GRADE 3 CURRICULUM
The purpose of our Religion program is to pass on the Catholic faith so that it is understood, valued, and integrated into the whole of a student’s life. Students are taught that the Sacraments and commandments are signs of God’s love for us. The Holy Spirit guides the students to make the right decisions according to the teachings of God. The liturgical year is studied. The most important aspect is that the students are taught that our faith is not something that is just learned, it must be lived.
The Language Arts program uses increased fluency and decoding skills to further comprehension. Students use predictions, sequencing, vocabulary, details, and summaries to draw conclusions about what they are reading. They then articulate their understandings and ideas in written form. The emphasis is on writing cohesive paragraphs including a topic sentence, three detail sentences, and a concluding paragraph. The curriculum also addresses the parts of speech, capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, and spelling. Students are expected on to apply grammar and spelling knowledge to their writing, and the revision process.
The Mathematics curriculum is a unique structure of instruction that promotes student success through sound educational practices of incremental development and continual review. Its emphasis is on number sense development, problem solving, understanding mathematical signs, symbols, and the ability to organize thoughts.
A diverse Science program is used through the study of life, earth, and physical science. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the interest and ability to deal with the processes of scientific investigation and data organization. Students are encouraged to protect the Earth through a study of pollution and recycling.
The students learn about different kinds of communities including, Native American communities, Early Colonies, and the formation of the United States. State and national elections are investigated. Black history and presidential reports are presented. A variety of math skills are introduced. Students learn about directions, how to find and plot places on a map, and how to measure distances using bar scales. It teaches and reinforces study skills, critical thinking skills, and writing skills.
GRADE 4 CURRICULUM
Students express an understanding of God’s goodness and gifts through the study of the Doctrine, Scripture, Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, and Sacraments. They will explore the role of prayer in their lives, learn the ways they can live their faith, and work together in their communities and their homes to make a difference in their everyday lives.
Language Arts consists of reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. The students are exposed to a variety of genre through the reading series, as well as trade books. There is a strong focus on the development of writing skills. Practice continues in the areas of grammar usage, spelling, vocabulary, as well as speaking, listening, and organizational skills.
The program consists of units in Life Science (the interactions of living and non-living things to their environments), Earth Science (the changes our planet undergoes and the effects), and Physical Science (a basic introduction to Chemistry and the Periodic Table Of Elements). Students are introduced to a variety of concepts, the Scientific Method, and hands on lab experiments. Study skills are also an important part of the curriculum. Note taking, reading for content, and organizational skills, in the form of maintaining a working binder, are imperative to student success.
Students will focus on success through incremental learning and continual review. Using this approach, students retain content and develop deeper understanding of concepts and how to apply them. Students are exposed to, and will comprehend, numeration, operations, fraction concepts, estimation, number theory, number sets, number systems, intensive word problem solving strategies, as well as an introduction of pre-algebra and pre-geometry. Daily facts practice, supplemental reviews, nightly practice, and weekly study groups ensure student success.
Students study the geography and the people of the United States. Using the textbook, directed lessons and research, students will gain an understanding of how to use and read globes, and various maps. They will identify the five regions of the United States, be proficient in United States geography and each of the region’s major natural features, resources, and climate.
The sacraments, with the strongest emphasis on the Eucharist, are the focus of the fifth grade curriculum. Students will have a rich understanding of the seven sacraments. Students are given opportunities and encouragement to live their religion through community service projects as well.
In addition to the faith-based curriculum, students participate in a social skills curriculum that teaches children life skills based on Christian values. This program challenges the children through role-playing situations to make good choices when faced with difficult situations in their lives.
The language arts curriculum includes reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. In addition to explicit teaching of writing through numerous writing assignments, writing is regularly incorporated into the reading area of this block. The focus in grade five reading is to continue teaching reading strategies. As the year progresses, the emphasis becomes more of an analytical nature of the literature.
The math curriculum is based on the Saxon Philosophy that centers on students success by incremental development and continual review of topics. The content in the Saxon program is organized in a series of lessons that gradually develop concepts. This incremental approach provides the students with the opportunity to master concepts and skills before they are introduced to a new topic. By continually review of concepts and skills, through extensive practice over the year, the students are strengthening their ability to comprehend the concepts and how to apply them to solve complicated mathematical problems.
The students use the Saxon Math 7/6 text book, Smart Board, Manipulative as well as Facts Practice, Mental Math, Problem Solving Activities in each lesson to develop the new concepts and review other skills. A test is scheduled for every five lessons and an Investigation is scheduled for every ten lessons. This program challenges the students as they learn new math concepts and skills in a variety of ways.
The curriculum focuses on Life, Earth and Physical Science. Some of the topics are Diversity of Life, Ecosystems and Biomes, Earth and its Resources, Weather, Space and Energy. Students use the text book, smart board, library, supplementary activities as well conducting a science experiment weekly in the science lab to develop the concepts being introduced in class. In addition to the classroom and science lab activities, the students will take two field trips during the course of the year to the Topsfield Fair and Endicott Park. This program challenges the students through class activities, formative assessments, creative writing and hand on activities to become aware of the world that surrounds them.
The students will learn about themes in American History through directed lessons, timelines, map skills, discussions, research and technology. The students will develop an understanding of major movements, events and processes in our American Heritage. A global understanding of the historic economic and geographic factors which contributed to the development of our great nation will be identified and learned. They will read about famous people whose actions and words contributed greatly to the principles and values of our country such as freedom and equality for all.