First Grade Curriculum Overview

first grade pic.jpg


In first grade, students continue to develop their understanding of our Catholic faith. We participate in Mass each month including a special Mission Mass where our first graders are enrolled in the Missionary Childhood Association. Students work on weekly Promise packets that coincide with Sunday Mass and reinforce prayers and church teachings. Religion 1 focuses on the following:

  • God is Our Good Father

  • God sent His Son as Our Savior

  • The Two Great Laws of Love

  • The Paschal Mystery


ELA 1 utilizes the Reading Street series for English Language Arts.   Each week a variety of skills are introduced (phonics, grammar, and comprehension). Different literary elements are incorporated in each week with a story that follows the particular skills. Students use decodable readers that go with each weekly lesson to help enhance their reading skills. A Readers and Writers Notebook is paired with the Reading Street series that students use in class and for homework. The activities and assignments adhere to the Common Core Standards, and are an extension to the daily lessons.


Students in first grade are continuing on their writing journey.  Using the writing skills learned in Kindergarten and developing new skills acquired as the year progresses, students become avid writers. Each month, students are given their own special themed journal.  Students are required to write in this journal every day with the given topic.  Students use their own mini dictionary to help spell the new words they are learning! The first grade also follows a Common Core based writing plan that incorporates personal narratives, informative writing, opinion writing, and how-to writing.


The Math 1 program, Go Math, supports the Common Core Standards. The program includes the following: Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. By year end, our 1st graders have acquired the following skills:

  •  Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction

  • Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction

  •  Add and subtract within 20

  • Extend the counting sequence to 120

  •  Understand place value

  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add, subtract and compare numbers.

  • Add and subtract 2 digit numbers.

  • Measure lengths indirectly and by using length units.

  • Tell time to the hour and half hour.

  •  Represent and read data through graphs and charts.

  • Identify attributes of, combine and take apart 2 and 3 dimensional shapes.

Social Studies

Students focus on “My Family and Other Families,” communities, and the world around them. Students examine families and develop an awareness of cultural diversity within the American culture and world culture.  We even travel around the world via the web to visit Antarctica.  Each year, students also experience  Christmas Around the World.  Students travel from classroom to classroom learning about Christmas in places like Germany, Italy, Japan, and many more. Each classroom is decorated with music playing for their specific country. Students complete a small craft in each country ,enjoy foods specific to that particular culture, and create a Christmas Around the World keepsake book!


In first grade, students enjoy hands on and engaging science experiments to learn and explore the world around them.  We focus on the following topics:

  • Animal Diversity

  • Properties of Matter

  • Weather and Seasons

  • Science, Engineering, and Technology


Second Grade Curriculum Overview



Students learn to follow Jesus and to love God, themselves, and others. Our focus is on a deeper knowledge of our faith with emphasis on prayer, the liturgy, and the sacraments. The second grade children are prepared for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.


Our Reading Street Common Core Edition supports reading, writing, and language development. Students develop foundational skills for reading more complex text. Students read various genres of text to expand their reading capacity. Students write in different genres, including personal narrative, informative, and persuasive writing. Writing projects are ongoing, encompassing the entire writing process. Handwriting and Phonics are components of the second grade ELA program.


Using the GoMath series, we teach to the New York State Common Core Standards.  Math vocabulary and basic math facts are stressed. Students learn problem solving strategies. Critical areas of emphasis include extending notation of base ten notation, building fluency in addition and subtraction, using standard units of measure, and describing and analyzing shapes.

Social Studies

Students explore our country today and long ago. Students also learn about life in communities and how families have changed over time. Students study special people who are remembered for their important work. They learn about the places people live and how they use the land and resources around them.


Grade 2 Science includes the study of landforms, natural resources, simple machines, and plants. Students practice using tools such as hand lenses and balance scales. Students use the scientific method by asking questions, gathering information, and conducting simple science experiments.

line Third Grade Curriculum Overview



Religion 3 curriculum focuses on the Church and its growth from the beginning to the present day.  Basic Catechism covers Catholic traditions, morality, Scripture, symbols of the church, Sacraments, and Holy Days.  Family Life is also a part of the Religion program.  The program explores growth, development and interpersonal relationships as taught by our Catholic faith.  Each year, as a school, we focus on a religious theme, which is used as a daily prayer throughout the year.  


ELA 3 curriculum  follows the Common Core Standards.  Content includes basic grammar and language skills, comprehension, vocabulary, writing process and spelling.  Students work on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills throughout the year.  The novel Peter Pan is read and students learn to analyze and critique the novel. Students will write routinely and will produce opinion pieces on particular topics and texts, informative or explanatory pieces, and narratives.


Basic mathematical skills are reinforced, with a focus on developing an understanding of multiplication and division.  Students discover more complex addition and subtraction, time, money, and measurement, while developing an introductory understanding of fractions. In geometry, students analyze two-dimensional shapes. A strong emphasis is placed on word problem solving, especially multi-step problems.  The Go Math! Program is used to meet learning goals and standards.


Grade 3 Science content includes topics from both the Physical and Life Sciences.  In Life Science, students study living things (plants and animals) and how they change, grow, and live in their ecosystems. In Physical Science, students learn about the world around them (matter), forms of energy (heat, sound, and light), and forces and motion (simple machines). Various hands-on activities are utilized, with special focus on inquiry skills.

Social Studies

Social Studies 3 content focuses on “Communities around the World.” Students learn about communities around the globe and about global citizenship by making comparisons across time and space, and by examining different communities and their cultures including social organization, customs and traditions, language, arts and literature, religion, forms of government, and economic systems.


Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview

4th Grade


Grade 4 Religion focuses on developing various aspects of our Catholic faith that includes:

  • Growing in Jesus Christ

  • The Commandments help us to love God

  • The Commandments help us to love others

  • We are called to Holiness

Students also have the opportunity to bring the Nativity to life for the St. William’s community during the Christmas Mass.

English Language Arts

ELA 4 students work to develop and strengthen reading and writing skills including identifying main idea, summarizing, comparing and contrasting, spelling and vocabulary. The Reading Street series is utilized in conjunction with ELA modules, all in alignment with  Common Core Standards. Student vocabulary is also enhanced through the use of the Vocabulary Workshop workbook, which introduces new vocabulary paired with practice activities to reinforce vocabulary acquisition. Students will complete themed book report projects each month in order to discover the joy of reading while discerning literary elements such as setting, problem, solution, and main events. Students are also immersed in the writing process: brainstorming,  prewriting, drafting, revising and editing, and publishing. The writing curriculum follows a series of mini-lessons that guide students through each step of the writing process.

Social Studies

Social Studies 4 curriculum focuses on the history of New York State, including state government, geography, location, climate, resources, and landforms. Students also study the early peoples of New York, primarily the Iroquois and Algonquian tribes.  Students have the opportunity to work collaboratively during group work and class projects.  Our “Biography Breakfast” is an opportunity for students to research famous New Yorkers and present their findings to schoolmates.


Math 4 focuses on Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Numbers and Operations- Fractions, Measurement and Data, and Geometry utilizing the Common Core-based Go Math series. Skill-building and analytical thinking is stressed in fourth grade as students use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with whole numbers to solve problems, analyze and generate patterns, problem-solve using measurement and conversion, represent and interpret data, extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering, and understand angle measurements and concepts.  


Science 4 topics include Animals and Plants in their environment, Electricity and Magnetism, Properties of Water, and Interactions of Air, Water, and Land. Topics are reinforced through readings, labs, workbook instruction, assessments and hand-on experiments. Science 4 utilizes the McGraw Hill Education New York Science series, which features a strong technology component providing animation, interactive activities, photo libraries, visual dictionaries, and video on important science concepts.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.