- About Us
- Grammar School
- Prep School
- Support CGPS
Grammar School - Classrooms & Curriculum
Our bright and friendly Pre-K classroom is composed of a main classroom space, a meeting/block area, and a private outdoor playspace. Three head teachers provide an enjoyable and stimulating curriculum. Pre-K students learn how speaking and listening are translated into writing and reading. They study families, various cultures, and holiday traditions. Students are introduced to beginning math concepts such as counting, patterns, graphing, cooking and classification. The study of science includes hibernation, migration, animals, weather patterns and the environment.
Our Kindergarten classroom of approximately 20 students has two head teachers and an associate level teacher. We cultivate the love of reading as students learn to recognize printed letters and symbol/sound relationships. They soon begin to understand that stories can be written with words and pictures. The students focus on community as they interview the people at Columbia and learn about various international customs and traditions. Through the study of classification, time, money, fractions, geometry, measurement and patterns, students develop their number sense and mathematical thinking. In science, students learn about the scientific method as they delve into the study of the life cycle, animals, food and seasons.
Each first grade classroom consists of approximately 20 students and two head teachers. First graders are engaged in a reading program that includes phonics, whole language and guided reading techniques in order to support individual learning styles. Students craft stories as they draw on their own ideas and experiences. They visit many of New York's landmarks as they study the geographical concept of an island and how this affects the transportation of people and goods. Science classes focus on mammals and habitats. Students develop an understanding of how math is used in everyday life through the exploration of word problems, clocks and calendars. Units include basic addition and subtraction, symmetry, geometric shapes, and measurement. The science program includes a study of reptiles, life cycles and urban ecology.
Each second grade classroom consists of approximately 20 students and two head teachers. Students develop their reading skills as they learn to understand the main idea, draw inferences, make predictions and determine cause and effect. Penmanship and spelling are introduced. Students write stories, poems, personal narratives, and nonfiction pieces such as "How To" books. Second graders learn about many countries, visit Ellis Island, develop an appreciation of cultures, and investigate their own family histories. These studies culminate in a wonderful International Luncheon. In math, students work with larger numbers and are introduced to more complex operations in addition and subtraction. They also learn to represent unit fractions. In science, students study the water cycle, oceans, fish and coral reefs as well other properties of the states of water.
With the same teacher/student ratio as in first and second grades, third graders move from learning to read to reading to learn. Daily writing workshops challenge students to write autobiographies, imaginative stories, book reports, and journal responses. Cursive writing is also introduced. Students study how Native Americans created shelters and celebrated their traditions. With an emphasis on problem solving, students apply their computational skills to class investigations. Multiplication, division, fractions and decimals are introduced. In science, students learn to recognize how all living organisms are related through a study of the northeastern woodlands.
Fourth graders study in smaller groups with one head teacher. The students explore literary genres, refine decoding skills, and increase their vocabulary. Writing activities include journal entries, book reviews, research reports, essays, and creative writing. Students develop spelling, proofreading and research skills. In social studies, students study the Age of Exploration and Early Colonial American life. They develop a proficiency in the four basic math operations and further investigate complex, multi-step word problems with fractions, geometry, and decimals. In science, students learn to use standard metric units to measure weight, volume, temperature, time and distance.
Fifth Graders attend their classes in our 36 West 93rd Street building. Students are supervised by the 5th and 6th grade Dean. The students are assigned to a core class which include reading, writing and social studies. Science, math, music, physical education, computers and art are departmentalized.
English & Social Studies - The interdisciplinary integration of reading, writing, and social studies allows fifth graders to make connections. Using a variety of literature, students explore a multitude of genres and themes. Students continue to expand on their writing skills when crafting reading responses, research projects and creative stories. Fifth graders explore themes such as Colonial America, the Revolutionary War, government, Westward Expansion, and events leading to the Civil War.
Science - Fifth graders engage in hands-on, guided discovery based on the scientific method. Investigations focus on the physical world, including electricity, magnetism as well as light and heat energy. Students also explore an interdisciplinary study of physics and chemistry. An integrated study with the Farm to Table Curriculum complements a study of the chemistry behind food.
Math - Our fifth grade math curriculum provides students with opportunities to build conceptual knowledge, while also practicing important mathematical skills. Throughout the year, students continue to work with whole numbers and extend their knowledge of fractions and decimals. They discover why traditional algorithms work and conduct practical operations with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions to solidify the processes. Through hands-on investigations, students discover formulas for area and perimeter of various polygons, along with the meaning of circumference and pi. Within the context of real-life situations, students analyze and manipulate current data on top-grossing movies and hit Broadway shows as well as plan a road trip across the country.
Sixth Graders also attend their classes in our 36 West 93rd Street building and continue to be supervised by the 5th and 6th grade Dean. All subject areas are departmentalized. This is the students' final year of Grammar School and serves as a transition to the Preparatory School. A promotion ceremony is held in June.
English - In reading, students analyze several literary genres, including poetry, drama, novels, short stories, and non-fiction that explore the themes of physical and emotional journeys. Students study narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and expository writing. In grammar, students review and apply their usage skills in spelling, sentence and paragraph structure, parts of speech, and punctuation.
Social Studies - Students study the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and Greece through class trips, oral presentations, group work, major projects and research papers. Throughout the year, students engage in class discussions, investigations and debates about the ancient world.
Science - Students study human anatomy and physiology as they learn how the human body works by an investigation of simple machines. Integrated with the Farm to Table Curriculum, students will explore the impact of nutrition on human health in developing their informed food choices.
Math - Students gain proficiency with the four mathematical operations and reinforce their skills as they calculate area, volume, circumference, and surface area. Sixth graders use rates, ratios and proportions to represent quantitative relationships and learn the meaning of percent through practical applications. Throughout the year, students connect their learning to the world. For example, students invest imaginary funds in the stock market and use formulas to figure their gains and losses over time.