K-5 Academics Overview

K-5 Instruction includes thoughtful integration of subject area content.  Curriculum guides for each subject outline the scope and sequence and are structured around units of study. Curriculum review and adoption involves grade level teachers, specialists and administrators. The curriculum review process includes ongoing professional development to build teacher capacity and ensure efficacy and fidelity of curriculum and resource implementation. Teachers are members of a professional learning community. They share expertise and work collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of a child’s education. The SEL curriculum is embedded into the existing grade-level curriculum where positive social and emotional skills are fostered in a well-managed and engaging environment.

Curriculum Overviews


The K–5 math curriculum equips teachers to fully implement the Illinois Learning Standards for Mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex problems.Lessons include a combination of direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration.

Grade Level Overviews


Students focus intensively on the two critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics:

  • Representing and comparing whole numbers
  • Describing shapes and space

Six of eight units are devoted to number and operations. They help students learn to use numbers, including written numerals, to represent quantities and solve problems; count out a given number of objects; compare sets or numerals; and model simple joining and separating situations with objects, fingers, words, actions, drawings, numbers, and equations.

The remaining two units focus on geometry. They invite students to describe and analyze the attributes of shapes in the world around them; find, count, draw, build, and compare shapes; and fit shapes together to make other shapes and complete puzzles.

1st Grade

Students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade One:

  • Addition and subtraction within 20
  • Whole number relationships and place value
  • Linear measurement in non-standard units
  • Reasoning with shapes and their attributes

Four of eight units are devoted to addition and subtraction within 20. They help students gain fluency with facts to 10 and develop increasingly sophisticated strategies for solving addition and subtraction combinations to 20. During these units, students model, solve, and pose a wide variety of word problems to construct meaning for the operations of addition and subtraction, as well as an understanding of how the two are connected.

Two of the eight units focus on place value, extending the counting sequence to 120 as students learn to think of whole numbers between 10 and 100 in terms of tens and ones. Much of the work in these units engages first graders in developing, discussing, and using efficient, accurate, and generalizable methods to add within 100 and subtract multiples of 10.

The remaining two units revolve around geometry and measurement. The geometry unit challenges children to identify, describe, construct, draw, compare, compose, and sort shapes. Students also learn about fractions in the context of two-dimensional shapes. The measurement unit provides ample opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the meaning and processes of measuring time and length as they conduct duration experiments; construct, fly, and measure the flight distances of paper gliders; and investigate some of the many ways in which they have grown and changed since they were born.

2nd Grade

Students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade Two:

  • Extending understanding of base-ten notation
  • Building fluency with addition and subtraction
  • Using standard units of linear measurement
  • Describing and analyzing shapes

The first unit revisits and extends addition and subtraction within 20, helping to ensure that second graders operate with understanding and fact fluency from the start of the school year.

Units 2, 3, 5, and parts of Unit 7, are devoted to place value and multi-digit addition and subtraction. During these units, students learn to count by fives, tens, and multiples of hundreds, tens and ones; read, write, and compare numbers to 1,000; and develop fluency with addition and subtraction to 100 as they solve and pose a wide variety of word problems. Later in the year, the children use concrete models and sketches, as well as strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and the relationship between addition and subtraction, to add and subtract to 1,000.

Unit 6 revolves around geometry, building foundations for understanding area, volume, congruence, similarity, and symmetry as students investigate, describe, build, draw, combine, decompose, and analyze two- and three-dimensional shapes.

Unit 4, and the first part of Unit 7, focus on linear measurement, as students construct their own rulers; estimate and measure in inches, feet, yards, centimeters, and meters; and solve problems that involve adding, subtracting, and comparing lengths.

Unit 8 revisits linear measurement in the context of science and engineering as students make and test cardboard ramps of different kinds to investigate some of the factors that cause marbles to roll farther and faster. In the process, they generate data by measuring marble roll distances multiple times, pool their data, and enter it on line plots to better see, understand, and analyze how manipulating the different variables affects the outcomes.

3rd Grade

Students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade Three:

  • Developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100
  • Developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1)
  • Developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area
  • Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes

The first unit reviews and extends work with addition and subtraction as students review facts, look for patterns, and work with larger numbers. Unit 2 transitions to multiplication by having students use a variety of rich contexts (arrays of stamps, groups of windows, and a coral reef) to develop and refine multiplication strategies and models. Unit 3 returns to addition and subtraction, this time focusing on strategies for computing with larger numbers.

In Units 4 and 5, students explore measurement, fractions, division, and multiplication of larger numbers. They estimate and make measurements in different units; explore unit fractions and equivalent fractions, and begin adding and subtracting fractions; they connect multiplication to division and extend multiplication strategies to larger numbers. Their work with multiplication develops a strong understanding of area.

Unit 6 focuses on geometry, as students investigate, draw, and build two-dimensional shapes, using their properties to classify and analyze these shapes. They also connect geometry to fractions as they express the area of a shape as a unit fraction of the whole. Unit 7 brings together and extends many of the skills and concepts addressed in earlier units as students solve challenging problems that involve calculating with multi-digit numbers. They explore algorithms for addition and subtraction and dig deeper into division. Students develop strategies and models for division, many of which are based on their work with multiplication.

Unit 8 integrates mathematics and science, with a primary focus on designing and building model bridges. Students test the strength of their model bridges in systematic ways to collect data. Then they graph and analyze the data, finding the range and mean, to make conjectures and draw conclusions about effective bridge design and construction.

4th Grade

Students focus intensively on the three critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade Four:

  • Developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication, and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends
  • Developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers
  • Understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry

The first two units focus on multiplication and multiplicative thinking. Unit 1 reviews and extends multiplication work from third grade and examines factors and products, as well as prime and composite numbers. Unit 2 delves deeper as students explore and extend strategies, concepts, and models related to multi-digit multiplication. Unit 3 utilizes a variety of tools to model, read, write, compare, order, compose and decompose fractions and decimals.

Units 4, 6 and 7 focus on fractions, decimals, division, and more multiplication. Various models help students understand more about operations with fractions and fraction equivalence, as well as the relationship between fractions and decimals. Students also discover the relationships between multiplication and division as they see that many multiplication strategies also apply to division problems. They solve division problems with and without remainders and begin exploring multiplication and division of simple fractions.

Unit 5 focuses on geometry and extends students’ understandings of area, volume, and symmetry. Students investigate, draw, and build two-dimensional shapes and the properties of those shapes to classify and analyze them. They also learn to use protractors to measure and construct angles.

Unit 8 integrates many key skills and concepts in the context of science and engineering by giving students the opportunity to design playgrounds. In the process, they generate and analyze data, and use a line plot to represent that data.

5th Grade

Students focus intensively on the three critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade Five:

  • Developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions)
  • Extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system, developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations
  • Developing understanding of volume

The first unit is focused on volume, and includes a review of multiplication facts and multi-digit multiplication strategies. In Unit 2, students use what they know about equivalent fractions to add and subtract fractions. Unit 3 extends students’ understandings of place value and the properties of operations to help students develop powerful strategies for computing fluently with decimals. In Unit 4 they refine powerful multiplication and division strategies, including the array model and the standard algorithm for multiplication.

In Unit 5 students learn to multiply and divide fractions. Unit 6 introduces new geometric concepts, including coordinate graphing and the use of hierarchies to classify two-dimensional shapes by their properties.

In Unit 7 students develop accurate and efficient strategies for dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions (unit fractions by whole numbers, and whole numbers by unit fractions). Unit 8 integrates science, engineering, and math. In this final unit, students apply the understandings and skills they have developed over the year as they study solar energy and designing solar homes.

English Language Arts (ELA)

The K-5 English Language Arts curriculum equips teachers to fully implement the Illinois Learning Standards. Foundational reading skills are a focus at the primary grades and systematic and explicit phonics instruction is embedded in all the literacy components. Students participate in daily independent reading and every classroom has access to engaging, culturally relevant, diverse texts. Skills and strategies focus on helping all students comprehend complex text with an emphasis on both literature and informational text. Writing is embedded throughout all content areas with an emphasis on narrative, informational and opinion writing. Students engage in both creative and technical writing. Direct instruction and modeling of grammar is a part of all of the ELA instructional components.

Guided Reading/Small Group Instruction









During guided reading, or small group instruction, students develop strategies to apply independently.  Work focuses on processes integral to reading proficiently. During guided reading, teachers monitor student reading processes and check that texts are within students’ grasps. Teachers use a variety of complex texts and may relate to other subject areas themes or content. During Shared Reading the class reads chorally from a single text. The teacher reads along with students, supporting their reading as needed. As students are more able to read text independently, teachers decrease and eventually eliminate their support. Shared reading offers the opportunity for teachers to continue to model fluent and accurate reading while providing students with multiple chances to practice alongside their peers. During Word Study, the teacher provides direct, systematic instruction in the English language so that students are able to decode and comprehend with ease. A mini lesson begins the reading workshop. This is the time the teacher plans for a whole class lesson on reading around grade level standards. independent reading. During the thirty to forty minutes of independent reading  the teacher is conferring with students one-on-one, in partnerships, or pulling small groups of students to meet their individual developmental reading needs. A mini lesson begins the Writers’ Workshop. The teacher modes a skill or process, then guides students to use those skills.  After the mini-lesson, students begin independent writing. During the thirty to forty minutes of writing, the teacher is conferring with students one-on-one, in partnerships, or small groups to meet the individual student’s developmental writing needs. In the upper grades, writing is embedded across all content areas.



The new K-5 Illinois Science Standards focus on critical core concepts and several performance expectations.Through investigation and inquiry, students engage in basic science and engineering practices. K-5 science instruction is transitioning to the new standards and embedding the science and engineering practices and inquiry process into learning opportunities throughout the day. Future work will continue to identify curriculum and materials to meet the needs of the standards.  Click the links below for more information.

Understanding the K-2 Science Standards

Understanding the 3-5 Science Standards

Social Studies

The Illinois Social Science standards prepare our next generation of citizens. The standards are specific to each individual grade level and are centered around the following themes.

  • Kindergarten: My Social World
  • First Grade: Living, Learning, and Working Together 
  • Second Grade: Families, Neighborhoods, and Communities 
  • Third Grade: Communities Near and Far
  • Fourth Grade: Our State, Our Nation
  • Fifth Grade: Our Nation, Our World

Students use knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills to engage in the inquiry process.  Students apply these skills to civics, history, economics, and geography at each grade level. Disciplinary concepts are taught in conjunction with inquiry skills. Because these standards are grade specific, teachers should focus on standards at their grade level. The theme is used as a framework for incorporating the social science standards across content areas. Future work includes teachers identifying the specific disciplinary concepts related to identified themes, and researching curriculum materials.

Fine Arts

Students receive both art and music education weekly. All students experience the arts through creation and performance. Instruction is aligned to the new Illinois Arts Standards and focus on self-discipline, self-confidence and self-reflection. Students produce quality work at different stages of the creative making process which includes both the presenting and interpretation stages. Through the arts, students acquire 21st Century Learning Skills such as critical thinking. They explore and synthesize knowledge from other content areas such as mathematics and social science.  

Physical Education

Students receive physical education weekly. Instruction K-5 is aligned to enhance Physical Education state goals and focus on movement skills,physical fitness, team building, health promotion, prevention and treatment, human body systems, and communications and decision making.


Students participate in weekly STEM( Science,Technology, Engineering and Math)  projects and problem based learning opportunities. This work integrates the use of technology into instruction and includes basic computer operations, the use of innovative digital tools, digital citizenship, research, collaboration and teamwork. Projects are aligned to a design thinking model and allow students to use a solutions-based approach to solving problems that are relevant to them. Students foster creativity, critical thinking and communication skills through engaging and hands on investigations and theme based projects.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem solving and decision-making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting all students.  

Enrichment & Acceleration Programs

The Lisle 202 Board of Education believes that all students across the achievement spectrum should be challenged and supported to develop their potential. Lisle K-5 teachers meet the needs of all learners. Teachers use a differentiated approach to instruction and actively plan for students' differences so that all students can best learn. Teachers divide their time, resources, and efforts to effectively teach students who have various backgrounds, readiness skill levels, and interests. All teachers provide differentiation by allowing students to have choice in many of their learning opportunities. Differentiation in the classroom includes enrichment opportunities for students who are ready for deeper and more complex levels of understanding. Teachers work with small groups and individual students to target skills and provide the necessary feedback to help students grow and achieve at high levels.

Accelerated Learning Program

Accelerated learning includes the placement of a student at the instructional level that best matches that student’s needs by allowing access to curriculum that is usually reserved for older students. The Accelerated Learning opportunities are open to all students regardless of race, ethnicity and gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability who meet the district’s criteria of high ability. Accelerated learning options include early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, subject acceleration and whole grade acceleration.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten & First Grade

Parents or professionals with knowledge of a child such as a preschool educator, pediatrician, or psychologist may refer a child for early entrance to kindergarten or first grade. Early entrance to Kindergarten or 1st grade referrals should be sent to the building principal by May 1st for the following school year.  Following a referral, a fair and equitable decision-making process involving multiple persons including the parent or guardian will be utilized to determine if the student will be granted early entrance. The assessment will include multiple valid and reliable indicators. To be eligible for early entrance, students must exhibit significantly above average academic performance for their age in math and literacy and demonstrate age-appropriate social/emotional skills. After your request is made in writing, you will be contacted with additional information.

Subject Acceleration - Math & English/Language Arts (ELA)

Subject area acceleration/enrichment is offered to students in grades 3-5 in Mathematics and 4-5 English Language Arts. Students receive instruction typically reserved for the next grade level. Accelerated Learning takes place at the grade level’s regular scheduled ELA and Mathematics instructional blocks. Students who qualify must meet the district’s assessment qualifications.  The assessment includes multiple valid and reliable indicators. Assessment of qualifications is an ongoing process. Students do not need to retest for the program from year to year once they have qualified unless they discontinue participation in our program for a school year. Children are continually evaluated for possible inclusion in the program throughout the year. Parents are notified in the late spring regarding testing for subject acceleration.  If you have questions, please contact the building administrator.

Referrals for Whole Grade Level/Double Subject Acceleration must be submitted to the building administrator. Parents or professionals with knowledge of a child such as an educator, pediatrician, or psychologist may refer a child for subject or grade level acceleration.  Please contact your child’s school for the required referral form.

Pull Out Enrichment - Project Challenge

In addition to the Accelerated Learning program, there is Project Challenge.This is a replacement enrichment program for students in grades 3-5 in the Accelerated Learning Program. Students must meet the district’s qualifications to participate in this enrichment program. In Project Challenge,  learning activities are provided at a high degree of difficulty and include more complex, abstract and multifaceted tasks than typically provided to age appropriate peers. These students receive replacement enrichment during a weekly scheduled pull out time and receive this enrichment outside of the core curriculum. Assessment of qualifications is an ongoing process. Students do not need to retest for the program from year to year,  Children are continually evaluated for possible inclusion in the program throughout the year. Parents are notified in the late spring regarding testing for these programs. If you have questions, please contact the building administrator.

Academic Supports

Lisle Elementary School teachers meet the needs of all learners. Teachers use a differentiated approach to instruction and actively plan for students' differences so that all students can best learn. Teachers divide their time, resources, and efforts to effectively teach students who have various backgrounds, readiness and skill levels, and interests. Teachers provide differentiation by allowing students to have choice in many of their learning opportunities. Teachers work with small groups and individual students to target skills and provide the necessary feedback to help students move forward.

To efficiently differentiate instruction for all students, tiered models of intervention are used. This  problem-solving method can be applied to all students including small groups and individual student interventions.  Behavioral and/or instructional supports are prioritized and put in place in the classroom and/or as a pull out service. Ongoing progress monitoring is done to ensure interventions are robustly implemented. One major challenge in improving the outcomes of our students involves providing access to the type of services and support they need to succeed. That is, moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach and moving toward differentiation based on talent and need.

Social Emotional Learning Supports

Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The District works to implement SEL through climate, culture and infusion. Climate refers to building safe and respectful learning environments throughout the school and school day, direct instruction refers to using a variety of programs to explicitly teach SEL skills and infusion refers to the integration of SEL principles throughout instruction.  In a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach integrates SEL curriculum and strategies to support positive behavior,

Special Education

Lisle District 202 offers a full continuum of special education and related services to students found eligible to receive special education services. This process involves a comprehensive evaluation and looks at many aspects of child’s development. You or your child’s school can request an evaluation. Schools use many strategies to help students receiving special education services succeed in general education settings. These strategies include: assistive technology, accommodations, modifications, and push in/pull out services. Please visit the Student Services section of our website for a complete District overview.

Additional Information

Instructional Technology

Lisle Elementary School students utilize technology devices such as Chromebooks and iPads to enrich their curricula across subject areas. With pedagogy still as a guiding factor, teachers design lessons that maximize these devices and enhance engagement for all learners. Students are responsible for ensuring the device is charged and ready to use in class. Lisle High School utilizes a variety of digital tools including Google Apps for Education, along with other instructional platforms. The integration of technology provides an enhanced learning experience for our students and gives them an opportunity to redefine what mastery looks like in any content area.

Standards Based Grading

Standards-Based practices have long been incorporated into our students’ learning and our teaching practices.  The next step is implementing Standards-Based Reporting to clearly communicate the growth our students are making throughout the school year.

Standards-Based refers to an approach to teaching, evaluating, grading, and communicating student progress.  In this approach:

  • Students demonstrate their understanding and show that they have mastered the knowledge and skills specifically identified by the standards throughout the school year.  
  • The student’s progress is communicated to students and parents by identifying how students are progressing on each identified standard.  
  • Utilizing this way of sharing student progress provides more detailed information to students and parents about the areas of strength and challenge.  Rather than having a letter define an endpoint for the trimester, standards based grading and reporting will share detailed, specific information about the student's progress toward the identified standards.  

  • These standards, or expectations,  are set by the State of Illinois.


Please visit our Standards-Based Grading page for more information about this way of reporting student progress.