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Elementary School Course Descriptions

Elementary School Course Descriptions

Reading and Language Arts

PreK Language Arts

 In Pre-kindergarten language arts, students will learn to use language to express themselves and connect to the world around them. They will be exposed to a variety of different texts and genres and learn to understand and react the stories.Through reading and classroom discussions, and peer interaction students will further develop their vocabulary and communication skills. Pre-k students will develop phonics and writing skills such as letter recognition, letter sound correspondence, and letter printing. During this time they will also develop fine motor skills while learning correct pencil grip and letter printing.

K Language Arts

In Kindergarten language arts students strive to develop language skills to better understand and navigate the world around them. They will read and explore a variety of texts from different genres and understand the author’s purpose for writing them. Teachers will model reading comprehension strategies and support the students as they develop their comprehension skills. They will learn to effectively communicate their ideas through class discussions. Students will learn sight words through weekly sight word assessments. In writing students will learn to apply basic phonics skills to compose short works. They will combine drawings and short sentences to create purposeful writing pieces.

Reading/Language Arts Grade 1 

In reading, first grade students will strive to reach a guided reading level of F by the end of first semester and a level of I by the end of the academic year.  Students will practice their reading skills through the use of a variety of resources including:  phonics lessons and reading selections provided in the Grade 1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “Journeys” curriculum, Raz-Kids Reading Program, library books, and A-Z reader’s theater scripts.  Some of the Language Arts concepts covered in first grade are as follows:  nouns, verbs, adjectives,  possessive nouns, plurals,comma usage, contractions, articles, compound words, pronouns, and sentence types.

In writing, first grade students will practice three types of writing including: opinion, informative, and narrative writing.  They will become familiar with the 5 steps of the writing process:  prewriting, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing.  In reference to writing, students will also focus on: correct letter formation, end punctuation, correct capitalization, and adding details to their writing pieces.

 

 Reading/Language Arts Grade 2

In reading, second grade students will strive to reach a guided reading level of K by the end of first semester and a level of M by the end of of the academic year.  Students will practice their reading skills through the use of a variety of resources including: phonics lessons and reading selections provided in the Grade 2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “Journeys” curriculum, Raz-Kids Reading Program, library books, and A-Z reader’s theater scripts.   Some of the Language Arts concepts covered in second grade are as follows:  nouns, verbs, adjectives,adverbs, plurals, pronouns, homophones,contractions,compound words, abbreviations, and synonyms/antonyms.

In writing, second grade students will work on expressing an opinion in writing and giving reasons to support their viewpoint.   They will research topic and write a short book about it including nonfiction text features.   Lastly, for narrative writing, students will focus on writing a story that follows a clear sequence and has a well developed beginning, middle, and ending.  Other targeted writing skills will include: correct letter formation, end punctuation, using transition words,sentence fluency & variety,  and revising and editing their work.

English /Language Arts Grade 3

In elementary school English Language Arts, students develop their language skills to better understand themselves and the world. Students read and analyze a wide variety of texts, including novels, short stories, plays, essays, and poems from a variety of cultures. Reading instruction centers not on mere comprehension, but focuses on building higher level thinking skills to evaluate the choices of the author and interpret the themes of the work. Students learn literary forms and terms associated with selections being read and apply these in analysis. Teachers model writing strategies for a variety of forms of composition that students apply in their work, centering on the development and mastery of focus and coherence, voice, conventions, depth of thought, and conventions. Students find the tools to express their ideas through vertically aligned vocabulary development stressing mastery of Greek and Latin roots. Students learn to view art and other visual representations as a compliment to the written word and determine an image’s connection with the themes of the text. Students develop speaking skills to express their ideas clearly and effectively. Students refine their listening skills to better participate in lecture, classroom discussion, and cooperative group activities.

English Language Arts – Grade 4

In elementary school English Language Arts, students develop their language skills to better understand themselves and the world. Students read and analyze a wide variety of texts, including novels, short stories, plays, essays, and poems from a variety of cultures. Reading instruction centers not on mere comprehension, but focuses on building higher level thinking skills to evaluate the choices of the author and interpret the themes of the work. Students learn literary forms and terms associated with selections being read and apply these in analysis. Teachers model writing strategies for a variety of forms of composition that students apply in their work, centering on the development and mastery of focus and coherence, voice, conventions, depth of thought, and conventions. Students find the tools to express their ideas through vertically aligned vocabulary development stressing mastery of Greek and Latin roots. Students learn to view art and other visual representations as a compliment to the written word and determine an image’s connection with the themes of the text. Students develop speaking skills to express their ideas clearly and effectively. Students refine their listening skills to better participate in lecture, classroom discussion, and cooperative group activities.

 

Science

PreK Science

In pre-k science students will learn about personal hygiene and proper self care practices such as the proper way to wash hands and brush teeth. They will study the 5 senses through songs, books, and hands on activities. As the year progresses they will learn about animals, plants, our environment, and weather. They will explore these topics through engaging hands on activities.

K Science

Science at the kindergarten level consists of 6 units in which students will explore and begin to understand the world around them by using resources such as books and science instruments. Students will be able to explore science concepts through various hands-on and engaging activities. They will study the 5 senses, types of animals and how they interact with their environment, weather and the tools we use to measure it, the earth and its landforms, water, and plants.

Science Grade 1 

First grade students will study the curriculum for Science laid out in the “Harcourt Science” series (2000 edition).  They will begin the year exploring the 5 senses and identifying the differences between living and nonliving things.  Next, they will learn about plants: their parts, part functions, and the plant life cycle.  Students will also learn to classify animals  and investigate how plants and animals depend on each other.  In the third unit, students will study the composition of the Earth and weather and climate. Finally, the last two units will cover the following topics:  states of matter, heat and light, energy (push & pull), and how magnets work.

Science – Grade 2

Second grade science is taught in three units of study throughout the school year. Scientific inquiry, literacy and numeracy are integrated throughout the units. Students are engaged in science instruction through investigations. Aspects of life science, Earth/Environmental science, and physical science are taught each year. The physical science unit focuses on the properties of Matter, Energy, Forces and Motion. Students discover the similarities and differences in the properties of materials and, through a series of activities and experiments, determine the three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. Further investigations explore how matter can be changed and the affect of force on the motion of objects. Life and Earth/Environmental Science are combined in a unit of study Living things and their interaction with the environment. Students study the life cycles of plants and animals and compare the different body plans. Through a study of animals and plants in a variety of environments and seasons, students describe characteristics, behaviors, needs, and life cycles. Students begin to understand the interactions of animals with each other, the environment, and humans.

Science – Grade 3

In Grade 3 students continue to learn about the life processes of plants and animals and their interactions within Earth’s ecosystems. They explore the states and properties of matter. They are introduced to the forms of energy and its interaction with matter. The pupils continue to develop an understanding of simple machines and their uses. They study the Earth’s movements and its effects on daily life. They continue to learn about the water cycle and its effects upon Earth’s weather and landforms. The students are introduced to the body systems and learn the importance of nutrition, exercise, and avoiding harmful substances.

Science – Grade 4

The elementary school science course is a hands-on introduction to basic scientific facts and knowledge. Science curriculum includes units from Earth, Life, and Physical Science as well as the nature of science and the scientific method. Students practice scientific knowledge in well-equipped labs/classrooms in cooperative learning groups.

 

Social Studies

PreK Social Studies

In pre-k a major topic of study in social studies is community. Students will learn their role in the communities to which they belong. They will learn about the basic elements of a community such as citizens, community helpers, and neighborhoods. Students will learn the rules of safety in various situations. As the year progresses students will be exposed to and learn about national holidays through the use of books, songs, and other activities.

K Social Studies

Year-long social studies learning goals for kindergarten include learning about history and time sequence, learning about the traits required to be a  responsible citizen , and economics such as wants versus needs and the practice of exchanging money for goods. Students will also learn about geographic direction through the use of maps and globes.

Social Studies Grade 1 

The Social Studies curriculum for first grade will follow the scope and sequence laid out in the Harcourt Brace, first grade Social Studies text titled “A Child’s Place” (2000 edition).  The students will begin the year with the topic “School Days”, studying the following concepts:  map skills, school occupations, schools in the past, rules, and manners.  The second unit, which focuses on family life, includes: types of shelter, making choices, and how families lived in the past.  In unit 3, students are introduced to concepts relating to community life.  Target vocabulary will include: cities, neighborhoods, goods & services, and leadership.  Unit four examines land use and preservation.  In other words, how do people use, abuse, and change the land?  Studying similarities between different countries will be the topic of conversation for unit 5. Students will learn that all countries have laws, holidays, leaders, and heros.  Lastly, the final unit, looks at the world as a whole.  Students will gain an understanding of globes, continents, and cultural differences.

Social Studies – Grade 2

In this class we will learn about communities and what our roles as citizens should be within our communities. We will incorporate this with improving our grade 2 community and find ways to work together better as a group by looking at famous good citizens. We will also look at special characteristics of different cultures and what makes them unique and special to the people who are part of them. We will also look at characteristics of the land and areas where people live and work.

Social Studies – Grade 3

Students are challenged to explore the world around them. The students learn about the different communities, peoples and cultures, citizenship and the government. Students are kept abreast of current events. The students do research and hands-on projects and reports on topics assigned to them.

Social Studies – Grade 4

This course is designed to provide an overview of states and regions throughout the United States.   The students will explore the states and regions of the United States by looking at how they relate to climate, geography, economic activity, civics and government, and changes over time.  The student will describe and appreciate the ethnic and cultural differences among people.

 

Math

PreK Math

Strive to understand the meaning and usage of numbers in our world while trying to reach the goal of counting to at least 20. Learning to match sets of items to corresponding numerals is another skill goal. They will learn to understand numerical relations using vocabulary such as more, less and fewer. The acquisition of positional vocabulary is another goal. Students will investigate the characteristics of 2D and 3D shapes and strive to identify them. They will also work to understand and create patterns and use rules to sort objects based on their attributes as well as distinguish and describe size attributes.

K Math

In kindergarten math the students will strive to develop geometry and special sense, and a number sense for numbers up to at least 30. They will learn to read calendars and tell time, identify basic shapes, create and extend patterns, sort and classify everyday objects, and begin to study graphs. KFS uses the Sadlier-Oxford Progress in Mathematics program to facilitate student learning along with other resources, hands-on activities, and manipulatives.

Math Grade 1 

The Math curriculum for first grade will follow the scope and sequence laid out in the Sadlier-Oxford, first grade Mathematics text titled “Progress in Mathematics” (2012 edition). Additionally, the students will also use the program IXL to practice the skills that they are learning about in their math textbook.    During quarter 1, students will study the following concepts:  writing ordinal numbers, adding numbers w/ sums of 12 or less, adding 3 one digit numbers, learning subtraction facts to 12, and relating addition and subtraction.  In the next quarter, the focus will be on making and interpreting charts & graphs, understanding place value to 100, and adding & subtracting up to 20. For the 3rd quarter, first graders will practice:  geometry, counting money, telling time, and measurement.  Lastly, they will wrap up the year learning to add and subtract 2 digit numbers, and exploring fractions and probability.

Math Grade 2

The Math curriculum for second grade will follow the scope and sequence laid out in the Sadlier-Oxford, second grade Mathematics text titled “Progress in Mathematics” (2012 edition). . Additionally, the students will also use the program IXL to practice the skills that they are learning about in their math textbook.   In order to achieve fact fluency, for addition and subtraction facts to 20, the students will use the online fact practice program “Xtra Math” for 10 minutes per day.  During quarter 1, students will study the following concepts:  basic addition & subtraction, comparing and ordering 2 digit numbers, and reading and interpreting graphs.  In the next quarter, the focus will be on adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers,  making tables, estimating, solving multistep problems, and geometry concepts. For the 3rd quarter, second graders will practice:  telling time, counting money, adding and subtracting 3 digit numbers, and place value to 1000.  Lastly, they will wrap up the year learning about fractions, probability, multiplication, division, and measurement.

Mathematics – Grade 3

The students will learn about and demonstrate the ability to perform basic mathematical functionswith a particular focus on problem solving in the following areas: graphs, place value, adding and subtracting whole numbers and money, multiplication, division, geometry, fractions, measurement, decimals, and probability.  While learning will review and build on previously learned concepts as well as prepare students for work in Algebra, it will focus on four critical areas: (1) Developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with a numerator of 1); (3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and (4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

Mathematics – Grade 4

The students will learn about and demonstrate the ability to perform basic mathematical functions with a particular focus on problem-solving in the areas of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and geometry.While learning will review and build on previously learned concepts as well as prepare students for work in Algebra, it will focus on three critical areas:(1) developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication, and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

 

Technology

Technology – Grades 3 and 4

Grades 3 and 4 will be learning how to use many different kinds of software through creating art. Some of the software we will be using are Gimp, Inkscape, and Microsoft Office (word and publisher). The second part of this class will be about learning coding concepts using script, which is image based software made for kids to learn about programming. They will also learn about computer/internet safety and how it affects them.

 

General Music

Elementary General Music

Students will process, analyze, and respond to sensory information through the language and skills unique to music. Students read, notate, listen to, analyze, and describe music and other aural information, using the terminology of music. Students apply vocal and instrumental musical skills in performing a varied repertoire of music.  Day to day they will use the singing voice to echo short melodic patterns, sing age-appropriate songs from memory, and play instruments and move or verbalize to demonstrate awareness of beat, tempo, dynamics, and melodic direction. Students will sing and play simple singing games from various cultures often using developmentally appropriate movements in responding to music from various genres and styles.

 

Art

Elementary Art is a general exposure to the many facets of the world of art. Students participate in many different art projects designed to help encourage students in the love and appreciation of art in our world and lives. Elementary art helps prepare students for the more difficult art activities they will be exposed to in Middle School.

 

Physical Education

Physical Education Grades K-2

These grades will be learning basic skills of movement and knowing how their body works. They will become more comfortable using each part of their body and learn in a way they can become more coordinated and confident in their own ability. They will also learn certain behaviours with playing and showing the right emotions. Students will learn through skill based classes, yoga, exercise focused classes, and dance activities.

Physical Education Grades 3-4

Grade 3 will continue to improve their basic motor skills but at a more advanced level to what they have previously learnt. They will learn to play more complex games with more rules. There will be a focus on fair play, and ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to participate.

Students will learn through skill based classes, yoga, exercise focused classes, and dance activities.