Elementary School

Elementary Department

Daily Life


At Pacific American School (PAS), we understand the importance of building a solid academic foundation through a comprehensive and robust curriculum that adheres to the American National Standards. In order to equip our students with the necessary skills to progress successfully into the future, we have integrated teaching skills and strategies to cultivate Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Self-expression in our students. At PAS, we not only build these necessary characteristics through our academic curriculum, but also through an array of activities and events. While a homeroom teacher covers most of the subjects in our lower elementary classrooms, as the children progress into the upper elementary grades, specialized teachers teach core subjects, including English, Social Studies, and Science. Additionally, we also have specialized teachers teaching Art, Computer, Music, Chinese, and Physical Education. Our teachers collaborate closely to integrate their curricula, extending the sciences and reading activities to subjects like Art and Computer.Regular extra-curricular activities within school hours are varied and filled with laughter. Club activities are offered twice a week, and include sports, board games, Lego, robotics, a How-to, fingernail painting, movie, and cooking, etc. Arrangements are made for swimming lessons during the warmer months of the school year with specialized coaches. During the colder months, we have percussion or library hour. Other activities offered include Junior Percussion and Arts Fun, again, taught by our specialized Art and Music teachers. Learning is not simply reading off a textbook, but to integrate it with creative hands-on activities to make learning a memorable experience. Field trips to science and astrological museums, Baby Boss, Glass Museum and other in-school events, such as Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Science/Math Fair all contribute to making learning fun and experiential. Other school events include Sports Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Talent Show, Poetry Contest, Year-end Musical, etc.. The compactness of the PAS Community allows the elementary students ample opportunities to interact with and learn from older students through these school-wide activities. Students with limited English are evaluated by teachers to determine whether it is necessary to place them in an ESL English class for enrichment. Due to our low student-to-teacher ratio, each student receives ample attention in regards to both his/her academic and psychological development. Students do not have the luxury of being tardy with completing assignments, and are definitely not allowed to display passive participation in class. Active participation through in-class discussions and dialogue, projects, and presentations are only part of our students’ regular training and assessment. At PAS, we look to discover the diverse abilities within our students, and nurture those abilities.

Tidbits of ES Daily Life

English Class

In ES, the goal is to encourage and instill in students a love for reading and writing and to build their confidence in oral communication. ES focuses on foundational skills that will prepare students for success as they progress academically.  Teachers in ES explicitly teach reading comprehension strategies by building background knowledge and vocabulary to allow students to make a connection to the text. This allows students to ask questions, create/visualize pictures in their minds, and be able to give meaning to the text being read. In reading, students are exposed to a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction texts, including poetry, folktales, realistic fiction, autobiography, historical fiction, tall tales, poetry and exposition.  The reading series is subdivided into six units, with each unit containing stories of varied genres that share a similar topic and/or theme. Students are encouraged to read independently to develop reading fluency, oral ability, and writing skills while encouraging students to have a love for reading. Writing is more focused to include higher level thinking skills that prepare students for more detailed writing as they begin to write with their audience in mind. Students start developing their writing to include attention grabbers, a topic sentence, point of view statements, proper use of transitional words, and reasoning. ES reading, grammar and writing skills are scaffold from grade one to five; each year skills are reviewed as lessons become progressively more detailed, with more focused skills being introduced as students prepare to enter MS.

Kids working in class


Math & Science

Focus on the five strands of mathematics — number sense and operations, patterning and algebra, measurement, data analysis and probability, geometry and spatial sense — begin in ES, and becomes progressively more detailed as students reach grade five.  Students in lower elementary learn how to add and subtract using whole numbers, tell time, explore place value, discover shapes, understand data using pictographs, and solve simple word problems.  As they gain a better understanding of basic math problems, students are introduced to more difficult algebraic problems and word problems that help them develop critical thinking skills. Upper elementary students begin to use all four operations and computations, and begin to solve more complex problems to develop their critical analysis skills.

Working on science project

Art & Design

An integral part of the Visual Arts program is to teach students how to critique art as an individual, both orally in a group setting and through written form to develop their communication skills. Students learn to make logical decisions and to be able to express themselves as critical thinkers. Students learn how to improve while working in progress or after the completion of projects by being able to use critiques and the perspectives of their peers constructively. In addition, by connecting their art process with the broader social context, students develop their capacity to grow into well-rounded citizens. Thinking aesthetically teaches students how to be empowered thinkers who understand how an individual can impact the world both locally and globally.   The ES Visual Art program develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the different visual and tactile Elements of Art: line, shape, color, texture, form, and space. Students learn how artwork is composed and assembled through learning the Principles of Design: emphasis, repetition, harmony, balance, proportion, movement, contrast, unity, and variety. These concepts are taught in progression throughout ES and into MS and on into HS.  Students create hands-on projects using a variety of art materials and art techniques. The language of art is a powerful tool to ignite the imagination and help Elementary Students (ES) students to acquire critical thinking skills.  ES students learn to be creative thinkers, problem solvers and communicators through their art in forums in the school and regular displays.  They are encouraged to make connections with art and the world around them, and to appreciate the range of forms and styles that art can take. ES students are exposed to a variety of sources, cultures and concepts that can be utilized as inspiration to expand their creative minds. ES students learn the importance of documenting the development of their work with portfolios.  They learn to express a creative voice, develop areas of strength, and take pride in their creative expressions.  


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