Small World Curriculum


A First School Experience: Our Philosophy

A successful first school experience begins by creating a strong partnership with parents, as teachers will become an extension of the child’s family. We have consistent, open communication with families. Our classrooms will provide a nurturing environment that allows students to thrive through differentiated instruction. Teachers deliver an age-appropriate curriculum, based on the children’s interests, that will help them better understand their world. Through quality one-on-one and group instruction time, teachers nurture each child’s individual learning style and foster a positive school experience. In addition, children will be introduced to Mandarin Chinese and Spanish language learning.


A major focus of the Small World program is the development of social skills. Children receive individualized hands-on and experiential skill development, as well as in small-group environments with exposure to Spanish and Chinese language. Through problem solving, children develop independence. They learn how to interact with others and how to learn in groups. The curriculum encompasses:

Feelings and Emotions

Understanding and expressing one’s own feelings as well as others’ feelings is a big part of our curriculum (i.e. using body language to identify another person’s feelings, and asking guiding questions to help the children involved figure out how to handle situations).

Problem Solving

Children learn and practice the language needed to solve problems. By initiating conversations with peers, children will practice turn-taking in age-appropriate ways.

Observation and Differentiation

Each child has his or her own ingenuity and strengths. We nurture each child’s sense of self and creativity by meeting his or her individual learning needs.

Foundational Skills

At Avenues, children are taught “pre-skills” that will provide the basis for future educational experiences. Pre-skills include following directions, completing tasks, being part of a group, using words to express oneself and practicing fine and gross motor skills.


In a nurturing environment, children will experience the sounds of different languages, as well as new textures, concepts and ideas through sensory integration activities.

The Nexus between Play and Curriculum

We believe that open-ended involvement with the world and materials provide a wealth of teachable moments. We will incorporate emergent curriculum as a means to teach concepts and ideas in an open and nurturing environment, aligning the children’s interests with units of study such as pre-mathematical skills and pre-literacy skills.

To learn more about the Small World Program, please join us for one of our upcoming parent information events in October.


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"Starting school is a big leap for both parents and children."

- Nancy Schulman

Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

August 15, 2018

Avenues Adventure School Minimester

by Jessica Berkeley, Middle Grades Humanities Teacher

This spring, 8th grade students in the “Avenues Adventure School” Minimester course had an opportunity to experience some of the ways that New Yorkers can get out and explore our natural environment.  

August 8, 2018

Partner Walks in Small World

by Rita Truong, Head of Small World

In the Avenues Small World program for 2- and 3-year-old students, the children take partner walks with a teacher and one peer in the neighborhood as part of our regular spring curriculum. These walks encourage curiosity, friendship and adventure!  

August 2, 2018

SAMR Application Scope and Sequence

by Jacob Goren, Technology Integrator

We embarked on a months-long process to sort through every education app in our arsenal and categorize them.  

July 27, 2018

Designing and Building an Island in 8th Grade Spanish

by Olga Valeria, Middle Grades Spanish Teacher

As part of of their “City Life” topic, students in the Spanish 8D class worked on a hands-on project, “My City Life.” In collaboration with the iLab, students were to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces, paying particular attention to physical, cultural and social identities.  

July 19, 2018

An Exploration in Mixed-Media Self Portraits

by Dorine Yang, Nursery Teacher

As the children are becoming more representational in their drawings, we decided that it would be a excellent opportunity for them to create self portraits. These portraits were also a great way to review and teach new Chinese words related to the face while introducing a new way to do art.  

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