Click on each grade below to view individual write-ups for each grade.
Religion content is faithful to the Catholic Church. The students learn the Golden Rule, prayers, self-worth, Liturgical Celebration, attend mass and take part in community service projects.
Reading Skills are introduced in different ways throughout the school year. The skills we work on include phonics, beginning and ending sounds, sight words, word families, short vowels, retelling, key ideas/details, characters and settings. The skills are taught through a variety of ways such as whole group, small group, centers, as well as computer use.
Math skills include representing, counting, and writing numbers to 20, addition, subtraction, measurement, skip counting by 5’s and 10’s, graphing and problem solving. These skills are taught in a variety of ways including, whole group, small groups, and centers. The students do many hands-on activities using math manipulatives.
Science topics include the five senses, weather, the four seasons, plants, states of matter, and living/nonliving. These topics are covered through hands-on activities which brings science to life. The Kindergarten does at last two STEM Projects a month.
Social Studies topics include self, family, community, map skills, and holidays. Skills are developed through use of graphs, maps, projects and trips.
St. Mary First Grade students learn to praise and thank God for all of their blessings. We embrace the mission of helping others through prayer and participating in service projects. Each day we strive to follow Jesus.
First grade students skills include adding, subtracting, time, money, graphing and problem solving many of which were introduced in Kindergarten. The concepts are expanded upon in first grade with the emphasis on problem-solving strategies and mastery of math facts. These skills and processes are taught using hands-on lessons with age appropriate manipulatives and materials.
First grade students continue to build on the skills introduced in Kindergarten. Phonics instruction includes short and long vowels, syllabification, word families and sound patterns. Vocabulary instruction is enhanced through technology and quality literature. This literature is used to develop higher level level thinking skills, such as drawing conclusions, recognizing problems and solutions. Students learn to identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, telling and asking sentences and how to improve their writing skills.
First grade students learn about animal groups, habitats, dental health, rocks, keeping healthy, magnets and simple machines. Students complete activities and projects (STEM) throughout the year in our school’s Science lab. First grade students work in small groups to plan, organize, create and complete a Science Fair entry for our school wide Science Fair.
First grade students learn about important figures in history, various holidays and the traditions for each holiday. Grade level appropriate geography and a Junior Achievement program that explains how each of them are an important member of their community and what it entails is also part of their social studies program.
St. Mary Second Grade students learn more about their faith through preparing for and receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion. They gain a deeper understanding of the Mass and are exposed to various types of prayer. They are provided with opportunities to practice their faith through leading a school wide prayer service and reading at Masses.
Second grade students deepen and extend their understanding of concepts introduced in first grade. They build computational fluency, learn to add and subtract with regrouping, understand place value relationships with numbers up to 1,000 and use different units of measurement.
Second grade students continue to develop and strengthen their reading skills through a combination of phonics, vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing and handwriting instruction. Students read and write various types of texts including fictional narratives, informational texts and how to articles. Students learn how to write in complete sentences and how to answer questions in complete sentences. Cursive handwriting is introduced and practiced by students beginning in January.
Second grade students learn about plants, their parts and their functions; Earth’s surfaces, landforms, and natural resources; dinosaurs; nutrition, and states of matter. Students become involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects throughout the year in our school’s Science Lab. Second grade students participate in our school’s annual Science Fair by researching, hypothesizing, creating and presenting information on one of our second grade science topics.
Second grade students learn about communities, economics, local, federal and state government, history, customs and traditions surrounding holidays and geography. Students take part in the Junior Achievements program a hands on program that brings real world experiences to students on a level that they can understand.
In Grade 3, students will learn more about the Four Marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. They will also learn about the Church’s mission in the world.
In third grade math several new topics and concepts are introduced, including multiplication and division. The focus is on four critical math concepts in third grade math:
• Understanding multiplying and dividing whole numbers
• Understanding fraction concepts
• Applying multiplication concepts to understanding arrays and area
• Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes
Instruction is in reading, writing, vocabulary, conventions of Standard English, and speaking and listening. Students carefully, purposefully read and reread texts. They in turn respond to higher-order questions and gain a deep conceptual understanding of texts. Students write with four principles in mind: they will write about their own lives, they will use a consistent writing process, they will work in authentic ways, and they will develop independence as writers.
Topics for Grade 3 are Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Space and Technology. Each unit contains a balance between key science content and hands-on activities that support each lesson.
Students learn about communities: local, national, and world. They learn how they can be an active member and responsible citizen of a community. Developing true understanding means that students don’t simply memorize facts, dates, and places. It means taking what they’ve learned and transferring that knowledge to new content, situations, ideas, and to their own lives.
The 4th graders at St. Mary School learn the Beatitudes and Works of Mercy. We also explore the Ten Commandments and the Sacraments and learn what they mean to us as members of the Catholic Church. Our community service project centers around providing uplifting holiday cards and periodic visits to a local senior housing congregate. We always strive to live our faith while in the classroom and throughout our daily lives.
English Language Arts:
English Language Arts in the 4th grade is comprised of 4 basic areas: Reading, Writing, Grammar, and Vocabulary. The reading program utilizes a variety of short stories, non-fiction and fictional novels, as well as poems and dramas. Writing instruction covers narratives, expository, persuasive, and explanatory pieces as well as traditional letter writing. Grammar is integrated in the writing process and focuses on punctuation, usage, and parts of speech. Vocabulary words are presented throughout the day in the content areas as well as taken from literary works.
The “Go Math” program is utilized to introduce and reinforce math skills in 4th grade. Areas that are covered include multiplication and division of larger numbers, fractions, long division, and place value. Problem solving strategies are also studied.
In science, we start by looking at simple machines and utilize hands-on demonstrations and models to see how they function. Next, we explore ecosystems and look at animals and plants and how they interact within the environment. In addition, units of study on energy, sound and light are also explored. The annual science fair is an opportunity for students to conduct their own experiments and share their findings with the class as well as the school community.
An overview of the history of the USA begins our study and then moves to the regions of the USA, specifically the Northeast. A look at how federal and local governments are run is also studied. In the late spring, the 4th graders take a trip to the capital building in Hartford.
Our Catholic faith is explored through a closer look at the Seven Sacraments. We explore that Sacraments in connection to Jesus Christ, who instituted and entrusted them to the Church. Each unit explores the Sacraments as they related to one another: Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments at the Service of Communion, and Sacraments of Healing. Within the units, each Sacraments is taught based on what we believe as Catholics, how we worship, how we live, and how we pray.
English Language Arts:
English languages arts is taught and reinforced throughout all content area subjects. Through both the content area subjects and ELA the children are exposed to both nonfiction and fiction texts. The novels that are taught throughout the year relate to the content areas, which reinforces that learning the various subject areas in a school day does not happen in isolation. The children learn to appreciate that reading is everywhere and that understanding and making connections through literature can enhance their world. Vocabulary is taught through the different subject areas, spelling, and grammar. A vocabulary program is also used that teaches the children skills to tackle unknown words through use of context clues, greek and latin roots, and reference skills. In writing we continually visit the topics of narrative, informative, argumentative and opinion, and research, not just in ELA but across the content areas as well.
The math curriculum is designed to build a strong foundation for operations with all kinds of numbers: whole numbers, decimal numbers, and fractions. By beginning with the place value of whole numbers and decimals, the children are better able to understand what is happening when we add, subtract, multiply and divide. Several methods for each operation are taught, along with the classic algorithms, so the children have the opportunity to choose the method that works best for them and their learning style. The year ends with patterns and graphing, units of measure, and geometry.
We begin by traveling back in time to earliest cultures and civilizations in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. As the children develop an understanding of how these cultures and civilizations were able to grow through adapting to their environment, using resources effectively and learning from one another, we start to examine the bigger picture. The two hemispheres begin to collide and connections are made across the continents. The children begin to learn the effects of global exploration and its impact on present day North and South America. We then end our journey at home with the colonization of North America and the events that lead to the thirteen colonies gaining their freedom as the United States of America.
Starting out larger than life, science begins with the exploration of the Universe: stars, galaxies, the Sun and our Solar System, and Earth and the Moon. The children make the connection that none of this would be possible without God and his wonderful gift of creation which began with the Universe. The next topic covered is Human Body Systems: Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Circulatory, Respiratory, Urinary and Digestive. The children not only learn the purpose and function of each system, but understand and make connections as to how the systems work as team to keep us alive! Finally, we end the year exploring physical science: sound, light, and heat energy. All topic areas are enhanced through activities in the STEM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In the STEM Lab the children are able to apply what they are learning in Science and make connections across all content areas.