Elementary School courses and programs are for Grades 3-5. Math, English, and Writing classes are available.
Elementary English - Kindergarten
Students will learn basic phonemic patters beginning with single vowels and consonants and working up through consonant blends, digraphs, and diphthongs. Applying these, they will identify sounds within words and blend them together to decode the pronunciation of kindergarten and even first grade level vocabulary. Students will develop their reading, listening, and comprehension skills as they experience engaging and varied text, including both fiction and non-fiction. They will respond to stories verbally and give written responses using whole sentences. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling basics give students the skills necessary to write complete, correct, and focused sentences.
Elementary English - First Grade
First grade language continues to stress phonics by providing plenty of practice and reinforcement. Students are introduced to the basics of language mechanics including punctuation marks, parts of speech, and standard usage. Phonics and mechanical skills are applied in reading and writing. Students will encounter non-fiction passages and different types of stories to sharpen and add depth to their comprehension skills. Basic composition principles are taught and practiced as students give written responses to literature.
Elementary English - Second Grade
The second grade class will review the most important phonics patterns, introduce special rules in phonics, and teach their various spellings. Studying language mechanics, students will explore the parts of speech, kinds of sentences, and the usages of common punctuation marks. Second-graders will begin the class reading short stories to build their reading comprehension skills, and will eventually be introduced to the novel. Accompanying the novel will be a study guide featuring book vocabulary, comprehension questions, and a writing prompt. Students will learn how to approach paragraph writing and improve their sentences. Spotlight’s study guides are also a great way for students to develop independent study skills.
Elementary English - Third Grade
In the first phase of the third grade course, students will study spelling patterns, gain a more sophisticated understanding of the parts of speech and practice standard usage of verbs (a common problem area for third-fourth graders). They will broaden their vocabulary to serve them in reading as well as their own writing. Students will read a classic novel as they work through a study guide featuring vocabulary, comprehension questions, and essay writing practice. The study guide helps them to understand story elements such as character and plot. At the end of each book read in class, students will write a descriptive book report and make a creative project on some aspect of the book. The second phase of class will be CAT/6 preparation. Students will learn valuable test-taking techniques and receive extensive review in language mechanics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. In the final phase, the class will mix review and new concepts in grammar, study another novel, and continue to practice essay writing.
Elementary English - Fourth Grade
For the first phase of class, fourth graders study more advanced spelling, grammar that focuses on the parts of a sentence and standard usage, and reading comprehension. An in-depth study of a classic novel will enrich their vocabulary, reading skills, and writing technique. A descriptive and analytical book report and project are required at the completion of each novel. Students will be ask to write about story elements such as character, plot, setting, conflict, and resolution. Instruction to prepare for the CAT/6 will review the standard grammar, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills covered in the test, as well as test-taking techniques. The final phase of the year will provide some review and some new concepts in language mechanics and all new vocabulary. A new book will be taught and students will have a chance to utilize what they have learned to write an improved book report with attention to form, description, and focus.
Elementary English - Fifth Grade
Students will explore more advance topics in grammar with emphasis placed on special verb tenses, usages, and sentence structure. They will master difficult spelling patterns. A novel with more complex characters and plot will require a greater level of understanding and analysis. Students are expected to write responses that are not only accurate, but are thoughtful and well written. They will learn about and report on story elements with emphasis placed on theme. CAT/6 preparation will sharpen their reading and writing techniques and review all required topics in grammar and punctuation. The last phase of class will provide a mixed review and also delve into another work of fiction. Students will demonstrate a deeper level of understanding of the book as the use their critical thinking skills to analyze the story to write a final book report and do a final project.
Elementary Writing Level A
This class will instruct students on the basics of writing with attention to main idea and paragraph development, the writing process, and traits of good writing, as per the California Education Standards. Students will apply skills to different styles of writing such as expository and persuasive. The class is and excellent way to prepare for the CAT/6 writing portion and learn techniques that can be applied to every type of writing
Elementary Writing Level B
Students who already have a strong foundation in fundamentals will have the opportunity to further improve all aspects of their writing. The now standard “traits of good writing” will be a main focus of instruction. They will explore different styles of writing and habitually use all steps of the writing process to produce works that reflect their full potential. Students will receive individualized attention from the instructor so they can identify their weaknesses and focus on improving them. The skills taught in this course will make the difference between a satisfactory CAT/6 essay and an outstanding one.
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