Skip Navigation
  •  
Grades 1 through 5

Elementary Years

Students take intellectual risks, develop self-awareness and gain independence through an educational experience that honors the richness of childhood.

Students take intellectual risks, develop self-awareness and gain independence through an educational experience that honors the richness of childhood. The faculty encourages students to read, collaborate, and think critically as well as ask questions and explore to gain a better understanding of themselves and their world.

First through Fifth Grades

The curriculum for the Grades 1 – 5 at St. Peter’s is predicated by the school’s mission statement and driven by the school keys, emphasizing the richness of childhood in tandem with a developmentally appropriate program that fosters a lifelong love of learning. Moreover, the program promotes social and emotional discovery and development while providing a solid foundation in all academic subject areas. We are committed to the practice of mastery learning. Students are assessed on their  understanding of the curriculum concepts and content covered, and can apply their knowledge to broader problems.

The small student-teacher ratio and class sizes enable the faculty to monitor the progress of each individual student while implementing a “best practice” approach to learning. Cross-curricular collaborations across subject areas and our City Curriculum help to enhance rich, project-based learning opportunities in which students can express their unique understanding, creativity, and perspective with confidence and poise.   

Curriculum Highlights

  • Differentiated Instruction/Small Group Instruction
  • Project Based Learning/Collaboration
  • City Curriculum Integration
  • Cross Curricular and Cross Divisional Opportunities
  • Thematic/Inquiry Centered
  • Social Emotional Learning Competencies/CharacterStrong

First Grade

ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS

Reading – The Wilson Fundations program is used and teaches students phonics strategies for reading and spelling.

The Writing Process – Workshop mini lessons address all aspects of the writing process. Individual conferences are held to provide each student with selective feedback on content, topic development and writing mechanics: 

  1. Plan, 2. Write and Draw, 3. Revise: adding on more, 4. Edit, 5. Publish/elebrate, 6. Repeat

 

MATH

First Graders learn concepts that help strengthen problem solving and critical thinking to give them real world connection to math. Concepts are taught using hands on manipulatives and are strengthened through playing games. Skills such as number sense, addition, and subtraction are spiraled throughout the year with increasing difficulty. The students also explore time, money, the calendar, 2D and 3D shapes, and measurement. 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

The First Grade focuses on Family, Community, Neighborhood and Habitats.  Students learn through books, videos, local field trips, and work with parents and other community members. They will explore the question “What makes a Community Hero?”  First Graders will work independently and in small groups for discussions and projects that relate to this learning.  The culminating project of the year focuses on the Rain Forest. Students will research facts about an animal of their choice, while creating a 3D structure of this animal. Throughout this unit, students transform their classroom into a real-life Rain Forest, to make their final presentation of their project even more exciting.  

Trimester 1: Families

Trimester 2: My Neighborhood & My Local Communities (What makes a community hero?)

Trimester 3: Habitats of the World (Artic, Desert, Ocean/Coral Reef, Rain Forest) 

Second Grade

ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS

The Second Grade Language Arts program scaffolds on the skills learned in First Grade to infuse more detail, richer vocabulary words, more complex sentences, and enhanced plots when telling or writing narrative, persuasive, and informative stories. The Wilson Fundations program is continued and provides phonics strategies for reading and spelling. Grammar concepts to support proper sentence structure and complex sentence writing are used from Writing Matters. StoryWorks allows the students to work on reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills through a variety of texts, paired texts, and poetry. The children are encouraged and allowed ample time to explore and read different kinds of genre individually and in small, guided groups.

 

MATH

Students focus on strategies to express verbally and in writing what they notice, what they wonder, and how they use those strategies to estimate and solve algebraic, geometric, measurement, and data problems. 

Concepts covered: Numbers to 1,000 – Numbers and Operations in Base Ten; Addition and Subtraction up to 1,000; Use of Bar Models; Operations and Algebraic Thinking; Multiplication; Metric Measurement of Length – Measurement and Data; Mental Math and Estimation; Money – Measurement and Data; Time; Picture Graphs; Lines and Surfaces; Time – Measurement and Data; Geometry-Lines/Surfaces/Shapes/Patterns; Fractions

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

The Second Grade themes focus on Cultures, Values, and Rituals, exploring various map skills, including map keys/legends, landforms, cardinal directions, grid locations, reading a map, and creating a map through various. Next comes comparisons for similarities and differences between countries, continents and oceans, how the different geographies shape our lives, traditions, and culture, and how we shape the geography. In the second trimester, the focus is on the lives of children around the world.  The culminating project is “My Role as a Citizen ” with a student of the United Nations.

Third Grade

ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS

The Third Graders continue with the use of the Wilson Fundations program and include “Readers Theater ” exploring a wide variety of genres including: Realistic Fiction, Informational, Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Poetry. Attention is given to locating text evidence, character and plot development, main ideas, setting, and inference making and drawing conclusions. Independent reading is emphasized as well as fluency and oral presentation (Declamation program).  Third Grade continues use of “Writing Matters” as well as the Four-Square Writing Method. Cursive letter writing is introduced.

MATH

Each Third Grader is challenged according to their abilities using the “Math in Focus: Singapore Math” curriculum. Aligned with standards, the spiraling curriculum fosters a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts by a focus of hands-on learning and dynamic problem solving.

Concepts covered: Numbers to 10,000, addition and subtraction within 10,000, Multiplication Tables, Using Bar Models – the four operations, Fractions, Measurement, Area and Perimeter, Time, Geometry – graphs and line plots, angles/lines and two dimensional figures. 

SOCIAL STUDIES

The themes of the Third Grade course focus on: Migration, Relocation, and Journey.  The first trimester will involve the study of “Our 50 States” and the geography of their regions.  In the winter trimester, the students will study indigenous peoples of North America and then they will end the year in the third trimester with a Archeology and Geography capstone project.

Fourth Grade

ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS

The Fourth Grade curriculum systematically and comprehensively instructs students in phonemic awareness and word study developed from the Wilson Fundations program. It contributes to fluency and vocabulary development and sets a foundation for writing.  Syntax concepts that support complex sentence structure are used. The StoryWorks program practices leveled reading comprehension skills using a range of themes in literature, multiple text genres, in addition to a focus on the full writing process, mechanics and oral presentation (Declamation program.)

MATH

Each Fourth Grade student will be challenged in Math according to their abilities using the “Math in Focus: Singapore Math” curriculum. This program aligns with standards and fosters a deeper understanding of each mathematical concept through a focus on hands-on learning and dynamic problem solving. Singapore Math uses a spiral approach to the curriculum, meaning that students will touch on each major topic in First- Fourth Grades, each year diving a little bit deeper and challenging them a little bit more.

Concepts covered: Place Value, Estimation and Number Theory; Multi-Digit Multiplication and Long Division; Creating and Interpreting Tables; Creating and Interpreting Graphs; Collecting and Calculating Data; Probability; Fractions; Decimals to the Hundredths Place; Geometry and Angles; Measurement; Tessellations

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

The Fourth Grade themes focus on: Influence, Inspiration, and Innovation.  In the first trimester students will cover the Prehistoric Eras and address how humans lived before written records. Students during the winter trimester will focus on a study of South America’s Amazon, focused on the Inca culture followed by a Mesoamerican focus on the Olmec, Aztec, and Mayan cultures.  In the Spring trimester, students will complete a study of “Africa – One Continent; but many Countries!”

Fifth Grade

The Fifth Grade course is a transition year, as a blend of a systemic approach to continue the development of a writing voice using grammar and vocabulary in and out of context, organized structure in planning, revising, editing, rewriting as well as research and presentation. Students also work on finding and integrating key ideas and detail in text, finding meaning, character development and evidence and use of language conventions through the study of a variety of genres, short stories, novels, plays and poetry.

MATH

The Fifth Grade Math curriculum follows “Math in Focus” which is Singapore Math’s spiraling program. It includes building problem-solving skills and strategies; multiplying and dividing with 2-digit numbers, fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals; solving equations and evaluating inequalities; finding the area of 2-dimensional shapes, and surface area and volume of 3-dimensional shapes; using ratios and percents, and finding the probability of an event; applying properties of angles, triangles, and 4-sided figures.

SOCIAL STUDIES and HUMANITIES

Through a study of ancient cultures and literature, the Fifth Grade’s theme of Contribution, Resistance and Persecution is explored in a focus on Mesopotamia and the rise of the city-states; followed by the legacy of ancient Egypt and the cultures of the Middle East.  The last trimester looks at the economics, citizenship, arts and culture and impact of periods in ancient India and China. Students learn during this year to use concrete textual evidence to support their inferences and positions through in-depth writing, creative expression as well as project-based learning opportunities.

INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT

As a part of this transitional year Fifth Graders have trimester course in Health, Coding and Study Skills but they also engage in a project-based learning project which allows them to conduct research on a subject, design a project, and develop a deeper understanding of a topic of their own interest and choice. They will present their findings to members of the School community in the Spring.

Art

Students in First Grade through Fifth Grade will complete projects that emphasize expression, process, and skill building. Students will work with a variety of media including drawing materials, paints, sculpture materials, and more. Students will learn about and explore artists both local and global, from our time and from history. In the Art Room, every student is an artist with a personal style and a unique perspective!

 

FIRST GRADE – 2D and 3D art fundamentals 

Development of drawing, painting, and collage techniques

Development of pottery hand building basics

Development of mixed media and non-traditional art forms such as recycled material sculpture and land art artist studies 

Explore expressive art practices focused on fine and gross motor 

Focus is on the process over product

 

SECOND GRADE – 2D and 3D art fundamentals 

Development of drawing, painting, and collage techniques

Development of technical skill basics such as introductory perspective

Development of pottery hand building basics

Development of mixed media and choice-driven art forms 

Discovery of artists and artistic movements from around the world and an understanding of what a contemporary artist is 

 

THIRD GRADE – 2D and 3D art fundamentals 

Development of drawing, painting, and collage techniques

Development of technical skill basics such as introductory perspective

Development of pottery hand building basics

Development of mixed-media sculpture techniques 

Development of choice-driven art forms 

Discovery of artists and artistic movements from around the world and an understanding of what a contemporary artist is 

Understand artists in relation to culture, heritage, and history

 

FOURTH GRADE – 2D and 3D art fundamentals 

Development of drawing, painting, and collage techniques

Development of technical skill basics such as perspective and shading

Development of pottery hand building basics

Development of mixed media and choice-driven art forms 

Discovery of artists and artistic movements from around the world and an understanding of what a contemporary artist is

Understand how artists use conceptual means such as symbolism to create dialogue and portray personal meaning

 

FIFTH GRADE – 2D and 3D art fundamentals 

Development of drawing, painting, and collage techniques

Development of further advanced technical skills such for shading, perspective, and proportion

Development of further advanced pottery building techniques

Development of a variety of mixed media choice driven art forms

Development of the understanding how contemporary and historic artists engage and collaborate with their community

Music

At St. Peter’s School, Music is a blend of developing the knowledge about the fundamentals of music, exploratory activity-based learning and strengthening student listening skills. Classes are divided into conceptual learning experiences and hands-on learning experiences with singing and instruments. 

When students reach Grades 5-8, they have the opportunity to learn in an ensemble situation working on popular songs with drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and singing culminating with Battle of the Bands. These grades also integrate the music recording studio into various areas of our learning.

Drawing from the Orff Model of music education that aims to engage the mind and body through experience first, then conceptualization, the Early Childhood years and the First-Fourth Grade students engage with percussion instruments, xylophone, ukulele, and of course, do lots of singing. Throughout their time in Fifth- Eighth Grades, students continuously grow as young musicians and members of rock/pop bands and homogeneous ensembles, learning guitar, bass guitar, drum set, piano, and handbells. Additionally, students learn about essential musical concepts, the cultural and social impact of a wide variety of genres, and perform in several settings including Battle of the Bands, seasonal concerts, and graduation. And unique to St. Peter’s, many students learn how to operate our onsite professional-quality recording studio.

FIRST GRADE

  • Xylophone studies: basic technique, reading rhythms and basic ensemble skills 
  • Introduction to reading, saying, and playing rhythms with quarter notes, quarter rests, and paired eighth notes
  • Identifying and learning about the four families of the orchestra 
  • Introduction to Music Elements: Tempo and Dynamics 
  • Preparing Holiday and event songs and dances 

 

SECOND GRADE

  • Drum Pad studies: Basic Technique, reading rhythms and building consistency 
  • Introduction to Music Elements: Basic Notation, Tempo, Meter and Time Values with listening activities and actively employing concepts with instrument activities
  • Preparing Holiday and event songs and dances

 

THIRD GRADE

  • A year of Xylophone studies: beginning level reading skills, technique, and basic ensemble skills  
  • Music fundamentals: Introduction to Pitch, Dynamics, Duration, Basic timekeeping, and an overview of Musical Elements with listening activities, writing in listening journals and actively employing concepts with instrument activities
  • Preparing Holiday and event songs and dances

 

FOURTH GRADE

  • A year of ukulele studies: Chord Symbols, Basic Technique and beginning level reading skills
  • Music fundamentals: Introduction to Music Notation, Basic time keeping/rhythm studies and introduction to pitch with listening activities, writing in listening journals and actively employing concepts with instrument activities
  • Working in an ensemble of mixed instrumentation to develop songs for performance
  • Preparing Holiday and event songs and dances

FIFTH GRADE

In Fifth Grade, students participate in a beginning level study of Guitar: chord symbols, reading skills and tablature and basic technique, in addition to an introduction to Hand Bell Choir. Students study general Music fundamentals, reading basic notation, time keeping, rhythm study and learning pitch with listening activities, keeping a listening journal, and actively employing concepts with instrument activities. Students will also participate in an ensemble of mixed instrumentation to develop songs and dances for performance.

Science

The Science curriculum aims to propel our students into the next generation of science education driven by national standards by exposing them to content-specific knowledge in the earth, life, and physical sciences, and by giving them opportunities to direct their own thought process to explain phenomena. Engineering design is woven into the science curriculum throughout the year by way of topic-specific activities, STEAM challenges, and other cross-curricular projects. Through hands-on interactions and thoughtful discussions that engage both their minds and their senses, students will form, test, and refine foundational ideas using the same practices implemented by scientists and engineers. The goal is to empower students to develop their ideas over time, both individually and as a class, and learn to design effective solutions to real world problems.

FIRST GRADE students focus on patterns of the sun, moon, and stars, fundamental properties of light and sound, how plants and animals use external structures to help them survive, and how the behavior of animals and their offspring also functions to aid survival.

SECOND GRADE students focus on Earth’s landforms and bodies of water, how and why the Earth’s surface may change, properties of and changes to matter, biodiversity in local ecosystems, and the dependence of plants on animals for pollination and seed dispersal.

THIRD GRADE students focus on weather and climate, weather-related hazards, and possible solutions, balanced and unbalanced forces, magnetic interactions, fossil evidence, adaptations, traits, and life cycles of organisms, and how changes to environments affect these organisms.

FOURTH GRADE students focus on weathering, erosion, and other natural Earth processes, energy transfer, waves, electricity, and the structures and functions of organisms and how they relate to information processing.

FIFTH GRADE students focus on how humans interact with nature in urban ecosystems, learning about the processes that formed the Earth’s surfaces, exploring animal adaptations and behavior and urban wildlife.  Students will also investigate the consequences of the changing urban landscapes and the possible solutions for a sustainable future.

World Language: French

First Grade students add to their vocabulary and practice pronunciation and continue building retention through songs and games. Students begin to read vocabulary words and are more formally introduced to grammar points like masculine vs. feminine and putting adjectives after a noun. They also begin using longer phrases and sentences in their speaking. Students keep a French coloring book and a folder for worksheets in their desks, and as the year progresses, they will begin bringing their folder home with a practice sheet to complete! 

Second Graders begin the year with a review of vocabulary and basic grammar points like greetings, expressing their age, the date, and the weather in French, masculine vs. feminine nouns and adjective placement. New vocabulary units this year include additional animals and adjectives to describe them, extended family, transportation, numbers to sixty, fruits, vegetables, and sports. Students will begin to speak in sentences using the expressions “I am,” “I have,” and “I like.” They will practice pronunciation and vocabulary through songs, games, skits, and the warm-up review at the beginning of each class.

Third Grade vocabulary units include school supplies, toys, sports and games, food and ordering at a cafe, clothing words, animals, adjectives, and prepositions. Students continue to review basic vocabulary each day with warm-ups where they are asked questions about the date, weather, their activities, and the like. Students now read and write in basic French, and they complete written homework and class work regularly. They continue to play review games, sing songs, and role play to practice vocabulary and pronunciation. 

Fourth Graders begin the year reviewing vocabulary like greetings, colors, foods, animals, body parts, and school supplies. The new Fourth Grade units include weather and seasons, family using the possessive adjectives “my” and “your,” numbers to 100, asking and answering questions using question words and vocabulary, adjectives including placement and gender, sports, and foods. They continue to practice vocabulary and pronunciation through class participation, songs, games, skits, and the warm-up at the beginning of each class.

Fifth Grade students are formally introduced to subject-verb agreement and the conjugations of the irregular verbs “to be,” “to have,” “to like,” and “to do/make.”  They study the imperative tense of regular “-er” verbs as well. Vocabulary units include descriptions of self and others, body parts, sports and sports equipment, places in town, comparisons like “the tallest” and “taller than,” and professions. Each class period begins with a review warm-up with questions about the date, weather, activities, and the like, to practice vocabulary and conversation. There are three creative/collaborative projects which include the “Treasure Hunt” using the imperative tense, the diorama of a place in a French town, and the “Help Wanted” jobs poster.

Physical Education

Physical Education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving, and health related wellness. Exposing students to a variety of sports and methods of fitness can teach the whole student an enjoyment for the physical activities as well as build social, psychomotor, and cognitive skills. Sports classes strive to provide the means for students to become more confident with their abilities, increase their knowledge of health-related fitness, and to remain physically active.

Cooperative Activities: Students will be able to move in the activity area safely. Perform class skills learned in small group and large group games and activities. Activities will allow practice of skills learned and also introduce students to lifetime activities. Limited experience due to age will necessitate practice in many activities to master skill.

Wellness: Students will be able to perform various exercises and warm up activities to improve overall fitness. Students will discover how exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle improve overall quality of life. Limited experience due to age, will necessitate practice in many activities to master skill. Emphasis is placed on effort, sportsmanship, listening skills, determination, cooperation, and patience.

Manipulative Skills:  Students will be able to perform various ball skills demonstrating proper hand and body position. Students will discover how these skills are the basis for lifetime physical activities. Limited experience due to age will necessitate practice in many activities to master skill.

Movement/Locomotor Skills: Students will be able to move in the activity area safely. Perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements individually and activities demonstrating spatial awareness and body awareness. Limited experience due to age, will necessitate practice in many activities to master skill.

Examples: dribbling, passing and shooting skills (basketball, soccer ball, baseball, and floor-hockey, jumping rope, hula hoops, scooters, distance running, sprints, relays and hurdles, and a wide stretching and yoga exercises. Sixth – Eighth Grades include a variety of interscholastic teams such as soccer, basketball, cross country, track and field.

Wellness and Social and Emotional Learning 

Strengthening our students’ social/emotional skills is a high priority in First- Fifth Grades. 

St. Peter’s School uses a Social Emotional Learning curriculum called CharacterStrong. This curriculum aids students in developing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Using resources from the Character Strong program, including videos, activities, crafts, scenarios, quotes, and stories, the students have plenty of opportunities in small and large groups to learn about and practice the following character traits: courage, respect, gratitude, perseverance, honesty, kindness, empathy, responsibility, cooperation, and creativity throughout the year.