Our staff of highly trained educators and teaching specialists allows us to meet the diverse learning needs of each child.  Flexible learning groups and ongoing assessment of student learning keep children engaged and challenged.  At St. Martin of Tours, we offer a broad range of programs that extend learning beyond the basics and outside the classroom.  We strive to teach the whole child and focus on more than just academic achievement, encouraging spiritual growth through Catholic education based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Music, Choir, Performance Band, and Spanish continue to round out our programs. Happy and joyful learning can be found in the classroom, spilling out into the hallways, where our small group learning continues as well as on the playground, at field trips and beyond.  All curriculum is aligned with the California Common Core.

 

Language Arts

In first grade students, learn to become fluent and skillful readers. Our goal is to create a lifelong love and enjoyment of reading. Utilizing the skills they have learned in Kindergarten, 1st graders build phonemic awareness and their ability to recognize more complex words while reading. As their reading ability grows, students begin to focus more on comprehension. They learn to recall the main idea and details of an informational text as well as the characters, setting, problem and solution of fiction literature. The end result is that students are able to read and write more independently.

First graders begin to understand that writing is a process.  They respond to fiction and non-fiction text in writing and practice the skill of writing about their own personal feelings and experiences. Students work collaboratively with their peers and their teacher to brainstorm, draft, and publish their work.

Math

First graders develop arithmetic skills that they use to solve word problems, become fluent at both addition and subtraction, and use these skills to find information from graphs. Through the use of manipulatives, relationships between numbers and hands on experiences, students solve problems in a variety of ways. Students also learn about place value, telling time, patterns, and shapes.

Religion

First grade is a pre-sacramental year. Students begin the preparation to receive the sacraments of first reconciliation and first communion. Emphasis is on the lessons that Jesus taught through the stories of the bible. They practice putting what Jesus taught us into practice through everyday interaction with peers.

Science

In Science, first graders begin to explore the concepts of solids, liquids, and gasses as well as the adaptations and habitats of plants and animals. In addition, first graders learn about the weather and the tools used to measure it.

Social Studies

First grade students learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and about the symbols that hold meaning in our country along with their significance. They also learn about the difference between the world long ago and today. They gain an understanding of economics, goods and services. Students also learn about maps and their place in the world.

Physical Education

Physical Education is taught in grades K-8.  The objectives of the Physical Education Program are to promote physical growth development and maintenance through activities that develop strength, vigor, vitality skill and coordination.  To develop useful skills in physical activities.  To instill a desire to enjoy participating in physical recreation throughout life.  Grades 4-8 participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge twice a year and are given their results which are compared to the national average of children in their age group.

Language Arts

Second grade reads both literature and informational text from fiction to social studies, science and technical texts. Students focus on key ideas, details, structure, and integration of knowledge including finding information from illustrations and diagrams, comparing and contrasting from text.  Second graders write informative and narrative texts.  They practice the process of revising and editing as well as sharing their writing with their peers. Second grade writing becomes more expressive and includes a topic, details, sequence and a conclusion.

Math

Math concepts focus on place value to the thousands, estimation, addition and subtraction with regrouping and time as well as multiplication and division.

Religion

Second grade focuses on Christian Living, the Sacraments, especially Reconciliation and Eucharist, the Ten Commandments,  the story of Moses, and the Rosary.

Science

Children learn about science while performing hands-on science experiments  based on motion,  plants and animals, earth’s  properties and investigation and experimentation.

Social Studies

Activities and lessons introduce history by helping students understand the difference between life long ago and today.  They learn about government, economy and geography including learning to locate places on a map.

Physical Education

Physical Education is taught in grades K-8.  The objectives of the Physical Education Program are to promote physical growth development and maintenance through activities that develop strength, vigor, vitality skill and coordination.  To develop useful skills in physical activities.  To instill a desire to enjoy participating in physical recreation throughout life.  Grades 4-8 participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge twice a year and are given their results which are compared to the national average of children in their age group.

Third grade is a year of discovery. It’s a year where students read to learn, work as a whole class, work in small groups and work as individuals. Lessons are presented in a variety of ways to meet the different learning needs of all the students. Small groups are used to differentiate instruction to ensure every student gets what they need to succeed. Many different types of media are used to enhance learning and students begin using technology to discover through WebQuests. Literature is used throughout the curriculum to help students make connections, enhance their learning and for the pure enjoyment of reading.

Language Arts

Third graders read to learn, read for fun and read everyday. Reading has purpose and students discover connections and learn vocabulary across the curriculum. They read non-fiction, fiction, realistic fiction and poetry. They continuously practice using strategies for reading fiction and non-fiction or informational text. Book clubs are formed that encourage students to share their thoughts and ideas about a common text with their classmates, allowing them to learn from one another.

Writing is another skill that is practiced every day across the curriculum, including Math. Students write with purpose and for enjoyment. Narrative, expository and opinion pieces are all written in third grade as students continue to learn the importance of the writing and editing process. They practice focused brainstorming, draft writing, editing their own writing and editing their peers. They learn to revise and eventually publish their work.

Math

Students practice number sense, an intuitive understanding of numbers as well as place value, addition and subtraction of three and four digit numbers, multiplication to 12's, division, fractions, measurement and problem solving. Students complete "Spiral Reviews" to ensure concepts stay fresh throughout the year. Third graders talk math, watch math, play math, draw math and write math. They learn math vocabulary and use it all year long. Technology, songs, videos, math notebooks and manipulatives to help to create a deeper understanding of math concepts.

Religion

Third graders learn how to build their faith through activities closely linked to the teachings of Jesus. They read the bible, talk about the bible and apply what they learn to the development of the classroom community and in the treatment of others. Students regularly reflect on the Friday Mass homily and write about the lesson they learned and how it can be applied in their everyday life. Building positive character traits such as discipline, perseverance, patience, faith and gratitude, enable students to put the teachings of Jesus into practice. This is done through activities such as Project Cornerstone, Second Step and Build, Plant Grow lessons. Children's literature is often used to help the students make these connections.

Science

Students experience science through hands-on activities, observations and discussions. Science notebooks are used to document predictions, observations and outcomes as seen through the students eyes. Students often venture out into our “outdoor” classroom to experience science at work. Whether it’s observing our own biome, the position of the Sun during different seasons, plants growing in the school garden or marking their shadows throughout the day, students are constantly reminded that science is all around us. They learn about energy, matter and planets as well as adaptations, habitats, plants and animals. Students visit the Fujitsu Planetarium as a part of their study of the planets.

Social Studies

Third graders learn about the community. They study the Ohlone Indians and the basic structure of city and state government and the economy of our local region. Students learn who came before us and how they survived. They investigate how our land has changed and how we have changed with it and they continue to learn about geography. Students visit the Fallon House and see for themselves how early settlers lived right here in their own community and experience a day in the life of a member of the Fallon family. Students also visit Chitatac-Adams County Park and discover true Ohlone Indian cultural artifacts, learn how they lived, played and survived long ago.

Physical Education

Physical Education is taught in grades K-8. The objectives of the Physical Education Program are to promote physical growth development and maintenance through activities that develop strength, vigor, vitality skill and coordination. To develop useful skills in physical activities. To instill a desire to enjoy participating in physical recreation throughout life. Grades 4-8 participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge twice a year and are given their results which are compared to the national average of children in their age group.

Classroom Philosophy

In fourth grade, we emphasize the importance of being responsible and independent. Students are encouraged to be critical thinkers and to take responsibility for their work and actions, both in the classroom and on the playground. In addition, students are expected to use various classroom resources for clarification when necessary such as technology and collaboration. We strive to be followers of Jesus, good citizens, and engaged learners.

Religion

Students learn about the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes and Scripture. They are encouraged to reflect on these concepts, putting them into practice to truly live out our faith. These scriptural tenets are further explored in our Second Step Program. This program utilizes technology to promote discussion while emphasizing the importance of independent thinking. Building empathy and solving problems in the classroom and on the playground is the goal. Through "real life" vignettes, the students examine resolutions, including writing positive messages and compliments to peers. They work together as a team to foster strong bonds, build relationships and show respect for themselves and others. The lessons are expanded with a take home element to encourage family discussion and build a strong community.

Language Arts

Reading and writing is woven throughout all subjects. Students focus on narrative, informational, and persuasive opinion writing, completing samples of each by the end of the year. With each writing assignment, students go through the writing process in which they work together to produce a final copy of their work, revising and editing along the way. Students learn to pay close attention to word choice, voice, organization, and conventions. These traits will add to the students’ work, making their writing more detailed, clear, and interesting. Students focus on content writing, or writing about topics they are learning in other subjects such as Social Studies or Science. While reading, the students continue to work towards mastery of "reading to learn" instead of "learning to read", a important skill that is emphasized in the Common Core standards. To improve these skills, the class reads and writes daily and in all subjects. They learn how to read and comprehend nonfiction text and use the information they gain from their readings to form their own thoughts and opinions about different information.

Math

Math is a hands on learning experience with centers, two times a week. Student groups are based on pre and post assessments. During centers, the groups rotate through stations allowing both independence and teacher guided activities. These may include iPad work, working with the teacher and a math game. Both large multiplication and long division are introduced. Students learn to multiply two-digit by two-digit numbers, as well as one-digit by four-digit numbers. Adding, subtracting and multiplying fractions with common denominators is another major concept introduced this year. Students use a variety of exciting tools, including iPads, manipulatives and games during math lessons.

Social Studies

The students focus on California history throughout the year. Students read various texts to learn about the Native Americans who first inhabited the land. In addition, the students read and write about the impact the California missions had on our state. The students even have the opportunity to enrich their learning by visiting Mission San Juan Bautista during the year. Mid year, the Gold Rush takes center stage. By reading texts and participating in hands on activities, the students get a feel for what it was like to strike it rich in the 1800s. The Gold Rush comes to life for the students when they travel to Columbia, California! The class explores the old mining town, pan for gold, visit a blacksmith, and experience an old school house. At the end of the year, students will discover life in California after the Gold Rush and the industries that make California the desirable location it is today.

Physical Education

Physical Education is taught in grades K-8. The objectives of the Physical Education Program are to promote physical growth development and maintenance through activities that develop strength, vigor, vitality skill and coordination. To develop useful skills in physical activities. To instill a desire to enjoy participating in physical recreation throughout life. Grades 4-8 participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge twice a year and are given their results which are compared to the national average of children in their age group.

Language Arts

Students focus on informational reading as well as a variety of fiction texts. To start the year off, students read Wonder, which teach students about tolerance and kindness. In alignment with our social studies curriculum, students read the historical fiction books, Blood on the River (about Jamestown) and Johnny Tremain (about the beginning of the American Revolution).

Students write narrative, informational and opinion essays while also working on the drafting process with a focus on editing and revising their work. Many topics are tied into other curriculum areas. For example, students begin the year writing diary entries from the point of view of a Native American tribe member students have researched. In addition to writing different genres, students focus on mastering language standards that include verb tense, sentences structure, conjunctions, preposition and much more.

Math

St. Martin of Tours continues to meet the needs of a diverse student learning population by differentiating instruction with two groups of students. These groups are designed to meet the learning needs of each students by differentiating the groups based on how quickly students learn the concepts taught. Those students who work at a faster pace will have more enrichment and go deeper into each concept. The other group works at a slower pace to make sure students understand and master all concepts taught. Both groups work on the a unit for the same amount of time and take the same test at the end of the unit.

Math concepts aligned with the Common Core Standards include:

  • Understanding the place value system

  • Performing operations with multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to the hundredth

  • Performing operations with fractions and mixed numbers

  • Solving real world problems involving multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers

  • Writing and interpreting numerical expressions

  • Analyzing patterns and relationships

  • Converting measurement units

  • Understanding concepts of volume and solving real world problems with volume

  • Graphing points on the coordinate plane

  • Classifying and solving problems with two-dimensional figures

Religion

Students focus on a deeper understanding of the Sacraments, which includes the signs and symbols of the Sacraments and connecting the Sacraments to passages in the Bible. Students also learn about the parts of the Mass, liturgical seasons, and the various forms of prayer. A focus each week is placed on preparing students for Sunday’s Gospel in the Breaking Open of the Word. One of the highlights of 5th grade is the “bridging to middle school” Bible Ceremony where students receive a Bible from a sixth grader. This is a sign of officially entering middle school.

Science

Beginning in 5th grade the science program is taught by a specialized teacher who inspire students to explore their world through science. Students in 5th grade receive an overview of Earth, Life and Physical Sciences through units on water, weather, the solar system, cells, plants, the human body, atoms, elements, and metals. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking and building a solid foundation in scientific investigation skills (observations, graphic representations, etc.) that will prepare them for middle school science. Highlights from the year range from writing adventure stories for Walter the Water droplet and cross-curricular writing about watersheds in their state projects to hands-on visuals like measuring the length of the digestive system with yarn and identifying vascular bundles underneath the microscope to interactive virtual labs through Discovery Science and NOVA.

Social Studies

Students begin the year learning about Native Americans across the United States, especially focusing on geographical areas of the U.S. We continue on to important explorers who discovered different areas of the U.S. This brings us to our most important focus, the American Revolution. Students learn about colonial life, the causes of the American Revolution and the War itself. These units prepare students for a fun field trip, The Walk Through the American Revolution. In this interactive field trip, students dress up as a person from the American Revolution and recite lines in character. This is a fabulous culminating activity of the months we spend on the American Revolution. In the last few months of the year, students learn about how our government was created and western expansion.

Physical Education

Physical Education is taught in grades K-8. The objectives of the Physical Education Program are to promote physical growth development and maintenance through activities that develop strength, vigor, vitality skill and coordination. To develop useful skills in physical activities. To instill a desire to enjoy participating in physical recreation throughout life. Grades 4-8 participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge twice a year and are given their results which are compared to the national average of children in their age group.