General Introduction to Courses — Kindergarten through 4th Grade
TWMS curriculum is designed to meet or exceed the state and national curriculum standards in reading, writing, math, science, social studies and fine arts. Low student-teacher ratios allow The Woodlands Methodist School to provide an enriching learning environment that meets the needs of each student at his or her developmental level. This is crucial, especially in the early elementary years when more formal learning begins. With a certified teacher and aide assigned to each classroom, and an average of 16 students per class, students are afforded many opportunities for individualized and small group learning.
Children receive a balanced literacy program including reading, writing, listening and speaking. Teachers work with students in small groups or individually to build independent reading skills using all three reading cue systems: semantic (meaning), syntactic (grammatical structures), and graphophonic (phonics). An instructional level for reading is assessed using the developmental reading assessment (DRA), and guided reading groups are formed using this data.
Students participate in the writing process daily through journal writing, writer’s workshop and other writing activities. Weekly spelling patterns are introduced, through Words Their Way, reinforced with word work activities and incorporated into the writer’s workshop. We use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, which provides a multi-sensory approach to letter formation.
In mathematics, students have opportunities to practice math skills in an appropriate developmental sequence. The math curriculum incorporates hands-on learning experiences with manipulatives and continually reinforces and extends math skills. The children learn about relationships, classification, patterning, one-to-one correspondences, numeration, shapes, measurement, time, money, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Instruction is differentiated based on student needs and focuses on problem solving and thinking skills to inspire children to become critical thinkers.
Science instruction encourages the development of scientific inquiry and critical thinking. Students compare, classify, chart, graph, hypothesize, observe changes and record findings. The curriculum provides experiential activities for students to have a hands-on learning experience.
Children explore our world through geography, history, government, economics, culture and citizenship. Students read biographies and present information, interpret and create their own maps, identify functions of government, examine free enterprise, compare various cultures, and identify characteristics of good citizenship. Our focus on Christian ideals allows us to model these characteristics, which are supplemented with daily Bible instruction.
Students participate daily in activities to help them grow in awareness of the love of God. Activities include thanking God for His many blessings, praying, attending weekly chapel, reciting Bible verses and singing Christian songs. Students listen to Bible stories or engage in Bible study and instruction, depending on their age level, and also participate in age-appropriate mission projects.
The library strives to promote the mission of the school and provides a welcoming environment where students, faculty, staff and parents can locate information in a variety of formats to assist in their academic, spiritual and recreational pursuits. Library goals and objectives target activities that develop lifelong learners, encourage love of literature, and promote independent seekers of information.
Weekly visits to the school library provide opportunities for the children to select additional literature for pleasure reading. Students check out books, participate in story time and receive intentional, TEKS-based lessons that teach students the skills necessary to be effective users of information in all its forms. Additional time for individual class research and projects is also provided.
Fine Arts and Music
Opportunities for the visual arts are given each day within the classroom. Students choose the medium and tools to use in expressing their visions. TEKS-based art lessons are integrated in all grades. However, second grade through middle school receive weekly lessons from our Art instructor.
The elementary music program is designed to stimulate natural creativity and an appreciation for the arts. Students learn fundamentals of music theory and history while developing proper vocal technique, playing various instruments, and participating in creative hands-on projects and performances. Fourth grade students also extend their musical instrument instruction by learning to play recorders.
Students attend organized physical education class and recess daily. Students develop healthy habits and lifelong fitness skills in class. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and fun are emphasized every day. Students learn about a variety of fitness related activities, basketball, jump rope, soccer and other sports skills.
Our students attend chapel each week on Thursday. The TWUMC Children’s Ministry team presents age-appropriate Bible stories with songs and activities. Classes use the Lifeway curriculum throughout the week, which coincides with the Chapel. Details are posted in each class’s newsletter for continued learning and family communication.
Our faculty embraces technology in the classroom to support curriculum on many levels. Along with the utilization of iMacs and Apple TVs, each classroom is equipped with a set of iPads. All of which supports increased comprehension, active engagement, individualized and collaborative learning.
Keyboarding Without Tears curriculum is also used to teach keyboarding skills, as well as digital citizenship lessons, in order to encourage responsible online computer use.