Reading and spelling at Alpine Academy are phonics-based, expanding into comprehension and analysis in the later grade classrooms. Writing incorporates the D-Nealian method of fine motor development of continuous movement in preparation for cursive writing in the upper grades and using the rules of spoken and written language.
Kindergarteners go from identifying letters to reading words and short sentences. They start the year writing individual letters and progress to writing whole words and short sentences. They practice writing letters in D’Nealian manuscript using one continuous movement.
First graders learn new words and strategies to help them decode unknown words. They also begin to have a better understanding of what they read. Their writing and spelling skills grow throughout the year, making it possible for them to write longer and longer sentences using D’Nealian manuscript. They learn that a sentence has five requirements: start with a capital letter, have a subject, have a verb, make sense, and end with punctuation.
Second graders focus on reading for meaning, to understand and remember. They learn to recognize more words by sight, and they learn more strategies to help them figure out new words. Second graders start writing about different topics, experiences, and their opinions. They practice finding and correcting their spelling and punctuation errors. They begin to write cursive letters.
Third graders go from learning to read to reading to learn. They read chapter books, articles, and poems, and they discuss what they read with others. Third graders write reports, descriptions, definitions, and stories. They edit and proofread their work, which means a lot more grammar rules to remember. They practice writing words and short sentences in cursive handwriting.
Fourth graders will continue to build important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. They will read more challenging literature, articles, and other sources of information and continue to grow their vocabulary. In fourth grade, there is a focus on reading comprehension. Fourth graders also do a lot of writing. They write essays and reports, and they edit and proofread their writing. They learn to organize their ideas and develop topics with reasons, facts, details, and other information. They practice writing classwork in cursive writing.
Fifth graders read fiction and nonfiction books. They learn how to analyze and summarize what they read, and they write reports and work on long-term projects. They read more challenging literature, articles, and other sources of information and continue to grow their vocabulary, including in the subjects of science and social studies. Fifth graders will write regularly and continue to develop their ability to gather, organize, interpret, present, and cite information. They are writing notes and answering essay questions using cursive handwriting but will be using the computer to type reports.
The math curriculum at Alpine Academy focuses in the early years on basic calculation and math facts, moving from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. As the years progress, the emphasis moves more and more toward using math in problem solving and practical situations. And yes, there will be word problems. Base ten is used throughout. At various grades, fractions, decimals, money, measurement, percentages, ratios and aspects of beginning algebra and geometry are introduced and incorporated.
Kindergarteners learn about numbers, counting, sorting, and grouping. The focus is primarily on two important areas: The first is learning numbers and what numbers represent. The second is learning the concepts of addition and subtraction. By the end of the year, Kindergarteners should be able to count to 100, write numbers to 20, and add and subtract numbers to 10.
First graders practice counting higher, learn how to skip count, and work on addition and subtraction. They will work with whole numbers and place value, including grouping numbers into tens and ones as they learn to add and subtract up through 20. They will also use charts, tables, and diagrams to solve problems.
Second graders learn how to add and subtract two-digit numbers using carrying and regrouping, and they work on mastering addition and subtraction facts. They will also study money, measurement, and telling time. Second graders will extend their understanding of place value to 1000. Second graders will also build a foundation for understanding fractions by working with shapes and geometry.
Third graders do addition and subtraction problems with large numbers. They begin work with fractions and decimals, and they start learning how to do multiplication and division, including the math facts. They will also make connections between the area of a shape and multiplication.
Fourth graders work on multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. They will increasingly use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to solve word problems, including problems involving measurement. They know their math facts.
Fifth graders add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and decimals. They use their math skills to solve multi-step real life problems involving measurement, time, and money. They will be learning to measure for both plane and solid geometry and beginning algebra. They will learn percentages, averages, and ratios.
Social Studies for grades K-5 are focused on U.S. and Illinois history, world geography and cultures, personal economics and social mores, and the responsibilities of citizenship (civics). As students move into the upper grades, they will learn more about how world history has impacted and formed our nation, geographically, economically, environmentally, culturally, and politically.
Science education encompasses a vast array of knowledge. Students are introduced to many areas of study. They will learn about living things and their ecosystems, the science of the earth and solar system, physical science with energy, work, machines, magnets, force, light, heat, properties of motion and matter. They will study the human body, diseases and healthy ways to live. Experiments will occur following the scientific method. Alpine Academy is transitioning from separate subjects of science and technology to the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) coordinated curriculum.
Music education is centered around the three full-school performances each year: Veterans’ Day, Christmas, and Easter. Students also have opportunities to perform or speak at Chapel time each week, with classes taking turns to compose and perform Bible stories. Instrumental instruction is available after school starting in third grade.
The Spanish curriculum is an introduction to the language and is centered around useful conversation and vocabulary.
The P.E. curriculum is based on development of gross motor skills and physical fitness, team participation and turn-taking, and playing according to the rules.
The art curriculum is based on development of fine motor skills, creative expression, visual perception, color, and design.
The Alpine Academy religion curriculum is based on Bible learning and centered around our core value of grace: the grace of God in love for all God’s children and the two commandments identified by Jesus as the most important—Love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. We are children of God and Jesus is our savior. Students will learn Old and New Testament stories. They will be taught that God loves and forgives them as they need to forgive. They will be taught the Trinity, how to pray, and how to sing of God’s love. They will be taught that heaven waits for all who believe in God.