Lower Division Curriculum

The Avenues Lower Division provides each child with the social and academic skills needed to interact and explore the world as a confident and effective learner. We have developed a rich, interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on inquiry, discovery, creativity and building community.

We understand that the primary responsibility of elementary education is the acquisition of academic and study skills. However, academic skills learned in isolation do not create enthusiastic students and life-long learners. Through our curriculum we will provide children with real and meaningful opportunities to use their skills both as a member of a community and as independent learners.

While we set clear expectations for learning, we also approach instruction with the understanding that each child’s development is unique and individual. Through the use of differentiated instruction, we help ensure academic success.

To view the Lower Division curriculum, please click here.

Core Curriculum

In the Lower Division, our teachers implement hands-on, experiential activities to enable students to acquire essential skills, engage in creative thinking, broaden knowledge, and deepen understanding. Language immersion is a critical part of the curriculum. The Lower Division curriculum includes:

  1. Reading, writing and spelling
  2. Mathematics
  3. Science, with an emphasis on the natural world
  4. Chinese or Spanish (partial immersion)
  5. The World Course
  6. Keyboarding and technology fundamentals
  7. Music
  8. Art
  9. Physical education at the Avenues gymnasium and at Chelsea Piers
  10. Life skills

A core element of the Lower Division curriculum for each grade is thematic studies, culminating in a significant project requiring considerable independent work. These themes could be tied to the World Course that spirals through the Avenues curriculum.

A chart of the Lower Division curriculum is available here.

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Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

December 13, 2017

Exploring Chinese Dating Culture in Class: Part Two

by Spencer Baron, Upper Division Chinese Teacher


Our final project for the "Dating and Meeting People" unit was to recreate a Chinese dating show in a comedic and non-gendered way. Each student had to create several videos describing varying facets of themselves and interview before the panel of possible matches—the other students.  

December 8, 2017

Yayoi Kusama’s Festival of Life

by Robert Davis, Co-head Pre-K Teacher


Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life show was such a special experience for our pre-K students as they wandered through her “infinity rooms.” The first room in the show is an immersive experience for everyone who visits, and our 4 and 5-year-olds really seemed to connect with it.  

December 5, 2017

Maker of Patterns: Part One

by Cem Inaltong, Global Academic Dean, Mathematics


Last week, having almost completed all high school math curriculum, a group of 12th graders set foot to find beauty outside the classroom. This time, they looked for patterns not in a sequence of math problems, but ones hidden in the works of artists. As a prelude to their yearlong math-art project, students visited galleries in Chelsea. One of the stops was home to works by artist Ruth Asawa. 

December 1, 2017

Fab Five Creative Computation Class

by Yumi Nakanishi, Middle Grades Technology Integrator


In 5th grade, students take a weekly one-hour class called Fab Five. The Fab Five classes consist of Drama, Journalism, Public Speaking, Creative Computing and Wellness. In the Creative Computation class, students learned to build a computer from scratch.   

November 29, 2017

Little Bodies, Big Feelings: Real Life Emojis

by Alexandra Gerba, Associate Pre-K Teacher


We asked the kids to share what they know about emotions, and then generated a list of all the feelings we know. One child made a quick connection and said, “Hey! Emojis, emotions. They’re like the same thing!” We used this observation to help us draw facial expressions for our own class emojis and then thought about how and why we feel the ways we do.  


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