SJCS teachers strive to meet our mission statement. Ranging from grades 1st-5th, students attending St. John Catholic school receive the highest quality of education in a Christian atmosphere. Christian virtues and morals are taught beside excellent academic classes. Students engage to learn math, reading, and English.
Learning & Technology
Students use a wide range of learning methods. These include hands-on, small groups, and whole group teaching. SJCS recognizes the importance of technology integration to prepare students for the future in a technologically driven world. In SJCS Elementary School, each class is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Kindergarten at St. John Catholic School strives to be an environment in which students achieve learning by exploring areas of study that develop the child intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually. Lessons aim to develop listening skills, following multi-step directions, and fine and gross motor skills. In addition, lessons in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science incorporate multiple resources to support learning, including manipulatives and hands-on activities, field trips, and technology resources. Infused throughout our academic study is an awareness of God – His presence, His creation, and His Church. Weekly Mass is a part of Kindergarten, as well as daily prayers and religion lessons.
By the end of the year, each child should know all letters and letter sounds, and should be able to read basic sight words, as well as basic readers. The student should be able to identify all numbers to 30, count aloud to 100 by ones, fives, and tens, and perform operations of sorting, patterning, graphing, telling time by the hour, and basic addition and subtraction.
You might say first grade is all about firsts! Students are immersed in a setting filled with good fiction and nonfiction books, word work, poetry, and problem solving skills through the Balanced Literacy Approach. Students use guided reading books, on their level, to practice reading skills and improve fluency. Our poetry journals and reading journals are a wonderful way for the children to learn grammar rules, and comprehension skills such as comparing and contrasting, visualizing, and making text connections.
Math lessons are developmentally appropriate with the use of manipulative and concrete activities that help the children grasp mathematical concepts symbolically. We incorporate the philosophy of providing children with many experiences that move them from concrete to pictorial to abstract concepts of number. The students learn strategies to add and subtract one and two digit numbers without regrouping, problem solving and the beginning stages of understanding time, money, fraction, data collection, measurement and geometry.
Faith is developed through a spiritual curriculum based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These four pillars of Catholic doctrine are: What Catholics Believe, How Catholics Worship, How Catholics Live and How Catholics Pray. The students participate in school service projects and donate food to help those less fortunate. First graders also learn about saints and go to weekly Mass with their Mass buddies.
Science and Social Studies concepts are taught using project-based learning and exploration. The children are excited and involved in investigating their world.
The curriculum for second graders builds heavily on first grade curriculum. The year focuses on a deeper awareness of God and His Church, new Science concepts, more complex Math operations, increased understanding of Reading and Writing skills, a greater understanding of communities and our nation, and more student independence. The second grade is a year full of many new adventures!
The goal of second grade religious education is to improve the students’ knowledge of the Catholic Faith, liturgies, moral formation, family, community, prayer life, and their respect for others. Second graders grow in their understanding of the Ten Commandments, the sacraments, and the importance of their participation in Mass. With great anticipation and excitement they look forward to making their first Reconciliation and receiving their First Holy Communion!
The students are always ready to learn about God and to improve their relationship with Him and others. They look forward to the weekly Masses, visits from our Priests, Holy Days, and Activities.
Students make many major accomplishments during second-grade Language Arts. They become fluent readers who are capable of independently reading, comprehending, and responding to literature. As writers, they learn how to write complete sentences and paragraphs using correct spelling and punctuation. In English, students continue to master their knowledge and usage of grammar skills including nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This allows them to complete writing units such as personal narratives, writing a friendly letter, and proofreading skills.
Second graders are guided through the knowledge and skill building of numbers and operations, two and three-digit addition and subtraction with or without regrouping, counting and using money, telling and understanding time, the recognition of plain shapes and figures, and the use of customary and metric measurements. They also explore fractions and multiplication.
Science energizes the students through print, inquiry, and digital experiences. The students engage in reading and computer lessons, and hands-on activities as they explore the areas of animal and plant life cycles and environments, the earth, it’s history, and its resources, weather, the Solar System, changes in matter, and energy and magnets. The use of technology is implemented in digital lessons which include interactive presentations and virtual labs. Science allows the students to really begin to expand their horizons.
In Social Studies, the students are introduced to many core concepts on a basic level. They explore types of neighborhoods and communities in our cities, states, country and our world. They realize the importance of using natural resources and how that affects the history, culture, and economics of a location and Georgia. United States history, citizenship, government, and US symbols are studied along with geography. Map and globe skills, and the study of famous American citizens, events, holidays, and places enrich their Social Studies knowledge.
Second grade opens the door to a new world of opportunities!
Third Grade is a transitional year bridging the primary and intermediate grades in elementary school. It would be difficult to list everything that will be taught during the year, but this guide will provide an overview of some of the most significant aspects of our third-grade curriculum. Our curriculum is established by the Diocese of Savannah. Along with our academic goals, we focus on fostering independence, self-directed study, problem-solving skills, and good organizational habits.
Our language arts curriculum provides skills instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are encouraged to apply knowledge of word families and phonics to read and spell unknown and multi-syllabic words. Our emphasis on reading for meaning has the ultimate goal of developing life-long literacy in our students. Reading fluency and comprehension skills are strengthened through practice with a wide variety of literature. Students read cooperatively, independently, and with guidance. They respond to literature by making connections to their own knowledge and experiences, by answering comprehension questions and by producing artwork and writings that reflect understanding of a text. Third graders also develop their writing skills by focusing on the writing process and studying the techniques and style of published authors. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are addressed daily in mini-lessons, and writing assignments.
The third grade math program develops skills in math vocabulary, computation, data display, and logic and reasoning.
Third graders expand their knowledge in:
place, value, and rounding
multi-digit addition and subtraction facts
multiplication and division
collecting, recording and displaying data
measurement, time, and money
In Social Studies we begin the year developing map skills by reading and creating maps, using scale, locating map features, and describing physical and human attributes of maps. Our social studies include strands in economics, culture, history, geography, social systems and government. Our text is supplemented by a weekly Scholastic News subscription.
Our science curriculum includes elements from physical science, earth science, and life science. Our excellent textbook series incorporates many opportunities for hands-on exploration and experimentation. Scientific skills such as predicting, measuring, observing, and data recording are developed.
In religion, third graders continue to deepen their understanding of the Catholic Church’s doctrine and practices. We say a decade of the Rosary and examine the events associated with the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries. Students participate in daily prayer and are encouraged to increase their own prayer life. Our textbook stresses the concept of discipleship and Christian community.
In Religion, our goal is to help students live their Christian faith through participation in the life of the Church and the understanding of Sacred Scripture. This goal is facilitated through the development of knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, prayer, education for community life, and missionary initiation. The emphasis in fourth grade is on the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, the Beatitudes, and the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Other Catechetical concepts, such as the celebration of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, Mary, the Saints, Social Justice, and Catholic prayers are developed.
Language Arts involves the continuing development of phonemic awareness – the awareness of sounds in spoken language, decoding – the process of translating written words into speech, oral reading, fluency, and listening comprehension. Reading comprehension – the process of constructing meaning from texts, coupled with increased vocabulary, is integrated throughout the entire curriculum in all content areas. Writing is an equally important aspect of the curriculum. Included in written expression are the knowledge of steps of the writing process, the application of grammar rules, the identification of parts of speech, correct spelling, and the ability to write the various paragraph and poetry forms.
Math is aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards. This includes the development of concepts such as numbers and operations – place value, multiplication and division, rounding and estimation, mental math, and use of fractions. It also includes the study of measurement focusing on perimeter, area, and volume; beginning geometry; and the application of algebraic patterns using variables in mathematical expressions. Other aspects of the curriculum are the process standards such as problem solving, reasoning, and evaluating proofs. In addition, data analysis and probability are developed through the use of graphs and tables and making predictions.
Social Studies emphasize five focus points which are integrated throughout each chapter of each unit. Geography which includes extensive practice with map skills enables students to compare and contrast geographical features and to use latitude and longitude to identify points of study on a globe or map. The history of each region of the United States is studied with an emphasis on European exploration, Native American influence on culture, the American Revolution and up to the Civil War, as well as key events and individuals in the history of Georgia. Culture, citizenship, and economics are also studied in order to round out the curriculum and to show how these concepts affect current events and political issues in the United States.
Science helps students develop the understanding of concepts through active involvement and participation in their own learning process to endure well past the next test. We learn science inquiry skills such as observation, inference, classification, prediction, and data interpretation. Life science is developed by the comparison and contrast of plant and animal structures and traits including the five basic life functions, the study of ecosystems, and the understanding of the classification of animals. Physical science topics include the properties of matter and the transference of heat energy, the study of light and sound, friction and gravity, and mass and weight.
The key areas of the fifth grade math curriculum include numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, algebra, probability, data analysis and problem solving. There is an emphasis placed on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals and fractions with an added stress on place value and estimation. Through investigation, students gain an understanding of how numbers can be described and classified. They actively use factors, multiples, rules of divisibility, prime, composite and square numbers. The relationship between fractions, decimals and percent is emphasized as students solve problems.
Applying math to other disciplines is stressed. Students use formulas to find the area of various geometric and plane figures, use a protractor to measure angles, calculate and interpret graph tendencies and communicate their thinking.
SJCS’s fifth grade Science curriculum helps students to develop inquiry skills, to use the scientific method and to understand the relationship between science and technology. Through student participation in various hands-on activities, group projects and experiments basic science knowledge can be built upon and reinforced. Some of the content areas of the curriculum include Physical Science, Life Science and Earth and Space Science.
The goal of the Religion curriculum is to help students deepen their faith as they develop practical ways to live the social mission of the Church.
Emphasis is placed on locating Scripture passages in the Bible, a deeper understanding of grace and the Seven Sacraments and a greater understanding of the Eucharistic celebration. Students are encouraged to participate in the weekly Mass by serving as readers, cantors, choir members, gift bearers and altar servers. They also act as role models for their Mass buddies. Fifth grade students develop their knowledge of Scripture and Tradition, different types of prayer, seasons and feasts of the Church, and Mysteries of the Rosary. They are also encouraged to participate in the numerous missionary activities of the school and have many opportunities for daily prayer. Religion is incorporated into all aspects of the fifth grade curriculum.
St. John's fifth grade language arts curriculum is comprised of reading, spelling, language, and writing skills. Students are involved in reading every day, whether it is independent, being read to, or orally reading as a class. It is our goal to help our students become life-long readers. Attention is placed on teaching the student listening skills to listen for specific purposes, participating in discussions, practicing using their oral skills, and using descriptive language.
The Language Arts curriculum stresses:
Reading Comprehension-the process of constructing meaning from texts, coupled with increased vocabulary. This is integrated throughout the entire curriculum in all content areas. Students will read and be able to identify a variety of literary genres.
Writing- Writing skills are enhanced. Students are instructed in the writing process, especially in the application of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization rules.
Grammar-Grammar Workshop is used to help students understand the conventions of standard English.
The social studies curriculum focuses on the events, ideas, and technological advances that shaped America from the 1850’s to the present. Students learn how the evolution of the U.S. Constitution impacts the American way of life. We explore the economic developments of the U.S. in terms of geography, industry, agriculture, and transportation.