Pre - K to 4th grade follow E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Sequence. This curriculum contains established guidelines for meeting the cognitive, social, and physical needs of young students.
Pre - K & Kindergarten
In Pre - K and Kindergarten, core subjects are taught using Responsive Classroom techniques and hands - on activities in centers, providing ample time for teachers to work with students one - on - one and in small groups. Students are offered the opportunity to learn about their world through concrete, sensory experiences that are stimulating and challenging. The days are scheduled to include small group instruction, whole group activities, individual choice, and outdoor play. Students receive language arts and math instruction through incorporating hands - on and discovery activities, and an abundance of literature. Handwriting readiness is taught through the Handwriting Without Tears program. Spanish, technology, music, art, PE, and religious studies are included each week.
Grades 1 -4
Building a solid academic foundation is the main focus in 1st - 4th grades. Responsive Classroom techniques, hands - on activities and real life applications are incorporated, paying particular attention to differences in learning styles and abilities. Disciplines are integrated as much as possible in order to enhance and reinforce students' learning. Students incorporate technology into all core subjects as they explore word processing, keyboarding, and the use of software. Age - appropriate integrated projects, annual grade - level events, and field trips enrich a purposeful academic program. Students experience Spanish, art, music, technology, religious studies, and PE each week. St. Paul's students are encouraged to work effectively, independently, and collaboratively as members of projects teams.
Examples of Responsive Classroom Technique include:
1st graders become authors writing a book each week. Their 5th grade Panther Pals come once a week to assist with editing and publishing their book. At the end of the year students invite their parents to share these at the First Grade Book In. Publishing is a wonderful way for students to practice spelling, sentence structure, and use their creativity!
2nd Grade celebrates their unit on Westward Expansion with a hoedown. Parents come and watch the students perform a square dance and songs. Students participate in the pioneer life style by making cornbread and butter to add to the feast of beef jerky and cowboy beans. Students make their own version of a sod house, replicating pioneer living, and display them at the hoedown. Students and parents have a rootin,’ tootin’ time, and if you want to know the many ways a cowboy uses his bandana, just ask a 2nd grader! Yeehaw!.
At first 3rd graders seem as though the fetal pig dissection will not be their most favorite memory of 3rd grade, but shortly after beginning, many of them exclaim, "This is so cool!" Students point out organs they recognize from the human body unit, excited to see them first hand, and recall with ease the function of each organ.
4th graders bring their reading of Treasure Island to life through an overnight camping trip and treasure hunt. This year is a year of transformation. It is the first year they receive grades and participate in student - led parent - teacher conferences.