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Kindergarten through Fifth Grade

Language Arts

Our K-3 language arts Program uses a hands-on approach and is based on the Science of Reading. Starting in Kindergarten, students are actively engaged in daily reading and literacy activities, building a strong foundation and love of learning. Reading groups focus on individual learners and challenge each child to reach their fullest potential. We create independent readers who read for meaning, comprehension and understanding. In the upper elementary years, students become strong writers as they learn to cite sources, edit their work, and publish final pieces to prepare for the rigors of middle school and beyond. 


The scope and sequence of The Gooden School’s elementary mathematics program (Sadlier Oxford Program) uses hands-on activities, whole and small group and partner activities, as well as conceptual games. Daily oral and written practice ensures that students become proficient in the foundational skills they need for complex math. Beginning in the fourth grade, students receive letter grades, and in fifth grade, students are placed in one of two mathematics pathways to address the needs of individual learners. Students thus gain confidence and mastery of the skills required for middle school math. 

Global Studies

The K-5 scope and sequence of the global studies curriculum builds on knowledge and discovery and the use of primary and secondary sources, as well as other resources as student progress.

Kindergarten and first-grade students learn about identity, diversity, cooperation and citizenship as they discover significant places and historical events. A large part of the kindergarten and first-grade Global Studies curriculum focuses on our communities and the great people who make those communities successful through their actions, work, trade and service. 

Students in second and third-grades are given the tools to investigate the communities around them. Students learn the impact that geography, history, government and economics have in their own communities and across the globe. As they learn about individuals who have made an impact on the world, they also explore ways they themselves can make a positive impact in their communities.   Using maps, primary and secondary sources, timelines, and discovering the importance of different perspectives, our students build citizenship skills and gain an understanding of the forces that shape their communities locally and globally.


In fourth and fifth grades, students work collaboratively; they use maps, charts, timelines, primary and secondary sources, and develop research and citation skills as they explore and write about what makes each region of North America unique. They also examine and discuss the history, geography, government, and economics of each region and what connects different regions to one another and to the world. The curriculum focuses on North America before the founding of the United States, as well as the first several decades of the republic and the history of California. Students learn about the cooperation, conflicts and different perspectives that defined our early nation.


Creativity and collaborative problem-solving are essential to every content area, so even Gooden’s youngest students participate in hands-on, experiential Science/STEAM activities. Students in Kindergarten through third grade are presented with purposeful content to encourage their curiosity and cooperation, and engage them in learning about what natural and human-made things are, how they work and our impact on them. Beginning in fourth grade, the science and STEAM curriculum are integrated, and include the exploration of earth science, environmental science, life science, physical science, engineering and structural formations, as well as collaborative problem-solving around global issues. 


Social Emotional Learning

Second Step is a research-based, social-emotional curriculum that uses relational lessons and activities based on best practices in the fields of social-emotional learning, education, and psychology. The Gooden School uses this curriculum to support our students as they

- Develop a growth mindset and apply research-based goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives
- Learn how to build their emotional vocabularies, practice identifying their own and others’ emotions, and recognize the importance of labeling and processing their emotions
-Learn how to recognize kindness and act kindly toward others, and how to develop empathy by learning strategies to take others’ perspectives
-Learn how to process strong emotions, describe their problems, identify the wants and needs of others, and explore the best possible solutions and strategies to the social and academic problems they encounter