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Welcome to the Lower School

at Columbia Academy!

“Our highly qualified teachers work as a team to provide a progressive, innovative approach to learning. Our efforts are continuing to pay off as we watch our students excel across the spectrum. What I love the most about our school is its ability to transform young people – academically, personally and most importantly, spiritually.”

Trent Hill, Lower School Principal

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JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN

In Jr. Kindergarten, we specialize in introducing the Kindergarten experience to children of Kindergarten age who would benefit from the extra “gift of time” to adapt and emphasize readiness skills. Jr. Kindergarten is open to all students who will celebrate their fourth birthday by August 15th and have successfully demonstrated emotional, social and academic readiness for the program. Jr. Kindergarten is a full-time program and students must be enrolled five days a week. The program is located at both our Lower School on the Columbia campus and our Spring Hill satellite campus.

Jr. Kindergarten is designed as a year-long halfway step between four-year-old preschool and Kindergarten, combining the structure and social skills associated with Kindergarten with the cognitive content that is between Pre-K and Kindergarten. The program will take a developmental approach with the academic standards, daily structure and resources seen in regular Kindergarten class, but at a slower pace. For a curriculum guide, CLICK HERE.

Students who complete a year of Jr. Kindergarten are then eligible to move on to Kindergarten the following year. Our Jr. Kindergarten is a special program where students can begin the exciting process of building a foundation for learning that will stay with them throughout their lifetime.

In addition to exploring all the objectives outlined in the regular Pre-K program, the Jr. Kindergarten class is introduced to a more formalized reading and math readiness program. Also, each week the children have classes with some of the specialists from our elementary division. These classes include instruction in Spanish, physical education and music. iPads are used to further enhance their academic skills as well as beginning their journey towards technological knowledge and experience.

During the early part of the day, the children meet together in a group setting. The balance of the morning is then spent working in smaller groups and learning centers. The use of manipulatives enhances their understanding of basic mathematical concepts, and an exciting phonics program that sets them on the road to reading.

Our Jr. Kindergarten at the Columbia campus is also part of the new TLC program. Along with arts and crafts and theme-based activities, our Jr. Kindergarteners are a very busy group of children and will enthusiastically share with you that learning is fun!

KINDERGARTEN

More than any other time in your child’s education, Kindergarten is a very special and memorable transition for children and parents. It’s the first time your child enters into “big school” and away from the different pre-school environments they may have known. Although it’s an exciting and positive transition, it’s also a realization that your little ones are starting to grow up as they move into a new world of learning.

At Columbia Academy, our highly trained Kindergarten teachers and staff are also parents who have walked this path with their own children. Our goal is to provide the absolute best educational foundation during this important year to ensure your child is ready for first grade and beyond. We work daily to provide this preparation in a loving and encouraging Christian environment that will give your child the confidence to thrive.

Curriculum
At Columbia Academy, we want to ensure our students are able to compete academically with students across our state and country. To accomplish this, we use the Tennessee State Standards as a foundation for learning, but enjoy the freedom to identify and choose various teaching methods and resources to help us meet those standards. Below are the curriculum details in our Kindergarten program:

Bible
Resources: Positive Action Bible Curriculum and Beginner Bible. This curriculum touches on all of the main Bible stories appropriate for young children. Students learn a memory verse every two weeks, attend school wide worship three times a week, and participate in character development activities and lessons.

Math
Resources: Math Connects textbook by McGraw-Hill, a math notebook and daily interactive calendar activities which focuses on higher level thinking skills. Teachers use small group instruction individualized for each child’s needs with a wide range of hands-on opportunities to solve problems, reason and think, and communicate their ideas to teachers and peers.

Literacy
Resources: Scott Foresman Reading, Saxon Phonics/Phonemic Awareness, and Reading A-Z, which incorporates guided reading and small literacy groups that target each child’s individual reading level. For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Writing
Resources: Handwriting without Tears (letter formation). Students also participate in the Writer’s Workshop that offers writing instruction on each child’s level while teaching the process of writing.

Science & Social Studies
Resources: Thematic units based on state and national standards. Students explore a wide range of topics in Science – life, earth, and physical sciences; and Social Studies – learning about self through the community, family, world and our past.

Special Areas
Kindergarten students at Columbia Academy enjoy specialized teachers and dedicated curriculum time throughout the week incoporating five different areas – art, music, computer technology, library and physical education. At the Columbia campus, these disciplines are integrated into our Total Learning Concepts or TLC program during the Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten years. All Kindergarten students also benefit from use of our Apple iPad One-to-One program during learning centers.

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Columbia Academy follows the Tennessee state standards that require children to be five-years old no later than August 15 of the same year they begin Kindergarten. For younger students, our Jr. Kindergarten program is an ideal program to help bridge the gap between a traditional pre-school program and Kindergarten.

After applying for Kindergarten at Columbia Academy, our teachers will conduct an assessment of applicants to determine if they are emotionally and cognitively ready for Kindergarten. Below are some of the key components of readiness for a Kindergarten student:

  • Ability to recognize upper and lowercase letters
  • Ability to write first name with appropriate upper and lower case letters.
  • Recognize numbers 0-10
  • Recognize colors
  • Recognize basic shapes
  • Count to 20
  • Cut on a straight line (holding scissors correctly)
  • Color within lines
  • Be attentive during a read aloud story

How to Apply for Kindergarten?
To schedule a visit to campus and our Kindergarten classrooms, contact our Admissions Office at 931-398-5355 or email admissions@cabulldogs.org. When you’re ready to apply as a NEW student to Columbia Academy, you begin by completing a New Student Application online – CLICK HERE. CURRENT preschool and Jr. Kindergarten students at Columbia Academy will only be required to complete a re-enrollment contract that is issued in the early spring.

FIRST GRADE

Bible
First grade students learn about Jesus’ interaction with man through studying the New Testament. Focus will also be on building a Christ-like character in each student.

Language Arts
The Language Arts curriculum integrates phonics and writing concepts along with reading. A word wall is used to introduce new vocabulary and high frequency words. We also incorporate a guided reading program which includes whole group, small group learning, and literacy centers. For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Math
A new program called Math Connects is used in first grade. This program is designed to promote growth and understanding of number concepts; addition, subtraction, telling time, money, measurement, and problem solving.

Social Studies
Subjects to be covered include discussing our families, our school, community, and map skills. We also talk about historical figures and holidays, and participate in a community service project.

Science
Our study includes the components of earth science, physical science, states of matter, the five senses, and weather.

SECOND GRADE

Bible
The Bible curriculum for second grade includes teaching both the Old and New Testaments. We begin the year with the Creation, and conclude with Jesus ascending to heaven. We also incorporate lessons on character building such as respect, integrity, and responsibility. Many service projects are scheduled such as a canned food drive and adopting families for Christmas.

Language Arts
The language arts curriculum incorporates guided reading, while also using a program called Learning A-Z. It is supplemented with grammar, phonics, spelling, and creative writing.  Accelerated Reader is a part of the overall curriculum. Centers are often used to incorporate language arts skills. Students read in a variety of ways such as partnering with students in other grades, and having “Mystery Readers” to come read to the class.  Students use iPads for AR tests, learning skills, and educational games.
For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Math
Second graders use Great Minds Eureka Math- a curriculum that carefully sequences the mathematical progressions into expertly crafted modules. Eureka Math provides a comprehensive curriculum, in-depth professional development, books, and support materials for the classroom. The curriculum incorporates problem-solving strategies throughout the school year. Students work on: addition, subtraction, place value, comparing numbers to 1,000, word problems, length, data, money, time, shapes, fractions, multiplication, and division.

Science
The science curriculum includes learning about plants, weather, habitats, rocks and minerals, states of matter, and sound. Students have individual projects that coincide with these topics. The students also do experiments that relate to the curriculum.

Social Studies
The social studies curriculum incorporates Colonial America through present age. It also includes topics such as: communities, local, state, and federal governments, and learning about cities, states, countries, and continents. Map skills such as diagrams, charts, and graphs are used.  Students have individual projects throughout the school year that coincide with these topics.

THIRD GRADE

Bible
We study the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy in the fall semester. In the spring semester we study miracles, parables, and the Sermon on the Mount. Students memorize scriptures weekly according to the Bible lessons.

Math
The third grade math curriculum is from the Math Connects from McGraw-Hill aligned with the Tennessee Academic Standards. There are a variety of concepts taught; some include multiplication, division, and more advanced number sense concepts. For students who are not performing well in math, our Lower School Math Specialist is available to work in small groups with students during the school day.

English
The third grade English text is from the Houghton-Mifflin book that is aligned to the Tennessee Academic Standards. There are multiple concepts taught.  A few are the usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, capitalization, and punctuation. There are a variety of writing skills taught across the subject areas.

Spelling
Everyday Spelling from Scott Foresman is used to teach Spelling. In each weekly unit students learn new words along with several phonetic awareness and English skills. The students have a test over the words at the end of the week.

Reading
The Scott Foresman Reading series is used to teach Reading. There is a vocabulary and comprehension test at the end of each story. Along with the text book, outside reading sources are used as well.  Accelerated Reader, fully supported by scientifically-based research, personalizes reading practice to each student’s current level, improving student’s reading achievement. For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Science
The McGraw-Hill Science text book is used to facilitate learning in the following topics: How Living Things Function, Matter, The Earth and Space, Energy, and Change. Along with the text book, students participate in hands-on activities and community outreach programs.

Social Studies
Scott Foresman Communities text book allows the students to take a journey from our local community to the global community. Map skills, timeliness, types of government, and changes and inventions are studied along the way. Third grade takes part in our community wide recycling program, which is located on our campus.

Handwriting
In reviewing manuscript and teaching cursive, we use the Zaner-Bloser workbook.

FOURTH GRADE

Bible
The fourth grade Bible curriculum focuses on learning from the lives of men and women in the Bible. We do this by examining a variety of scriptures to help strengthen our faith and help us in our daily walk with God. Each week we memorize a different scripture from our lessons.

Math
The fourth grade math curriculum uses Eureka Math to build a very deep level of mathematical understanding. Through this program we will use several different techniques to strengthen the understanding of higher level addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students also learn to use multiple strategies to complete complex problems.
Throughout the year 4th graders learn addition, subtraction and multiplication of fractions, double digit multiplication, long division, place value, algebraic patterns, as well as many other mathematical skills. For students who are not performing well in math, our Lower School Math Specialist is available to work in small groups with students during the school day.

Social Studies
The fourth grade social studies curriculum consists of culture, geography, and government. We focus on the period of time between the beginning of our great nation through the Civil War. We examine various individuals, groups, and events that helped to shape our country. A field trip to the Polk Home helps enrich our curriculum.

Language Arts
The fourth grade language arts curriculum is an in-depth study of reading, writing, spelling, and language components. Grammar, communication, genres of writing, research, informational text, media, and literature are integrated into the English portion. Reading classes are delivered to ensure that developing sound reading and listening skills will produce mastery in word recognition, comprehension, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of both fiction and non-fiction. For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Science
The fourth grade science curriculum includes units on Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. It includes the implementing of the Scientific method, using the textual features in non-fiction reading, study habits, and highlights vocabulary. Demonstrations and hands-on activities are presented and followed by reflective writing.

FIFTH GRADE

Bible
The fifth grade Bible curriculum focuses on the Old Testament books.  Critical thinking skills are elevated through an exploration of Christian evidences, emphasizing the absolute existence of God.  Committing to memory specific Bible verses, students are encouraged to live a faith-based life.

Language Arts
The fifth grade language arts curriculum is designed for specific reading and writing strategies along with speaking and listening skills. The instruction of skills is specific to improving understanding through use of various types of reading material. Vocabulary building is attained through use of dictionaries, context clues, and interactive activities.  The reading curriculum primarily uses Journeys by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt along with a variety of award-winning novels. The students read various genres of books on their reading level with a goal of comprehension and fluency shown through various methods. NoRedInk is a web-based program to teach grammar skills and writing instruction.
For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Math
The fifth grade math curriculum encompasses review and instruction in basic math operations including the following: basic operations of whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percents, basic geometry, problem solving, and critical thinking.  Singapore strategies are commonly used to help students with number sense and better understanding of the mathematical concepts.  Classes are interactive and engaging to help meet the needs of all learning styles.

Science
The fifth grade Science curriculum covers how scientists work, the engineering process, matter, forces & motion, organisms and their traits, fossils, and the solar system and universe. Throughout the year, the big idea, essential questions, and investigations are utilized for further understanding. Skills such as interpreting graphs and charts are also emphasized.

Social Studies
The fifth grade social studies curriculum uses the Scott Foresman textbook titled “Growth of a Nation”.  This course includes understanding the geography, history, culture, government, economics, science, and technology of Tennessee and the United States. The historical study of our country begins with the Civil War and brings the students forward until the present day.

SIXTH GRADE

Bible
The Bible curriculum uses Bible scripture to provide lessons that enrich the heart while improving Christian qualities that build character. Topics studied include faith, service, obedience, fruitful growth, love, sacrifice, prayer, unity, and meaningful worship. The primary goal of the course is to increase a sincere awareness of God’s plan and develop a heart as God intended based on Proverbs 23:7, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Language Arts
The sixth grade language arts curriculum is designed for specific reading and writing strategies along with speaking and listening skills. The instruction of skills is specific to improving understanding through use of various types of reading material.  Vocabulary building is attained through use of dictionaries, context clues, and interactive activities. The Scott Foresman series is used along with a variety of award-winning novels.  The students read various genres of books on their reading level with a goal of comprehension and fluency shown through various methods.
For students who are struggling to read at grade level, our Lower School Reading Specialist is available for small group work to help bridge the gap before the student is promoted to the next grade level.

Math
The sixth grade math curriculum moves students from Eureka math, which was taught in K-5, to Math Connects, a Glencoe McGraw-Hill curriculum. This transitions our students into the format they will see in middle and upper school.  The Tennessee academic standards taught in 6th grade include multiplication and division of decimals and fractions, ratios and rates, percents, solving algebraic equations and inequalities, integers and functions, area and volume, and statistical variability and distribution.  Mathematical processes include estimating, understanding mathematical language, and developing reasoning skills in solving real-world, multi-step problems. For students who are not performing well in math, our Lower School Math Specialist is available to work in small groups with students during the school day.

Science
The sixth grade science curriculum is all about energy! Students will explore how energy from the Sun comes to Earth, transforms in various ways, travels through ecosystems, and powers weather patterns and ocean currents. A variety of hands-on labs, including STEM-based activities, are utilized as sixth grade students discover new things. Students are challenged to think critically as they master new skills.

Social Studies
The sixth grade social studies curriculum uses the Scott Foresman textbook titled Social Studies: The World. This course begins with the caveman and ends with the fall of the Roman Empire and covers everything in between. Included in that time period are Mesopotamia, Israel, Egypt, China, India, Perisa, and Greece. For each civilization, students will study its geography, culture, and ideology to understand its impact on the world at that time in history as well as today.