Teacher: Mrs. Pray
The school follows the Archdiocesan curriculum. The students work with literacy stations within a balanced literacy approach. The use of the Accelerated Reader Program enables the learner to read on his or her own level and works on comprehension and extended reasoning. As learners, they use multisensory grammar; focus on spelling, and expanding their vocabulary while producing quality writing pieces in various styles. In reading, students read and study a variety of genres both independently and in small group settings. Cursive handwriting is stressed in all areas.
Standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics form the structure of instruction in mathematics. Students focus on the six strands of mathematics: developing algebraic thinking, probability and statistics, measurement, fractions and decimals, geometry, as well as operations and computations. Hands-on and interactive learning helps students transition from concrete to more abstract learners who are able to communicate their thinking process.
Science and math go hand in hand. The use of hands-on investigations using the Scientific Process develops logic and reasoning skills as students observe, classify, compare, infer, measure, predict, communicate and interpret data. We use Rice University’s Stemscopes and Science journals to record, reflect, and discuss concepts based in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Fourth graders develop proficiency in the use of computers and tablets as they create and present tables, various writing samples, research projects, PowerPoint Book Trailers, and more. In addition to the computer lab and those devices available in our school library, students use classroom computers and tablets as learning stations.
Instructional units follow thematic strands including citizenship, economics, history, government, geography, culture, science, technology, current events, and global connections. These strands are interwoven throughout as students create graphic organizers and timelines, role-play, research, and have other opportunities, such as meeting the Mayor or participating in Lemonade Day Houston, within the school and larger community.
At St. Mary Catholic School we firmly believe that Religion must be infused throughout our day by stressing Christian values and practices. Fourth graders attend morning prayer with the school community, provide service to the school, parish, and larger community, participate in weekly Mass, attend daily Religion class, present the Living Way of the Cross, and model Christ-like behavior.
Fourth grade students attend Spanish classes weekly in which they focus on vocabulary and grammar to improve conversational Spanish.
Students attend Art classes weekly. The children study famous artists and use a variety of media and techniques. They are able to express their creative styles through original work.
Children may also join the Choir in which they have the opportunity to develop musical talents, sing at weekly Mass, and perform at various stadiums around Houston.