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Friday, September 25, 2020


Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades are self-contained classrooms. Students continue to learn to be attentive to instruction, develop a love of learning, and think in problem solving ways. The Intermediate Academy strengthens attention and social skills, including sharing and respect for others. Strong emphasis is placed on organizational skills, study skills, and test-taking strategies. Students are taught to be independent and responsible for their studies and actions. Report cards in grades 3, 4, and 5 are based on letter grades and students take ITBS tests in the fall.

In grade five, students are focused on serving the school as patrols and through patriotic duty. This is a vital function to the school and their service is greatly appreciated.

Fifth grade is also the first opportunity for a student to join competitive athletics. Our students participate in volleyball, basketball, track and field, and cross country.

The Intermediate Academy Curriculum

  • RELIGION - Call to Faith is a comprehensive religion program. Call to Faith provides a solid foundation of Scripture and Tradition, a rich diversity of prayer, and a developmental sequence of activities.
  • In third grade, students learn the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed, as well as reinforce the previously learned prayers.
  • In fourth grade, the lectionary-based approach is woven into the topics of Revelation, the Ten Commandments, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Beatitudes, the Church, morality, sacraments, and the Kingdom of God. In addition to the prayers previously learned, fourth graders learn Hail Holy Queen and have a fuller understanding of the Stations of the Cross.
  • In fifth grade, children deepen their faith through stories and scripture, activities, prayers, and seasonal celebrations. Family life is an integrated program between religion, health, and parental instruction. There will be a preparation meeting for parents before family life begins

  • LANGUAGE ARTS - In third grade, the reading curriculum is taught through a basal by Houghton Mifflin. There is a strong emphasis on phonics/decoding and word attack skills approach enhanced by strong literature. Students work to become fluent readers with strength in comprehension. Students use the Write Source books to learn the Writing Process and the forms of writing - paragraph, descriptive, narrative, expository, persuasive, creative, and research writing. They have a response to literature writing; review basic elements of writing; proofreading and focus on the six traits. English is taught through the Vocabulary Workshop by Sadler-Oxford. This is a rich vocabulary and spelling series in which students learn words in a contextual way and are able to apply spelling practices to general writing. The students learn definitions/pronunciation; match the meaning, synonyms and antonyms, completing the sentence, and word associations.
  • Grade four is the last year of a basal reader. The basal is Houghton Mifflin and includes topics of Journeys, American Stories, That's Amazing, Problem Solvers, Heroes, and Nature. Fourth graders also have novel studies as part of this curriculum. Spelling and vocabulary continue in the Sadlier-Oxford Grammar book. English/Writing is studied through Write Source. Bi-weekly spelling and vocabulary tests are given.
  • In grade five the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Development series is used for vocabulary development and spelling. Students master words by working with their spelling, definitions, synonyms, antonyms, completing sentences and making word associations. Each unit is studied for two weeks. A spelling test is given on the first Friday, and a Vocabulary test is given on the second Friday. Informal observation is used to assess the students' use of words and progressive use of vocabulary in their daily oral and written work. For writing we use Write Source by Houghton Mifflin and the Grammar workshop by Sadlier-Oxford. Students use a Writing Workshop process and 6+ traits of good writing to publish paragraphs and descriptive, narrative, expository and persuasive pieces. They write in response to literature and journal prompts, explore creative writing (poetry) and focus on the basic elements of writing, including parts of speech, effective sentences, and editing/proofreading skills. Literature is a humanities approach in support of the geography program. Novels in grade five include: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Chu Ju's House by Gloria Whelan, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.

  • SCIENCE – Our curriculum is a problem based program by FOSS. The process is hands-on and problem-based investigations of the scientific method. Third grade units of study are the human body, physics of sound, water, and ideas and inventions. Fourth grade units include measurement, magnetism and electricity, earth materials, and structures of life. Fifth grade students study these modules: explorations of scientific reasoning and technology through experiments with variables, explorations of physical science through levers and pulleys, explorations of life science through foods and nutrition, and explorations of earth science through landforms.

  • SOCIAL STUDIES - Harcourt Horizons is the text for social studies. Students in third grade explore people and communities: learning about citizenship, government, a community's geography, American culture and people, history of a community, how people work in a community, and communities over time. In fourth grade, students study the USA sections of the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, the West, and the present day USA. There is special emphasis on the state of Illinois. The fifth graders study geography using World Cultures and Geography by McDougal Littell. Students study six continents - Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia - through the five themes of geography.

  • MATH – The math curriculum is Everyday Mathematics by the University of Chicago. Students in third grade learn numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, geometry, measurement and reference frames, patterns, functions, and algebra. On a daily basis, students review previous daily homework (Homelink), mental math and math message, practice the lesson through whole class discussion or activity, and reinforce lessons through journal pages. Homework includes a daily Homelink, practice of multiplication facts, and review for cumulative unit tests. In fourth grade, students explore geometry, organizing data, multiplication, decimals, big numbers, division, fractions, perimeter/area, percent, symmetry, weight/volume/capacity, and rates. Students continue to have nightly home links and parents are encouraged to practice the division flash cards with their child. Fifth graders explore number theory, estimation and computation, geometry, division, fractions, decimals and percent, data interpretation, adding and subtracting fractions, exponents, and negative numbers, fractions and ratios, coordinates, area, volume, capacity, algebra, volume, probability, ratios, and rates. Students have a daily study link assignment.

  • Demonstrate control when performing combinations and sequences in locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative motor patterns.
  • Identify the principles of movement (e.g. absorption and application of force, equilibrium)
  • Identify and apply rules and safety procedures in physical activities.
  • Identify offensive, defensive, and cooperative strategies in selected activities and games.
  • Describe the benefits of maintaining a health-enhancing level of fitness.
  • Demonstrate the relationship between movement and health-related fitness components (e.g. running/cardio respiratory, tug-of-war/strength).
  • Accept responsibility for their own actions in group physical activities.
  • Use identified procedures and safe practices without reminders during group physical activities.
  • Work independently on task until completed.
  • Work cooperatively with a partner or small group to reach a shared goal during physical activity.

Grading - Students' grades are based on their preparedness for class (i.e. having their uniform shirt, shorts, and shoes) and participation during class.

  • Demonstrate strategies for the prevention and reduction of communicable and non-communicable diseases (e.g. practicing cleanliness, making good food choices).
  • Describe and compare health and safety methods that reduce the risks associated with dangerous situations (e.g. wearing seats belts and helmets, using sunscreen).
  • Identify basic body systems and their functions (e.g. circulatory, respiratory, and nervous).
  • Differentiate between positive and negative effects of health-related actions on body systems (e.g. exercise, diet, drug use).
  • Identify physical, mental, social, and cultural factors affecting growth and development of children (e.g. nutrition, self-esteem, family and illness).
  • Identify stages in growth and development (e.g. stages in the life cycle from infancy to old age).
  • Identify causes and consequences of conflict among youth.
  • Describe key elements of a decision-making process.
  • Describe situations where refusal skills are necessary (e.g. pressure to smoke, use alcohol and other drugs).

Grading - Students are graded on being prepared for class and participation in class.

  • ART - Objectives include an appreciation of beauty in the world of art and level appropriate Introduction to Elements and principles of color, pattern, line, composition, texture, movement, shape, space, balance, and value.

  • MUSIC - Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following musical topics:
  • Liturgical Music
  • Rhythm (meter, syncopation, symbols)
  • Melody (pitch, definitions)
  • Timbre (combination)
  • Expression (tempo, dynamics)
  • Form (theme, definitions)
  • Harmony (texture, chords, countermelody)
  • Style (patriotic, descriptions)

  • 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, basic computer literacy, keyboarding, spreadsheets, and presentation software.
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