The Academic Division of The Salzburg Institute offers instruction in all academic subjects at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Sharon Miller, Department Head - Elementary School

School Information:

School:The Salzburg Institute
Position: Department Head - Elementary School
Years at Salzburg: 10
Years Teaching: 17

Professional Organizations:

Torongo Area Technology Educators
International Society for Technology Educators
National Council for the Teachers of Mathematics


B.S. in Middle Grades Education
M.A. in Middle Grades Education
Gifted Certification Ed.S in Curriculum and Instruction (expected 2011)

Personal Information:

Hobbies inlcude hiking, yoga, reading, movies, and antiquing.

The Ontaro Elementary School Curriculum for which we provide instruction are as follows:

The Arts 1-8
Visual Arts

Language 1-8

French As A Second Language, French Immersion 1-8

Mathematics 1-8

Science and Technology
Social Studes 1-6
History and Geograph 7-8

Please contact us for more information.

Below can be found the principles and philosophy we follow with respect to the different subject areas of the Curriculum

5th Grade Curriculum

Language Arts

The language arts program incorporates a balance of rich literature, grammar, and spelling. Instruction reflects integration of writing, speaking, listening, penmanship, and vocabulary development. The students communicate their growth in skills through a variety of methods, including projects, plays, games, reports, and lively discussions.

The fifth grade reading program is integrated with science and social studies. Skills are taught through reading quality fiction, non-fiction, and newspapers. Lessons focus on the strategies readers use to understand text and become life-long critical readers. The emphasis is upon comprehension skills, vocabulary development, literary devices and clear written and oral expression of thought. Students share their knowledge through written and oral responses, projects, reports, class and small group work, drama, art, and extension activities.

A variety of genres of written work is produced across all subject areas. Students express opinions and thinking processes with direct answers in paragraph and short essay form. Students brainstorm, write rough drafts, conference with teachers, revise, share with peer writers, and publish finished pieces of writing. They write for specific purposes and audiences through creative prose and poetry, reports, and research. Mini-lessons which involve spelling rules and skills are taught, and students continue to focus on application of spelling skills in written work. Grammar is taught through a textbook and is applied through various writing and speaking activities across the curriculum. Handwriting and word-processing applications are used to produce work.


The mathematics program, based on Everyday Mathematics, builds on the students' capabilities by expanding their ideas and life experiences. Supported by a rich, hands-on curriculum, students strengthen mathematical thinking skills. The program covers a broad range of mathematical concepts with an emphasis on application of skills in daily life. Mathematics instruction includes ongoing review, daily routines, the use of games and projects, cooperative learning, and problem solving for everyday situations. Students gain number sense, an understanding of operations, knowledge of measurement, an appreciation of relationships in data, and experience with geometric principles.

Fifth grade mathematics instruction focuses on:

  • Having a successful strategy for solving multi-digit addition and subtraction problems containing whole numbers, mixed numbers, and decimals
  • Explaining the relationship between multiplication and division, solving multi-digit multiplication problems and division problems with two digit divisors
  • Finding the square root of a number and the prime factorization of a number
  • Identifying place value to the trillions and thousandths places
  • Using a compass, protractor, and template to draw and measure polygons
  • Expressing the probability of an event as a fraction, percent, and decimal
  • Understanding area, perimeter, radius, diameter, circumference, parallel lines, acute, obtuse, straight, reflex and right angles, and classifying polygons and polyhedrons by their properties
  • Having a successful strategy for comparing, adding, subtracting, and multiplying mixed numbers and fractions with like and unlike denominators
  • Using order of operation, parentheses, exponential notation and scientific notation in number models
  • Performing operations with positive and negative numbers
  • Writing algebraic expressions to represent situations and solving linear equations
  • Choosing samples, developing questions and procedures, collecting, organizing and displaying data, finding statistical landmarks, and using graphs and tables to record and interpret data
  • Using formulas to solve problems such as capacity and volume

Social Studies
The social studies curriculum allows for an understanding of cultural diversity and human civil rights. Through various units of study, the students gain a knowledge of economic and social interdependence. Geographical concepts such as map and globe skills are incorporated into each unit. Students share their knowledge through activities, projects, and discussions.

The fifth grade social studies program centers on understanding the impact the ancient culture of Greece has had on that of the U.S., and the relevance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for today's America. Each area of study integrates history, economics and citizenship. Students learn researching and collaborative working skills through the study of Ancient Greece, the American Revolution, and the Civil Rights Movement. The children read, discuss, and debate relevant issues, and enhance their learning through the additional study of varied factual material and historical fiction.


SI students use a hands-on, inquiry based science curriculum. Experiences appropriate to the students' developmental levels are used as a way of asking and answering questions. The children often work in collaborative groups as they use the scientific processes to explore a variety of content areas. Each grade has opportunities to investigate the areas of life, earth and physical science, as well as environmental concerns.

The fifth grade explores the content areas of chemistry, zoology (vertebrate and invertebrate), botany and ecology. The units are used as a basis for gaining awareness of the scientific methods of observing, comparing, organizing, relating and classifying, hypothesizing, drawing conclusions, and applying learned principles. Students integrate the scientific process with research and writing skills in preparation for Middle School science fairs.


Creativity and appreciation of children's art work are given great emphasis at The Walker School. Children work in an environment that fosters respect for their unique and original art and encourages respect for the work of others. The art curriculum offers well-rounded and varied art experiences for children in first through fifth grade in the school's well-equipped Art Lab. The students look at their projects and assignments as opportunities for problem solving as they work with a wide range of media, projects, and themes within each grade level. Students enjoy creating a variety of ceramic projects making use of the Art Lab's large kiln, slab roller, and professional pottery tools. Through art projects and class discussions, students are introduced to art vocabulary, elements of design, and principles of design as they progress through Lower School. In Pursuit of the Arts, a month long celebration of the arts, includes art exhibits, music presentations, dramatic performances, visiting authors and artists, workshops, and discovery courses.

Character Education

Character Education in the Lower School is a highly visible and cooperative program which is integrated across the curriculum at each grade level and throughout the special areas. Classroom activities and group meetings, bulletin board displays, assembly performances and closed-circuit video productions are all designed to highlight a special virtue each month. Additionally, student participation in various service projects throughout the school year is a vital component.


In computer class students use educational software to enhance language arts, math, social studies, and science skills. Classroom and computer teachers work together closely to make sure that the selected software is relevant to topics being taught in the classroom. In addition, students learn computer literacy through a progression of basic skills including key board functions, network logging in, internet research, e-mail access, and word processing.

Counseling and Guidance

The Lower School counseling program consists of monthly classroom guidance lessons on character education, peer relations, conflict resolution and other subjects of interest for elementary age students. Self-esteem, divorce/loss, and friendship groups are also available for children, as are individual sessions for concerns in these and other relevant developmental areas.


The Lower School media center supports the curriculum by helping students develop skills to locate, understand, interpret, and communicate information and ideas from books, periodicals, and computer sources. Through the library program, students develop an appreciation of literature, a love of reading, and independent research skills. The collection consists of over 13,000 books. A computerized card catalog provides access to a variety of print, non-print, and electronic sources. The students come to the library once a week to learn library skills, listen to stories, and interact with peers through different types of literature. In addition, story tellers and authors visit throughout the school year.


Music offers an outlet for self-expression and group participation. Through singing, instruments, movement and listening, students experience the many facets of this art. The culmination of music study for grades 1-5 is the annual Spring Play, which incorporates drama, singing and dancing.

Physical Education

The goal of the Physical Education program is to promote the appreciation of a healthy lifestyle through the development of basic physical skills. A variety of developmentally appropriate activities emphasizes coordination, physical fitness, sportsmanship, team work, sport specific skills, and fun. The activities work toward individual improvement and self confidence.

The study of a foreign language prepares students to compete and cooperate in the international arena and helps to promote multi-cultural understanding. Instruction in grades 1-5 introduces students to pronunciation and intonation patterns as well as vocabulary. This is done primarily through listening and speaking skills. The program of study is flexible to allow for different levels of competency among the students.



©The Salzburg Institute 2012