Grades 1 - 3

Primary grade students progress in reading, language arts, and mathematics. The whole language approach to reading and language is used throughout the grades. Grades 1-3 focus on phonics as a separate skill to develop reading skills. Activities introduce concepts in science and social studies.

Scroll below to learn more about curriculum within each grade.

First Grade

In addition to building core competencies, first graders enjoy exploring and learning about the world around them. Special Field trips include the Marine Mammal Center, Mobile Zoo, and the Pumpkin Patch!

English Language Arts & Reading

We continue to build on developing reading and writing skills introduced in Kindergarten including:

  • Composing a complete sentence with an emphasis on punctuation, spelling, handwriting.
  • Weekly visits to library
  • Oral and silent reading practice with a focus on fluency and expression
  • Practice identifying and understanding short and long vowel sounds


Our first graders begin learning in our fully-equipped Science Discovery Lab. Topics include Life, Earth and Physical Sciences. Curriculum adheres to California’s Next Generation Science Standards.


Math concepts and skill practice include:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Ones & tens places
  • Regrouping
  • Graphing

Social Studies/History

Examples of themes we will focus on in Social Studies:

  • Citizenship
  • People and Places
  • Our Country
  • Changes Over Time
  • Celebrate Cultures


  • How to write legibly
  • How to form letters correctly


  • Creation
  • Popular Bible stories
  • Learn new prayers
  • Talk about being a follower of Jesus
  • Begin to know verbal responses in Mass

Second Grade

Second grade is a fun year because the students really start to read independently and start loving to write and being published authors. It is rewarding to see the students grow through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.

English Language Arts

We consistently review grammar skills while incorporating elements of writing; such as:

  • creative writing
  • process writing
  • opinion writing
  • learning how to write a solid basic paragraph.


We are dedicated to reviewing decoding skills and our biggest focus is developing reading comprehension skills to build metacognition, so students understand and can talk about "how they think" about reading.


Science curriculum follows Next Generation Science Standards. Students explore concepts of plants and animal life cycles, Earth's natural resources, force and motion, and dinosaur study. Students will write an animal report and deliver an oral presentation about animal habitats. Science instruction in the Science Discovery Lab offers an extension to classroom learning.


Our goal is to strengthen a basic foundation in addition and subtraction skills including three-digit addition and three-digit subtraction with regrouping. Students need to be able to internalize math concepts from a concrete level by building with manipulatives and getting a "visual" of the concept that they can apply to the abstract level of solving math problems. We also encourage work on word problems and problem solving in the different math strands.

Social Science

Second grade topics include:

  • Comparing/contrasting the past and the present using photos and family histories,
  • Reviewing map reading skills
  • Learning about government institutions and basic economic concepts.
  • Studying important historical figures and their character as it applies to them today. (Example: Martin Luther King, African-Americans in history and their contributions, women in history and famous scientists and inventors.


We review Zaner Blossert printing of the letters, so that students are prepared for learning cursive in third grade.


Students prepare to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Our emphasis is on the life of Jesus and how we, as Christians, want to hold Jesus and his teachings first in our lives by following the Great Commandment in how we treat one another. Bible stories are included in our daily lessons.

Special Field Trips

The Academy of Science and the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park

Third Grade

Third Grade is the best! We consider it as the "Goldilocks" year...just right. We are able to do so many things and still have a lot of fun!

English Language Arts

  • English grammar basics - parts of speech, using verbs correctly
  • Fundamental writing conventions - how to write a proper paragraph
  • Spelling conventions, correlated to our reading series' review of phonics


Our literature-based curriculum includes oral language fluency practice, alphabetic knowledge, decodable text, listening comprehension, writing practice, and ongoing assessment of reading skills.

Specifically, we cover:

  • Genres - by reading stories, writing book reports, and writing stories
  • Parts of a story (setting, character, plot, and various devices used in writing)
  • Reading and comprehending non-fiction, expository texts in science and social studies
  • Reviewing phonics and fluency practice (reading aloud)
  • Book Clubs - leveled novel study in small groups


Our science curriculum is aligned with the NGSS - Next Generation Science Standards, and covers the following topics:

  • Motion and forces
  • Life cycle of organisms
  • Animal survival and variation in traits and animal heredity
  • Fossils
  • Changes in environment and animal adaptations
  • Weather, climate, and human impact on the environment
  • Engineering design and problem solving using patterns and predictions


Our curriculum correlates to the CA Common Core Standards for mathematical practice with emphasis on real-world problem-solving applications.

We focus on:

  • Addition and subtraction facts through 1000
  • Multiplication and division facts through 12
  • Problem solving with the four operations
  • Fractions!
  • Measurement of capacity, mass, length, and time, including reading and recording data
  • Geometry
  • Area and perimeter

Social Studies

Coming soon!


  • Practicing good printed penmanship
  • Learning cursive strokes and practicing the cursive alphabet
  • Cursive handwriting helps with brain development!


Students deepen their faith by studying the life and works of Christ, the creeds of the Church, Sacraments and Liturgy, the Ten Commandments, and by developing a personal relationship with God through prayer. Students learn that we can become active members of the church through service to others and participation in the Sacraments. They also study the lives of the saints and other role models to see how we can make a difference in our world.

Special Events & Field Trips:

Field Trips ~ always adding more!

  • SF Conservatory of Flowers
  • SF City Hall
  • SF Symphony
  • Academy of Sciences, Planetarium
  • De Young Museum
  • Exploratorium
  • Class Picnic - End of Year

More Special Features of 3rd Grade:

  • Book reports by genre
  • Science research projects
  • End of Year Reader's Theater Plays