Welcome to First Grade: a transition from Kindergarten to the path of lifelong learning! First grade is an exciting, yet challenging, year of many firsts: losing teeth, formal testing, reading, and leading prayer services. Responsibility, independence, and social skills are stressed during this year of spiritual, academic, and emotional growth.
While first graders are introduced to the basic teachings of the Catholic Church, they experience the love of God and learn to respect all of God’s creation. They enjoy attending Mass with their seventh grade buddies.
Learning to read is the focal point of first grade curriculum. Reading is taught through a study of phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, and an exposure to a variety of texts to balance comprehension and decoding skills. The love of reading is nurtured through the exposure to reading whether by the teacher, whole-class, in small groups, or independently. First graders engage in a variety of writing experiences to develop the freedom of writing, yet build the foundation for formal sentence conventions, spelling, and structured writing.
Number concepts, computation, critical thinking, and problem solving are the key math skills developed in first grade through our calendar activities, interactive games, and textbook practice.
The main social studies themes include community, past and present, mapping skills, and respecting God’s creation. Science is incorporated through thematic and literature units with a focus on an understanding of the world around us. Plants, animals, habitats, magnets, weather, and matter are the basic units of study.
Second Grade is an exciting year when our students prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist, and lead the congregation in the May Crowning Mass. We learn about Jesus’ parables, celebrate feast days and study the seasons of our liturgical year. Second graders learn many new prayers in song and in American Sign Language (ASL).
One major theme that is woven throughout the 2nd grade year is understanding the richness and diversity of all the cultures of the world. Students learn about their ancestors and prepare an oral presentation about a country/culture of their family.
In Language Arts students learn about story elements as they explore Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Biographies, and many stories from our Author of the Month units. Students are exposed to many texts and decodable books to increase phonetic decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Each student uses their own Chromebook to log into the Accelerated Reading program which tracks individual reading successes throughout the year. Writing happens everyday in second grade. Our interactive whiteboard is used for Daily Oral Language (D.O.L.) every morning, and we write informative and narrative pieces and poems in our journals every week.
Major math concepts in second grade include, time, money, fractions, geometry, measurement, addition and subtraction with regrouping, and multiplication and division (2’s,3’s,4’s,5’s and 10’s). We use manipulatives and our whiteboard as well as our laptop computers to practice and sharpen our number skills.
In Science we explore forces and machines, magnets, animal habitats (including special units on Penguins and Marine Mammals), Rocks and Fossils, and we apply the scientific method through a fun and interactive unit called Bubble Gum Science.
Major themes in Social Studies include units about producers and consumers, our ancestors and family history, U.S. holidays, heroes and leaders, Christmas around the World, and Daily Oral Geography.
Second graders use Chromebooks throughout the year learning to keyboard correctly, sharpen our math skills, and create presentations about penguins and whales.
Third grade marks an important time in children’s education as they are learning to become more independent and mature learners. In 3rd grade students progress from practicing basic skills to mastering them and moving on to further developing more complex skills. Third graders become more advanced readers, writers, mathematicians and thinkers, digging deeper into topics and beginning to analyze what they learn. Some highlights from third grade are: learn about and memorize the Apostles Creed; a Living Saint Museum; variety of novels including Charlotte’s Web and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are used to meet Common Core standards; emphasis on multiplication and division facts; units on the solar system and matter; Scientist of the Week; units of study include the Native American Indians, and the U.S. government; technology is integrated into lessons with the use of Chromebooks; and cursive.
Fourth Grade students are S.T.A.R. students - Students Taking Academic Responsibility
As students enter upper elementary, they are challenged to become independent.
Daily religious instruction in fourth grade focuses on the following units: The Goodness of God, Jesus as the Son of God, The Holy Spirit, The Church, and Social Justice. The fourth graders experience weekly Mass with the parish community. The students use personal Bibles to gain a basic understanding of its structure, and that it is the foundation for our Catholic teaching.
We read a variety of novels to study the elements of a story. Following the California Common Core Standards, we use interactive notebooks to reinforce our learning. In our weekly writing assignments, we are able to master paragraph form and practice our creative writings. Students are challenged to read.
The concepts are multi-digit Multiplication, Division, Fractions and Geometry. We use our knowledge to tackle word problems to bring math into our everyday lives through exploration and cooperative groups.
Our class focus is all things California. From the history to the present day, we study the regions, the California Missions and the Gold Rush. Through our study of the Missions, we learn to write reports and give oral presentations.
Through STEM, we learn about living things, the earth’s crust and electricity and magnetism.
Fifth Grade is a special year as students become more independent as they prepare for Middle school. During 5th grade, students learn English Language Arts, Mathematics, Religion, Science, and Social Studies. Students also participate in extracurricular classes including Physical Education, Art, Spanish and Music Theory.
As a class we guide, inspire, and pray with each other as we study the life and teachings of Jesus. In Religion the students study scripture, the parts of Mass, Saints, and The Sacraments. The students begin their day with Daily Oral Language, where they sharpen their basic skills in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and usage. In Social Studies, students learn about America, and how it came to be what it is today. Students create presentations, projects and research to increase their American knowledge. In Science, not only do students have an opportunity to read and learn about life and earth Science, they also participate in hands on activities and labs to meet the needs of all learning styles. In Mathematics, our focus is on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students are also introduced to Algebra and Geometry concepts that will continue throughout their middle and high school education. The class also has the opportunity to read novels, and stories while working on their comprehension and reading level. We strengthen our writing skills through a variety of activities. Writing is practiced throughout the fifth grade curriculum.
Throughout the year students also participate in the several fun and exciting interactive programs such as the Southwest Adopt-a- Pilot program, and a visit from the Sons of the American Revolution.
In 5th grade, technology is integrated into lessons with the use of Chromebooks to complete assignments. Students learn how to use and create assignments with the use of Google Docs and Google Presentations. This use of technology expands the knowledge of students by allowing them to have instant access to research and resources for each subject. It also allows for collaborative learning through group sharing.