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Lower School

Kindergarten through Fifth Grade

Lower school students are taught the core disciplines of reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, music, art, Spanish, physical education, Bible studies, and social skills. We offer a concrete-sequential curriculum, in which each day of learning builds upon the next.

 

Reading/Language

ARTS

The Open Court reading Program (SRA/McGraw-Hill) will be used to teach phonics, reading, language and writing skills in all lower school classes. Storybooks and poetry will enhance the reading and oral language experiences. Spelling and vocabulary derived from stories read will connect language arts and reading skills. Daily writing assignments will be given.

MATHEMATICS

Teachers will utilize SRA/McGraw-Hill as their primary source for instruction. This series integrates and develops all strands of mathematical proficiency and provides opportunities for practice of all concepts introduced. Students receive real-world applications along with direct instruction from the teacher to insure mastery.

SCIENCE

Students will begin to understand how the small world within their neighborhoods connects with the larger world and the solar system. Students will have opportunities to experiment and test scientific concepts as they master them. All grades will study life science, the earth and celestial bodies, principles of energy, nutrition and health. Students will have access to dedicated school science labs to further enrich experiences. Teachers will use Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Children will become familiar with our world’s geographical features, map study, history, biographies, timelines, customs and cultures, economics, civics, and citizenship. Our community, neighborhoods, country, major countries around the world and continent comparisons will be studied. Students will gain experience of the world through projects, current events, field trips, visitors. Teachers use Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

COMPUTER EDUCATION

Students will visit the computer lab regularly to enhance classroom content.

LIBRARY RESOURCE CENTER

Students will visit the library regularly to check-out books connected to current curriculum topics and cross-curricular areas. The Librarian will work with classroom teachers quarterly to develop age-appropriate research projects, through which students learn, practice and develop research skills.

Related Arts

ART

Students receive art instruction twice a week in the Lower School. Art is used as a vehicle for students to connect to all subjects. Colors, textures, patterns and shapes and art of various cultures are the focus for students. This class focuses on the visual arts.

MUSIC

Music classes in the Lower School meet twice a week. Emphasis is placed on developing vocal as well as instrumental musical skills. Instruments are used in addition to singing as a supplement to learning basic skills such as pitch, rhythm, and harmony. Music classes also involve movement to music, both structured and expressive/responsive. The methodology is drawn from the Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze approaches to music education. Recorders are taught in fourth and fifth grades.

Students in fifth grade may participate in the Honor’s Choir. Auditions are conducted and students must meet academic and behavioral criteria to be admitted and to remain in the choir.

ORCHESTRA.

Orchestra is designed for the beginning/intermediate string players in grades 3-12. Emphasis is placed on the beginning skills of musical performance, with study of grade one and two repertoire. There are at least two performances per year. Solo contest opportunities are offered. Attendance is mandatory, since it meets outside of the school day. This course requires additional fees for instrument rental and lessons.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical fitness, team cooperation, team sports, Yoga and group games are the focus of this class. Students receive physical fitness tests and written exams as part of the assessment process. Gym uniforms will be provided and must be worn.

SPANISH

Spanish in the Lower School is offered in a weekly “club session”, once a week for grades 2-3 and once a week for grades 4-5.

BIBLE

Students in grades Kindergarten through fifth will gain knowledge of Christianity through Bible class. The students will learn about the Biblical heroes and how these characters relate to our lives today. Students will also learn methods for solving problems through the use of Christian values. Peer issues and childhood conflicts will be discussed with strategies taught to help students resolve problems.

BANK – AT – SCHOOL PROGRAM

Fifth grade students interview for job positions to operate the school bank. Students in grades kindergarten through eighth are allowed to make deposits and open new accounts which are operated through TCF Bank. The bank is open one day of every month.