies is on hands-on activities and projects, films, video and field trips. Map-making techniques are integrated with physical and political geography, with the aim of helping students understand themselves and others in the world around them.
Spanish and French
Our formal instruction provides students with the tools necessary to understand and converse in a second language.
We teach art appreciation alongside practical skills, such as lettering, poster making, balance, and design. Students are encouraged to examine their surroundings and notice differences, as well as to learn shading, drawing and perspective.
Younger Village students receive instruction in percussion, vocal music, and violin, and have the opportunity to pursue musical interests through band, choir or orchestra. Band and orchestra are offered at both the beginner and advanced levels.
Students advance their technology skills in by collaborating through Google Classroom while also learning about digital citizenship and computer science. Students celebrate Day of Code by spending time throughout the week focusing on computer programming using a variety of online tools to sharpen critical thinking skills.
Physical education through daily exercise, friendly competition, and student camaraderie are all important parts of the overall growth of our Village learners. Students are educated and evaluated on skill development through fun and thoughtful activities and games. Each sports unit is completed with an exciting school-wide tournament, which encourages healthy competition.