Academics

Lower School | Grades K-2

Ave Maria Academy inspires students to live virtuous lives. Children at Ave Maria learn to give the best of themselves, to be honest, prudent, and to practice fortitude. Students engage in daily acts of charity that may take place within the school or extend to communities around the world. Through the moral guidance of committed faculty, students learn that faith finds its full expression in service to others.

All Kindergarten applicants must be age five on or before September 1.

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Curriculum

List of 5 items.

  • History/Geography

    In History 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.  

    Kindergarten will cover 4 units:  Exploring and Settling America, Native Americans, Continents & Maps and The Mount Rushmore Presidents.

    In 1st grade we cover 4 units:  Symbols of America, Early Explorers & Settlers (of our country), Famous Americans (3 sections - explorers & inventors, civil rights leaders, presidents) and Ancient Cultures.

    2nd grade history involves learning about the customs, traditions, holidays, and the beginnings of the USA. We learn about  America’s Independence and a there is a spring unit on Ancient Greece. 

    In Geography the students develop an understanding of the world in spatial terms, characteristics of places and regions, earth's physical systems, human culture and social systems and the interactions between physical and human environments.
  • Language Arts

    We use Saxon Phonics and Spelling to meet our curriculum standards. In Kindergarten we begin work on Listening, Viewing, and Speaking, Reading and Literature, Writing and English Language, Composition and Research skills.  In first grade we continue with the above and add Grammar and more reading mastery.  In second grade we continue with all the above and introduce cursive handwriting.
  • Mathematics

    We use Saxon Math to meet our curriculum standards.  Our students are 1 year ahead in the curriculum.
    In Kindergarten we begin work on Mathematical Reasoning, Numbers and Number Sense, Measurement, Geometry, Patterns, Functions and Algebra, Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics.
    In first grade we continue with the above and add Operations and Technology.
    In second grade continue with all the above and introduce Whole Number Operations, Fractions, Decimal Number Sense and Operations.
  • Religion

    Our religion program introduces our students to God, creation, Jesus Christ, the Church, Grace, the 10 Commandments, Sin, Baptism, Forgiveness and the Rosary.  They learn prayers including the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be.  Students will be introduced to special feast days including All Saints Day, May Crowning, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary’s Birthday, Epiphany, and Easter.  They also learn about special seasons and practices in our liturgical year including Advent, Lent, the Stations of the Cross, Holy Week and Easter.  Students also learn and practice a new virtue each month through the school-wide program Virtues in Practice.  
  • Science

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

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 K - 2 Faculty

List of 10 members.