Kindergarten thru Eighth Grade Curriculum

Kindergarten Curriculum

Kindergarten provides a nurturing, caring environment so students can experience a productive and enjoyable beginning to their school years. The following is a description of the curriculum for kindergarten.  

Kindergarten children need to be lead to a loving, personal relationship with God. This involves the child, parent, our guardian and catechist. They are starting to grow in an understanding of who they are in relationship to God and others especially their parents. The Our Sunday Visitor I Am Special series is used with hands-on activities and interactive class discussion. Special liturgies include: A Thanksgiving Prayer Service, A Nativity Play, a One-Hundredth Day Prayer Service and May Crowning. The most current Sadlier Catholic Identity is used in Grades 1-8 and includes special class retreats, prayers, doctrine, church traditions and devotions, morality, liturgical seasons, lives of the saints, Scripture stories, social justice, evangelization, and Family Activities.

The language arts program offers abundant opportunities for language instruction.  These include activities for listening, speaking, reading and writing.  A focal point for language instruction is a literature-based reading program.  Quality literature is used to expose the students to many forms of print.  Letter recognition, phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension strategies and reading strategies are used to promote reading readiness.  Students are introduced to writing through the use of phonics-based spelling.           

Some special activities within the language arts program include a take-home mascot activity that encourages listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Classes in the computer lab help the students to develop the necessary skills to make class books and digital stories by using MS Paint.  During Catholic Schools Week, Grandparents are invited to read books. 

Mathematics is introduced to the students through concrete experiences.  This is accomplished with the use of math manipulatives, which are used to engage the students in various hands-on activities.  These hands-on activities help the students to develop an understanding of math concepts.  Some concepts that are covered are: positions, patterns, classification, number recognition, comparing and ordering of numbers, geometric shapes, measurement, the meaning of addition and subtraction, time and money.           

A special activity within the math program is the One Hundredth Day Celebration.  Many concepts are taught and reinforced by using various visual models to count the days of school. 

The students participate in the following classes once a week: Spanish, library, art, physical education and computer classes.

1st Grade Curriculum

RELIGION

Children at this age learn about faith by active participation with sensory experiences. They are relational and can respond to Jesus’ love for them by the love and respect given by those around them. Themes of Belonging to and Celebrating the Church with family and community are incorporated in class activities.

MATH

“Houghton Mifflin Math,” offers direct instruction and cooperative learning; hands-on activities and paper and pencil tasks; real-world applications along with investigations, projects, math games, and basic facts practice. Units – Number Concepts, Operations, and Graphing; Addition and Subtraction Facts Through 10; Geometry and Fractions; Numbers Through 100; Time and Money; Addition and Subtraction Facts Through 12; Measurement; Two-Digit Addition and Subtraction.

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS

“Storytown,” a Harcourt School Publishers program.  Storytown is a research-based, developmental reading and language arts program.  The foundation of the program is high-quality children’s literature, as well as informational texts.  The program emphasizes explicit, systematic instruction in the areas of phonics awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing. Penmanship – D’Nealian method.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Scholastic News; National Geographic Young Explorer; Current Events.

SCIENCE

“Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, A Closer Look.” Provides science content and hands-on activities based on the National Science Education Standards. Units – Plants; Animals and Their Homes; Our Earth; Weather and Sky; Matter; Motion and Energy.

2nd Grade Curriculum

RELIGION

Second graders have a fairly well-developed sense of right and wrong and is beginning to develop a conscience. They develop a sense of the “family of God” as they prepare for two sacraments: First Penance and Eucharist. They will study the Ten Commandments and parts of the Mass as they engage in sensory activities, role-play, dramatization, and Scripture stories.

MATH

“Houghton Mifflin Math” is a new edition this year. Book 2.1 for class work for the first half, 2.2 for the second half and a Homework book for reinforcement. The Math program offers instruction, manipulative for hands-on activities, problem solving and math games. Units include: Number Concepts; Graphing; Place Value; Shapes and Fractions; Regrouping; Subtracting Two-Digit Numbers;Money and Time;Measurement;Introduction to Multiplication and Division; Adding and Subtracting Three-Digit Numbers. There is a weekly Timed Quiz on Math Facts.

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS

“Invitations To Literacy”, a Houghton Mifflin program consists of 6 different themes. Theme1 “Pet Show Today”, Theme2 “Nature Detective”, Theme3 “Good Friends”, Theme4 “Family Photos”, Theme5 “That’s Incredible” and Theme6 “Tell Me A Tale”. At the end of each theme students will take a Theme Skills Test. Also, twice a year students will take the Benchmark Test to see how well their writing skills and critical thinking skills have developed. This ILA area will include Reading, Phonics, Written Language, Spelling and Expressive Language. Daily Edit sentences will also be part of the written language. “Handwriting by Zaner Bloser” program will introduce Cursive Writing. A period of sustained reading D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) will be held each day to give the children time to read for pleasure.

SOCIAL STUDIES

“We Live Together”, a MacMillan/McGraw-Hill program. Units 1-5 will cover Our Community, All About Earth, Our Past, All About Work and Our Government. Children will work on class assignments, at home projects as well as take quizzes and tests. For Current Events we have ordered the Scholastic News Magazine.

SCIENCE

“Scott Foresman Science” program. It provides hands-on activities and Units to learn more about Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science and about the Human Body. Each Unit consists of 3 Chapters. Students will work on class assignments, at home projects and perform a number of experiments. They will also have tests and quizzes.

3rd Grade Curriculum

RELIGION

Third graders enjoy participation in group work as they reflect with students on “faith” and the experience of being in a community of the followers of Jesus Christ called “Church.” They begin to internalize the moral rules as the rules make sense to them. They begin to learn details about this community including the Mass, members of the community, and how the Church serves the larger community. They explore their own responsibility to the Church as well.

MATH

We have updated our math book. It is a book from Houghton Mifflin. There are 8 units and 22 chapters. They cover many areas including place value, all the operations of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, as well as measurement, geometry, fractions, and decimals. Timed tests are given weekly as well as tests at the end of chapters and units. The homework each day is a page from the homework book or a worksheet.

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS

We have two readers for 3rd grade: Enjoy and Celebrate. We cover 6 themes during the year. After each story the children answer 5 questions. After each theme we complete a test on skills. Twice a year we complete the Benchmark Tests which include reading selections that include narrative and expository text. During the year we read aloud and complete activities for 6 chapter books. We do a report in a can, a biography, and a folktale. After each story, a spelling test is given. The ILA programs also cover grammar skills.

We have two readers for 3rd grade: Enjoy and Celebrate. We cover 6 themes during the year. After each story the children answer 5 questions. After each theme we complete a test on skills. Twice a year we complete the Benchmark Tests which include reading selections that include narrative and expository text. During the year we read aloud and complete activities for 6 chapter books. We do a report in a can, a biography, and a folktale. After each story, a spelling test is given. The ILA programs also cover grammar skills.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Third grade explores Communities. The textbook is broken intro strands that teach us about the world. The strands are: 1.) Economics, 2.) Citizenship, 2.) Geography, 4.) Culture, 5.) Science, technology, and society, etc.  Chapter test notes are given in copybook. Tests for both SS and Science are listed on the board, assignment books and website at least a 1 1/2 before the test. Third grade explores communities.

SCIENCE

Third Grade covers 4 Basic Areas. Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and the Human Body. We conduct some experiments in the classroom and give the children the opportunity to do some at home. We have two tests: one Vocabulary and one Chapter Test. Students are expected to make flashcards for vocabulary.

4th Grade Curriculum

RELIGION

Fourth graders look toward peers for validation and support and has a strong need for acceptance by the group and models of good and balanced behavior. Heroes and lives of the saints are explored with great interest to this age group. Stories of how Biblical saints lived their lives, related to God, dealt with conflict, and emerged victorious are inspiring to fourth graders. They also explore rules and relationships in the context of morality with a heightened sense of fairness and justice. The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes are integral to the Fourth Grade curriculum. They are open to communal prayer and the gestures of the liturgy. They learn to more fully, consciously , and actively participate in the Mass.

 MATHEMATICS

Mathematics curriculum in fourth grade includes place value, money, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, geometry and measurement.  Mathematics lessons this year rely on proficiency in multiplication.  The textbook is by Houghton Mifflin.

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS

Integrated Language Arts curriculum includes the topics of Reading, Spelling, Grammar and Writing.  Six themes are covered throughout the year from the Harcourt textbook series. 

 SOCIAL STUDIES

Social Studies curriculum in Fourth grade focuses on the study ofNew Jerseyfrom the early Europeans and Native Americans to present day.  Each of the six units has projects such as post cards, posters, and reports.  Students also read a historic fiction novel and write and perform skits. 

 SCIENCE

Science curriculum includes the study of Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science. The textbook, Science A Closer Look, is by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill

5th Grade Curriculum

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS

Houghton Mifflin Invitations To Literacy

  • Six Themes: “Journey to Adventure”, “In the Wild”, “Try to See It My Way”, “Catastrophe”, “From the Prairie to the Sea”, “Do You Believe This?”

In Class, we emphasize:

  • Smart Board use, LAB books, Transparency use, Note taking, Journal writing, Skits, Different genres of books, Vocabulary

Use Houghton Mifflin English in correlation with Invitations To Literacy
Also do free writing, journals, daily edits

Teach: Sentence structure, parts of speech, Persuasive writing, Letter writing, Research writing, Descriptive Writing, Narrative Writing

6 Theme Skills Tests (comprehensive test after completion of each theme)
2 Bench Mark Tests (November and March)
Weekly Spelling Tests

Group and Individual projects, Centers/Stations, Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop,
1 Book Report per trimester
100 minutes weekly of outside reading

Fun projects: Movie Poster book reports, Black History Month Wax Museum

MATHEMATICS

Using our new Houghton Mifflin text book, 5th Grade Mathematics covers the four mathematical operations of Addition, Subtraction, Division and Multiplication. The areas in which these operations are applied are with whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Toward the end of the year the students learn about ratio, percent, probability, area and volume.

In the beginning of the year the students learn about place value, estimation and using mental math in addition and subtraction. They also learn a great deal about measurement in this part of the year including the customary and metric systems.  During the middle of the year the students concentrate on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals.  These are all very important areas that will help build their foundation for the rest of their academic lives.

We also do a lot of fun projects in math at the beginning and end of chapters. But we enjoy our biggest project in math called The Fraction Café in the middle of the year where each student gets to prepare a favorite “fraction” recipe in front of the class for all to share. This is a real-life assessment of their knowledge of measurement and fractions. Plus it’s a lot of fun to eat all the wonderful goodies! We also enjoy participating in the NJ Stock Market Game which allows our school to compete with over 100 other schools in the state. During the 12 week game, the students learn all about investing in the stock market and get to invest a fictitious $100,000 in up to 5 public companies of their choice.

At the end of this year the students are evaluated and recommended to stay either on the normal Math curriculum track in which they are presently enrolled or to move into a more advanced and faster paced 6-1 Math Curriculum.  This decision is made based on three criteria:

  1. Terra Nova testing scores in Mathematics
  2. The student’s Classroom average, which includes tests/homework/class participation.
  3. The student’s final exam score

The first 25-30 students who score the closest to 300 points in these areas will move onto 6-1. The remaining students will remain in the regular 6th grade math curriculum.

RELIGION

Fifth graders become more aware of their own individuality and the need to express themselves creatively and assertively. They are detail-oriented and like to explore facts and traditions about the faith. They are capable of deeper religious feelings and the desire to probe religious meanings more thoroughly as they begin to understand peace and justice concepts through the mission church. Fifth graders enjoy various prayer activities that also include Scripture, music and devotions such as the rosary. Daily activities include; reading, discussing, and highlighting textbooks, participating in conflict resolution and relationship role-playing and reflection upon Scripture readings.

SCIENCE

Scott Foresman Series

  • Cover 4 Units: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, Human Body
  • Life Science: Comparing Living Things, Reproduction/Changes, Adaptations, Ecology
  • Physical: Matter, Motion, Forms of Energy, Electrical Energy
  • Earth: Resources, Climate, Astronomy
  • Human: Respiration/Excretion, Living Healthy

In class, we emphasize:

  • Smart Board use, Note taking, Outlines, Experiments, Group and Individual Projects, Current Events, Writing Assignments, Reading and answering lesson review questions and worksheets, Playing Review Games

Fun projects we work on:

  • Travel brochures, making atoms, energy collages
  • Field Trip

SOCIAL STUDIES

In 5th Grade Social Studies, students learn about the United States and its Regions.  In the first part of the year the students learn about maps and map terminology. In the middle part of the year the students learn about the history and cultures of the five regions of the United States as well as how to locate the states and major cities. They also learn about the government and cultures of the United States and how to be a better citizen.

During our daily activities in Social Studies we will be:

  • Reading and discussing the chapter using several different read aloud strategies.
  • Doing activity worksheets as a class and independently.
  • Outlining the lessons
  • Participating in cooperative grouping activities
  • Creating digital stories
  • Using the classroom blog and wiki

The Social Studies teacher also integrates technology into her lessons a great deal.  By the end of the year the students are very familiar with Google Earth, cloud computing and many other educational Web 2.0 tools .

The students also do fun projects in Social Studies including a Family Heritage Report, a wax museum, oral presentations and and in -school group projects like designing State brochures and imagining life on Mars.

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Curriculum

RELIGION, GRADEs 6-8

Adolescence has traditionally been viewed as a critical period in development. Teens become increasingly more independent and seek out others who are like themselves. They develop a more personal relationship with God as they begin to include the needs of others. Through group projects, service, retreats, and discussions, teens are affirmed of the gifts and talents and are asked to share them with the larger community. They have an avid interest in social justice and seek interaction in experiences of shared faith. They develop critical thinking skills and challenge role models to authentic practice of the faith. They reflect deeply upon their own values, relationships, and connections to the Church and community beyond. Sixth grade centers on the study of Old and New Testament. Seventh grade emphasizes the doctrinal aspects of the faith as students prepare for Confirmation. Eighth grade will explore the history of the church as they also engage in immediate Confirmation preparation for the celebration of the sacrament in Grade 8.

Monthly liturgical prayer experiences are celebrated by the children with emphasis on developing full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy. The Family Life Series by Benziger is mandated by Bishop David O’Connell throughout the grades and is the official safety program of the Diocese of Trenton following the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The curriculum integrates child safety education into a holistic approach to family life education.

INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS, GRADES 6-8

All ILA coursework follows Diocesan and state standards, and aims to prepare students for spring placement exams as well as the Terra Nova Common Core exam.

Reading and Writing Standards Include: citing evidence to support inferences, determining themes, analyzing dialogue and incidents in stories and drama, determining word meanings using context, allusion and other forms of comparison, comparing and contrasting structures and elements, analyzing point of view, analyzing elements and conventions of classical works in modern fiction, evaluating multimedia artistic choices, analyzing categories, analyzing diction and syntax, evaluating arguments

Language Standards mostly focus on verbals at the 8th grade level, but other concepts will be reviewed and enhanced as needed based upon student need and readiness. Denotation and connotation are a big part of new vocabulary learning. Vocabulary studies in the fall are based on HSPT and SAT practice lists.

Speaking and Listening Standards directly connect with Reading and Writing content and standards, adapted to a variety of contexts and tasks. At the 8th grade level, assessed Harkness-style discussions take place regularly.

Language Standards at the 7th grade level focus on sentence types, sentence structure, and modifiers, though other concepts are covered as needed. Vocabulary is integrated within readings as well as in vocabulary units suitable for the 7th grade level.

The Language standards for the 6th grade level have students demonstrate a command for English grammar when speaking or writing. Determining the meaning of unknown words and multi-meaning vocabulary words, using Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues.

MATH, GRADES 6-8

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Math is grouped into accelerated Math and on level Math.  In the accelerated eighth grade Math class the Algebra I curriculum is taught.  The curriculum in all three grades is rigorous and follows the NCTM guidelines.  Further, the guidelines set forth by the Diocesan Algebra Curriculum Mapping and Secondary Mathematics Committee is followed along with the Diocesan Curriculum Math Guidelines.

The students learn number and numerical operations, geometry and measurement, patterns and Algebra, Data Analysis, Probability, and Discrete Mathematics along with Mathematical Processes.  These are all Math standards set by the NCTM.  Further, children learn to be problem solvers, communicate mathematically, make connections, reason, make analytical representations and keep up to date with technology.

The goal in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Math is to create confident learners.  With this focus in mind, Math is also made fun.  Many activities are created throughout the year to reason and make connections mathematically.  In October, the students complete a M&M Halloween Math Activity using probability, guess and check and number sense.  In December, the students create a geometric Christmas scene using all geometric shapes.  In March, Pi day is celebrated on March 14th (3.14) children discover the ratio of Circumference to diameter by measuring (and eating!) pies, pizza and other circular objects.  In the spring, students learn surface area by measuring solids that they are familiar.  In addition, the metric system is learned by measuring trees, books, desks, doors, walls and flowers.

In conclusion the goal of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade Math curriculum is the same as the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Mathematics:  To enable all of New Jersey’s children to acquire the mathematical skills, understandings, and attitudes that they will need to be successful in their careers and daily lives.

SCIENCE, GRADES 6-8

In sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science, the students use the Glencoe Science textbook series to discover new topics appropriate to the standards for their grade.  During the year, each grade covers multiple units, which include all three branches of science: physical, earth, and life.  The curriculum for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade follows the Diocesan Curriculum Science Guidelines and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Science.

In sixth grade, the students learn about matter and its properties.  The students become familiar with the Periodic Table and chemistry.  With chapters about motion, energy, electricity, and waves, the students discover the world of physics.  The students learn about currents and magnets, as well as Newton’s Laws.  Earth’s core layers and surface is a large unit where the students will learn about rocks, minerals, mechanical and chemical weathering, and atmosphere.  Later in the year, students analyze space missions.  At the end of the year, the students dive into biology with microscopes, cell organelles, invertebrates, and vertebrates.

In seventh grade, the students spend a month on rocks and minerals.  Then the students study weather, atmosphere, and climate.  Half of the year for the seventh grade science curriculum is biology.  The students compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis while learning about the cell cycle and cellular division.  Heredity and evolution are discussed.  The students then learn about each individual organ system: circulatory, immunity, digestive, respiratory, excretory, support, movement, nervous, and reproduction.

The eighth grade students have a variety of topics that are analyzed, allowing the students to be fully prepared for their high school years.  The students study ecology at the beginning of the year and learn about interactions between biotic and abiotic features of an ecosystem.  The Periodic Table, atomic structure, chemical bonds, and chemical reactions are all discussed during the chemistry unit.  The students study the Earth (plate tectonic, earthquakes, and volcanoes) and all the other planets of the Solar System, while learning about the constellations.  Finally, the students discover force and momentum in the physics unit.

 

SOCIAL STUDIES, GRADE 6-8

All Social Studies course work in grades 6-8 follow the Diocese and State Standards. Instruction covers topics such as U.S History, World History and Global Studies. Student begin to analyze the implications of government structures, communities, nations, economic polices, and global relationships. Studying the past conflicts and cooperation amongst different groups of individuals allows students to see the significance of cultural relations in and around the world. Through relevant activities, students will connect content knowledge to current issues in our world that promote students to be civic-minded and socially active in their communities and world. 


Art Curriculum

KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SECOND TRIMESTER OF FOURTH GRADE

These grades are learning to work with and manipulate the various art supplies. Their projects usually center around the seasons and holidays of the year. Each grade also looks at and discusses at least one famous art work and then does a project based in some way on that work. These classes are not graded. Every student automatically receives a “S” in art, since much of the work depends on small motor skills which develop at different ages in different children.

THIRD TRIMESTER OF FOURTH GRADE

At this point students are introduced to the idea that all work must be finished, collected and graded. This is mostly to prepare them for the next four years where this is standard procedure. They also start working on projects that take more than one or two class periods and sometimes are completed for homework. Report card grades for this marking period are an average of those grades received during this trimester

FIFTH GRADE

Curriculum for this grade is centered around the Elements Of Art – Line, Shape, Color, Texture, Form, and Space. Each work centers around one or more of these elements. All work is collected and graded. Report card grades are an average of all the grades received during a trimester. Toward the end of the year students are introduced to the idea that Art classes also include studying about artists and art history. They read and discuss in class one of a series of papers titled, “Artist Monthly”, and verbally answer the questions posed at the end of the paper. In this class, this paper is not graded. It is an introduction to something they will see with greater frequency in the upper grades. They also view work done by the artist about whom they have just read.

SIXTH GRADE

This grade level looks at the various types of art – Portraits, Still Life’s, Landscapes,  Narrative Art, Sculpture, and Crafts. There is one “Artist Monthly” paper for each of these units which is read together in class, but the answers to the questions are done for homework and are graded. They view work done by that artist and also work of they same type done by other artists. The artwork they do is centered on whichever unit is being studied. Their report card grade is also an average of all work done during the trimester.

SEVENTH GRADE

This grade level looks at the various “Isms” of the twentieth century – Cubism, Surrealism, etc. They learn that the invention of the camera and improved means of transportation had major effects on the world of art. The first, freeing the artist from the need to “record history” and the second, opening artists up to a wider view of the world. They also note that abstract art was practiced by primitive cultures long before “modern” artists even thought of it. At the beginning of each trimester they look at works done by the 5 or 6 artists they will meet in their “Artist Monthly” papers that marking period. These artists are assigned throughout the trimester and are not read in class, but as homework and then the questions answered on theme paper and collected in class. Their artwork in some way reflects the work done by some of these artists. Seventh graders also are assigned one Independent Project each trimester. In general, these are done at home, although a project which involves the use of the computer may also be worked on in school during homeroom, study hall, and in computer class. These are generally coordinated with the Computer class and students receive a grade both in Art and in Computer class for these. Their report card grade is weighted: 25% for written homework, 25% for exams and quizzes, and 50% for their art projects.

EIGHTH GRADE

This grade level has an “Artist Monthly” assignment every week, except the last week of each trimester. Their artists start with the Renaissance and chronologically continue through the twentieth century. Like the seventh grade, they are all done as homework. At the beginning of each trimester, they also look at works done by the artists for that marking period. Their report card grade is also weighted in the same manner: 25% written homework, 25% exams and quizzes, and 50% art projects. Unlike the other grades there is no real theme for their art projects. There are a few that are done every year, such as a monochromatic self portrait done on canvas board with acrylic paint. However the rest of the projects are chosen based on the individual class and can run the gamut from detailed perspective drawing to some form of graphic art. Eighth grade projects are geared to let them experiment further with some of the skills learned in earlier grade levels. They also have an Independent Project every trimester, again usually done completely at home with the exception of any that are assigned requiring the use of the computer. These can be done at home and/or in school, and also are coordinated with Computer class and receive a grade in each class.

Library Curriculum

The primary goal of the Library curriculum is helping the children realize the pure joy of reading!   The younger students have story time each week during their Library period, and the Librarian often reads aloud to the upper grades as well.  The students are introduced to the latest and best literature, as well as classic stories, to spur their interest and capture their imagination.

The Librarian visits the kindergarten classes in the Early Childhood Center for story time.

THIRD GRADE

Students learn the skill of finding books in the Library.  They learn the basics of library placement, the Dewey Decimal System, and use of reference material.  They also master the skill of locating books and information using the Library’s computer catalog program.

FIRST - EIGHTH GRADE

Grades 1 thru 6 visit the Library each week for a 45-minute period. 

In Grades 5 thru 8, the Library program is a supplemental part of the Language Arts classes. Grades for any projects, tests, or assignments completed for the class are factored into the students’ ILA grades. Guided by the Librarian, 5th and 6th grade students read two novels, discussing plot, characters, and theme. The 6th grade Library curriculum also includes a Holocaust study in connection with a novel that centers on the subject.  Seventh graders read classic short stories, dramas, and novels and are guided in research. The eighth grade program is an in-depth study of William Shakespeare.

For Grades 7 and 8 the Librarian works with the students in their classrooms for a 45-minute period each week. The older students also have the privilege of visiting the Library during their study time each day for research or individual reading selections.

Technology Curriculum (K-8 Grades)

As an introduction to computing, students at this level will use Computer-Aided Interactive software (CAI). This interactive type of software will allow younger students to become familiar with the computer, its basic components, and how programs work on a basic level.

Students will be introduced to Keyboarding through Type to Learn, Jr., as well Microsoft Paint for word processing, drawing and graphics fundamentals. Several CAI programs and selected educational web sites will also be introduced which will incorporate shapes, colors, time, and Language Arts skills.

A directed amount of access to the Internet will also be incorporated into the curriculum. Sites, such as PBS Kids, Starfall, and Sr. Seuss, will be loaded prior to students entering class to avoid misdirection.

FIRST AND SECOND GRADES

Students will continue working on Keyboarding skills and computer component identification basics. Within the CAI software area, students will work with MS Paint (drawing and graphics), and continue with a variety of software and web sites for Math skills, Language Arts, and graphics skill development.

This series of programs will help students develop and master manipulation of the keyboard as well as the mouse. Projects will combine motor skills, language arts, and interpersonal skills.

THIRD AND FOURTH GRADES

In the third and fourth grades, students again continue to work on keyboarding skills using the Type to Learn instructional series. Word Processing (WORD) and Internet basics will also be incorporated into project-based instruction. Students will begin manipulating word processing tools such as page and text formatting, graphics (copy and paste), saving documents, and using multiple programs at once. A unit on Internet Safety is planned even though Web projects are through pre-defined sites. Web site evaluation and research will also be covered. (Themes include: Treasure maps, Ben Franklin, Recipe books, Internet Safety, Under the Sea)

FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADES

Building on the foundation of what was learned in earlier grades, students will review
and use keyboard skill building programs, word processing, desktop publishing, and Internet tools, as well as begin to use Power Point (presentations program). (Themes include: Who-Am-I Bookmarks, National Symbols, Fairy Tales, Inventors/Inventions)

Again, learning will be project-based. By fifth grade, students will become more familiar with Internet resource tools and how to determine the validity of those resources. Several Internet web search activity worksheets will be included.

SIXTH GRADE

By sixth grade, students will be using not only Word and Power Point, but will become more fluent in desktop publishing. An introduction to Excel through project-based units will incorporate spreadsheet use to the course. An ongoing use of a Keyboarding program (Type to Learn series) will continue to help the student master these skills. Internet Resource Ethics is also covered more in-depth. (Themes include: Egypt, Food Pyramids, First Ladies).

SEVENTH GRADE

As each level builds upon the last, students in this grade will be expected to use a variety of multi-media for more intensive projects. The continuation of Desktop Publishing and simple web design will also be touched upon as will the history of technology. In the first half of the year, students will create a business for themselves which will form the basis for each project using technology; ie: create a business logo, write a business plan and business letter, survey their marketing preferences, create a merchandise order via a spreadsheet, draft Help Wanted Ads, and design business cards, brochure.  The second half of the year will focus on project-based research and presentations involving careers, and a variety of other topics.

EIGHT GRADE

The curriculum for the eighth grade students relies heavily on Research, Writing the Research Paper, and Presentations through a building block approach.  Each week students will build on the previous week’s lesson. Students will initially choose a topic of their own interest, and using that topic will learn to find keywords for research, how to build word and phrase outlines, use correct citation form, draft, edit, and finalize a formal paper. They will also create a presentation for their topic.  In the latter part of the school year, students will create technology Timelines, Recruiting posters for the Women of WWII, and a variety of Internet research activities.    Students will also have a hand in the compiling of information for their Yearbook.

** ALL GRADES: Keyboard skills will be stressed at every grade level – proper posture, homerow key finger placement, etc.  Special keyboard covers are in place so that students learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

Curriculum standards are based on The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Internet guides and rules shall be enforced for upper grades accessing the Web and its components through Internet screening software as well as stated rules to be signed by student and parent/guardian.

As time and funding becomes available, several CAI programs will also be incorporated into the curriculum. These programs reinforce curriculum standards in Social Studies, specifically Geography, and Mathematics (bringing math to real-world applications through “Business simulations’).

Whenever possible, project-based learning also will correspond to the appropriate grade-level curriculum.

Additionally, software is available to teachers to use in presenting their individual curriculum.

Physical Education

Physical education classes are conducted by a certified physical education teacher. Classes are held once a week for 30 minutes in lower grades and 45 minutes for grades 4-8.  The physical education program provides instruction in maintaining a physical fitness program and teaches movement skills while striving to foster qualities of good sportsmanship among our students. Physical fitness testing is done in grades 4 – 8.

Spanish

Students in grades K-8th have the opportunity to learn Spanish.  
In Spanish, the teachers work with the students to perfect their skills in many areas including pronunciations, patterns, basic grammar skills, and vocabulary.

By the time students finish sixth grade they should be able to associate with each other in a conversation and comprehend the Spanish language in the form of questions and commands. They should also be able to write the language and have a basic understanding of the culture. The Spanish curriculum meets the New Jersey Core Curriculum standards for foreign language.