Early Learning & Pre-Kindergarten

List of 4 items.

  • Early Learning Program I

    Welcome to a world of daily changes in your child! Despite the fact that these young children have only been on this planet a short time, they are growing and changing each day. They begin to improve their coordination and balance, even picking up tiny objects with their thumb and forefinger. The whole world is theirs to explore, making them engaging and simply fun to be with.

    St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School has developed a spiraling curriculum beginning with milestones for our youngest learners. Within our developmental framework, we incorporate intentional activities to enhance each child’s:
    • fine- and gross-motor abilities
    • personal and social habits
    • verbal communication proficiency, and
    • problem solving skills.
    Our nurturing, experienced staff creates a relationship with each child, delighting in a toothless grin or sharing that special twinkle in one another’s eye. We plant a seed for a love of learning through our dynamic curriculum, inspiring growth and development through playful opportunities.
  • Early Learning Program II

    In this dynamic year of growth, your young child will practice their physical skills during every waking hour! In fact, the toddler’s brain at this point in their life is continually growing in complexity and rapidly making connections, increasing to twice the number of connections they had at birth (and twice the number of connections in an adult brain).

    St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School has developed a spiraling curriculum, beginning with milestones for our youngest learners. During this school year, you will witness your child gain a sense of independence, begin to relate vocabulary words and use them in short sentences, and even begin potty training! Some of the engaging themes your ELP II child willexplore this year include:
    • Farm
    • Transportation
    • Colors of the rainbow
    • Senses
    • Shapes
    • Seasonal holidays 
      (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter)
    Our dedicated staff form a relationship with each child, encouraging them to reach their highest potential and set individual goals to attain. Within each theme, we also incorporate intentional activities to enhance each child’s fine- and gross-motor abilities, personal and social habits, verbal communication proficiency, and problem solving skills.
  • Pre-Kindergarten I

    Pre-Kindergarten is a time of creative thinking, when children delight in fantasy while intertwining their life experiences into play scenarios. Children in the early preschool years learn best through a variety of experiences, along with encouragement to explore their environment and develop relationships with peers. St. Mark’s Pre-Kindergarten I program provides a developmental curriculum that involves children in many hands-on activities, allowing them to demonstrate their increasing skills while building on the curricular framework established in our Early Learning Program. Our teachers strive to build confidence and self-esteem in each child, promoting these values through their daily routines and activities while allowing the children to safely explore and understand the world around them.

    A typical day in Pre-K I includes teacher-directed activities, circle time, morning snack, resource classes, outdoor play, and free-choice centers. Our weekly themes, which focus on learning the letters of the alphabet, are incorporated through each of these moments. We also focus on:

    • Oral language
    • Vocabulary use
    • Comprehension
    • Listening skills
    • Numerical competency
    • Spatial awareness
    • Cooperation
    • Empathy
    • Self-awareness
    • Development of gross- and fine-motor skills

    Students receive weekly resource instruction in Art, Library, Movement, Music, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. Additionally, Pre-K I students attend two developmentally appropriate Chapel services during the week. Families are always welcome to join us! Students also perform on the stage in our state-of-the-art Lori Schiavone Commons during the Spring for an Easter celebration.

    Pre-Kindergarten students must be potty trained before attending school. We also ask you to provide a morning snack for these students, enabling each child to begin using their fine motor skills to open containers independently. Pre-K I students also begin using carpool, wherein our assistant teachers help each child exit the car and our Sixth Grade Safety Patrols escort them to class. Oh, how the independence soars this year!
  • Pre-Kindergarten II

    Pre-Kindergarten II at St. Mark’s is a full-week morning program that promotes responsibility, decision-making, and cooperative social skills through our developmentally appropriate curriculum. As children grow in their ability to demonstrate their skills, we still allow them to play while focusing on the core skills of:

    • Language Arts: Our curriculum includes a plethora of opportunities to listen, speak, and even write. These experiences all encourage development in phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, comprehension, oral language, and vocabulary on a daily basis, meeting each child at their developmental level and providing additional experiences in these skills. 

      Our curricular framework includes Handwriting Without Tears and the Houghton Mifflin Pre-K Reading Program. Through these venues, children practice beginning writing skills, sounding out basic words, and retelling shared stories. 

    • Math: Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics is a comprehensive, activity-based program that uses the pedagogical principles of the Singapore math approach, creating a foundation that will support later goals during your child’s elementary years at St. Mark’s. We strive to give each student a strong understanding of the number line, subitizing, and other essential concepts during their Pre-K II year, evoking learning through fun-filled lessons and activities.  

    • Science and Social Studies are also incorporated into our classrooms in meaningful ways. In addition to the social skills practiced throughout their morning, our specialized units of study help enhance each child’s knowledge of the world outside of their direct experiences. Themes focused on communities, transportation, holidays, and animals enrich and guide the curriculum, while field trips to local venues in the community further enhance students’ learning opportunities. Our transportation unit also incorporates an annual parade with student-created vehicles!

    Throughout all of these curricular goals, children are given opportunities to grow toward their maximum potential while focusing on their individual abilities, interests, and needs. We also receive weekly resource instruction to support our academic goals, visiting teachers in the following specialized areas: Art, Library, Movement, Music, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. After our Christmas Break, we will begin visiting the Computer Lab and begin instruction on how to use the keyboard and mouse, navigate basic programs, utilize iPads, and more! We also perform our Traditional Christmas Program on the stage in the Lori Schiavone Commons annually. Additionally, Pre-K II students attend two developmentally appropriate Chapel services during the week. Families are always welcome to join us!  

Kindergarten - 6th Grade

List of 5 items.

  • Mathematics

    At St. Mark’s we utilize Primary Mathematics which is also known as Singapore Math.  We teach children to think mathematically rather than just having them memorize the mechanics of problem solving. This program lays a solid foundation for conceptual understanding using a three-step process, taking children from concrete, to pictorial, then abstract approaches to learning. Concepts are addressed from a number of directions that challenge students to think and understand. Utilizing metacognitive skills to assess solutions, we encourage students to consider alternate methods for problem solving, promoting logical thinking. Our base ten math curriculum is introduced in Kindergarten and scaffolds through sixth grade preparing our students well to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Science

    St. Mark’s science program intentionally builds on a child’s natural curiosity and creativity using teaching methods that not only promote innovation but which focus on experiential learning.  Students in kindergarten through sixth grade begin to develop an understanding of the four disciplinary core ideas: physical sciences; life sciences; Earth and space sciences; and engineering, and technology through an inquiry based approach.

    The ability to make careful observations is one of the most basic science skills. But to be of any real value, observations must be recorded and communicated.  Our Science program is integrated with our math and language arts curriculum enhancing our student’s skills as they collect evidence from a variety of sources, develop an explanation from the data, and communicate and defend their conclusions.
    Tools: Scott Foresman Science, Carolina Biological, Life Science-FL edition-McDougal Littell
  • Language Arts

    Kindergarten Language Arts:
    The kindergarten language arts curriculum is designed to introduce our students to the power of print and the joy of becoming literate. Our program is literature based and exposes children to a wide variety of genres. Students are actively engaged in activities that foster reading comprehension skills as they respond to big books in shared reading and to the leveled texts specifically chosen to meet each child's needs and abilities through guided reading. Children learn to use strategies for decoding unfamiliar text.  Explicit think-alouds help unlock the mystery of what good readers are doing while reading. Our teachers make their thinking audible and visible to begin laying a foundation of important metacognitive and comprehension skills. The word study program works in concert with the reading program, and focuses on phonemic awareness, letter recognition, letter sounds, blending, and spelling. Writing instruction includes beginning penmanship and sentence construction and basic punctuation in creative writing experiences In kindergarten, we set students up for a love of books, learning, and school!

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Houghton Mifflin Reading, Handwriting Without Tears

    First Grade Language Arts:
    The curriculum is designed to help our students become proficient decoders, fluent readers, and budding authors. The curriculum is scaffolded to begin with a review of foundational skills and focuses on building on each of the five reading components: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The implementation of small group guided reading lessons in addition to a well-balanced literacy diet of selected fiction and nonfiction texts allows students many opportunities to practice comprehension strategies and skills.

    First Grade Reading
    In the first unit, the students establish ability-based partnerships that tap into the social power of peers working together to help each other become more strategic as readers. The second unit, Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction, taps into children’s natural curiosity as they explore nonfiction, learn comprehension strategies, word solving, vocabulary, fluency, and author’s craft. The third unit, Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension, focuses on the reading process, setting children up to read increasingly complex texts. The last unit of first grade, Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: A Study of Story Elements, spotlights story elements and the skills that are foundational to literal and inferential comprehension, including empathy, imagination, envisioning, prediction, character study, and interpretation. The students are enabled to dive deep, extending their reading skills to their farthest reach.

    First Grade Writing
    The first-graders are just tapping into their burgeoning powers as readers as well as writers, and believe they can do anything. Our students begin with the always-popular unit Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue. In this unit students take the everyday events of their young lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories, then they learn to breathe life into the characters by making them talk, think, and interact. In unit two, Nonfiction Chapter Books, students enter the world of informational writing as they combine pictures and charts with domain-specific vocabulary and craft moves to create engaging teaching texts. In unit three, Writing Reviews, students create persuasive reviews of all sorts—pizza restaurant reviews, TV show reviews, ice cream flavor reviews, and finally book reviews that hook the reader, clearly express the writer’s opinion, and bolster their argument in convincing ways. In From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction, the final unit students learn to “show, not tell” and use action, dialogue, and feelings to create a whole series of fiction books. We teach opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity to foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique. Our students learn to develop and refine strategies for content area writing. Writing supports greater independence and fluency.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +, Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Handwriting Without Tears, ReadWorks, Words Their Way

    Second Grade Language Arts:
    Understanding that second graders operate at different skill levels, the language arts program aims to refine skills introduced in first grade with the ultimate goal of students becoming joyful, thoughtful readers. Students strengthen their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills through the use of different genres. Leveled texts are selected to encourage multicultural awareness, intellectual curiosity, and human empathy. Students work on communication and clarity of expression by strengthening sentence writing skills and learning to organize details into informative paragraphs and fictional stories. This program prepares students for the transition toward content area reading and writing, which are stressed in third grade.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Houghton Mifflin ReadingSteck-Vaughn Spelling, Handwriting Without Tears, Accelerated Reader, ReadWorks, Words Their Way
    Third Grade Language Arts:
    Third grade is an exciting developmental year for students in the reading process.  While continuing to develop each component of the reading process, our students are becoming more independent readers.  With many of these skills secure, our third graders are learning strategies to read for information and how to employ metacognitive skills that good readers do naturally while they are reading.  The curriculum reviews and extends each students’ reading and writing foundation. The implementation of small group guided reading lessons provides a balanced literacy diet of selected novels, fiction and nonfiction texts, allowing students many opportunities to practice comprehension strategies. The curriculum also covers composition, oral expression, handwriting, and word analysis to better decode more sophisticated text and gain meaning, spelling, vocabulary,and English grammar. Students are encouraged to develop their own style and voice.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +, Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Houghton Mifflin Reading, Shurley English, Steck-Vaughn Spelling, Wordly Wise, Accelerated Reader, ReadWorks, Words Their Way

    Fourth Grade Language Arts:
    The fourth grade language arts curriculum is designed to help our students become strong analytical thinkers, competent writers, and joyful readers. Our program is primarily literature-based and consists of novels and nonfiction texts integrated with our social studies and science units. Vocabulary, word analysis, spelling, and writing opportunities are incorporated into our studies to make for cohesive learning experiences for our students. Small group guided reading lessons with targeted skill practice and novel based literature circles are some of the ways in which we meet the individual demands of our students and allow for the assigning of high interest texts, which increases motivation and learning. Collaborative experiences and exposure to different perspectives of classmates, as well as to different types of literature, improve both written and oral communication, thus preparing our students for the transition to fifth grade.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Houghton Mifflin ReadingReadWorks, Accelerated Reader 360, Shurley English, Wordly Wise,Words Their Way

    Fifth Grade Language Arts
    Fifth grade literature is full of purposeful and engaging literature opportunities including  close readings, novel studies, and poetry within a variety of genres; historical fiction, realistic fiction, and nonfiction. The selections are chosen to meet the developmental needs of the students. Vocabulary and writing instruction are targeted and tied to student reading selections. Students also study literary elements and poetry terms.  A strong foundation is formed as grammar is reinforced as fifth-graders study parts of speech, parts of the sentence, and usage. At this age, writing begins with strong sentences and moves to paragraph development. As research skills are introduced, students write reports and create presentation materials.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +, Houghton Mifflin Reading, ReadWorks,Shurley English, Wordly Wise, Accelerated Reader 360, Words Their Way

    Sixth Grade Language Arts:
    The sixth grade English curriculum concentrates on reading, writing, and continues the study of grammar to strengthen and enhance students' appreciation of the English language and their respect for literature. The literature reflects cultural and personal diversity, and interdisciplinary projects foster unity within the curriculum. The theme of friendship and making good choices requires students to reflect on attitudes and actions. The grammar focus in sixth grade builds on the foundation that is laid in the fifth grade, reviewing the concepts of parts of speech, parts of sentence, and usage while working with more complex sentences. The writing process, with its focus on paragraph development, teaches students the importance of clear, coherent writing. Students compose various forms of writing both creatively and formally, including expository, descriptive, informative, and persuasive pieces. Students also experience creative writing through short stories and poems.

    Tools: Developmental Reading Assessment 2 +, Reading Units of Study, Writing Units of Study, Houghton Mifflin Reading, Shurley English, Wordly Wise, Accelerated Reader 360, ReadWorks, Words Their Way
  • Social Studies

    Kindergarten Social Studies
    We begin our “travel itinerary” right here in Jacksonville, Florida as we study our global community.  We make stops around the world as we learn about the people, cultures, and places of Peru/Galapagos Islands, Israel, Native Americans, Christmas in Europe, China, Antarctica, Kenya, and Australia.

    Tools: TCI Social Studies Alive, My Community

    First Grade Social Studies
    Social studies in first grade focuses on community, geography, and responsible citizenship. We also study Mexico and Haiti, their culture, geography and challenges, with the Haiti study coinciding with our service learning.

    Tools: TCI Social Studies Alive, My Community, The Banza, The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales

    Second Grade Social Studies
    In second grade social studies students explore ways that we must all learn to interact with others responsibly and peacefully in the world. They also research a broad study of various cultures and information about the founding of America.

    Tools: TCI Social Studies Alive, Our Community and Beyond

    Third Grade Social Studies
    The third grade Social Studies curriculum focuses on the history, geography, and political science of Florida and Jacksonville while incorporating a project based approach. The relevancy of the topics for our students make for a high interest learning opportunity packed with exciting discoveries. Vocabulary, spelling, and writing are incorporated into this theme, as well. Students also learn how to navigate their way through a social studies textbook, learn the text features of nonfiction texts which supports future learning, and how to think like a historian.The students learn to celebrate the strengths and potential of people from past cultures. The culmination of each unit is a field trip to various historical sites.  “Florida Day” is an annual presentation by the third grade students with projects, skits, and stories on the state of Florida.

    Tools: Florida, Social Studies Scott Foresman, Florida's Lost Tribes

    Fourth Grade Social Studies
    Social Studies in fourth grade is a time of real discovery.  Our students learn to think like a geographer, economist and historian as they learn about the diversity of our nation.  They compare life in cities to that of rural america, they learn the importance of natural resources, especially here at home as our fourth grade Service Learning, the St. John’s Riverkeeper, is integrated through the language arts and social studies curriculum.  The students utilize this information as they learn about our states and capitals. The culmination is John Hunter’s  World Peace Game, World Peace Game.  Our fourth graders draw on prior knowledge while engaging and honing their collaborative skills and learning the art of negotiation in a global setting with real world issues. John Hunter Ted Talk.
    Tools: TCI Social Studies Alive! Regions of our Country, Trouble on the St. John’s, World Peace Game Foundation

    Fifth Grade Social Studies
    Social studies in the fifth grade explores in depth early American history, the settling of the west, the Civil War, Industrialization of America, modern America, and current events. The culminating highlight of the fifth grade year is a study trip to Washington, D.C. After much research, our students assume the roles of tour guide helping to facilitate their peers’ learning of national monuments and other historic sites.

    Tools:  TCI Social Studies Alive! American's Past, Why America is Free, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution

    Sixth Grade Social Studies
    Social studies in sixth grade explores the magical cultures of long ago; ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome. Reading across the curriculum allows for the integration of these topics with literature in hopes that knowledge of history will increase a love of reading and aid in comprehension of text while conversely creating a love of reading will inspire a passion for history. 

    Tools: TCI History Alive! The Ancient World, Early Times: The Story of Ancient Egypt, Early Times: The Story of Ancient China, Early Times: The Story of Ancient Greece
  • Resources

    Engaging and talented resource teachers provide an exposure to world languages (Mandarin Chinese and Spanish), art, music, and athletics.