Kindergarten – 5th Grade

In Grace Lower School, children discover the joy of learning and begin to acquire the skills and discipline necessary to become successful students. The Lower School program carefully considers all aspects of a child’s development: emotional, social, spiritual, physical and cognitive.

Students learn what it means to be a community–whether in chapel or experiencing service learning projects. Grace School believes children can best acquire a rich body of knowledge and the skills needed for future learning through a curriculum that is imaginative, developmentally appropriate and continuously developing.

Teachers, embodying Christian values, honor each child as an individual while implementing a comprehensive academic program including language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Our students grow in confidence and self-assurance as teachers display and celebrate work, applaud performance and encourage classroom participation.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten at Grace School is designed to meet the developmental needs unique to this age group. Both reading and writing are taught using the workshop approach and are designed so that students build an identity around being readers and writers.  Our math program is designed to enable students to learn mathematical content while becoming life-long problem solvers.  Students have the opportunity to develop an awareness of the world around them through studying family and community.  Science concepts are integrally woven into the homeroom class time as well as practiced in the lab.  Special area classes include art, music, library, Spanish, Christian Studies, STEM Labs and physical education.

First Grade

First grade is a significant milestone for students. Literacy and numeracy development are at the core of the program, which is marked by the intentional daily practice of reading, writing, and math skills.  The First Grade program is designed to nurture the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of six- and seven-year-olds and the significant growth that occurs at this important time.

Homeroom classes include instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies.  In First Grade, students choose books thoughtfully and begin to see their reading as something that benefits them.  Both reading and writing are taught using the workshop approach with continued emphasis on small group and one-on-one instruction. Mathematics is both concrete and exploratory, and the mastery of number facts begins. Students’ understanding and awareness of the world around them is extended as they study and explore the concept of community. Special area classes include art, Spanish, library, music, Christian studies, physical education and STEM labs.

Second Grade

Second Grade is marked by increased independence and the ability to sustain engagement in learning.  Students hone decoding skills in reading and continue to develop independent reading and writing skills. Homeroom classes include instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Reading and writing are taught using the workshop approach and classroom teachers continue to provide small group instruction in both areas. The math curriculum emphasizes problem solving as well as proficiency in computation. Students’ understanding and awareness of the world around them is extended as they continue to study and explore the concept of community. Special area classes include art, Spanish, library, music, technology, Christian studies, physical education and STEM labs.

Third Grade

The Third Grade program is an enriching and challenging approach to learning. Third Grade students make the shift from learning to read to reading to learn and begin to think in more abstract ways. As students engage with increasingly complex tasks, they apply the fundamental skills developed in Kindergarten through Second Grade.

Homeroom classes include language arts, math, science and social studies. Reading and writing workshops still form the cornerstone of literacy instruction. Math concepts are more complex, mastery of addition and subtraction facts are solidified, and multiplication is routinely practiced. The third grade social studies program capitalizes on community and the world surrounding it. Special area classes include art, Spanish, library, physical education, music, and STEM Labs (Science Technology Engineering and Math). Through instruction and experience with collaborative projects and meaningful discussions, students build leadership and grow in self-awareness and independence.

A highlight of third grade is our service-learning project. Students publish their own unique poetry books that are donated to the patients and families at Texas Children’s Hospital. Third graders will have the special opportunity to visit the hospital, and experience firsthand a true act of giving.

Fourth Grade

The increasing awareness of the world as seen by nine- and ten-year-olds is apparent as they ask complex questions and investigate topics more deeply in all subject areas. Fourth Grade students are masters of asking questions as they begin to explore the subtleties and abstract concepts that exist in the world. They continue to be industrious and intellectually cautious and begin to see the world in terms of fairness and justice. Fourth graders thrive on service learning activities and enjoy helping others.

In homeroom classes, students deepen reading and writing skills through the workshop approach. Students continue working in small groups and begin to read text with increasing complexity. In math, students work extensively with word problems and practice division concepts by measuring, working with fractions, doing surveys, and graphing as well as experimenting with standard algorithms.  Science lessons focus on explanations of facts, why things happen as they do and how things work.  Social studies lessons center around the geography, people, and political history of Texas. Special area classes include art, Spanish, library, music, physical education and STEM labs.

Technology continues to be woven into the curriculum as students begin to use Google Drive and Chrome books. Fourth grade students at Grace Lower School have the opportunity to participate in the Lower School News Team (GATR News). GATR News is a ten minute, live, news show broadcast to the lower school.  It is produced and operated by members of the fourth grade class. The students take turns being the anchors, reporters and directors. They also run the production equipment. The news show is made up of many segments. The Pledge of Allegiance, Today’s birthdays, lower school news, athletic news and lunch menu make up the basis of each show.

Fifth Grade

The academic overview of a fifth grader encompasses new knowledge obtained in a rigorous atmosphere while providing opportunities to enhance their thinking in complex ways. Fifth graders experience instruction within a homeroom classroom. Homeroom classes include language arts, math, science and social studies. The math curriculum emphasizes problem solving and proficiency in computation.  Reading and Writing is taught through the workshop approach and focuses on deepening comprehension skills. Our history curriculum begins with geography of the United States and continues on through early American History. Science concepts are introduced and practiced in the classroom, then applied during the Makers’ Fair. This event allows students to create a prototype of an idea that will solve a problem. Special area classes include Christian Studies, Spanish, PE, technology, library, art and STEM lab. Fifth graders are also given a choice between the band and choir programs.

Fifth Grade marks the culminating year of Lower School where students participate in unique traditions. One of the greatest privileges for these children is when they take on assorted leadership roles. While participating in Leadership Council, students assist with morning carpool, flag duties, and coaching games during recess. They are also instrumental in leading Lower School chapel services each week.  To mark the end of their time in Lower School, parents and family members are invited to attend a formal graduation ceremony.