Academics

Reading
Writing
Mathematics
Science
Social Skills (Behavior)

Reading


Our focus this year is to implement READERS WORKSHOP from Columbia Teachers College. The Readers Workshop model blends whole group instruction, small needs-based groups and individual conferring to guide readers through the application of decoding skills and five basic comprehension strategies.

  1. Determining what is important – identifying themes and diminishing focus on less important ideas or pieces of information

  2. Drawing inferences – combining background knowledge and textual information to draw conclusions and interpret facts

  3. Using prior knowledge –

  4. Asking Questions – wondering and inquiring about the book, before, during and after reading

  5. Creating Mental Images – Implementing the five senses to build images in the mind that enhance the experience of reading

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Writing


We engage our children in the Writer’s Workshop model where writers start by thinking and remembering small moments. Teachers and writers confer about their writing.

They learn to “pull back” from their writing and add more details. Writers Workshop provides an amazing window into our children’s understanding of written language! Writers collaborate to revise, edit, and publish. Our writers learn to incorporate the 6 traits of writing (content, organization, voice, fluency, word choice, and conventions).

Students write for a variety of styles including narrative, expository, persuasive, and creative and fiction.

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Mathematics


We challenge students to use higher level thinking skills to solve math problems and explicitly teach problem solving strategies. We support students who need strategic support with small group instruction. We support our advanced learners by challenging them with above grade level materials and we also offer after school Math Clubs for intermediate grades.

We hold our annual Family Math Night to engage students and their families in our math program and share strategies for students’ curriculum.  The math Workshop model develops the whole brain (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory senses) and uses activities that help students make sense of what they are learning.

The Math Workshop model combines learning skills with hands-on experience. We seek to give students a strong foundation to keep them succeeding and pushing their performance level in mathematics.

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Science


Science instruction is based upon exciting inquiry-focused discussions, hands-on investigations, and teaching scientific writing skills.  In addition to teaching Life, Physical and Earth Sciences, our school has a special focus on our award-winning Environmental Studies. Students are engaged in hands-on organic gardening, composting and 4th/5th graders may choose to volunteer for our Green Team.

Our enhanced multi-media program for all K-5 students links our Environmental Studies program with our state-of-the-art technology program. Here's further information on how it all ties together and leads to a 5th grade field trip to Islandwood each year.

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Social Skills (Behavior)


Our entire Montlake school community is dedicated to ensuring that our students are taught and apply positive social skills and emotional behaviors throughout their lives. We believe that this is the character we expect of every Montlake school student and graduate.

To reach this goal we implement the newly updated social skills curriculum called Second Step . This outstanding program teaches empathy, a key behavior attribute that develops people’s understanding of the potential serious consequences of bullying behavior – for victims, for bystanders, and for perpetrators. Students learn and practice through role playing what actions each of us must take when they witness bullying.

In addition, Montlake implements a school wide Behavior Intervention and Problem Solving plan for students when they make a poor choice. We believe students need to learn from their mistakes as well as receive positive reinforcement for making good choices and for following the Montlake Way: Be Safe. Be Fair. Be Kind and Take Responsibility.

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