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Curriculum

The Rossman classrooms are alive with daily exploration, experimentation, creativity and skill-building experiences. The well-defined Rossman curriculum, linked with our commitment to teaching kindness, honesty, respect and responsibility, allows us to lay a notably strong academic foundation for our students.

Our Junior Kindergarten program is a play-based, developmentally appropriate exploration of the world around us, rooted in a rich, engaging and nurturing environment. The focus on discovery, high-level thinking, creative problem solving and observation lays the foundation for learning, which is then built upon throughout each grade level at Rossman School. Activities that seem like play are in fact well-planned methods for developing math, reading and social skills.

Read more about Junior Kindergarten on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Phonemic awareness | Handwriting Without Tears handwriting program | Cooperative books | Introduction to letter sounds | Writing Center | Listening Center | Library Corner | Journals

Math Pattern | Sort and Classify | One-to-one correspondence | Color and shape | Number recognition | Introduction to number formation | Sequencing and ordinals | Exposure to “reading” number sentences | Math Centers

Science Conservation curriculum used in conjunction with the Pollnow Nature Trail

Social Studies Maps and globes locate vacation spots and places in books read to the class | Discussing and celebrating holidays of various cultures

Art Appreciation Monthly introduction to a famous artist with corresponding art activity

Public Speaking Cooking | Fun with Junior, a stuffed animal representing an animal adopted by the class from the St. Louis Zoo with a diary | Museum Day | Mystery Baby | Mystery Person

Specialty subjects taught by other educators
Spanish — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Library — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Music — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Physical Education — 30 minutes daily

Here our five and six-year-olds, feeling quite grown up as “seniors,” will proudly point out they now have their own individual desks and are becoming “accomplished” readers, writers and mathematicians. They experience joy and freedom in a room created specifically for them. The Seniors will quickly show you the tunnel and slide that lead to a perfect place for letting imaginations soar – the loft.

Read more about Senior Kindergarten on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Correct pencil grip and letter formation | Phonics sounds and symbols | Sight Vocabulary | Journals | Big books | Literature including individual and group projects | Reading Groups | Reading and Writing Centers

Math Number word recognition | Sequencing | Number formation | Counting by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s | Addition and subtraction to 12 | Measurement by inches | Time by hour and half-hour | Patterning | Counting Coins | Math Centers

Science and Social Studies Units are integrated into the reading program and include: All about me | Family & friends | Seasons and weather | The five senses | Community helpers | Neighborhoods | Keeping fit/nutrition | Holiday celebrations | Animals | Vehicles and machines | Continent study | Ecology | Dinosaurs | Creeping, crawling creatures

Art Exposure to a variety of media, textures and materials on a daily basis in the homeroom

Specialty subjects taught by other educators
Art — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Spanish — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Library — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Music — 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Physical Education — 30 minutes daily

“Enthusiastic” is an understatement when describing our first graders’ approach to learning! Everything is interesting and everything is possible. In our light-filled spacious classroom, there is abundant room for children to move about, to work in clusters, to read quietly, to listen to a young writer read from the “Author’s Chair,” or to work one-on-one with a teacher.

Read more about first grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Phonics and chart activities with long and short vowels, 
irregular vowels, blends and digraphs 
| Literature sets with writing and comprehension activities
(reading journals) 
| Daily oral editing 
| Journal writing 
| Story writing | Mini report writing 
| Parts of speech

Math Solve number problems | Addition and subtraction facts to 20 | Introduction to fractions, geometry | Time – to quarter hour | Measurement 
| Problem solving | Journaling | Money

Social Studies Economics - read related books and materials, complete class 
projects including planning, working to earn money, buying 
and donating supplies to a local charity | Maps – continents, land forms, directions | Field trips | Multi-media presentations (computer and videos) | Saint Louis — read related books and materials, complete class projects including introducing a timeline of important events, identifying various landmarks and publishing a book on Saint Louis history and landmarks | Story writing

Specialty subjects taught by other educators
Art — 45 minutes, 2 times a week
Music — 30 minutes, 4 times a week
Spanish — 30 minutes, 4 times a week
Library — 45 minutes, 1 time a week
Physical Education — 30 minutes daily
Science — 45 minutes, 4 times a week

Children in this room proudly say, “We are growing up. We have more responsibilities. We even have Assignment Notebooks for our homework. And we are writing in cursive, too!” As serious as this sounds, the laughter and smiles that emanate from this room fully substantiate the philosophy that “learning is fun.” You will be astonished at how proficient and well-organized these seven- and eight-year olds are as they present their first projects, write papers and create maps.

Read more about second grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts In-class reading assignments and a variety of reading skills resources are used, including:

New Practice Readers 
| Building Basic Reading Skills – Inferencing, Main Idea & 
Details, and Sequence 
| Phonics Level C 
| Listen to Literature 1C | Grammar – Instruction and Practice for Grammar, Usage 
and Mechanics 
| Composition 
| Writing in complete sentences 
| Paragraph writing 
| Creative writing activities 
| Handwriting – Includes neatness and correct letter formation 
demonstrated by the students’ spelling work 
| Textbook: Zaner Bloser Handwriting 2 
| SRA

Literature Books: Russell Sprouts 
| Molly’s Pilgrim 
| Tornado 
| The Snow Walker 
| The Stories Julian Tells 
| Helen Keller

Math Numeration and Counting 
| Operations 
| Exploring Data
| Geometry 
| Measures and Reference Frames 
| Money

Social Studies Maps/Globes/Directions 
| Continents/focus on political and physical features, and 
cultures and history 
| Resources: True Books about all seven continents

Specialty subjects taught by other educators
Art – 45 minutes, 2 times a week
Library – 45 minutes, 1 time a week
Music – 30 minutes, 2 times a week
Physical Education – 30 minutes daily
Science – 45 minutes, 4 times a week
Spanish – 30 minutes, 2 times a week

The first grade in Upper School, this is a year of much anticipated transition for children. Although it is a year of many firsts, it builds on many things – skills in language arts and mathematics, habits of good study, verbal expression, critical thinking – all components essential to a strong educational foundation.

Read more about third grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Six Traits of Writing 
| Creative writing and structured writing lessons 
| Journal writing 

| Instructional reading emphasizing a variety of skills and 
comprehensive strategies 
| Supplementary reading using a variety of materials 
| Independent reading and reading aloud 
| Grammar – mostly taught in conjunction with writing | Writing mechanics and editing 
| Keyboarding 
| Spelling 
| Wordly Wise (vocabulary) 
| Handwriting

Literature Books: Gooney Bird Greene 
| The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane | Dear Mr. Henshaw 
| The Hundred Penny Box 
| The Castle in the Attic | mystery books for book clubs, including Boxcar Children and The Brixton Brothers

Math Numeration 
| Place values to 100 millions place 
| Estimating 
| Operations and relations 
| Addition, subtraction – multi digit with regrouping 
| Multiplication through 4 digit x 2 digit 
| Division – 1 digit divisors with remainders
 | Fractions, decimals 
| Problem solving and mental arithmetic 
| Data collection and analysis 
| Geometry 
| Measures and reference frames 
| Patterns, rules and functions 
| Probability 
| Money 
| Variety of instructional and learning strategies to 
explore these concepts

Specialty subjects taught 
by other educators
Art – 45 minutes, 2 times a week

Library – 45 minutes per week

Music – 45 minutes, 2 times a week

Spanish and Latin – 45 minutes, 2 times a week

Physical Education – 45 minutes daily

Science – 45 minutes, 3 times a week
Social Studies – 45 minutes, 3 times a week

Building on prior knowledge, our fourth graders are able to further explore their possibilities and find their place in the world. The curriculum allows students to apply knowledge to everyday subject matter while still establishing new concepts that will be built upon in future grades. With the completion of individual book projects and research projects, students not only reinforce their composition skills, but also discover the value and importance of historical figures that were able to make a difference in the world. With the proper guidance, our fourth graders are sure to make a difference in their own special ways!

Read more about fourth grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Grammar – Parts of speech, capitalization/punctuation skill 
practice | Composition – Process of writing, different forms of writing, 
e.g. research, narrative, summaries, character sketch 

| Reading – Literature (4 novels) with supplementary 
reading-materials (this may also take the form of a project) that reinforce comprehension skills and the literary elements of a story, e.g. plot, mood, theme, plus short novels that complement the social studies program | Wordly Wise (vocabulary)

Math Numbers, numeration and other relations 
| Measures and measurement 
| Coordinate systems and other references 
| Exploring data
| Geometry and spatial sense 
| Functions, patterns and sequences 
| Algebra and uses of variables 
| Problem solving and mathematical modeling

Specialty subjects taught 
by other educators
Art – 1 hour and 55 minutes per week

Library – 45 minutes per week

Music – 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Spanish and Latin – 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Physical Education – 45 minutes daily

Science – 45 minutes, 4 times a week
Social Studies – 45 minutes, 4 times a week

Our fifth graders enjoy a higher level of freedom in their class work. All activities and programs are geared to give the maturing child an increased sense of achievement and confidence. As the students move forward through the school year, they take on greater responsibility in school projects, programs and productions. They learn how to write and give speeches in front of their fellow classmates, which is important in building self-esteem and encouraging the “I can do it!” attitude that all Rossman students have. Further variety is offered with participation in field trips and by the exposure to leadership opportunities. Now that the prior grade levels have successfully instilled strong roots in our students, the Fifth Grade gives them the wings to soar!

Read more about fifth grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Literature – 5 books and short stories 
| Spelling 
| Reading comprehension 
| Grammar 
| Speaking – Elements of effective speechmaking for formal 
and informal speeches 
| Writing 
- creative introductions and conclusions
- writing titles
- paragraphs
- essays: extended and 20 minute time-limit letters
- poetry
- journals 
| Handwriting 
| Wordly Wise (vocabulary)

Math Place value, whole numbers and decimals 
| Scientific notation (large and small numbers; integers; 
fractions; equivalence classes; relations) 
| Basic and compound measures 
| Reference frames (ordinal numbers, time of day, dates, 
time lines, thermometers) 
| Arithmetic concepts and operations 
| Estimation 
| Primes, composites, divisibility 
| Multidigit procedures for whole numbers and decimals 
| Fraction operation procedures 
| Procedures with scientific calculators 
| Notations, definitions, and basic relationships for 2- and 
3-dimensional figures 
| Basic metric properties of plane figures 
| Congruence, similarity, transformations of geometric figures 
| Number and visual sequences 
| Formula models using variables 
| Problem solving and mathematical modeling

Specialty subjects taught 
by other educators
Art — 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Library — 45 minutes per week

Music — 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Spanish and Latin — 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Physical Education — 45 minutes daily
​
Science – 45 minutes, 4 times a week
Social Studies – 45 minutes, 4 times a week

Sixth grade is the “senior” class of Rossman School! From the week-long camp experience at the beginning of the year to the trip to Space Camp and the National Civil Rights Museum at the end of the year, lessons learned throughout students’ years at Rossman in kindness, honesty, respect and responsibility are constantly reflected in their attitudes. Independent, self-confident and well-prepared in all areas for their next educational challenge, sixth graders celebrate their accomplishments with a graduation ceremony and party at the end of the year that shows a wonderful mix of emotions — smiles, a few tears and great affection for Rossman School.

Read more about sixth grade on the Rossman School Blog.

Reading and Language Arts Independent reading recorded daily 
| Reading skills for fiction and non-fiction reinforced through 
supplemental reading activities 
| Spelling 
| Grammar 
| Wordly Wise (vocabulary)

Literature units on: Wonder 
| The Julian Chapters 
| Where the Red Fern Grows 
| The Giver 
| The Miracle Worker 
| The Lions of Little Rock 
| To Kill a Mockingbird

Types of writing studied: Narrative 
| Descriptive 
| Expository 
| Persuasive

Forms of writing produced: Research projects 
| PowerPoint presentations 
| Essays 
| Plays 
| Poetry

Math Collection, display and interpretation of data 
| Finding equivalent fractions, decimals and percents 
| Multiplication and division of decimals, fractions, mixed 
numbers 
| Multiplying by powers of 10 
| Scientific notation 
| Using variables to describe number patterns, algebraic 
expressions, formulas 
| Variables and formulas in spreadsheets 
| Multidigit procedures for whole numbers and decimals 
| Congruence, constructions and parallel lines 
| Rates and ratios, comparing ratios, the Golden Ratio 
| Probability and discrete mathematics 
| Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of positive 
and negative numbers 
| Solving equations and inequalities

Specialty subjects taught 
by other educators
Art – 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Library – 45 minutes per week

Music – 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Spanish and Latin – 1 hour and 30 minutes per week

Physical Education – 45 minutes daily
​
Science – 45 minutes, 4 times a week
Social Studies – 45 minutes, 4 times a week

Curiosity is constant in the Rossman School science rooms, and students in Grades 1 through 6 have two spacious rooms, a large greenhouse and an abundance of laboratory and electronic equipment to help them find the answers to their profusion of questions. Opportunities for scientific study are not limited to just the indoor classrooms at Rossman. More than six acres of woods adjoin our athletic field and provide a perfect place for the exploration of nature and many of its wonder-filled phenomena, including streams, wildlife and native flora and fauna.

Grade 1 Rocks and Caves | Human Body 
| Dental Health 
| Animals with Backbones 
| Plants | 
Life Cycles

Grade 2 Nutrition 
| Germs and Disease 
| Solar System 
| Aviation 
| Habitats

Grade 3 Force and Motion 
| Simple Machines 
| Water 
| Weather

Grade 4 Classification 
| Plants 
| Vertebrate animals 
| Magnets

Grade 5 Body systems 
| Biomes and ecosystems |
 Invertebrates 
| Litszinger Road Ecology Center

Grade 6 Cells 
| Human reproduction 
| Chemistry 
| Living in space 
| Litszinger Road Ecology Center

SK and Grade 1 Multi-sensory experiences – perceive and name colors, 
textures, shapes, line 
| Learn basic skills in using medium for painting, collage, 
printmaking, sculpture

Grades 2 and 3 Emphasis on imagination 
| Make intentional choices of line, color and other visual 
elements 
| Emphasis on shapes-design

Grades 4 and 5 Students create more complex works of art 
| Use design concepts for specific purposes 
| Apply and refine skills developed in earlier grades

Grade 6 Use skills from previous levels 
| Incorporate principles and elements of design to create two 
and three dimensional art

Welcome to adventure and exploration! This is the place where children in third through sixth grade love to come to learn about the rest of their world. Globes, maps and books about history and geography surround the students. Excitement is almost tangible as young, curious minds debate issues and ideas, research events and leaders, write reports and travel the seven continents. When students walk out of social studies at graduation time, they carry with them skills, information and a depth of understanding of history and geography that goes far beyond the expected sixth grade norms.

Grade 3 U.S. Regions and Geography | 
Missouri 
| Rivers

Grade 4 Geography 
| History – American Studies with an emphasis on Exploration 
| Colonization 
| The Presidents

Grade 5 Geography | 
History – American Studies with an emphasis on American Heroes from the Revolution to the Present 
| Symbols of our Great Nation 
| The American Civil War Era

Grade 6 Geography | 

World History with an emphasis on the Ancient World 
| Egypt 
| Mesopotamia 
| Canaan 
| India 
| China
 | Greece | U.S. Constitution

Nothing brings a smile to a child’s face faster than running and playing! And our two Physical Education teachers will quickly point out that there is a close correlation between physical movement and mental development. Therefore, Rossman School arranges class schedules to allow each child time in physical education class every single day. Whether in the well-equipped gymnasium, out of doors on the athletic field or running the four-lane track, physical fitness, good sportsmanship and the development of strong basic sports skills are the underlying goals for all the high-energy activities that feel like play.

Junior Kindergarten & Senior Kindergarten Developmental movement education through games, music and fun

Grades 1 and 2 Skills and fundamental motor movement, teamwork and good sportsmanship are taught through games, music and activities

Grades 3 through 6 Development through skills and activities are taught through a more formalized program of sports that are co-ed and provide equal playing time for all students

Sports Archery 
| Basketball 
| Cross Country 
| Dance 
| Field Hockey 
| Flag Football 
| Floor Hockey 
| Gymnastics 
| Jump Rope |
 Lacrosse 
| Racquet sports 
| Soccer 
| Softball 
| Track and Field 
| Volleyball

Facilities Full size gymnasium | 
Locker rooms |
 Track and Field 
| Half-mile cross-country trail through the woods 
| Recess field 
| Playground with fitness equipment

Music classes at Rossman are a joyful mix of singing, dancing, and playing drums, xylophones, recorders and other instruments. Children experience a multitude of opportunities for creativity and improvisation. Join us for our traditional Holiday Program or Grandparents’ Day performance — or both — and you’ll hear our young musicians performing enthusiastically!

Lower School Music classes involve singing, listening, playing (rhythm instruments) and movement. Children learn to match pitch and to clap or play rhythmically with the beat of a song in simple meter. By second grade, children have sung, played or heard 250 songs, games and rhymes. Creative dramatics using the stage in the Pratt Performing Arts Center are also incorporated into the program.

Upper School The components of singing, playing, listening and movement are incorporated into lesson plans. In fourth grade, children learn to play the recorder and begin the process of learning to read music notation. Harmony is emphasized through the singing of rounds, countermelodies and descants.

By sixth grade, two-part harmony is mastered as well as some three-part singing. Xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels and rhythm instruments are used to make music. A varied program of music appreciation allows the children to become familiar with jazz, classical orchestral and multicultural music composers and styles.

The program of creative dramatics continues and expands throughout Upper School. An elective afterschool enrichment class that includes a formal play production for fifth and sixth grade children is offered through the joint leadership of Rossman and the Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA). 

Come, climb into an overstuffed chair by the fireplace and listen to a story or read a favorite book. Pull up a beanbag chair and join a young friend absorbed in the pages of his newest find, a picture book on prehistoric animals. Search the shelves to find a hero's biography, or sit down at a computer and browse the Internet to find information for a research paper. This is the place to find information, to drift away to wonderful places yet to be explored — to learn to love reading.

Rossman’s automated library with more than 12,000 volumes promotes a love for books and reading. As a learning environment, the school library is also a place for investigation, study and research. Instruction in library skills is sequential and cumulative. Students learn catalog and research skills in conjunction with classroom curriculum and as a lifetime learning tool. Specific lessons include:

Care of books | Basic library process and use | 
Introduction to computer catalog search | 
Research skills | Use of electronic information sources including the Internet and databases
 

Spanish is offered to Rossman children in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6. During Upper School years, Rossman students also enjoy a limited study of Latin, focusing on the study of root words. This not only gives them an introduction to another language but also helps their understanding of English.

Spanish Focus on meaning of communication rather than stressing perfect form of communication 
| Classroom instruction and interaction primarily in Spanish 
| Instruction via meaningful cultural and linguistic contexts 
| Limited error-correction by the teacher in order to foster a low-risk and non-threatening environment 
| Individual, pair, small group, and full class activities that employ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills 
| Creative projects that are both culturally and linguistically enriching

Latin Latin roots, English root-forms and derivatives 
| Connections between English and Latin, the Romance languages and Latin 
| Latin expressions in English usage 
| Ancient Roman history and civilization

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