Bryant Elementary

Bryant Elementary School


Bryant Curriculum Overview


student reading book in library

Welcome to Bryant Kindergarten. We’re glad you are joining us!

Bryant Elementary School’s Kindergarten Team strongly supports a‘whole’ child educational philosophy; i.e. developing and refining skills in socialization, critical thinking, self-management, and academics.

Recognizing the importance of the Kindergarten year as a genuine entry point for students and their families to be committed toeducation as a lifelong process, the Bryant Kindergarten Team pursues a series of pedagogically-sound and experience-tested approaches.

The question we perennially return to is‘What is best for our children?’

Welcoming each year’s group of new students and their inherent talents, skills, levels of performance, and areas to develop is one of the passions that guide our devotion to this grade level and our delivery of ‘whole’ child instruction. All children offer contributions to the group process while taking important learning moments to aid in their own development. Similarly, all students need some form of accommodation to succeed and each child is ‘special’.

Kindergarten teachers are trained and prepared to provide those differentiations.

Utilizing district-adopted curriculum while allowing for teacher flexibility is a Bryant hallmark. Flexible instructional delivery permits teachers to engage all learners with varying types of content, questioning, expectations and performance results while still meeting grade level expectations.

Informal assessments and frequent monitoring of performance (social/behavioral and academic) determine the type of differentiated instruction offered. Frequent re-grouping, employing alternate materials and strategies, ongoing observations, and monitoring student work permit this varied approach within the construct of a ‘typically developing’ classroom model.

Additionally, Bryant offers a wealth of support mechanisms to enrich the Kindergarten program, including tutors, parent volunteers, reading specialists, after-school enrichment classes, and more!

 We look forward to your entrance and engagement in our classrooms.

First Grade

The first grade teachers collaborate regularly to provide consistent instruction to all first graders.

Reading instruction is provided by flexible reading groups through an exchange among first grade classrooms. The reading exchange program isdesigned to maximize student growth at appropriate instructional levels.

In addition to the Everyday Math Curriculum, first graders are regularly involved in hands-on math projects to allow for differentiated learningin mathematics.

In first grade, students write personal narratives, fiction stories, poems, and reports. Writing is also integrated into science, math, and social studies.

First grade science units are Weather, Balls and Ramps, and Organisms.

The Families and Neighborhoods theme in Social Studies is introduced through the Story path method.

Special projects and events that are experienced by all first graders include: creating and sharing memory baskets, building model haunted houses, family history project, an ethnic brunch, and field trips that augment the curriculum.

Second Grade

The Second Grade team prides itself on providing a “supportive, nurturing, child centered, and humorous learning environment.”

The second grade reading and literacy curriculum involves several components. The Junior Great Books and Houghton Mifflin programs focus on higher level thinking skills. Classroom subscriptions such as Weekly Reader, Scholastic News, and Time for Kids magazines are used to develop nonfiction reading skills and strategies. Other reading materials and books are selected according to a variety of genres and theme areas throughout the year. Students have regular opportunities for independent reading at their skill level using materials from “Just Right Books” and leveled readers in our classroom libraries.

Our writing program includes Writers Workshop activities to address the needs of all students. Math, science, and social studies lessons willalso provide many opportunities for students to develop their writing skills.

The science units are “Soils”, “Liquids and Solids” and “Balancing and Weighing”. In addition to the extensive hands-on activities, we will befocusing on developing scientific communication and writing skills.

Mathematic lessons and activities will focus on meeting Washington State Mathematics Standards. A central year-long theme in Grade 2 isunderstanding place value for whole numbers. Students develop understanding of the number system, including how the position of a digit affects its value, and use this knowledge to develop skill with more complex computation. They begin making measurements with standard measuring tools.

Everyday Math units are:

  • Numbers and Routines
  • Addition and Subtraction Facts
  • Place Value, Money, and Time
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • 2D and 3D Shapes
  • Whole Number Operations
  • Patterns & Rules
  • Fractions
  • Measurement
  • Whole Number Operations

In second grade, a major focus of our social studies curriculum is the storypath unit, “The Wampanoags and the First Thanksgiving”. Thanks to support from our PTSA, this project is integrated with art. Technology, reading, writing, and communication activities are also incorporated throughout the unit to provide students a rich understanding of the Wampanoag people and time period. There will be a culminating celebration in December for all second graders to enact a Wampanoag feast and to present their learning projects to families and friends.

Field trips are planned throughout the year to support or enhance our science, social studies and art curriculum.

Third Grade

The first few weeks of school are an exciting time to be a third-grader at Bryant Elementary! Our third grade team is composed of Carleen Confer, Susan Finnegan, Hong Nguyen and Connie Bernard. We are very excited to welcome a new school year and are already hard at work planning.

The Third Grade team describes itself as a group that holds high expectations for itself and its students and strives to provide a solid educational program for all its students. This team of strong minded teachers approach third grade as a skill building andstrengthening year, providing a strong foundation for the transition to fourth grade. Field trips are designed to enrich children’s science and cultural experiences.

Students will study Rocks and Minerals, the first of three science units, during the first trimester. This hands-on unit explores the differences between rocks and minerals and culminates in students creating a minerals guide. Our second unit is Sound, our physical science unit, which explores the relationship between sound and vibrations.Lastly, students study Plant Growth and Development and plant Brassica Rapa seeds of their own to study and observe.

Our Everyday Math curriculum starts with a quick review of second grade material and moves on to problem solving strategies, different algorithms for solving multi-digit addition and subtraction problems, and measurement/area. We also explore multiplication and division concepts, geometry, algebra, fractions and decimals.

The third grade team uses a writer’s workshop style of teaching. Students write a variety of narrative and expository essays throughout the year. Writing is also used throughout the curriculum in science and math.

The focus for reading in third grade is comprehension and reading to learn. We use a variety of material (Time for Kids, chapter books, etc.) to teach skills in making inferences, summarizing materials, and monitoring for details.

Third grade is also the year where cursive is introduced.

Fourth Grade

The fourth grade teachers at Bryant are dedicated to providing challenging and student-centered instruction. We work to create warm and supportive classroom communities where students feel they can grow and take risks.

In fall, fourth graders at Bryant are busy with a variety of engaging experiences and activities. In math, our studies focus on geometry, data organization, and multiplication and division. Our focus in reading during the beginning of the year is matching students to books at their independent reading levels, as well as working with non-fiction texts and in literature circles. In writing, students work in a variety of genres and practice the steps of the writing process, in addition to studying vocabulary and grammar. Our science unit in the fall revolves around food chemistry and the digestive system. In social studies, we study Washington State History through textbooks and StoryPath. Other fall activities include a field trip to the Washington State Corn Maze, Living Voices historical presentations, writing Veterans Day reports and producing a school-wide assembly, and art docent projects.

Winter term is an exciting and busy time in fourth grade. In addition to continuing our studies in writing, reading, and social studies, we also participate in a science fair with fifth grade students and mentors from the community. We study ecosystems, during which we create and observe terrariums and aquariums in our classrooms. In math, we focus on decimals, multiplication, and fractions. We also take a field trip to the Seattle Aquarium, continue our art docent projects, and have the opportunity to participate in the Global Reading Challenge.

In spring, our math studies focus on geometry, measurement, and rates. We continue our emphasis on reading and writing skills, and wrap up our year-long study of Washington State. In science, we study circuitry and electrical pathways. We also take a field trip to the Cedar River Watershed and have a special fourth grade picnic at a local park.

Math: Fourth grade continues to work through the Everyday Math Curriculum. In the winter, we focus on decimals, estimation, fractions and percentages, and probability. Throughout the school we work on fact memorization and strategies for solving multiplication and division problems.

Reading/Writing: Reading is addressed through literature groups, whole class novels, and in the content areas of math, social studiesand science. Each month, every fourth grader is expected to complete a book report. Each class picks a different genre each month to ensure enough library resources for all students. Our writing instruction includes a focus on the six traits, as well as anincorporation of the Lucy Calkin’s writing curriculum.

Social Studies: Fourth is currently completing a Storypath unit, Early Northwest Coast Native Americans. In this unit, students take onthe role of a Native American within a family group selected by the teacher. Each student makes their character, and togetherthe families create a longhouse, as well as representations of artwork from the Northwest Coast Native Americans. We also holddiscussions about critical incidents that happened during this time period, including food shortages, reservations, and spreading diseases. We conclude our unit with a celebration with foods that were available from the time period.

Science: We are currently studying Food Chemistry, in which we test foods for nutrients, learning about the process of conducting afair test, and recording and graphing our results. We also focus on the digestive system as a part of this science unit. Our next science unit, Ecosystems, will begin in January.

In addition to the science unit, we will start Science Fair in January. During Science Fair, students get into groups of four or five and they work with a science mentor (a volunteer from the community) on a science project that the group picks together. They work through the scientific process, and present their experiments at the annual Science Fair Night.

Art: Our wonderful Bryant PTSA has funded an artist for all fourth grade classes this year.

Fifth Grade

The Fifth Grade team builds upon the academic foundations set in the younger grades. The students read more analytically, write more extensively, and reason about more complex mathematical ideas. The fifth grade classrooms have ample collections of books for literature study and the students use the school library and the internet to read nonfiction and to research curriculum topics. In writing workshop, the students refine their writing skills as they write to communicate with a variety of audiences. In math the students use their numeracy skills in challenging problem solving situations and they develop their abilities to use algebraic and geometric reasoning.

Fifth graders study environmental issues extensively. They monitor the water quality of Ravenna Creek and they learn from the Salmon in the School program. They spend a week at the field-based environmental program, IslandWood, on Bainbridge Island.IslandWood blends science, the arts, and technology into a program focused on sustaining the environment.

Intermediate Grade Level Activities

The Bryant fourth and fifth grade classrooms team up for two major areas of study: Living Voices and Science Fair. Living Voices is a nonprofit educational production company that creates programs to raise awareness of racism and injustice in history. They present seven educational programs on a two-year cycle at Bryant allowing all intermediate students to experience the entire set.

The Bryant PTSA sponsors the annual Science Fair. Scientists are recruited from the community who visit the school once a week for tenweeks to guide a group of 4th and 5th grade students in an investigation of a scientific question.Results are proudly presented at the annual Science Fair in April.

Math Championship

Bryant has a long tradition of sending several teams to the Washington State Math Championship competition. Each team consists of four 5thgrade students. During the winter months, a group of volunteers guide the teams in practicing advanced math topics and in preparing for the competition. The Bryant program is planned and led by dedicated volunteers, and it is coordinated through the 5th grade teachers. On a Saturday in April, the teams travel to Blaine, WA, where the Blaine School District and ConocoPhillips host the competition, open to teams in grades 5-8.

Physical Education

Bryant provides a success oriented physical education program that teaches basic skills while also exposing students to activities that include unicycling, juggling, and fun, lifetime sport pursuits. The curriculum is designed to work with students where they are, at a variety of levels, and works to integrate classroom curriculum in to its basic focus.

SPS Special Education

The Special Education department works collaboratively with school and district leaders, teachers, students, and families to provide the tools, guidance, supports, and services needed to ensure access and success for students with disabilities.

Referral and Evaluation

A referral is the first step toward receiving special education services. A referral is a written request for evaluation, explaining why the student might need special education services. Evaluation determines if a student is eligible for special education services, and what those services might be.

Learn more on the Seattle Public Schools Special Education webpage.