Our Pre-K focus for our 3 and 4 year old students begins with following routines, learning how to listen to directions, becoming comfortable in school, and socializing with peers. We learn a new letter of the alphabet and a new number each week. Throughout the year, we are learning sight words. Students will also be able to write their first and last name, write various words and be able to begin reading and writing short complete sentences. Science and Social Studies are explored through experimentation and stories. Religion is a core element in our classroom. Students will learn biblical stories and learn to say multiple prayers. Addition and subtraction are introduced at the end of the year.
Kindergarten students at St. Martin de Porres are immersed in hands on science, language arts, and math experiences. Observing the life cycle of a butterfly, and creating puppets for language development are just two examples of our creative learning adventures. Students participate in reading programs and journal writing, school prayer and various other religious experiences. Scheduled into the kindergarten program are gym, chorus, art classes and class trips.
The first grade is dedicated to educating each child within the scope of his/her own abilities. The aim for the year is to stimulate the child’s intellectual, social, and spiritual development.
Religion is taught as a subject. Each child’s spirituality is developed through day to day activities and discussions. Through interactive activities, the children are taught to use the tools they need to form their reading and mathematics abilities. Children learn to understand the concepts of addition, subtraction, place value, telling time and a basic understanding of money. Our reading program stresses the importance of phonics, comprehension, and critical thinking. Creative writing is a common thread that is woven into each academic area, with emphasis on grammar. SMMS strives to help students become proficient and enthusiastic readers and writers. To assist students, SMMS offers a program that supplements classroom instruction. The amount of support varies by student need and grade level. Social Studies and Science complement the fundamentals of reading and mathematics.
The primary focus of second grade is to build on the fundamental skills acquired in first grade.
Reading is conducted using a leveled group model. Reading intervention is available to those students struggling with reading comprehension and phonics.
Beginning paragraph writing is taught where students are encouraged to think beyond the basic model and to be more creative in their language use. Grammar skills are emphasized through both sentence structure and creative writing.
Students continue their study of math concepts moving into regrouping for addition and subtraction.
Students also take a class in Chorus every day. Art, Gym, and Tin Whistle classes are also given every other day.
Students receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion with their class as part of their faith formation.
Curriculum goal is to become a more fluent and confident reader. We read stories from a variety of genres. We continue learning how to use a dictionary, glossary, index, search engines, encyclopedias, diagrams, and maps. Third grade moves out of using a reader and begins to read chapter books as a whole class.
Students begin to expand on their use of the writing process learning to prewrite, draft, edit, revise, and publish. They learn to write cohesive paragraphs consisting of at least 6 sentences.
Curriculum is focused on what the Church teaches and how it prays. Focus is also on our call to discipleship and how we are called to holiness. Students practice daily prayers, attend monthly masses and study the seven sacraments.
Students study states and their capitals, continents and oceans, types of communities, and acquire map skills
Curriculum topics include place values, the four basic operations, measurement and time, problem solving, probability and statistics.
Objective is to become lifelong lovers of books and reading. Students will read and comprehend chapter books from a wide variety of genres and will skillfully evaluate, discuss, and write about the books they read.
Students will be taught grammar and follow the writing process of prewriting, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing and will master writing a paragraph consisting of 6-8. Students will be able to spell with a high degree of accuracy, use punctuation correctly, write short book reports and short research reports.
Fourth grade catechism facilitates spiritual growth and formation of the child. In addition to daily prayer and attending mass, students will gain a deeper understanding about the different seasons of the Church, the Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, and how we are called to holiness.
Science and Social Studies
Science Focus is primarily on Biology and Earth Science. In Biology, students will learn about cells, microscopes, human body systems, ecosystems, and plant systems. In Earth Science, students will learn about the Earth and its atmosphere, and our universe. We will focus on the state of New York, it’s antiquity and how it developed into the huge prosperous city it is today. Science labs encourage students to reinforce and discover the topic covered in class.
Students will be introduced to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and will do a STEM challenge every so often. STEM education focus on the student using critical thinking to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Students will learn to perform many arithmetic operations with decimals and whole numbers. Students will learn how to read charts and graphs, learn measurements, fractions, basic geometry, factors, exponents and roots, and probability and statistics.
Fourth grade students will experience either chorus, band or orchestra every day. Gym and art are each taught twice a week.
Students learn their Catholic faith through Scripture and Tradition, by participating in the Liturgy of the Mass, and daily prayer.
Science and Social Studies The four units of science are, interactions of matter, forces and energy, earth and beyond, and cells and the human body. Social Studies units are, The Earliest Americans, A Time of Exploration by European Countries, English Colonies, and The Beginning of Our Country.
Focuses on developing mastery of fundamental arithmetic skills in preparation for algebra and advanced mathematics in Junior High. These skills include the four basic operations, place value and decimal numbers, proper and improper fractions, reciprocals and mixed numbers, common factors, common multiples, geometric concepts, probability concepts, graphs, practice and analysis of word problems, problem solving strategies, and algebraic concepts.
Students will explore a variety of story formats and reading strategies designed to improve students’ active reading skills. Includes comprehensive analysis and discussion, identification and development of reading comprehension strategies,and developing a literature-based vocabulary. Independent reading introducing a wide spectrum of literature genres.
Focuses on the fundamental components of language, major parts of speech, proper syntax and sentence structure, and composition writing.
Science and Social Studies
Science will focus primarily on Chemistry and Physics. In Chemistry, the students will learn about matter, physical and chemical properties, atoms, and chemical reactions. In Physics, the students will learn about forces and motion, types of energy, and light and sound. Science labs encourage students to reinforce and discover the topic covered in class.
Students will be introduced to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and will do a STEM challenge every so often. STEM education focus on the student using critical thinking to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Fifth grade students will experience either chorus, band or orchestra daily.
Gym and Music are each taught twice a week.
Old Testament Course Overview: The 6th Grade Religion class will center on an in depth study of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. Particular focus is on those books which deal with the history of the Jewish people. Other topics will include the Liturgical Calendar and Liturgical Seasons.
Students will learn about ancient cultures,civilizations, and map skills.. Focus is on the five themes of geography: location, place, human environment interaction, movement, and region.
Junior High 6th grade Literature aims to cultivate a love and appreciation for the world of reading.Students will be exposed to a variety of genres; allowing for the ability to explore those areas of interest.Vocabulary will be developed throughout each novel; allowing for the students to see these words in context.6th grade novels will include the following titles; “Crash” by Jerry Spinelli, “D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech, “Love that Dog” by Sharon Creech, “Hate that Cat” by Sharon Creech and “Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls” by Raymond Arroyo.
Our 6th grade math curriculum is a Pre-Algebra program that stresses the basics of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division, and positive and negative integers. It also includes number theory, data and statistics, ratios, percents and proportions, and an introduction to geometry. In addition, we study equations and expressions, which provide the basic building blocks for the algebra that they will be exposed to as they continue on in Junior High and High School.
Students will learn about the biodiversity of life. They will learn about living organisms and about the relationships between all living things. Some topics will include living things, genetics, plants, fish, amphibians and reptiles, and environmental science.
Students will learn about the scientific method, chemistry and physics. Some topics will include the scientific method, matter, the periodic table, and forms of energy.
The focus of this year is the introduction of the fundamentals of algebra and most numerals and their properties. Rational numbers are involved with each topic discussed. Throughout the year, each topic is tethered to future job opportunities and a very interactive trip to Finance Park. Near the conclusion of the year, we explore geometry and probability with simple and more complex operations.
Junior High 7th grade Literature aims to cultivate a love and appreciation for the world of reading.Students will be exposed to a variety of genres; allowing for the ability to explore those areas of interest.Vocabulary will be developed throughout each novel; allowing for the students to see these words in context. 7th grade novels will include the following titles: “Freak the Mighty” by Rodman Philbrick, “Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, “Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Gennifer Choldenko, “Heartbeat” by Sharon Creech, “My Brother Sam Is Dead” by James and Christopher Lincoln and “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli.
American Studies from Beginnings to 1877
Grade 7 American Social Studies focuses on the development of our glorious nation. We begin with the geography of North and South America and progress in our study through the Reconstruction of the South. We emphasize vocabulary, economics, government, and the themes of geography.
New Testament Course Overview: The 7th Grade Religion class will be a continuation of the 6th Grade Religion class. It will center on an in depth study of the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Alongside the study of the New Testament, students will study and begin to be prepared for the sacrament of Confirmation throughout the year.
The focus throughout 8th grade mathematics is to master the foundations of algebra. We begin by revisiting some essential elements from 7th grade and continue to build on those fundamentals. We explore several different numerals and how to operate with them. The introduction of polynomials and other variable based mathematics allows the elevation of vocabulary and preparation for high school. Finally, geometry brings all the elements together with hands on understanding and application.
Junior High 8th grade Literature aims to cultivate a love and appreciation for the world of reading.Students will be exposed to a variety of genres; allowing for the ability to explore those areas of interest.Vocabulary will be developed throughout each novel; allowing for the students to see these words in context. 8th grade novels will include the following titles: “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin, “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson, “The Diary of Anne Frank” (the drama) by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackettand “Children of Terror” by Bozenna Urbanowicz Gilbride and Inge Auerbacher.
In preparation for High School, students in the 8th grade study Earth Science for their science curriculum.After passing this course, students are able to take the next level science as freshmen at Kellenberg HS, to allow them to take an advanced science path.The Earth Science curriculum is broken up into the three major components with the students studying Geology concepts in the first trimester, Hydrological and Atmospheric concepts in the second trimester, and Astronomy in their third trimester.
American History Part 2 The 8th Grade Social Studies class covers the second half of American History from the Civil War to the present day. Students will also study and stay on top of current events.
The Study of Church History Course Overview: The students will study the history of the Catholic Church and its development since its inception. Students will study the life stories of the men and women, the movements they created and the challenges they faced. The ultimate goal is not only for the students to know the historical details but more importantly to come to understand that truly living the Christian life has always been a challenge but one that they too are called to embrace.
Traditional fine art studio techniques are taught with step by step instructions. Elements of art and principles of design support the students understanding of the visual art experience. Student work is displayed in three formal venues: The Christmas Art Exhibition at KMHS, The Christian Icon Exhibition, and the Spring Art Exhibition. Student work is informally displayed in the building.
Each grade has a focus on the following:
Kindergarten – Drawing with basic shapes, line and color. Students create a self portrait.
1st Grade – Expansion of drawing while integrating the artwork of children’s authors.
2nd Grade – Drawing and painting with the introduction of artists such as Vincent Van Gogh. Students paint an icon of the Blessed Mother.
3rd Grade – Drawing, painting and print making. Students are introduced to the Impressionists artists.
4th Grade – Drawing, painting and cartooning. Students are introduced to Art History.
6th Grade – Drawing, painting and iconography.
8th Grade – Drawing, painting, iconography and a self portrait.
Band, Chorus, and Orchestra
Students may begin to participate in the Band Program as early as Grade 4. Students enrolled in the Band Program commit to one full year of studying a major band instrument from the woodwind, brass, or percussion family. Enrollment in the Band Program entitles all students to one small group lesson each week, where students playing the same instrument may be instructed together.
Fourth and Fifth Grade band students, as well as Junior High band students meet each day for a band rehearsal, where they prepare music for upcoming concerts and continue working on building their playing technique for advancement on their instrument. All band students perform in the Christmas and Spring concerts.
Many of our Band Program students participate in the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Music Festival, which is held each spring. There are many opportunities to perform on their instruments throughout the school year, including at our monthly School Mass, school parades, and our Graduation Ceremony.
Instruments may either be brought from home or may be rented out through the school, for the entire school year. For students looking to advance in their technique or receive a little extra help, teachers give extra help lessons, free of charge, each school day, before and after school.
Children in Grades 4 through 8 who are not in the Band or Orchestra Program participate in the Chorus Program. We begin by introducing music theory, giving students a chance to explore vocal music while developing and learning the fundamentals of music. Students will learn how to match pitch and sing in unison and two-part harmony. Students learn how to develop listening skills, breathing techniques, matching pitches and rhythms, tone, diction and proper vowel formation.
Students will use voice warm-ups to focus on the techniques of choral singing and sing in rounds to develop part-singing skills. They learn songs in preparation for the school’s monthly masses, prayer services, assemblies and special functions. Chorus students in grades 3-8 prepare songs for the Christmas and Spring concerts.
The Beginner Orchestra consists of students in the 4th and 5th grades. Students in this ensemble meet in small, instrument-specific weekly lesson groups to work on mastering the basics of their chosen instruments. They meet each day for full ensemble rehearsal as part of their regular school schedule. The Beginner Orchestra will perform in both the Christmas and Spring Concerts.
The Advanced Orchestra is an ensemble for students in the 6th-8th grades. Students in this ensemble meet in small, instrument-specific groups for weekly lessons. They rehearse as a larger ensemble each day as part of their school schedule. The Advanced Orchestra will also perform in both the Christmas and Spring Concerts.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
Physical Education for Pre-K students include activities that initiate the development of gross motor skills, provide for social interaction, and foster the enjoyment of physical activity. Students should be able to walk, jog, skip, run, hop, jump, and leap with proper form, and be able to demonstrate good balance and spatial awareness. Students should also be able to follow instruction, play well with one another and stay on task for an entire class period.
Physical Education for Kindergarten students include activities that further the development of both gross and fine motor skills, provide for social interaction, and foster the enjoyment of physical activity. Kindergarten students should be able to move in all planes of motion with proper form, be able to demonstrate unilateral balance and hand-eye coordination, and have the ability to control their movement around others, follow instruction, play well with one another, and stay on task for an entire class period.
1st – 5th Grades
Physical Education for students include activities that further the development of both gross and fine motor skills, introduce team sports and fitness concepts, and foster the enjoyment of physical activity. Students should be able to demonstrate basic sports skills and athletic abilities. Students should also be able to work well with partners, and respect and follow the rules of the game.
4th and 5th Grades
Physical Education for 4th and 5th grade students include activities that further the development of motor skills needed for team sports and fitness concepts, promote the cognitive ability to develop game strategy, as well as to foster the enjoyment of physical activity. Students should be able to demonstrate basic sports skills and athletic abilities, demonstrate self-motivation, and good sportsmanship.
Physical Education for Junior High students include activities that further the development of motor skills needed for team sports and fitness concepts, promote the cognitive ability to develop game strategy, as well as to foster the enjoyment of physical activity and further develop all aspects of team play. Students should be able to demonstrate basic sports skills and athletic abilities, demonstrate self-motivation, and good sportsmanship.
Students in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades have a third Physical Education class on their schedules that meets every other week. This class is taught in the Phys. Ed. environment as a Health Education class. Because the class meets every other week, students are not required to wear a Phys. Ed. uniform on those days. Instead, the class will start with a discussion of a health topic, and continue with a related physical activity used to illustrate that concept. Topics include Heart and Lung Connection, Germs, and Temperature Control.
During the 2nd Trimester, students in the Junior High will have Health Education three classes per week, when Physical Education appears on their schedule. The Health Education course is only taught during this trimester and will have a Comprehensive exam at the end of the trimester. Students will be taught in a traditional classroom and therefore are not required to have their Physical Education uniform during this trimester. The basis for all three grade levels starts with the concept of the importance of having a balanced Health Triangle. The Health Triangle consists of Physical Health, Social Health, and Mental/Emotional Health facets and is surrounded by the more important Spiritual Health. Although each grade level will have a different focus (see below) the interactions of these health components will be their foundation.
The primary focus of 6th Grade Health will be on the Physical Health side of the Health Triangle. Physical Health will be studied by studying the body as a functioning unit of systems that work together for one’s overall health. Students will learn about the main anatomy and physiology, pathology, and ways to maintain the health of each system.
The primary focus of 7th Grade Health will be of the Mental/Emotional Health and Social Health sides of the Health Triangle. Students will learn about Mental/Emotional Health by studying the mind-body connection. Topics will include a comparison between the brain and the mind, stress, and the Fight or Flight response. Social Health will be studied by examining how one’s self is part of a larger society. Topics will include a comparison of different family types, and establishing healthy relationships.
The primary focus of 8th Grade Health will be a return to the Physical Health side of the Health Triangle. Students will learn about the different aspects of fitness, and how to improve upon their own fitness level. These aspects include, muscle strength, muscle endurance, aerobic capacity, body composition and flexibility. During the trimester, students will participate in standardized fitness tests in order to determine their own, current fitness level. Learning about concepts such as the F.I.T.T. principle, and healthy fitness zones will allow the students to develop a regimen suited to their own fitness goals.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Chorus
All Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students participate in a chorus class, which meets each school day. Students in Kindergarten sing in two performances throughout the school year: the Kindergarten Christmas Concert and the Kindergarten Farewell Ceremony, both of which take place in our school.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Chorus begins with warm-up exercises, which begin their preparations for proper singing technique, which they will continue expanding upon throughout their years at St. Martin de Porres Marianist School. These warm-ups include breathing exercises, pronunciation exercises, and the learning of solfege (“Do-Re-Mi”).
The Pre-K and Kindergarten students learn a variety of songs, spanning all of the major genres. They are taught these songs by rote. Each month, as part of our school celebrations of Mass, students learn how to sing the Mass parts, as well as the other hymns sung throughout the course of a Mass.
Grades 1 & 2 Music
Students in grades 1 and 2 take a music class each day as part of their regular school schedule. In both grades, students work on matching pitch and understanding rhythm. Music from all genres is taught to these students. Music for our monthly school masses is another focus for students in these grades.
Second graders perform in a Christmas pageant. They also prepare songs for the celebration of their First Holy Communion in the spring.
Grade 3 Chorus and Violin
Besides learning the skills of chorus during the Third Grade, curriculum is a year-long adventure where the students learn music as a new language. Students will learn to read and count music, in addition to learning proper violin playing technique. All 3rd graders perform in the Christmas and Spring concerts.
Grade 5 Music
Students in 5th grade study World Music in this program. This class meets three times per week, offsetting the physical education classes. In this class, we explore the music of many cultures from around the world. The school year begins with basic music theory, then moving to the studying of the classifying of instruments used in our own American culture. This knowledge is taught first, so that the students may have a means of comparing and contrasting instruments from other cultures throughout the remainder of the school year. Several projects are assigned throughout the school year, the most anticipated being the building of instruments from unconventional materials.
Grade 7 Music
Students in the 7th Grade music program learn about musical history, spanning from 600AD through the Romantic Period. The 7th Grade students also learn how to listen to and analyze music. Throughout the school year, students will learn about composers and how musical composition has evolved throughout several major musical time periods. This class meets twice a week, offsetting their Physical Education class.