First and second grade CSI Bible curriculum is looped. In the first grade looping year, students study the Old Testament Bible stories emphasizing the connection between God's people and God's plans. The stories begin with God's creation of the world, our fall into sin, and the covenants God makes with his people. In the second grade looping year, students study the New Testament with lessons of the Bible focusing on how God works out His plan to bring a Messiah to redeem His people. Students learn that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old and New Testament. Students are challenged to think about how they can live out their faith through class discussion, Bible memory, and personal Bible journal reflections.
Reading is taught through the workshop model, enabling all learners the opportunity to think deeply about God, His world, and our connection with others. The workshop model involves teaching in whole group, small group, and through one on one conferencing. Students learn to use decoding and comprehension strategies, all working towards mastery of the common core standards. We recognize that each child is on their own path in reading. Students learn how to pick a “just right book” and are assessed throughout the year using the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system to determine their reading level for small grouping in order to build fluency, understand and use phonic rules, and utilize comprehension skills appropriate for their reading level.
God has given us the gift of expressing ourselves through the power of words. Writing is taught through the workshop approach using Lucy Calkins. During writing time, students meet for a whole group lesson followed by independent writing practice. This allows for individual and small group conferencing with the teacher. First and second grade writing units include: personal narrative, informational, persuasive, and realistic fiction. Rubrics are used to hold students accountable to Common Core standards.
Spelling is integrated into our workshop time using the Words Their Way curriculum. Student word lists are individualized and based on learning different spelling patterns. Students are assessed each week. Grammar concepts are taught intentionally and incorporated into student writing.
Students explore the structure of God’s world through math. Math Expressions is used in first and second grade which follows Common Core grade level expectations. Math is taught grade level specific through small groups and independent practice. The curriculum focuses on math fact strategies and fluency with emphasis on explaining thinking when solving story problems. Other key concepts include time, money, and 2-D and 3-D shapes.
Students deepen their awe and wonder of God’s world using the FOSS curriculum, which aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards. During the first grade looping year students explore air and weather, the Iditarod, life cycles, and also light and sound. In the second grade looping year students learn about pebbles, sand, and silt. Students also explore the concepts of solids, liquids and gasses, penguins, as well as a plant's life. Students participate in authentic scientific investigation and analyses to build their knowledge about scientific concepts and actively form and reform their ideas to better understand God’s creation.
The Social Studies curriculum helps the students develop our role as disciples in God’s world. First and second grade social studies standards are looped. The emphasis on year one is on family, the concept of past and present, the role of community members, traditions, and economy. The focus in the second looping year is on local community with units centering around the responsibilities of a community member, local economy and government, Jenison history, and the influences of heritage on the local community with a study of the Netherlands.
The purpose is to joyfully express individuality, foster critical thinking, and build confidence through the application of fine art media. We focus mostly on the tools and how to use them to effectively communicate our ideas. First graders continue to explore different mediums and types of art. They recognize and discuss various solutions to a single art problem. They use the senses of sight, touch, and hearing as inspirations for works of art shown through a variety of media- posters, books, videos, and audio recordings. Key concepts include primary colors and textures—visual & tactile. They learn to recognize and create with lines—dotted, wavy, zigzag, and spiral. Shapes are then emphasized, separated into two categories- organic and geometric. Patterns, alternating and repeating, are another emphasis. First graders are inspired by stories, poems, and themes and create art from real and imaginary sources of inspiration. They recognize size relationships in works of art and develop eye/hand coordination through drawing and constructing.
Students begin the multi-faceted process of reading music. Each session includes singing a series of exercises using the Kodaly-Curwen Solfege system to develop fluency in the system and to train their ears to hear pitch relationships. This system is then used to learn pitches for new songs in musical notation. Students also learn to interpret rhythms using the traditional counting system, which will serve them in all levels of performance. Students are taught healthy singing habits, laying a foundation for their later choir experiences. Percussion instruments are often used in rhythm studies, introducing students to a variety of experiences and percussion techniques.
Students begin by learning about how their bodies move through a variety of activities. The focus is to create spatial awareness, teamwork skills, and critical thinking ability. A typical day in PE will start with a warm-up and a tag game to get our hearts pumping and work on potential conflict resolution through game play experiences. We then work on a certain skill such as locomotor movements (run, jog, skip, gallop, hop, jump), underhand/overhand hitting, dribbling with feet or hands, throwing, and rolling. We practice these skills in multiple environments - closed (one-on-one skill development) and open (game play in small or large groups). The goal is to develop an enjoyment for movement and skills that will make our students competent to be life-long physically active individuals.
The purpose is to instill a love of language in young learners through engaging thematic units full of songs, music, and high-interest activities. This program will expand students’ cultural and geographical awareness as we explore Spanish-speaking countries and customs. We begin the year with practicing hola, adiós and me llamo. We also learn el alfabeto and the different sounds the letters make in Spanish. Then we study las materiales de la clase and lugares en la comunidad. We also learn los lugares en la casa and los opuestos! We learn how to say me gusta for "I like", and we talk about los verbos and los deportes. Next we learn some words related to la primavera. We learn the difference between tEngo and tAngo, and we use tengo to describe ourselves in writing. Finally, we take a peek at los 7 continentes del mundo in inglés and in español. We even learn some of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries in the world!