EL Curriculum

Junior Kindergarten

Educational Journey for Junior Kindergarten:There is much exposure for children through rug time, table time, center time, and creative play time.

Children learn about God’s People through Bible stories.  Students also grow in their spiritual journey through praise songs and memory verses.

Jr. Kindergarteners are exposed to the Zoophonics Program.  We journey through the alphabet throughout the year with an emphasis on pre-reading skills.

Children are taught handwriting using the Handwriting without Tears curriculum, with emphasis on correct pencil grip and formation of letters and numerals.  (taught to write the “school way”.)

In Jr. Kindergarten we view the child as a gift from God with unique strengths, needs, and interests.

Jr. Kindergarten strives to encourage the child to grow into independence, being able to advocate for him/herself.


Please feel free to email Mary Bouma at mbouma@gccsmi.org with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Contact: Mary Bouma | 616.538.9710 Ext 248

Your Child
Our goal is to help your child have a successful year in the classroom and an excellent experience in school.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a time of learning and growing.
What is Kindergarten like?

Our desire is that children know God is part of every moment of every day and every subject. We learn about our creating God in our studies and devotions and learn of our response to His love and care.

The kindergarten programs at GCS are developmental – that means the curriculum, activities, and approaches to learning, use developmentally appropriate practices for the young learner.

The language arts curriculum we use is a multi-faceted approach. Students learn phonics and sight words; practice story and comprehension skills. We also use the Four Block approach to reading and writing.  Part way through the year we begin Guided Reading.

We use Math Expressions by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  This hands-on, inquiry driven approach teaches students to develop problem-solving and reasoning skills.

We round out our curriculum with social studies and science units.


Spanish Immersion morning kindergarten

Katy Martinez
kmartinez@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 220

English morning and all day, every day kindergarten

Derek Braman
dbraman@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710

Spanish Immersion all day kindergarten

Katlyn Cabrera
kcabrera@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 223

Kindergarten
Subjects Taught in Kindergarten

  • Art
  • Bible
  • Technology
  • Handwriting
  • Language & Literacy
  • Math
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Kindergartners participate in…

  • Art
  • “Buddy program” with 5th graders
  • Library
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Technology

First Grade

First grade marks an important milestone for children, where they begin to learn to read and their experiences are stretched with new information.
What is 1st Grade like?

First grade is so exciting!

We start out the year by meeting many new friends who were in different kindergarten classes. Many of us are going to school all day and eating lunch at school for the first time.

We all learn to read. We begin by reading books with only one sentence on a page. By the end of the year we are reading longer books that have full pages of writing! Phonics is important for reading, but our teachers also teach us many other strategies to help us figure out new words and become independent readers!

When we look at the writing we do in September and what we can do in May, it’s hard to believe the same person wrote both stories! We learn so many new words, and we learn how to add details to our stories to make them much longer!

In math, we build on what we started learning in kindergarten. We also begin memorizing addition and subtraction math facts and practice telling time and counting money. We see so many patterns that God put into math and numbers.

We love to hear Bible stories with our Bible curriculum theme, Walking With God. We talk a lot about how we can walk with God too and let His light shine in us. We have prayer request boards in our room and grow in our ability to pray for each other. We also look for God’s answers to our prayers. We learn Bible verses that will hopefully be in our heads and hearts for the rest of our lives. Some of the longer ones are Psalm 100, Luke 2:7-12, and Matthew 28:1-6.


Our goal is to help your child have a successful year in first grade. Please feel free to email or call us with any questions you may have about 1st grade.

English

Amy Ramaker
aramaker@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 212

Spanish Immersion

Brooke Elenbaas
belenbaas@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 210

Spanish Immersion

Sarah Fennema
sfennema@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 211

First Grade
We do fun science and social studies units. We learn about apples and visit an apple orchard. We learn the history of the first Thanksgiving and have a feast in the gym where we dress as pilgrims or Native Americans. We learn about the sun, earth, and moon. We learn about American symbols. We do a unit on birds. We learn about another country, the Netherlands. After that unit, we ride on the Amtrak train to Holland and visit Dutch Village. We also make a trip to Grandville Public Library where we have a chance to get our own library card.We are so thankful for GCS where we learn more about God and the world He made. GCS is a great place to practice putting God first in our lives and treating others with the same love that God shows to us.

Second Grade

Second grade is a year full of curiosity, wonder, awe, and discovery as previously learned skills become more immediate and as students continue to grow and engage in their learning in exciting new ways. In second grade we love to help our students learn more about

  • God’s amazing plans for their life,
  • the gifts he has given each of them,
  • the joy of living in loving, Christian community, and
  • how God has worked, and continues to work, in the world around them.  Above all we want to nurture and guide our students as they develop a personal relationship with God.

Our Bible lessons span the entire Bible: from the Old to the New Testament, from creation to The New Jerusalem. As we move through God’s word we see how His promises to the Israelites were fulfilled.  As we learn of his faithfulness to his people, we are reminded that we serve the same faithful God today.  This gives us the assurance that God’s promises to us will also be fulfilled. Prayer and Bible memory are very important and meaningful parts of our classroom study time as well.  We want to help students plant God’s word in their hearts and help them grow their relationship with God through times of prayer.

Second graders learn to love reading!  As the skill of decoding becomes easier, students are able to dive into skills like visualizing, predicting, and inferring which enhance their thinking and comprehension allowing them to engage with texts in new ways.  Students are introduced to new and exciting authors and series books in book-rich classrooms with wonderful libraries and are encouraged to make reading an important part of their daily lives.

As writers, second grade students explore and develop their voice through narrative, opinion, and informational styles of writing.  Students work on improving their understanding of grammar and spelling rules so that they can present their best work.  Writing in paragraphs and expanding vocabulary are also important components of second grade.

In math, we use the Math Expressions curriculum and place a heavy emphasis on differentiation in order to meet the wide variety of math needs typically found in a second grade classroom.  We are excited to help our students master their addition and subtraction facts (while differentiating for students who have already done so).  These are incredibly important building blocks for future math education.  Emphasis is also placed on learning the language of math story problems and challenging our students with more complex, multi-step problems that require careful reading and critical thinking.

Our science units include learning about landforms and water, measurement, and plants.  Our social studies units include learning about our friends at the Reverend Murupus Academy in Kapenguria Kenya, celebrating Jesus’ birth with believers around the world as we examine the Christmas traditions of many countries, discussing the role of African Americans and Women in history, as well as learning about our place in our community, beginning economic principles, citizenship, and the history of our country.  We use hands-on experiments, simulation activities, and student projects to make these concepts come alive.  

We look forward to making wonderful memories with students as they grow in second grade!

English

Stephanie Sytsema
ssytsema@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 213

Spanish Immersion

Matias Martinez
mmartinez@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 204

Spanish Immersion

Aimee Sisco
asisco@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 209

IMG_4444a

Important Testing in 2nd Grade

Grandville Christian tests students using:

  • Measures for Academic Progress (MAP)
  • In-View test (An “ability test” – given at the end of 2nd grade – this test gives teachers an IQ score for each student.)

Third Grade

Third graders are…thoughtful, thankful, thrilling, thriving, thinkers, and sometimes…thunderous!In third grade we learn about the state of Michigan, Native Americans, map skills, organisms, the branches of government, our earth and how to care for it, and forces of motion.

We spend time branching out and improving our reading skills. We work on developing improved writing skills.

We review old math concepts and add new ones (like multiplication and division!)

Third graders are at a wonderful age for showing loving care toward others and for soaking up new information like sponges.

They also develop in their love for God as they learn from the stories of the Bible – mostly the Old Testament.

Third graders somehow make every day we spend with them new, fun, interesting, and of course, a learning experience!


Our goal is to help your child have a successful year in 3rd grade. Please feel free to email or call us with any questions you may have.

English

Carole Brinks

cbrinks@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 236

Spanish Immersion

Kylie Wilson

kwilson@gccsmi.org
616.538,9710
ext. 235

Spanish Immersion

Alyssa VanEerden
avaneerden@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext 240

Third Grade

3rd graders participate in…
  • Art
  • Library
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Praise Assemblies
  • Spanish
  • Technology

Fourth Grade

  • Fourth grade is a pivotal bridge between the lower and upper elementary grades. Throughout the year, the children work to develop independence, responsibility, and organizational skills. It’s an exciting and challenging year!
  • By looking at many Old Testament leaders and kings during Bible lessons, we learn how to walk closely with God in our daily lives. We are challenged to trust and obey God in everything we do.
  • During math, we strive to master our multiplication facts and tackle long division. We also review and introduce many other mathematical concepts.
  • We use the Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum as our guide for lessons in Social Studies. We look at Michigan and the United States through eyes of geographers, historians, economists, and political scientists.
  • In fourth grade our focus changes from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. We read many novels to help us develop and improve various reading skills.
  • Writing is another area of growth for fourth graders as they transition into upper grades.  We focus writing skills that improve our writing content as well as continuing to work on the mechanics of writing.  We learn to write research papers, opinion pieces and engaging narrative pieces.
  • In science class we study biological science including organisms in their environment, as well as the physical sciences of properties of matter and electricity.  The 4th graders are filled with the wonder of God’s amazing creation as they learn more about the earth, sun and moon.

There are many other engaging curricular areas we dive into throughout the year, as we embrace all God’s covenant children with their gifts as well as their challenges.


Our goal is to help your child have a successful year in our classroom. Please feel free to e-mail or call us with any questions you may have about 4th grade.

English

Sue VandenBrink
svandenbrink@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 239

Spanish Immersion

 

Ellie Cruz
ecruz@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 237

Spanish Immersion

Amber Mc Clurg
amcclurg@gccsmi.org

616.538.9710
ext. 238

fourth grade

4th graders participate in…
  • Art
  • Library
  • Music, including Recorders
  • Physical Education
  • Praise Assemblies
  • Spanish
  • Technology
Overview of Subject Areas
  • Bible
  • Grammar
  • Handwriting
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Spelling
  • Writing

Fifth Grade

  • Students are encouraged to grow in their walk with Jesus Christ.
  • 5th graders work hard on projects and assignments that call on them to draw on the skills and strategies they have been learning in elementary school.
  • Teachers challenge students with long-term projects that require planning and organization.
  • Students enjoy building relationships with Kindergarten Buddies and Kenya Buddies.
  • Students are encouraged to become independent learners as they work together on projects, activities, and class responsibilities.
  • Students enjoy field trips to Camp Roger, spending the day as a colonial student at an old schoolhouse, learning about and attending the GR Symphony Orchestra, and going to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on a Mars Mission, just to name a few!
  • Students participate and lead in meaningful devotions in the classroom and praise assemblies with the whole school.
  • Students experience hands-on serving by raking leaves for the school neighbors and by having a cookie sale to buy food for the local food pantry.
  • Artists abound in art class, music class, band and orchestra!
  • Daily subject matter is inviting and interesting.  We study the covenant promises of God, the life of Jesus, 5th grade Math concepts, Systems and Survival, Objects in Space, Forces and Motion, the history of people in North America all the way through the Revolutionary War, novel and informational reading, various writing projects, and so much more.
  • We hope to encourage God’s image bearers to be eager, happy, and creative lifelong learners.

Our goal is to help your child have a successful year in our classroom. Please feel free to email or call us with any questions you may have about 5th grade.

English

Suzi Steketee

ssteketee@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 302

Spanish Immersion

Jenna Martinez

jmartinez@gccsmi.org
616.538.9710
ext. 303

Fifth Grade

5th graders participate in…
  • Art
  • Band or Orchestra
  • “Buddy program” with Kindergartners
  • Library
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Praise Assemblies
  • Spanish
  • Technology
Overview of Subject Areas
  • Bible
  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Spelling
  • Writing