We are a R.E.A.L. Catholic community that nurtures the whole child through
academic excellence, 21st Century innovation and active Catholic stewardship.

Curriculum

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

We are professional early childhood educators, intent on bringing an understanding of faith in God and knowledge of our Catholic Church to kindergarteners. With a focus on educating the whole child, we address academics with a developmentally appropriate approach as we nurture the spiritual, social and emotional growth and well being of the kindergarten children of Saint John XXIII Catholic School Community. As Catholic educators, we work to develop a partnership with parents to assure the success of our students and provide continuity between school and home.

 

Religion:

In our Religion program, our studies are based on the five strands of the Diocesan Religion Curriculum: What We Believe, How We Celebrate, How We Live, How We Pray, and Introductory Scripture Knowledge. Our kinder students also learn and actively participate in many prayer forms: rote prayers, Adoration, the Scriptural Rosary, Mass responses, and spontaneous prayer. Our kindergarteners attend weekly Mass with our older Buddies, weekly Adoration, and receive instruction in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atrium). Kindergarteners show and share their faith to the community through Faith in Action projects.

Literacy:

In a whole group setting, our kindergarteners will learn phonics, develop phonemic awareness, use core vocabulary, and learn comprehension skills and strategies while building knowledge through theme-based literature units. Our unit studies also integrate writing project using the 6+1 Traits format, handwriting instruction, and fine motor development. Science and social studies concepts are incorporated within the theme studies. These themes include Self-Awareness, the Five Senses, Family and Friends, Neighborhood and Government, Transportation, Nutrition, Seasons and Weather, Animals, Plants. Additionally, our kindergarteners receive literacy instruction in small group settings to practice fluency, review high frequency words, and apply comprehension strategies and skills.

Math:

In kindergarten, hands-on exploration and the use of manipulatives is our instructional model. Kindergarteners move from concrete experiences to abstract/symbolic knowledge. These concepts include pattern development and recognition, numeral writing, set formation, counting in a variety of ways, geometry, graphing, and simple addition and subtraction.

Lots of Learning AND lots of Fun!

Kindergarten is a very active first year at Saint John XXIII. We have many visitors to our rooms: the firefighter, Mother Goose, St. Nicholas, and representatives from the religious community. We often combine classes to share our knowledge and to celebrate our learning: the Living Litany of Saints, Thanksgiving program, Christmas concert, and Pajamarama! We also go on curriculum related field trips!

 

Kindergarten at Saint John XXIII can be summed up best by the words of
St. Therese the Little Flower:
“Doing little things with lots of love!”

First Grade

First Grade

First grade is a very important year for students. It is in first grade that they will be introduced to concepts that they will continue to build upon for the rest of their academic years. First grade students will be instructed in Religion, Grammar, Mathematics, Vocabulary, Science, Social Studies, Handwriting, Phonics, Spelling, Reading, PE, Music, Art, Computers and Spanish.

Here are some of the new and exciting standards for first grade:

Religion:

saints, angels, sacraments, seasons of the church, adoration, rosary and the 10 Commandments

Grammar:

nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, contractions, compound words, subject and predicate

Math:

addition and subtraction strategies, counting money, telling time, estimation, symmetry

Vocabulary:

learning the meaning of words, how to use in a sentence, synonyms and antonyms

Science:

Earth’s materials, space, life cycles, animal habitats, the inquiry process and plant life

Social Studies:

families, communities, early Americans, model citizens, geography and economics

Handwriting:

correct formation of numbers, upper and lower case letters with emphasis on alignment, line orientation and spacing

Phonics:

digraphs, suffixes, root words, long and short vowels, word families, end rhyme, sight words and high frequency words

Spelling:

a focus on decodable words, sight words and usage

Writing:

Using the 6 + 1 Writing Traits, we will express our thoughts and what we know from all different subject areas.

Typically, in a year we try to take the children on three field trips. Each one is correlated with an objective that reinforces what we are doing in class. We have weekly homework and word tests. We celebrate the seasons with fall, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and End-of-the-Year parties. We celebrate birthdays and have a weekly star student. Our grade level service project is a visit once a month to an Assisted Living community to play games and talk with grand friends. We have an opportunity to host Monday prayer, mass and Friday courtyard prayer. First grade is filled with real life connections, service to our Lord and a ton of laughs. We lose a lot of teeth, grow like weeds and have fun doing it!

Second Grade

Second Grade

Second grade is an exciting year! We continue to build on concepts taught in first grade, as well as build the foundation for continued learning in the third grade. Second grade students will be instructed in Religion, Mathematics, Vocabulary, Science, Social Studies, Handwriting, Phonics, Spelling, Grammar, Reading, PE, Music, Art, Computers and Spanish.

Here are some of the new and exciting standards for second grade:

Religion:

saints, angels, sacraments (with a focus on reconciliation), seasons of the church, adoration, rosary, and the 10 Commandments

Math:

addition and subtraction strategies, counting money, symmetry, multiplication, division, measurement, and skill application with word problems

Vocabulary:

learning the meaning of words, how to use in a sentence, synonyms and antonyms

Science:

living things, human body and its systems, cells, weather, solids and liquids

Social Studies:

families, communities, early Americans, model citizens, geography and economics

Handwriting:

correct formation of numbers, upper and lower case letters with emphasis on alignment, line orientation and spacing

Phonics:

digraphs, suffixes, root words, long and short vowels, word families, end rhyme, consonant blends, r-controlled vowels, and word endings

Spelling:

a focus on decodable words, sight words and usage through the Sitton Spelling program.

Writing:

Using the 6 + 1 Writing Traits, we will express our thoughts and what we know from all different subject areas.

Every year we try to take the children on two field trips. Each one is aligned with an objective that reinforces what we are doing in class. We have weekly homework and word tests. We celebrate with a Christmas and End of the Year Party. Our grade level service project is to collect school supplies for a school in need within the Diocese of Phoenix. We have an opportunity to host Monday prayer, mass, and courtyard prayer twice throughout the year.

Third Grade

Third Grade

Saint John XXIII Catholic School strives for excellence in our students to be R.E.A.L. people of God. We demonstrate being a Christian leader by taking part in Mass each week, learning daily with our text, participating in our service project with Pueblo Norte (an assisted living facility) and by showing respect to our classmates each day. We work on becoming a more Effective Communicator through our weekly writings, reading stories, center work, and sharing. We work on becoming a more Independent Thinker by using critical analysis in mathematics, investigations in Science, and applications to the real world in Social Studies. We strive for our students to be Life-Long Learners by crafting a fun filled atmosphere that is also a respectful, God- centered classroom where all of God’s gifts and talents are celebrated.

Religion:

In third grade, we develop the knowledge of God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Mary, and the saints through traditions, doctrine, and Scripture. We demonstrate the understanding of the Church as a Catholic community with rites and rules. We work towards developing our students as stewards of Christ. Our students also focus on the knowledge and understanding of the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, and Eucharist.

Language Arts:

We use the McGraw-Hill Treasures program of reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. We work on vocabulary development and comprehension skills while recognizing story elements and an author’s purposes for writing. We give 3-4 book report presentations each year including: diorama or float creation, biographical timeline, and graphic organizers.

Social Studies:

The curriculum focus is Early American history. We learn about early Native North American tribes and what their communities and cultures entailed. We take a field trip to Pueblo Grande Museum each year to learn about an authentic Hohokam ancient culture, as well as, re-creating petro glyph rock art. Our other focus is early American European communities and the formation of government in the 13 colonies/states. We analyze how these early American communities utilized their natural resources as well.

Science:

This curriculum focuses on a variety of physical, life, and Earth Sciences. Some of the units include the following: light and sound, the Earth and rocks, and living things. We will be exploring Science through a variety of investigations while working on different ways to take notes and improve study skills.

Math:

We are implementing the Singapore math program this year. It gives us a chance to explore alternative strategies to solving math problems.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade students will actively participate in a well-rounded, rigorous curriculum.

Religion:

As Catechists of our faith we join with parents in teaching and sharing with your student the richness and fullness of our Catholic Faith. We use the Faith and Life series that makes Bible stories come alive for the students. Students participate in weekly Mass, Adoration, and recitation of the Rosary.

Language Arts:

Students will participate in several in-depth novel studies, Junior Great Books, Easy Grammar Systems, and Sitton Spelling Students will also have many opportunities to improve their written expression by learning about and utilizing a variety of writing styles.

Social Studies:

Students will participate in a Traveling Journal project throughout the year while they study the six regions of the United States. A detailed study of the state of Arizona ends with our field trip to our own State Capitol in Phoenix. Students will create their own power point presentation about one of our fifty states.

Science:

Much of our Science curriculum utilizes the FOSS Science program that gives your student many hands-on opportunities to investigate Magnetism and Electricity and The Water Planet – Earth. We will also explore animals and their habitats.

Math:

We thoroughly cover the traditional state standards in Math along with an introduction to Algebra and Geometry.

Students also participate in P.E., Music, Art, and Spanish each week with our “specials” teachers.

Fourth graders are involved in our school-wide Faith in Action program which supports Shoebox Ministries. We sponsor both a sock drive in the fall and a toiletries drive in the spring. These are distributed through Shoebox Ministries to homeless people throughout the valley. Students also participate in the school’s Ways of Worship program which highlights our Catholic worship traditions. During the Lenten season students attend a spirit-filled retreat with their classmates.

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade

Religion:

Our text is titled Credo: I Believe. This text provides three basic sections:

  1. God, the Father of All
  2. God the Son, the Redeemer
  3. God the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier

The lessons provide references of the Catechism of the Catholic Church along with Scripture references. This series aspires to aid teachers and parents in transmitting the truths, doctrines, wealth of traditions, and richness of culture found in the Roman Catholic Church.

Math:

Our math series is aligned with state and NCTM standards. The program is well-balanced, offering vocabulary, building conceptual understanding, and developing fluency, problem solving, and reasoning skills. We will work on these math skills throughout the school year.

  • Whole Numbers: place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division with 1-digit and 2-digit divisors
  • Decimals: place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Fractions and Mixed Numbers: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Ratios, Percents, and Probability
  • Data and Graphing
  • Geometry and Algebra: Geometric Figures, Plane and Solid Figures, Patterns, Integers and the Coordinate Plane
  • Measurement: Customary and Metric, Perimeter, Area, and Volume

Language Arts:

Our Language Art program provides opportunities for students to practice their writing and reading skills. Incorporated into our program will be our literature study as well as our new book titled Junior Great Books. We will use both as tools to reinforce skills taught during class time. While many of the lessons allow for flexibility, the concepts will be covered throughout the school year. Below you will find a general idea of our Language Arts program.

  • Journal Writing
  • Formal Writing Process: Personal Narrative, Persuasive Essay, Friendly Letter, Letter to the Editor, Dialogue
  • Grammar Concepts
  • Spelling Rules
  • Literature Study covering:
    • Midnight Magic, Avi
    • Maniac Magee, Spinelli
    • Twenty-One Balloons, du Bois
    • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Lewis
  • Reading Skills:
    • Comprehension
    • Making Inferences
    • Main Idea and Details
    • Problem/Solution
    • Summarize
    • Analyze Story Structure
    • Character/Plot
    • Plot and Setting
    • Cause and Effect
    • Fact and Opinion
    • Draw Conclusions
    • Compare and Contrast
    • Author’s Purpose
    • Theme
    • Vocabulary: Idioms, Context Clues, Inflectional Endings, Suffixes, Prefixes, Antonyms, Synonyms, Compound Words, Homographs, Analogies
Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade

Sixth grade is a critical time for students to strengthen and further develop core skills in all areas. Students apply skills they have acquired in the earlier grades to read and interpret more challenging texts across the curriculum.

Language Arts:

Reading instruction includes fictional, non-fictional texts, and poetry. Literature studies, for example The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Holes and Old Yeller, are some of the novels explored with emphasis on the use of characters, settings and conflict, and how those elements affect a story’s plot and theme. Written communication may take the form of description, exposition, narration or persuasion. Organization of written work is emphasized utilizing a four square approach, while the six traits remains a cornerstone for characteristics of “good” writing. Sixth graders are also encouraged to express themselves through individual articulation, small-group activities, and collaborative work for building teamwork and leadership skills.

Social Studies:

Socratic Seminars, or a shared inquiry approach to learning, is utilized throughout the curriculum, and most notably in Social Studies. Social Studies instruction commences with the Stone Ages and concludes with the Renaissance and Reformation. Critical thinking and reasoning are encouraged while note-taking in its various forms are explored. A Cornell notes approach to note-taking is emphasized. The Renaissance Festival remains a real 6th grade tradition at Saint John XXIII and a memory the students long cherish!

Math:

The math skills students have obtained in prior grades are fine tuned and expanded upon throughout the sixth grade. The year begins with review and number sense as well as Algebraic and decimal calculations. As the year progresses, the curriculum covers fractions, measurement, statistics, geometry, integers, equations, functions and probability. Students use technology weekly to practice and fine tune math skills. Students have online access from home to class notes and are able to practice Math concepts and computation through the IXL math website http://www.ixl.com/.

Science:

Science instruction is provided through in depth research into nine of the world’s biomes. Each month students research, discover and familiarize themselves with the animal, plant, climate and geographical diversity of our earth.

Religion:

Finally, Following Christ, a Faith and Life Series text is designed expressly to aid sixth graders at this critical turning point in their lives. The text is devoted to the Ten Commandments and the Holy Mass. Instructional focus is the daily application of the Ten Commandments, conscience formation, and the liturgical life of the Church. Our Faith in Action project partners our students with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Sixth graders relish time spent in service to the community and welcome the opportunity to practice a spirit of tolerance.

Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade

Religion:

In 7th Grade Religion our text is titled “The Life of Grace.” This is our guide as students study how God revealed himself to man and how we responded. We begin with the Old Testament studying Creation, the Patriarchs, and the Prophets, understanding Divine Revelation. We then move on to the New Testament, focusing on Jesus’ life on Earth and the establishment of our Church. The later part of the year includes Sacraments and understanding how we live out our lives in the Church. We enhance our students’ faith and spiritual growth through weekly Adoration, daily prayer, and involvement in school wide prayer services and rosaries. The Faith in Action (FIA) program for 7th Grade is helping set up homes for refugees through Welcome to America. Classes will also sponsor several families in WTA’s Christmas Adopt-A-Family program. Additionally, students are encouraged to serve in their communities throughout the year with a 15 hour service requirement. We look forward to a year of helping students grow in their faith.

Language Arts:

The 7th grade language arts class is designed to introduce the students to a higher level of reading and writing, which will prepare them for 8th grade. The reading, vocabulary, and spelling is novel-based with discussions about the plot, characters, setting, and theme. This is supplemented by the use of the Great Books Program. Grammar is focused on proper punctuation rules, parts of speech, phrases and clauses. Writing will focus on analysis, the five paragraph essay, and an introduction to the Jane Schaffer Method. The MLA format will also be introduced.

Math:

Pre-Algebra is a preparation course for Algebra Concepts. We begin the year by exploring Number Sense and Algebraic patterning, while revisiting decimals and fractions, as well as including variables. Second quarter, we concentrate heavily on the skills and concepts of Integers, Equations, Functions, proportions and percentages. In the spring, we focus on Geometry, Measurement, Area and Volume. We wrap up the year with an introduction to probability and polynomials. Students will use numerous tools to assist along this journey, including various online programs and video resources. Students keep a notebook throughout the year to record key concepts and examples, and use reflection and positive problem solving strategies to continually grow in their learning. Upon completion of 7th grade Pre-Algebra, students will be confident that they have the skills necessary to be successful in the Blessed Pope John XXIII 8th grade math program.

Science:

In 7th grade science we study and research the history of our space program and new advances in space technology and exploration. We learn how GPS satellites work! We also enter the Honeywell/Fiesta bowl Aerospace Challenge. This competition has students research and plan a lunar base mission for 50 people for two years to mine helium 3 as a future fuel on earth. Students write reports and build a model of their base. The students are interviewed by Honeywell Aerospace Engineers at Arizona State University West competing with 80 schools around the state. The top 4 groups will be interviewed by a Space Shuttle Crew and the winning group will win a trip to Houston for astronaut training. Winners will also receive tickets to the Fiesta bowl and will have the opportunity to walk up the 50 yard line during half time to talk about their project.

Social Studies:

Junior High Social Studies is all about the United States. We follow Diocesan and State Curriculum Standards encompassing our nation’s history. In 7th grade our focus is on the founding of our country, from the Native Americans through the mid-1800’s. This will include an emphasis on the American Revolution and how our new government was formed. Through web quests, simulations, and videos, students will immerse themselves into the time periods being studied. Additional focus is on geography and map skills, with weekly activities to reinforce these skills. It will be a great year in Social Studies!

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

Religion:

Our focus in 8th grade religion is on “Our Life in the Church.” We focus on the nature and history of the Church, and the universal call to holiness of its members. Areas of study include: the structure and hierarchy of the church, where students learn of the human and divine nature of the Catholic Church; the Church Sanctifying, where students learn about the sacraments, the communion of Saints and their history, and vocations; and our church in the world, where students learn about church law and conscience, social order and judgment. Throughout this journey we spend time weekly in adoration or praying the rosary. Students have the opportunity to live their faith by participating in Faith In Action (FIA) and Ways of Worship (WoW) events, and being responsible Christian leaders to their Saint John XXIII buddies. Upon completion of this faith journey, students will have a better understanding of their faith and how to live their faith intentionally.  One of the highlights of 8th grade is the Mission Service and Retreat trip which takes place in the spring.  The trip culminates nine years of Catholic social teachings into a final bonding experience for the class before graduation.

Language Arts:

The 8th grade language arts class is designed to prepare the students for high school English. The reading, vocabulary, and spelling are novel-based with discussions on character, plot, setting, and theme. This is supplemented by the use of the Great Books program. Grammar is focused on the proper use of phrases, clauses, and varying sentence types and paragraph structure. Writing will focus on analysis, the use of the Jane Schaffer Writing Method and the MLA format.

Math:

Algebra Concepts begins the student’s math journey into the world of functions. They will begin with linear functions and end the year with quadratic functions. Students will learn to illustrate these functions in a variety of ways, including: verbal descriptions, written equations, coordinate tables, and coordinate graphs. The skills they learn in class will be applied into real world situations as to demonstrate how important Algebra is in our day to day lives. We will also cover content in probability and data analysis, as well as some basic geometry connections with algebra. Students will be able to take advantage of multiple resources including the traditional text book, online textbook support resources, IXL math, and many other resources. Upon completion of Algebra Concepts at Saint John XXIII, students will leave with confidence that they have the skills necessary to be successful in high school math.

Science:

The 8th graders are learning about the history and current understandings of the atom. We are quickly moving into chemical reactions and why certain elements react with others. We will be making “elephant” toothpaste to see how exothermic reactions occur. We also are entering a nationwide competition called e-cyber mission sponsored by the US Army. This challenge has students create an experiment following the scientific method to help solve a problem in their everyday life. Last year, two of our 8th grade groups won 1st and 2nd place in the state earning students $5,000 in savings bonds. I am confident our current 8th grade students are up for the challenge!

Social Studies:

In 8th grade, students continue where they left off at the end of 7th Grade. We cover material from the Civil War through present day. We look at how our country has developed both internally and as a world power. Students focus on how our country has influenced the world throughout the last 150 years.  The 8th graders will also practice geography and map skills throughout the year. It is a great year in Social Studies!