Hours: 8:45-2:45 (approximately)

Our 5s, K-1 is a community of enthusiastic learners and the oldest children in the school.

Orientation Process

New families visit with their children in the spring. On Visiting Day, children come after school in a small group to play with new friends and teachers so they can get to know Elmwood and our class. In the fall, children return for Orientation Day, when they play again with teachers and a small group of classmates for a short period time. Later in the week school starts, with all our daily routines in place.



For over thirty years Elmwood has offered a transitional pre-kindergarten “Fives” class for children born late in the year. This class is a mix of Elmwood children and new to Elmwood children.  It is designed to give them another year to grow, learn, and play together. Aside from developing an excellent academic foundation, children build a strong sense of interdependence, joy, exploration, and belief in their own abilities.

They work on Literacy, Math, and Thinking Skills in small, differentiated learning groups. Science, Sports, Music, Drama, and Art experiences are a part of their regular curriculum. Choice Time is a favorite part of each day, where children may play board games, experiment at the light table, build, paint, pretend in the dramatic play area, or work on a creative project.  The class plays outside morning and afternoon. 


Kindergarten-First Grade

Our Kindergarten-First Grade class is a mixed grade class composed of Elmwood children and new to Elmwood children. Interdisciplinary projects, cooperative play, and collaborative problem solving are essential elements of our program. Math, Literacy, Science and Thinking Skills are all taught in accordance with New York State early education standards. Children have regular opportunities to build speaking and listening skills, through planned experiences where they share ideas with a partner, present to a small group, and put on a class play. During Playground Time and Choice Time, children build mature play skills, deep relationships, and a strong sense of community.  Sports, Music, Drama, Science, and Art experiences are a part of their regular curriculum. We strive to know each child individually and support their emotional, intellectual, and social growth. We partner with parents, helping them understand their child’s progress and next areas of development. 

A Typical Day


Arrival is friendly, calm and comfortable. Friends greet one another and begin a self-chosen activity like playing a board game, drawing, or looking at books.


Children lead much of our morning meeting, taking increasing ownership throughout the year. We sing hello, work with the calendar, count the days in school, and engage in an interactive writing of our morning message to find out about our day. We have time for games and songs, as well as opportunities for friends to talk and share ideas centered around a daily theme like Math Monday, Tell Me About it Tuesday, Would You Rather Wednesday, Thumbs Up Thursday, and Figure It Out Friday. 


Children are  part of a small, differentiated group and engage in explicit instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and writing. Handwriting is practiced daily with the Learning Without Tears program. 

Lessons are designed with scaffolded support, helping children feel successful and independent. Small groups allow children ample opportunity to share ideas and receive teacher feedback. Children may also engage in literacy centers, where they work with a partner to practice skills.

In Kindergarten and First Grade, children read with a teacher, 1:1, or in a differentiated small group. They engage in orthographic word mapping, read decodable and irregular high frequency words, practice dictation, and work with decodable texts. Handwriting is practiced daily through the Learning Without Tears program.


The Fives follow the Building Blocks Math curriculum, enhanced with fun games and activities. Small group and partner work allow children to share their math thinking. Number sense is strengthened using a variety of tools such as Unifix cubes, rekenreks, and number lines.

Our Kindergarten and First Grade use Eureka Math and Problem of the Day, which engages children in thinking about a story problem and uses their math intuition to guide the lesson at the end. Our First Grade also enjoys the rich discussions we have during Number Talks and Problem of the Day.


We use the Amplify Science curriculum, which engages children in relevant, real-world problems. Students collaborate with peers, develop models and explanations, and arrive at solutions. They may investigate science phenomena like light and shadows, sound, animal and plant defenses, and so on. Our Science program is further enriched by our own standards-based science curriculum developed and refined over many years.

Social Studies

Social Studies gives children a sense of their place in a community and expands outward from there. In the Fives, children explore social studies concepts through play, opening a grocery store, and taking on different roles, for example. In Kindergarten they have frequent opportunities to read and write informational texts, to collaborate on group projects, and to present knowledge. Reading about the post office, for example, provides children with information they use to set up their own post office. Favorites in First Grade, include reading and writing lots of biographies and opening a “First Grade Economy” in the spring, where children make, sell, and buy goods from one another at weekly market days.


We enjoy snack “picnic style”. It’s time to come together and enjoy the company of friends and teachers.


We generally play outside twice a day, making our way to all the playgrounds throughout the week. We have free play time as well as opportunities to play Elmwood games. Games are fun and social, build athletic skill, and develop group cohesion.  

Read Aloud

We enjoy reading books across many genres. Children have frequent opportunities to share their thinking and understanding through turn and talks with a partner and whole group discussions before, during, and after reading. In Kindergarten and First Grade, read alouds often integrate science and social studies content related to current learning projects.

Choice Time

Children move freely about our choice time rooms, deciding where they want to play. Available daily are blocks, dramatic play, painting, play dough, artistic projects, the light table, card games, board games, Legos, puzzles, and sand or water play.   

Closing Circle

We end our day just as we started it…all together! We may reflect on our day together, share examples of how we were good friends, and end by singing our goodbye song.


Music, Drama, Art, Science, and Sports are all regular highlights in our week!

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