About Our Curriculum
Graduates from St. Paul consistently do very well as they advance through middle school, high school, and college. Much of the curriculum and the time allotted to each subject are governed by the Maryland Department of Education; however, within these guidelines, we are free to determine the types of textbooks and materials we use to carry out our program. Our excellent curriculum together with a Christian worldview and caring classroom teachers gives students a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning.
For a closer look at our curriculum by subject, please select the corresponding item below.
Math & Science
Mathematics and Science are taught to help students better appreciate the orderly, intricate, and beautiful world God created for man to live in and to enjoy.
St. Paul uses the Sadlier Math curriculum. As explained on the Sadlier Math website (https://www.sadlier.com/school/sadlier-math-preview), this curriculum:
- Fosters students’ conceptual understanding and skill development using a cohesive grouping of lessons,
- Offers explicit instruction with guided and independent practice to strengthen students’ metacognitive development
- Provides essential tools to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills
- Promotes learning with abundant real-world problem solving and incorporates applications related to STEAM
St. Paul uses Mystery Science curriculum and the National Educational Science Standards (https://www.csun.edu/science/ref/curriculum/reforms/nses/) as our guide for topics that we teach. The science program is designed to teach concepts through inquiry, observation, and investigation
- The kindergarten science curriculum uses a hands-on approach to cover topics in life science, physical science, earth science, use of the scientific method, and the human body.
- As students progress at St. Paul, guided conversation, reading of informational texts, and hands-on activities develop their scientific inquiry skills. Students learn about many facets of God’s creation and how they can be good stewards of His creation.
- By the time students graduate from St. Paul they have a command and understanding of how to ask questions, investigate, use simple equipment to gather data, and communicate their scientific observations.
- A highlight of science is the Biennial Spring Science Fair, where students use their creativity and the knowledge they have acquired to make and present special information about a science project to their schoolmates, friends, and families. This science fair (even years) alternates with a social studies fair (odd years).
God created people in a setting where they interact with others. Improvements in Language Arts skills increase the student’s ability to communicate with his or her fellow man.
Teachers use the Guided Reading Program to assess students and offer the proper levels of challenging yet attainable reading material. Students work on comprehension, vocabulary, and reading strategies within their ability levels. Group instruction several times a week combines with important one-on-one time with the teacher on a regular basis. In addition, there are many group/center activities to engage the students.
In addition to the Guided Reading Program, St. Paul teachers use Shurley English & Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. As explained at their website, Shurley English has assembled a unique combination of features to help students build a solid literacy foundation. The series is organized logically, sequentially, and systematically for success. Abstract language arts concepts become clear and logical, using concrete, multi-sensory strategies that support all types of learners.
Human relationships are studied through a social science program, which includes studies in world geography and American history, to help students gain an ever-increasing understanding of America and the world at large. St. Paul utilizes the Harcourt Brace Elementary Social Studies curriculum. A highlight of social studies is the Biennial Spring Social Studies Fair, where students use their creativity and the knowledge they have acquired to make and present special information about the world around them to their schoolmates, friends, and families. This social studies fair (odd years) alternates with a science fair (even years)
- Kindergarten and 1st Grade: Social Studies lessons begin with the child, their family, and school, and then extend to their community and the world. Map skills are emphasized. The Weekly Reader magazine rounds out the Social Sciences curriculum.
- Second Grade: Students learn about current civic systems as well as gain a historical perspective of how our country has developed. Students learn to appreciate local, state, and federal governments. Students study American Indian cultures, including the Powhatan, the Sioux, and the Pueblo Native Americans; they are also introduced to the colonists and learn basic geography as they identify the thirteen colonies. The students discover how our country grew and learn about important Americans who made sacrifices to make our country free.
- Third Grade: Studies are centered on many real communities throughout the United States. For example, “How is Barrow, Alaska like or different from Charleston, South Carolina?” As students compare and contrast communities, they learn about size, location, geography, history, culture, government, and economics. Each chapter includes the use of tools such as maps, globes, charts, and graphs. Reading nonfiction text for main ideas, details, and cause and effect helps the student further develop reading and vocabulary skills.
- Fourth Grade: Curriculum in Grade 4 focuses on the regions of the United States, their history and economics, culture and citizenship. Students explore the geography of the regions and its impact on science and technology. They discover the impact of each region on the country as a whole.
- Fifth Grade: Students take a chronological look at the history of America, beginning with a study of American Indian cultures and continuing through the arrival of European settlers, colonization, the French and Indian War, events leading up to the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, founding of our government and the United States Constitution, and finally the Civil War. They end the year with the study of the state of Maryland and its history. Throughout the curriculum, students gain an understanding of the many cultures and ethnicities involved in creating the great country we live in today. Students learn to appreciate and value all people regardless of race or nationality.
Bible classes are taught using the One in Christ curriculum from Concordia Publishing House. Students in Kindergarten through Second Grade learn basic Bible stories. Starting in Third Grade, students begin to learn the six chief parts of Luther’s small catechism, including the Ten Commandments, Creeds, and the Lord’s Prayer. In Fourth and Fifth Grade the focus is on Bible literacy and discipleship.
Specials (Spanish, Art, Music, Physical Education, Library, STEAM)
God gave people many special talents and abilities. Programs in Spanish, Art, Music, Physical Education, Library and STEAM help students to develop some of their special talents and abilities.
Language-learning has many benefits, including enhancing a child’s mental development. Students build a solid foundation for greater learning of Spanish by using a variety of songs, games, and speaking activities to increase familiarity with the Spanish language.
Music is an important part of St. Paul Lutheran Church & School. Through the course of their years at St. Paul, students experience music education that instills in them a love and understanding of God’s gift of music. Our music instruction introduces children to the joy of music. The school’s Cherub Choir (Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2) and Junior Choir (Grades 3, 4 and 5) sing during several church services throughout the school year and during Christmas and spring concerts. In weekly chapel services and special concerts, we praise the Lord from our hearts with voices, choirs, hand-bells and instrumental music. Families are always welcome to join us!
Students use many different media and techniques to create their own unique artwork. Whether funny, functional, or beautiful, the children’s 2D and 3D projects tie into their core subjects and enhance not only their educational experience but also the atmosphere of our classrooms and halls.
Direct instruction in Physical Education is given to students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Kindergartners learn developmental skills and games, such as running and jumping, throwing and catching, and following directions like left and right. First and second graders learn developmentally-appropriate games that introduce the concepts of fair play and strategy. Third, fourth, and fifth graders learn games that involve greater strategy and competition. They also participate in the annual Lutheran Schools Track and Field Meet held at Concordia Preparatory School every April.
The library media program connects students with the information they need to be lifelong learners in a digital age. In addition to examining various genres and authors, students also complete lessons in digital literacy in order to prepare them for the information age. Students have an opportunity to access books and resources during their weekly library media class. They learn the skills necessary to locate, use, apply, synthesize and share information.
STEAM education integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. STEAM provides students with the opportunity to show perseverance, responsibility and courage — and have fun! In a STEAM classroom students focus on life skills like teamwork and problem solving. They follow the design cycle and create unique products both physically and digitally.