Academics

Lower School | Grades 3-5

Ave Maria Academy is unique in its ability to address the whole child. We focus on the formation of your child intellectually with language, grammar mathematics, foreign language, music, art, but it doesn’t stop there. Our faith is our core, the foundation of all that we do, and this distinguishes us from other schools.

3rd - 5th Grade Curriculum

List of 6 items.

  • Geography

    Students will develop an understanding of the world in spatial terms, the characteristics of places and regions, earth’s physical systems, human culture and social systems and the interactions between physical and human environments.

    In fourth grade the students will understand North America in spatial terms using maps and other geographic tools.  They will understand the physical characteristics of places and regions and the interaction of man with the environment.

    In fifth grade the students will identify the concepts of History and Prehistory and recognize basic characteristics and chronological placement of major Prehistory Eras. The students will demonstrate basic knowledge of the early development of humankind from the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Era) to the Agricultural Revolution and the process that led to the emergence of agricultural societies during the New Stone Age (Neolithic Era).
  • History

    In third grade the students will understand key concepts of chronological thinking: change over time and cause and consequence.  They will understand points of view based on the perspective of people in the past and interpretation of the past and develop basic research skills by acquiring, organizing, evaluating and communicating historical information.

    In fourth grade the students will develop an understanding of the ideas, events, and problems that were significant in creating the history of Minnesota.  Students will develop an understanding of the formation of the political structure as well as the rights and responsibilities involved in citizenship and demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human features that define places and regions within the state or province including the use of geographic tools to collect, analyze, interpret, and present data.

    In fifth grade the students will understand major historical events, characteristics, achievements and legacies of early agricultural civilizations that emerged in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley and the Huang Ho Valley, as well as, the cultural legacies of Mediterranean civilizations to Western Civilization.  Students will understand the historical developments after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the foundations of a Christian civilization in Western Europe, and the emergence of other new civilizations: Byzantium and Islam.
  • Language Arts

    Students will listen and view attentively and critically, as well as speak purposefully and articulately in situations that serve different purposes and involve a variety of audiences.  They will learn and effectively apply a variety of reading strategies for comprehending, interpreting, and evaluating a wide range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, classic, and contemporary works.  Students use mechanical and grammatical conventions in written compositions and will demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of composition and the writing process.
  • Mathematics

    We use Saxon Math to meet our curriculum standards.  Our students are 1 year ahead in the curriculum.  In the fourth grade the opportunity to step up another level is given to those who have shown ability.  Students use mathematical knowledge and a variety of mathematical inquiry and reasoning skills to solve problems using various strategies and forms of mathematical communication.  They will demonstrate a sense of numbers and apply an understanding of number systems and operations when counting, computing, estimating, and problem solving.  The students understand and apply basic and advanced concepts of measurement to compare, convert, and solve problems involving linear measurement, weight, volume, temperature, time and money.  They will understand and apply basic and advanced geometric concepts and methods to analyze, interpret, represent and solve problems involving points, lines, planes and space.  The students will understand and apply basic and advanced concepts of algebra to explore, describe, and model patterns, relationships and functions involving numbers, shapes, data and graphs, as well as, understand and apply basic and advanced concepts of data collection and analysis, probability and statistics.
  • Religion

    The role of religion is of particular significance in the curriculum at Ave Maria Academy. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ animate all aspects of academic study. In fidelity to the Magesterium, our students are encouraged in their relationship and understanding of Christ:
    • Through the promotion of an intimate prayer life
    • Firm understanding of the moral order 
    • Cultivation of an informed conscience 
    • Primacy of the Sacraments through weekly Mass and monthly confessions. 
    • Study of Divine Revelation, Sacred Tradition, and Doctrine. 
    • Offering solutions to modern problems through application of base principles.
  • Science

    Students will know and apply the fundamental concepts, principles and processes of scientific inquiry, reasoning and interconnections of earth science knowing the composition and structure of the universe and Earth’s place in it.  They will understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life sciences and understand how living things interact with each other.  They will understand the nature of the human body including the body systems, health of the body and nutrition.  Students will understand atmospheric processes, their impact on weather systems, and the water cycle and interconnections of the physical sciences including properties of matter, properties of energy and forces and motion. 

Specialties

List of 5 items.

  • Art

    Kindergarten – 2nd grade
    The students experience a variety of medias both two-dimensional and three dimensional. The art elements of line, shape, space, color, and texture are also incorporated into the art making experience. Art history and cultural perspectives are also discussed. Students are also encouraged to be creative and problem solve to come up with their own unique solutions to each art project.

    3rd grade – 5th grade
    The students experience a variety of medias both two-dimensional and three dimensional. The art elements of line, shape, space, color, form, and texture are also incorporated into the art making experience. Art history and cultural perspectives are also discussed. Students are also encouraged to be creative and problem solve to come up with their own unique solutions to each art project. Self-reflection, feedback, and critiques are implemented to enable students to critically evaluate art.
  • Music

    Our music curriculum is based on the Kodaly method, which seeks to teach music to children in a system which mirrors their natural learning process; each new element or concept introduced is one that progresses naturally from an element or concept already learned and internalized. The main instrument used is the voice; and, at the lower grade levels, the main repertoire used is American folk song, including children’s game songs and rhymes. This method seeks to engage the student’s mind and creativity as it teaches the skills needed for a lifetime of joyful music making.

    In the kindergarten-2nd grade classes, students continue vocal exploration while being introduced to formal aspects of rhythm and note reading, the repertoire of American folk music as well as that of other countries and cultures, and the classical music of the great composers.

    In the 3rd-5th grade classes, the students continue to advance in their study of music theory and its application, mainly through singing. An introduction to music history is an added element to the study of musical repertoire and composers. As part of the natural progression of their musical skills and knowledge, all 5th grade students join the middle school choir.
  • Physical Education

    In K- 2nd grade physical education classes, age appropriate activities provide opportunities to let the child show competency in motor skills such as jogging, skipping, running and hopping. Teacher directed activities help the child learn start and stop patterns as well as introducing the concept of teamwork and playing fairly. At this age, it is also important to be able to play with others, use kind words and share equipment. By 3rd grade, the students should be able to demonstrate basic strategies as well as responsible behavior such as tagging others with appropriate force during tag type games and be able to participate for the entire class time. At Ave Maria Academy K-2nd grade students get the opportunity to demonstrate these skills through several activities and units including variations of soccer, baseball, volleyball, floor hockey and basketball. Other examples of activities also include variations of line tag, relay races and dodgeball games like “Clean-up your room”.
     
    In 3rd grade -5th grade physical education classes, age appropriate activities provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate the ability to combine locomotor skills such as hoping, skipping and jumping in a sequence or pattern. The student starts to be able to use feedback from an instructor and improve a skill such as dribbling or shooting a basketball. The student should also be able to identify bones and muscles and stretch before each class. By 5th grade, the student should show competency in activities such as effectively serving a volleyball or moving to an open area to receive a pass. At Ave Maria Academy students get the opportunity to demonstrate these skills through several activities and units including variations of soccer, baseball, volleyball, floor hockey, basketball. Other examples of activities also include variations of capture the flag, dodgeball and team building challenges providing even further opportunity for students to show good sportsmanship and virtue. 
  • Spanish

    K – 2nd Grade
    Our Spanish class focuses on learning in a very dynamic style, creating an active learning environment with fun games, music and oral and written activities, encouraging active participation from the children. The children are exposed to various Hispanic cultures as well. They will learn Spanish greetings, colors, numbers 1-50, calendar, weather, season, days of the week and month, identify the Spanish alphabet, as well as spell words in Spanish. They will receive a basic introduction to Spanish grammar such as the use of definite and indefinite articles in the singular and plural form as well as vocabulary related to animals/pets, clothing and how to describe them. They will also learn to respond to basic commands.

    3rd grade:
    Our class will focus on learning the curriculum MUY BIEN level B of the Spanish language and on empowering the children to improve their communication skills in a second language. The children will also be exposed to various Hispanic cultures and traditions around the world. We provide a nurturing learning environment filled with fun games, music, projects and activities, encouraging active participation from the children.

    In 4th & 5th grade Spanish the students start with a review of basic vocabulary necessary to learning the Spanish language. They move on to learning vocabulary about what they like and don’t like to do, what they are like, their school day, and the classroom and location. The grammar studied includes but is not limited to learning how to express agreement and disagreement, word order, articles, present tense verbs and finally beginning to learn the differences between ser and estar.
  • Technology

    Ave Maria Academy’s technology class focuses primarily on typing and keyboarding skills. Students in first and second grade learn and master the following keyboarding concepts: turning on their computer, learn home row, the left and right hand keys, the space bar, the delete key, the enter key, tab, caps lock, shift, numbers, and proper typing posture. Starting in the third grade, students are introduced to programs such as Word and PowerPoint, that will further help them in their academic career. 

Grades 3 - 5 Faculty

List of 9 members.