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The English G1-G5 Program at EB

Blog Type:  Lower School
Date Posted:  Monday, October 7, 2019

What is the English curriculum in a bilingual school like Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley? What is taught from 1st to 5th grade? And how can you support your child in his/her learning journey? Find more in this detailed curriculum overview.

Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley is a bilingual school where the French and English programs complement each other as students become bilingual and biliterate in a multicultural environment. 

Our immersion model begins with more instruction in French while eventually reaching a 50/50 ratio. Our school makes intentional decisions about how to progress students in both languages. Research consistently shows that students in immersion settings can make slower progress in certain areas at the beginning of their schooling, but catch up and surpass monolingual peers by the end of elementary school and beyond. 

A reading session with English teacher Emilie Crofton. 

Data at EB is consistent with that research which is why we emphasize that an immersion school is a long-term choice. Our goal is to prepare students to matriculate into French or American schools after EB with all the skills needed to thrive. 

Our school has a focus on differentiation in order to offer a personalized learning experience for each unique child. This means that while we use the academic standards of the American curriculum (California common core standards) to guide our program, we also respond to the needs of each individual learner.

Differentiation is at the heart of our school and our English program. Students may be enriched with standards above their grade level or given support with standards below their grade level. Each child will progress at their own pace and teachers differentiate to meet each students’ instructional needs. 

Students who are learning English will receive support for a specialist in English Language Development. This support can be provided in the classroom, as a pull-out service and in conjunction with the classroom English teacher.

 

CP/ First Grade

Overview

First grade is an important year when students dive in earnest into learning to read. English instruction continues to be 20% of instructional time or five hours a week. 

First grade students receive phonics and phonemic awareness instruction to ensure they understand how letters work combined with exposure to high-frequency words and common spelling patterns. They will meet in small guided reading groups to read leveled text at their instructional level. They will also gain more strategies for writing sentences. 

While most mathematics instruction occurs in French, English teachers will teach math once a week through the Number Corner to provide transference into English of math skills. The Number Corner also follows the learning guidelines of the American program. 

Students will learn to count, order and compare numbers to 100, learn the place value concepts of ones and tens, add and subtract numbers to 20, tell time to the nearest half hour, measure in non-standard units and investigate shapes and fractions. Zearn is an important online tool used at school and at home for mathematics. 

Students participate in social-emotional learning with their classroom teacher and EB’s SEL Coach.

Components

Read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, shared writing, independent writing, word work (phonics and spelling), oral language, mathematics (Number Corner and Zearn), social-emotional learning 

Standards

How to help support learning for your First Grader at home: 

  • Read aloud to your child on a daily basis
  • Encourage your child to read easy books at home or use the Raz Kids app (login information provided by teacher) so they can read books at their level
  • Have your child keep a journal at home and practice writing or drawing pictures
  • Ensure proper handwriting with this chart
  • Practice mathematics by counting to 100, adding or subtracting, telling time on analog clock (see also this link for more information about math in first grade)
  • Provide time for your child to use Zearn to practice math skills on a technology device at home--this adaptive website provides math fluency games as well as direct instruction on American math standards and it aligns with EB’s approach to teaching mathematics (login information provided by teacher)
First Grade English teacher Andrea Cavaillo works on a unit about Martin Luther King.

 

CE1/ Second Grade

Overview

In second grade, English instruction continues to be 20% of instructional time or five hours a week. Students will study more high-frequency words and spelling patterns. They will participate in small group guided reading sessions at their instructional reading level. Students will be able to independently read a wider variety of books and for longer stretches of time. Students will build on their writing skills to write paragraphs. They will still use invented spelling for unknown words. 

While most mathematics instruction occurs in French, English teachers will teach math once a week through the Number Corner to provide transference into English of math skills. The Number Corner also follows the learning guidelines of the American program. 

Students will learn to count and compare numbers to 1,000, learn place value for ones, tens, and hundreds, solve addition and subtraction problems with 2-digit and 3-digit numbers, tell time, count money, measure length, investigate 2-D and 3-D shapes, explore fractions and build rectangular arrays (a foundation for multiplication). Zearn is an important online tool used at school and at home for mathematics. 

Students participate in social-emotional learning with their classroom teacher and EB’s SEL Coach.

Components

Read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, shared writing, independent writing, word work (phonics and spelling), oral language, mathematics (Number Corner and Zearn), social-emotional learning 

Standards: 

How to help support learning for your Second Grader at home: 

  • Read aloud to your child on a daily basis
  • Encourage your child to read books at home or use the Raz Kids app (login information provided by teacher) so they can read books at their level
  • Have your child keep a journal at home and practice writing short entries
  • Ensure proper handwriting with this chart
  • Practice mathematics by learning to add and subtract within 20 by memory, add and subtract with regrouping, counting money (coins and bills), telling time to the nearest five minutes (see also this link about mathematics in second grade)
  • Provide time for your child to use Zearn to practice math skills on a technology device at home--this adaptive website provides math fluency games as well as direct instruction on American math standards and it aligns with EB’s approach to teaching mathematics (login information provided by teacher)
In Third Grade, students spend about 35% of their instruction time in English.

 

CE2/ Third Grade

Overview

In third grade, the ratio of English increases so that students are now receiving 35% of their instruction in English. Third grade is an opportunity for students to apply their reading and writing skills to more complex tasks and study of various genres in reading (e.g. realistic fiction, informative, character study, fairy tales) and writing (e.g. personal narrative, informative, persuasive, fairy tales). 

Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop occur bilingually so that students learn and apply skills cohesively between French and Englsih. Students are spending longer amounts of time independently reading books at their level. Small group guided reading sessions occur especially for students who are reading below grade level expectations. Social studies (history, geography, economics, government) are interwoven with reader’s and writer’s units of study and tied to experiential learning on field trips. 

Students will learn about the basic components of government and also the history of Native American tribes in California. In mathematics, students follow the standards of the American curriculum with Eureka math which is also taught in English and in French. Students will learn to add and subtract within 1,000, multiplication facts within 100, solve problems with all four operations, round to the nearest ten or hundred, represent and compare fractions, estimate and measure mass, volume and length, collect and analyze data and discover area and perimeter.

Zearn is an important online tool used at school and at home for mathematics. Students participate in social-emotional learning with their classroom teacher and EB’s SEL Coach.

Components

Read-aloud, guided reading, Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, Word Work (spelling, grammar and vocabulary), oral language, mathematics (Eureka and Zearn), social-emotional learning.

Standards

How to help support learning for your Third Grader at home:  

  • Continue to read aloud to your child at home including picture books and chapter books, have rich discussions about books
  • Encourage lots of independent reading at home with books at their level or use the Raz Kids app to find books at their level (login information from teacher)--time spent reading is directly correlated with achievement
  • Encourage your child to use try out new writing genres in their home writing journal and to write for different purposes such as writing letters
  • Make sure that your child fluently recites addition and subtraction facts to 20
  • Practice multiplication tables at home--the goal is for students to be fluent by the end of the year (see also this link to learn more about math in third grade)
  • Provide time for your child to use Zearn to practice math skills on a technology device at home--this adaptive website provides math fluency games as well as direct instruction on American math standards and it aligns with EB’s approach to teaching mathematics (login information provided by teacher)

 

CM1/ Fourth Grade

Overview

In fourth grade, the ratio of English instruction increases to just under 50% of instructional time. Students spend one week with their English teacher and then one week with their French teacher (PE, music and art are all conducted in French). 

Students continue to participate in Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop bilingually as they study a variety of genres (e.g. realistic fiction, historical fiction and informative for reading and narrative, persuasive and informative for writing). Students are encouraged to read widely--research shows that time spent reading directly correlates to achievement. They also receive instruction in word work (spelling, grammar and vocabulary). 

In fourth grade, students will delve deeper into social studies (history, geography, government, economics) this year as they study the history of the state of California, accented by experiential learning on their 3-day trip to Coloma (where gold was discovered) and Walk through California day. 

In mathematics, students will explore place value to 1,000,000, learn strategies for multi-digit multiplication and understanding of division, study fraction equivalence as well as adding, subtracting and multiplying some fractions and study geometric figures. Zearn is an important online tool used at school and at home for mathematics. 

Students participate in social-emotional learning with their classroom teacher and EB’s SEL Coach.

Components

Read-aloud, Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, Word Work (spelling, grammar and vocabulary), oral language, mathematics (Eureka and Zearn), social studies, social-emotional learning.

Standards

How to help support learning for your Fourth Grader at home:  

  • Continue to read aloud to your child at home including chapter books, have rich discussions about books
  • Encourage lots of independent reading at home with books at their level or use the Raz Kids app to find books at their level (login information from teacher)--time spent reading is directly correlated with achievement
  • Encourage your child to use try out new writing genres in their home writing journal and to write for different purposes
  • Practice multiplication tables at home so that your child is fluent (see also this link to learn more about math in fourth grade)
  • Provide time for your child to use Zearn to practice math skills on a technology device at home--this adaptive website provides math fluency games as well as direct instruction on American math standards and it aligns with EB’s approach to teaching mathematics (login information provided by teacher
Students in 4th and 5th grade divide their time equally between French and English instruction.

 

CM2/ Fifth Grade

Overview

In fifth grade, students will continue to receive a little less than 50% of their instruction in English alternating one week at a time in English and French. 

Students will study a variety of genres in Reader’s Workshop (e.g. fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, informative, poetry) and Writer’s Workshop (e.g. narrative, fantasy, persuasive, informative). Students are encouraged to read widely--research shows that time spent reading directly correlates to achievement. Students also study academic vocabulary, grammar and spelling. 

In social studies (history, geography, government, economics), students study the history of the United States including the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers, the pilgrims, the American Revolution and the Civil War. Experiential learning is utilized to bring history alive including a pilgrim simulation and Walk Through the American Revolution day. 

In mathematics, students will focus on fluency in all four operations, learn to divide 2-digit numbers, explore place value to the hundredths as well as decimal fractions, solidify adding and subtracting fractions, be introduced to multiplying and dividing fractions and explore volume. Zearn is an important online tool used at school and at home for mathematics. 

Students participate in social-emotional learning with their classroom teacher and EB’s SEL Coach.

Components

Read-aloud, Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, Word Work (spelling, grammar and vocabulary), oral language, mathematics (Eureka and Zearn), social studies, social-emotional learning.

Standards

How to help support learning for your Fifth Grader at home:  

  • Continue to read aloud to your child at home including chapter books, have rich discussions about books
  • Encourage lots of independent reading at home with books at their level or use the Raz Kids app to find books at their level (login information from teacher)--time spent reading is directly correlated with achievement
  • Encourage your child to use try out new writing genres in their home writing journal and to write for different purposes
  • Practice multiplication tables at home so that your child is fluent (see also this link to learn more about math in fifth grade)
  • Provide time for your child to use Zearn to practice math skills on a technology device at home--this adaptive website provides math fluency games as well as direct instruction on American math standards and it aligns with EB’s approach to teaching mathematics (login information provided by teacher)