Grades K-4 Curriculum

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BIBLE

Our Bible curriculum is designed to nurture each child’s spirituality and to strengthen individual faith. We support what is learned with the classroom by encouraging a close relationship with Jesus and daily personal prayer and by providing frequent opportunities for formal worship and community service.

Worship is held every morning followed by activities to illustrate lessons from the Bible. Bible classes focus on personal communication with God, gratitude for God’s gifts to them and their families, and faith in God’s love for them and for the entire world.

ART

Lessons provide opportunities for creative self-expression, the development of perceptual awareness including art appreciation, and recognizing beauty in both the natural world and the constructed environment.

Students learn to manipulate color and form using a wide variety of materials, tools, and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, printing and architecture. Information on the role of art in human history and the development of artistic styles and periods is integrated into every lesson.

COMPUTER STUDIES

West Valley Christian School is equipped with a computer lab with internet access and CD-Rom capability, as well as software that supports the core curriculum.

Kindergarten students begin to learn how to control the mouse and navigation of computer menus through games which encourage them to practice phonics and language skills.

Students in Grades 1 and 2 learn keyboarding skills and basic word processing, graphics and spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

In grades 3 and 4, students improve their keyboarding skills and increase their confidence using multiple software applications. They do research using appropriate search engines and design basic PowerPoint presentations.

LANGUAGE ARTS

In language arts, our students learn critical thinking, effective communication, and the skills necessary for proficiency in spelling, vocabulary, grammar, phonics, reading and writing. Always building on what each child knows we present individual students with materials that will offer a challenge yet permit success. We monitor each student’s progress closely through monthly evaluations.

Our balanced reading program consists of four components that are used each day: reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading. We introduce new texts by reading aloud, inviting students to share the reading when they encounter words and phrases they know.

We move on to guided reading, in which the teacher helps a small group of students of similar ability to read a book. At each session, the children learn basic reading skills, including phonics and comprehension. The teacher helps them develop strategies to deal with increasingly difficult texts; these strategies include recognizing familiar words by sight and understanding the meaning of words from clues in a sentence. The children also learn to correct themselves if a guess doesn’t make sense.

Our goal is to help each child advance to fluency, capable of reading silently and independently and filled with enthusiasm for books.

MATHEMATICS

We teach mathematics using a program that encourages discovery of mathematical concepts, emphasizes the traditional learning of basic arithmetic facts and gives a strong foundation in computational skills, particularly mental computation.

In Kindergarten, our goal is to nurture students’ emerging abilities to count, match, sort, order compare, see patterns, do simple addition and subtraction, and understand space and time. They learn to graph, measure, tell time, read a calendar and perform simple money exchanges.

In grades 1-4, our students advance their knowledge of mathematical concepts in 13 topic areas: problem solving, communication, reasoning, connections, estimation, number sense and numeration, whole number operations, whole number computation, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, statistics and probability, fractions and decimals and patterns and relationships.

Each year, our student’s grasp of mathematical concepts deepens with repeated exposure at increasingly higher levels to the same topic areas.

MUSIC

Our music instruction for students in Grades K-4 emphasizes singing and basic instruments.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

In Grades K-4, Physical education is integrated into the daily schedule of classes. At every grade level, we help children develop and refine their movement and object control skills, stress the importance of physical fitness for a healthy life, emphasize safety and encourage self-discipline, cooperation, sportsmanship and respect for equipment and property. Kindergarten students work on skills like skipping, jumping, galloping and jogging. In grades 1 and 2 students learn to play simple ball games and to pace themselves while jogging longer distances. Students in Grades 3 and 4 continue to increase their endurance in jogging and able to play complete games. During these games they learn skills including rules and scoring, that will prepare them to play soccer, volleyball, basketball and field games.

SCIENCE

Our science curriculum combines life science, earth science, physical science and chemistry. Students at each grade level receive progressively more sophisticated instruction in the scientific method: They gather existing information, form hypotheses and predict expected outcomes, experiment and collect data, organize results, and draw conclusions based on their own work. Each year they become increasingly confident using the equipment and tools of science.

Our instruction emphasizes age-appropriate activities using hands-on inquiry techniques and field experiences. Kindergarten students, for example, grow their own plants and watch live caterpillars turn into butterflies. Students in Grade 1 learn about the properties of solids and liquids and study the life cycles, structures, and behaviors of a variety of insects and animals. In Grade 2, students become aware of scientific laws as they study balance and motion and study weather and the propagation of plants.

Students in Grade 3 make a comprehensive study of their own skeletal and muscular systems and explore the properties of water. In Grade 4, studies in earth science focus on rocks and minerals, landforms, erosion and deposition of land and volcanoes and earthquakes. Students learn about lever and pulley systems in physical science and explore the history of scientific ideas and inventions.

SOCIAL STUDIES

In our social studies program, Kindergarten students start their exploration of culture and history by studying themselves, their families, and their communities. They begin to understand human diversity as they talk about how people are the same and how they are different. Classroom activities focus on developing leadership skills and good citizenship and on nurturing the children’s sense of responsibility to improve the human condition.

As our students mature, we introduce at each grade level information that will help them understand human and environmental interaction, the movement of people, goods, and ideas and cultural development through science and mathematics, literature, art, music, dance, and language. Students also master specific skills, such as the reading of globes, maps, graphs, and diagrams and they learn to use the research tools and methods of historians.

In Grade 1, we help students understand the concept of “history” as it relates to themselves and to their families as well as to our country, focusing on Colonial America. Students in Grade 2 study individuals who have “made history” and learn the goals of government and democracy. 

Our curriculum for Grade 3 focuses on human rights, minorities, and social classes; students develop an appreciation for our democratic, pluralistic, society as they study the American Constitution and American ideals. Students in Grade 4 make a yearlong study of the Regions of America by looking at the history, geography, and natural resources of each, as well as the communities present there today.