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

April 18, 2019

A Chinese-Spanish Cabaret

by Jennette Mullaney


Upper Division students performed in both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese for this year’s Cabaret! Although previous years had featured songs in Spanish, this was the first year our Cabaret included Chinese as well.  

April 17, 2019

Design Thinking in 1st Grade

by Anna Stevens, Lower Division Science Teacher


Using the design thinking process—a series of steps to solve a problem—our 1st graders built structures to satisfy the needs of Madagascar hissing cockroaches kept at the school.  

April 12, 2019

Matt Green and the World Before Your Feet: Mindful Travel and Interaction

by Jennette Mullaney


The middle grades at Avenues had the great fortune of hearing from Matt Green, the subject of a new documentary titled The World Before Your Feet.  

April 10, 2019

“Poetry Is That Which Is Worth Translating”: Writing Between Languages at Avenues

by Brady Smith and Narcy Carranza


In 9th and 10th grade HIP (High Intensity Practice) Thinking through Writing, students have been reading and rewriting Spanish and Chinese poems in English.  

April 9, 2019

Lunar New Year in the Early Learning Center

by Evelyn Vivar, Spanish Fellow in the Early Learning Center


Students in the Early Learning Center learned so much about Lunar New Year this winter.  


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