The intermediate reading program is literature based, and is enhanced by additional book projects using novels. These book projects are chosen to complement the content areas, allow students to be creative and expressive, and see that reading is everywhere. Instructional vocabulary is integrated into spelling, grammar and content areas. Intermediate writing integrates grammar, punctuation, and genres of writing and takes place across the curriculum.
Intermediate science is broken down into three main areas; Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. Our science units incorporate reading, writing, and math skills, hands on activities, and research projects that integrate the use of technology.
Third grade participates in a field trip to the Elm’s Environmental Center where they engage in activities about the wetlands and the wildlife there. They also make a trip to the Calvert Marine Museum to study sea life in the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River. These trips enhance the Life Science unit.
Fourth graders participate in the Elms Environmental Education Center program as well. The focus is on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Students are actively involved in lessons on intertidal and inshore habitats, using maps, compasses and G.P.S., and the pros and cons of non-native species.
Fifth Grade goes to Sotterley every year as part of the Elms Environmental Ed. program to discuss water safety and basic canoeing instruction. Students learn basic canoeing instructions and different strokes with their paddle to steer their canoe and maneuver it through water. They also learn basic water safety tips. This is usually done in the morning. In the afternoon, kids get to paddle around on a scavenger hunt looking for different animals or animal tracks.
In third grade, students find that people, events and developments have shaped our country. This time line starts with the Native Americans and continues with the early explorers. The founders of our country are identified and the expansion of the US towards the west is studied.
Civics and government lessons focus on our citizenship in our local community, state and the nation. Students also learn why governments are needed and what services are provided at local, state and national levels. Geography lessons focus on the physical features of the US (major landforms and bodies of water) and continents and oceans of the world.
In fourth grade, Social Studies links closely with the Language Arts program. Students are reading to learn in the content areas. Students strengthen reading and writing skills and practice research using the website that accompanies the text. The emphasis is on Maryland, how events past and present effected Maryland and the part Maryland played in these events. There are five areas of study: history, civics and government, geography, economics, and cultures. In history, students follow historical periods from pre-historic to the present as they explore the places, people, events, and movements that led to the development of Maryland as a state. In civics and government, students learn components of Maryland’s government as well as citizenships rights and responsibilities. In geography, students characterize the economy of Maryland both past and present while delineating how natural resources affect that economy. The culture of various groups is analyzed to determine relationships of the diverse peoples contributing to the region’s heritage.
In fifth grade, our focus is on the influence of physical and cultural environments on growth and development of the United States up to the 1800s. We study Native American cultures, the age of exploration, settlements, colonization, the American Revolution and the beginning of the United States Government. Most social studies units have a culminating activity that integrates reading, writing, and research skills as well as speaking skills.
Religion is taught as its own subject and is integrated into other areas as well. Third grade focuses on a study of Liturgy, the call to be disciples, and the life and teaching of Jesus in the New Testament. This promotes the understanding of the commandments as the law of love. Fourth grade focuses on the Beatitudes, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, and the Ten Commandments. Fifth grade focuses on the Sacraments and the different parts of the Mass.
Children attend weekly Masses and are involved in community service projects as well.
Skills are introduced in the primary grades, and then practiced and reinforced in the intermediate grades, with emphasis on understanding relationships among the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and divisions. Saxon Math includes number sense: place value and how whole numbers and decimals relate to fractions. Students also create, extend, and describe number patterns. Students use and interpret variables, math symbols, and properties while writing and simplifying numerical expressions. Geometry includes using their understanding of plane and geometric objects to show relationships and solve problems. Students understand perimeter and area as well as volume, capacity, time, money, and measurement. They show outcomes for simple probability situations, and make and interpret different types of graphs. They can also represent and interpret data on number lines and in tables. Overall in math, students use logic to determine when a solution to a problem is reasonable.
Our Specials classes provide an opportunity to integrate learning from core content areas in a more experiential manner. Specials teachers reinforce themes and ideas from Social Studies, Religion, Math, and Science, and Reading.
In our Visual Arts program, students begin to become familiar with the elements of design. The lives and major works of important artists are explored, and we experiment with some of their techniques and theories. Our standards-based curriculum uses main ideas from core subjects as the themes of our artwork- often building a design concept around a Social Studies or Science unit. Communication with classroom teachers keeps our art lessons current and helps students to experience familiar material in a new way.
Our Music program introduces students to music from different cultures, time periods, and genres. Students experience music in many ways- by listening, singing, playing simple instruments, and by investigating the historical periods that created certain musical styles. Those in grades 4 and 5 are encouraged to join our school choir, and have the opportunity to take weekly lessons and to play with our school band.
The standards-based Physical Education program for grades 3 – 5 emphasizes personal health and wellness activities, while including the attainment of motor skills, knowledge and social values. In a positive atmosphere, students participate in physical activities that help them develop knowledge and skills to obtain the ultimate goal of a lifetime of physical activity and health.