Welcome to First & Second Grade!

First and Second Grade is a time for students to expand upon what is means to be a learner at Willowwind, especially in our own class community. Students develop and strengthen essential life-long skills as a foundation for their time here. First and Second graders are constantly trying new things and learning deeply from both “mistakes” and successes. Students are encouraged to approach topics they are unaccustomed to spending sustained time working on. A large part of our learning comes from doing! Social-emotional focuses and the building of important work habits are at the forefront of our learning. These themes continue throughout their time here at Willowwind with increased and matured purpose.


Curriculum Areas



Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m

Before and After-School Programs are available from 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Click here for tuition information.


Featured Experience



Independent work and student choice is crucial to literacy development. Students work together in small groups to read and discuss literature that fits their reading capabilities and interests. Tough word decoding strategies and reading comprehension skills are discussed and modeled during these small group meetings. Willowwind uses the Words Their Way spelling curriculum. As students gain more awareness of the writing process and word patterns, spelling expectations will evolve. Students spend time during Writers' Workshop whole group brainstorming, buddy discussing, listing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and reading. Students are truly challenged by academic projects and learn how to show grit through demonstrating their personal best!



Students learn about weather and consider how it effects the environment. They measure, record and observe weather, analyze their findings, and use maps to compare weather patterns in different parts of the world. Students also raise butterflies and observe their life cycle while researching other life cycles. Students study and draw conclusions about properties that effect motion as they build objects to balance, spin, and roll. Students design carts with wheel and axle systems which they use to experiment with rolling,  magnetism, force, and gravity. 

  • Force and Motion

  • Ecosystems/Biodiversity

  • Landforms and Earth Changes

  • Life Cycles/Traits & Sustainability



Willowwind uses Math in Focus, a Singapore-based approach to teaching math.  This curriculum engages students with topics while allowing them to gain a deep understanding of math concepts.  Math in Focus lessons interlock concept and skills by teaching both "the why" and "the how" drawing on students' prior knowledge and recently acquired concepts to combine problem solving strategies with critical thinking skills when teaching complex skills.


Social Studies

As always at the start of the year, we focus on building community and creating classroom rules to protect our student rights.  In doing so, we make connections to the U.S. Constitution. Students compare and contrast things from the past to the present and future, selecting a research topic to based on interest. Students then use primary and secondary sources to prepare a Then and Now presentation.  Students also experiment with reading and creating maps as they study their school community, home community, and downtown Iowa City. 

  • Community & Culture

  • Willowwind History: Then & Now

  • Global citizenship & Stewardship


Indian Creek Nature Center

Our first & second grade students had the opportunity to spend two days doing active, outdoor learning at nearby Indian Creek Nature Center. Students used what they learned to think about how they would design a nature center to protect an endangered plant or animal species in Iowa. This project got students thinking deeply about the relationship between plants, animals, and humans in an ecosystem, what plants and animals need to survive and thrive in their habitat, and what community members can do to positively impact our natural world.



We encourage families to stop by to investigate, explore, and enjoy the spirit of learning that takes place at Willowwind's Montessori Preschool!  To schedule a tour, email info@willowwind.org