Students 4 to 8 years of age require developmentally appropriate teaching practices which encompasses meeting children where they are and recognizing that each child is a unique individual. Providing activities and curriculum appropriate to each child's age and developmental status and ensuring that goals are both challenging and achievable, is the best practice for primary students.
Teachers provide a balance of large and small group activities and one-to-one activities, to encourage both group and individual relationships. Children have opportunities to play and interact with other children, which builds friendships and develops social skills, such as working together and taking turns.
Research tells us that the human brain grows as a result of learning and experience. When a new skill or concept is internalized, a brain connection is formed. In order for a connection to become permanent the learning must be reinforced using different learning modalities. Each child learns differently. Some learn best by listening (auditory learners) while others have to handle something physically (visual learners) before they can understand it. Others learn best by moving (kinesthetic learners). Touching and feeling things and transforming ideas into movement boosts memory and understanding. Our approach in the lower grades to maximize learning is to provide learning opportunities for children with every learning style. This approach allows all children (listeners, lookers, and movers) to be successful learners.
Grades K-5 Language Arts Curriculum
Collaborative Literacy published by the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, is a rigorous, yearlong curriculum for students that addresses the core reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills that students need while fostering their growth as caring, collaborative, and principled people.
With Collaborative Literacy, students aren’t just learning to read and write; they are learning to be readers and writers who think critically and learn from and care for one another. They develop a genuine interest in and love of reading, and they are motivated to write purposefully with a real audience in mind. They are part of a classroom community where students feel empowered, are supported in taking risks, and are responsible to themselves and the group.
Primary and Elementary Math Curriculum
GO MATH! published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is used for grades K-5. This curriculum has consumable student books and provides engaging lessons using Interactive Whiteboard activities, interactive digital manipulatives, and hands-on manipulatives, real world videos, and animated math games and models that can be used by students and teachers.
Primary and Elementary Science and Social Studies Curriculum
Mystery Science is a web-based program that provides access to K-5th grade science. It correlates to National and State Standards, integrates math and language arts and has virtual and hands-on activities.
BrainPop is online software that provides social studies and science content using animated videos and thought-provoking questions and fun activities.
Elementary Science and Social Studies Curriculum
Science and Social Studies curricula in grades 3-5 follow the Florida State Standards. The content is taught using hands-on activities and STEM lessons. Science and social studies standards are also integrated in reading curriculum.
Primary and Elementary Religion Curriculum
Sadlier WE BELIEVE with PROJECT DISCIPLE is used in grades K-8. This spiral curriculum follows the Diocese of Orlando Curriculum Framework for faith formation.