Primary: K-3rd

 
 

:: KINDERGARTEN through 3rd LEVEL ::

Our primary program is Kindergarten through 3rd Level. In kindergarten, we begin requiring daily contracts which must be completed by the student and signed by the parents each day. We consider this a cornerstone of instilling personal responsibility and academic accountability for each student; daily contracts are utilized kindergarten through 3rd Level. All students are required to complete their daily assignments, homework, and correct any mistakes before a daily contract is considered complete.

 

READING
We begin with phonics. The purpose of phonics instruction is to teach children sound-spelling relationships and how to use those relationships to read words. Phonics instruction should be explicit and systematic. It is explicit in that sound-spelling relationships are directly taught. It is systematic in that it follows a scope and sequence that allows children to form and read words early. The skills taught are constantly reviewed and applied to real reading.

Systematic and early instruction in phonics leads to better reading. This is because phonics knowledge aids in the development of word recognition. Word recognition, in turn, increases fluency. Reading fluency, then, improves reading comprehension since children are not struggling with decoding and are able to devote their full attention to making meaning from text. Inadequate decoding is characteristic of poor readers. Additionally, our students begin systematically learning the 220 Dolch site words.

In early childhood development, much of learned behavior is measured by a teacher’s observation. However, as a child develops, thesubjectivity should lead to more data driven objectivity. As our students learn to read, we begin using a Lexile score to measure reading levels. The data is used to drive decisions both parents and teachers make around choosing reading materials and customizing learning paths.

 

WRITING
Writing is a systematic learning process with young children. The process begins with writing simple, phonically correct sentences and transitions into descriptive sentences. Students then segue into writing prompts and journal writing. Our strategic writing instruction evokes creative writing stories with artistic illustrations. Student work is displayed in our hallways for other students and parents to admire.

 

MATHEMATICS
Primary grade children have an often surprising ability to do abstract math—that is, math that is done by reasoning mentally, without the need for concrete objects. Primary grade children often know, and can definitely learn, far more challenging and interesting math than they are taught in most U.S. classrooms.

At Grace Academy, we begin early capitalizing on this research by customizing math instruction. We use Saxon math for teaching math computation and Singapore Math for math application. Students move through both curriculums at their individual pace. This philosophy yields children accelerating their math skills; in many cases at a rate of one or two grade levels.

 

SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES
Young children are naturally inquisitive and need the opportunity to learn through teacher guided exploration. Science and social studies are taught thematically through hands-on explorations and project based evaluations. Science is supplemented by the digital resource of Discovery Education Science Techbook.

 

CONTRACTS
Daily contracts are the organizing method students, teachers, and parents use to track and monitor student learning. Students are solely responsible for maintaining, organizing, correcting, and having a parent sign their contracts on a daily basis.

 

ELECTIVES
Students have the electives of Bible, Art and PE at least three (3) days per week. All students are also expected to participate in our annual Christmas play which includes music and drama.