Academics » Elementary (K-5)

Elementary (K-5)

Our Program


At Kaleidoscope, we value educating the whole child. Students in the younger grades need plenty of opportunities for movement and exploration, and we embrace the excitement, curiosity, and creativity they bring to the classroom. In the upper elementary grades, we focus on students becoming cooperative yet independent learners while offering the support necessary for success.


Our elementary teachers connect the curriculum to real-world experiences, creating opportunities for authentic learning. Field trips extend the learning of all of our elementary students.


Helping students develop character is a high priority. Students receive lessons on demonstrating responsibility, showing compassion, and developing leadership skills. Elementary students develop empathy and begin to understand the larger picture through service learning projects appropriate for their age levels.


Because of our focus on family involvement, teachers frequently communicate with families about what students are learning and how they can assist at home. Additionally, we ask our families to complete 20 hours of volunteer service each school year. Elementary volunteers are frequently in the school, helping in classrooms, reading books to students, serving as guest speakers, and more. They also assist at our annual events, such as Grandparents’ Day. These strong partnerships build a foundation for future academic success for our students!


What You See When Walking Our Halls


Small Class Sizes: Knowing the importance of one-on-one and small group assistance, especially in the elementary grades, we prioritize small class sizes and can cap our number of students. Our small class sizes also make it easier for our staff members to build strong relationships and positive learning environments for our students. Teachers intentionally create cohesive classroom environments, so students feel safe to take risks and challenge themselves.


Small Group and Differentiated Instruction: There is no “right” way to learn. The talented staff members at Kaleidoscope utilize their knowledge of their students to select the strategies they feel will work best for each child. Elementary classes have daily What I Need (WIN) time so students can work on their specific areas for growth. This means the students in a classroom may be working on different activities simultaneously, and students understand WIN time means everyone gets what they need.


Multi-Sensory Learning: Our teachers understand that all students learn in different ways. Some students learn best by reading material in a textbook. In contrast, others learn best by participating in hands-on activities or singing songs about the material they are covering in class. Because teachers address multiple learning styles in their lessons, you will notice engaged, respectful, and smiling students.


Interdisciplinary Work: When possible, our teachers design their instruction so students can dive deeply into a topic they are studying. When our first graders study community helpers, they may read a book about firefighters, write cards to hospital staff, and talk with a police officer. Studying the same topic throughout the day deepens students’ understanding.


Collaboration: Learning is not done in isolation. When walking our hallways, you will likely see students working together to accomplish a goal or task. This builds classroom community while also helping students develop social skills. Students are also more likely to remember information when working with their peers.

What We Teach

As a public school, Kaleidoscope Charter School’s curriculum is guided by the Minnesota Academic Standards, which lay out expectations for what students should learn and be able to do during each year of their schooling. The Minnesota Department of Education creates the standards, which you can view by visiting the
Minnesota Academic Standards (K-12) website.
Benchmark Advance uses nonfiction and fiction texts to build knowledge and vocabulary and promote critical thinking. Phonics is taught explicitly (following the Science of Reading), and students develop their comprehension and confidence through decodable readers. This rigorous curriculum combines reading, writing, grammar, and spelling.
Go Math! follows the 5 E Instructional Model (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate). Its focus on formative assessments and small group resources means all students receive the supports they need.
Kaleidoscope follows a calendar of continuous improvement. Due to the recently updated science standards, we are investigating a new elementary science curriculum.
Most elementary grade levels teach the social studies standards through Kaleidoscope-created curriculum and the nonfiction stories/units in Benchmark Advance.
Our specialist courses utilize many different curricula resources and units created by Kaleidoscope. Our elementary specialist courses are as follows:
  • Physical Education (K-5)
  • Music (K-5)
  • Art (K-5)
  • Spanish (3-5)
Students can also take band lessons beginning in fourth grade.
Elementary Principal
Tamara Polzin  |  Email  |  Bio