Core Curriculum

Language Arts

Language is pervasive in all we do. It is our goal that all children will be proficient in the speaking, reading, and writing of the English language.

Reading ~ In our preschool through second grade classes, students are learning and solidifying their reading skills. Students practice recognition of sight words as well as study the phonics of the English language. In PreKindergarten through first grade, we use Harcourt’s Collections Reading series to teach these skills. Our second graders use the McGraw-Hill Reading series. Beginning in second grade, students read short chapter books to begin thinking about story elements. In third through sixth grades, all reading comes through novel studies as students look at the concepts they are studying through literature.

Grammar/Writing ~ Students begin formal grammar and writing lessons in kindergarten. They learn about sentence structure and write in their journals on a daily basis. Beginning in first grade, we use McGraw-Hill’s Language Arts program. Students learn about the parts of speech and continue studying sentence structure and then put that knowledge into practice as they learn and use different forms of writing.

Handwriting ~ At St. Paul’s, we implement Handwriting Without Tears beginning in our three-year-old program. Threes practice many of the fine motor skills needed to form a solid foundation for letter formation. In PreKindergarten, our students learn how to form all of the capital letters and in kindergarten they learn the lowercase letters. Our first graders continue practicing all of these letters to ensure mastery. Second grade students are introduced to cursive handwriting and work to master that in third grade.

Mathematics

At St. Paul’s, we use Everyday Mathematics. The features of the program described below are to help familiarize you with the structure and expectations of Everyday Mathematics.

A problem-solving approach based on everyday situations
Students learn basic math skills in a context that is meaningful by making connections between their own knowledge and experience and mathematics concepts.

Frequent practice of basic skills
Students practice basic skills in a variety of engaging ways. In addition to completing daily review exercises covering a variety of topics and working with multiplication and division fact families in different formats, students play games that are specifically designed to develop basic skills.

An instructional approach that revisits concepts regularly
Lessons are designed to take advantage of previously learned concepts and skills and to build on them throughout the year.

A curriculum that explores mathematical content beyond basic arithmetic
Mathematics standards around the world indicate that basic arithmetic skills are only the beginning of the mathematical knowledge students will need as they develop critical-thinking skills. In addition to basic arithmetic, Everyday Mathematics develops concepts and skills in the following topics—number and numeration; operations and computation; data and chance; geometry; measurement and reference frames; and patterns, functions, and algebra.

Social Studies

In kindergarten and first grade, social studies relate to the individual and our connection to the world. Second graders focus on communities and how the people and organizations within those communities interact. In third grade, students study Texas history, learning about the people and places important to our state. Fourth and fifth graders study American history. Our fourth graders study North America from the time of the Native Americans through the end of the American Revolution. Fifth grade begins with a study of governments, including the formation of the U.S. government and going through the Civil War. Sixth graders study World History from ancient times to current events.

Science

St. Paul’s is proud to have a well-equipped science lab with a dedicated science lab coordinator. Classes of all age levels have the opportunity to have explore science in hands-on experiments.  Our PreKindergarten students explore a variety of science ideas using the Quirkles curriculum. Based on the letter of the week, students learn about a science topic that begins with that letter of the week. Below are the science concepts each grade level explores.

  • Kindergarten ~ Five Senses, Matter, Animal Homes
  • First Grade ~ Tools of Science, Materials/Recycling, Forces, Scientific Process, Animal Life
  • Second Grade ~ Plants, Landforms, Sound, Simple Chemistry, Adaptation/Survival, Sun/Moon/Stars
  • Third Grade ~ Health, Classification of Species, Simple Machines, Climates, Oceans, Planets
  • Fourth Grade ~ Water, Weather, Rocks & Minerals, Food Webs/Soil/Biomes, Natural Disasters, Electricity/Magnetism
  • Fifth Grade ~ Scientific Method, Energy, Cells, Body Systems, Science Fair, Rainforest
  • Sixth Grade ~ Genetics, Universe, Renewable Energy, Chemistry, Some students might choose a science related area when completing their exhibition unit.