The students will recognize that the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments can be applied to their everyday lives. They will also learn how Jesus lived in the love of God, the Father. This is learned through discussion, written reflections, and performances.
We Believe: God’s Love Guides Us
LANGUAGE ARTS AND LITERATURE
Students in fourth grade will learn to write opinion pieces, supporting their point of view with reasons and information. They will also write in informational piece and narrative pieces with clear sequences of events and descriptive details. Students will also study vocabulary, many related to academic vocabulary and learn more about synonyms and antonyms. Students will be encourage to expand their writing utilizing new words learned. The grammar portion of fourth grade focuses on nouns, verbs, verb phrases, adjectives, prepositions, pronouns and adverbs. Cursive handwriting is practiced every morning and utilized in final form of finished work when not typed.
The literature program utilizes various novels, as well as short stories in our anthology. Utilizing these texts, students will be asked to be able to explain many literary elements such as plot, character, setting, theme, point of view, dialogue, simile, metaphor, climax and resolution. Students will be asked to draw evidence from novels utilizing text dependent questions. Informational texts will all be used so teach students to find evidence within articles and pull statements to support their point of view or to support the author’s point of view
Vocabulary Workshop: Level Blue
Students review concepts and procedures related to whole number operations, including multi-digit multiplication and division, and word problems that are incrementally developed and continually practiced throughout the year. Students will continue their development of whole number concepts; whole number computation; mental math; problem solving; patterns; functions; measurement; geometry from previous grades.
In fourth grade, students will focus on fractions and decimals. Students will learn how to add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators. As well as gain an understanding of mixed numbers and adding and subtracting these as well. Students will then use their fraction knowledge as they being to understand decimals and their place value.
The math curriculum utilizes objects, drawings, conceptual language, and real-world situations to help students build mathematical ideas that make sense to them. Discussion is a major part of our math program as students ask questions and explain their reasoning.
Math Expressions Common Core
Science concepts include simple machines, Earth’s resources, plants and animals and their ecosystems, electricity and magnetism, and motion. Through hands-on activities and observations, the children relate science to the world around them. Our science curriculum encourages communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as creativity and innovation.
The focus is California history beginning with the regions and concluding with immigration. The main focus is how California grew with each new group of leaders. Students will focus on learning about the history, geography, economics, civics and citizenship of California throughout the entire year.
Houghton Mifflin History and Social Science: California
DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL SKILLS
Students at Stella Maris Academy are exposed to and familiar with the Boys Town Social Skills Curriculum in grades TK-8. The Boys Town Social Skills curriculum focuses on empowering students to problem solve, make better choices, and self-advocate. Social skills are a daily part of our school community. Social skills include: following instructions, greeting others, getting the teacher’s attention, accepting no for an answer, accepting a consequence, staying on task, disagreeing appropriately, listening, working as a team, sharing, asking for permission, and saying an apology.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM
The Sanford Harmony Program is implemented in grades TK-8 and its core value is to build healthy peer relationships inside and outside of the classroom. The goal of Sanford Harmony is to create inclusive classroom communities, where teaching takes priority over resolving personality conflicts or issues among students. Students are empowered to communicate, cooperate, connect, embrace diversity, and resolve conflict. Students are taught meaningful and productive ways to interact and express themselves, which are irreplaceable skills that will last a lifetime.
Technology at Stella Maris Academy goes beyond the computer lab. All of our buildings are networked and well-equipped; each classroom has at least 3 computers, eBeam interactive white board technology, a document camera and an LCD projector. Technology-based projects are integrated throughout our curriculum. SMA buildings have wireless Internet access across the entire school campus. Stella Maris Academy uses iMacs and students utilize the Office 2012 as well as a variety of educational software and Web-based subscription programs. Students in grades TK-8 have access to a class set of iPads and ChromeBooks as well. Technology is integrated into every component of our curriculum at Stella Maris Academy. Using technology in our daily learning prepares students for the real world environment, especially as our nation becomes increasingly more technology-dependent. Students are prepared for their future careers, and are given opportunities to interact with classmates through collaboration.
Our physical education curriculum is composed of physical fitness fundamentals, motion skills and movement, social skills and sportsmanship. Basic skills that enhance balance, endurance, strength and agility activities, ball-handling skills individually, with partners and in groups, and rope jumping are taught. Each skill involves creative thinking, sportsmanship, fairness, cooperation and following directions.
Stella Maris Academy provides a challenging, coherent, and relevant art curriculum, the goal of which is to help students experience and appreciate art and the beauty of the world around them, and to lead them to discover unique and constructive methods of self-expression. In keeping with the diocesan guidelines for a fine arts curriculum, Stella Maris Academy includes in its visual arts curriculum for each grade level elements of four components: (1) exploration of the visual elements and principles of art and design, including line, color, shape, and composition, (2) creative expression through experimenting with various materials and processes, (3) examination of the cultural and historical contexts in which art is created, exploring cultural themes, works of significant artists, styles and processes; and (4) development of skills and vocabulary for looking at and discussing art in terms of design elements, characteristics and appreciation.
Fourth graders explore (1) visual elements and principles of art and design using primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, pattern, texture, and space, relationships and contrasts, comparing differences in organizational characteristics in art work, discriminating among line, color, and shape in natural, man-made and three-dimensional forms, and gaining an understanding of the design concept of repetition; (2) creative expression using a variety of media including drawing with pencil, crayon, marker, and oil pastel, painting with watercolors and tempera, collage, scratch-foam printmaking, and experiencing relief sculpture in tooling foil repousse and with ceramic clay; (3) visual arts heritage by learning to appreciate the use of symbols in art work, the cultural tradition of art as a way to tell a story, artistic styles including impressionistic, post-impressionistic, and abstract, and the works of artists such as Alexander Calder, Kandinsky, Cezanne, Jacob Lawrence, Wayne Thiebaud, and George Rodrigue; and (4) analysis and interpretation by learning to appreciate the organization of the design elements in a composition, and to recognize the design elements of shape, line, color, and space in the art work of peers and significant artists.
Fourth graders continue their challenging work. Students share prayers: Glory; Hail, Mary and Our Father. They learn to improve communication skills, broaden their cultural perspectives, and learn quite a bit of Spanish language and culture (focusing on particular countries of the world). Great importance is given to cultural topics and everyday life related readings, videos, songs and art and craft activities in a “solo español/only Spanish” classroom. Specifically, students are able to comprehend and answer questions about a story in Spanish. They are aware of the fact that the way some letters are pronounced is Spanish is different than in English. They understand written language on a variety of topics.
Instruction is differentiated for native speakers at every grade level.
The Stella Maris Academy Library/ Media program is built on understanding core knowledge instruction while also learning essential skills for critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. Stella Maris Academy’s Library/ Media program fundamentally aligns itself with Common Core State Standards while working directly with each classroom teacher to align curriculum. The main component of the Library Media program centers on building strong content knowledge and focusing literacy instruction directly to the text. Students in all grades (TK-8) are encouraged to draw direct evidence from the text itself in order to promote comprehension and cite evidence accurately and correctly. A key component to the program includes an emphasis on interpretive and analytical skills within a range of texts, digital information and internet/ media.
Beginning in Third grade and through Fifth grade, students begin to use the Library Catalog to access information, locate books and select information appropriate to the problem or question at hand. Students build critical literacy and thinking skills to evaluate texts based on validity of information. Students begin to utilize the Dewey Decimal System for book classification as well as the Digital Content Portal to access research and information in a safe and reliable way. Students then are able to create direct references to the text and learn how to cite information collected from a variety of sources (internet, books, digital media, etc.). Students in grades 3-5 also learn how to practice ethical behavior when using print and digital resources (Including freedom of speech, intellectual freedom, copyright and avoiding plagiarism). Students practice the skills needed to promote their personal safety online and recognize that all networked environments are public as well as the importance of ethical behavior in regards to digital citizenship.
The music program at Stella Maris Academy exists to provide students with a safe environment in which to experiment with and perfect the God given gift of their voices. Students will be encouraged to sing accurately, in tune, together, and separately. They will be provided with a variety of performance and leadership opportunities through school productions, after school activities, and church services. We want to give our students the opportunity to do something GREAT!