Grades taught at St. Benedict
- 1st Grade
- 2nd Grade
- 3rd Grade
- 4th Grade
- 5th Grade
- 6th Grade
- 7th Grade
- 8th Grade
In preschool, children learn about the world through play. Subject areas aren’t separate in their minds or in the classroom. The objects preschoolers find on a nature walk, like feathers, rocks and leaves, might help them figure out math concepts like “big, bigger, and biggest” or motivate them to visit the book corner to find out more about birds. Teachers may introduce children to basic concepts such as shapes, letters, and colors, but preschool is about learning much more than what a circle looks like. It’s where children first develop a relationship with learning.
Most kindergarteners want to learn all about the world and how it works. Kindergarten teachers often build on this enthusiasm by offering projects that encourage children to delve deeper into the areas that interest them. Children may make life-size tracings of themselves as they learn about the human body, or study animal habitats by researching information about the class pet.
First grade marks an important milestone for young children who finally feel like part of a “big” school. They may eat in the cafeteria for the first time or play outside during recess without the direct supervision of their own teacher, experiences that help first graders feel more independent. First graders now have to use the social skills they developed in preschool and kindergarten in more mature ways. But the true magic of first grade happens as children develop the ability to understand what letters and numbers really mean. When they’re ready, they’ll be able to “crack the code” and read words.
In second grade most children practice the skills learned in earlier grades and begin to use them with ease. Some children who were not completely ready to understand all the material introduced in first grade may now be ready to master it. Second graders apply what they learned about the meanings of letters and numbers to more complicated material, and begin to develop their analytical abilities even further.
In third grade, children start putting the learning pieces together to take on more complicated assignments. As they continue to apply the basic skills they learned in first and second grade, they begin to do some work independently rather than with the explicit directions given in earlier grade levels. The third-grade curriculum focuses on learning about the past, present, and future. Literature, social studies and even science follow events over time, such as observing the phases of the moon or how rocks erode into sand.
In fourth grade children take on new types of work and social experiences, and for some, these can be tough. Fourth graders may struggle to follow the many directions and long-range planning that their school assignments require. They have to collaborate with their peers on group projects, which can be stressful in the charged social dynamics that emerge in fourth grade. Students will probably have a textbook for each subject, as well as multiple folders, all of which can present organizational challenges (plus heavy backpacks). The work gets harder and they need to manage it more independently — that includes homework assignments in multiple subjects, as well as keeping track of those assignments and tasks.
Fifth graders work hard on projects and tasks that require them to draw on the skills and strategies they have been learning in elementary school. School work gets more difficult, as students may have separate teachers for each subject for the first time. Teachers challenge students with long-term projects that require planning and organization. The social life of fifth graders often overshadows what they learn — at least for them. Who their friends are and what they think is more important than ever as puberty begins to bloom. At the same time, fifth graders may experience excitement about what they are learning and able to do, as well as new anxiety. In many schools, fifth graders will soon be moving on to middle school, and children may feel both thrilled and overwhelmed by the transition. Parents, guardians and teachers can play a critical role in listening, reassuring and supporting the new individual that is starting to emerge.
In many ways, 6th grade is a year of significant transition for students as they use the skills they have previously learned and apply them to more complex and independent learning in deeper and more rigorous ways. The specific texts and topics studied in 6th grade vary across states, districts, and sometimes schools.
In 7th grade, students deepen their ability to analyze the texts they read and provide evidence from the text to do so. Specifically, 7th graders learn to examine texts more closely and use details from the text in order to develop ideas, analyze, and make inferences.
Specifically, 8th graders are expected to be independent thinkers and workers analyzing and explaining what they learn in both their writing and orally. 8th grade is also a time of celebration and excitement for many students as they anticipate high school.