Students are assessed in reading and math three times a year to help teachers place them in groups of similar skills. If a child needs more challenge or more support, they can fluidly change groups as needed. Children are not tracked, but are observed to assure they are being taught at their most appropriate level.
Literacy CAFE and Daily 5
Literacy CAFE: After assessing the needs and reading level of each students, the teacher guides the students in selecting one strategy at a time to work on from a menu of choices focusing on comprehension, accuracy, fluency or expanding vocabulary. Students practice this strategy as they read "good-fit" books of their choice.
Daily 5: While the teacher is conferring one-on-one with students or working with a small group on a strategy, students have a choice of independent activities that will help them become better readers and writers. These include read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work and writing.
In addition to the CPS core academic curriculum (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing), Waters students receive instruction in the following ancillary subjects:
Music - once a week
Drama - once a week
Art & Digital Media: These two subjects are all taught as studio-sized half classes (14:1) for more in-depth projects:
Math Enrichment - once a week
Ecology - As an extension to the science curriculum, kinder students enjoy multiple field trips in the garden for deeper study of grade-specific environmental subjects. Hands-on learning in this subject also occurs in or outside of class if it is applicable to the science unit being studied.