Language Arts

Live Oak School builds students’ literacy skills by incorporating meaningful situations into their lesson plans. Across all grades, students read and write daily in whole class, small group, and independent activities. Students read for information and write to express understanding, gaining appreciation for real-world application of their practice. Using a workshop structure, teachers constantly assess student skills and craft lessons to strengthen their abilities to comprehend texts and express meaning through the written language. Strategies for listening and speaking are an integral aspect of the daily lessons in all classrooms, as students actively participate in small group explorations, class discussions and presentations, and whole school assemblies. Read more about how Language Arts is taught by grade.


The goal of the Live Oak Mathematics curriculum is for students to approach mathematical problems with confidence, curiosity, and the ability to apply problem-solving strategies with speed and success. Teachers incorporate real world investigations that build understanding of mathematical concepts and their applications in meaningful contexts. Students are exposed to a variety of strategies and algorithms for solving problems and are expected to be able to articulate how they arrive at an answer. Across all grades, students build skills and understanding in mathematical strands including numeration, computation and operations, measurement, geometry, data collection, patterns, and functions. The program utilizes discussion, daily routines, yearlong projects, independent, partner and small-group activities, games, manipulatives, and home-school partnerships. Read more about how Mathematics is taught by grade.

Social Studies

The Social Studies curriculum at Live Oak explores the relationships that affect and define people and place over time.  Students begin with their own personal experiences, then reference that understanding in exploring the more abstract experiences of the distant past or faraway places. Concept-driven investigations at all grade levels encourage students to see patterns and themes in the study of the human experience that paves the way for future studies. Classroom activities in social studies compel students to actively participate in making sense of their world. Students work with primary documents, from a variety of resources, and through many simulative experiences in order to build critical understanding of the interaction between history, geography, economics, culture, government, citizenship, and technology in creating society.  Read more about how Social Studies is taught by grade.


At Live Oak, Science is an integral part of learning, which capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity about their world. By applying scientific skills and thinking routines, students develop an understanding of the universe and practice using that understanding to help others. The curriculum includes the use of research materials, experiential activities, discussion, cooperative learning and field trips, and covers the physical, life, and earth sciences. Throughout the grades, students are expected to be actively involved in the scientific process, becoming keen observers, modelers, debaters, and teachers. Read more about how Science is taught by grade.

Social Emotional Learning

All Live Oak students participate in developmentally-appropriate activities designed to enhance and strengthen their social emotional fitness. Important elements of the curriculum include developing their skills around self-awareness, empathy, advocacy, collaboration, and global awareness. Live Oak students learn about taking responsibility for their actions, how to have ownership over their learning, and how to solve problems independently and with integrity. Read more about how Social Emotional Learning is taught by grade.


Across all grades, Live Oak’s art program encourages and inspires students to use and display their creativity. In addition to making art, Live Oak’s program is concentrated on developing an appreciation and understanding of art across the globe,  now and throughout history. Exploration of a variety of mediums is designed to improve motor and thinking skills, including creative problem solving and self-understanding. Students learn to appreciate art through the experience of viewing and discussing artwork from a wide range of viewpoints and cultures. The students’ year of art study culminates in Live Oak’s Art Show in May, featuring pieces that showcase student learning and expertise. Read more about how Art is taught by grade.


Live Oak’s Music program seeks to develop in students an affinity for music and dance from around the world, an increased understanding of and ability to express oneself through music and movement, and skills and techniques for reading, writing, and playing music. Classroom activities engage students in the experience of music and movement using percussion and other Orff instruments, choral singing, and structured and unstructured dance. Students in the lower school share their musical skills with the community in the Music Festival in January, while students in the middle school perform for the community in the Music Festival in early spring. Read more about how Music is taught by grade.

Physical Education

The Physical Education program at Live Oak is designed to help students acquire lifetime fitness habits, develop both fine motor and gross motor skills, and build a strong foundation of personal health and safety. The program exposes children to a wide variety of physical activities from ball sports to dance. Students learn to move with balance, coordination and agility as they participate in physical activities that encourage skill development, teamwork, and an understanding of the strategies behind the play. Another important theme of the program is social emotional development which includes: self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.Students in fifth through eighth grade have the opportunity to participate in After School Athletics. Live Oak competes with other Bay Area schools in basketball, cross country, volleyball, and futsal. Read more about how Physical Education is taught by grade.


Beginning in the fourth grade, all Live Oak Students participate in a Spanish program designed to develop an appreciation for the Spanish language and Spanish speaking cultures, an increased understanding of the structures of spoken and written language, and the ability to communicate in Spanish.  Classes are led in Spanish with students engaged in interactive games, skits, dialogues, cultural discussions, and in-depth projects that encourage real world application of their developing language skills. In grades six through eight, Live Oak offers small advanced classes designed to meet the needs of native Spanish speakers and students who have attended a Spanish immersion program in the elementary grades. Read more about how Spanish is taught by grade.


Live Oak’s middle school drama program encourages an appreciation for the dramatic arts while developing students’ theatrical skills. Students participate in dramatic play, explorations of drama theory, visits to local dramatic performances, and a variety of dramatic productions. In addition, students read plays, study the history of theater, explore theater in various cultures, and learn dramatic techniques such as concentration, voice production, characterization, and text analysis. Drama classes contribute to students’ self-esteem and comfort in presenting to an audience, in addition to their building an understanding of the theatrical arts. A Fall performance and a full-scale middle school drama production in the Spring offer students opportunities to work on many aspects of the theater including lights, sound, sets, costuming, front-of-house duties, and programs. Read more about how Drama is taught by grade.