Marymount of Santa Barbara
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LOWER SCHOOL ACADEMICS
At Marymount, the Lower School supports the whole child and shares their journey as they grow in all areas: social, emotional, physical, and cognitive. They will be introduced to an exciting world of learning through a diverse array of subject areas taught by a dedicated, professional faculty that knows how to inspire a thirst for knowledge and a growth mindset in every child.
Our engaging, innovative and hands-on curriculum encourages students to become lifelong learners and leaders among their peers. We foster critical thinking skills, collaboration, creativity, and communication and build skill sets so that our students meet challenges with self-confidence and a positive approach.
All Lower School teachers are trained in the Responsive Classroom approach to building classroom community. Our school values of honesty, enthusiasm, altruism, respect, and teamwork are instilled in our youngest students through our school based HEART program. We believe that there is a strong link between academic success and social emotional learning. The Responsive Classroom approach allows students to access a high quality education built upon a foundation of a safe and joyful learning community. Our teachers engage in daily routines like daily greeting, morning meeting, meta moments, and conflict resolution.
Research-based literacy and math curricula
A 1:10 teacher student ratio in Grades K-2 and a 1:12 teacher to student ratio in Grades 3-5
A full-time Learning Specialist helps to provide differentiated instruction, accommodations and modifications.
A full-time Math/Science Specialist for Grades 3-5
Character education through community service, as well as the option of the Kaleidoscope Program on world religions or Catholic studies
Media Literacy, Spanish, Art, Music, and Physical Education classes beginning in Junior Kindergarten
Swimming Program for Grades 1-5 as part of our Physical Education Program
A multitude of opportunities for performances throughout the year
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
Research-based literacy and math curricula A 1:10 teacher student ratio in Grades K-2 and a 1:12 teacher to student ratio in Grades 3-5 A full-time Learning Specialist helps to provide differentiated instruction, accommodations and modifications. A full-time Math/Science Specialist for Grades 3-5 Character education through community service, as well as the option of the Kaleidoscope Program on world religions or Catholic studies Media Literacy, Spanish, Art, Music, and Physical Education classes beginning in Junior Kindergarten Swimming Program for Grades 1-5 as part of our Physical Education Program A multitude of opportunities for performances throughout the year
Reflective of the best practices in early childhood education, Marymount’s Kindergarten through 2nd grade provides your child with a warm and welcoming environment. He or she will be immersed in engaging, hands-on experiences that promote intellectual, social, and physical growth. The social and emotional aspect of each child is intentionally nourished through student-centered lessons and practices integrated into the broader curriculum. This is also when your child will begin the process of developing into a responsible member of the community. All of this happens in a variety of settings from individual instruction to small group lessons. Of course, we also make sure that there is some unstructured time during the day just to socialize, develop lifelong friendships and be creative.
During these foundational years your child will discover an inviting new world of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Our literacy program is a blend of phonemic awareness and phonics instruction using the Imagine It! program and the reading and writing workshop approach found in the Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study. He or she will learn that letters are linked to sounds, that those sounds form words and words can form sentences. In addition, your child will read, listen to, and discuss a wealth of children’s literature including folktales, fables, picture books, informational texts and novels. These engaging mentor texts provide your child with examples of a rich vocabulary and a focus on specific comprehension strategies while promoting an enthusiastic love of reading.
Your child will begin to learn about phonics in a structured, sequential manner. He or she will also begin to recognize more and more words, gaining skill and confidence as a beginning reader and writer. The reading and writing workshop approach allows students to develop as readers and writers at their unique developmental level. Through teacher student conferences, teachers will address each child’s learning goals and progress. Don’t be surprised if by the 2nd grade, your child is proudly writing narratives, informational and persuasive pieces with ease and confidence.
Mathematics instruction in Kindergarten through 2nd grade focuses on gaining a firm foundation in number sense and numeration. The Singapore Math program guides students towards mastery in a variety of concepts. The general focus is on mastering important concepts rather than understanding many concepts only at a superficial level. The goal is for students to understand the material at a deeper level. Concepts in Singapore Math are taught in a concrete to pictorial to abstract sequence. Students in K-2nd grade are encouraged to use manipulatives and pictures before fully moving to the abstract phase. Hands-on manipulatives are used to demonstrate the concept, then students use and create pictorial representations.
From your child’s very first week of Kindergarten, activities in math (such as counting, patterning, graphing, and sorting) will be practiced daily. These hands-on math experiences support your child’s gradual transition from concrete to abstract thinking. A wide variety of classroom materials will help to support your child’s grasp of abstract ideas while reinforcing previously learned skills. Marymount’s program will enable your child to explore and grow in his or her understanding of numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems. Repetition and review will provide your child with a firm foundation in place value, addition and subtraction, early concepts of multiplication and division, geometric shapes, measurement, data collection, and problem solving.
The Kindergarten through 2nd grade science curriculum encourages students to be inquirers, explorers, problem solvers and critical thinkers. Students begin their science explorations in Kindergarten focusing on animal and plant life cycles. They study the physical properties of objects and water through hands on experimentation. The Kindergarten earth sciences program focuses on identifying common landforms and ways to conserve our natural resources. The science curriculum is extended in first grade as students study the different classifications of animals and plants and how animals adapt to their habitats. In the physical sciences, students study the different states of matter as well as the water cycle. In 2nd grade, students integrate life, physical and earth science in their study of the Sandy Shore ecosystem. 2nd graders also participate in design thinking challenges and engineering challenges throughout the school year.
The social studies curriculum is taught through an integrated approach in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Starting in Kindergarten, students begin to understand that history relates to events, people and places of other times. They recognize national and state symbols and icons and engage in the study of maps and how maps identify our sense of place. In first grade students engage in learning about our world expanding their knowledge to the local and global community. The first grade year culminates in a study of “then and now” with a field trip to a local one room school house. 2nd graders engage in an in depth design thinking challenge that focuses on how our food gets from farm to table. Family history projects and local history studies complete the social studies curriculum in 2nd grade. Whenever possible, all science and social studies units are supported by local field trips to allow students first hand knowledge of their environment and their history.
Throughout a Marymount education, your child will be individually appreciated as he or she matures as a young learner. With small classes and a variety of resources, our program will suit your child’s unique needs, talents, and abilities.
3rd Through 5th Grade
In 3rd through 5th grade, your child’s reading, writing and math skills will become increasingly refined as he or she becomes a more independent learner. Marymount prides itself on being a school that celebrates the many unique and varied ways in which our children learn. A Science and Math Specialist provides exciting opportunities to apply logic and investigative skills to the world of numbers and nature. A variety of teaching methods enable your child to become a creative thinker, problem solver, and positive member of the community.
3rd through 5th graders enjoy a blended approach to literacy. Teachers experienced in a wealth of reading and writing instructional strategies guide students through units of study that meet students’ individual needs. The Wordly Wise program exposes students to a rich vocabulary. Teachers engage students in reading a variety of grade level appropriate novels. In addition, students are exposed to information and persuasive texts. Through the writing workshop approach, students write a variety of genres including narratives, information and persuasive writing. By the end of 5th grade, every child treasures a portfolio of writing pieces, reviewing and reflecting on their growth in writing throughout their Marymount journey. Lastly, students have a variety of opportunities to engage in public speaking and performances to enhance their listening and speaking skills.
The Singapore Math program continues to guide students towards mastery in 3rd through 5th grade. Number sense, place value, calculations, operations, puzzles, word problems, problem solving, visuals, relationships—these are all familiar parts of math. Singapore Math revolves around several key number‐ sense strategies: building number sense through part‐whole thinking; understanding place value; breaking numbers into decomposed parts or friendlier numbers, ones that are easier to work with in the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). When it comes to word problems, the Singapore Math program relies on model drawing, which uses units to visually represent a word problem. Students learn to visualize what a word problem is saying so they can understand the meaning and thus how to solve the problem.
Mental math is also a key aspect of Singapore Math. Your child will still need to commit basic facts to memory, but mental math will teach him or her to do calculations using proven strategies that don’t require pencil and paper. Concepts in Singapore Math are taught in a concrete to pictorial to abstract sequence. Students are encouraged to use manipulatives and pictures before fully moving to the abstract phase. Hands-on manipulatives are used to demonstrate the concept, then students use and create pictorial representations.
Singapore Math provides students with new vocabulary and numerous strategies that enable all students to learn mathematics to mastery. The general focus is on mastering important concepts at a deeper level rather than understanding many concepts only at a superficial level.
Students in 3rd - 5th grades benefit from instruction and class activities designed by our Science Specialist. During the school year, Lower School students have access to our newly opened Center for Creative Design and Engineering where they can engage in hands on learning and design thinking challenges. Students engage in a variety of STEM related investigations spanning physical, earth/space and life sciences, engineering and technology. Grade 3 students study the predictable patterns of celestial objects, earth’s waters, energy and simple machines. Grade 4 students study the properties of matter, electricity and magnetism, geology and the effects of weathering and erosion, and the interdependence of living organisms in an environment. Grade 5 students study the physical properties of matter at a deeper level by engaging in hands on experimentation and observation, atoms and the periodic table, astronomy, and the human body.
The Grade 3-5 social studies curriculum allows students to engage in learning about our local community, Native Americans, an in depth study of California and culminating with US History with an emphasis on the making of a new nation. Students engage in role playing, simulations, discussions and long term projects to show their learning of the content. Whenever possible, social studies learning is enriched by local field trips to the SB Mission, Casa de la Guerra, and the Reagan Library to name a few. Students are encouraged to take on multiple perspectives and to view our history as knowledge that informs the future.
Explorations through technology, simulations, discussions, drama, and speech encourage interest in our world. Exciting field trips to local cultural and historical sites such as symphony concerts, the art and natural history museums, the Presidio and Casa de la Guerra, the botanic gardens, the Santa Barbara Mission, the UCSB Chemistry Lab and the Reagan Library enhance and enrich your child’s academic class work. Overnight trips begin in 4th grade with an overnight on a Tall Ship, and culminate in 5th grade with Astro Camp, an exciting science camp that explores the mysteries of our universe.
By fostering respect and accountability for academic achievement, we inspire your child to reach his or her highest potential. By accepting responsibility for personal actions, valuing the dignity of others, and working to better the school community, your child will be ensured of a safe and positive learning environment.
2130 Mission Ridge Road | Santa Barbara, CA 93103
T. 805-569-1811 T. 805-569-0573
Lower School Campus | 2130 Mission Ridge Road | Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Middle School Campus | 911 Tremonto Road | Santa Barbara, CA 93103