Technology

K-3

Students in the primary grades technology lab work on creating a basis of knowledge using Apple computers.  Students use some of their time in class to learn the fundamentals of using the computer, including proper typing skills.  They also learn proper names for technology, how to responsibly use and care for technology both at school and at home, and how to be safe on the internet.
In addition to computer fundamentals, students will learn how to use basic programs and applications through weekly or multi-weekly projects and activities.  Students use Pages for word processing, Keynote to create and present slide shows, and Numbers to make spreadsheets, tables, and graphs.  Students utilize Safari to access the internet when practicing keyboarding skills or doing research.  The technology teacher works in collaboration with the primary grades' homeroom teachers and media specialist as much as possible to create lessons for computer class.  Technology lessons often incorporate the subjects of reading and language arts, applying Common Core standards and objectives across the curriculum.  Teachers have also worked together in the topics of science, math, social studies, and religion. 

4-8

Students in the 4-8 technology labs continue to build upon the foundation laid in the primary grades by continuing to work on basic skills of typing, computer fundamentals, proper terminology, online safety and responsible use of technology.
Instruction in the use of the major Apple programs (Pages, Keynote and Numbers) continues with students learning more advanced uses and features of the programs.
Cross-curricular projects are incorporated whenever possible to increase the relevance of the technology curriculum to the students. Projects may be initiated by the core teacher or through technology to integrate technology into the core curriculum. Common Core standards are followed and used as a basis for all lessons.
Students are also introduced to computer programming and engineering principles through online simulations, drag and drop programming environments, and iPad applications.

 

Library Classes

K-2

All students are encouraged to read and enjoy reading in the St. Pius X library.  To encourage reading and responsibility, students receive their own library card and are rewarded with a sticker for each time they come prepared.  Library class time can consist of listening to story, learning and respecting organization of library materials through using shelf markers and a visit with “Dr. Foley, Book Doctor.”  Students read independently during self-selected reading time after checkout.   In first grade, beginning research strategies are practiced through nonfiction and biographies, emphasizing saying “thank you” to the author to lay the foundation of ethical borrowing of information.  Reading Counts is supported and encouraged during library time in grades 1 and 2, with time devoted to taking RC quizzes.  In addition to reading, this also exposes the student to technology skills.  Students in K-2 participate in the North Carolina Children’s Book Award program, whereby they listen and vote on their favorite book.   In 2nd grade literary genres are discussed.  All students are able to check out every week provided they have come prepared with their library book returned or brought for renewal.   Classroom projects topics are extended into library for a cross-curricular approach to learning.   Additionally, lessons are created to support visiting authors.

3-5

As student matriculate into 3-5 grades at St. Pius X, library class students continue to be encouraged to read and enjoy reading in the St. Pius X library.  To encourage reading and responsibility, students receive their own library card and are rewarded with a sticker for each time they come prepared.  More emphasis in 3-5th grade is placed on composing book reviews to post onto Destiny Quest, the library catalog.  This fosters student voice, positively impacting and influencing student selection of books in the St. Pius X Library by using Destiny Quest.  3th – 5th grade participate in research projects, some as a cross-curricular approach to classroom-originated topics.  Ethical research strategies are practiced and required, citing author information when borrowing information, both in print and online.   Research skills are practiced using traditional and online resources.  Reading Counts is supported and encouraged during library time in grades 1 and 2.  Students routinely practice self-selected reading time during library class.   Students in 3-5th grade also study effective online search strategies identifying keywords.  All students can checkout 2 books each week provided they come prepared.    In the case of school author visits, projects and research assignments are created to support this event. 

6-8

Middle school library is a part of Language Arts class, which visits the library once a week. Collaborative planning between the librarian and language arts teacher is in place throughout the year to provide research strategies and projects to support novels read in Language Arts class.  The Library offers a large collection of books in the middle school reading range students may checkout, including books from current and past Battle of the Books lists.  Middle school students are encouraged to read and express their opinions through book reviews posted on Destiny Quest, the library catalog.   Components of a book review are reviewed.    Author research papers, analyzing primary and secondary sources, MLA citation, and a review of traditional sources including dictionaries, maps, and thesaurus are taught in library class.  The majority of these research projects fall in conjunction with novels discussed in Language Arts class.  Some research skill lessons are independent, others occur in groups.   RC quizzes are available for students to take.   Middle School students can have two library books out, and students are offered self-selected reading time.  Additionally, in the case of school author visits, projects and research assignments are created to support this event.

 

Spanish

K-8

All children who attend Saint Pius X School have the opportunity to experience Spanish in the classroom. Grades K-4 focus on the basic aspects of the Spanish language. They will touch on themes such as colors, the nuclear family, weather, time, and much more. The Spanish program has incorporated a cross-curriculum program from K-on where the students are exposed to the target language through a variety of multimedia materials in their common core curriculum through the target language. Spanish is also taught through science, social studies, and language arts matching the state standards and upholding second language teaching standards.
Saint Pius X School is implementing a partial immersion program where English speaking students meet twice a week, and the content of the class is delivered mainly in the target language and in English. The program integrates the nationally known skills of the four C’s: Communication, Culture, Comparisons, and Communities. Grade 4 prepares the student for his/her transition into the fifth grade where Spanish enters a more detailed study of the skills. Grades 5-8 meet three times per week and touch on many of the above activities but in a more advanced stage. Oral and written expression will be assessed through the incorporation of grammar, vocabulary and conversation. These aspects become more and more vital in grasping the concept of a second language as the years go on. Students at all levels will be taught the Hispanic culture with the incorporation of videos, newspapers, magazine articles, and community service. In learning the aspects of another culture, the students should find a greater appreciation of their own cultures and for other diverse cultures all around the world.
Grades K-4Text:       Teacher-Generated Materials
Grades 5-7 Text:      McDougal Littel, En Español! Level 1a, 2002
Grade 8 Text:            McDougal Littel, En Español! Level 1b, 2002

 

Art

K- 4   

The goal of the K-4 program is for students to develop a love of art.  God has given each of us the gift of creativity, and we are to use this gift in all possible ways.  We believe the visual arts are part of a child’s basic education.  The program seeks to open students’ eyes, spark their imagination, direct their hands,  and challenge them to explore media and techniques.  Learning the language of art will strengthen children’s problem-solving and communication skills. Each grade level progressively builds upon and reinforces the following areas:
Motor Skills- Students participate in cutting, gluing, drawing, painting, coloring, and building. These skills always include safety instructions and care of materials. Every year, these skills are reviewed and more advanced techniques taught. One of the most important skills taught is patience.
Elements and Principles of Design- Lessons and projects are built around the basic language of art:  line, shape, space, form, texture, depth, value, color, repetition, variation, balance, contrast, emphasis, and unity.  These terms become part of students’ vocabulary.
Media- All students explore using a variety of media each year, including: clay and glazes, paper construction and collage, tempura, watercolor, oil pastels,  markers, crayons, colored pencils, pencils, printmaking materials, fabric, yarn,  and craft materials.
Art History and Cultural Arts- Every grade level focuses on famous artists and relates project styles and thought processes of that artist.  Famous artists include, but are not limited to:  Da Vinci, Seurat, O’keefe, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Cultural art, such as Native American, South American, Asian, Hispanic, African, are highlighted and appreciated throughout the grade levels.
Creativity and Expression- When children feel confident with their motor skills, understand art words and ideas, and have tried making art with many different materials; they are able to express more freely thoughts and feelings they wish to communicate.  Students are always encouraged to explore their own unique way of seeing, feeling, interpreting, and appreciating the creativity of others.

 5–8

Art is created by expressing, interpreting, questioning, exploring, experimenting, comparing, and contrasting.  The 5-8 visual arts program introduces the students to the elements and principles of design through projects that integrate a variety of techniques and media.  The program develops the students’ abilities to make critical judgments about art and to understand and appreciate the influences of art from history and cultures.
We build on the fundamentals of art learned in grades K-4.  We master our skills, and our work becomes more mature as we develop our talents.  Mediums used in middle school include oil pastels, tempera paint, watercolor paint, acrylic paint, fluorescent paint, chalk pastels, charcoal pencils, markers, colored pencils, plaster, ceramics, mosaics, scratchboards, and printmaking.
The history of art is an integral part of our studies.  Students learn the vocabulary and analytical skills necessary to appreciate and critically evaluate art pieces. 
Students are encouraged to explore new ideas, maturely appreciate the work of other students, develop creative thinking, and master the use of art materials.  Each student from each grade level is represented in our annual K-8 Art Show.
Artists, cultures, and topics include:
5th grade- Henry Rosseau-  Primitive Art, Wayne Theibaud-American Art, Frank Stella-Abstract Art, Cultural  arts from China and Africa. 
6th grade- Henri Matisse-Modern Art, Marc Chagall-Surrealism, Henri Lichtenstein pop art, Paul Cézanne- watercolor.
7th grade- Graphic design studies, Claus Oldenburg-Sculpture,  Peter Max– Modern art,  Cultural arts from Mexico and Australia.
8th grade- Andy Warhol-Pop Art, Egyptian Art king Tut.  Renaissance art perspective, Michael snow- Graphic artist.

 

Music

K-8

The music program at SPX gives students a variety of learning opportunities and gradually builds upon music basics. We use electronic and printed versions of Silver Burdett’s Making Music as well as hymnals and other music enrichment tools.
Kindergarten students sing and learn rhythm through movement activities. They begin to recognize band instruments and learn to play a variety of Orff and rhythm instruments. They learn about dynamics, form, style, and pitch matching. Kindergartners sing and play Orff instruments in a Christmas concert with their 8th grade prayer buddies as well as perform in the spring arts festival.
Grades 1-2 build upon these basics. Students learn to identify pitch intervals. They learn about composers and their music. They play pitched Orff instruments alone and in ensemble. By second grade they begin to sing simple rounds. Finally, Grades 1-2 sing in a Christmas concert as well as the spring arts festival along with all other students. 
In Grades 3-5, many opportunities are available for developing and sharing musical skills. In third grade, skills started in first and second grade are expanded on.  Third graders also begin to learn to play the recorder.  We use a fun supplement called Recorder Karate whereby students work their way through levels similar to martial arts classes.  In fourth and fifth grades, students continue to develop their instrumental skills on the recorder.  They begin to learn several major scales as well as learn how to perform duets and more challenging pieces of music.  Vocal skills are also studied in more depth.  Solfege is used extensively in warm-up routines and part-singing is developed.  The ability to aurally identify and vocally perform diatonic intervals is also developed.  Fourth grade is the first year that students may enroll in the SPX Choir, a before-school choral group that rehearses two mornings a week.  They sing for the school Mass every Tuesday morning as well as perform at various community events.  The SPX Choir also participates in the Carowinds Festival of Music in the spring.
In grades 6-8, students apply their repertoire of skills in music to projects that enhance their ability and enrich their community. Students progress in reading, composing, and performing music. Through their study of contemporary and historical music, they are encouraged to use teamwork and develop critical thinking skills such as analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information. Additionally, they begin to experience the arts as society’s gift to itself, linking hope to memory, inspiring courage, making our tragedies bearable, and enriching our celebrations.

 

Physical Education

K

Play-type activities are highly important in the kindergarten program mainly because young students are naturally active and learn best when they enjoy what they are doing.  A large majority of suggested activities for kindergarten students are individual in nature, centering on movement and rhythmics.  Jump roping and footwork, such as skipping and galloping, is introduced.  Some emphasis is given to simple stunts and simple games.  There is little emphasis on team play.  Activities are such that the student has a chance to explore and create.  Physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.

1

The1st grade program embraces some of the same areas as the kindergarten program with more emphasis on tumbling.  Most of the program is devoted to movement.  Locomotor skills are very important.  A foundation is laid for important play skills of throwing and catching.  Beanbags, yarn balls, and playground balls are important tools for this.  Physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.

2

The 2nd grade program follows the pattern of the first grade program, with the exception of the introduction of simple relays based primarily on locomotor skills.  Ball bouncing and dribbling to rhythm are use on this level.  Physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.

3

Movement still has an important function in this grade level.  However, the emphasis on body management is secondary to improvement of fundamental skills.  The third grade program provides transition between the simplified activity program of the lower grades and the sports interest. A major difference in activity for the third grade is the introduction of simple sports skills and activities.  The student will start to use different techniques to roll, bounce, kick, bat, dribble, throw, and catch balls.  Attention is directed to specific sports skills.  Physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.

4&5

More specialized skills are beginning to be taught in at this level. Simple games and relays become more challenging at this level in preparation for more sports skills. More time is allotted for games geared toward major sports.  Physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.

6-8

Sports are the largest increment in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. When a child finishes at this level, he or she should have had experiences in regular or modified versions of basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, and other various sports and games.  Also, physical fitness assessments are used to determine students’ fitness levels.