Grade School (1-3)
At Mater Christi School, Grades 1-3 are housed in the elementary building on our campus. Learning takes place in a self-contained classroom with one teacher and between 12-24 students. Daily schedules include instruction in math, language arts and religion. Other content areas also incorporated are science, social studies, French, physical education, art and music. Teachers use the Responsive Classroom philosophy to live out our mission and core values.
The curriculum for Elementary Spanish integrates literacy skills with learning about the Spanish speaking world. We start with the building blocks of language (such as learning the phonetic sounds of the alphabet in Spanish), basic conversational questions, answers and expressions, and begin acquiring important high-frequency verbs through immersion in our classroom environment and the context of stories. Listening and reading are emphasized, with speaking and writing eventually following suit as we make connections with literacy skills in our first language. We learn about the cultures and traditions of Latin America and Spain using images and stories, making comparisons, noting connections, and identifying the communities that make up this diverse and colorful heritage. Students also begin learning other basics such as numbers, colors, shapes, animals, and other vocabulary that rises to the surface in the context of our community of learners talking and learning about life. First, Second and Third-grade Spanish classes are differentiated by age-appropriate activities, reading content, and the class virtues (or themes): 1st – Listen, 2nd – Respect, 3rd – Care.
First grade lays the foundation for the years that follow. Students will learn to become independent in their thinking and personal responsibility. Students will learn the basics not only in academics, but in areas of social skills and personal growth as well. There will be on-going assessments to ensure that each student is challenged at a level that is just right for their own growth and development. The use of Responsive Classroom allows for a safe and fun learning environment for all. It is our goal that each student is empowered with a love of learning. Sometimes it’s through our mistakes that we learn. Learning is not always about producing the correct answer, but the journey to get to that realization.
Second grade is a year of growth for students in several areas (academics, social skills, and personal responsibility). It is important for students to learn how to learn. Knowing the answer to a question is not as important as knowing where to find the answer. Students all learn differently and Wwe will help them achieve their natural academic success. Happiness has to come first. Children need to be happy. If they are not happy they cannot learn. These are our goals and expectations for 2nd graders.
Third grade is a fun and significant year in a child’s development as a learner. It’s the year that many students move from learning to read to reading to learn. Students begin to use their reading skills across all curricular areas – math, social studies, science, writing and religion. Third grade is a transitional year where greater independence as a learner is expected. However, that independence comes with the opportunity to delve more deeply into various content areas.