The religion text is Call to Faith by Harcourt. The religion curriculum is a full catechesis supplemented by the lectionary. Kindergartners learn to appreciate Jesus as their friend, and to see Jesus in their families and friends. Children learn to appreciate attendance at Mass. Kindergarten students learn the Sign of the Cross, the Glory Be, Hail Mary, Our Father, Grace (meals) and the Opening Prayer (Dear Jesus, This day is for you. Bless us in all we say, think, and do.)
The topics in first grade include Revelation, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, The Church, Morality, Sacraments, and the Kingdom of God. Students learn the Morning Offering and the Angel of God. The Rosary is recited every Friday.
In second grade, students learn about prayer, liturgy, scripture, creed, morality, and prepare for the sacramental celebrations of First Communion and Reconciliation. These sacraments are a function of the home parish and parents must contact the parish to register for the program. In addition to prayers previously learned, students learn the Act of Contrition and the acts of faith, hope, and love. Testing is by unit.
The reading curriculum is Houghton Mifflin. For Kindergarten, there are ten theme units lasting three weeks each. The skills addressed are: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, word families, and sight words. On a daily basis, kindergarten works on calendar routines, phonemic awareness, comprehension/listening skills (listening to story), letter and sound of the week (Alpha Friends), seat work, individual assistance, and writing in journals. Specific Language Arts skill expectations for kindergarten are: identify uppercase and lowercase letters out of sequence, match uppercase to lowercase letters, match letter sounds to letters, recite and print letters, phonemic awareness development, read, write, and spell high frequency sight words, reading progression from left to right, follow multi-step instructions, identify characters, setting, problem and solution in stories, predict what will occur in stories, retell a story using beginning, middle, and end, develop sound-symbol associations to represent words, use inventive spelling, print from left to right, print first and last name, leave space between words, use punctuation, dictate a sentence about a picture, write words independently, write sentences, speak with confidence and respond in classroom settings, orally answer questions with details, listen attentively in a variety of settings, actively listen and follow directions. Typical assessments include: assessment of letter name and sound recognition - traditional; assessment of sight words - traditional; assessment of word families - traditional; informal dialogue of phonemic exercises - authentic; informal dialogue of comprehension strategies - authentic; individual reading. Parents can help by reading daily with their child and reviewing the work sent home.
In first grade, students continue to work on phonemic awareness, phonics, high frequency words, comprehension skills and strategies, spelling, grammar, listening, speaking and viewing. Parents are encouraged to read with their child 15 minutes each day. Progress is assessed by weekly skill tests, oral high frequency word tests, workbook practice, a weekly spelling test, reading unit tests, and small group fluency assessments. Writing is emphasized in grade 1 through book reports, diaries, journals, letter writing, solutions, poems, messages, shared writing, personal narratives, friendly letters, a descriptive paragraph, a thank you note, a research report, and Reader's Theatre. Each week students read a model example, use a graphic organizer, and then create a first draft, second draft, and final copy. The final copy is in their best handwriting.
In second grade, instruction includes fiction and non-fiction stories in eight themes: silly stories, animal stories, community stories, nature stories, talent stories, fables, family stories, and poems. Reading strategies include: summarization, monitor and clarification, prediction and inference, questioning, and evaluation. Students work on these concepts through reading a weekly selection read-aloud, silently, and with a partner. They discuss guided reading questions, complete center activities, identify connections that are text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world and practice using reading comprehension strategies. Parents are encouraged to read 10-15 minutes nightly with their child. Students have weekly comprehension tests on knowledge of story vocabulary, plot, and the focus strategy of the week. Second grade students use the Sadler-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop for spelling and vocabulary development. Students are able to identify high-frequency sight words in text and in isolation and identify spelling/vocabulary words in daily reading. The words are displayed on the board throughout the two week period. During week 1, students practice 10 spelling words nightly. During week 2, students complete 1-2 pages of vocabulary homework from the workbook. During week 1 and 2 there is a spelling test on Friday. In writing students will use the writing process (prewrite, draft, revise, edit, and publish) to produce written pieces. Students will write using descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive styles. On a daily basis students work through the writing process to publish their final paragraph on Friday. Weekly paragraphs are graded using a 10-point rubric.
The curriculum is the University of Chicago, Everyday Mathematics. In Kindergarten, skill expectations are: identify numbers in and out of sequential order, rote counting, print numbers, count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, sort and classify objects by size, shape and color, count objects, identify and use ordinal numbers, add and subtract objects using manipulatives, identify and extend an established pattern, identify and name coins and their value, tell time by the hour and half hour, identify day, week, month, and year, solve simple, picture number stories, develop a picture story problem using critical thinking skills, create and read graphs.
Grade 1 focuses on the everyday uses of numbers, visual patterns, number patterns and counting, measurement and basic facts, place value, number stories and basic facts, developing fact power, geometry and attributes, mental arithmetic, money and fractions, place value and fractions. Students do have a nightly home link and we encourage parents to drill students on the addition math facts. Later in the year students will be taking timed tests on addition facts to ensure that the facts are committed to memory.
In grade 2, students focus on developing an understanding of numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, functions, and data collection. Daily students review math skills by completing math boxes and play math games. Homework is a daily home link and parents are encouraged to practice subtraction flashcards with their child.
The science curriculum is FOSS, a problem based learning approach.
In Kindergarten, students learn about trees, investigate and observe the habits of fish and worms, and explore differences among types of fabric. The life cycle of the butterfly is also studied. This is assessed through ongoing daily assessment of content knowledge, problem solving strategies and extension activities through authentic assessments. There is also a fourth quarter Scientist for a Day project. Specific skill expectations are: 1) use five senses to investigate the environment, 2) appropriately use weather related vocabulary, 3) identify four seasons and their characteristics, 4) describe the function of living things, and 5) use scientific process to answer questions.
In first grade, topics include new plants, solids and liquids, pebbles, sand and silt. This curriculum alternates quarters with social studies.
In second grade, the units include air and weather, balance and motion, and insects. The learning strategies are hands-on experimentation and observations. Learning is measured with student observation, projects, written responses, and science journals.
The text for this curriculum is Horizons by Harcourt.
In Kindergarten the goal is for students to understand the importance of following rules, their place in the city, country and world, the differences in the lifestyles of people from many parts of the world, the differences between lifestyles of long ago and today, and the variety of jobs people perform as part of our daily lives. Specific skill expectations are: identify family members, identify and name community members, locate places and objects on a map, identify city, state and country where student lives, develop citizenship as part of a community, and cultivate an awareness of the past.
In first grade the focus is on going to school, being good citizens, the land around us, all about people, family and community history, and the jobs that people do. The curriculum alternates quarters with science.
Second grade students study community living, government, and topography, past and present.
The objective for enrichment Spanish is to have early exposure to the Spanish language. The approach is fun and engaging. Students master greetings, commands, polite words, colors, shapes, numbers, parts of the body, calendar, weather, alphabet, animals, and family. Students learn basic prayers in Spanish as well. This is taught through song, prayer, and review.
All technology will be utilized within the context of the regular classroom curriculum. Skills to be developed and topics to be incorporated include internet safety and basic computer literacy.