University Schools

Elementary Curriculum

The elementary curriculum and instruction focuses on basic skills taught in conjunction with integrated, interdisciplinary units. The student experience is enhanced at all elementary grade levels with coursework in Spanish, art, music, physical education, library technology, and sign language.

Core Subjects

Reading:

We believe that all students have the right to quality literacy education. We follow an authentic and student-centered approach to reading and writing acquisition. Our philosophy believes that students are best served when provided with ample amounts of time and high quality, interesting texts. Our aim is to grow our students by providing a basis for curiosity and joy in the literacy classroom.

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

Reading:

  • Wonders Reading Curriculum offered by McGraw-Hill
  • Phonics-based reading instruction
  • Literacy centers to allow for movement and grouping
  • Guided reading groups

Writing:

  • Spelling strategies
  • Journal writing
  • Units of writing that include: persuasive; narrative and informational texts

3rd Grade through 5th Grade

Reading:

  • Reader-centered approach with a Reading Workshop Model
  • Thinking Strategies such as:
    • Phonemic awareness—the knowledge and manipulation of sounds in spoken words
    • Phonics—the relationship between written and spoken letters and sounds
    • Reading fluency, including oral reading skills—the ability to read with accuracy and with appropriate rate, expression, and phrasing
    • Vocabulary development—the knowledge of words, definitions, and context
    • Reading comprehension strategies—the understanding of meaning in text
    • Authentic texts
    • Rich, text-based discussion with collaborative elements

Writing:

  • Inquiry-based Writer's Workshop
  • Units of writing that include: persuasive; narrative and informational texts
  • Self-selected writing projects that promote student independence

Math:

We utilize Stepping Stones, a math program that is an innovative new program from ORIGO Education that combines rigorous problem-solving activities and interactive digital games with engaging print materials to enhance students' thinking and reasoning skills.

Social Studies and Science:

University Schools instructs students in programs developed to incorporate units of study to meet the Common Core State Standards. We also schedule field trips to enhance units of study.

Handwriting and Spelling:

We utilize various spelling strategies and the Universal Handwriting Program to help students develop these critical language skills.

Specials:

We offer our elementary students courses in art, physical education, music, sign language, library technology, and Spanish following the Colorado State Standards. In addition, US students have the opportunity to participate in the following programs:

  • Art Club
  • Battle of the Books
  • Chess Club
  • Homework Help
  • K-Kids
  • Outdoor Club
  • Running Club
  • Sign Club
  • Ukulele Club
  • Young Chautauqua
  • Zoo Club