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Friday, September 22, 2017

Primary Academy, Grades K - 2

These young students are learning how to be attentive to instruction, develop a love of learning, and begin to think in problem solving ways. The primary academy works on attention skills, social skills that include sharing and respect for others, and developing organizational skills. Reports for students in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and first semester of Grade 2 are based on Meets-Exceeds-Needs Improvement. Grade 2 receives letter grades in the second semester.

Religion

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.

Reading/Language Arts

We use the Reading Wonders series, by McGraw-Hill. This program builds a strong reading foundation by accessing complex text and engaging in collaborative conversations and activities. It is a rigorous curriculum rich in technology and writing conventions. On a daily basis we work on calendar routines; phonemic awareness; listening/comprehension/re-telling skills; letter/sound of the week; writing; HF word identification and sound blending. Specific Language Arts skill expectations for kindergartners 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 and illustrate 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
  • Individual writing

 

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.

Mathematics

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.

Science

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.

Social Studies

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.

Physical Education

  • Demonstrate control when performing locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills.
  • Understand spatial awareness and relationships to objects and people
  • Demonstrate safe movement in physical activities
  • Identify characteristic of health-related fitness (e.g. Flexibility, muscular strength)
  • Use identified procedures and safe practices with little or no reinforcement during group physical activities
  • Work cooperatively with another to accomplish an assigned task.
  • Grading - Students' grades are based on their preparedness for class (i.e. having their shoes) and participation during class.

Health

  • Identify methods of health promotion and illness prevention (e.g. hand washing, brushing and flossing teeth, sleep).
  • Identify sources and causes of environmental health risks (e.g. air, sun, soil, water, noise, food, chemicals).
  • Identify basic parts of body systems and their functions (e.g. heart, lungs, and eyes).
  • Identify individual differences in growth and development among people.
  • Differentiate between positive and negative behaviors (e.g. waiting your turn vs. pushing in line, honesty vs. lying).
  • Identify positive verbal and nonverbal communication skills (e.g. body language, listening, and manners).
  • Recognize how choices can affect health (not brushing/tooth decay, smoking/risk of cancer and heart disease).
  • Demonstrate basic refusal skills (e.g. "Just Say No").
  • Grading - Students are graded on being prepared for class and participation in class.

Art

  • Appreciation of beauty in the world through art
  • Level appropriate introduction to elements and principles of color, pattern, line, composition, texture, value, movement, shape, and pattern.
  • Appreciation of different cultures through art.
  • Experimentation with different artists' styles and their work.

Music

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following musical topics:
  • Liturgical Music
  • Rhythm (strong beat, patterns, symbols, legato’ staccato)
  • Melody (pitch, contour, phrasing)
  • Timbre (definition, folk instruments)
  • Expression (tempo, dynamics)
  • Form (labeling, definition, rondo)
  • Harmony (solo/unison, 2-part round)
  • Style (compare/contrast)

Enrichment Spanish

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.

Technology

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.

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