Grades 3-5 Curriculum Overview
The curriculum in grades 3-5 expands on the foundation established in the primary grades and provides a systematic approach which meets the needs of the whole child while teaching students how to think critically and express themselves clearly. The use of technology supports ongoing trends in education while maintaining a balance with traditional education. Utilization of formative and summative assessments enables progress monitoring. Academic support is available at each grade level through the Student Success Team.
Throughout grades 3-5, the reading range of each student is established through the STAR test and students participate in Accelerated Reader. The Collins Writing Program guides written expression with formal grammar instruction applied to writing and speaking. Spelling and building vocabulary are integrated into all subjects throughout the year.
In grades 3-5, whole class instruction uses an anthology with opportunities for literature circles, response journals, and reading of novels. Shared reading experiences between the teacher or a peer enable students to practice articulation, rhythm, and intonation. Opportunities for independent reading also foster a love of reading. Texts and resources to support the curriculum include Wonders by McGraw Hill and Voyages in English for grammar and IXL for grammar reinforcement.
Grades 3-5 participate in the Battle of the Books competition of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Grade 5 also participates in the Scripps Spelling Bee.
Instruction in grades 3-5 focuses on fractions, decimals, a more in-depth study of the multiplicative nature of the number system, and expands on the understanding of measurement. Building on prior knowledge, students visualize geometric relationships and justify conjectures about these relationships. Students move toward seeing a set of data and using statistical characteristics to compare data sets. Beginning in grade 3, mathematical investigations include elements of algebraic reasoning as a precursor to the more formalized study of algebra in middle school.
Textbooks & resources include:
- Progress in Mathematics (grades 3) and Sadlier Math (grades 4 and 5), both by Sadlier
- Simple Solutions Math by Bright Ideas for review and practice of all math procedures
- IXL Math and Grammar for reinforcement during the school year and over the summer
- Extra math challenge is available through the Redbird Advanced Math Learning Program, an option for parents to enrich math studies at home.
The science curriculum is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), with Catholic identity integrated into each lesson. Grades 3-5 study the scientific method, engineering design, and life, earth, and physical sciences. Faculty integrate the teaching of crosscutting factors such as cause and effect, patterns, energy/matter, and stability/change. Students focus on problem solving and higher-level thinking skills to analyze and interpret data, develop models, construct arguments supported by empirical evidence, and evaluate design solutions for real-life situations.
In grade 3, students explore STREAM activities while studying structures and processes of organisms, ecosystems, and heredity traits; earth and space; as well as investigate motion and stability. Grade 4 students explore energy, the earth’s formation and its impacts, the study of body systems, and plant and animal structures through project-based learning activities. In grade 5, students use STREAM activities to explore plant and animal cells, ecosystems, matter and its interactions, and energy; students study the sun and stars and earth systems.
Science teachers incorporate project-based learning where students have opportunities for labs and experiments to test hypotheses and design solutions. Students study how people impact the environment and the importance of conservation. STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities are prevalent in all grade levels with opportunities for robotics, engineering, art design, creating Rube Goldberg Machines or Artbots, and 3D printing activities. Math is integrated into science through the construction of graphs based on data collection. High Touch High Tech programs visit grades 3-5 each year to offer in-house field trips. Students participate in a weekly STREAM class in our school's STREAM Lab. Faculty use formative assessments in dynamic ways through projects, models, centers, and programs that reinforce the science curriculum. Bring Science Alive by TCI guides the curriculum and is supplemented with the Houghton-Mufflin Harcourt text of ScienceSaurus.
The social studies curriculum is designed to construct learning through interdisciplinary units and thematic instruction. Grades 3-5 integrate the standards of the Archdiocese of Atlanta that explore history, civics, government, social justice, economics, and geography while challenging students to perceive world matters through the lens of the Catholic faith.
Grade 3 explores early Native Americans, citizenship, geography and map skills. Students in grade 4 study the history of our country from the Colonial Era to the Industrial Revolution. Students conduct research and present projects each semester. The course of study in grade 5 is United States history from the Industrial Revolution to the Reconstruction Era through units of reading, research, and projects.
Social studies teachers use inquiry-based instruction, direct teaching and provide opportunities for differentiated instruction. Students in various grade levels create political cartoons, write in journals, and develop videos or skits to further enhance the study of historical time periods. Technology is utilized for differentiation, research, instructional videos, projects, inquiry, reports, and student presentations. Teachers use cross-curricular activities that incorporate the visual arts, technology, and physical education. Texts include the My World Social Studies series by Savvas, Simple Solutions Social Studies by Bright Ideas, and Studies Weekly.
Rooted in the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic faith, Queen of Angels Catholic School fosters a love for and respect for God, God's creations, self and others. The Sadlier series We Believe is used to guide instruction where students in grade 3 learn about the early church to the present day church and how the kingdom of God continues to grow. Grade 4 builds on this foundation as students analyze the Commandments and how God’s law is a guide for living. Grade 5 students continue their study of the Sacraments in a thorough manner. Religion is part of all aspects of the program where students begin each day in prayer, pray during the day, attend weekly Mass, and participate in various liturgies/prayer services throughout the year. Catholicity is integrated into all subject areas to instill knowledge, inspire spirituality, develop critical thinking through a Catholic lens, and enable each to live as a disciple of Christ.
Students have Spanish one period per week where the Spanish teacher visits the classroom and offers basic instruction in the language, exposes students to different cultures, and integrates the Catholic faith into lessons.
Chromebooks are available to students to conduct research, work in Google classroom, and practice academic skills. Students attend the computer lab once a week for instruction on various technology applications, coding, and keyboarding skills.
Once each week, students visit the media center to conduct research and practice skills associated with the creation of research reports, listen to stories, and choose books to check out for personal reading.
Academic enrichment is available once each week for students who meet criteria to qualify in the areas of math and language arts. Students are provided opportunities to develop analytical, problem-solving, and writing abilities through this program.
Each grade level participates in a field trip connected to a subject that students are studying. High Touch High Tech comes to school and provides a program for each grade level that covers an aspect of their science program. Queen of Angels also hosts an annual presentation from a notable author or guest speaker. Over the years, we have welcomed guests such as children's author Carmen Deedy, Ultramarathoner Dion Leonard and his dog Gobi, and conservationist and filmmaker Peter Schriemer.