Curriculum

Schoolwide Curriculum Philosophy

Consistent with our school Philosophy, Mission and Vision, curriculum at St. Mary's is holistic and provides boys with a broad range of learning experiences. Education of the 'whole child' is of utmost importance and is accomplished by providing an enriching spiritual, moral, artistic, athletic, and academic environment every day and at every grade level. Moral and ethical training consistent with Christian values is provided so that students develop respect for others and positive self-esteem. Students learn to accept responsibility, to organize for learning, and to work effectively with others. High expectations are set and support is provided for students to achieve their personal best.

School Philosophy

St. Mary's International School endeavors to form free and responsible young men. As a Catholic school, it integrates the acquisition of knowledge, the establishment of responsible freedom, and the deepening of personal faith. Education at St. Mary's is based on love and respect for the person, in full recognition of the dignity of humankind created in God's image and destined to live in union with Him.

Students are made aware of global issues, as well as of the aspirations of people who work for peace, justice, freedom and truth, in the hope that these may engender beliefs and actions conducive to the betterment of humanity. In this process, personal development is marked by empathy and mutual trust.

Academic programs are rigorous and challenging and are designed to prepare students for higher education within a safe, caring and orderly atmosphere. The all-boy environment creates a place wherein positive self-esteem can fully develop and where learning is promoted at a pace appropriate for boys. A comprehensive and enriching co-curricular program is offered, which allows for individual expression to enhance self-worth.

At St. Mary's, members of the international community in Japan can establish an identity respectful of both cultural and religious differences in an atmosphere that values diversity.

School Mission

Our mission is to Instruct, to Educate, and to Impart Christian Values.

School Vision Statement

St. Mary's is committed to educating boys to be lifelong learners of good character who demonstrate academic, physical, artistic, and moral excellence, respect for religious and cultural beliefs, and responsibility as international citizens.

Schoolwide Learner Expectations

The St. Mary's community is committed to developing self-directed, life-long learners who are:

Of Good Character,
Reflecting values consistent with Christian principles,

Knowledgeable,
Demonstrating a firm foundation in the academic, physical, and artistic disciplines,

Globally Aware,
Showing sensitivity and compassion toward human and global concerns in a multi-cultural world, and exhibiting initiative, reliability, and perseverance in their response to these concerns,

Critical and Creative Thinkers,
Confidently using appropriate resources and current technology, either independently or collaboratively, to reason, make decisions, and solve problems in a variety of contexts,

Effective Communicators,
Receiving and expressing ideas and information competently and precisely.

Elementary School Curriculum Information

Readiness Program (Kindergarten)

READINESS PROGRAM

The St. Mary's Readiness Program is a pre-first grade class for boys who have reached the age of five by September 1st. We offer an enriching, integrated, and multi-sensory curriculum, which helps boys grow academically, socially, physically, and emotionally.

The program focuses on building the student's individual talents, while at the same time emphasizing his cooperative learning skills. During the year, RP students are prepared to meet the challenges they will face in first grade through a specialized curriculum which is designed to capitalize on each student's individual gifts. Instruction is differentiated to accommodate the varied learning styles of the students.

The preparation offered in the St. Mary's Readiness Program gives students the vital first step they need to be successful in an International School environment.

Language Arts

Language Arts in the Readiness Program focuses on four main areas of instruction: reading readiness, reading comprehension, writing composition, and penmanship. Students are introduced to the reading and writing process through a comprehensive phonics program.

Specific skills are taught in an atmosphere that takes advantage of students' curiosity and wide variety of interests. Seasonal themes are introduced to focus and enhance learning.

There are also ESL (English as a Second Language) support classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday Math series developed by the University of Chicago, the Readiness Program focuses on developing numeracy skills as well as enhancing problem solving skills. Students learn to identify and write numbers, to solve simple story problems, and to sort and classify based on pattern recognition.

The Everyday Math program includes:

Counting

Numeration

Patterns, Functions, and Sequences

Measures

Money

Time

Geometry and Spatial Sense

Exploring Data and Chance

Operations

Addition, Subtraction, Equalities

Science

The Full Option Science System or FOSS is our research-based science program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. Based on the belief that the scientific enterprise consists of what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process), the FOSS curriculum helps students actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The program provides effective, stimulating and enriching learning experiences.

RP science studies are fully integrated with the Language Arts program. Topics covered include:

Materials and Motions (Physical Science)

Trees and Weather (Earth Science)

Animals Two by Two (Life Science)

Topics are developed through hands-on opportunities for observing, experimenting, and recording data.

Religion

Religion themes emphasize the personal growth of each individual student. Appropriate social behaviors are discussed, modeled, and nurtured throughout the year.

This theme of responsibility to self and others permeates everything the student does in the Readiness Program. Major themes covered are Cooperation, Love, Sharing, and Giving. Varied forms of instruction are utilized including role-playing and other modeling games.

Social Studies

The Social Studies program is integrated with the Language Arts Program. Social Studies instruction is firmly grounded in the student's everyday experiences so as to ensure the information gained is as relevant as possible. Topics for study include:

•Our Classroom Community

•Our School Community

•Cultural History & Religious Holidays

Specials

Elementary students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects designed to enhance the student's educational experience as well as widen his knowledge base. Students take classes in computer, two and three-dimensional art, physical education, swimming, music, library skills and Japan Culture, a class designed for the boys to learn more about our host country.

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.

Grading and Reporting

Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Grade 1

GRADE ONE

The Grade One program emphasizes the development of the whole child. Students will grow academically, socially, and spiritually.

Through a tapestry of learning experiences, each Grade One student will develop a sense of responsibility, independence, and the social/emotional skills that will enable him to successfully engage with and contribute to the world around him.

The core Grade One curriculum includes language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. These units are differentiated in order to challenge and enrich each student. Classroom instructional practices nurture the varied learning styles of each child in individual, small, and whole group settings.

Language Arts

The Grade One Language Arts program embraces a child's everyday experiences in listening, thinking, speaking, reading, and writing. These experiences are woven into an integrated field of study to enrich the path of learning along each step. Specific curricula are used for teaching phonics, word-usage, grammar, syntax, comprehension, and other written language objectives. We nurture independent reading and the appreciation and enjoyment of literature.

There are ESL (English as a Second Language) support classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday Math series developed by the University of Chicago, the Grade One mathematics program emphasizes problem solving as the focus of mathematical instruction. We believe reasoning about mathematics in combination with memorizing rules and procedures helps children make sense of their math world. Program domains include: problem solving, estimation, number sense and numeration of whole numbers, concept and application of whole number operations, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, statistics and probability, fractions, and patterns and relationships.

Science

The Full Option Science System or FOSS is our research-based science program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. Based on the belief that the scientific enterprise consists of what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process), the FOSS curriculum helps students actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The program provides effective, stimulating and enriching learning experiences.

The Grade One Science program focuses on three units, which are Sound and Light (Physical Science),Air and Weather (Earth Science),andPlants and Animals (Life Science), using a collaborative, investigative, hands-on approach. Students are guided to explore, classify, predict, compare and contrast, infer and communicate observations about the world around them.

Social Studies

The Social Studies program seeks to provide each Grade One student with a sense of self and of his relationship to the world. Students become aware of concepts such as social rules and responsibilities and problem solving strategies.

Topics include:

Ø Getting to Know Each Other

Ø Rules and Routines

Ø Occupations

Ø Celebrations

Ø Families Around The World.

Religion

The Religion program helps to develop a personal experience in relationship to each child's religious heritage. The program is divided into three areas of study: Catholic, Christian, and Multi-Faith. A spiritual perspective is woven throughout the entire school day with specific times set aside for the three individual areas of religious study. It is hoped that each child will deepen their faith in God, others, and themselves.

Specials

Elementary students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects which enhance the student's educational experience. Students take classes in computer, two and three-dimensional art, physical education, swimming, music, library skills and Japan Culture, a class designed for the boys to learn more about our host country.

Students may also participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Please watch for flyers and information in the school newsletter telling you how to sign up for these activities.

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.

Grading and Reporting

Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Grade 2

GRADE TWO

Grade Two is a challenging year. Students will continue to build upon the academic skills they acquired in the first grade and refine their social and interpersonal skills as well.

Our main emphasis is on the development of student proficiency in Language Arts and Mathematics. Our integrated curriculum facilitates this process by enabling the boys to make connections and see relationships across the curriculum.

Language Arts

The Grade Two Language Arts program focuses on reading and writing fluency so that the students become independent, competent, and avid readers and writers. Language Arts offers a balanced literacy program which aims to develop writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills. A daily part of the classroom experience includes reading to students, reading and writing with students, and reading and writing by students.

In reading, students concentrate on comprehension strategies, critical thinking, and decoding skills, reading different genres for pleasure and information, vocabulary, fluency, and expression.

Writing of various types, including imaginative and factual writing, takes place continually throughout the year.

Other Language Arts areas that are covered during the year are dictionary usage, parts of speech, punctuation, spelling, and handwriting.

There are ESL (English as a Second Language) support classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday Math series developed by the University of Chicago, Grade Two mathematics covers addition and subtraction facts to 18, 2 and 3-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping, numeration, place values to ten-thousands, patterns and attributes, telling time, reading a calendar, counting money, measurement, fractions, geometry, relationships, word problems, cooperation, individualism and interdependence, and interaction within different environments. This takes place through specific studies of rules, self-awareness, map skills, our school community, working in groups, cultures, and geography.

Religion

The second grade Religion program is divided into three areas of study: Catholic, Christian, and World Faith.

Catholic students are introduced to the concept of the Holy Trinity, learn about the sacraments, and about the significance of Christian celebrations. Christian students learn stories from the Bible and these are integrated into everyday ethical lessons which emphasize virtues. World Faith students focus on their relationships with family and friends. Topics studied include being special, utilizing one's talents and gifts, cooperation, making good decisions, and being committed to others.

Specials

Elementary students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects which enhance the student's educational experience. Students take classes in computer, two and three-dimensional art, physical education, swimming, music, and library skills.

Students may also participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Please watch for flyers and information in the school newsletter telling you how to sign up for these activities.

Japanese Language Program

The Japanese Language Program is designed to help each student become more proficient in spoken and written Japanese. The program focuses not only on reading, writing, speaking, and listening but on culture as well, with all courses providing special activities to enhance the student's understanding of Japan. Japanese classes aim to give students a practical knowledge of the language as well as prepare students for Japanese study at the I.B. level.

Japanese language instruction is given to elementary students from Grade 2-5. Classes are divided into three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students are placed according to ability.

Grading and Reporting Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.

Grade 3

GRADE THREE

Grade Three is an exciting year for students. Our main goals are to ensure student success as well as develop positive self-esteem.

Our common curriculum helps students develop academic and social skills that will serve them well now and in the future. We aim to provide students with experiences that will help them improve their organizational skills, become more responsible, and build independence and self-reliance.

We support each child in his efforts to develop personally and academically.

Language Arts

Language Arts in Grade 3 focuses on building reading and writing fluency in a variety of genres. Students are given instruction in handwriting, comprehension strategies, and writing for real reasons. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are integrated across the curriculum.

Reading instruction emphasizes vocabulary development, improving decoding skills, and learning effective reading strategies. Reading for pleasure is encouraged so students become lifelong readers of many genres.

The writing component emphasizes the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing) and focuses on how to communicate clearly via the written word. Students construct a variety of writing pieces, read stories written by others, and share their work through classroom displays.

Oral language is developed through oral reports, recitations, reading creative writing pieces, discussing current events, and performing skits.

There are ESL (English as a Second Language) classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday Math series developed by the University of Chicago, students study place value and computation, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as develop extensive word problem solving skills. Students apply word problem strategies to visual thinking problems, geometry, time, money, measurement, fractions, and decimals.

Students develop their ability to problem solve, to interpret factual material, and to check answers for reasonableness. There is an emphasis on explanation and utilizing a variety of strategies.

Social Studies

Our topics for Social Studies provide each student with an opportunity to explore the local community and compare and contrast it to another.

Areas of study include:

The history of each community

How transportation systems were influenced by the geography of each region

How the communities utilize their natural resources (renewable and non-renewable)

What each local government does to benefit the community

Science

The Full Option Science System or FOSS is our research-based science program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. Based on the belief that the scientific enterprise consists of what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process), the FOSS curriculum helps students actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The program provides effective, stimulating, and enriching learning experiences.

There are three main areas of inquiry at the third grade level. Topics for investigation include:

  • Motion and Matter (Physical Science)
  • Water and Climate (Earth Science)
  • Structures of Life (Life Science)

The investigations the students perform are developmentally appropriate, providing them in-depth exposure to the subject matter via multiple experiences. The program challenges all students and leads them to a much deeper understanding of the scientific process.

Religion

Religion classes in the third grade are divided into three areas, Catholic, Christian, and Multi-Faith. Catholic students explore the basic fundamentals of their Catholic faith and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. Christian studentsfocus on what Christianity means, the many ways we can choose to love God, and what Jesus and the Bible show us about building loving relationships with God and others. Students in the Multi-Faith classes study the major world religions with a focus on Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, as well as understandings of the personal faiths of themselves and others. Students also study lessons in Character. It is hoped that through all of these studies, students will continue to deepen their relationships with God and others.

Specials

Grade Three students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects which enhance the student's educational experience. Students take classes in computers, two and three-dimensional art, physical education, swimming, music, and library skills.

Students may also participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Please watch for flyers and information in the school newsletter telling you how to sign up for these activities.

Japanese Language Program

The Japanese Language Program is designed to help each student become more proficient in spoken and written Japanese. The program focuses not only on reading, writing, speaking, and listening but on culture as well, with all courses providing special activities to enhance the student's understanding of Japan. Japanese classes aim to give students a practical knowledge of the language as well as prepare students for Japanese study at the I.B. level.

Japanese language instruction is given to elementary students from Grade 2-5. Classes are divided into three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students are placed according to ability.

Grading and Reporting

Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.

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Grade 4

GRADE FOUR

Recognizing that Grade Four students arrive with a wealth of cultural, academic, and social beliefs, we strive to build on and further develop each of these areas. Through interaction with classmates, students learn to appreciate other points of view.

During the year, fourth graders build independent working skills and take on greater responsibilities. Accountability for one's actions both socially and academically is stressed. Students are encouraged to take pride in their work, and to extend their own learning.

Language Arts

The Grade Four Language Arts helps students develop comprehension skills, vocabulary, oral reading fluency, and other reading related skills. Novels are read during the year, either as a class or in small groups. Independent reading for pleasure is an integral part of the reading program.

Students write "across the curriculum" all year long, using the writing process. Different genres such as expository writing, descriptive writing, friendly letters, narratives, and poetry are utilized. In addition, students are encouraged to write book reports throughout the year. Mechanics are stressed during the final stages of the writing process.

Grammar skills are presented sequentially throughout the program. Areas taught include sentence parts, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.

Spelling units focus on words with common patterns. Students are encouraged to move to standard spellings for high frequency words in their written work through the use of proofreading.

There are ESL (English as a Second Language) classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday math series developed by the University of Chicago, students study place value to millions, speed recall of basic facts, addition/subtraction with large numbers, telling time, making graphs, multiplying by one and two-digit numbers, measurement (customary and metric), dividing by one-digit numbers, geometry, fractions, probability, and adding and subtracting.

Students will develop their ability to problem solve, to interpret factual material, and to check answers for reasonableness.

Social Studies

The program centers on the study of Japan emphasizing how the geography of the country has shaped the development of Japan and its people. Units such as Japan as an island nation, The Samurai and their code, The Ainu and their adaptation to their ancient and modern surroundings, and The beginnings and growth of Japan’s traditional industries, will be covered. Students will incorporate discussion and presentation skills and engage in extended research within each unit.

Projects undertaken include making maps, reports, posters, graphs, models, and written responses. Japanese holidays and festivals are studied as they occur during the year. Field trips to local museums also provide support and reinforcement for our studies of Japan.

Science

The Full Option Science System or FOSS is our research-based science program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. Based on the belief that the scientific enterprise consists of what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process), the FOSS curriculum helps students actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The program provides effective, stimulating and enriching learning experiences.

In Grade 4, units on Energy(Physical Science), Soils, Rocks and Landforms (Earth Science)and Environments (Life Science) are covered. These topics will be integrated with other disciplines when possible.

In each unit, students conduct investigations in small groups under the guidance of the teacher. Their results and observations are discussed and then used as a springboard to help the students discover more about the areas they are studying, furthering and deepening their knowledge of those areas of Science.

Religion

Religious studies are divided into three areas, Catholic, Christian, and Multi-Faith. Catholic students explore the basic fundamentals of their Catholic faith. Christian students utilize the Bible to examine their Christian values. Students in the Multi-Faith classes study virtues, as well as become acquainted with four world religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism.

Specials

Elementary students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects which enhance the student's educational experience. Students take classes in computer, two and three-dimensional art, physical education, swimming, music, and library skills.

Students may also participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Please watch for flyers and information in the school newsletter telling you how to sign up for these activities.

Japanese Language Program

The Japanese Language Program is designed to help each student become more proficient in spoken and written Japanese. The program focuses not only on reading, writing, speaking, and listening but on culture as well, with all courses providing special activities to enhance the student's understanding of Japan. Japanese classes aim to give students a practical knowledge of the language as well as prepare students for Japanese study at the I.B. level.

Japanese language instruction is given to elementary students from Grade 2-5. Classes are divided into three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students are placed according to ability.

Grading and Reporting

Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.

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Grade 5

GRADE FIVE

Grade Five is an exciting and challenging year for students. Focused on the SMIS Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Honesty and Kindness, our goal is to foster success and self-esteem in a supportive and enriching environment.

Our integrated curriculum helps students develop skills needed for success in school and in the future. We expect students to be responsible for their own behavior and learning. We help them to do so by providing experiences that develop organizational skills and self-reliance.

Class studies and activities provide many opportunities for creative thinking and collaboration. We support every child in his efforts toward personal and academic growth.

Language Arts

The Grade Five Language Arts program focuses on helping students explore their interests, expand their vocabularies, and develop a life-long love of reading. Instruction integrates reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and thinking. We use high interest, challenging fiction and non-fiction novels. Through discussion and research, students develop effective reading strategies in order to become critical and creative thinkers. Special emphasis is on developing effective reading strategies.

The Writing Process (Pre-Writing, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing) is integrated into all subject areas. Frequent writing opportunities in many genres (e.g. research, journals, letters, poetry) form the core of the program. Within this discipline, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are addressed with an on-going focus on the "Reading-Writing Connection."

There are ESL (English as a Second Language) classes available for non-English speaking students.

Mathematics

Using the Everyday Math series developed by the University of Chicago, eight general concepts are continuously taught and reviewed throughout the year. Concepts include: numeration and order; measurement and measures; mental arithmetic and number systems; algorithms and procedures; data and chance; geometry and spatial sense; patterns, functions, and sequences; algebra and the use of variables.

Students engage in hands-on experiences with manipulatives, use high-level thinking skills, participate in cooperative groups, and investigate and apply mathematics to their world. Opportunities are provided for skills and concepts taught in previous grades to be reinforced, applied, and expanded.

Science

The Full Option Science System or FOSS is our research-based science program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. Based on the belief that the scientific enterprise consists of what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process), the FOSS curriculum helps students actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The program provides effective, stimulating and enriching learning experiences.

In Grade 5, units studied include:

Mixtures and Solutions (Physical Science)

Earth and Sun (Earth Science)

Living Systems (Life Science)

Social Studies

Through cooperative group work, discussions, presentations, and simulations, students develop their research reading and writing skills. The units of study include:

Indigenous Peoples of the World

Expansion in the Middle Ages

Exploration and Trade

Our Global Village

By actively participating in these units, students will learn what life was like as a New World Explorer, study the culture, history, and geography of the Americas, and explore sustainable development through a focus on water issues.

Religion

Families are asked to choose from one of three courses of religion: Catholic, Christian, and Multi-Faith. Catholicand Christianclasses focus on learning prayers and beliefs and students regularly attend masses and/or services. The Multi-Faithclass focuses on the beliefs of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Native Beliefs Around the World.

Respect, Honesty, Responsibility, and Self-Discipline are just a few of the many virtues that transcend all religions and are studied in all classes.

Specials

Elementary students are exposed to an enriching variety of special subjects designed to enhance their educational experience. Students take classes in two and three-dimensional art, computer, Japanese language, music, library skills, physical education and swimming.

Students may also participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities ranging from aikido and basketball to soccer and swimming. Please watch for flyers and information in the school newsletter telling you how to sign up for these activities.

Japanese Language Program

The Japanese Language Program is designed to help each student become more proficient in spoken and written Japanese. The program focuses not only on reading, writing, speaking, and listening but on culture as well, with all courses providing special activities to enhance the student's understanding of Japan. Japanese classes aim to give students a practical knowledge of the language as well as prepare students for Japanese study at the I.B. level.

Japanese language instruction is given to elementary students from Grade 2-5. Classes are divided into three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students are placed according to ability.

Grading and Reporting

Student Progress

Report cards are sent home quarterly and conferences are scheduled twice each year, during the first and third quarters. In the third quarter, the conferences are student-led. Additional conferences can be scheduled with your son's teacher as needed. Please phone or send a note to schedule a conference.

School Phone: 3709-3411

Technology and Learning

At St. Mary’s, we use technology to transform learning and to enhance best instructional practices. We believe technology enriches the learning experience and assessment, supports student productivity and facilitates connections beyond the limits of the classroom. Understanding how to use technology effectively to gather and share information from the Internet is a core skill that enables our students to achieve our Schoolwide Learner Expectations. Using the SAMR model (Substitution=Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition), teachers and students learn how technology supports the educational process. Our 1:1 iPad program in Grades 3 - 5 and our class sets of iPads in Grades RP - 2 ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to make learning engaging, relevant and challenging.