Elementary (3-5)

Third Grade at a Glance

Now that students have mastered the basics of reading, adding, and subtracting, they will expand upon those skills in third grade.  Third graders will still work in small groups with guidance from the teacher, but they also will learn how to work more independently.  Third graders will discover how to take risks as they learn and how to learn from their mistakes, as well.

Integrated language arts include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, speaking, and listening.  Our reading program is the Macmillan/McGraw Hill Treasures series.  Students will read stories from many genres, with a year-long emphasis on working with non-fiction texts and learning how to understand them.  Students read on their individual levels and work on building up stamina as they learn how to stick with a chapter book from beginning to end.  Third graders read three novels throughout the year and complete reading projects that enhance comprehension.  Students have many opportunities to write daily, including journal writing and participating in Writing Workshop.  Third graders learn how to write in six styles, including personal narrative, explanatory, compare/contrast, persuasive, expository, and original story.  We go on a spring field trip to the Hershey Story Museum, after completing a biography/expository writing unit.  Students have individual spelling lists, according to their needs, so they are challenged appropriately.

Our math program uses the new My Math series by Macmillan/McGraw Hill.  Third graders spend much of the year learning and mastering multiplication and division facts.  Other topics of study include place value, adding and subtracting up to 4-digit numbers, telling time, measurement, geometry, fractions, graphing, and many different problem-solving strategies.  Students also learn by doing activities on the Smart Board and by playing math games in the computer lab.

Science – A Closer Look by Macmillan/McGraw Hill is used as a basic text.  Students learn through exploration and discovery, as well as through online activities.  Topics of study include weather and climate, ecosystems, light and sound energy, the water cycle, renewable/non-renewable resources, and the environment.  Third graders incubate and hatch chicks as part of a 4H Embryology unit of study.  We also take a fall field trip to the Oakes Museum at Messiah College as part of our food chain/food web unit of study.

Communities are a big part of the third grade social studies curriculum.  Students learn about the various types of communities, how communities change and grow, and the history of some early communities.  Third graders also continue with learning map and globe skills, and studying the physical geography of the United States.  Other topics of study include famous Americans and important events in U.S. history.

In religion class, third graders will learn about some writings from the Old and New Testaments, as well as psalms.  They will study our Creed, learn about the Mass and the sacraments, and learn and recite new prayers.  Students also learn about God’s grace and different types of sin.  They learn what it means to be a part of the Church family, to have respect for themselves and others, and to live a holy life.

Fourth Grade at a Glance

Fourth grade marks an important transition year from the primary grades to the intermediate grades of elementary school.  It is a year of learning increased responsibility and independence in completing school assignments and projects.  The emphasis gradually is changing from “learning to read to reading to learn.”  Our curriculum guides us as we work toward these goals.

The integrated language arts include reading, writing, spelling, speaking, listening, and grammar.  Many genres of literature are read and analyzed including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, and the oral tradition.  Writing is emphasized as we explore elements of narrative, descriptive, explanatory, and persuasive writing.  Poetry is studied and written with an opportunity to submit an original poem for possible publication.  A writing journal is kept with narrative writings on many topics throughout the year.  Book reports include a country report, a Newbery Award-winning book report, and a biography report.  The biography reports are featured at a biography luncheon where students dress as the famous people whom they have studied.

Our math program uses the new My Math Program by Macmillan/McGraw Hill.  It consists of many components including Smart Board presentations and manipulative activities.  We also subscribe to the First in Math internet program, where each student progresses at his/her own rate.  New computation skills of double-digit multiplication and long division are taught, and fractions are explored.  There is also a strong emphasis upon problem-solving skills.

Science – A Closer Look by Macmillan/McGraw Hill is used as a basic text in addition to supporting lab and supplemental materials.  A “hands-on” approach is often used as we explore the following units of study:  Animals and their Classification, Earth Science with an emphasis upon Geology, Weather, Simple Machines, Matter and the Periodic Table of the Elements, Electricity, and Magnetism.

Social studies focuses on the history, geography, and economics of Pennsylvania, including a study of the history of the Diocese of Harrisburg.  These studies are enhanced by a walking tour of historic Mechanicsburg and a comprehensive tour of the Harrisburg Diocesan Center.  Many small group activities are conducted as students learn to use maps, globes, and other materials to examine the physical and cultural features of our state.

In religion, 4th graders learn how to follow the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Other topics of study include the seasons and major feasts of the liturgical year, the Mass, the saints, and the rosary.  In addition, an anti-bullying program is an important component of religion class.

Fifth Grade at a Glance

This is an exciting year for students as we strive to prepare students for middle school while mastering the content that aligns with the Pennsylvania State Standards.  We utilize hands-on, engaging lessons to motivate the students and make them excited to learn.  We stress the importance of the written word in all subject areas.  We also believe in incorporating technology into our lessons, as it is the way of the world.  We teach the students how to use the internet safely and appropriately, as well as instructing them to use the many wonderful learning tools and programs that technology offers.  We go on two field trips this year: to the State Museum/Capitol and to Gettysburg.

The 5th grade uses the Macmillan Treasures Series.  We incorporate creativity into the curriculum, inspiring the students to reach their maximum capabilities and using real-world skills beyond the workbook.  We have Learning Centers two days a week, and these include four stations that the students rotate through in small groups.  This provides for differentiated instruction.

Science: A Closer Look by Macmillan/McGraw Hill is used to teach Astronomy, Cells, Systems of the Body, Matter, and Energy.  Numerous labs and activities provide the students with hands-on experience to gain insight into the world of science and inspire them to think deeper about their known world.

Fifth grade social studies covers everything in North American history from the Ice Age to the Industrial Revolution.  The course involves going beyond the textbook and making history come alive. A highlight to the year is the Constitution Play, which takes place in May.

The 5th grade religion curriculum consists of learning about the seven sacraments and the parts of the Mass.  The students create a sacrament book all year long.

The math curriculum consists of broadening concepts previously learned such as multiplication and long division.  New concepts are taught about fractions and decimals.  Students will learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals and fractions.

Events