First Through Fourth Grades

  • Reading, writing, science, mathematics, and the arts form the core of the Manatee Elementary School curriculum. To teach these primary skills and to meet the individual needs of each student, teachers draw upon broad expertise in subject areas and extensive knowledge of child development.


    Teachers from Kindergarten through the fifth grade expose children to a print-rich environment and build an understanding of text. They read to children regularly to develop the children’s listening skills as well as their enjoyment of reading. They model reading behaviors for students to emulate. They provide guidance on choosing a variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and encourage students to explore a variety of texts for independent reading.


    Teachers from Kindergarten through the fifth grade teach conventions of writing, capitalization, punctuation, syntax, and strategies for learning to spell new words. Students develop vocabulary through the study of language: wordplay, poetry forms, figurative language, grammar, and syntax. They are encouraged to reflect on their understanding of written language and to become aware that writing is purposeful. Students see modeling of writing behaviors, strategies, and structures. Opportunities are provided for students to develop written work, to write for a variety of audiences and purposes, and to share their writing.

    Students learn about a range of tools that they can incorporate into their writing, namely sentence structure and variety; paragraph construction; strong adjectives, adverbs, and verbs; and figurative and descriptive language and sensory detail.


    The Manatee Elementary School Media Center is a treasure-trove of thousands of books. Our Media Specialist seeks to provide materials that stimulate the imagination, engender curiosity, and reflect the multiplicity of different cultures, histories, and ecosystems. Children are encouraged to browse and explore, to pursue their own interests, and to experience the pure pleasure of books.


    Children explore mathematical ideas, practice reasoning, and apply problem-solving skills. From early exploration of the properties of numbers and shapes through complex problems of fractions and decimals, the objective is to build and secure basic computational skills through the development of deep conceptual understanding of mathematics.


    The Manatee Elementary School music program engages children in discovery and learning through dynamic teaching methods. Music classes provide opportunities for aural, visual, and kinesthetic learners to hear, feel, understand, see, and physically express themselves. Students are introduced to basic elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre.

    Physical Education

    The mission of the Physical Education program is to provide students with a basic foundation of motor and manipulative skills, an understanding of the importance of physical fitness and sport, and the opportunity to develop effective personal and social skills. Our goal is to promote a positive learning environment that meets the needs and abilities of all students, and encourages them to maintain a physically active lifestyle.


    For Manatee Elementary students, science is not just information gathering; it is an ongoing process involving investigating, questioning, reasoning, predicting, discovery, and problem-solving. Manatee El’s science teachers work with children to nurture the interest and capacity for science learning.