Search: Keyword:


The common focus for Whitson has always centered on literacy. There is a consistent research-based instructional approach that encompasses shared beliefs about teaching and how students learn. Whitson's schedule reflects this literacy commitment with students receiving a 90-minute reading block each day. The core reading program focuses on the five essential components of effective reading instruction:
  • phonemic awareness
  • phonics
  • fluency
  • vocabulary
  • comprehension.
Whitson uses My Math materials in mathematics. Units of study are presented through investigations that involve students in the exploration of major mathematical ideas. This helps students develop flexibility and confidence in approaching problems, fluency in using mathematical skills and tools to solve problems and proficiency in evaluation solutions. 

In Science, FOSS (Full Option Science System) kits provide a fresh approach to science instruction and assessment for students. It is a carefully planned and coordinated science curriculum in three strands: Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science. FOSS contributes to the attainment of scientific literacy by providing active learning experiences designed to establish appropriate steps of literacy.

Social Studies
The Social Studies Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) describe what students should know and be able to do in civics, economics, geography, history and Social Studies skills.

Social Studies helps students become responsible citizens in a culturally diverse, democratic society within an interdependent world. Through the exploration of history, geography, economics, and civics, students learn about the people, places, issues, eras, and events that shape our world.

At Whitson students use a variety of materials and resources to meet these expectations. We have adopted the Social Studies Alive! text series. Teachers create relative units to meet the standards. In teaching social skills we use the research based Second Steps curriculum Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The curriculum teaches several skills central to healthy social-emotional development: empathy, impulse control and problem solving and anger management.

The Arts
The Arts are taught in a variety of methods at Whitson Elementary. 

Teachers teach visual arts in their classroom using, Art Lessons in the Classroom, as well as teacher developed lessons. Lessons are aligned with Washington state's Essential Academic Learning Requirements in the Arts with lesson expansions built in to ensure mastery of each concept. 

Enrichment Class: Each grade level attends Specialists on a rotational schedule. Students visit the Enrichment class 1-2 days each week. Students are introduced to variety of materials and media to express concepts that cross over to many of their units in the classroom in all curricular areas. Students keep an electronic portfolio of their work through the elementary years showcasing the pieces they are most proud of.

Music: To develop an appreciation for music students should be exposed to every type of music-making. During the Kindergarten through 2nd grade students use the Making Music materials. They begin with elements and skills and progress to theme based instruction that connects music to broader curricular areas. In 3rd grade a few topics are targeted in depth, students compose music and begin playing instruments.

Physical Education 
Health and fitness teaches students that good health and safety principles can lead to a lifetime of healthy practices, resulting in more productive, active and successful lives. The learning standards for health and fitness describe what students should know and be able to do. They establish the concepts and skills necessary for safe and healthy living, and in turn, for successful learning.

The skills for both team and individual sports are learned and practice. Emphasis is placed on doing your personal best rather than winning or being first. Students learn sportsmanship and how to be a good team player. Students are taught the skills they can use to keep their bodies moving now and in the future so they grow into healthy adults. Our goal is for students have fun while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.