St. Johns Country Day School

Lower School Curriculum

Pre-K3

The three-year-old program at St. Johns Country Day School is dedicated to the philosophy that young children grow and develop in a sequential manner with predictable stages of development. It is the intention of this program to nurture and develop the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth of the individual child.

The three-year-old program at St. Johns Country Day School promotes developmentally appropriate learning opportunities through a variety of experiences. Socialization is fostered in a setting where positive interactions are modeled and encouraged. Caring, professional staff and a bright and inviting classroom provide children with a comforting and exciting educational environment.

The program shall provide each child with age appropriate experiences which encourage

  • Positive self-image
  • Appropriate social interaction
  • Creative expression
  • Development of large and small motor skills
  • Intellectual and academic growth

The program schedule will provide a flexible balance of

  • Active and quiet activities
  • Individual and group activities
  • Indoor and outdoor activities

Reading Readiness

  • Children will learn to speak and express ideas in a social group through retelling stories, role playing, and creative play.
  • Children will learn to follow two step directions.
  • Children will develop a love for books.
  • Children will strengthen eye-hand coordination.
  • Children will recognize and write first name.
  • Children will recognize and write letters.
  • Children will learn letter sounds.

Math Readiness

  • Children will recognize and draw shapes.
  • Children will classify objects into categories.
  • Children will rote count and write to 10.
  • Children will be familiar with the calendar.
  • Children will understand concepts such as in/out, big/small, and over/under.
  • Children will acquire number sense.

Science

  • Children will learn about the world in which we live.
  • Children will learn about plants and animals.
  • Children will learn through doing.

Social Studies

  • Children will learn about communities.
  • Children will learn about holidays and traditions

Art

  • Children will cut and use scissors safely.
  • Children will create with crayons, markers, pencils, and watercolors.
  • Creativity will be stimulated through discovery.
  • Children will use clay and create ceramics.
  • Children will attend Art class twice a week.

Physical Activity

  • Children will be provided with much opportunity for play.
  • Large muscle development will be enhanced.
  • Manipulative skills will be developed.
  • Creative expression and social interaction will be encouraged.
  • Children will develop good sportsmanship.
  • Basic skills will be developed - jumping, running, hopping, skipping.
  • Children will attend Physical Education classes twice a week.

Music

  • Children will learn songs related to unit development.
  • Instruments will be introduced.
  • Children will play simple rhythm and movement games.
  • Children will move creatively to a variety of music genres.
  • Children will attend Music classes twice a week.

Library

  • Children will develop a love of books.
  • Children will listen to stories and participate in activities related to the stories.
  • Children will attend Library class once a week.

French

  • Children will become familiar with the French culture.
  • Children will learn very basic vocabulary.
  • Children will learn to count in French.
  • Children will attend French class once a week.

Visual Motor Skills

  • Children will learn to hold crayon/pencil correctly.
  • Children will learn to trace objects.
  • Children will learn to cut on lines (straight and curved).
  • Children will learn to lace and string objects.
  • Children will learn to copy shapes and symbols.

Social/Emotional Development

  • Children will learn to separate easily from parents.
  • Children will respect and cooperate with others.
  • Children will successfully enter a group.
  • Children will learn the importance of sharing.

Work Habits

  • Children will participate in group activities.
  • Children will demonstrate independence.
  • Children will exhibit problem-solving skills.

Self-help Skills

  • Children will use the bathroom independently.
  • Children will understand and follow classroom routines.

Kindergarten

Through a multi sensory, phonics based program students develop manual dexterity, perceptional awareness and other essential readiness skills. The children review the letter names, how to write the letters, what sounds the letters represent, and the functions the letters serve as they are blended to form words. The students work to develop fluency and comprehension of the written word. The students also develop a sight word vocabulary of approximately 90 words.

The math curriculum is based upon a progression of concept building to knowledge of basic facts and culminates in application of appropriate problem solving strategies. Manipulatives are widely used in the math program. Units of study include, but are not limited to, sorting and classifying, patterns,number concepts to 30, time, measurement, money, addition, subtraction, geometry and fractions.

The three main areas of science-life, earth and physical science- are explored through applications and activities which extend the children's understanding of self, world, and environment. Units of study include plants, astronomy, birds, the human body, insects, mammals, dinosaurs, reptiles and volcanoes.

The social studies program is designed to introduce children to themselves and to help them understand how they fit into the world around them. Units of study include all about me, early settlers, presidents and monuments.

First Grade

The First Grade Language Arts program consists of spelling, phonics, reading, and English. The students are taught using varied learning modalities and resources at their individualized ability level. We focus our studies utilizing the Houghton-Mifflin series in conjunction with various chapter books and literacy centers.

The First Grade Math program uses a systematic, step-by-step approach to developing mathematics concepts and skills. The Math In Focus series focuses on problem solving and reasoning while providing students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding through whole group instruction, hands-on manipulatives, and individualized activities.

The First Grade Science program provides students an array of opportunities to explore scientific thinking and the world around them. Units of study include plants, space, weather, environment and animal habitats. The Houghton-Mifflin series guides the science instruction and is supported by hands-on classroom activities.

First Grade Social Studies is a unit based learning environment that explores history, culture, and geography. It travels from ancient Egypt through modern day life in Mexico. The program extends out from the Pearson Learning Core Knowledge and includes supplemental materials, technology, and hands-on experiences.

Second Grade

Language Arts is composed of several interrelated areas: reading, spelling, phonics, and English. The Houghton Mifflin Series is used for reading and English instruction in the classroom and reading level appropriate novels are implemented to promote teacher-guided and independent reading.

The Mathematics program uses a variety of ways to teach, practice, and review concepts. Some of the concepts presented in the Math In Focus series include: numeration, operations, computation, data, money, measurement, time, geometry, fractions, and an introduction to multiplication.

Science uses a hands-on, exploratory approach so students are active participants in the instruction. The areas of study are: Germs and Healthy Habits, Sound and Light Energy, The Circulatory System, and Fossils and Dinosaurs.

The Social Studies program is supplemented with activities that explore our society, history and traditions. The following concepts are the focus of instruction: Geography of the Americas, The Civil War, Ancient China, and Ancient Greece.

Creative Writing focuses on developing independent writing skills through the use of proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

Music, Art, French, Library, Drama, Movement and P.E. are resource classes attended by all students throughout the week.

Third Grade

The third grade Language Arts is composed of several interrelated areas: reading, spelling, English, writing, listening, and speaking. The Houghton-Mifflin Series is the foundation for our language arts curriculum. All students receive instruction in a variety of teaching situations such as direct instruction, literary circles, ad hoc groups, and novel readings.

The purpose of the third grade math curriculum is to let students explore and understand mathematical concepts. Different types of instruction are used including direct instruction, partner work, games, Smartboard lessons, and small group activities. Again, the Math In Focus series is used as a base for our math standards.

The third grade science curriculum is supplemented by Pearson Interactive. Instruction of our biological and physical world uses hands-on, exploratory approaches so students are active participants in instruction.

The third grade social studies program use activities that explore our society, history and traditions within it. The program is supplemented with Pearson Learning Core Knowledge textbook.

Pre-K4

The Pre-K4 language arts curriculum is a multi-sensory, phonics based program where students develop manual dexterity, perceptual awareness, and other essential readiness skills. These skills include learning letter names, writing letters, learning the sounds that letters represent and the function letters serve when blended to form words. There is also an emphasis on the development of oral language.

The math curriculum is based upon a progression from concept building to knowledge of basic facts and culminates in application of appropriate problem solving strategies. Manipulatives are used extensively as the basis for building concepts. The areas covered are matching, shapes, counting and numbers, reading and writing numbers, number concepts, patterns, classifying and graphing, money, measuring, and addition and subtraction.

The three main areas of science - life, earth, and physical science are explored through applications and activities which extend the children's understanding of self, world, and environment. Some of the science topics are the human body, dinosaurs, planets, plants, health, animals, weather and seasons.

The social studies program is designed to introduce children to themselves and to help them understand how they fit into the world around them. The school wide character education program, field trips, classroom speakers, and the daily preschool community flag raising support the curriculum. Examples of areas covered are self-awareness, family, interpersonal relationships, American heroes, holiday customs, respect for our country, community helpers, and transportation.

Fourth Grade

The Language Arts program in grade 4 is comprehensive and challenging. Students have a daily English class that includes a study of grammar, spelling, and the mechanics of writing. Students also have a daily reading class that incorporates the study of novels to foster fluency, comprehension, and a love of reading. The study of prefixes and suffixes strengthens vocabulary development.

In Science class we continue a spiraling curriculum that begins in the pre-school in order to expose students to a variety of topics. A hands-on approach, including laboratory activities, is used in the grade 4 science curriculum.

The curriculum for grade 4 Social Studies centers on the great state of Florida. We explore the rich history of our beautiful state and its early inhabitants. Students learn about the first European settlers to have set foot on our shores. In addition to studying Florida, we learn the states and capitals that make up this great land. We culminate our year with an overview of Feudal societies in the fascinating time period of the Middle Ages.

The goal of the grade 4 ability-grouped math program is for all students to develop a fundamental understanding of mathematics. The Singapore approach to instruction sequences concepts from concrete, to pictorial, to the more abstract. A variety of learning methods are used including the use of manipulatives and computer applications.

Fifth Grade

The literacy curriculum in grade five is rich in diversity and rigor. Students have a daily English class that includes grammar studies, spelling, and the mechanics of writing for a variety of purposes. Students also have a daily reading class that incorporates the use of advanced novel studies to foster fluency, comprehension, and enjoyment. An in-depth study of Greek and Latin root words strengthens vocabulary development. Using the creative elements of writing, fifth graders begin to write thesis statements, five-paragraph essays, and are engaged in daily writing activities that strengthen written and verbal communication skills.

Technology is recognized as a valuable learning tool across the curriculum, and students have daily teacher facilitated lessons utilizing iPads and digital projectors

In 5th Grade Science, we continue a spiraling curriculum that begins in Pre-Kindergarten in order to expose students to a variety of topics in life science, earth and space science, and physical science. We focus on earth's oceans, the nature of matter and energy, force and motion, and astronomy.

In Social Studies, we begin an intensive study of the beginning of American History. We begin with the heroic journey of the first settlers from England, continue with our fierce battle for independence from King George III, and then complete our studies with the amazing development of our first organized government. The last quarter is reserved for our world studies. We focus on the incredible inventions, extraordinary artwork, and the diverse learning that took place during the era of the Italian Renaissance.

The goal of the 5th grade ability- grouped math program is for all students to develop a strong fundamental understanding using a Singapore Math approach. This approach sequences concepts from concrete, to pictorial, to the more abstract. A variety of learning methods are presented which include the use of manipulatives, hands-on activities, computer applications and pictorial illustrations. The fundamental goal is student demonstration of problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for everyday life.

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