Saint Joseph School - Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

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Saint Joseph School - Fairhaven, Massachusetts

LEARNING FOR LIFE SINCE 1908

CURRICULUM: Building Blocks of Education

All teachers have copies of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks as well as the Diocesan Standards and work to integrate these standards in their teaching.

Religion:

Pre-school uses the Pflaum Seeds Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program. Children learn their faith within the liturgical year. Grades Kindergarten through grade 5 use The Loyola Press Christ Our Life New Evangelization Editon(2016). Our middle school uses Sadlier We Believe 2015) and We Live Our Faith (2016). The Religious Education Program provides daily instruction in the Catholic faith with application to everyday life. Children attend Mass monthly, participate in Liturgical Celebrations, sacramental programs and prayer. Children develop an understanding of Scripture to learn God’s faithfulness and love and understand the values inherent in the charism of the Sacred Hearts Congregation.

Reading/Language Arts:

The Scott Foresman Reading Street Program (2013) encourages independent reading and provides phonics and literature based instruction. Loyola Press Voyages in English (2011) provides a grammatical foundation and beginning writing skills in grades 3 through 5 that are further developed through the middle school. The middle school Holt Literature Program (2009) is used along with the Holt Language Handbook (2005) and Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop (2013) to read and analyze the classics in order to comprehend contemporary works.

Mathematics:

The Pearson Envision online(2012) develops critical thinking skills, problem solving strategies, mathematical principles with real life applications. Middle School students are preparing for accelerated high school curricula with the Prentice Hall (2008) Mathematics Program. Seventh graders begin to gain experience with pre-algebra in order to transition to Algebra in the 8th grade.

Science:

Elementary students in Grades 2 and 4 learn about Community, Regions, and the United States using Scott Foresman Social Studies (2009). Third graders learn all about the history and communities of Massachusetts using Gibbs Smith The Massachusetts Story (2014). Grade 5 and middle school students focus on World Geography, Ancient History, and American History using Textbooks from Pearson Prentice Hall (2006 and 2009).

Social Studies:

Elementary students in Grades 2 and 4 learn about Community, Regions, and the United States using Scott Foresman Social Studies (2009). Third graders learn all about the history and communities of Massachusetts using Gibbs Smith The Massachusetts Story (2014). Grade 5 and middle school students focus on World Geography, Ancient History, and American History using Textbooks from Pearson Prentice Hall (2006 and 2009).

Computer Literacy:

A computer lab with individual workstations offer the opportunity for hands on learning and discovery for all our students. Computers, interactive white boards and an iPad or iPad mini are also located in each classroom. Two laptop carts are available for classes to sign out for technology integration. St. Joseph School is connected to the Internet and integrates technology throughout the day in all the classrooms. See the STEM Page for more on our innovative approach to promoting S.cience T.echnology E.ngineering and M.ath Education at SJS.

Handwriting:

Preschool students use Handwriting without Tears in order to begin developing this important skill. Kindergarten integrates handwriting within their language arts block by using Pearson Reading Street (2013). Grades 1 through 3 master the art of handwriting in both manuscript and cursive writing using Zaner Bloser Handwriting (2014). Research shows that handwriting instruction develops fine motor skills and a student’s overall literacy development. As students’ handwriting becomes more fluent and automatic, they can devote more attentional resources to complex writing tasks, and their written language improves (Christensen & Jones, 2000). Other research suggests that handwriting is significantly related to writing fluency and quality for both primary and intermediate elementary students (Graham, Berninger, Abbott, Abbott, & Whitaker, 1997).

Physical Education:

One is provided the opportunity to improve their motor skills, body coordination and learn to apply rules of good sportsmanship in Preschool through grade 8. Students in preschool through grade 8 participate weekly in physical education. Students in grade 4 through 8 participate in the presidential fitness award program.

Art:

Students in grades Preschool through 8 participate weekly in creative and artistic experiences in a formal art class as well as integrated in other academic areas. These experiences are closely connected with the curriculum to expand the learning process. Students celebrate their works of art with an annual arts night to showcase their artwork.

Spanish:

Students in grades Preschool through 8 participate weekly in foreign language education. Students are gradually introduced to the Spanish language and culture through hands on learning activities, stories, and curriculum.

Music:

Students in grades Preschool through 8 participate weekly in music theory and movement. Third graders use recorders in order to be introduced to playing a wind instrument. All elementary students and voluntary middle school students participate in the annual Christmas and spring concert to showcase their accomplishments.

All teachers have copies of the Diocese of Fall River Learning Outcomes and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in order to work at integrating these standards in their teaching.

Library:

Students in grades Pre-School through Grade 5 visit the library bi-weekly to gather materials for research or discover authors. Students also check out a library book to bring home.

References:
Graham, S., Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Abbott, S. P., & Whitaker, D. (1997). Role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: A new methodological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 170–182.