Hornstein Elementary School
Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy
A brief overview of the
3rd – 5th Grade curriculum:*
The full curriculum documents for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade
can be downloaded by clicking on the section at the bottom of this page.
The third grade language arts program is designed to develop the oral, written, and reading skills students need as they transition from learning to read to using reading as a vehicle to explore the world around them. To increase fluency, vocabulary development, and literary analysis skills, students read from a variety of text materials and genres that serve to enhance the study of literature and develop comprehension and decoding strategies. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and language skills are also integral pieces of the curriculum. Students develop an appreciation for independent reading through their participation in Sustained Silent Reading and our book report program.
Reading, writing, speaking, listening, language, media, and technology are essential elements of the fourth grade language arts curriculum, which aims to provide students with the basic skills of literature analysis and composition. Compromise, consensus, collaboration, and a shared work ethic highlight group work in fourth grade. The student's ability to make independent book selections, to do independent analyses of literary content, and to report what has been read/learned is fostered through the Independent Reading Program and through book reports. Reading for pleasure is reinforced in daily Sustained Silent Reading. Our spelling program highlights word meaning and phonetic awareness. In fourth grade, students begin to develop a writing style where their personality shines through, along with skills to help them edit their work and that of others.
The Meyer Academy language arts program focuses on reading skills, literature analysis, comprehension, language, critical thinking, and composition. In fifth grade, we introduce a variety of book genres, and students are taught to analyze literature through book reports completed at home. In addition to independent reading, sharing ideas in reading groups stimulates thinking, questioning, oral discussion, and gaining meaning from the variety of stories in their texts. Our writing program reinforces the six traits of effective written composition: prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing. In fifth grade we teach figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, idioms, and hyperbole, which leads to a comprehensive use of creative expression.
The math program becomes more challenging in third grade as students begin to work with larger whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Students are able to solve and explain addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. They will become more comfortable with the abstractions of mathematics and can translate the problem-solving strategies into mathematical number sentences they can calculate without using manipulatives. The curriculum integrates various math concepts to the world around us, connecting mathematics to culture, history, science, geography, and the most recent technology of computers. Concepts in number sense, measurement, geometry, algebraic thinking, and data analysis are taught over the course of the year and emphasize the development of problem-solving strategies.
Within each grade level, the Meyer Academy mathematics curriculum stresses computational, procedural accuracy and conceptual understanding. Students in fourth grade will use instructional materials that relate various math concepts to the world around us. This program connects mathematics to cultures, history, science, and geography, as well as to the most recent technology. Each course of study focuses on helping students make sense of mathematics in meaningful ways. Number sense, which includes estimation, mental math, and place value, is a driving force. Each program emphasizes the development of problem-solving strategies as students learn to integrate reading, critical thinking skills, and mathematics.
Students in the fifth grade are placed into classes based on teachers' understanding of their learning styles and academic profiles. Within these homogeneous groups, instructors use integrated programs that connect math to culture, history, science, technology, and computers. Concepts in number sense, measurement, geometry, algebraic thinking, and data analysis are taught over the course of the year, as well as mastery of the four computational systems using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. The curriculum also emphasizes the development of problem-solving strategies as students explore the use of computation and analysis in real-life situations.
Meyer Academy third grade students actively participate in laboratory-centered scientific inquiries and experiments. Scientific knowledge, process skills, and values form the foundation as students develop an understanding of the scientific method. Through instruction and investigation based on the 5E's — Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate, and Extend — students master a body of general knowledge, vocabulary, and facts that also integrate other core subject areas. Students participate in the “Invention Convention” fair designed to promote problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. Third graders also study physical and earth science principles and concepts, as well as concepts relating to life and environmental science.
The foundation of the Meyer Academy fourth grade science curriculum is scientific knowledge, process skills, and values. They participate in our “Invention Convention” designed to promote problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. Through experimentation, fourth graders study physical science principles and concepts including relative position, relative motion, rectangular coordinates, and the earth, moon, and sun. Students are motivated to master a body of general knowledge, vocabulary, and facts.
Scientific knowledge, process skills, and values are the foundation of the fifth grade science curriculum. Meyer Academy students participate in hands-on, laboratory-centered scientific inquiries and experiments. Utilizing science instruction based on the 5E's — Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate and Extend — students master a body of general knowledge, vocabulary, and facts that integrate core subject areas. Students participate in a science fair designed to promote problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. The fifth grade science curriculum includes the study of physical science principles and concepts through experiments about energy transfer. Students study biological science principles through observation and experiments about producers, consumers, decomposers, and community interactions.
Our goal in third grade is to teach our students how to live a Jewish life with joy and understanding. Students continue to gain proficiency in Hebrew reading, writing, values, history, understanding of and participating in rituals, communicate the love of learning, the love of Torah, the bond with Israel, and the ability to communicate with other Jews in our common language underscore everything the students are taught at the Meyer Academy. We continue to use the TaL AM program which builds on the previously learned language skills, vocabulary and the “virtual classroom” environment. Our teaching will be done through multiple strategies within the whole class, independent work, small groups, and/or pairing our students to meet each student’s way of learning.
In fourth grade we teach the Hebrew language so that the students will be able to read, write, understand, converse, and participate in prayers, while developing their Jewish knowledge and identity in the process. Our learning method will include various settings: class work, differentiated learning, pairs and individuals. Each setting is based on previously learned language skills and vocabulary. We will also study the history of the Jewish community of Florida and the basic laws of Kashrut.
Our learning method in fifth grade includes various methodologies- class work, differentiated learning, hevruta study (pairs) and individual instruction as we work toward the goal of students being able to read, write, understand, converse in, and participate in prayers, while at the same time increasing the students’ Jewish knowledge and identity. We will also study the Shtetle (the traditional insulated Jewish community of Eastern Europe).
The third grade social studies program is an essential part of an integrated program that teaches children about their own community and explores, compares, and contrasts it to communities in the United States and around the world. Completing a variety of projects in small groups gives them the opportunity to experience how communities operate. Additional focuses in social studies will be the development of technology skills and the study of current events. Students learn to use technology as a research tool in a guided setting, and present their findings while practicing public speaking skills.
The content of the fourth grade program begins with the location of Florida relevant to other states and comparing and contrasting the five different regions of our country. The goal of social studies is to provide children with the tools necessary to form the ideas, values, and skills necessary to become a valued citizen in our democracy. Learning about people, communities, regions, our nation, and the world of the past is imperative if our children are to build an understanding of the world around them. Through a strong, student-centered map program, geography skill lessons, development of research skills, and integrated history/geography lessons, the fundamental themes of geography are applied in student learning.
The goal of the Meyer Academy fifth grade social studies program is to provide the necessary tools to form the ideas, values, and skills essential to becoming valued citizens in our democracy and society. Throughout the year, application of geography skills, content-based literature, art, poetry, and music allows students to experience social studies through an in-depth study of our country. Learning about America’s past begins with the development of geography skills necessary to understand, by comparing and contrasting, the geography of the five regions of the United States. Highlights of the fifth grade curriculum include: multiculturalism, the issue of slavery, the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the Civil War. Secondary focuses in social studies are the development of technology skills and the study of current events.
Meyer Academy’s technology program takes a comprehensive, dual approach. Technology skills are taught to students during a weekly computer class and these skills are reinforced in the classroom and integrated into other subject areas by classroom teachers. Third graders begin the year with a heavy emersion in and practice of word processing skills. As the year goes on, the students will be introduced to more advanced formatting skills, page orientation, copying and pasting, saving, printing, and navigating the network to access documents. Keyboarding skills will become more necessary as the students begin to type more documents for their core classes. Third graders will also expand their understanding and use of the Internet by exploring teacher-assigned sites for learning.
Fourth graders use technology as a learning tool in all classes. Specific skills such as Internet research, keyboarding, and using software programs are emphasized. They begin their year with a heavy immersion in and practice of word processing skills; later in the year, more advanced formatting skills such as inserting pictures and shapes and using pull-down menus are introduced. An extensive unit on keyboarding emphasizes accuracy, not speed. Students also learn how to create simple multimedia presentations such as PowerPoint, Keynote, or iMovie so they can produce and create presentations in their Judaic studies and social studies classes. They are also exploring teacher-assigned sites for learning, which helps expand their understanding and use of the Internet.
In fifth grade, skills taught in weekly computer lab sessions are reinforced in core classes and integrated into other subject areas by classroom teachers. While in the computer lab, students engage in interdisciplinary lessons and learn programs in word processing, desktop publishing, database management, spreadsheets, graphics, multimedia presentations, and keyboarding. Fifth graders expand their understanding and use of the Internet by exploring sites for learning. They also practice simple research on the Internet, learning about search engines and how to best use them for investigative purposes. In addition, students study the morality of technology use through classroom discussions about Internet safety, cyber bullying, and ethical use.
Physical Education in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade:
Physical education is taught at the Meyer Academy as part of an overall education program that helps students achieve optimum personal development while contributing to the goals of society. Our physical education goals are to improve understanding of health-related fitness concepts, improve overall mental health, produce a positive effect on physical development, boost self-esteem, provide an outlet for creativity and self-expression, and promote teamwork.
Through movement exercises, students learn spatial awareness and how to manipulate sport, athletic, and recreational equipment in order to build a foundation for future athletic sports and leisure activities. The fourth grade program focuses on individual and cooperative games that develop throwing, striking, and movement patterns relating to skills; recognizing the importance of social interaction in a variety of activities; and developing lifetime knowledge and interest in physical activity. The fifth grade program focuses on individual and cooperative games that reinforce the importance of social interaction in a variety of activities and begin to develop lifetime knowledge and interest in physical activity. The typical class period consists of warm-ups, jogging, instructional time, participation in activity or game situations, and cool down.
All grade level students are expected to attend class prepared for physical activity, demonstrate consistent effort, participate appropriately, and display good sportsmanship at all times.
Library Instruction in 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade:
Students visit the library for weekly read-aloud sessions, literature promotion, library skills instruction, research projects, and book selection designed to create independent readers who have an appreciation for the pleasure of reading. Library instruction allows students to find, use, and apply information in various situations both inside and outside the classroom. Library skills are taught using a variety of materials, both print and non-print. Students are given a chance during library time to practice the skills taught and to select books for check-out. Library skills are taught using print, non-print, and electronic materials. Fourth and Fifth grade students participate in the Sunshine State Young Readers Award program.
The comprehensive music curriculum incorporates grade level-appropriate vocal music, history of music, music appreciation, and theory. Classes learn about the different genres of music and are introduced to composers spanning the centuries and globe. Audio skills are developed using body movement, rhythm instruments, and voices.
In weekly music classes, fourth graders sing and play songs from our country and around the world. Compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be discussed, as well as the music of Jewish American composers such as George Gershwin, Aaron Copeland, and Leonard Bernstein. With the goal of instilling a love for music, students learn to critique musical compositions and work as a group by performing together. Students discuss and share ideas while learning to work as a group by performing together. As students explore the music’s complexity and intricacies, they will see the many interconnections with other subjects. Games are frequently used to teach concepts. The overarching goal is to instill a love for music in each student. The recorder is used during the second half of the year as a transition to band instruments.
Fifth graders meet once weekly for forty-one minutes in the music room. Students will sing and play songs from our country and around the world. These will include traditional American folk tunes, African drumming, Latin beats, Chinese melodies, and Spanish and Ladino songs from South America. The recorder will be used during the second half of the year as a transitional instrument to band instruments such as the flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, oboe, and bassoon. Band will be offered as an elective in Middle School.
The elementary school visual arts program is designed to provide a basic understanding of the visual elements and principals of art and design as well as to explore art of other cultures, learn about master artists, and introduce students to essential art history. Students in third grade develop the necessary understanding, skills, and attitudes to develop their own artistic creativity using a variety of media. They explore design elements such as color, value, shape, and form through both two- and three -dimensional media techniques in order to express subjects and ideas.
In fourth grade visual arts, emphasis is placed on the development of critical and artistic skills focusing on the elements of space, form, color, and perspective as well as the basic principles of design. Specific drawing techniques in oil pastels are introduced. In addition, students develop the skills and attitudes needed to preserve and transmit our cultural and Judaic heritage through art. Developmental activities in drawing, painting, three- dimensional construction, art history, and art criticism are offered.
In fifth grade, students will build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the first through fourth grades as they learn new skills and techniques with an emphasis upon an understanding of color, value and perspective. They are taught specific drawing and painting techniques that assist them in increasing realism in their work while exposing them to the idea of abstraction in order to depict ideas and emotions.
*Due to formatting issues associated with our new website, some of these documents will be edited slightly over the course of the Fall semester.