Elementary School Programs
The St. Joseph Academy Elementary School curriculum helps students develop the foundational knowledge, learning skills and personality traits to prepare them for success in school and beyond. We nurture the innate curiosity, wonder and desire to learn in each child.
Our curriculum offers an academically challenging elementary school program to build lifelong learners and problem solvers. With small classes and a high degree of personal attention and differentiated learning, students will be introduced to a broad spectrum of academic experiences at a young age. In a child-centered environment, our teachers develop the intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of each student. The curriculum encourages students to develop independence, creativity, problem-solving abilities, perseverance, and confidence as they discover their unique sense of self. As they complete their Elementary School years, students will have begun to see themselves as capable individuals who use their talents and skills for the good of other, ready to excel in Middle School and beyond.
The elementary school program curriculum focuses on developing the literacy skills and strategies that students need to be successful during the course of their academic career and beyond. To be proficient in literacy means not only to have the ability to read, write, speak, and listen, but to also have the capacity to apply these skills effectively to communicate, problem-solve, analyze, and think critically about the world in which we live.
As they complete their Elementary School years, students will have begun to see themselves as capable individuals who use their talents and skills for the good of others, ready to excel in Middle School and beyond.
CORE PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Our Literacy curriculum incorporates the foundational skills of reading, helping students not only improve upon their reading abilities, but also improve their ability to comprehend and understand the material in front of them. Children in the elementary school program are naturally curious, therefore providing them with opportunities to practice literacy skills as they explore their world, encourages engagement, improves understanding, and enhances their ability to retain information.
FOSS (Full Option Science System) is an inquiry-based science program. Younger elementary school program students engage in science investigations in which they describe, sort, and organize observations about objects and organisms. Students participate in activities that are multi-sensory, provide student-to-student interactions and require discourse and reflective thinking.
Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum in the elementary school program that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce lifelong mathematical power. Each grade of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum is carefully designed to build and expand a student’s mathematical proficiency and understanding. Our goal: to build powerful mathematical thinkers.
Reading Wonders, a comprehensive K-5 English Language Arts (ELA) program, is designed to meet the challenges of today’s classroom and reach all learners. Combining research-based instruction with new tools to meet today’s challenges, every component and every lesson is designed for effective and efficient instruction.
KINDERGARTDEN (K4 & K5)
In Kindergarten, the focus of literacy instruction is to develop the foundational skills needed for beginning readers and writers to develop and grow. Students learn to identify letters and their corresponding sounds, blend those letters to form and read words, sentences, paragraphs, and books.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout Kindergarten are:
- Count by 1s to 100; count by 2s, 5s and 10s and count back by 1s.
- Use manipulatives, number lines, and mental arithmetic to solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of single-digit whole numbers.
- Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar bills, as well as describing temperature using appropriate vocabulary such as hot, warm and cold.
- Identify solid figures including circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, spheres and cubes.
Literacy instruction for first grade students builds on the foundational skills learned in Kindergarten, and expands into broader concepts of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teachers and students in first grade work to develop communication skills through focused reading experiences, meaningful writing activities, and opportunities to understand and explain their thinking through listening and speaking.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout first grade are:
- Count by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s past 100.
- Use manipulatives and drawings to model halves, thirds, and fourths as equal parts.
- Use manipulatives, number grids, tally marks, mental arithmetic, and calculators to solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of 1-digit whole numbers with 1- or 2-digit whole numbers.
- Compare weight and length using nonstandard tools and techniques; measure length with standard measuring tools.
In second grade, literacy instruction continues to build basic literacy skills, develops more wide-ranging strategies for comprehension in reading, and extends into different purposes for writing, speaking, and listening. Every day, teachers and students engage in differentiated guided reading opportunities, and shared reading and writing activities connected to content area topics.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout second grade are:
- Count by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s, 25s and 100s past 1,000.
- Recognize numbers as odd or even.
- Use manipulatives, number grids, tally marks, mental arithmetic, paper & pencil, and calculators to solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of multi digit whole numbers.
- Estimate length with and without tools; measure length to the nearest inch and centimeter.
- Read, write, and explain expressions and number sentences using the symbols +,-, =, >, and <.
Students in third grade begin the transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Literacy instruction reinforces the basic literacy skills students have learned and developed from kindergarten through second grade. Third grade literacy instruction seeks to deepen students’ understanding and use of comprehension strategies like making connections and inferences, identifying important information, summarizing, and synthesizing what they read. In writing, they move beyond writing about themselves and begin to write in multiple genres, with a variety of audiences, for varied purposes.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout third grade are:
- Read and write whole numbers up to 1,000,000; read, write, and model with manipulatives decimals through hundredths.
- Use arrays, mental arithmetic, paper and-pencil algorithms and models, and calculators to solve problems involving the multiplication of 2- and 3-digit whole numbers by 1-digit whole numbers.
- Describe relationships among inches, feet, and yards; describe relationships between minutes in an hour, hours in a day, days in a week.
- Identify and draw points, intersecting and parallel line segments and lines, rays, and right angles.
- Read, write, and explain number sentences using the symbols +,-,x, ˆ, =, >, and <.
In fourth grade, students continue to transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Fourth grade literacy instruction strengthens foundational literacy skills and strives to broaden students’ understanding and use of comprehension strategies. Students read closely to find and interpret information, to make inferences and thematic connections to science and social studies content, and to summarize and synthesize their learning. Fourth graders begin to use writing as a tool for learning as they write about what they read and what they learn from their reading.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout fourth grade are:
- Read and write whole numbers up to 1,000,000,000 and decimals through thousandths.
- Use the maximum, minimum, range, median, mode, and graphs to ask and answer questions, draw conclusions, and make predictions.
- Estimate length with and without tools; measure length to the nearest 1/4 inch and 1/2 centimeter.
- Identify, draw, and describe points, intersecting and parallel line segments and lines, rays, and right, acute, and obtuse angles.
- Determine whether number sentences are true or false; solve open sentences and explain the solutions.
In fifth grade, students are reading and writing to learn and expand and share their thinking. Fifth grade literacy instruction uses the students’ understanding and use of comprehension strategies, and their ability to analyze and synthesize what they read. Students read closely to interpret text and synthesize information, to make inferences and thematic connections to science and social studies content, and to analyze and expand their learning.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout fourth grade are:
- Read and write whole numbers and decimals.
- Solve problems involving percents and discounts.
- Use area models, mental arithmetic, paper-and-pencil algorithms and models, and calculators to solve problems involving the multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers.
- Identify, describe, compare, name, and draw right, acute, obtuse, straight, and reflex angles; determine angle measures in vertical and supplementary angles and by applying properties of sums of angle measures in triangles and quadrangles.
ADDITIONAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM CURRICULUM INFORMATION
The Elementary Physical Education class focus is for all students to have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully participate in movement activities and healthy practices now and in the future. It is also important that students develop appropriate sportsmanship and social skills necessary to successfully participate in small and large groups. When students learn to enjoy a variety of movement and healthy practices now they are more likely to continue these practices for their lifetime.
Art is a universal language, a powerful tool for communicating ideas, expressing feelings, and recording history. Our young students learn by: looking at art, thinking about art, responding to art, and creating art. Students work collaboratively, sharing ideas and experiences. They learn to respect the different ways others think, work, and express themselves.
Our fully stocked library gives our students the ability to read and explore during their time in the library and at home. Students are able to check out books to read when they are outside of school.
Technology is everywhere, and we believe it is critical that your child become comfortable and experienced using a variety of technology tools. Students in the elementary school program will learn how to navigate and save on the computer desktop. They will also be developing keyboarding skills and utilizing numerous software and Internet based applications in word processing, research, curriculum enhancement and multimedia presentations.
St. Joseph Academy provides music classes for all age levels. Music activities include singing and performing, moving to music, playing classroom instruments, listening and analyzing music, learning music notation, experiencing music from other cultures, singing folk melodies, and creating/composing. All students in the elementary school program, with their classes, perform in both a Winter and Spring concert.