In the primary grades*, students further their building and enriching of the basic foundational academic skills.
Through individual and group instruction, they are exposed to a variety of activities which enable them to broaden their ability to think critically. At this level, the students begin to collaborate and attain problem solving skills that necessitates the development of writing and oral communication skills and the advancement of math skills and concepts.
* = Grades 1-3, self-contained classes
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Physical Education
- World Language
Our mission is to instill Catholic values across the curriculum through words and actions. Students prepare and participate in weekly liturgy. In second grade, students receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in order to become more active participants in the Catholic faith. Children are immersed in a Catholic atmosphere in which bible stories, the rosary, the Ten Commandments, and prayer are a part of their daily life. The Virtue Program is utilized at all grade levels.
In our mathematics curriculum, students build a strong foundation with manipulatives, technology and engaging activities. Our goal for every student is to employ problem solving techniques and increase recognition of math vocabulary and basic operations. Math manipulatives and games are utilized to access prior knowledge, reinforce skills and introduce new concepts. A school wide on-line math program reinforces and evaluates student achievement.
In our social studies curriculum, we aim to model and inspire our students to become active, involved and informed citizens in their families, school and community lives. Students discover how people work together within a community to fulfill the needs and wants for the common good. The core democratic values along with Catholic values are taught and instilled within a loving Catholic environment. In the context of Michigan history, third grade also examines politics, government, early history, explorers and Native Americans.
Our language arts program encompasses reading, phonics, handwriting, spelling, grammar and the writing process. In the reading textbook, a variety of genres are explored to foster a love of reading. Skills of phonemic awareness, fluency, expression, spelling, grammar and vocabulary are developed. Comprehension strategies are incorporated weekly in order for students to become independent readers. Students use the writing process to develop and produce various samples. Through creative writing, children learn to develop a personal style and voice. Students move from printing to cursive writing in third grade.
In the primary grades students are introduced to the basic fundamentals of physical fitness and physical activity. They learn and develop their locomotor skills, non -locomotor skills, motor skills and knowledge of how they use these skills in various activities. Students are assessed on their basic skills after each unit and also take a modified fitness test (Fitnessgram) twice a year. Students are taught the importance of best effort, sportsmanship and communication. The curriculum is taught through various activities and games. All concepts align with the national (SHAPE America) and state (SHAPE Michigan) physical education standards.
Safety and Health: The Paper People Program is a school-based Substance Abuse Prevention and Health program for children in the primary grades. First graders are introduced to the program that consists of eight lessons designed to focus on the developmental needs of early elementary students and the significant factors which influence them such as family, television, advertising and technology. A variety of learning techniques are utilized such as paper bag puppets, felt board group discussions, singing, and drawing. Second graders are introduced to the Safety First Program which is designed to help students recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations and people. The third graders are introduce to the Peer Mediation Program. Students who are having peer difficulties may seek assistance from our trained student Peer Mediators. A peer mediator is a student trained in Conflict Resolution and who is supervised by a staff advisor during school hours to help the students solve their difficulties. All safety programs are directed by the school counselor and are presented in the context of Catholic values. Parents are notified prior to the start of the programs to help ensure reinforcement of the presented material and help in information retention.
Students in the primary grades continue to develop their cognition while incorporating art vocabulary and an introduction to the artistic process. We offer a differentiated program with concentration in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and art history, Students develop a portfolio of completed work throughout the year. Their work is displayed at the end of each school year in a school-wide art show. Primary students are inspired to express their creative spirit.
Spanish for students in the primary grades begin to learn the basic skills and culture of new language. Students learn vocabulary and basic grammar through songs and activities. The language is presented at an age-appropriate basic level. Students are also exposed to the different traditions and customs of the Spanish speaking world. Students are excited to practice their new vocabulary through speaking and listening activities which reinforces proper pronunciation.
Students are introduced to technology as a tool for life-long learning. During their weekly computer time, they learn to develop hand/eye coordination through typing and mouse tracking. Students are also introduced to proper keyboarding skills and develop a basic understanding of word processing. Computer projects focus on creativity, sequencing, and following verbal and written directions. Students learn about the wide variety of technology uses and are introduced to safe and appropriate Internet use. Internet safety is introduced starting at kindergarten.