LOWER ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM AT GENESIS ELEMENTARY
At Genesis Elementary, we take our responsibility to our youngest students seriously. We understand that the earliest years, from preschool on, form a student’s first impression of education and we know that you don’t get a second chance to make that impression. But we also know that little children can take big steps toward academic success.
Therefore, we have created a curriculum that combines a traditional approach with an accelerated curriculum, giving our smallest students the building blocks they need to succeed. Below you’ll find an overview of our academic curriculum for each grade level. In addition to these activities, students also participate in enrichment classes on a weekly basis, including technology, art, music, physical education, and Spanish.
Kindergarten Reading & Writing
Genesis Elementary uses the Open Court Reading and Writing program, a phonics-based program that introduces children to new sounds and words through stories. They learn, through this program, to link sounds and spellings together, applying decoding strategies to eventually blend those sounds into words and, later, sentences. They also use those sound-spelling relationships to build their writing skills, practicing writing sounds in isolation, in words, and in sentences. By the end of the year, kindergarten students are reading independently and writing their own stories.
Kindergarten students are immersed in a hands-on approach to math skills, including basic addition, subtraction, patterns, counting and printing numbers through 100, and place value. Technology, a vital part of our 21st century world, is also incorporated into the math curriculum to enrich their skills.
Kindergarten Social Studies & Science
Kindergarteners tackle monthly topics in social studies, including safety, holidays, communities, and hygiene, using activity books. Students also begin geography studies, understanding how maps, globes, and graphs work. One special unit, called the Fifty Nifty United States, is a key part of the Kindergarten year, giving students the chance to learn about each of the fifty states.
In science, kindergarten students are introduced to plants, animals, Earth’s materials, weather, the senses, and a host of other topics. Science projects and hands-on activities give students the opportunity for enrichment.
First Grade Reading & Writing
The Language Arts curriculum in first grade continues with the phonics foundation of kindergarten, adding spelling, handwriting, and writing instruction. First Grade students use two textbooks, workbooks, and weekly books that are sent home to improve their reading comprehension, fluency, and expression. Weekly spelling words are practiced throughout the week, through classroom and homework assignments, and are tested on Friday. Improving and mastering handwriting, a key fine motor skill, is emphasized in first grade as well through regular writing practice.
Students are introduced, during first grade, to descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive writing. They begin learning the writing process as they’ll use it throughout their academic career, as well as how to collaborate with peers and share their writing.
First Grade Math
Math continues to focus on basic concepts during first grade, including addition and subtraction, and first graders begin to memorize addition and subtraction facts through 18. Students learn the value and use of money, telling time, place value to the hundreds, and basic measurement skills. Story problems are introduced, and technology continues to be used as a connection to the concepts they are learning in math.
First Grade History & Science
The First Grade social studies program centers around America, including units on the flag, freedoms, symbols, and people. Map skills are emphasized during this year in the geography curriculum. Science units include classification of Living and Non-living things, plants, animals, Earth, and Weather. Technology is introduced into the science curriculum in first grade as well.
Second Grade Reading & Writing
In second grade, phonics continues to be the foundation of reading instruction. Phonics practice continues weekly, as is spelling using a phonics-based program. Words are taught in context and vocabulary use begins to be a priority. Reading instruction focuses on comprehension, reference skills, word meaning, and literature skills.
Writing instruction builds on the foundation established in first grade, with composition, grammar, and handwriting skills at the heart. Handwriting focuses on mastering both the printed and cursive alphabet, with an emphasis on neat, legible writing. Daily instruction on the grammatical building blocks of sentences begins in second grade, including sentence structure, capitalization and punctuation, and correct usage. Students translate these skills into their own writing voice through composition instruction. Note taking and paragraph writing, as well as story journals, are a regular part of this year.
Second Grade Math
In second grade math, addition and subtraction facts through 18 are mastered, as are telling time and money skills. Place value through the hundreds, addition and subtraction of two- and three-digit numbers with trading is taught, as is geometry, graphing, fractions, and standard metric measurements. Multiplication concepts and computation through factors of five are introduced. Throughout the year, problem solving strategies are reinforced and practiced.
Second Grade History & Science
History instruction in second grade focuses on people and their communities throughout the U.S. and North America, including units on work, important events in history, diverse cultural backgrounds, and government. Each unit teaches and reinforces mapping and geography skills.
Second grade science includes units on plants and animals, environments and energy, weather, and introduction to physics topics like matter, energy, and motion. Second grade students participate in experiments and projects to help their understanding.