California Standards Based Instruction
Sunnybrae school believes in educating our students so that they can be academically challenged while learning real-life application of their knowledge through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Our students learn both the Common Core State Standards and the Primary Years Program from the IB. Through this, our students develop knowledge in all subject areas while learning to become caring, open-minded, critical thinkers. Below is a description of the curriculum that our teachers integrate in the classroom:
English Language Arts
Benchmark Advance is used to teach language arts and is based on the balance literacy approach. Students have equal amounts of time developing their reading, writing, phonemic awareness, listening and speaking skills through this model. Students have opportunities for whole group and small group lessons at their reading level.
English Language Development
Since a large percentage of our students are bilingual, our teachers also provide designated time during the day to develop our students' English language skills. Our teachers also use multiple strategies to make the content comprehensible to all of our students.
Our new Common Core Standards call for math to be taught in a way that supports students' understanding of deep mathematical thinking skills rather than just memorize math facts and learn computational skills. For this reason, our teachers support students to learn to solve problems that integrate different mathematical processes and requite critical thinking skills. Our school uses the Envision Math program to help our students develop these skills. Daily math lessons are taught to all students according to the grade level Common Core State standards.
Science / Social Studies
Our teachers develop inquiry units that integrate both science and social studies grade level standards as they teach the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. These units allow students to go deeper into studying real-world problems that are impacting our planet. Students are encouraged to ask questions, research a topic, and come up with a project. Our teachers also integrate reading and writing skill when teaching these science and social studies concepts in the classroom so that the units can be interdisciplinary in nature. In addition to using the IB Primary Years Program, our teachers use FOSS Science and Houghton Mifflin Social Studies resources to develop their units of study.
Our students receive PE instruction four days a week in accordance to our state physical education standards and we have three PE instructors in our campus who support all our classes.
Our students receive visual arts instruction through our PTA funded program called Arts Attack. Every classroom is taught monthly lessons by one of our parent volunteers. Students are able to develop their creativity through studying different mediums.
Our fourth and fifth grade students have weekly instrumental music. They are able to select an instrument so that they can develop their skills in this area. Our younger students, kinder through third grade, receive weekly vocal music instruction.
Spanish is taught as a world language to all our students. Students receive weekly Spanish instruction with a certificated Spanish teacher in grades 1-5. Kindergarten students receive Spanish instruction on a monthly system. Our goal is for all students to learn Spanish either as a heritage language or as a second language an exit the fifth grade with a love for other cultures and an understanding of the language.
We believe that the purpose of school is to not only develop academic skills but also develop social-emotional skills like empathy, compassion, and responsible decision-making. For this reason, our students have weekly social-emotional instruction from our school counselor, Ms. Moberg. Students at each grade level have to develop certain social-emotional competencies based on the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).