An intentional balance between rigorous academics and the social and emotional development of our students underlies the curriculum of Redwood Day School. Our multifaceted curriculum provides every student with a comprehensive foundation of academic skills, a rich engagement with diverse content, and a clear sense of how best to advocate for herself as a learner.  From kindergarten all the way through to 8th grade, students study the core academic areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Integrated into our core curriculum is a prominent thread of specialist classes and activities, including foreign language, visual and performing arts, health and wellness, physical education, gardening, technology, and experiential learning. The K-8 curriculum provides a cohesive scope and sequence that scaffolds academic learning and character development. During their tenure at Redwood Day School, students gain the necessary tools and skills to become 21st century learners, take ownership of their own educational journeys, and feel empowered to take healthy risks in a safe environment that supports and honors each individual as an integral member of a diverse community of learners.

The Curriculum

Learning is a “spiral” process, and Redwood Day students intentionally circle back to reconsider topics introduced in lower grades, bringing greater understanding, maturity, and subject integration to their studies. This chart highlights the broad topics taught in the core curriculum at each grade level.


Language Arts

Social Studies





Differentiated instruction in sounds, guided reading, comprehension, writer's workshop

Local Community, Family, Holidays and Cultural traditions, Oakland Community Pen Pals

Number sense, patterns, calendar, time, measurement, estimation, addition, subtraction, shapes, number facts

Life cycles: apples and pumpkins, senses, Foss Curriculum: Trees and Animals

Exposure to vocabulary through movement, stories, games


Phoenetic awareness, comprehension, writing mechanics, guided reading, story mapping, word families/spelling, poetry

Families, cultures,  continents : classroom & world communities, individual heritage  

Number sense, operations, addition, subtraction, graphing, geometry, patterns, comparisons, time & money

Solids, liquids, gases, weather, insects, penguins

Simple grammar patterns through movement, stories, games; verbal questions & responses


Reading, grammar, paragraphs, peer review, editing, biographies, poetry, spelling

Local community, citizenship, maps, heroes, cultures & traditions, biographies

Measurement, number sense, probability, multiplication, division, fractions, geometry

Scientific process, plants, rocks & minerals, water cycle, ocean life

Deeper vocabulary through movement, stories, games; listening; reading mini-stories; speaking complete sentences


3-5 paragraph essays, word study, cursive, comprehension, grammar

Local & national : Oakland, Angel Island, U.S. states & regions, land forms

Long addition & subtraction, place value, multiplication, division, geometry, fractions, problem-solving

Scientific method; simple machines; outer space: sun, moon, stars,

More complex verbal responses; expanded vocabulary through movement, games, listening, reading 


Literature circles, book reports, thesis & support sentences, research, grammar, vocabulary

California history & geography : Native Californians through the Gold Rush

Decimals, multi-digit multiplication & division, geometry, algebra & functions

Ecosystems, wetland habitats, rock cycle, minerals, electricity, circuits

Building vocabulary of nouns & present-tense verbs; reading stories;  written & verbal response


Expository writing, proof-reading, editing, journals, assigned & self-selected reading, comprehension

US history from English settlements to colonialization, Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, colonies to a country, forming the US Constitution, 3 branches of US government, westward expansion in the 19th century and the impact on Native Americans, 

Advanced multiplication and division, fractions and mixed numbers, conversion of fractions to decimals and percents, algebra, area of a triangle, ratio, graphs and probability, angles, surface area and volume

Cells, microscopes, human anatomy,  health & nutrition

Reading stories & a short novel; responses to verbal & written questions; drama & games to reinforce vocabulary


Modern and ancient literature, research & essay-writing, journalism, vocabulary, grammar, public speaking

Ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Hebrews, & Greeks; cultural universals

Number sense and operations, fractions, decimals, percents ratios, algebra, prime factorization, geometry,

Earth science: geology, volcanoes, weather, human impact on the environment, outer space

Transition to Spanish immersion: grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, Spanish and Latin American Culture


World novels, poetry, elements of literature, analytical essay writing, grammar, vocabulary

World history, religions, cultures: Europe, Asia, West Africa, India, Middle East, Americas

Integrated algebra, proportions and problem solving, number sense, geometry, percents, probability

Life science: cells, genetics, human biology, ecology 

Vocabulary; grammar; written, oral & multimedia presentations


Self-selected & assigned novels, writing monologues & analytical essays, inference, grammar, vocabulary

US history from colonization through Vietnam War: government, politics, human experience 

Linear equations, polynomials, exponential growth & decay, systems, algebraic word problems, quadratic equations

Physical science (lab-based): chemistry, force & motion, simple machines, energy, evolution

Vocabulary; present & past tenses; written, oral, & multimedia presentations;   readiness for high school Spanish II