Intermediate Academics (4-6)
In fourth grade, we focus on fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development, as well as literature components such as main idea, reading for details, making predictions and inferences, and comparing and contrasting. We use a variety of genres to teach these skills — mysteries, biographies, poetry and novels.
We use our knowledge of basic facts to extend our skills to long multiplication and division, build problem-solving skills and explore Geometry.
We study various regions of the United States to learn about their unique qualities and to see how they are interdependent.
The topics covered in fourth grade Science include light, sound, electricity, magnets, ecosystems, adaptations, life cycles and body systems. Process and inquiry skills are a major part of the curriculum and are addressed through a variety of experiments and activities.
“Growing” a paper rain forest in the hallway enables us to integrate science concepts such as ecosystems, adaptations, life cycles and animal classification with principles of Catholic Social Teaching, such as care for God’s creation and the dignity of the human person.
In fifth grade, we focus on comprehension, expanding vocabulary, and fluency. We explore concepts such as main idea, compare and contrast, and figurative language. Grammar and the writing process are integrated throughout the curriculum as students respond to literature, write reports, journal, develop a narrative, and develop opinion pieces.
We work on operations and algebraic thinking, place value, fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. We work with decimals, multiplying multi-digit numbers, and extending division to two-digit divisors. We work with fluency of adding and subtracting fractions and extend previous understanding of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions. We graph points on coordinate planes and convert like measurement units within a given measurement system. Problem solving strategies are integrated throughout the curriculum.
We explore the various American Indian nations before European exploration. We focus on the Native American interaction with European explorers and the conflicts associated with exploration. We study the establishment and growth of the 13 colonies. We learn about the road to independence, the American Revolution, and the building of a new nation.
We study concepts with physical science including how matter is too small to be seen, how the weight of matter is conserved, and that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. Also, we explore the concepts of life science including how the food chain is a cycle of energy. Finally, we explore earth and space science. Some of the concepts explored during the earth and space unit include the apparent brightness of stars, day and night, and the understanding of shadows.
Our sixth grade Language Arts class is structured much like a high school English class — we combine reading, writing, and the study of grammar into one class. The students continue developing their skills as readers through questioning, visualizing, predicting, connecting, and responding to what they have read. They expand their understanding of literature by studying literary elements such as plot, character, setting, tone, point-of-view, theme, foreshadowing, and flashback. They explore the literature even further by examining the author’s style and purpose. The students read various types of writing (expository, narrative, persuasive, and technical) and genres, as well as short stories, novels, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. There is also an emphasis on speaking, which creates a complete language experience for the students.
In Grade 6 instructional time focuses on four critical areas: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems: (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers: (3) writing, interpreting, and using expression and equations: and (4) developing an understanding of statistical thinking.
The Ancient World History course covers the time period from the birth of the river civilization of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China to the Middle Ages in Europe. Students will examine the impact of geography on the development of civilizations. The course will include a discussion on the characteristics of civilization, including the development of agriculture, government, division of labor, social hierarchies, and culture. Students will focus on causes, effects, and turning points in the rise and fall of various civilizations. They will investigate major religions including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam and their impact on government s, society, and culture. The course is rigorous and relevant with instruction and integrates thinking skills, historical processes and content so that students are able to apply their learning to their own lives. Instruction includes the integration of concepts and principles from history, economics, geography, civics, and the humanities.
Students use StemScopes and learn how scientific investigations are conducted and how to understand the findings of the investigation. Students then study Earth and Space, such as the formation of Motion and Galaxies, all the way to Human impact on the Earth. Finally, we learn about the beauty of God’s earth by studying the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
In sixth grade, we create volcanoes. With this project, we research a famous volcano, create a travel brochure, and then present the brochure to the class. This project links our Science, Language Arts, and Religion curricula together.