Our Elementary Learning Community consists of 3rd and 4th grades. These classrooms are self-contained and focus on applying the skills learned in the primary grades to more rigorous content. Literacy and numeracy skills continue to be taught, to develop fluency and mastery, while higher level thinking skills are integrated seamlessly into all content areas.
Students in these grades are supported by their teachers as they accept more responsibility and become more autonomous learners and thinkers. Writing becomes more sophisticated as students learn to apply grammar/conventions and use evidence, to develop their own unique thoughts.
As children move through the elementary grades, their level of autonomy and capacity for abstract thinking increases dramatically. At Saint Mary School teachers account for this growth by constantly monitoring student progress; this data helps teachers balance the need for scaffolding student learning with the goal of developing students who wonder, think and question.
Ultimately, the curricular objectives of the elementary grades are for students to become fluent in language arts and mathematics, use these skills to develop a love of learning, and to succeed to the best of their abilities, in school and in life.
Traditionally, the major goal of the primary grades is to achieve basic literacy and numeracy for all children. At Saint Mary we accomplish this goal in many ways: the majority of academic minutes are dedicated to language arts and mathematics in these early grades, teachers use an array of instructional strategies to deliver these concepts, and language arts and math concepts are integrated into other content area learning throughout the day.