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Kindergarten - 5th grade Curriculum


KINDERGARTEN


In kindergarten students move beyond a world that has been family and "me" centered to exposure and skill development that will enable them to communicate and interact with an ever-growing world.

In language arts, communication is developed through reading, journal writing, speaking and listening.

Math on the kindergarten level moves from the concrete to more abstract levels of thinking. The concepts covered explore operations and relationships of numbers, numeration and counting numbers, patterns and comparisons, position words, measurement and comparison, estimation, problem solving strategies, and an introduction to time and money. Communication development shows students who are beginning to use the language of mathematics to express ideas.

In social studies students explore their role and responsibilities in their world and community service is emphasized. Different cultures are explored through foreign country reports and students also explore holidays and traditions in America.

Kindergarten classrooms are equipped with at least four Pentium PCs for student use with educational software. All classrooms have SMART Boards, and an ELMO Document Camera. Students learn to recognize and locate keys on the keyboard and develop hand-eye coordination necessary for use of the mouse. They use software programs for Accelerated Reader, Earobics, and Math Facts in a Flash. Kindergarten students have computer lab every day on a 2 week rotation.

On the kindergarten level, physical education continues to develop students' basic locomotor skills. In a non-competitive, fun environment, students learn to appreciate lifetime fitness, the importance of cooperative play and team concepts.


Language Arts

Kindergartners should come to class with knowledge of sounds and letters and are ready to discover more pre-reading skills. They are excited to be on their way to reading and are ready to learn concepts of print, orally manipulate words and individual sounds within spoken words, understand the relationship between letters and letter combinations of written words and the sounds of spoken words, and begin to read simple text orally with accuracy and expression. Students begin to master sight words from the Dolch list andvecome familiar with word families.


By listening to good literature and communicating with teachers and peers, kindergartners acquire and use grade-level words and oral and visual skills to communicate effectively and to gain meaning from orally presented text.

Through journal writing, students learn to express themselves and learn that writing is a way of communicating. Good letter formation is encouraged as students begin to understand the principles of writing.

Students are introduced to Accelerated Reader.


Mathematics

Kindergarten mathematicians work to connect numerals to the quantities they represent and use representations to model addition and subtraction. By using manipulatives, they group objects according to common properties such as color, shape, texture, or number. Reading a calendar and telling time as it relates to their daily schedule is important to them. They name simple two-dimensional figures and recognize them in the environment and understand basic positional relationships. Kindergartners enjoy posing information questions, collecting data, organizing and recording results using objects, pictures, and picture graphs to understand the measurement of calendar time.


A 100 days celebration is an exciting culmination to counting 100 days of school and learning the concept of 100.


Social Studies

Kindergarteners look forward to holidays and enjoy learning the purpose of national holidays and the people and events celebrated. Diverse community and family celebrations and customs point out the diversity of our American culture.
Students identify important American symbols and begin to understand the importance of being a good citizen. Stories illustrating positive character traits encourage qualities of honesty, patriotism, loyalty, courtesy, respect, truth, pride, self-control, moderation and accomplishment.


Students understand that a map is a drawing of a place and a globe is a model of the Earth. They learn to state the street address, city, county, state, nation and continent in which they live. The children explore different occupations and learn that people work for wages and salaries. Experiences in the class store illustrate how money is used to purchase goods and services.


Science

The science curriculum is designed to make students aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works. Students use tools and instruments for observing, measuring and manipulating objects in scientific activities and learn to compare the similarities and difference in groups of organisms.


Discussion of health issues encourages students to make good choices concerning their bodies and recognize the importance of basic personal hygiene and prevention of passing germs that cause sickness. Students learn to select nutritious foods that contribute to good health.

Safety practices at home, school, on the playground, in and around motor vehicles, and in special conditions such as weather, fire, strangers, etc. are stressed.


Art

Small motor skills are developed as kindergartners experiment with various art mediums and materials. Students enjoy creating self-portraits and holiday and seasonal pictures and crafts. Native American art is explored as they decorate a vest and headband for the annual Pow Wow. Art appreciation is encouraged through the study of famous paintings and artists. Through fun art experiences, students begin to learn art related terms.



Computer

Kindergartners build on basic computer skills learned in Pre-Kindergarten and learn to work with a partner to complete computer tasks. Using age-appropriate programs, emphasis is on phonics and math skills.



Library


Skills presented in Pre-Kindergarten are reinforced. Kindergartners learn to make book selections, check out books on a personal card, take books home and return books. They are introduced to varied materials in a library and study the parts of the spine label and the arrangement of E fiction books on the shelf in more depth. They learn where the holiday books are shelved.


Physical Education

Students are introduced to four main areas of physical education: movement education, ball skills, rhythmic skills, games and activities. Emphasis is placed on flexibility, muscle strength/endurance, body and spatial awareness, balance, locomotor skills, and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination. Improvements are assessed through different activities such as target toss, hula hoops, striking skill stations, and basic locomotion skills. Kindergartners are proud to show off their skills during field day at the end of the year.


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FIRST GRADE


First grade is a time of fun and adventure. It is a time for many "firsts"... losing that first tooth at school, and taking that first spelling test. Decoding skills help us become fluent readers and spellers. We enjoy writing in our journals about the activities we do and lessons we learn. In science we study units on animals, plants, weather, caring for the earth, and space. A visit to the W.A. Gayle Planetarium each March teaches us about planets and constellations. In social studies, we celebrate and practice good citizenship. Math skills include telling time, counting money, learning addition and subtraction strategies, practicing patterns, sorting, distinguishing shapes, and place value. Many activities that reinforce these skills are done in our computer lab.


Language Arts

First graders become good readers by developing phonemic awareness, increasing sight vocabularies, and learning to use context clues. They practice comprehension strategies and learn to preview, recall, ask questions, make predictions, set a purpose for reading, make inferences, recognize story elements, sequence, restate main ideas, recognize cause and effect, and draw conclusions.


Writing skills focus on correct formation and spacing of upper and lower case manuscript letters and numbers, punctuation, and capitalization. Students write to express personal ideas in stories, poems, and journals.

Listening focuses on comprehending stories and poems, as well as learning to and listening to be informed and to perform a task.

Accelerated Reader reinforces comprehension skills according to each child's reading level.

Mathematics

First graders learn problem solving by drawing a picture, using guess and check, applying spatial reasoning, writing an open sentence or explaining solutions through oral and written communication.


Number Concepts include counting numbers to 100, ordinal numbers, mental math and counting strategies, place values, addition and subtraction concepts and facts to18, fractions, coin values, estimation, probability, and real world application of numbers.

Measurement and Geometry skills include telling time to the half and quarter hour, elapsed time to the hour, and measuring in inches, centimeters, and pounds.

Accelerated Math provides a more individualized approach to reinforce/enrich math objectives.

Social Studies

Students focus on rules and responsibilities in school and at home. Citizenship and national pride is encouraged through a study of attributes and responsibilities of good citizens and the role of citizens in helping people in our community. A study of our American heritage includes Native American culture, lifestyle, and history and Thanksgiving. First graders learn that the United States is a country of many cultures. Students learn about various Christmas traditions and customs practiced in many countries around the world.



Science

A study of plants and animals encourages students to explore, observe, and describe characteristics of living things. Earth and Space activities demonstrate that Earth is made of land, air, and water. Students enjoy observing and describing the sun, moon, and stars.



Technology

Smart Boards are used on a daily basis to integrate, enhance, and reinforce all subject matter.



Computer

Basic LAN and word processing skills (saving in a specific folder and printing) are reviewed. Students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and learn to work with a partner to complete a task. Math, science, and reading skills are reinforced through age appropriate computer programs.



Library

Skills presented in previous grades are reinforced. First Graders review the spine label and its parts (E Nonfiction). They are introduced to media for illustrations, matching illustrations to the story, recognizing perspective of the story and parts of a story. First graders review the spine label parts and add learning about nonfiction as well as fiction in the E section and some materials in the upper level (junior) reading sections. First graders may also begin to use the automated card catalog to find selections on the shelf. They continue to use encyclopedias and dictionaries and discuss biography usually corresponding to a class activity. They also become familiar with Accelerated Reader and take computerized tests in the library individually. They should become totally proficient with the automated circulation system.



Physical Education

First grade physical education builds upon the skills learned in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten movement education with an emphasis on more advanced locomotor and manipulative skills. Improvements are assessed through rope jumping, ball handling activities, variations in balancing techniques, and spatial/body awareness.


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SECOND GRADE


Second grade is a dynamic year of physical and mental growth, in a word, mini-miracles. In reading, we ask young readers to respond to literature by reading for a variety of purposes. Reading is more than a period of time in the school day. It is a way to discover fascinating information, travel to other worlds, or spend time with a character who becomes a friend. Writing plays a large part in our language arts activities. We write in journals daily, and we write our own folktales, spooky stories, poetry, and autobiographies. Book reports take various forms and subjects each month.

In math, we learn to regroup in addition and subtraction, tell time to the minute, measure using inches and centimeters, decipher charts and diagrams, and begin multiplication.

Our world expands through social studies and science with map and globe skills and current events through Scholastic News. In the fall, we study Native Americans.

Often, one can spot second graders by their smiles. A gap in the front signals new growth, shared adventures, and a wide open window to the world.


Language Arts

Second graders continue to develop phonemic awareness. They also expand and develop their fluency and increase their vocabulary.


Vocabulary focuses on sight words, compound words, inflectional endings, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meaning words, and context clues.

Comprehension skills include inferences, sequence, predictions, story elements, fantasy and reality, cause and effect, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, main idea, summarizing, and generalizations.

Manuscript skills are refined and cursive writing is introduced at the end of the year. Students learn to write paragraphs, book reports, stories, and letters.

Spelling involves using initial, medial, final, and consonant cluster sounds, short, long and variant vowel sounds, homophones, and singular and plural nouns. Students learn to spell irregular and sight words, and spell derivatives by using the correct spelling of the base word.

Our Language Arts curriculum is individualized through Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader is a computerized program that enables assessment of student comprehension of "real" books. Students select their own books and read at their own pace and level.

Mathematics

Math concepts from previous years are reinforced through the use of manipulatives and problem solving. Math skills include problem solving, adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers with and without regrouping, understanding multiplication as repeated addition, division as repeated subtraction, multiplying one digit numbers, simple fractions, mental math and counting strategies, fractions, measurement, time, elapsed time, estimation, money, and interpreting graphs. A solid understanding of concepts is developed through real world experiences.


Math Facts in a Flash, a computer generated math program, individualizes mathematics practice and testing. Math Facts in a Flash motivates every student to succeed. The program emphasizes basic facts.


Social Studies

Geography skills include map and globe skills, directions, map symbols, continents, oceans, and landforms. Civics focuses on government and government officials, rules and laws, and citizenship. Cultural activities study Native American Indians and contributions of significant individuals through biographies. There is also a study on pioneers and life long ago.


History concentrates on American symbols and heroes and historical events in US history, and Thanksgiving. Sociology introduces students to types of communities, community leaders, and natural resources and conservation.

Economics teaches second graders about goods and services, needs and wants, products made from natural resources, and occupations.


Science

Life Science studies plants, animals, life cycle, food chain, water and land habitats.


Earth and Space Science introduces students to seasons, properties of air and water, weather, erosion,
sun and season, day and night, planets, and stars.

Physical Science focuses on heat, light and sound, magnets, force, machines, properties of matter, and gravity.


Art

Second grade art is an introduction to the elements of art, art appreciation, art history, and studio techniques. Students are introduced to drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, ceramics, and sculpture, as well as the use and care of art materials. They create art using a variety of styles and media. Students view art from a variety of artists and learn to express opinions about art.



Music

Students learn seasonal and fun songs that illustrate basic music concepts, and they learn songs that correlate with reading and vocabulary skills. They work on singing with good tone and accurate pitch. Students learn songs and folk dances with movements that reinforce the concepts of beat and rhythm. Students accompany songs on the rhythm instruments and practice keeping the beat, playing simple rhythm patterns and starting and stopping together. Creative activities include creating movements to music, and creating accompaniments to songs on the rhythm instruments.



Computer

Basic LAN and word processing skills (basic formatting techniques, saving in and retrieving from a specific folder) are continued. Students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and learn to work with a partner to complete a task. Math, science, and reading skills are reinforced through age appropriate computer programs.



Library

Skills presented in previous grades are reinforced. Students learn to identify nonfiction and fiction, They learn to use spine labels to find fiction and nonfiction books, short story collections, and biographies in both E sections and upper level sections. Second graders begin to read more difficult chapter books from the upper level sections, and continue taking AR tests on those books. They become nearly proficient in their use of the automated card catalog in order to find chosen books. They must find the selected book and use the call number to go to the correct shelf. Second graders also do an in-depth study of periodicals (magazines) and a basic report on a magazine article. They discover atlases, almanacs, and some folk literature and mythology.



Physical Education

Students continue mastering the previously learned skills in first grade. However, focus is on the specific aspects of each skill. Not only are skills evaluated individually but more group activities such as four square, ball handling stations, Newcombe, and Ralleyball are introduced with an emphasis on teamwork and cooperation.


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THIRD GRADE


Third grade can be defined as a year of transformation. We are shaping young learners academically and beginning to mold students that are responsible, organized and enthusiastic about their quest for knowledge.

Many students take off this year in reading. We strengthen basic skills and introduce higher level thinking skills. Exposure to various genre is exciting and challenging for the students. Accelerated Reading, Scholastic News. To reinforce grammar skills, we use daily grammar which provides continuous exposure, review, and practice.

Math skills include mastery of facts, problem solving, making change, and elapsed time. Of course learning to multiply is big part of our year! We also work on concepts of division, measurement and fractions. In order to accommodate individual needs, we have incorporated Accelerated Math.

Students soon discover what a big world we live in as we work on an in depth study of the continents and oceans. Map and globe skills, landforms, communities and government are integrated into our program. Current events, holidays, explorers, and famous Americans are also discussed throughout the year. We learn more about our home state of Alabama . We have fun learning about ecosystems, our solar system and simple machines.

Writing and language skills, art and music in the classroom curriculum, performing a play, and computer keyboarding help to round out a fun and exciting year at Wilson Elementary School.


Language Arts

Phonemic Awareness skills are continued from previous years. Comprehension skills require third graders to interpret literary and informational texts; make predictions from content; distinguish fact from opinion; recognize plot, setting and character within text; interpret information from illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs, and graphic organizers; identify cause and effect; draw conclusions; identify basic elements of a variety of genres; and recognize the author's purpose.


Reading comes alive for students when they create their own cereal box book report, march in a character parade as a book character, and invent a sandwich book report on their favorite book.

Language requires students to use correct sentence and paragraph structure, combine sentences, and recognize and use the parts of speech correctly. The SIPPS and DIBELS program help students with phonics and reading fluency.

Students refine cursive handwriting, paragraphs, book reports, letters, and creative writing.

Spelling skills require students to apply letter sound knowledge to decode unknown words quickly and accurately. They learn the use of prefixes, suffixes, homophones, and homographs in spelling words and determining meaning.

Mathematics

Math skills include whole numbers through hundred thousands, adding and subtracting numbers through thousands, multiplication facts, multiplying 4-digit numbers by 1 digit number, dividing up to 3 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers, adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators, measuring with customary and metric units, simple algebraic and geometry concepts, data analysis and probability, and problem solving. We are using the Accelerated Math Program to help diagnose students' understanding of math concepts.



Science

Life Science focuses on living things, food chain and webs, habitats, and kinds of animals. An incredible highlight of the year is creating a shoebox habitat and sharing it with classmates.


Earth Science deals with water, weather, and attributes of types of rocks, soil, and fossils.

Physical Science includes matter and its properties, sound, and light and heat energy.

Space and technology includes constellations, the solar system, and how to apply science and technology in our lives.


Social Studies

Geography focuses on continents, oceans, hemispheres, major rivers, deserts, mountain ranges of the world, and major landforms. Students study map skills and learn how geography influences community settlement. Students make a Landform Pizza while studying landforms. Students get to shape the landform pizza, make it with toppings like mountains, bake it, and the best part: eat it!


Economics includes goods and services, communities' resources, trade, transportation of goods, needs and wants and the choices individuals make.

Civics deals with local, state, and national government, three branches of government, leaders, and national symbols.

Culture includes Native Americans, pioneers, urban, suburban, and rural communities, and different cultural celebrations around the world.

History studies historical events including Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Anniversary of Lewis and Clark, Birthday of MLK, and President's Day.


Computer


Students are introduced to more advanced computer skills (use keys locations by touch, higher level mouse and menu skills, hardware term-peripherals). Focus is on advanced word processing formatting techniques (cutting and pasting, spell check, proofreading). Math skills are reinforced through age appropriate computer programs. Students use the Internet for research, make slide presentations with PowerPoint, and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.


Library


Each class studies a different genre at a different time of the year until each class has studied, read, and reports done in literature class on biography, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery, and realistic fiction. A unit on writing a formal research report done in science is taught by the librarian over the space of a month. The topics vary based on what is being addressed in the classrooms. Reference books, electronic sources, magazines, the internet, nonfiction books, and other sources of information are found and emphasis is placed on the number and kinds of sources and correct note taking. The bibliography, the parts of the report, and writing the final product are all part of the unit.


Physical Education


Third grade physical education expands the understanding and implementation of all previously learned skills. The rules and strategies in various team sports are introduced. Several of these sports include basketball, volleyball, and kickball. An increased emphasis is placed on fundamental skill development of team sports in preparation for middle school athletics. Sportsmanship and overall fitness is stressed.

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FOURTH GRADE


Fourth grade is a year of tremendous growth physically, emotionally, and academically!

In reading, we work on polishing strategies that ensure reading fluency and comprehension. We read for pleasure and purpose. Fourth graders read stories and novels throughout the year. Creative writing is a vital part of language arts. We emphasize the writing process. Students brainstorm, write a "sloppy copy," edit, and publish most of their work.

In math, we learn to multiply multi-digit numbers by multi-digit numbers. We also learn how to divide large numbers including problems with remainders. Students learn about multiples, factors, properties, graphing, fractions, measurement, and decimals.

Alabama History is the focus for our social studies. We learn about the geography, climate, history, and government of our state. We use maps, graphs and charts. Our cumulative project for the year is a Treasure Box filled with items relating to Alabama History.

In science, we study the scientific process. We compare and contrast plant and animal cells. We learn about the classification system and learn how to classify. There are also topics in earth and physical science as well.

Language Arts

Reading skills are improved through continued emphasis on phonemic awareness, guided reading, comprehension strategies, integrated language arts skills, fluency, word meaning, and critical thinking. The students' participate in Accelerated Reading to reach a personal goal. Students build on previously learned spelling rules and study more advanced levels of spelling words and words within their content areas.


The study of grammar includes sentences, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

Composition emphasizes the writing process and revising. Students receive experience in various writing activites during the year.


Mathematics

Fourth graders focus on more advanced skills of place value, money, estimation, addition and subtraction, data, statistics, graphing, time and elapsed time, line plots, range, median, mode, and mean, multiplication and division, customary and metric measurement, geometry, fractions and probability, decimals, problem solving, and algebraic concepts.

Fourth grade students' understanding of math concepts is diagnosed by using Accelerated Math. The data gathered is analyzed to form math teams each grading period. This process allows teachers to attempt to meet the individual needs of the students.

Social Studies

Fourth Grade history is the study of Alabama's government, cultures, and geographic regions, as well as historical and political events tht have impacted our state.



Science

Fourth grade scientists investigate whether things sink or float, identify living and nonliving things, list needs of living things and discover how they grow and develop, list basic parts of plant and animal cells and use microscopes to observe cells, describe protists, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, classify organisms into kingdoms of life, describe reasons organisms become endangered or extinct, discuss organisms of the past and their classification and learn how living and nonliving thigs interact with each other in their ecosystems. Students will also learn about topics such as volcanoes, earthquakes, rocks and minerals, electricity, sound, space and the human body. Students utilize the scientific method in their investigations and learn to communicate their findings in various formats, such as creating data tables, calculating averages, making graphs, and using graphic organizers.



Computer

Students are introduced to more advanced computer skills (use keys locations by touch, higher level mouse and menu skills, hardware term-peripherals). Focus is on advanced word processing formatting techniques (cutting and pasting, spell check, proofreading). Math skills are reinforced through age appropriate computer programs. Students use the Internet for research, make slide presentations with PowerPoint, and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.



Library

Previously learned library skills are reinforced and used in depth by the fourth grade. Each class studies a different genre at a different time of the year until each class has studied, read, and reports done in literature class on biography, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery, and realistic fiction. A unit on writing a formal research report done in science is taught by the librarian over the space of a month. The topics vary based on what is being addressed in the classrooms. Reference books, electronic sources, magazines, the internet, nonfiction books, and other sources of information are found and emphasis is placed on the number and kinds of sources and correct note taking. The bibliography, the parts of the report, and writing the final product are all part of the unit.

Physical Education

Fourth grade physical education expands the understanding and implementation of all previously learned skills. The rules and strategies in various team sports are introduced. Several of these sports include basketball, volleyball, and kickball. An increased emphasis is placed on fundamental skill development of team sports in preparation for middle school athletics. Sportsmanship and overall fitness is stressed.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



FIFTH GRADE



ENGLISH


Students begin the year with the Prepositional Approach to Grammar and continue this method with the other seven parts of speech. The grammar unit culminates with diagramming sentences. The students also learn to write creatively and to use this skill with the three required modes of writing: narrative, descriptive, and expository.


HISTORY


Fifth grade social studies is an introduction to American History and geography. The year begins with the Early Migration Theory, travels through the Explorers and the foundations of our country, and ends with the Industrial Period. There is a theme of tolerance and respect for other cultures and ideas throughout each history lesson. Map use, graphic organizers, and graphing skills are emphasized.

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