Our curriculum is driven by the Diocesan Standards which align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Our curriculum focuses on the Parts of the Mass, and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. Within each lesson, there are Bible stories that relate to the topic. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated with a Penance Service. The Bread Making Retreat is a special time we share with extended family before First Communion which is held during the Easter Season.
English - Language Arts
We work on these reading skills; decoding and word recognition, reading fluency, comprehension skills, and literary elements; character, setting, plot and theme. The reading program includes the basal reader, shared reading books, independent selections, story time in class and during library time, and the Accelerated Reader Program (AR). We also attend at least one play a year at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento to bring all these skills together as well as a compare and contrast with the written story versus the play.
Our writing skills include grammar (sentence structure, parts of speech, and the mechanics of the sentence). Saint James School uses the writing program Step Up to Writing. This program has a structured framework that teaches students a step-by-step approach to writing with graphic organizers, modeled writing, and a common language. In second grade, the focus is on developing a paragraph with a good topic sentence, supporting details, and a concluding sentence. The writing genres include; narrative, expository, descriptive and letter writing. We also learn how to write cursive the second half of the year.
We adhere to the California Common Core Content Standards for Mathematics. At the beginning of the year we focus on mastering the basic addition and subtraction math facts. By the end of the year, we are adding and subtracting 2 and 3-digit numbers.
We follow the Next Generation Science Standards and go the school’s 1600 square foot Science lab once a month for a lesson with Carolyne Kenny, the science teacher. Some of our topics are: Rocks and Minerals, Mammals, and Simple Machines. We also study about the food groups and how to stay healthy, including a lesson from the Dairy Council.
Our focus in social studies is about how people work and live together throughout the world. We study this from an historical view, as well as, an introduction to economics and government.