Our Elementary School
- Small class sizes (five to ten students per class)
- Multi-age classrooms
- Encouraging, responsive teachers
- Thoughtfully-crafted curriculum (a strong foundation in writing, reading, math, science, social studies, art, music, and physical education)
- Hands-on, experiential learning in every subject
- Fresh air, with outdoor recess twice a day, and classes held outside sometimes, too.
- Morning chapel (songs, the Lord's prayer, Bible stories)
- Collaboration in learning and play
- Social skills and good friendships
- Daily jobs (emptying trash, sweeping floors, and cleaning chalk boards) that give students real practice serving their school community.
The elementary school curriculum is designed for multi-grade classrooms. Learn more about the multi-grade classroom model used by PNCS.
- Alice R., M.D. and PNCS Mom
We will begin every school day with either classroom worship or a whole school worship. This allows us to focus our day, and the work and fun we will have, on the Lord and what He teaches us. The students will become familiar with whole school recitations. In the classroom, there will typically be a display of the worship story we are talking about to make a physical space for the Lord in our classroom. Religion will be woven into the other subjects as well. We will read stories about the Lord and talk about ways that the Lord might have been involved in stories where He is not mentioned. In math we will look at how math helps us to make sense of the Lord's creation. We will also look at the beauty it provides. In science we will talk about how the Lord made the whole earth. Since the earth is Lord's we will talk about how we can be respectful toward the earth.
This year we have adopted a new language arts curriculum. It is called Fundations and it is published by Wilson Language Training. It is a systematic approach to teaching reading. I will be using this in a modified capacity (due to our classroom being multi-graded) along with the Daily 5. The Daily 5 is a reading program that allows children to make choices about what and how they are experiencing reading, while giving me the time to meet with each child on a one-to-one basis at least once a week.
This year for math we will be following the Everyday Math curriculum. This program aims to help children to not only compute answers, but actually understand the concepts. To support the curriculum, we will draw on techniques and tools from Math U See. Math U See uses many visuals and manipulatives to further help students understand math concepts. We will also be using a textbook story called The Life of Fred to further enrich the math program. It is designed as a continuous storyline that requires different math concepts. Because there will be 3 grades in the classroom, we will be doing a rotation system for completing math called guided math. Students will have a lesson with me, work on a math page or play a relevant math game, and have the opportunity to build with legos or steeltech every day. I will be focusing on your child meeting the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards for mathematics.
Science and Social Studies
Science is about observing and doing. This year in science, my goal is to have students completing science experiments. By the end of the year, we will hopefully be completing some student designed experiments.
In social studies we will be looking at different people and places around the world. We will recognize that they may look different than we do, act differently than we do, and even think differently than we do, but that the Lord made them. The Lord does not make mistakes; he put all peoples on the earth for a reason, and we will be looking at some of the wonderful things people from around the world have to offer. When looking at places, we will be looking at them through a lens of wonder about the Lord's creation.
Learning How to Learn
Learning how to learn will make up a large part of our curriculum this year. It will encompass everything from playing and designing with legos, to going on a nature walk, to painting a picture, to playing soccer, to looking up information in a book. All of these activities (and infinitely more) offer children ways to acquire knowledge. We will look at different ways of learning things, and what ways work best for each person. This time will be student led, but guided by the teacher.
Recess is a very important part of your child's day. During recess they are having the opportunity to allow their bodies time to move, while allowing their brains time to recharge. There are new studies coming out about the value and necessity of recess. Your child will get at least 45 minutes of recess (undirected, free, large motor play) each day. Some days it might be more like 60 minutes, but on no day will it be less (unless we are on a field trip or doing another special activity).
Wednesdays will be special this year. We are welcoming homeschool students into our classes for the day! We will have art, music, PE, language arts, and science with them. We are looking forward to the energy these new students will bring into our building, and learning how we can best learn together. During language arts on Wednesday, we will be looking at and learning about various ways of expressing ourselves using writing. We will have time to share work with the class if desired. For science, we will be setting up, carrying out, and analyzing (or at least talking about) what happened. We will be focusing on the ways that substances in our world interact, and the wonderful world the Lord created for us.