Lower School (Grades K-5)
At Providence, we are not only interested in the health and mind of each student, but in the development of the heart. The Bible is opened in the classroom and His word is woven into the curriculum. Each day our students are challenged with a healthy dose of core academics including mathematics, science, language arts, spelling, handwriting, reading, history and Bible. All subjects are taught from a Christian perspective.
The Providence Difference
We believe that “one size fits all should not apply to the classroom. We foster the natural spark of curiosity”and help it grow. From Kindergarten through 5th grade, our dedicated teachers offer warm encouragement and wise guidance every step of the way. With low teacher-student ratios in every class, we are able to provide each child with individual attention and a loving environment that builds a bridge of support between school and home.
Learning as a Way of Living
Learning happens outside the classroom, too. Our enrichment resource classes include technology, music, art, an exciting hands-on science lab and physical education. Technology is integrated throughout the day for a more meaningful, interactive learning experience. Many of our students are involved in our after school clubs like technology, dance, cooking class, legos and many more. Our extended day program offers numerous grade-level activities and an opportunity to get a head start on their homework. Our students learn at a young age the value of helping those in need. Lives are being changed right here at Providence. Our aim is to help students thrive as productive Christian citizens, with God at the forefront.
15% Higher Test Scores
Our students test scores regularly exceed state and national averages, most by as much as 15% higher.
” I love coming to a school where I can learn about God. Everyone here is kind and treats us like family.”
-Whitney L., Lower School Student
Our most important goal in first grade is to help build Christian character in our students so they will become the Christian leaders who will change our world for the cause of Christ. We work to help our students to become independent and responsible young people who take on a more active role in the academic process.
Our grade level verse is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will given you as well. Each of our first grade classrooms has a theme. Mrs. Black’s class theme is “Sweet Shop.” Mrs. Dennis’ classroom theme is “Under the Sea.” Mrs. Rabb’s theme is “American Patriotism.”
- Bible: Our curriculum for Bible is Positive Action for Christ. First graders focus on the many gifts of love provided for us by God. The emphasis is on the aspects of Creation, our families, friends, possessions, Jesus Christ, and God’s care for us. Each week we have a memory verse which allows the children to hide God’s Word in their hearts. We have character trait lessons where the children learn to apply the Bible truth of the week. The children learn the importance of spending time with God and that the Bible is our Owner’s Manual.
- Math: First grade uses Sadlier-Oxford’s Progress in Mathematics. We cover many topics such as addition and subtraction strategies through twenty, graphing, place value to 100, geometry, money, time, measurement, two-digit addition and subtraction, fractions, and probability. Lessons use hands-on manipulatives, practice for reinforcement, and technology.
- Phonics, Spelling, and Reading: The first grade phonics, spelling, language arts, and reading are part of an integrated curriculum called Reading Street by Pearson. We continue to build in the area of phonics while also increasing their base of high frequency words. Our stories center on developing important comprehension skills and critical thinking. Our stories cover a wide range of genre including animal fantasy, realistic fiction, expository nonfiction, and poetry. The children learn grammatical concepts and their proper usage as demonstrated in writing assignments.
- Thematic Units: First graders enjoy many exciting centers throughout the school year such as Eric Carle Centers, USA Centers, the First Grade Camp Out, Thanksgiving Centers, Dr. Seuss Centers, Valentine Centers, and Resurrection Centers. The centers will include activities centered on math, literature, science, writing, and art built around a fun theme.
- Out of School Enrichment: Our field trips include exploring the world of insects at the University of North Florida’s Wildlife Sanctuary, a visit to our Sweet Pete’s, and an outdoor experience at the Diamond D Ranch.
- Missions: The children participate in the chapel offering each week where they hear testimony and see videos of how their offerings are used to help missionaries around the world with outreach projects such as the Project Christmas Child boxes. Our first graders were encouraged to do chores around their homes to earn their own money to help World Vision. With the money earned this year, we were able to purchase two goats and four chickens for a village in Africa through the World Vision program.
- Community Service: The children participate in food and clothing drives that our school clubs sponsor. We also have collected school supplies for underprivileged children and given to Samaritan’s Purse.
Our goal is to encourage students to find knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for themselves from God’s words and integrate Biblical truths as we strive to develop students academically, socially, physically, and spiritually. Our desire is for second grade students to grow in independence, and responsibility, and develop character traits which will be used throughout school and life.
We have three second grade classes at Providence. Mrs. Green’s class theme is “Hawaiian. Mrs. Miller’s class theme is “Frogs. Mrs. Charboneau’s class theme is “Safari.
- Bible “Character traits and Biblical truths are taught through our Bible curriculum, Positive Action for Christ, stories, plays, devotions, chapel, service projects, and classroom discussions. Second graders study the life of Moses through the book of Exodus. The promises of God are evident as the Israelites and their leader see both victory and tribulation as they learn to trust God.
- Math “ The goal of the mathematics program is to help students build a solid foundation in mathematical concepts, logical thinking and problem solving skills. Students begin by reviewing simple addition and subtraction problems. We then move into the teaching of addition and subtraction with regrouping. Students are introduced to the concepts of fractions, geometric shapes, measurement problems, story problems, and multiplication. We use a hands-on approach in integrated thematic units. Examples: Candy Corn Math, Valentine Heart Math and Hershey Math.
- Phonics, Spelling, Grammar, and Reading “ The reading curriculum uses Pearson Reading Street and novels to continue the development of oral reading. Students practice and review decoding of words, listening skills, critical thinking skills, and analyzing skills through different types of literature. We introduce vocabulary and grammar with a weekly power point presentation. We give weekly “Fresh Reads to assess reading fluency and comprehension of new material. We utilize story mapping to help with comprehension and sequencing. We encourage daily reading by using the “Book It Program as an incentive. We also read novels during the school year. We read Flat Stanley and The Treasure of Pelican Cove.
- Thematic Units. This includes field trips, special speakers, specials with our Resource Teachers, and our monthly center days: Creation Centers, Author Studies, Volcano Activities, Harvest Centers, Native American Projects, Thanksgiving Unit, Gingerbread Man Unit, Pizza Centers, Animal and Habitat Unit, African American Unit, Flat Stanley Unit, Easter Centers, and an Ocean Unit. Our students also complete a history report on a famous African American and they give an oral presentation in front of the class.
Technology in classroom
Second grade uses projectors, document cameras, and Mimio boards which allow us to access files on our computers or information from the internet to supplement our texts. We also use interactive the Mimio to do interactive teaching and play games, use E-Books for math, handwriting, Bible and science. In addition students have the opportunity to use the mobile lab where each student will have their own tablet.
Out of School Enrichment
Second grade goes on field experiences to Ft. Clinch (Fernandina Beach), Museum of Science and History (MOSH), Marine Science Center, and the Florida Theater.
Second Grade Outreach
- Bring Chapel offering for missionaries
- Assemble Operation Christmas Child boxes
- Collect tabs for Ronald McDonald House
- Collect Christmas gifts for the Boselli Foundation
- Make Christmas Cards for the Care Center
In closing, the second grade team strives to work closely together, sharing ideas, planning, implementing lessons, and developing activities that enhance learning so students will boldly model Christ- likeness, pursue excellence, and become servant leaders who will reach their full God-given potential.
We have three third grade classes at Providence. Mrs. Callison’s class theme is “Stars.” Her class verse is Philippians 2:14-16a. Mrs. Koenig’s class theme is “Wild about Jesus.” Her class verse is Jeremiah 29:11. Mrs. Zink’s class theme is “Starfish.” Her class verse is Mark 16:15.
• Bible – We focus on the patriarchs in our study: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Daniel. We have a scripture memory verse every week which leads to memorizing passages such as: Matthew 5:1-12, Proverbs 3:1-10, I Thessalonians 4:13-18. They will also become acquainted with various Christian heroes of the faith who lived throughout history. We highlight a character trait and a fruit of the spirit each month. We teach the children to stand on the Word of God to direct their lives.
• Math – The goal of the mathematics program is to help students build a solid foundation. Students begin by reviewing simple addition and subtraction problems. We then move into the mastery of multiplication and division facts. By completing these simple problems, the students are able to move on and solve more complex problems. Students are introduced to the concepts of division, fractions, geometric shapes, measurement problems, and story problems. In our geometry study, the students complete a geometry project which focuses on real life geometric shapes. Story problems enable them to use their critical thinking skills and logical reasoning skills to solve for the answer. Students develop a conceptual understanding and skill proficiency by participating in all these various concepts. We use a hands-on approach with Skittle graphing, M&M multiplication, and Hershey fractions, as well.
• Phonics, Spelling, and Reading – The reading curriculum uses Pearson Reading Street and novels to continue the development of oral reading. Students practice and review decoding of words, listening skills, critical thinking skills, and analyzing skills through different types of literature. We introduce vocabulary, comprehension skills, and phonics skills weekly using our interactive mimio. We utilize story mapping to help with comprehension and sequencing. We also have an incentive reading board in each classroom. When students are finished reading a chapter book, they write a short summary of the book and hang it on the reading board. The students who read the most books at the end of the year receive a book or gift certificate to Barnes and Nobles. We also complete three novel studies during the school year: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Charlotte’s Web, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
• Language– Our language curriculum focuses on the mechanics of grammar, parts of speech, word usage, and sentence structure. This program lays a solid foundation for writing skills.
• History– We use Bob Jones ”Heritage Studies 3” for history. Heritage studies 3 is a part of a developmental social studies program used to teach history, geography, government, economics, and culture skills as well as a knowledge of God and Christian character. History is a record of the past acts of God and humans on earth from creation to the present. This program focuses on the United States and the country’s interaction in world events.
• Science- We use Bob Jones Science Curriculum for science. Our three units of study are Animals, the Solar System, and the Body. With each unit, the students dive in deeper with a hands on project. The children attend Science Lab each week during which they are engaged in hands-on learning activities that complement the Delta curriculum. Children explore a science rich environment which includes live animals, building stations, problem solving activities, using technology to deepen understanding, and learn that God is at the center of all creation.
• Enrichment Days – We find many ways to enrich our regular curriculum through field trips, special speakers, and our monthly center days: Big Orange Splot centers, Worm centers, Scarecrow centers, Thanksgiving Feast day, Snowmen centers, Chocolate Fever centers, Resurrection centers, and our Ocean centers. At the end of the year we also dissect owl pellets.
• Technology in classroom – We use white boards and projectors which allow us to interact with files on our computers or information from the internet to supplement our texts. We use the interactive mimio to teach lessons which provide students an opportunity to interact with the lesson and to deepen understanding. We also use an E-Book for math and handwriting. Students also have the opportunity to use the mobile lab where each student will have their own tablet. We also incorporate the use of document cameras. We are able to project pages or documents onto our white boards to interact with our students.
• Out of School Enrichment – Our field experiences include Conner’s A-maize-ing Acres (Hilliard), The Old Florida Museum (St. Augustine), Harbor Chase and Windsor Care Centers, and UNF to explore insects.
• Community Service and Missions Outreach – We write letters to the military and missionaries during the year. The students decorate placemats for the homeless at Thanksgiving to use during their meal. At Christmas, the students go above and beyond at home to earn allowance. We pool the money from third grade and bless others through Samaritan’s Purse. We also decorate cookies and make cards to take to our local firemen and policemen thanking them for their service and sacrifice. We minister to the elderly at two local Care Centers on Valentine’s Day by singing and reciting scriptures in an original program. Once a month our students participate in Dollar Denim Days to raise money to donate to local organizations. Our prayer is to instill a servant’s heart in each of our students.
In closing, it is our team’s desire to help our third grade students work toward becoming independent thinkers and problem solvers, to display confidence in themselves and their abilities, to demonstrate motivation and initiative in their daily activities, and to continue to grow in their love for the Lord. We look forward to getting the opportunity to work with your child in the future!
Smiles and Blessings,
Mrs. Callison, Mrs. Koenig, and Mrs. Zink
Fourth grade is a wonderful year where students grow spiritually, academically, physically, and socially. Fourth grade is a time of learning to be responsible and developing good study habits that they can use throughout school and life. It is a time of new discoveries where they explore Bible, math, science, history, reading, language, and spelling. In addition to their regular subjects, they also get to experience art, music, physical education, library, and computer. We partner with Mr. Yee and Mrs. Sanders to incorporate what we are learning in class to library and computer time. Chapel is also a special time each week in which the students can learn about God, worship God, pray, and apply the principles to their everyday lives.
Each class has a distinct theme. Mrs. Griffin’s class theme is Courageous Adventurers with a safari theme. Her verses are 2 Chronicles 15:7, Ephesians 5:11, and Philippians 4:13. Mrs. Popp’s class theme is “Sports. Her class verse is Romans 12:10-11. Mrs. Skipper’s is F.R.O.G-Fully Rely On God. Her class verses are Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 59:1, and Proverbs 46:10. Mrs. Zipperer’s class theme is “Shine Like Stars Her class verses are Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 5:8, and Philippians 2:15.
- Bible “ The Fourth Grade Bible Curriculum is called Building Life Castles. Students will find knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for themselves from the Word of God. The material in this curriculum enables students to be able to comprehend, discern, apply, analyze, and evaluate a variety of concepts for themselves. Students will form personal convictions, supporting these form their own study of the Word of God. The curriculum allows for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the students to “conform them to the image of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29). Students will develop and apply the character qualities learned in class. Students will also learn to hide God’s Word in their hearts. The studies include the life of Christ from the Gospels; a study of the Holy Spirit from the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles; an understanding of how Christian character develops using Paul’s epistles and the life of Paul from the Book of Acts.
- Math “ “ Lessons in the student edition, Progress in Mathematics by Sadlier-Oxford, clearly explain the mathematics that the students need to understand and the skills they need to master. Students will engage in deeper, independent learning of math. Students will be able to connect reading and writing to problem solving. Students will be able to recognize and organize important details and will be able to write clear and concise answers. The students will gain an understanding of multiplication, division, fractions, geometry, place value, money, graphing and probability. The students will see that our God created a world of order, and they will see how math applies to their everyday lives. Students enjoy working problems on the board several times a week. The students will leave fourth grade with a solid foundation and mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, and an excitement for math. They will also cultivate mathematical proficiency.
- Spelling and Wordly Wise- Our ability to communicate through words is a gift from God unique to mankind and is a reflection of His nature in us. God himself communicates through the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and the Written Word, the Bible. Communication through words enables students to build and maintain relationships and the share the Gospel as ambassadors of Christ. The written form of our language allows communication to transcend the boundaries of time and space. It is the context of our written communication that spelling is important. Accurate spelling fulfills three important functions. First, it allows the writer to express his message clearly. Secondly, it conveys a perception of the writer as careful and conscientious. Third, proper spelling is a courtesy to the reader. The Spelling Book is published by Scott Foresman Reading Street and the Wordly Wise is published by Educators Publishing Service.
- Language-The study of grammar is valuable in helping students to express themselves clearly and creatively. It teaches them to think logically and develops analytic ability. When students see the orderly structure of their language, we can remind them of God’s orderly plan for their world and for their lives.
- History – Bob Jones Heritage Studies 4 Doors of Opportunity is a colorful, age-appropriate presentation of social studies that integrates government, culture, economics, and geography, all presented from a biblical perspective. Fourth graders take a field trip to Tallahassee to learn more about Florida history and Florida government. Students will also learn skills such as formulating opinions, reading maps, and showing respect for heritage. We will also be reading A Land Remembered, a novel about Florida’s history. This will be incorporated into our reading lessons.
- Science- During the first semester of fourth grade we will work through our science curriculum. Units of study include: “Light, “The Moon, “Water and Oceans, “Weathering and Erosion, “The Earth’s Resources, and “The Body. This curriculum incorporates a Christian worldview by showing God’s nature and man’s responsibility as revealed through creation.
- Reading -The reading curriculum uses Pearson Reading Street and novels to continue the development of oral and independent reading. Students practice and review decoding of words, listening skills, critical thinking skills, and analyzing skills through different types of literature. Vocabulary words are introduced each week using a variety of games and technology. A variety of comprehension strategies are taught including story mapping, note taking, discussion, partner reading, acting out plays, and questioning. We also read four novels during the school year. We read Sarah Plain and Tall, Shiloh, Mountain Born, and Escape by Night. We do a unit study on each novel.
- Writing- God recognizes writing as a powerful tool to influence people, and many kinds of writing are used by God for His purposes. The students will be taught the 6+1 Writing Traits. The students will use those traits to write a personal narrative, an expository report, a biography, a persuasive piece, and a compare and contrast report.
Technology in classroom
We use the projector and the mimio which allows us to access files on our computers or information from the internet to supplement our text. The e-book versions are used for math and Bible. Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to work with the mobile lab in which they will have their own tablets.
Out of School Enrichment
Florida history is reinforced in our two field trips that we take. In the fall, we visit St. Augustine where the students visit the Fort. The students learn about history as they take a trolley ride through historic St. Augustine. They also visit the Florida Museum. In February, the fourth graders take an overnight trip to Tallahassee. The students experience the habitats of Florida animals and plants as they take a boat ride on the Wakulla Springs and a nature walk through The Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Sciences. The students get a glimpse of history past and present as they visit the Old and New Capitols. The students enjoy learning about our history as they visit the Museum of Florida History.
Fourth graders help contribute to Open Door Project Jax. by donating food and toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.) once a month. We are trying to teach the students to live out Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me in.
The 4th and 5th Grade classes joined together to help support the Daniel Kids organization. Daniel Kids is a state organization that cares for over 350 foster care children in need in the Jacksonville area. We collected new, unopened pajamas and socks to give these children for Christmas. This is a special treat for these kids to have something to open Christmas morning.
Our goal is to teach the 4th grade students to develop a servant’s heart while they are young. We are also teaching them the concept of JOY- Jesus, Others, and You (Thinking about life in that order, and we are trying to teach them to think about others before themselves.)
- Bible: We believe that our primary responsibility as Christian educators is to impart truth to your young person. Though our responsibilities also include the instruction of facts and issues pertinent to daily living, without Truth as the foundation, we fail to truly educate. It is our goal to help young people placed within our care to recognize that all truth comes from God alone, for He alone is Truth. Through the daily instruction of Bible, it is our hope that the students reach a point of maturity where their hearts’ prayer becomes like that of the psalmist David in Psalm 25:4-5: “Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me for You are my God, my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. Students will be utilizing the Word of God and the Bible curriculum (Possessing the Land by Positive Action) to discover principles applicable to their personal lives. As an introduction to the year, we spend some time focusing on the Gospel and its implications for our lives. Our goal is to make it clear that as we study the Old Testament in our curriculum, the students will learn to see Jesus in the Old Testament as well. In addition to written lessons and oral discussions, students are expected to memorize an assigned scripture or passage each week. We design and produce Gospel Books and study the Jesse Tree in November and December.
- Math: Fifth grade math (Progress in Mathematics by Sadlier-Oxford) builds on the solid foundation they gain in the lower grades. Students continue to learn fundamental skills, but also are taught to apply their knowledge to higher level thinking. We increase the students’ math foundation by introducing them to decimal concepts and operations, fraction operations, variables, and mastery of long division. In addition to the skills taught, students are shown the importance of neatness and organization in mathematics.
- Language Arts: Drama, literature groups, oral reading, and class discussions are but a few of the activities by which students will explore their world through reading. We discuss selected readings (Reading Street by Pearson) in detail and integrate the Scripture throughout. We also read and do unit studies on novels: Frindle, Stone Fox, Number the Stars, Hatchet, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Tuck Everlasting. Students continue to build on their knowledge of parts of speech, sentence structure, and word usage, using Abeka Language and Wordly Wise 3000. They apply their knowledge of the English language in their writing. In addition to creative writing (short stories, essays, poetry), students also do projects (Family Tree poster, digital book trailer, book reviews, original poems bound in a book). Students learn the stages of writing development: generating and organizing ideas, producing a rough draft, sharing ideas with others for the purpose of gaining feedback, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing.
- Science: Activities and experiments are included throughout the year to support the learning of basic science and the development of thinking skills, giving the students an understanding of scientific principles. The following are some of the major topics included in our curriculum: matter and change, electricity, flight and rocketry, physics, plants, genetics, invertebrates, astronomy, earth processes, and environment.
- History: Fifth graders study American history from the 1900s to the present time. Studying history helps the student understand who he is as an American and the values and Christian principles that shaped our nation. Special emphasis is given to the concept of freedom and how Christians should view it through God’s Word. The children will come to understand that God truly is interested in the affairs of man and that He plays a vital role in history. It is so important that the students recognize and build on the unique gifts that God has given them for the purpose of impacting the world for Christ. Different instructional methods are used to engage the students: videos, mimio activities, group activities, projects, games (trashball, popcorn, tic-tac-toe, complete the box, stock market game), and student-generated skits, movies, posters, and commercials. The following are some of the major topics included in our Heritage Studies (BJU Press) curriculum:
- World War I
- The Roaring Twenties
- Economics and the Stock Market
- The Great Depression
- World War II
- Korean War
- Cold War
- Vietnam War
- War Against Terrorism
- Physical Education
Missions and Service
Students are encouraged to focus on the needs of others.
- Chapel offering
- Safety Patrol
- Wild Adventures
- Washington, DC for patrols
- Coffee House Poetry event
- Service projects including food drives, Christmas gifts for orphans, etc.
- Class poetry books
- Story boards
- Original poetry and illustrations
- Mobile lab
- Computer labs and Media Center
- Mimio Technology
For the Christian Artist, art must be anchored in truth – the source of truth is God – the Creator of all things. God, our Creator has blessed all children with the gift of creativity. Through art, students learn that beginners, amateurs, and professionals increase their creativity from working to improve and maintain skills over time. Art is an important means of glorifying God and showing His love for us through creative self-expression and thinking.
At Providence, the student’s creative process is strengthened by the teaching of the art elements and principles of design. A variety of processes are used to help in the development of artistic skills and techniques that are used in the creative challenge. The students learn that only with the Lord’s creative help can the challenges of artistic problems be solved. It is good to glorify God our Creator through the creative process within the visual arts.
More information about library and computer resources is available at the Media Center page.
This year in PE our goal is to learn to live a healthy lifestyle through healthy habits. We discuss in our classes different ways we can be active and appropriate grade level activities we can do. We incorporate games that include knowledge of different physical activities along with healthy eating. Kindergarten through 2nd grade participate in games that increase breathing and heart rate, recognizing that strong muscles help the body perform physical activities and learn about safety rules and procedures. Our 3rd-5th grade classes review the skills learned in K-2nd and also participate in units on football, baseball, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. They also participate in games that increase their knowledge of living a healthy lifestyle.
Providence Lower School PE will provide each child an opportunity to participate in a variety of cooperative and competitive activities creating maximum opportunities for students of all abilities to succeed. The activities will contribute to the overall success in the child’s school life through the development of social skills, good sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity, and the knowledge and appreciation that life is a gift from God. Through the Physical Education program students will understand wellness and health and fitness, with the end result being a lifestyle embracing physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.
This year our theme in PE is Fruit of the Spirit. We will encourage our students to pursue godliness in all areas of their lives and to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit. As we promote honesty, integrity and good sportsmanship throughout our class, the Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will become a part of each of us. Furthermore by establishing a positive & safe environment for all, we will give our best effort as we pursue the Fruit of the Spirit, practice our skills, and learn how to be active for a lifetime.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Missions: PE students participate in Jump Rope for Heart each year. The students practice their jump roping skills in class and at home. We have a “jump off in our Jump Rope for Heart chapel. During this chapel we find out how their contributions to the American Heart Association help children all over the United States.
Music greatly enhances our lives. It gives us a way to communicate with each other, to express ourselves, and to worship God. At Providence, our students to learn to do all of these. They will be able to sing, play instruments, and listen to music all the rest of their lives, and having studied it will enrich their experiences. Our goal is for the students to be blessed and bless others with music throughout their lives. We use singing, listening, playing, moving, and creating to teach my students to “speak and understand the language of music. This helps them become culturally literate and gives them the ability to experience the joy music gives so many of us.
Psalm 27:6 says “I will sing and make music to the Lord. That is what we’re about.
- Kindergarten: In Kindergarten, students get to explore their voices and the sounds of the world around them. We develop their rhythmic abilities and use many “toys, stories, and games to learn the basic elements of music.
- First Grade: First Grade students go more in depth with their musical exploration, learning to read rhythmic and simple pitch notation and play classroom instruments. They make connections with literature, and even begin composing simple songs.
- Second Grade: Listening and reading abilities are further sharpened in Second Grade as students play games like Melody Mice and Music Baseball. They continue playing more complicated singing games, as well as playing instruments such as drums, xylophones, bells, and boomwhackers.
- Third Grade: In Third Grade, students get to play recorders! This allows them to apply the note-reading skills they have been developing over the last several years. We continue to build up students’ store of musical knowledge and skills with in-class performances, games, and stories.
- Fourth Grade: Fourth Grade students play recorders, boomwhackers, and other instruments. They compose music and work as a class to create new arrangements of instrumental songs they’ve learned. They also sing songs in harmony,
- Fifth Grade: This is the culminating point of the Lower School Music program, preparing students for whatever musical steps they may take in Middle School and beyond. We spend a lot of time working on good technique for both singing and instrument playing, as well as being good consumers of music. We even delve a little bit into chord theory, preparing students who may want to play in a praise band, and discuss being wise consumers of music.
Moveable “do solfege (you may recall the song that goes “Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer¦) provides a large part of our curriculum in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades. It helps students read and compose music easily at a young age, as well as training their ears to accurately hear and replicate different pitches.
Listening and Movement
Second through Fifth Grades often have listening projects as part of their Music classes. These projects usually last several weeks with the same piece of music, and involve the students reacting to the music in different ways. For example, one week they may write a story or short screenplay about what was happening during a piece of music. The next week, they may divide into groups to play different instruments during different parts of the piece. The following week, they may use scarves, ribbons, or even a big parachute to find the sections of the music or react to different parts of it (e.g. moving fast and slow, jerky and smooth, etc.). The variety of activities help all learners understand and apply whatever musical concepts were being taught, and the weekly repetition helps the students recall these important works of classical music.
Kindergarten and First Grades listen to the story of Peter and the Wolf during their study of the instruments of the orchestra. As they listen to the story, different students get to act out the parts of Peter, his animal friends, and, of course, the wolf.
In order to become servant leaders who transform the culture, students must become comfortable with sharing their ideas in front of other people. Performing for others, whether it’s having a big speaking part in a musical, leading a game, or playing a new composition for their classmates, helps students develop that confidence.
Providence students have a variety of performance opportunities. In December, Second through Fifth Grades present a Christmas musical. Fifth Grade students have the opportunity to audition for the speaking and drama roles, while all four grade levels audition for solos, instrumental parts, and other supporting roles. In the spring, Kindergarten through Fifth Grades participate in our school-wide Grandparents’ Day celebration by performing songs for all of our guests. Throughout the year, we incorporate into the regular Music lessons fun, low-stress opportunities for students to perform for their classmates. This gives the natural performers the opportunity to shine, and gives the more reticent ones a chance to build the confidence to speak and sing in front of their peers.
We give students at all levels the opportunity to play singing games and music from American history and from other cultures. Every spring, we do a Folk Songs unit that culminates in a time of fun singing around the campfire. At other times of the year, older grades may do an African drumming unit or do folk dances from Sweden or Israel, while younger grades may read a Chinese folk tale and add instrumental sound effects. Wherever the music we’re using is from, we’ll spend a few minutes finding it on the map and talking about that country and its people.
What are Rubrics?
“A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric divides the assigned work into component parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each component, at varying levels of mastery. Rubrics can be used for a wide array of assignments: projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc. Rubrics can be used as scoring or grading guides, to provide formative feedback to support and to guide ongoing learning efforts, or both.
Grading rubrics are also valuable to students. A rubric can help teachers communicate to students the specific requirements and acceptable performance standards of an assignment. When rubrics are given to students with the assignment description, they can help students monitor and assess their progress as they work toward clearly indicated goals. When assignments are scored and returned with the rubric, students can more easily recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their work and direct their efforts accordingly.
– Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/
In years past, an “S+ through “N grading scale has been assigned to student achievement. However, this system has been used with some concern. The Resource Team feels that the scale does not accurately reflect knowledge acquisition, but simply measures student behavior.
It should be noted that it is our goal as resource teachers to expose students to the areas we teach. We hope to ignite a passion for our specific areas in ways that lead students to want to learn and to experience more than what can be accomplished in the short period of time we see them each week. Our desire is to see excited learners, not just students who sit quietly in a seat. We feel that a simple “S or “N does not accurately express to our students and families the knowledge gained or the appetite for learning that we see when your child is in our classroom.
For this reason it has been decided not to “blanket report cards with “S+ simply for the sake of giving a grade. Instead, we intend to communicate areas in need of significant improvement through the use of traditional “yellow slips. We also plan to use the rubrics to acknowledge those students whom have exhibited exceptional mastery of all areas identified on the rubric. This does not devalue the quality of teaching or learning expectations Providence has for your child. Therefore, this quarter, your student will not be receiving a resource grade. Our focus is on using the rubric more effectively.
As a Resource Team we thank you for your continued support of our programs and for taking the time to review attached rubrics with your child.