Grade Level Objectives
In January 2021, St. Joseph’s Catholic School opened its inaugural year-round 2K program. Our commitment is to provide a safe, fun, and nurturing environment where children can grow, learn and play! We have an experienced and dedicated staff to help guide, engage, and assess our earliest learners in the five domains of early learning and development:
1) physical development and motor skills.
2) social and emotional development.
3) approaches to play and learning.
4) communication, language and literacy.
5) cognitive development.
In doing so, we offer structured activities in whole group and individual settings, free play and outdoor recess, snack and mealtimes, and potty-training. We accommodate all learning styles and use a variety of learning strategies. Our curriculum is age appropriate and embeds Catholic education, while promoting 3K readiness. You may choose a half or full day option. A staff believe in a team effort approach with open communication between staff, parents, and children.
St. Joseph’s Catholic School proudly opened its first 3K program in 2016! This unique program allows our students to learn, pray, grow, and play in a caring, Catholic environment while participating in group instruction, learning centers, and enrichment classes such as art, P.E., music, library, and Spanish.
During these early years, children shape their basic values while learning about themselves and others. Our goal is to provide a cooperative journey shared by the children, parents and teachers. We promote each child’s self-help skills and manners as children learn to interact with peers and adults in a positive and respectful way. All activities are designed to promote 4K and 5K readiness.
With a strong desire to accommodate our current and future families, the SJS 3K program offers both half and full-day options for students with afternoon extended care until 6:00 p.m.
4K is an important time for students to expand their love of learning and their general knowledge. Our program helps provide students with the opportunities to develop the necessary skills to be lifelong learners and stewards of the Faith. Students participate in the daily routines and schedules that follow along with the Diocese of Savannah’s Content Standards. Our daily curriculum includes individual and group instruction, learning centers, snack times, recess, and enrichment classes.
Students are taught 4K skills and standards through engaging in active learning within the learning centers designed in the classroom. These centers are designed to help promote the developmental skills, encourage growth and independence, and support students in order to reach age appropriate learning skills before promotion to Kindergarten. Students are assessed through observations, checklist, learning journals and oral assessments.
Our students receive enrichments such as computer class, music class, weekly visits to the library, P.E. classes, art instruction, as well as Spanish instruction.
Our mission statement says it best: St. Joseph’s School is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment, delivering academic excellence rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
We are truly proud of our school. Its students, parents and staff are a dedicated group of people that work hard together to ensure the best for EVERY child. Feel free to stop by and meet our SJS family and see why we believe we are the best Macon has to offer.
Kindergarten at St. Joseph’s Catholic School strives to be an environment in which students achieve learning by exploring areas of study which develop the child intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually. Lessons aim to develop listening skills, following multi-step directions, and fine and gross motor skills. In addition, lessons in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science incorporate multiple resources to support learning, including manipulatives and hands-on activities, field trips, and technology resources. Our curriculum includes use of current educational strategies such as Orton-Gillingham, Singapore Math, Balanced Literacy, and Brain Gym. Infused throughout our academic study is an awareness of God – His presence, His creation, and His Church. Weekly Mass is a part of Kindergarten, as well as daily prayers and religion lessons.
By the end of the year, each child should know all letters and letter sounds, and should be able to read basic sight words, as well as basic readers. The student should be able to identify all numbers to 30, count aloud to 100 by ones, fives, and tens, and perform operations of sorting, patterning, graphing, telling time by the hour, and basic addition and subtraction.
Students master “I can!” skills over the course of the year, including
- State first and last name
- Recognize 8 basic colors
- Hold a crayon and pencil appropriately
- Use paste and glue appropriately
- Hold and use scissors appropriately
- Speak clearly to express ideas and needs
- Copy my name
- State my birthday
- State the days of the week
- State the months of the year
- State my phone number
- State my address
- Print my first and last name from memory
You might say first grade is all about firsts! Students have their first homework assignments; first Friday Spelling and Reading tests, first planners, as well as working to build stamina to stay focused and organized! We are learning to read, comprehend, and apply what has been learned. We are exploring numbers, problem solving, and learning about the world around us in an encouraging and loving environment.
Students are immersed in a setting filled with good fiction and nonfiction books, word work, poetry, and problem solving skills through the Balanced Literacy Approach and the Orton – Gillingham Multi-Sensory Approach which both use the natural learning styles of children. Students use guided reading books on their level to practice reading skills and improve fluency. Our poetry journals and reading journals are a wonderful way for the children to learn grammar rules, and comprehension skills such as comparing and contrasting, visualizing, and making text connections.
Math lessons are developmentally appropriate with the use of manipulative and concrete activities which help the children grasp mathematical concepts symbolically. We incorporate the philosophy of providing children with many experiences that move them from concrete to pictorial to abstract concepts of number. The students learn strategies to add and subtract one and two digit numbers without regrouping, problem solving and the beginning stages of understanding time, money, fraction, data collection, measurement and geometry.
Faith is developed through a spiritual curriculum based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These four pillars of Catholic doctrine are: What Catholics Believe, How Catholics Worship, How Catholics Live and How Catholics Pray. The students participate in school service projects and donate money to the mission jar for the needy. First graders also learn about saints and go to weekly Mass with our fourth grade prayer buddies.
Science and Social Studies
Concepts are taught using project based learning and exploration. The children are excited and involved investigating their world.
The curriculum for second graders builds heavily on first grade curriculum. The year focuses on a deeper awareness of God and His Church, new Science concepts, more complex Math operations, increased understanding of Reading and Writing skills, a greater understanding of communities and our nation, and more student independence. The second grade is a year full of many new adventures!!
Here are just a few main ideas, concepts, and skills for Second Grade:
The goal of second grade Religious education is to improve the students’ knowledge of the Catholic Faith, liturgies, moral formation, family, community, prayer life, and their respect for others. Second graders grow in their understanding of the Ten Commandments, the sacraments, and the importance of their participation in Mass. With great anticipation and excitement they look forward to making their first Reconciliation and receiving their First Holy Communion!
The students are always ready to learn about God and to improve their relationship with Him and others. They look forward to the weekly Masses, visits from our Priests, Holy Days Activities, and Prayer Buddy Activities.
Second grade is a year of highly visible progress in Reading and Language Arts.
Students make many major accomplishments during second grade. They become fluent readers who are capable of independently reading, comprehending, and responding to literature. As writers, they learn how to write complete sentences and paragraphs using correct spelling and punctuation. In English, students continue to master their knowledge and usage of grammar skills including nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This allows them to complete writing units such as personal narratives, writing a friendly letter, and proofreading skills. In handwriting, students begin the year reviewing the D’Nealian Manuscript alphabet. In the 3rd quarter students are eager to learn D’Nealian cursive. They progress into entirely cursive by the end of fourth quarter!
Second graders are guided through the knowledge and skill building of numbers and operations, two and three digit addition and subtraction with or without regrouping, counting and using money, telling and understanding time, the recognition of plain shapes and figures, and the use of customary and metric measurement. They also explore fractions and multiplication.
- Major milestones for second grade Math include:
- Applying number sense to the four basic operations
- Understanding the use of money in real life situations
- Developing spatial reasoning in relation to geometric shapes
- Applying the various methods of measurement
- Exploring probability and using data
Second grade Science energizes the students through print, inquiry, and digital experiences. The students engage in reading and computer lessons, and hands-on activities as they explore the areas of animal and plant life cycles and environments, the earth, it’s history, and its resources, weather, the Solar System, changes in matter, and energy and magnets. The use of technology is implemented in digital lessons which include interactive presentations and virtual labs. Science allows the students to really begin to expand their horizons.
In Social Studies, the students are introduced to many core concepts on a basic level. They explore types of neighborhoods and communities in our cities, states, country and our world. They realize the importance of using natural resources and how that affects the history, culture, and economics of a location and Georgia. United States history, citizenship, government, and US symbols are studied along with geography. Map and globe skills, and the study of famous American citizens, events, holidays, and places enrich their Social Studies knowledge.
Second grade opens the door to a new world of opportunities!
Third Grade is a transitional year bridging the primary and intermediate grades in elementary school. It would be difficult to list everything that will be taught during the year, but this guide will provide an overview of some of the most significant aspects of our third grade curriculum. Our curriculum is established by the Diocese of Savannah. Along with our academic goals, we focus on fostering independence, self-directed study, problem-solving skills, and good organizational habits.
Our language arts curriculum provides skills instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are encouraged to apply knowledge of word families and phonics to read and spell unknown and multi-syllabic words. Our emphasis on reading for meaning has the ultimate goal of developing life-long literacy in our students. Reading fluency and comprehension skills are strengthened through practice with a wide variety of literature. The core of our program is the Journey’s Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reading Program. We also enrich this program with poetry study and additional selections from quality children’s literature. Students read cooperatively, independently, and with guidance. They respond to literature by making connections to their own knowledge and experiences, by answering comprehension questions and by producing artwork and writings that reflect understanding of a text. Third graders also develop their writing skills by focusing on the writing process and studying the techniques and style of published authors. Journeys is our primary Practice Workbook. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are addressed daily in mini-lessons, writing assignments and through the Harcourt series.
The third grade math program develops skills in math vocabulary, computation, data display, and logic and reasoning.
Third graders expand their knowledge in:
- place, value, and rounding
- multi-digit addition and subtraction facts
- multiplication and division
- collecting, recording and displaying data
- measurement, time, and money
We begin the year developing map skills by reading and creating maps, using scale, locating map features, and describing physical and human attributes of maps. Our social studies include strands in economics, culture, history, geography, social systems and government. Our text is supplemented by a weekly Scholastic News subscription.
Our science curriculum includes elements from physical science, earth science, and life science. Our excellent textbook series Science Fusion by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt incorporates many opportunities for hands-on exploration and experimentation. Some exciting elements of our Science Fusion series are virtual labs and a student e-book that is easily accessed online. Scientific skills such as predicting, measuring, observing, and data recording are developed.
We will explore:
- The cycles of change in living things
- Habitats and Adaptations
- Rocks and Minerals
- The Scientific Method
- Heat and Energy
In religion, third graders continue to deepen their understanding of the Catholic Church’s doctrine and practices. We say a decade of the Rosary every day and examine the events associated with the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries. Students participate in daily devotional prayers and are encouraged to increase their own prayer life. Our textbook entitled Blest Are We stresses the concept of discipleship and Christian community.
In Religion, our goal is to help students live their Christian faith through participation in the life of the Church and the understanding of Sacred Scripture. This goal is facilitated through the development of knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, prayer, education for community life, and missionary initiation. The emphasis in fourth grade is on the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, the Beatitudes, and the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Other Catechetical concepts, such as the celebration of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, Mary, the Saints, Social Justice, and Catholic prayers are developed.
Language Arts involves the continuing development of phonemic awareness – the awareness of sounds in spoken language, decoding – the process of translating written words into speech, oral reading, fluency, and listening comprehension. Reading comprehension – the process of constructing meaning from texts, coupled with increased vocabulary, is integrated throughout the entire curriculum in all content areas. Writing is an equally important aspect of the curriculum. Included in written expression are the knowledge of steps of the writing process, the application of grammar rules, the identification of parts of speech, correct spelling, and the ability to write the various paragraph and poetry forms.
Math is aligned with the NCTM Standards and correlates with Georgia Performance Standards. This includes the development of concepts such as numbers and operations – place value, multiplication and division, rounding and estimation, mental math, and use of fractions. It also includes the study of measurement focusing on perimeter, area, and volume; beginning geometry; and the application of algebraic patterns using variables in mathematical expressions. Other aspects of the curriculum are the process standards such as problem solving, reasoning, and evaluating proofs. In addition, data analysis and probability are developed through the use of graphs and tables and making predictions.
Social Studies emphasize five focus points which are integrated throughout each chapter of each unit. Geography which includes extensive practice with map skills enables students to compare and contrast geographical features and to use latitude and longitude to identify points of study on a globe or map. The history of each region of the United States is studied with an emphasis on European exploration, Native American influence on culture, the American Revolution and up to the Civil War, as well as key events and individuals in the history of Georgia. Culture, citizenship, and economics are also studied in order to round out the curriculum and to show how these concepts affect current events and political issues in the United States.
Science helps students develop the understanding of concepts through active involvement and participation in their own learning process to endure well past the next test. We learn science inquiry skills such as observation, inference, classification, prediction, and data interpretation. Life science is developed by the comparison and contrast of plant and animal structures and traits including the five basic life functions, the study of ecosystems, and the understanding of the classification of animals. Physical science topics include the properties of matter and the transference of heat energy, the study of light and sound, friction and gravity, and mass and weight.
The key areas of the fifth grade math curriculum include numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, algebra, probability, data analysis and problem solving. The curriculum is formulated from Common Core and the NCTM Standards. The textbook that is used is My Math by McGraw Hill. There is an emphasis placed on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals and fractions with an added stress on place value and estimation. Through investigation, students gain an understanding of how numbers can be described and classified. They actively use factors, multiples, rules of divisibility, prime, composite and square numbers. The relationship between fractions, decimals and percent is emphasized as students solve problems.
Applying math to other disciplines is stressed. Students use formulas to find the area of various geometric and plane figures, use a protractor to measure angles, calculate and interpret graph tendencies and communicate their thinking.
Students access Mathletics, an online, individualized program that helps students to master and maintain grade level math standards.
SJS’s fifth grade Science curriculum helps students to develop inquiry skills, to use the scientific method and to understand the relationship between science and technology. Through student participation in various hands on activities, group projects and experiments basic science knowledge can be built upon and reinforced. The textbook used for science is Science Fusion with emphasis on the digital lesson component through the Think Central website.
Some of the content areas of the curriculum include Physical Science, Life Science and Earth and Space Science.
The goal of the Religion curriculum is to help students deepen their faith as they develop practical ways to live the social mission of the Church.
Emphasis is placed on locating Scripture passages in the Bible, a deeper understanding of grace and the Seven Sacraments and a greater understanding of the Eucharistic celebration. Students are encouraged to participate in the weekly Mass by serving as readers, cantors, choir members, gift bearers and altar servers. They also act as role models for their kindergarten buddies. Fifth grade students develop their knowledge of Scripture and Tradition, different types of prayer, seasons and feasts of the Church, and Mysteries of the Rosary. They are also encouraged to participate in the numerous missionary activities of the school and have many opportunities for daily prayer. Religion is incorporated into all aspects of the fifth grade curriculum. The textbook used is Blest Are We.
St. Joseph’s fifth grade language arts curriculum is comprised of reading, spelling, language, and writing skills. Students are involved in reading everyday whether it is D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read), being read to, or orally reading as a class. It is St. Joseph’s goal to help our students become life-long readers. Attention is placed on teaching the student listening skills to listen for specific purposes, participating in discussions, practice using their oral skills, and using descriptive language.
The Language Arts curriculum stresses:
Reading Comprehension-the process of constructing meaning from texts, coupled with increased vocabulary. This is integrated throughout the entire curriculum in all content areas. Students will read and be able to identify a variety of literary genres. The reading series used at Saint Joseph’s is Journeys by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Students also use Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop and interactive textbook to better support vocabulary and spelling development.
Writing- Writing skills are enhanced upon. Students are instructed in the writing process, especially in the application of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization rules. The writing series used at St. Joseph’s is Strategies for Writers by Zaner-Bloser.
Grammar Workshop is used to help students understand the conventions of standard English.
The social studies curriculum focuses on the events, ideas,a nd technological advances that shaped America from the 1850’s to the present. Students learn how the evolution of the U.S. Constitution impacts the American way of life. We explore the economic developments of the U.S. in terms of geography, industry, agriculture, and transportation. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s, The United States: Civil War to Present, is our textbook.
The textbook is Connected Mathematics 2 developed at Michigan State University through a NCTM grant. The emphasis is application word problems that connect the everyday world to the fundamental computation skills. The program allows students to approach mathematical problems from different angles and discover basic algorithms as they investigate with hands on materials. They can then translate their discoveries into everyday problems that occur in real life.
The four science areas in the sixth grade curriculum are: Oceanography, Meteorology, Astronomy, and Geology. Our texts are Science Fusion from Holt McDougal. We are a NASA Explorer School and therefore work closely with our NASA partner to have updated information and materials in each area of study to supplement our texts and materials.
The Old Testament and the New Testament connections are the focus of the study in sixth grade. Students are encouraged to participate in liturgies, personal and communal prayer, and the observance of feast days and seasons. The text is Blest Are We by Benziger. Students who are eligible may serve as altar servers for school masses each week and for funerals.
Social studies focuses on learning about the geography, culture, conflict, governance, and economic influence on the for Europe/Russia, Latin America, Canada, and Australia. Students also explore the five themes of geography through the physical features within those countries. Our texts include McGraw Hill’s Discovering World Geography as well as Rand McNally’s Atlas of World Geography.
Language Arts integrates listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Students read and analyze a variety of literary works, and incorporate comprehension skills with the help of Scott Foresman’s textbook, Reading Street. Sixth grade students participate in literature-rich discussions of novels through Literature Circles, a collaborative group learning environment.
Students also develop skills in the effective use of literary conventions. Voyages in English: Grammar and Writing, a textbook outlining various English skills, is used throughout the curriculum. Sixth graders will become comfortable with using the multi-step writing process to create various writing pieces. Students will be expected to use many different mediums, including journals, letters, research papers, narratives, and essays. The goal is to encourage all students to develop a lifelong love of language and literature.