Boy works in the glen

 

Growing Lifelong Learners Since 1972

Pond Program (Ages 7–9)

Our mixed-age 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms are called the Pond. We typically refer to Pond students as "Ponders" and as "olders" or "youngers."

Child Development Ages 7 to 9

  • Students are becoming increasingly independent and self-aware.
  • They are moving from concrete to abstract thinking.
  • Students benefit from support and guidance in their social, emotional, and academic growth.

We have separated these disciplines here, but within the classroom curriculum, they are intricately entwined. See the curriculum guide (.pdf) for more information.

Reading

We use a balanced approach to literacy instruction, which includes

  • Participating in regular one-on-one reading conferences with teachers
  • Identifying and choosing “just right” books
  • Gathering as a whole group for regular read-alouds
  • Identifying and exploring different genres of literature

Writing

We emphasize writing as a means of communication with a program that includes

  • Practicing what authors and illustrators do by making our own books, many of which are added to the library collection
  • Keeping a writer's notebook for writing ideas, free writing, and responses to literature
  • Sharing writing with peers and teachers
  • Studying word patterns, meanings, and spelling
  • Analyzing and practicing writing in a variety of literary genres and styles, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry, letters, journal writing, and free write
  • Examining the differences between fiction and non-fiction and discerning when a writer may want to use one or the other
  • Regular handwriting instruction and practice
  • Writing to convey knowledge and learning

Math

We use a balanced approach to math, which includes Cognitively Guided Instruction, Investigations, and integrated, thematic math. Pond students do the following:

  • Learn math concepts including arithmetic, measurement, data, geometry, and fractions.
  • Solve unit-related story problems; communicate thought process, record, and share strategies.
  • Pursue personal math interests and goals with teacher guidance and support.

Social Studies

We explore the world we live in. Through literature, discussions, and problem-solving activities students

  • Explore people, culture, history, geography, social awareness, and service learning
  • Use role playing and simulations to bring ideas and concepts to life
  • Build and sustain classroom and Pond learning communities

Science

We investigate the world around us through many different scientific lenses as students:

  • Develop skills using the scientific method by questioning, observing, hypothesizing, and reflecting.
  • Use hands-on demonstrations, models, and experiments to make ideas concrete.
  • Use resources and research to deepen understanding.

All-School Classes

All-school classes emphasize a particular curricular area. When possible, activities are related to themes and projects in the level classrooms.

Library

We include library time in our programming to complement our units of study and enrich our literary program by

  • Learning to navigate the library "neighborhoods" with ease, finding and borrowing a variety of books each week
  • Having a voice in the selection of new books purchased for the Wingra Library via regular "Lunch in the Library" sessions
  • Spending self-directed time in the library

Spanish

We have the following goals for Pond students in our Spanish program:

  • Explore Spanish vocabulary in contextualized units.
  • Learn body parts in Spanish.
  • Learn to communicate using short, functional phrases in Spanish.
  • Become comfortable with speaking Spanish.

Physical Education

Our physical education program for Pond students includes the following activities:

  • Focus on play, and learn games for everyday life.
  • Learn strategies for resolving conflict during games.
  • Play traditional (soccer) and non-traditional sports (scooter hockey).
  • Develop athletic skills such as catching and throwing.
  • Learn about heart rates.
  • Introduce rope jumping and Jump Rope for Heart.
  • Teach sequencing through popular dances.

Arts

We value the arts at Wingra and know how important they are to providing a well-rounded education for children of all ages.

Visual Arts

Our visual art program includes the following:

  • Exploration and experimentation with art elements and principles applied in a variety of media (including drawing, painting, ceramics, paper mâché, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media)
  • Learning art vocabulary, concepts, and materials through units and within cultural contexts
  • Studio time to follow self-chosen collaborative projects

Music

Our music program includes the following:

  • Learn to play the recorder and practice control over the instrument.
  • Read and write in traditional music notation.
  • Explore music of various cultures through listening, playing, and creating music.
  • Develop vocal techniques and experience the joy of group singing in a mixed-aged choir.

Technology

Our tech program includes the following:

  • Building basic understanding of computer skills.
  • Exploring connections between technology and classroom units.

Recent Thematic Units

Thematic units vary each year based on student interests and current events. We alternate our emphasis between social studies and the sciences.

Sample Units:

  • Movement
  • Titanic
  • Hawaii
  • Human Body
  • Greek Mythology
  • Bees
  • Me + You = Us

Traditions

The Pond has several annual traditions that help create a close community:

  • Ponders Wander (two days of field trips)
  • Independent Projects
  • Community Building
  • And Many More!