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Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten
Mrs. Wessel & Miss Nancy
At St. Benedict Cathedral School, we believe every child deserves the chance to learn in a way the meets his/her developmental needs. Our Preschool and Prekindergarten programs provide every child with the tools to develop cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally, in a safe and loving environment. We are excited to offer our students a STEM room this year where they can explore many hands-on activities.
Mrs. Chandler & Mrs. Goedde
The Kindergarten program at St. Benedict Cathedral prepares your child with a strong foundation for the rest of his or her academic career. We incorporate a structured program making learning fun! We have many themed days such as, Royal Purple Day, Pirate Day, Doggie Day, Wild West Day and many more. We do activities and writings to center around each day. We attend special classes that include center time, gym, computer, music, art, and library. Journal writing, graphing, hands on activities, and group work are also implemented in our program. Our program follows the Indiana State Standards.
Mrs. Groenert & Mrs. Schopmeyer
Students in grades PK-4 attend a Minds-in-Motion activity center. These are exercises that improve balance and focus through vestibular stimulation. This research based program helps with visual, auditory, and motor processing. There are 15 stations that provide children sensory stimulation. They look forward to quietly concentrating on these physical movements daily.
In our Language Arts block (90 min.) we use a Daily 5 and CAFÉ program. It is a series of 4 stations that small groups of students attend. We model the daily five reading components: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanded Vocabulary generating a creative student-centered classroom. We lead discussions on various topics using best practice strategies and questions that lead to higher order thinking skills. Through the use of these stations, the students’ transition quietly, read often, and become independent learners.
Writer’s Workshop is implemented daily in first grade. They respond to writing prompts, illustrate and write class books, write research papers and provide opinion pieces to share with the class. We believe to become effective writers they must be provided with daily writing experiences
Math labs are frequently connected to their math lessons. Each student has a manipulative box and math journal. These materials are used in their lab work to enhance higher order thinking skills and provide comprehensive coverage of concepts and applications.
Our Catholic-faith is evident across the curriculum. Students attend Mass each week with an upper grade buddy and understand the importance of prayer throughout the day. Inspiring stories and scripture readings are included to bring Saints and other important Catholic figures to life. We also provide a strong connection to Catholic social teaching.
Mrs. Rutherford & Mrs. VanWinkle
Second grade is an extraordinary year in the faith life our students. The students learn about and receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.
The second graders will also learn how to write in cursive handwriting.
Students will learn to master reading fluency and comprehension by not only reading text books, but also reading and doing projects on many chapter books.
Mrs. Dyson & Ms. Stone
Building and maintaining garden towers is a unique project for third grade. These towers help beautify our school, as well as teach the students how plants grow and the responsibility of taking care of them.
The students also learn a variety of critical academic skills. In reading and language arts they work on skills, such as vocabulary building, reading comprehension and fluency, spelling and grammar, and the processes of writing. In math, the students learn the important skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division along with many problem-solving techniques. In science, they learn about a variety of topics in biology, simple and complex machines, and space. Social Studies offers topics concerning government, citizenship, and community. Across the curriculum, hands-on activities used, make learning memorable and fun.
The third graders take full advantage of the many technology resources our school has to offer. The teachers use a variety of apps and games to reinforce several classroom skills, access information, publish stories, as well as, introduce coding to the students.
The third grade teachers, Mrs. Cathy Dyson and Ms. Kellie Stone, look forward to sharing their enthusiasm for teaching and instilling a love for learning in their students.
Mrs. Fischer & Mrs. Russler
Fourth grade at St. Benedict Cathedral School is an exciting year. Students build organizational skills while becoming more independent and responsible. These are essential traits needed in the fourth grade and will help ensure success in the years to come.
In our language arts curriculum, students strengthen their reading comprehension through exposure to a variety of different genres. We also stress the importance of citing text evidence when responding to literature. In our language arts program, we strive to create strong writers using the Simple 6 writing techniques. This program includes components like word choice, voice, and sentence fluency. Students are given the opportunity to write many different styles; such as, personal narratives, expository essays, and persuasive letters. The Accelerated Reader program continues to be utilized and encourages students to read and achieve individual goals each quarter.
In math, students build fluency in computation skills such as multiplication and division which prepare them for the many new math concepts introduced during 4th grade.
Special activities are also incorporated throughout the year including UPGRADE taste testing, saint research reports, hands-on science activities, and social studies projects reinforcing the study of our home state of Indiana. Along with incorporating our Catholic values in all that we do, we provide many opportunities for all students to be successful as well as instilling a love of learning!
Mrs. Heather Russler
Fifth grade is not only filled with an abundance of learning, but also a lot of excitement and adventure as students’ lives change in many ways. Students will strengthen their level of responsibilities and come to understand the need for self-discipline.
Our students switch classes for all subjects with the exception of English, math, and literature at the fifth grade level. We believe this provides a good transition into middle school. We have an extensive variety of classes that include religion, art, music, technology, library, and physical education. Students can participate in extra-curricular activities such as, SWAG, youth group, piano, and book club, as well as, a variety of sports teams.
Students will continue to participate in weekly school wide Masses, liturgical events, student-led Stations of the Cross during Lent, prayer services, Sacrament of Reconciliation, and class coordinated school Masses. During this school year, students are able to become parish Alter Servers. These are all important aspects of faith formation for our students and teachers.
During this academic year, we work to promote a positive outlook on reading and prepare students for the next level. In addition to using Accelerated Reader, an anthology, and Scholastic News in the classroom, students will complete several novel studies. Students will compete in the March Madness book tournament, Escape Room challenges to show their knowledge, Drama Circles to extend their fluency and speaking abilities, and many other engaging activities. In math and grammar, students will be exposed to multiple types of learning strategies. One of these strategies includes IXL is a learning website, which uses adaptive and individualized standards based learning with immediate feedback. Students will also have access to iPads and Chromebooks to complete individual and project-based lessons.
In order to prepare our students to succeed, we also offer extra time with instructors. In the weekly schedule, students have a Resource/Study Hall period. This time gives students an opportunity to seek extra help from teachers. It also allows time for activities such as play practices, classroom guest speakers, enrichment time, mass buddy bonding, and building positive relationships with classmates. When a teacher or student feels that they need additional help to develop or improve on a skill, there is an after school student hall available to fifth through eighth grade students.
During fifth grade, St. Benedict Cathedral School will strive to provide a strong Catholic education, while helping our students develop essential life skills, learn to make good choices, and form lasting friendships.
English & Language Arts
Mr. Keepes & Mrs. Langerak
An integrated reading and writing approach is used to teach reading skills and the writing process through the study of literature at the middle school level. Students will read a variety of works including fiction, nonfiction, plays and poetry, and will also read four novels throughout the year. The class will work independently as well as collaboratively to learn to evaluate and interpret an author’s perspective and supporting claims and to learn to identify and understand literary techniques and devices. Students will also continue to study proper grammar usage and to expand their vocabulary through word studies.
Students transition from fifth to sixth grade math with ease due to curriculum expectations and coordination among the fifth and sixth grade teachers.
Sixth- Eighth grade curriculum concentrates on transition from hands on activities to more abstract thinking. Classroom discussion and questions incorporate the Sixth- Eight Grade Indiana State Standards with specific focus on higher order thinking and real world application. The Star Math Test and the IXL online program helps students prepare for the ILEARN spring achievement test.
Eighth Grade (Algebra): The Eighth Grade Algebra curriculum is aligned with Reitz Memorial High School Algebra curriculum.
Health & PE
Mrs. Heathcott & Ms. Duncan
We study the 5 parts of health which include: emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and social health. We will learn lifeskills such as communication, controlling anger/anxiety, and conflict resolution as well.
Highlights in each grade:
5th Grade= DARE Program
6th Grade= Oh Shift Program
7th Grade= Students for Respect
8th Grade= Real Baby Project, Safe Dates, and Natural High Videos
In Physical Education, the middle school students will look forward to playing mini tournaments in various team sports and learning new activities. We mix fitness in every class to help students be equipped with the skills to stay healthy for life!
The fifth grade class will explore American History, beginning with the first individuals to migrate to the modern day United States and ending with the Civil War and Reconstruction Era. A few highlights throughout the course include the first settlements in the United States, the Revolutionary War, and the United States gaining their freedom from Great Britain as an independent nation. Fifth grade is required to take the Social Studies ILEARN Test in the spring semester.
As sixth graders, students will be studying the Western Hemisphere. This entails the history, government, geography, and economics of different regions as we make our way from North America and expand our knowledge through South America and into the continent of Europe. As a class, we will constantly be comparing and contrasting the different features of the diverse countries and determining the positive and negative strategies they utilize.
The seventh grade class begins their year traveling the Eastern Hemisphere through Africa before sweeping across Asia and ultimately landing in Australia. Similar to 6th grade, the standards place a focus on the history, government, geography, and economics of each region. As a class, we will continue to see how different countries operate and the benefits and drawbacks of their practices. Seventh grade is required to take the Social Studies ILEARN Test in the spring semester.
As eight graders, students will take a more in-depth look at the history of America and how it has changed over centuries of migration and civilization. Eighth graders will be able to explore the United States of the past, but also a number of opportunities with present day practicality. A few of these highlights include the Stock Market Game, Reality Store, and Junior Achievement.
In addition to content, all social studies classes will rely on three major focal points:
- The integration of technology
- The ability to work effectively in pairs and small groups
- The enhancement of vocabulary
These are life-long skills for students as they prepare for a successful future.
Religion class is unlike any other class at St. Benedict Cathedral School. Although we have a rigorous academic portion, we measure true success by helping students build a relationship with God and embrace a life of discipleship.
Specific topics for 5th Grade are the Sacraments. We learn about the seven Sacraments of the Church and how they help us encounter Jesus. In 6th Grade we do an in-depth study of the Old Testament. As students explore Salvation History they come to a greater understanding of the roots of our Catholic faith. In 7th Grade students learn about the New Testament and focus on Jesus and the early Christians. In 8th Grade we learn about the history of our Church and come to a deeper understanding of our own identity as Catholics. We also do a special project in 8th Grade centered around vocations.
All 5th-8th Graders participate in weekly reflection on scripture and learn and have the opportunity to practice different forms of prayer. Each class gets several opportunities throughout the school year to participate in Liturgical ministries and serve during school Mass. All our academic learning is focused toward forming lifelong disciples who embrace and love their Catholic faith.
In Art class at St. Benedict Cathedral School we: Paint, Draw, Design, Think, Sculpt, Model, Build, Plan, Craft, Weave, Collage, Pray, and Create!
Students in grades K-8 study famous artists and create their own artworks in these artist’s styles. In grades 5-8, students have at least one quarter of ceramics each year. St. Ben’s has 6 electric potter’s wheels which students in grades 7th-8th learn to use. Students in 6th – 8th grades have regular homework assignments in their sketchbooks. Our middle school students help create backdrops & props for our school’s plays & musical productions. Student artwork is displayed in our school and at other venues throughout the year. Each spring, we have a big art show, on a Sunday, to show off all of our student’s fabulous artworks!
Music education is a well-rounded, interactive experience at St. Benedict Cathedral School. The curriculum and methods are taught in accordance with the Indiana Academic Standards for Music Education. Classroom instruction includes music history, music theory and music appreciation. Students are exposed to a variety of music through the use of movement, active listening, singing and playing musical instruments. Students are given basic instruction in learning to play recorders, guitars and English-style hand bells.
Performance opportunities for students include participating in musicals, concerts and special events. Students are given opportunities to play instruments and cantor at our weekly school Masses. Choirs are available for students in grades 2 – 8. Individual study in piano is available through the school.
The Primary Grade curriculum focuses on creating “Tuneful, Artful and Beatful” children using “First Steps in Music“ and “Conversational Sofege” by John Feierabend. Primary students are also given performance opportunities throughout the school year.
Middle School students expand on their musical journey by exploring Music History, Music Theory and Music Performance. They are introduced to the composers and music from the Baroque (1600) to the Romantic Time Periods (1900).
Students are introduced to Musical Theory concepts such as: Notation, Rhythm (simple and complex), Basic Terminology, Listening Skills and Vocalization.
Students are given various performance opportunities throughout the school year through playing the Recorder, Guitar, Handbells and singing through Cantoring, Choir and Theater Performances.
The St. Benedict Cathedral School library is a place where all students can visit to find books that they can check out for take home reading. The library has a large collection of fiction and non fiction books at various different levels for many interests and abilities. During library class, students learn about book selections for their level, genres, authors, how to care for books. An important skill that is taught, is how to locate books in a library. We choose books and activities for each library class based on many different subjects. Some of the subjects include: holidays, kindness, science, nature, history, bullying, current events and even the topic one may be studying in their classrooms. The library supports student learning and encourages them to have a love of reading for their whole lives.
Computer & Technology
Sr. Judy Dewig
I work with small groups of students from kindergarten to eighth grade, who are having a difficult time understanding a particular concept or processing the material learned in math or language arts. At their designated time, teachers send students to me that they feel need added information or maybe a different approach to the material taught. I also work with the teachers to discover ways that would be helpful and motivating to their students in the learning process. My philosophy is that there is always another (maybe simpler for students) way that material can be taught so students can better understand the concept and gain self-confidence.