Cross Lutheran School Curriculum

Grow In Faith Together

We strive to provide challenging curriculum that encourages students to reach their full potential through excellence in academics with integration of biblical truth into all subjects. It is this integration of faith that we believe works in our students to grow them, not just as successful students, but as life-long leaners who shine as future leaders in their chosen field.

Kindergarteners at Cross Lutheran School receive much needed and developmentally appropriate exploration and choice time during their day along with snack breaks, morning and lunch recess. “Study after study has affirmed the importance of play in children’s physical and mental health. It helps boost language development, problem solving, risk management, and independent learning skills.”

Elementary and Junior High

Our elementary grades have the important task of bringing students from early readers to independent readers, beginning with leveled short stories in first and second grade, to book reports in second and third grade, all the way to research projects in fourth grade. To maximize efficacy, grades five through eight are departmentalized for Reading, Science, English, and Math. Religion, Social Studies, and Power Hour are taught in home room. The division of subjects allow for specificity in the following:

Reading

All levels participate in age-appropriate novel studies, book talks, reader’s theater, and required summer reading.

Science

Each year of Science focuses on a different area—physical, Earth, chemistry, and body systems. Our 6th graders participate in Science Fair and our 8th graders culminate with frog dissection.

Math

Our Math department uses Saxon Math Curriculum and most 8th graders are prepared to start Geometry upon graduating.

English

Students develop important language arts skills through composition, grammar, and vocabulary exercises. We begin by introducing students to handwriting, spelling, and basic writing skills. Upper grades fine-tune writing abilities and begin to explore critical literary analysis.

Class Highlights

Each grade level has unique trips, activities, and projects throughout the year. These are just a few of students’ favorites.

Preschool

Project based learning is child-initiated and teacher-facilitated. Field trips give students the opportunity to learn about new, exciting topics. Parent volunteers are welcomed. We also host family events to help children show what they have learned.

Kindergarten

Kindergarteners continue project approach and related field trip, adding math and reading to the curriculum. We utilize the Daily 5 to stimulate reading skills. Highlights include Zero the Hero and the Kindergarten Overnighter!

First Grade

Additional curriculum is added to the daily routine—spelling, English, science, etc. This still allows time for child-directed learning through STEM exploration. First graders look forward to the Short Vowel Parade and annual field trips including Brookfield Zoo and the Morton Arboretum.

Second Grade

Our Beany Goes to Camp book study culminates into a trip to Dickson Valley Camp for a full camp experience.

Third Grade

Students learn cursive, multiplication, and conduct their first formal book reports. Field trips include the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders go on a much-anticipated field trip to Starved Rock every fall. Students look forward to the Illinois Scavenger Hunt, Wax Museum, Ellis Island simulation, the Civil War Unit and Underground Railroad, Math Madness in March, and a Multiplication Tournament.

Fifth Grade

Our fifth grade class visits the Waubonsie Valley High School Planetarium. Studies include the Christmas Around the World project, age-appropriate novel studies, and the state study.

Sixth Grade

Students look forward to our three-day, two-night visit to Camp Duncan for Outdoor Education. Sixth graders will also focus on ancient civilizations with the Mesopotamia Project.

Seventh Grade

Seventh graders will take class trips to Springfield, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, and complete the Ancient Culture project.

Eighth Grade

Students will take a class trip to St. Louis and the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Eighth graders will conduct a President Study and take the Constitution Test.

What is Project Approach and why do we use it?

Nursery2

Project Approach is the teaching framework that we use in our Kindergarten and Preschool classrooms here at Cross. Project work takes into account children’s questions and curiosities about the world around them. The types of activities that are planned will vary according to the interests of the children. This method is different from thematic planning,

which is more “teacher directed” and in which teachers generally would plan and implement all goals and activities. With Project Approach, the children are an integral part of the planning process and we let the children’s ideas and interests drive the process as much as possible.

When we are ready to start a new Project, the children are polled as to what topics they are interested in exploring. All children’s ideas are listed and then “like” topics are grouped together (i.e. suggestions of “dogs”, “cats”, and “hamsters” would all be addressed in the topic “Pets”). Shortly thereafter, the top three or four suggested combined topics are brought to the class and the students vote among those. The topic with the most votes is determined by that vote, the results are revealed, and we have the topic for our Project!

Project Approach is the teaching framework that we use in our Kindergarten and Preschool classrooms here at Cross. Project work takes into account children’s questions and curiosities about the world around them. The types of activities that are planned will vary according to the interests of the children. This method is different from thematic planning,

which is more “teacher directed” and in which teachers generally would plan and implement all goals and activities. With Project Approach, the children are an integral part of the planning process and we let the children’s ideas and interests drive the process as much as possible.

When we are ready to start a new Project, the children are polled as to what topics they are interested in exploring. All children’s ideas are listed and then “like” topics are grouped together (i.e. suggestions of “dogs”, “cats”, and “hamsters” would all be addressed in the topic “Pets”). Shortly thereafter, the top three or four suggested combined topics are brought to the class and the students vote among those. The topic with the most votes is determined by that vote, the results are revealed, and we have the topic for our Project!

Children are then asked what they already know about the topic and what aspects of that topic they would like to investigate further.  We begin finding resources and materials to bring into the room to make the Project as “hands-on” as possible.  We still address our curricular areas within the framework of the Project, centering them around the Project topic as much as possible.  We also invite experts on the topic to come visit us and/or field trips are planned.  Documentation takes place and we post it for parents and others to observe what we are exploring.  A Project ends when the children’s interest in the topic wanes.  To wrap up, a Culminating Event is planned at which we can share what we have discovered with families.

 

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask.  We really enjoy Projects…we always discover something new with each one!

 

Karen Miller and Adele Totsky