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Curriculum Details

Early Learning Curriculum Details

While the skills and activities listed below appear as a linear progression, in real life at BMS, much of what our students learn takes place in a spiral progression of revisiting and building on previous learning. In this model, students deepen their understanding of subjects by learning to approach knowledge, skills, and concepts gained in one experience with new eyes and open minds; students gain a fresh perspective and deeper understanding from each new experience, whether this is with previously explored material or completely new material. 

Students typically remain in each classroom for two years, so the topics and skills listed below are not addressed yearly, but will be addressed at some point during a student’s time in each class. Topics and skills are always taught through the lens of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP), which requires teachers to consider: 1) what is known about child development for a given age group, 2) what is individually appropriate for a student, and 3) what is culturally important in a child’s family, classroom, school, and community.

Language Arts

Speaking and Listening Skills

  • Talks easily with other children
  • Participates in group discussions
  • Uses words clearly to convey ideas and questions


  • Demonstrates an interest in books and print
  • Makes inferences, makes predictions, and asks questions about stories
  • Recognizes letters of the alphabet
  • Can differentiate between a word and a letter
  • Can differentiate between a sentence and a story
  • Discriminates between same/different sounds
  • Demonstrates knowledge of letter sounds
  • Identifies and produces rhymes
  • Demonstrates one-to-one matching of spoken word to printed word
  • Can identify parts of a book (title, author, etc.)
  • Holds books correctly and turns pages in proper sequence
  • Memorizes and “reads” favorite books
  • Understands literary language
  • Distinguishes between fiction and nonfiction texts
  • Can identify sequence of events in text
  • Can connect text to experience
  • Uses picture cues
  • Uses contextual cues (reading about farms and predicting the word farm from “f”)
  • Uses structural cues (noticing patterns in the way sentences are structured)
  • Uses beginning sound to decode words
  • Recognizes basic sight words


  • Makes representational drawings
  • Produces recognizable letters from imitation or memory
  • Writes own name
  • Demonstrates the concept of a word     
  • Uses a functional pencil grip
  • Uses legible handwriting
  • Uses a capital letter to write the word I and the first letter in own name
  • Uses letter approximations for sounds in words
  • Demonstrates an interest in using writing for a purpose (lists, letters, signs)
  • Uses writing to label/describe
  • Uses environmental print for spelling (word wall, message, schedule, charts, books)
  • Internalizes and applies information about spelling patterns
  • Is beginning to develop an understanding that conventions control writing
  • Demonstrates a sense of story
  • Integrates new vocabulary into own speech and stories
  • Writes 1-2 sentences in response to literature and events


Problem Solving

  • Uses language, pictorial representation, or manipulatives to problem solve
  • Classifies objects by similarities and differences
  • Demonstrates planning skills
  • Creates and solves problems
  • Uses trial and error and the process of elimination to solve problems
  • Demonstrates ability to work with a group in solving problems
  • Uses problem-solving strategies in everyday work

Number Properties

  • Counts to 30 in correct sequence
  • Recognizes numbers 1-10
  • Recognizes numbers 10-30
  • Produces recognizable numerals from imitation or memory
  • Can create, combine, and count sets up to 10
  • Uses counting for a variety of purposes
  • Uses ordinals (1st-10th)
  • Estimates quantities fewer than or equal to 10


  • Orders quantities by length and height
  • Uses non-standard units to measure length and height
  • Demonstrates an expanding awareness of time and the calendar


  • Recognizes and names basic 2-dimensional shapes
  • Models and uses directional and positional vocabulary
  • Can complete simple visual spatial tasks and puzzles

Data Analysis and Probability

  • Sorts and classifies objects according to their attributes
  • Represents data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs
  • Makes observations and predictions from data on graphs

Basic Properties of Functions and Algebra

  • Identifies patterns
  • Creates patterns
  • Extends patterns


Science as Inquiry

  • Shows an interest in exploring environments and materials
  • Asks questions about objects, organisms and events
  • Observes and states discoveries
  • Identifies a simple problem and proposes a solution

Science in Personal/Social Perspectives

  • Shows awareness of personal safety/security/hygiene
  • Shows increased awareness of cause-and-effect relationships

Physical Science

  • Understands the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object to analyze a design solution.

Life Science

  • Is developing an understanding of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive and the relationship between their needs and where they live

Earth/Space Science

  • Is developing an understanding of patterns and variations in local weather and the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

Social Studies


  • Demonstrates appropriate intercultural competencies within school and broader community
  • Demonstrates appropriate map skills
  • Demonstrates understanding of global and U.S. geography
  • Demonstrates appropriate understanding of local and U.S. history
  • Uses a variety of appropriate tools for finding and conveying information
  • Practices appropriate civic discussion and democratic processes
  • Demonstrates age-appropriate understanding of economic concepts

Possible Social Studies Themes

  • Our neighborhood, our community, our school (interdependence)
  • Community institutions (bank, newspaper, radio)
  • Long ago or far away
  • Cultural and racial diversity

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