3rd & 4th Grade

In the classroom, we approach learning with enthusiasm and engagement. The small class size allows for an exceptional level of attention and interaction between teacher and students, with the freedom to build, explore, and expand knowledge and understanding.

Our small group creates a dedicated and meaningful community of learners. We take care of each other and support each other through the exciting journey that is PBA.

  • In Reader’s Workshop, boys engage daily with books to improve fluency, comprehension, and broaden reading interests.
  • Through the Writer’s Workshop cycle, boys practice editing and revising their work, with an eye for proper grammar, clear descriptive writing, and developing final published pieces. Boys complete 4th grade with a sizeable portfolio of written work.
  • In Math, boys learn mathematical processes in stages—using concrete representations, then pictures, and finally abstract numbers— and develop the strong foundational understanding of operations and critical thinking skills that will carry them through middle-school algebra and beyond.
  • The guiding theme of Humans and their Impact on the Earth and Each Other connects the various areas of study in the 4th grade curriculum, and allows the frequent intertwining of California History, Life and Earth Sciences, Social Justice, and Environmentalism.
  • Gardening, field trips, hands-on science, and service-learning opportunities create meaningful learning experiences for the boys.

5th Grade

Fifth grade is an important year at PBA. Boys work as a team to master increasingly challenging and complex academic topics while also learning to become more self-reliant students in preparation for middle school. It is crucial for students to have a home base as they grow into more independent citizens of the community, so fifth graders at PBA are members of a homeroom class in which they learn English, history, math, and study skills. Because these subjects are taught in the homeroom setting, there are many opportunities to integrate concepts across curricula.

  • Writing skills are developed gradually over the course of the year, beginning with sentence types and structure, moving into paragraphs and letters, and finishing the year with interest-based expository essays.
  • Typing and computer skills are introduced and reinforced during a weekly class with the school’s laptop computer lab.
  • Math concepts are reinforced with hands-on activities and self-correction of homework assignments.
  • Memorization-based concepts are presented and reviewed with songs and games.
  • Organization and study skills are demonstrated and practiced as parts of daily class procedures.
  • History and English concepts are assessed in a variety of ways.
    • Projects and posters
    • Writing assignments
    • Persuasive speeches
    • Debates
    • Song parodies
    • Three-dimensional models


215 Ridgeway Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

Tel: 510.652.4722

Tax ID: 94-3310468


Your generous contributions ensure that all interested boys and girls have the opportunity to experience our transformative academic and music programs.