Cornerstone Christian Schools elementary curriculum is Biblically-based, and prepares students for our college-preparatory high school courses. Students are challenged to reach their maximum potential in all curricular areas, including science, technology, engineering, art and math. Elementary students enjoy specials courses including Spanish, technology and P.E. Throughout the year, field trips and on-site events allow children hands-on opportunities to see how God has a place in every aspect of life.
Elementary Course Descriptions
In art class, our students are learning the creative process from the birth of an idea to the completion of the final product. Students experience a variety of media and techniques. The curriculum builds on previous instruction by adding new skills during each elementary year. Each skill level has a more complex set of objectives, and prepares the students for future art opportunities. This class is another place for our students to experience Biblical integration during the school day as the art teacher can freely refer to Scripture as he or she discusses the project of the day. For example, Jeremiah 28:6 states, “Behold like clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine.”
The Bible is studied as the foundation of truth (John 17:17) in establishing a Christian worldview that will influence, impact, and be integrated into all academic areas as well as the student’s personal life (Hebrews 4:12). The explanation and memorization of Scripture helps a student grow in building a faith and trust in the Lord. Bible accounts and application stories challenge students to live a godly life through the examples of Biblical characters. Prayer is an important part of Bible study. Through daily prayer a student is encouraged to develop and strengthen his/her own relationship with the Lord.
Although formal assessment is not administered for previous instruction from one grade level to another, the scope and sequence within the curriculum itself is designed to prepare students to know and apply the Word of God. Assessments are gathered through oral discussions, question and answer, written practice, and tests as well as through student presentations, journaling, storytelling, drama, drills, and games.
Higher order thinking skills are developed in Bible through discussion, drama, and roleplay. Students are challenged to judge between good and evil and right and wrong. Discussions include comparing and contrasting of ideas and thoughts, determining cause and effect and making evaluations. Journaling provides a means of reflection, expression, and application of each student’s understanding of the character traits as well as a venue to share what is learned in weekly chapel services.
Christian principles are taught as the foundation for the communication of ideas and concepts in history. Classroom instruction emphasizes patriotism and develops an appreciation of the Christ-like qualities in the people who played an important part in our rich American history. Students are encouraged to become responsible citizens who participate in the community. Higher level thinking skills are developed mainly through role playing, discussions, journaling, and essay questions. In addition, students are asked to compare and contrast ideas, make evaluations, and discuss the cause and effect of historical events.
In our math curriculum, students are reminded that God is the Creator of order and absolutes. Christian principles and Biblical truths are part of the design of each lesson.
Our math curriculum is manipulatively-based and vertically integrates skills and state standard concepts throughout the grade levels. Higher level thinking skills are taught using Bloom’s Taxonomy in which students solve, classify, illustrate, explain, arrange, order, compare, generalize, verify, estimate, as well as construct models with manipulatives. Resources for math enrichment are available and implemented at every grade level.
Authentic assessments include observation, participation, ability of the student to use strategies he/she has learned in order to solve a problem as well as communication through explanations and journaling. Students are asked to write original word problems and written explanations as well as to demonstrate specific skill proficiency on quizzes and tests.
Emphasis is placed on music as a God-given expression of praise and worship. Students learn to appreciate all types of music. They learn how and why it was used in the Bible.
Various methods of instruction, such as vocal, instrumental, and rhythmic are used. As the fundamentals of music are taught, students learn the importance of individual and group praise, artistic performance, and excellence in accuracy and quality.
Christian values are modeled and practiced daily in our elementary physical education classes. God’s word is taught and emphasized by incorporating a new character trait each week that teaches Christ-like behavior with an accompanying Bible verse. A strength of the program is its emphasis on varied instruction in small and large groups as well as individual and whole group activities. In addition, a variety of activities are offered such as individual sports, team sports, and recreational events that provide all students the opportunity to be successful in their area of interest. There is a knowledgeable and experienced staff with sufficient resources and equipment readily available. Students will also take part in regular Health education classes to learn how to care for their bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and be taught skills needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The reading curriculum is phonetically-based and skillfully designed, integrating Biblical truths through stories, poetry, plays, parables, and fables. As students improve their fluency in reading and comprehension, they are better prepared to read and understand the written word including the Bible.
To improve the reading curriculum, benchmark assessment tools are utilized several times during the school year. This aids the teacher in determining reading levels and provides a basis for planning instruction. The addition of informal reading and writing inventories also provides continued evaluation throughout the year.
The language arts program, as a whole, includes authentic learning activities such as journals, various genres of creative writing, literacy centers, reader’s theater, games, character studies, book reviews, peer conferencing and teacher/student conferencing. The steps for writing are emphasized through various writing experiences.
Science is taught from a Christian worldview. In science, students consistently examine scientific knowledge through the lens of God’s Word. As students identify the orderliness and precision of God’s creation, they develop an orderly approach to problem solving as well as experience spiritual growth. Students develop higher order thinking skills in science through observation, gathering data, comparing, classifying, and making inferences based on observation.
Students learn the scientific process and experience it through projects and experiments in the Science Lab. There is an open and interactive atmosphere in the classroom allowing each student the freedom to express their thoughts. Students learn to evaluate and question their observations. Students are encouraged to apply the analytic problem-solving skills they learn in science to the other academic disciplines as well. Student learning is assessed through projects, experiments, rubrics, paper/pencil testing, and teacher observation.
God has blessed His creation with the ability to speak and understand other languages. As students learn to appreciate God’s gift of the Spanish language, and learn to hear it and speak it consistently, they should also develop a desire to use this skill and experience in God’s service. Students learn to communicate in Spanish using the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. They benefit greatly by gaining knowledge and understanding of Hispanic cultures, and by making connections with other subject areas.
Instruction is differentiated with attention to various learning styles including, but not limited to, reading, writing, singing, art, and conversation. The scope and sequence is adequately implemented according to the child’s age and level of study.
Students in first through fifth grades experience an introduction and exposure to keyboarding and vocabulary as it relates to the components of the computer. They enhance computer technology skills along with instruction in Microsoft Office Suite. Students are encouraged to develop critical and creative thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on digital citizenship, internet safety and research in regard to digital information fluency. When students graduate from elementary school, they will have the needed speed and accuracy to move on to more complex tech integration and application.
Hardware, software and apps are regularly researched and reviewed for educational value and utilized in the classrooms as a part of the actual curriculum. All classrooms are outfitted with researched technologies that are proven to enhance the educational experience of students.