A Balanced Yet Rigorous Program for TCA’s Elementary Students
The elementary years begin a student’s unique academic journey, building a foundation of information they will carry with them throughout their life. We strive to make lessons memorable, applicable, and meaningful to their experience, also connecting each learning experience to stories and principles in the Bible.
Teacher: Mrs. Heidi Gardner
Students in kindergarten are still transitioning into a more structured learning environment. To facilitate this process, interactive lessons are interspersed with special trips and events, such as a Penguin Party, Mother’s Day Tea, a visit to Russo’s Orchard Lane Farm and a parent-guided visit to Joint Base.
Kindergarteners will be able to recognize and name all letters of the alphabet, blend and segment phonemes into words, read simple one-syllable and common high-frequency words, and spell and write consonant-vowel-consonant words. Kindergarten utilizes the A Beka curriculum and Reading Street by Pearson for Reading.
Parts of speech are emphasized (nouns, adjectives, verbs), story elements (characters, setting, cause and effect), and students will interact with different genres of writing (poetry, songs, invitations, folk tales). Kindergarten utilizes the A Beka curriculum and Reading Street by Pearson for Language Arts
Students use the D’Nealian Pre-cursive Writing method to learn the formation of each letter.
Kindergarteners will be able to recognize numbers through 100, count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, determine money values, tell time, do addition through 20 and subtraction through 10, learn units of measurement and how to read a calendar. Kindergarten math utilized the BJU Press curriculum.
Using the A Beka curriculum, Old and New Testament Bible stories will be taught along with life application stories. We want students to be able to relate biblical truths to their own daily situations.
Using the A Beka curriculum, students will look at how God is interacting in our lives through weather, seasons, seeds, animals, and the seashore. Activities like Penguin Month and growing seeds are some of the hands-on activities involved in our science curriculum.
Using the A Beka curriculum, students will learn about different service jobs and community helpers in our area. We study history involving pilgrims and Indians and presidents Washington and Lincoln. The curriculum finishes with learning about children in other parts of the world.
Teacher: Mrs. Karen Houser
In first grade students are active and engaged in learning—they learn Bible verses and songs with motions, count by jumping, and use their nameplates to figure out math problems. First graders have hands-on learning centers that coordinate with all concepts learned in each subject. Additionally, field trips or special projects bring learning to real life situations.
Reading and Writing
First graders’ eagerness to read and write is harnessed with differentiated instruction tailored to meet the needs of all learners. They will learn to spell, write in sentences, and even revise and rewrite as they learn about giving feedback to others and making sure their sentences express an action or thought. First grade utilizes Reading Street by Pearson curriculum.
Phonemic awareness is built as students study spelling, comprehension, and mechanics such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and punctuation. Handwriting development continues with D’Nealian letters and numbers.
First graders memorize verses each week that coordinate with lessons from the BJU Bible Truths curriculum. Students learn about Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and the children of Israel as they learn to trust God. They learn about God’s forgiveness and what happens when the Bible characters make mistakes. Through this journey through the lives of men and women in the Bible, students understand how the first Christians made choices to follow Jesus.
It is fun for the students to learn about oceans, continents, and how people lived long ago compared to today. Students learn what is unique about our city, community, state and country, and how to find areas on a map. Students also make family tree and timelines. First grade utilizes the BJU Press Heritage Studies curriculum for Social Studies.
In first grade, students are counting to 150, learning addition, subtraction, charts, place value, measuring, money, manipulatives, shapes and more! First grade math utilizes the BJU Press curriculum in a hands-on and visual manner.
Students learn how God gave us five senses to discover His world as they learn about the weather, seasons, animals, states of matter, sound, and space. While using the BJU Press curriculum, students do experiments, make predictions, and record results in science class.
Teacher: Mrs. Sandi Barrett
In second grade, students finalize their basic reading and math skills while continuing to work with phonics and begin to pursue reading fluency in earnest. Students begin to gain independence and responsibility for their progress in school during this year.
We use the BJU Press Bible Truths curriculum to start the year looking at God as our King. Students look at examples from the Bible of individuals who had hearts that were obedient, humble, generous, courageous and willing to serve. They connect how they can also be like exhibit these Christ-like qualities.
Students continue to solidify basic place value and work to understand time, money and fractions. Students focus on strategies that will help them progress to more complex addition and subtraction problems, and multiplication facts are also introduced. Each math chapter in the BJU Press curriculum has story problems with characters traveling the globe to serve God and others using math.
Using the Pearson’s Reading Street curriculum, first graders will be introduced to a variety of literary genres as they enjoy reading plays, folktales, informational texts and narratives. They develop decoding skills, comprehension strategist and further develop their joy in reading. There is a shift in this year from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
Language and Writing
Students look closely at proper sentence formation the basic parts of speech while discovering what grammar means to writing. While utilizing the Reading Street by Pearson curriculum, students write to persuade, inform, and entertain. Spelling lists each center on a phonetic word or pattern, and D’Nealian cursive handwriting is introduced halfway through this school year.
Using BJU Press Heritage Studies curriculum, students discover more about our world and the ways people live. They start with a broad understanding of community and landforms, gradually focusing in on the formation of our nation.
From fossils to earthquakes and natural resources, Second graders learn fascinating things about our earth. They also study life science to learn about the parts of plants, comparing animal habitats, and the growth and change of all living things. In the BJU Press curriculum, students also learn the ways our Changeless Creator designed matter to change and move in physical science.
Teacher: Mrs. Wendy Burdick
In 3rd Grade is the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Math is expanded into multiplication, we read and write in cursive, and in Heritage Studies the students learn about the Americas from beginning to present. We also begin looking at the process of research and conduct science experiments.
Our spelling curriculum uses word lists from the Reading Street by Pearson curriculum, based on short/long vowel syllables, consonant patterns, blends, plurals, prefixes and suffixes, and compound words. The reading program continues to teach students the different genres, including poetry, while each story has a vocabulary lesson and comprehension questions. Students learn more about supporting details, main ideas, cause and effect, and other literary elements.
Students learn correct grammar in written and oral communication and develop in their use of new vocabulary. They study the writing process in types of compositions as students hone study and reference skills to be integrated throughout the subjects. The writing curriculum helps students use writing to support opinions and convey experiences (both real and imaginary). D’Nealian Handwriting continues with cursive development, Multiple curriculum sources are used to develop english and writing skills in students including BJU Press, Reading Street by Pearson, and Grammar and Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier.
Using BJU Press’ Bible Truths curriculum, students are encouraged to more fully understand that the Bible is God’s Word. Students also better understand and recognize their need for Christ as their personal Savior and promote a desire to know more about Him.
This BJU Press Heritage Studies curriculum teaches students about America’s history, geography, government, economics and culture. Students are also made aware of God’s character and how He wants students to act with others, showing consequences of right and wrong choices, studying the concepts of justice, freedom and taking one’s place in society. Third graders also learn that God wants them to be good citizens as a way to honor Him.
Students learn to enjoy math while also learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The BJU Press curriculum uses manipulatives to introduce new concepts and students consistently review past learned concepts throughout the year.
In third grade, students understand God as the creator and sustainer of the universe. The wonder of God’s creation inspires students to learn more about the wonders of His earth. Students are taught to question, experiment, and identify results through group activities as they learn to be good stewards of our planet.
Team-taught 4th and 5th Grade
Teachers: Mrs. Billie Lisa and Mrs. Bonnie Carns
TCA’s 4th and 5th grade classes are “team taught,” meaning that each grade rotates between two teachers for their core subjects. This format provides an introduction for the fourth and fifth graders to the middle school format of switching classes while in a more controlled and predictable structure.
Students in these grades develop skills in managing their academic responsibilities to two teachers rather than just one,as they have experienced in the lower grades. They can also appreciate the variety given from moving between two classrooms, which also fosters independence while remaining in a structured setting.
Team teaching differs from middle school in that students spend approximately half the day with one teacher before switching for the later half. Academics are not bound to 45-minute class periods yet, allowing the freedom for teachers to adjust their teaching timing as necessary..
Using BJU Press curriculum, students use concrete manipulatives to understand new concepts and develop problem-solving skills while making learning enjoyable. Skills are reviewed systematically to increase computation ability and prepare for higher-level learning. Students are introduced to many multi-step processes.
Students use BJU Press curriculum to develop the correct use of English grammar in written and oral communication through identifying parts of speech, diagramming sentences and making connections to other subject areas. Lessons also focus on improving listening and speaking skills.
Students focus on three main types of writing: opinion/persuasive and personal essays, informative essays that develop research skills in supporting the main idea, and narrative stories in which students write about real and imaginary events to teach them to elaborate details and include meaningful dialogue. The students complete a research paper which further allows them to demonstrate all the writing skills they learned throughout the year. Multiple curriculum sources are used to develop writing skills in students including BJU Press and Grammar and Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier.
Using D’Nealian handwriting, students develop handwriting that is consistent and legible. They review correct form, slant, size and spacing for each letter. They practice by writing real sentences and paragraphs using regular lined paper without a dotted center line, in order to “write like adults.”
Using various appropriate works of literature, this class promote student’s vocabulary and reading comprehension through diligent practice. They review synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and idioms as they foster fluency through reading and identifying examples. Multiple curriculum sources are used to develop reading skills in students including BJU Press and Grammar and Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier.
To inspire curiosity, enjoyment and admiration of God’s creation while establishing foundational science facts and skill, we work to promote orderly approaches to problem solving and generate a positive attitude through active participation and relevant discussions. Student use BJU Press science curriculum.
Social Studies (4th)
Students are taught to understand the importance of our New Jersey state history, as well as covering geography, early settlers, immigration, right on up to our modern role in our country today. Trips, class projects, classroom visitors, and a special event New Jersey Day are just a few ways students better understand their state in a tangible way.
Students will discover God’s redemptive love by studying the life of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Students participate in the weekly memorization of Scripture. Students utilize Positive Action for Christ curriculum in Bible class.
Using BJU Press curriculum, students participate in interactive questioning and problem-solving. At this level they develop critical thinking skills and can increase computation skills through systematic review. This class prepares them for the higher-level math they will encounter in middle school.
Using BJU Press curriculum, students hone the correct use of English grammar in written and oral communication through identification of parts of speech, diagramming sentences and connections to other subject areas. Students also improve listening and speaking skills while adding enjoyment through chapter themes.
Using Grammar Workshop by Sadlier, students continue their focus on opinion-persuasive and personal essays, informative essays and narratives. They will also complete a research paper focusing on skills learned throughout the year.
The fifth grade learner continues to master the comprehension process through lessons that hone in on written and oral exercises. The Vocabulary workshop by Sadlier curriculum challenges the student to carefully think about and explain what they have learned as they study thought-provoking contemporary and classic selections from noted authors.
The students develop a biblical worldview as it relates to science concepts while using the BJU Press Science curriculum. The course focuses on minerals and rocks, fossils, matter and heat, sound and light, weather, biomes, ecosystems, and the respiratory and circulatory systems. Throughout the course, the student will have opportunities to develop his science process skills as he participates in hands-on activities and projects.
Social Studies (5th)
Students utilize the BJU Press Heritage Studies curriculum which surveys many different fields of study crucial to a thorough understanding of history. Students will study geography and the principles of mapmaking. The text describes the different regions of the United States and focuses on 20th century United States history. Basic principles of economics and currency are also introduced in addition to studies of different types of government systems.
Using Positive Action for Christ Bible curriculum, students learn about God through the lives of the major characters in the Bible. Various activities help these older children comprehend and apply Bible truths. Discussion is the heart of Bible class to ensure that these principles are understood and life applications can more easily be made.