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

January 5, 2018

Using Rekenreks to Enhance Math Learning in Kindergarten

by Natalie Gootkin, Kindergarten Associate Teacher


This year we are introducing a new math tool to be used in our kindergarten and 1st grade curriculum—rekenreks. Rekenreks are used for students to understand numbers in a multi-sensory way.  

January 3, 2018

Gongfu and Self-Cultivation

by Spencer Baron, Upper Division Chinese Teacher


At the end of the school day, I change from my work clothes into stretchy pants and a t-shirt, and make the transformation from Chinese teacher back to the fire-and-brimstone martial arts instructor I once was. Students come into my class with varied motivation; some come to become physically fit, some to learn to defend themselves and some to connect themselves to an unbroken line of an old tradition 

December 21, 2017

The Value of Routine in Child Development

by Roberto Baldeschi-Balleani, Pre-kindergarten Head Teacher


During a child’s development it is essential to build and maintain routines. Having consistent routines and knowing what to expect creates a predictable and safe environment for children. One of the first goals for children when starting pre-school is to internalize the daily routine.  

December 20, 2017

Avenues Is Deepening its Footprint in Math Competitions

by Cem Inaltong, Global Academic Dean, Mathematics


This year, our middle grades students set a new record in our young history. Seventy-four students from grades 6 through 8 participated in one of the most prestigious math contests in the world, American Mathematics Competition 8.  

December 18, 2017

Expedition: Black Rock Forest

by Rachel Kreibich, 5th Grade Head Teacher


This fall, 5th graders from Avenues traveled about two hours out of the city to Black Rock Forest for an educational and recreational day trip. The Black Rock Forest Consortium is a “living laboratory for field-based research and education, encompassing native terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that are increasingly rare in the region.” 


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