The Youth School Focus Teams have adopted the same basic curriculum, scope and sequence as established by the Diocese of Madison Academic Standards. Diocese standards are based upon Wisconsin Academic Standards. We supplement this curriculum with religious education, as well as expand on it where possible.
In preschool we have oodles of fun! The children follow a structured routine each day, which involves a variety of activities. Each day the children participate in Hello Time, where we talk about our helpers, the calendar, our schedule for the day, the weather, the alphabet, and a morning prayer. We also complete an art project each day and eat snack. Choice time is a favorite in our class. During this activity the children get to choose to play in various areas, including the house, blocks, table toys, sensory table, art, writing, and library areas. We also go to music and physical education once a week. Our busy day usually concludes with a story, either a story related to our theme of the week or a story from the Bible.
Activities promoting social skills
Encouraging inquisitive learning and creativity
Learning problem-solving skills
Large Motor challenges of balance, coordination and strength
Concepts leading to pre-reading, writing and math skills
Enjoyment of language and reading to express oneself
* Designed to be two years before to Kindergarten. Students must be 3 years old by September 1st.
In Kindergarten, our small class size allow us to provide one-to-one instruction to students as needed. In Reading, we use the Rowland Reading Program: Meet the Superkids and The Superkids’ Club. The Superkids Reading Program is a phonetically based sequential program where students continually “hear it, see it, say it, and write it.” Every lesson incorporates phonemic awareness, blending, decoding, encoding, dictation, and handwriting.
We use Signapore Math, we begin with colors, shapes, patterns, measurement (small, large, etc.) and number recognition to thirty. Then, we move into identifying coin money and telling time to the hour. Lastly, we practice measuring with rulers, understanding fractions, and adding and subtracting using various methods. Math is also incorporated into our daily opening. In Religion, the kindergartners learn the following prayers: the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and Grace. We learn about the different seasons in the church and listen to Bible stories. Our parish priest visits our classroom for fifteen minutes every Tuesday. Kindergartners are gift-bearers at our weekly all-school Mass. Third grade Mass buddies sit with us at Mass to help us learn what to do.
Besides our third-grade mass buddies, we have other people who help us in kindergarten. On, Fridays, the fourth graders are the kindergartners’ reading buddies. At the beginning of the year, fourth graders read to the kindergartners; however, by the end of the year, the kindergartners are reading to the fourth graders!
In Kindergarten, students make a remarkable change from being dependent at the start of school to independent by the end of the year. It is rewarding to witness this change.
St. Aloysius First Grade provides a positive and caring learning atmosphere for children. Our program takes a “hands on” and developmental approach to learning which enables every child to achieve a high level of success. We believe in firm, fair and caring discipline.
Our first grade teacher is Angela Wardrop. She’s taught first grade at St. Al’s for 14 years. She encourages positive parent involvement as a strong link to a child’s education at school. Parents are encouraged to accompany the class on field trips, join their child for lunch, volunteer in the classroom and attend Mass with their child on Wednesdays.
The curriculum is based upon the Diocese of Madison Standards and the Wisconsin State Curriculum Standards.
For Math, we use workbooks from Singapore Math. Singapore math is about drawing connections, supporting the thinking process, and instilling comprehensive understanding. It encourages perseverance and naturally gives students confidence as they become equipped to solve problems using many different tools.
We use Superkids by the Rowland Reading Foundation, for our reading/ language arts program. The stories and activities include a cast of characters that children love and have known since Kindergarten. In first grade, students learn more complex letter-sound relationships. They continue to develop their decoding and encoding skills and read longer stories where comprehension and fluency are emphasized. We have Music, Art, Physical Education, Computer and Spanish class weekly. Also, we have an opportunity to learn library skills and check out books from our school library. In addition, we meet with our Reading Buddies, the fifth grade class, to partner read and do various activities.
Once a week, Father Jerry visits the class to enlighten the students about God. We attend an all school Mass each Wednesday morning where we participate by serving as greeters and gift-bearers. Our religion curriculum is based upon the seasons in the church using the Faith in Life series by Ignatius Press.
Second grade is filled with hands-on, engaging lessons that strive to keep each child actively learning. Throughout the year, we work on expanding our reading and writing abilities. We use the Super Kids curriculum in a Daily 5 model to ensure each student gets individual time with the teacher as well as time to practice being independent learners. Students learn about what “good readers” do. We work on predicting, using context clues, asking questions, fluency, setting a purpose, decoding unfamiliar words, and other techniques to improve skills. Centers, and guided reading time, are used to individualize instruction and allow for personalized practice. Writing is taught through a combination of mini lessons and the writing workshop model. Students learn about sentence structure, phonics, vocabulary, the six-traits of writing, and other components necessary to becoming a great writer. Throughout the year, students will become the authors of many different genres of writing- from imagined stories to research essays.
In math students continue forming the building blocks of mathematics. Math lessons progress from students using concrete objects and pictoral representations to learning the abstract method in order to ensure all students have a solid conceptual understanding of each topic rather than rote memorization of the topics.
Students use scientific inquiry to explore different areas in science. Lessons are hands-on and allow each young scientist to explore why our world does weird and wonderful things. We cover topics such as living things, sound, energy, motion, Earth long ago, weather, space, states of matter, and germs. In Social Studies second graders also use their community as springboard to learning about people and places through culture, citizenship, economics, history, and geography.
In religion students grow in their understanding of God’s love, their relationship with Christ, prayer, stewardship, scripture, sacraments, and the wider church. We also have the joyous experience of preparing for first reconciliation and communion.
Third grade is a step into a "whole new world" on the other side of the hall. Third graders receive grades with numbers and letters (A,B,C, etc.), read to learn(instead of learning to read), and take new responsibilities such as being a reading buddy to Pre-Schoolers or Mass buddy to Kindergarteners.
Third graders stay busy all of the time. They spend time learning Science, Social Studies, Spelling, Literacy, Singapore Math, Spanish, Art, Music, Physical Education, Library, and Computers. But most important of all, they learn about Jesus in Religion classes instructed by a priest, attend Mass three days a week, and go to Adoration twice a week. In addition, the boys get to serve Mass and the girls get to sing in our Mass choir.
As part of our Literacy program, third graders participate in a Reading and Writing Workshop where they learn what a good reader do, read tons of books from our classroom library, and get to write and publish about different topics.
Third graders have lots of fun learning new things. For example, they get to be:
Reporters: They record themselves reading News.
Saints: They dress up and learn about their favorite saint for Catholic School Weeks.
World Travelers: They learn about different countries with our Country project.
Poets: They write poems and participate in an annual poetry contest hosted by "The America Library of Poetry."
Scientists: They participate in our annual Science fair.
Champion Spellers: They participate in our annual Spelling Bee.
Authors: They write and publish a picture book.
Actors: They participate actively in different plays, reader theaters, and puppet shows.
My goal as a fourth-grade teacher is to grow “thinking kids” who are excited about learning new things, know how to problem solve, treat others as they like to be treated, and are readers. We work on these through cooperative groups, independent work and a variety of incentives.
Fourth graders attend Mass three times a week and our parish priests visit our classroom twice a week to teach religion and Spanish. In fourth grade, we integrate our religious studies into our daily classroom routine and use Christian values to help solve problems that arise.
In fourth grade, the students learn about Wisconsin history. The fourth-grade program at St. Aloysius School includes a historical walking tour of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac in the fall. We study Wisconsin History weekly with a newspaper, Great States Wisconsin, and PBS shows that teach about Wisconsin history and culture.
Fourth graders have opportunities to participate in many additional activities and groups. Some of these activities include Altar Servers, Student Government, and Mass Choir.
As the fifth graders prepare to move on to middle school, I want them to acquire a variety of academic skills, organizational techniques, and a sense of responsibility for themselves and to their community. In order to accomplish these goals, we focus on being reverent and disciplined as an example to the younger students in the rest of the school. We pair up with younger students to help encourage them to grow in faith and knowledge. Students´faith is deepened as we attend Mass, visit the chapel of Perpetual Adoration, Mary Mother of God and receive religion instruction daily, including instruction from a priest twice a week.
Academically we explore the following topics: science, U.S. history, reading, language arts, and math. Students’ cultural horizons are broadened with weekly Spanish lessons. They also have physical education to encourage health and fitness. Fifth graders are encouraged to serve the school and community through participation in Mass choir, altar serving, Student Government, School Store, band, and library service. I am proud to share that middle school teachers often comment on how well St. Al’s students are prepared for 6th grade and beyond!
All students attend Computer Technology class once a week. Students in grades 2-5 also have Coding once a week. The computer lab is also open during the week for instruction by classroom teachers.
In Computer Technology, students focus on keyboarding and software applications such as Microsoft Office and Google Apps.
Keyboarding is first introduced in kindergarten and continues through 5th grade. Letter recognition and keyboard letter location are the primary focus of keyboarding in grades K-2. Typing Club, a free online program, is used for keyboarding skills in 3rd-5th grade. Grades K-2 use Dance Mat Typing, as well as games and activities on ABCya.
Microsoft Office programs and online resources are at the center of our computer technology curriculum. All grades will work in MS Word and PowerPoint. MS Excel is introduced in grade 3. Google Drive and Google Apps are part of the curriculum in grade 4 and 5. Various other online resources such as Little Bird Tales (Digital Storytelling) and KidBlog are used as well.
The importance of the Internet in society makes it a focal point for our classes as well. Internet research and the use of the Internet to enhance our learning activities is part of our curriculum. Our school has a great filtering device on the server which protects our students from ever seeing inappropriate material.