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Instruction in Mathematics is born out of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and utilizing the enVision Mathematics program as our vehicle to deliver instruction in grades K-5. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive board and a ratio of one to one computers. Homeroom teachers deliver Mathematics instruction to their students while additional staff provide supplemental Math instruction for enrichment and/or remediation. Teachers in grades K-5 differentiate classroom Math instruction with flexible grouping. Formative and Summative assessment analysis is provided through MAP Testing results, and assessments drive the instruction in 5 domains.
Learning activities that incorporate a focus on the mastery of basic skills in grades K-5 include the use of manipulatives, games, and technology to ensure a consistent and coherent application of Math skills from one grade to the next. The use of Math journals is utilized for critical thinking skills development in solving real world word problems. Math journals also provide an opportunity for writing during Math.
With over 30 years of experience teaching middle school mathematics in the Livingston School District, Middle School Math Teacher Mrs. Lui also served as a Team Leader. She has been a driver of initiatives designed to strengthen the St. E’s foundation for academic success. Mrs. Lui has successfully integrated instructional programs, including a new Algebra I curriculum for 8th grade. At all grade levels, emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies through the use of manipulatives, real-life situations, and technology.
In grade six, computation and problem solving are expanded to include decimals, ratios, and percents. Integers, probability and various place value systems are introduced while geometric concepts are strengthened.
Students frequently work in groups to sharpen critical thinking skills while problem solving. In grade seven, students deepen their understanding of integers, probability and percents. Interpretation of graphs, square roots, exponents, the Pythagorean Theorem, surface area and volume are explored in depth. Students begin to use algebraic methods to solve equations and apply these techniques.
The successful completion of this seventh grade curriculum provides the necessary foundation to enter Algebra I in Grade 8. The Algebra curriculum includes solving equations using multiple strategies, graphing, inequalities, systems of equations, square roots, exponents, and working with rational numbers. Word problems are used to strengthen these strategies and make concepts useful in the real world.
The School of Saint Elizabeth has integrated the Next Generation Science Standards in the Kindergarten through 8th-grade curriculum. Our students explore the three branches of science (physical, earth/space, and biology) through inquiry-based units. All science lessons are written in the 5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) to encourage scientific inquiry, passion and determination of understanding by all students. Students are assessed based on their application of the knowledge rather than just demonstrating understanding of the concepts. Our Science specialist and STREAM coordinators run regular professional development for all staff on the NGSS standards, 5E lesson model, Technology tools and STREAM integration. Our science specialist consistently consults with classroom teachers on the science lessons to maximize engagement and scientific understanding.
Technology is completely integrated into our science curriculum. Students consistently use technology to explore science topics through online simulations, Google apps and other educational technology tools like Peardeck, Edpuzzle, Google Expeditions and more. Middle school science is taught as almost a completely paperless class. Students gather their content knowledge through multiple up-to-date sources and experiences they have in the classroom during hands-on labs. Every lesson includes a lab component, class discussion and reading to reach all types of learners.
Our K-8 STREAM program works alongside the science curriculum to push our students to demonstrate their knowledge of the world and has changed the way our students tackle problems. All students are taught the engineering design process and are required to record their progress in their engineering design notebooks. All students are regularly asked to create and generate materials to go beyond the content they gain in the classrooms. We are fostering our student to make a positive impact on the global community.
At the School of Saint Elizabeth, we are proud to provide integrated STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) for all students from Pre-K to 8th-grade. It is evident that integrating STREAM empowers success in all areas of development: social-emotional and academic.
We nurture 21st-century learners by revolutionizing our technology infrastructure and education. Our school is Future Ready certified which requires a robust infrastructure and fluid integration of technology for teaching and learning. Technology enables students to produce new and original work thereby engaging higher order thinking skills. Teachers are trained through Personal Learning Networks and frequent professional development applications.
Our STREAM program fosters a students’ ability to have grit through a problem. By practicing grit and persistence, we are empowering students to confidently tackle real-world problems with a growth mindset. Students learn how to evaluate solutions with empathy, research, and with applicable resources. This methodology allows students to practice a solution-based approach to solving problems. Students who otherwise might struggle in academic areas obtain confidence by experiencing small victories over challenges through our STREAM program. For this reason, teachers stress the importance of improving your initial design rather than competing against others. Teamwork and collaboration are an integral part of STREAM education. Social interaction teaches students to work as a team by effectively communicating and compromising in order to achieve a common goal.
All staff have been trained in STREAM integration by our certified STREAM coordinators. A STREAM coordinator conducts a weekly STREAM class for our K- 5 students. Classes meet in our school’s Innovation Center: a makerspace. Students are taught how to use the engineering design process to creatively solve problems. Classroom teachers accompany their students to STREAM class. Collaboration between STREAM coordinators and classroom teachers empowers them to break down the silos between subjects which facilitates problem-based learning for even our youngest learners.
In grades 6 to 8, students apply these skills through more in-depth thematic cross-curricular problem-based learning projects. The middle school team collaborates to integrate STREAM between subjects. Our 8th-grade year-long Capstone project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to independently solve real-world problems. Students identify a pressing issue in the local or global community. They conduct in-depth research, generate possible solutions, and produce one solution’s prototype. Students present their creations to their peers, parents, and the school community. Through the Capstone project, our graduating students showcase all social, emotional and academic skills they have gained through our STREAM program. Our 8th graders graduate as highly-skilled problem solvers ready to tackle 21st Century problems.
The Language Arts curriculum utilizes block scheduling for instruction in writing, grammar, vocabulary, reading, and literature. Projects and group work flourish with this use of class time. In grade six, students are introduced to the Literature Survey Program, which continues through grades seven and eight. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling are also stressed in these grades. Holistic scoring is used in the writing program, which emphasizes expository skills. Oral presentations enhance public speaking and listening skills. Free reading and book discussions support the reading program along with novels and poetry. Extra novels are used to supplement the text. Writing has a persuasive component as the class learns to frame a point of view. Mastery in non-fiction writing and use of research skills are stressed in grade eight.
The religion program is Christ-centered in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Students become informed Christians who are encouraged to take their places as leaders in the church, world affairs and business. In grade six, the Old Testament and how it relates to the New Testament and present day Christianity is explored. In grade seven, students grow in the formation of their knowledge and faith. The eighth grade curriculum enhances the study of God’s faithful love and prepares students for the sacrament of Confirmation.
The social studies program at the School of Saint Elizabeth integrates the social sciences to develop lifelong learners equipped with the historical thinking skills, geographical spatial knowledge, and critical thinking that will enable them to engage with the world as responsible United States and global citizens. Furthermore, this allows our students to grow as informed and dedicated citizens who will impact the world as Christians. All middle school students study and implement crucial historical thinking skills, including close reading, corroboration, contextualization, sourcing, and evaluating sources. In grade six, students build off of the fifth grade curriculum, by beginning the year with a review of the American Revolution and a study of the Constitution. Students continue to study the Early American Republic, the Jeffersonian and Jackson Eras, Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, the Mexican-American War, slavery and growing sectionalism, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons, and finally the Progressives. Seventh grade continues this survey of United States history with a study of World War I, immigration, the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights Era, the Vietnam War, the Nixon Presidency and Watergate, the Reagan Era, the 1990s, the War on Terror, and finally a survey of current events in the United States. Eighth grade is broken into two thematic semesters. The first semester
The 8th Grade Capstone Project is a rigorous year-long research-based assignment, in which students examine a local or global issue of their choice and work to design a possible solution. The purpose of the project is to prepare 8th Grade students to achieve excellence in high school research assignments and to inspire our graduates to change the world for the better. Students explore research strategies, MLA formatting, interviewing practices, engineering processes, and presenting skills during the course of the presentation. Students are required to complete 15 hours of community service for their Capstone Project. At the beginning of each month, the 8th graders meet as a class to discuss their progress and receive an informational guide to help them sort through the upcoming task. Students regularly meet with their faculty advisers to receive feedback on their projects.
This year, the topics students have chosen to research and analyze include: Elephant Tourism in Thailand, Bullying Prevention, The Risks of Vaping, and Concussions in the NFL. Students will formally present their projects to the community and their classmates in May 2019.
Through vocal and instrumental exploration, students at the School of St. Elizabeth participate in music individually and in ensembles. Based on the teaching philosophies of Orff and Kodaly, students learn developmentally appropriate skills across all grade levels so they can enjoy improvisation, composition, and performance. Chorus is offered as an elective in the Lower and Upper levels. Instrumental Ensemble lessons are available after school. A select Liturgical Choir in the Upper grades chooses, prepares and presents music for school liturgies.
Art classes at The School of Saint Elizabeth are held once a week in grades Pre-K4 through 8th grade. Two art clubs are also offered to those students who want an additional art experience. In class, students learn a variety of skills and techniques using various art supplies. Students are given age appropriate projects and are encouraged to do their best. The focus is on developing the creative self while exploring the world of art. Students learn to analyze and interpret art of their own, classmates, and of famous artists. All assignments focus on The Elements of Art: line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space. This class will develop creative thinking skills and art appreciation.