Elementary Program » Curriculum

Curriculum

Northland Christian School is committed to preparing all students for the world of tomorrow and to offering each student directed academic planning, giving them the best opportunities for the future. In our continued pursuit of these goals, NCS continues to deliver “Excellence in Academics”.

Excellence in Academics is a culture. It is our strategic plan for immersing students in a culture of excellence – in a culture where achievement is valued and excellence is encouraged; or even better, where excellence is required. It is designed to move students to an understanding of their God-given gifts. We are intentional about our claim to be a college preparatory school. Excellence in Academics is our action plan to vault our graduates into their college choices, excited to embrace all that each university can offer them.


The Northland Kindergarten curriculum is very academic in nature while remaining developmentally appropriate. Students have a rest time in the afternoon. Parents may choose to have their child participate in extra-curricular activities during this time for an additional fee. Student-teacher ratio is low, allowing for one-on-one interaction and individualized attention. Small learning groups encourage students to participate in lessons and centers.  

Bible

A Biblical Foundation for Early Childhood Education is published by YWAM’s University of the Nations. It was designed to speak to the heart of young children by nurturing their relationships with God. The purpose of the curriculum is to instill Biblical values deep into a child’s heart, to build a Biblical foundation precept by precept and to create an environment where children are loved and valued. Four major units are taught: Knowing God Our Father, Knowing Jesus and God With Us, Knowing Jesus Because of the Holy Spirit, and Training in Righteousness. This curriculum leads nicely into the curriculum used in grades 1-5. Weekly Kindergarten/LEAP chapels also help instill a desire for worship.

Reading Readiness

The Neuhaus Reading Readiness curriculum place students into small groups for direct instruction in the English alphabet. Word play, patterns, songs and hands-on activities are utilized to ensure all students master the skills of the alphabet, which is the foundation for reading. Memorization of Dolch sight word lists is highly recommended.

Guided Reading

Students who are ready for more advanced reading challenges are able to participate in guided reading groups using the Wright Group’s Gear Up! guided reading series. This series teaches a good balance of fiction and non-fiction selections using leveled readers. It is our policy at Northland to provide opportunities for students to excel in the areas in which they are ready to be academically challenged.

Fluency

The Wright Group’s Fluency First program is taught in kindergarten. This program is based on The Fluency Development Lesson, which was highly researched by Drs. Timothy Rasinski and Nancy Padak of Kent State University. The lessons use simple and brief reading selections. Students practice these lessons multiple times before performing for their peers. Teachers work on reading rate, accuracy, expression, volume, clarity, eye contact and gestures. Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and word recognition skills are the focus of this entertaining and motivating curriculum.

Writing

Students are introduced to the basic skills of writing. Children work in small groups with the teacher for guided writing instruction.

Math

The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions curriculum guides students to an understanding of patterns, shapes and relationships to build a foundation for higher level math. Manipulatives provide a developmentally appropriate method for reinforcing the concepts being taught.

Science

Kindergarten uses the Scott Foresman Science Diamond Edition 2008. Units of study for the year include the four major areas of science: life science, physical science, earth science and space and technology. Science is taught from a Christian perspective. Kindergarteners are able to travel to the science lab once a week to perform enrichment labs with the campus science specialist while also participating in hands-on activities in their classroom the rest of the week which enrich their experience.

Social Studies

Kindergarten uses the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Social Studies curriculum. Units of study throughout the year include being a good citizen, our country, workers, where we live, time goes by and stories of the past. Basic globe and map skills are covered, along with patriotic symbols and holidays. Students are introduced to the concepts of families, communities, community helpers and basic safety practices. Social studies is taught from a Christian perspective.

English

Northland recently adopted the Houghton Mifflin English program. Students are taught skills that form the basic foundation for writing and communicating. Parts of speech, rhyming words, listening, and basic sentences are introduced.

Music

In Kindergarten/LEAP Music class, students are encouraged to find their different voices such as singing, speaking, whispering, and shouting. The Musicplay curriculum uses nursery rhymes and traditional songs to help students find the best and express themselves through song. Kindergarten/LEAP students perform in a Christmas musical, Western Day square dancing, and a spring musical.

Art

Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum by the classroom teachers. Students learn basic lines, shapes and colors. Seasonal art projects allow students to be creative. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include Rodeo Art drawings for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Physical Education

The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Kindergarten students focus on balancing skills and tumbling. Large-motor and fine-motor skills are further developed through various games and activities.

Computer/Technology

Kindergarten students are introduced to technology and computers as they experience lessons integrated into their regular classroom studies. Students have facilitated time to use individual iPads in the classroom. Classroom iPads allow students to use educational software and websites to develop math and alphabet skills.

Learning Enrichment at an Accelerated Pace (LEAP) serves as a bridge class between kindergarten and first grade. This class is comprised of two different groups of students. One group includes students who have completed kindergarten and need another year for academic growth or maturity before moving on to first grade. The other group includes students who have completed preschool or Pre-K and have already mastered the concepts needed for the kindergarten class. The curriculum for LEAP is more challenging than our kindergarten program. Since LEAP students do not have a rest time in the afternoon, the entire day is spent focusing on academics and social interaction.

Bible

A Biblical Foundation for Early Childhood Education is published by YWAM’s University of the Nations. The purpose of the curriculum is to instill Biblical values deep into a child’s heart to build a Biblical foundation precept and to create an environment where children are loved and valued. Students use a timeline to gain a greater understanding of God's plan. Weekly Kindergarten/LEAP chapels also help instill a desire for worship.

LEAP students participate in guided reading groups using the Wright Group’s Gear Up! guided reading series and the Wright Group’s Take-Two’s reading series. These series provide a good balance of fiction and non-fiction selections using leveled readers.  Students experience learning in small groups with individualized attention. The five components of reading are taught explicitly with this curriculum. Phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency are all addressed. It is our policy at Northland to provide opportunities for students to excel in areas where they are ready to be academically challenged. 

Reading Readiness

In the first 9 weeks, LEAPsters use the Neuhaus Reading Readiness curriculum. It places students into small groups for direct instruction in English alphabet. Word play, patterns, and hands-on activities are utilized to ensure all students master the skills of the alphabet which is the foundation for reading. 

Fluency

LEAP students practice fluency through the Poetry and Shared Reading Program. Daily lessons use simple and brief reading selections that students practice multiple times before performing for their peers. Teachers assess students on reading rate, accuracy, expression, volume, clarity, eye contact and gestures. Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and word recognition skills are the focus of this fun and motivating curriculum. 

English

Northland recently adopted the Houghton Mifflin English program. This program is very age-appropriate. Students are taught skills that form the basic foundation for writing and communicating. Parts of speech, rhyming words, listening, and basic sentences are introduced. LEAP students use writing curriculum incorporated from the Houghton Mifflin English program. Students are provided with multiple examples of excellent writing by published authors of children’s literature. Various genres are taught throughout the year through the use of guided instruction. Touchstone texts, mini-lessons, feedback and assessments give students the best environment possible for the Writing Workshop experience. Students produce a “published” book at the end of the year.

Math

Northland recently adopted the McGraw My Math First Grade curriculum for LEAP.  Students are guided to an understanding of patterns, shapes and relationships to build a foundation for higher math.  Manipulatives provide a developmentally appropriate method for reinforcing the concepts being taught.

Science

LEAP students use the Scott Foresman Science Diamond Edition. Units of study include life science, physical science, and earth science. Science is taught from a Christian perspective. Leapsters are able to travel to the science lab once a week to perform enrichment labs with the campus science specialist while also participating in hands-on activities in their classroom the rest of the week which enrich their experience.

Social Studies

LEAP students use the MacMillan/McGraw-Hill Social Studies curriculum. A basic introduction to life in our society comes through the use of group projects, songs, and games. Students are able to grasp basic social concepts that are taught using all learning modalities.  

Music

In Kindergarten/LEAP music class, students are encouraged to find their different voices such as singing, speaking, whispering, and shouting. The Musicplay curriculum uses nursery rhymes and traditional songs to help students find the beat and express themselves through song. Kindergarten/LEAP students perform in a Christmas musical, Western Day square dancing, and a spring musical.

Art

Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Students learn basic lines, shapes, and colors. Bible crafts and seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a weekly basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season.  

Physical Education

The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches with many years of teaching and coaching experience. PE classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of PE classes daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. At Northland we believe that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. LEAP students continue to hone large and fine motor skills through various games and activities. 

Computer/Technology

Northland integrates the use of computers and technology into the regular curriculum. LEAPsters have access to iPads in the classroom. Accelerated Reader and other educational software and websites are incorporated into the curriculum.

The first grade curriculum is academically challenging while remaining developmentally appropriate. Students are expected to enter first grade with a good working knowledge of the English alphabet and basic reading and math skills. Students are frequently placed into small groups for guided instruction and centers. Basic organizational skills and small amounts of daily homework help develop increasing independence and time management skills. Students in the first grade are encouraged to take more responsibility in managing themselves in centers and in small groups.
 
Bible
Students in grades 1-5 use the Building on the Rock curriculum from Summit Ministries. First grade focuses on the idea of true wisdom. Students come to understand the importance of building the foundations of their lives on God, our Rock, by knowing, loving and obeying Him. Students learn that God exists and He is truth, He is the only God, He is one God in three persons and He is the Creator. Weekly elementary chapels also help instill a desire for worship and Christian leadership. Service project field trip - pass out student made valentines to a local nursing home facility.
 
Reading
Through use of the Wright Group’s Gear Up! guided reading series, students are leveled using benchmark assessment books. They are then placed on an individualized reading plan. Teachers give direct instruction in comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, phonemic awareness and fluency. Small groups of students who are on similar levels work together with the teacher to progress in their reading skills. First graders are expected to finish the year on an independent reading level of J or higher. This is the national standard. Northland utilizes the STAR assessment program to determine the exact reading level at which a student is proficient. Levels are reassessed 5 times a year. The online Accelerated Reader program encourages the love of reading while developing comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students progress through seven different AR levels, attempting to earn either a bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of the year. The Reading A-Z program allows teachers to provide supplemental readers to students who need additional instruction and for students in need of greater challenges. Students are also expected to master all eleven Dolch sight word lists by the end of first grade.
 
Fluency
The Wright Group’s Fluency First! Program curriculum is based upon The Fluency Development Lesson, which was highly researched by Drs. Timothy Rasinski and Nancy Padak of Kent State University. Daily lessons use simple and brief reading selections that students practice multiple times before performing for their peers. Teachers assess students based upon reading rate, accuracy, expression, volume, clarity, eye contact and gestures. A total of five formal assessments are conducted each year. Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and word recognition skills are the focus of this entertaining and motivating program.
 
Phonics
Explicit phonics and phonemic awareness is taught in grades 1-3 using the Neuhaus Language Enrichment method. The Neuhaus program, developed here in Houston, uses research-based methods of literacy instruction. This curriculum caters to all learning styles, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Research shows that emerging readers who receive phonemic awareness training score significantly higher in reading and spelling in the early elementary years.
 
English
The Houghton Mifflin English curriculum is used to teach basic sentence structure and types of sentences. Nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives are explored as well. Capitalization and punctuation skills are reinforced throughout the year. Cumulative reviews help students continually revisit skills previously learned.
Writing
The first grade writing program correlates with our Houghton Mifflin English curriculum. Students learn the basics of writing complete sentences. Teachers model the various types of writing with the help of the class. The steps in the writing process are directly taught and practiced throughout the year. Students utilize journals to document weekly events in their lives and to develop writing fluency.
 
Spelling
The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series, published in 2006, is used to focus on basic letters of the alphabet, short and long vowels, consonant blends, suffixes and compound words. Daily exercises provide practice with handwriting, spelling and vocabulary.
 
Math
Through use of the Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions Common Core 2013 curriculum, students are expected to memorize and master the 0-9 addition facts. This curriculum challenges students to think critically in order to apply what they learn in class to everyday situations. Students are expected to analyze and evaluate the thinking of other students. They are taught how to communicate mathematical thinking and how to organize their thinking. First grade covers addition and subtraction skills. Place value, patterns and equations set the stage for later algebraic math. Basic geometry and measurement concepts are also introduced. Data analysis, probability and problem solving are continually reinforced throughout the year.
 
Science
The Scott Foresman 2010 Diamond Edition was adopted in 2010. Students explore the differences between living and nonliving things. They study various habitats, plants and animals, life cycles and food chains. Earth science units include land, water, air and weather. Matter, movement and sound, and energy make up the study of physical science. Students are also given a glimpse into the world of space and technology. Publisher created science kits allow the teachers to readily provide hands-on experiments and labs. First graders are also able to travel to the science lab once a week to perform enrichment labs with the campus science specialist.
 
Social Studies
The Harcourt Social Studies 2010 edition shares with the students the world from a child’s view. Basic rules and laws, including a study on government, helps children to understand how our country works. Map and globe skills are scattered throughout the text. A unit on patriotism assists the students in having a better appreciation for our country. A brief study of changes throughout history is also included. Students are introduced to various cultures and the basics of how the marketplace works. Critical thinking and higher-level reading skills are integrated into this challenging curriculum.
 
Music
First grade students attend music class three times a week for 45 minutes per class. Students in first grade music are taught to demonstrate command of a steady beat and how to label high/low notes. Beginning solfege notes such as so, mi and la are used in folk songs and singing games. Simple rhythm notes such as one or two sounds on a beat are practiced. First grade students perform in a Christmas musical, Western Day square dancing, and a spring musical.
 
Art
Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Students learn basic lines, shapes, and colors. Bible crafts and seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a weekly basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season.
 
Physical Education
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. First grade students continue to hone large-motor and fine-motor skills through various games and activities.
 
Computer/Technology
Northland integrates the use of computers and technology into the regular curriculum. First grade has access to iPads in the classroom. Basic terminology is taught based upon the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards). Accelerated Reader and other educational software, apps and websites are incorporated into the curriculum.
The second grade program is designed to prepare our students for the upper elementary experience. This is a pivotal age where children are beginning to soar with their math and reading skills, opening up new opportunities for more advanced learning. A higher level of expectations regarding responsibility and independence is a hallmark of this grade level. The curriculum challenges students to think critically and promotes problem-solving skills that are vital in today’s society.
 
Bible
Students in grades 1-5 use the Building on the Rock curriculum from Summit Ministries. Second graders focus on the theme of fellowship and building a relationship of harmony with God. Key Biblical truths include: God creating us for the praise of His glory, God creating us to depend on Him for all things, sin separating us from fellowship with God, and through Christ we can be restored in fellowship with God. Weekly elementary chapels also help instill a desire for worship and Christian leadership.
 
Reading
Through the use of the Wright Group’s Gear Up! guided reading series, students are leveled using benchmark assessment books. They are then placed on an individualized reading plan. Teachers give direct instruction in comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, phonemic awareness and fluency. Small groups of students who are on similar levels work together with the teacher to progress in their reading skills. Northland expects students to finish second grade on an independent reading level of M or higher. This is the national standard. Northland utilizes the STAR assessment program to show teachers and parents the exact reading level at which a student is proficient. The online Accelerated Reader program encourages the love of reading while developing comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students progress through seven different AR levels, attempting to earn either a bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of the year.
 
Phonics
Explicit phonics and phonemic awareness is taught in grades 1-3 using the Neuhaus Language Enrichment method. The Neuhaus program, developed here in Houston, uses research-based methods of literacy instruction. This curriculum caters to all learning styles, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Research shows that emerging readers who receive phonemic awareness training score significantly higher in reading and spelling in the early elementary years.
 
English
The Houghton Mifflin English series is used to teach grammar and writing. The second grade curriculum focuses on basic parts of speech and complete sentences. Capitalization and punctuation are stressed. Daily editing practice is included. This curriculum includes technology links for students and parents to reinforce skills at home.
 
Writing
The Houghton Mifflin English curriculum is used to reinforce writing skills. Students are specifically taught the various genres of writing. Different professional models show students examples of good written composition. Frequent journal writing encourages students to be comfortable with writing informal thoughts, feelings and responses on a regular basis. This also helps students become fluent writers.
 
Spelling
The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series focuses on short and long vowels, words with suffixes, compound words and contractions. Daily practice reinforces concepts. Weekly tests are administered to check for mastery. Houghton Mifflin provides an educational website for students, teachers and parents that assist with lesson extensions and additional practice.
 
Math
The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions Common Core 2013 curriculum provides an excellent balance between computation skills and analysis. Students are expected not only to derive answers, but to justify them as well. Math Expressions focuses on Math Talk, Quick Practice, Student Leaders, Building Concepts and Helping Community. Second grade students learn to add, subtract and multiply. They are introduced to higher level thinking using real-world story problems that may require multiple steps. Hands-on manipulatives and math boards help students understand concepts more fully.
 
Science
The Scott Foresman 2010 Diamond Edition for science was adopted in 2010. Life, earth and physical science are all included in the second grade study. Students learn about plants and animals and how living things grow and change. Students explore the earth’s land, air and water. They discover how weather changes and how it is affected by the various seasons. Fossils and dinosaurs are also introduced. Matter, energy, forces, motion and sound make up the study on physical science. Second graders explore space and technology as well. Publisher created science kits allow the teachers to provide hands-on experiments and labs for all students. Second graders are also able to travel to the science lab once a week to perform enrichment labs with the campus science specialist.
 
Social Studies
Second graders utilize the 2010 Harcourt Social Studies curriculum. This curriculum was adopted by the school in the fall of 2010. Students begin the year by studying the concept of governance. They spend some time exploring the world around them as well as natural resources and how they are used. Students are introduced to famous people throughout American history and various cultures in our country. The second grade curriculum builds upon the first grade curriculum and provides a more in-depth look into the United States marketplace. The Harcourt series encourages higher-level thinking and advanced reading skills.
 
Music
Second grade students attend music class three times a week for 30 minutes per class. Second graders use the solfege notes do, re, mi, so, and la in their music reading, and practice those notes in singing games, rhymes, and hymns. Through the use of Musicplay curriculum, students are taught to distinguish between beat and rhythm, demonstrated on body percussion and instruments. Second grade students perform in a Christmas musical, Western Day square dancing, and a spring musical.
 
Art
Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Students learn basic lines, shapes, and colors. Bible crafts and seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a weekly basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include Rodeo Art drawings for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
 
Physical Education
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches with many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Second grade students continue to develop large-motor and fine-motor skills through various games and activities.
 
Computer/Technology
Northland integrates the use of computers and technology into the regular curriculum. iPads are available in the classroom for students to use. Accelerated Reader and other educational software and apps are incorporated into the curriculum. Educational websites are also used to reinforce math and reading skills.
Third grade is truly a rite of passage into the upper-elementary program. Students are given more opportunities to develop their independence and to make certain choices in areas of study. Third graders are expected to take responsibility for their actions. They have the opportunity to experience all of the third grade teachers and other specialists in various subject areas throughout the week. This allows for exposure to different perspectives and various teaching styles. Third grade requires more rigorous study than the earlier grades, yet remains enjoyable and rewarding.
 
Bible
Students in grades 1-5 use the Building on the Rock curriculum from Summit Ministries. Third graders focus on the theme of image-bearing and building a relationship of harmony with God, others and self. Key Biblical truths include: God creating us in His image, as image-bearers we are crowned with glory and honor, sin mars our personal harmony and ability to bear God’s image, and through Christ we can be restored in harmony with ourselves and bear His image more completely. Weekly elementary chapels also help instill a desire for worship and Christian leadership. Old Testament stories are taught to show Godly examples through men and women of faith.
 
Reading
Third graders will experience guided reading instruction, literature circles, and novel study. Various genres of literature are studied, including a balanced combination of fiction and non-fiction selections. Units are designed to meet the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and allow for curriculum integration of other subjects. Students are evaluated quarterly using the STAR assessment program. Reading progress is tracked for teachers and parents to see. Fluency is also assessed by reading orally to the teacher 5 times a year. Students are encouraged to take Accelerated Reader tests on a regular basis. Weekly visits to the school’s library keep students well supplied with good books.
 
English
The Houghton Mifflin English curriculum is used to teach basic grammar. Good sentences versus run-on sentences are explored in depth. Parts of speech are reinforced as well as using punctuation correctly. Editing skills are honed during weekly exercises. Mastery of basic grammar skills is expected by the end of 3rd grade. The Houghton Mifflin educational website provides teachers, parents and students additional resources to extend each lesson.
 
Writing
Students in third grade work with a writing specialist several times per week using the Write More curriculum. Direct instruction in the writing process helps students when writing across the curriculum. Third graders learn different story elements that good writers use. They gain experience in composing various genres such as personal narratives, descriptions, persuasion, compare/contrast and informational text. Journal writing is also a major part of the curriculum.
 
Spelling
The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series utilizes daily activities to reinforce concepts such as short and long vowels, consonant patterns and other spelling patterns. Tests are given weekly.
 
Math
The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions Common Core 2013 curriculum provides an excellent balance between computation skills and analysis. Students are expected not only to derive answers, but to justify them as well. Math Expressions focuses on Math Talk, Quick Practice, Student Leaders, Building Concepts and Helping Community. Third grade students learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide. They are introduced to higher-level thinking using real-world story problems that require multiple steps. Hands-on manipulatives help students understand concepts more fully.
 
Science
The Scott Foresman 2008 Diamond Edition curriculum focuses on life, physical and earth science. Students experience science with a science specialist who loves to share from a Christian perspective. Aha Science! from Learning.com is a supplemental curriculum that is also used. It is web based and highly interactive. Technology is heavily integrated into this class. Labs, projects and hands-on activities help make science a favorite among the third grade students.
 
Social Studies
The Harcourt Social Studies 2010 curriculum was adopted for third grade in 2010. The focus of this study is communities. Students take an in-depth look at various communities throughout history and today.  A unit on government is also included. Map and globe skills are scattered throughout the text. Critical thinking and higher-level reading skills make this curriculum thought-provoking and challenging.
 
Music
Third graders at Northland may choose between general music class OR orchestra and attend three times a week for 45 minutes per class. In general music class, students participate in many different types of games through which musical concepts such as the pentatonic scale, rhythm notes including dotted rhythms, and sightreading are taught. At Christmas, students are given the opportunity to audition for roles in a Christmas musical. Western Day brings lots of fun with traditional square dancing! Third graders also participate in a spring musical. Composers are studied during the end of the year Music Memory unit.
 
*Third grade students have the opportunity to participate in the Northland Honor Choir. Honor Choir meets before school two days a week. Participation in Honor Choir is optional. Auditions are usually not required but will be used if needed.
 
Orchestra (elective)
This program is conducted by the Northland high school orchestra teacher using the Suzuki method. Students may choose between the violin, viola, cello or bass. Students learn to play by ear and progress to actually reading music by the end of the year. Students are given the opportunity to perform at the annual Christmas concert and at the Community Open House. Additional off-campus community service performances are offered. An instrument rental fee applies. Purchase of music books is required as well. Students who participate in orchestra class do not attend regular music classes.
 
Art
Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Bible crafts and seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a weekly basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include Rodeo Art drawings for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
 
Physical Education
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Third grade students continue to hone large-motor and fine-motor skills through various games and activities.
 
Computer/Technology
In third grade, students become more adept at keyboarding and using the Microsoft Office suite. Access to Smart Boards, iPads, and projectors enhance the learning experience. Accelerated Reader and other educational software and apps are incorporated into the curriculum. Educational websites are also used to reinforce math and reading skills.
Fourth grade provides an excellent balance between very challenging academics and the pure enjoyment of learning. Students are placed in reading classes that meet their individual needs. Placement is based on test scores and recommendations. Students are offered more options for areas of study. Activities such as orchestra, cheerleading, and TCSA Academic Meet are only a few of these options. The opportunity for such challenging and enriching activities make this grade level one of the highlights of our students’ elementary years.
 
Bible
Students in grades 1-5 use the Building on the Rock curriculum from Summit Ministries. Fourth Grade focuses on the concept of servanthood and character traits. Key Biblical truths include: we were created as social beings to serve others in love, God ordained the family and nation in which we are to live and serve others, sin creates disharmony among families and nations, and through Christ we can be restored in relationship with others as members of God’s new family and nation. Weekly elementary chapels also help instill a desire for worship and Christian leadership.
 
Reading
The fourth grade reading curriculum is teacher-created. It is challenging as well as enjoyable. Students are now truly “reading to learn”. Higher level thinking skills are needed to evaluate and respond to various genres of literature. Students are expected to be able to compare/contrast, make predictions, note important details and support judgments in their readings. Book reports and various projects enrich the lessons. Students are evaluated quarterly using the STAR assessment program and reading progress is tracked. Students are encouraged to take Accelerated Reader tests on a regular basis. Weekly visits to the school’s library keep students well supplied with good books. Students are placed in reading classes that best meet their individual needs.
 
English
The Houghton Mifflin English curriculum is used to reinforce basic grammar skills mastered in the 3rd grade. Daily editing procedures ensure regular practice. The Houghton Mifflin company provides an educational website that assists teachers, parents and students with additional practice for each lesson.
 
Writing
Students in fourth grade work with a writing specialist several times per week using the Write More curriculum. The writing process, as well as basic story elements, are directly taught. Students learn to write in a variety of genres. Journal writing is also a major part of the curriculum. In addition, students are taught how to conduct research, take notes and write informational text. Skills learned in the writing class are utilized throughout the regular curriculum.
 
Spelling
The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series uses an emphasis on spelling patterns, phonics, vocabulary and editing. Houghton Mifflin provides an educational website for students, teachers and parents to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom and to further extend lessons.
 
Math
The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions Common Core 2013 curriculum provides an excellent balance between computation skills and analysis. Students are expected not only to derive answers, but to justify them as well. Students review addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in the fall semester. They are introduced to higher-level thinking using real-world story problems that require multiple steps. Hands-on manipulatives help students understand concepts more fully.
 
Science
The Scott Foresman 2008 Diamond Edition curriculum focuses on life, physical and earth science. Learning.com’s Aha! Science supplemental curriculum is also used. It is web based and highly interactive. Students experience science with a science specialist who has a passion for this subject and loves to share it from a Christian perspective. Technology is heavily integrated into the class and lego robotics are implemented into the curriculum of fourth grade as well. Labs, projects, robotics, and hands-on activities help make science a favorite among the fourth grade students.
 
Social Studies
Texas Studies Weekly is used as a basis for instruction. Students are exposed to the unique history of our state as well as important personalities that shaped our future. A major research project called the Wax Museum is required. It utilizes language arts skills such as research strategies, writing, poetry, display designs and speech presentations. Classroom MacBooks/iPads are used throughout the year for many tasks, including project-based assignments. Various field trips to Dewberry Farms and the San Jacinto museum reinforce state studies. Critical thinking and higher level reading skills make this curriculum very interactive and highly challenging.
 
Music
Fourth graders at Northland may choose between music class OR orchestra and attend class for 45 minutes 3 times a week. Musical concepts such as major scale, sightreading, and sixteenth note rhythms are learned through singing games, folk songs, and traditional hymns. Fourth graders are also encouraged to express themselves in Reader’s Theater performances and instrument accompaniments. Two-part singing is introduced through partner songs, and simple vocal ostinatos. Fourth grade students are invited to audition for singing and speaking roles in the Christmas musical. Western Day brings lots of fun with traditional square dances that increase in difficulty from year to year. Fourth grade students have many roles in the spring musical performance. The year culminates in a study of composers and some of their most popular pieces.
 
*Third grade students have the opportunity to participate in the Northland Honor Choir. Honor Choir meets before school two days a week. Participation in Honor Choir is optional. Auditions are usually not required but will be used if needed.
 
Orchestra (elective)
This program is conducted by the Northland high school orchestra teacher using the Suzuki method. Students may choose between the violin, viola, cello or bass. Students learn to play by ear and progress to actually reading music by the end of the year. Students are given the opportunity to perform at the annual Christmas concert and at the Community Open House. Additional off-campus community service performances are offered. An instrument rental fee applies. Purchase of music books is required as well. Students who participate in orchestra class do not attend the regular music class.
 
Art
Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Bible lessons are taught using student artwork and seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a regular basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include Rodeo Art drawings for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Physical Education
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Students continue to hone large-motor and fine-motor skills through various games and activities.
 
Computer/Technology
Keyboarding skills are reinforced on a regular basis. Students become more adept at using the Microsoft Office suite. Accelerated Reader and other educational software and apps are incorporated into the curriculum. Educational websites are also used to reinforce math and reading skills. Students have access to classroom iPads for individual use to enhance the learning experience.
Fifth grade students are the leaders on campus. They provide models of behavior and citizenship for our younger students to follow. This grade level is designed to prepare students for the middle school years. A higher level of responsibility is expected to ensure success in the years to come. Fifth grade provides more opportunities for various learning activities than the previous grades. A special relationship with ExxonMobil allows for field trips, science fairs, and labs that other grade levels are not able to experience. Nine months of rigorous study, research, testing, and presentations culminate in the anxiously anticipated graduation day.
 
Bible
Students in grades 1-5 use the Building on the Rock curriculum from Summit Ministries. Fifth grade focuses on stewardship and the life and ministry of Jesus. Key Biblical truths include: God sovereignly sustains His creation for His glory and purposes, God ordained His image-bearers as stewards of creation to fulfill the cultural mandate, sin causes disharmony within nature and mars God's image-bearer's ability to steward the earth, and through Christ, the heavens and earth will be made new and restored in harmony with God and His image-bearers. Weekly elementary chapels also help instill a desire for worship and Christian leadership.
 
Reading
The reading curriculum is teacher-created and is challenging as well as enjoyable. Higher level thinking skills are needed to evaluate and respond to various genres of literature. Students are expected to be able to compare/contrast, make predictions, note important details and support judgments in their readings. Book reports and various projects enrich the lessons. Students are evaluated quarterly using the STAR assessment program and reading progress is tracked. Students are required to read outside of class and to take Accelerated Reader tests on a regular basis. Weekly visits to the school’s library keep students well supplied with good books. Students are placed in classes that best meet their individual needs.
 
Advanced Reading (by Qualification Only)
Genres throughout the year include children’s classics, biographies, historical fiction, mysteries, non-fiction selections, etc. Students read independently on their own levels and complete novel goal sheets that require vocabulary, comprehension, evaluation and other higher order thinking skills. The Accelerated Reader program is also used. Students spend time learning literary terms and how they are used in the books they are reading. Targeted comprehension skills are taught such as compare and contrast, sequencing, fact and opinion and main idea and supporting details. Greek and Latin root words, prefixes and suffixes are also taught. Students not only memorize these, but learn how to put them to use in everyday vocabulary by deciphering difficult words on a regular basis. Students complete two Expert Journal projects during the year. These projects teach the students how to research a topic of their choice effectively. Students learn how to take notes and how to create outlines, bibliographies and professional Power-Point presentations. Public speaking skills are also taught and practiced.
 
English
The Houghton Mifflin English series is used to help students hone their grammar, usage and mechanics skills, preparing them for the more intense middle school years. Higher level concepts are taught such as subject and object pronouns, direct objects, and predicate nominatives. Verb usage is taught in-depth.
 
Writing
Students in fifth grade work with their teachers using instructional techniques based off of the Write More curriculum. Direct instruction in the writing process helps students when writing across the curriculum. Fifth graders learn different story elements that good writers use. They gain experience in composing various genres such as personal narratives, descriptions, persuasion, compare/contrast and informational text. Journal writing is also a major part of the curriculum. Students learn how to conduct research, take notes, and create informational text to be used for other classes as well, including the annual fifth grade Science Fair in the spring.
 
Spelling
The Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series emphasizes spelling patterns, phonics, vocabulary and editing. Houghton Mifflin provides an educational website for students, teachers and parents to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom and to further extend lessons.
 
Math
The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions Common Core 2013 curriculum provides an excellent balance between computation skills and analysis. Students are expected not only to derive answers, but to justify them as well. Math Expressions focuses on Math Talk, Quick Practice, Student Leaders, Building Concepts and Helping Community. Students hone their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills. Students will master geometry concepts, introductory algebra concepts, fraction operations, and decimal operations. Students are expected to utilize higher level thinking using real-world story problems that require multiple steps. Hands-on manipulatives and math boards help students understand concepts more fully. Fifth grade students develop their foundation for middle school and high school math courses.
 
Science
The Scott Foresman 2008 Diamond Edition curriculum focuses on life science, earth science, physical science and Space and Technology. Technology is heavily integrated into the class. Learning.com’s Aha Science! curriculum is a web based program that is used as well. The science class, taught by a certified science specialist, is a highly interactive environment centered around the Scientific Method. A spring science fair sponsored by ExxonMobil is one of the many ways the fifth graders are challenged to show their research skills that have been developed throughout the year as well as their computer skills with the presentation of data. Lego robotics is also integrated into the 5th grade classroom with further development of programming and problem solving skills. Labs, projects, and hands-on activities help make science a favorite among the fifth grade students.
 
Social Studies
The fifth grade Harcourt Social Studies curriculum presents United States history as its focus. Students learn about our nation's earliest people, the thirteen original colonies, the struggle for freedom and independence, the equality of all people, the struggle to maintain the union of states, the inner workings of government, and the importance of civic duty. Critical thinking and higher-order reading skills make this curriculum engaging as well as challenging.
 
Music
Northland fifth graders may choose between general music class OR orchestra and attend class for 45 minutes 3 times a week. Fifth grade general music students learn to play the recorder through the use of Musicplay curriculum and Recorder Karate. Colored "belts" are given for mastery of different pieces. Students feature their knowledge of the recorder at the spring concert. Past recorder performances have included themes from "Star Wars', "Sound of Music", "The Wizard of Oz', and classics from Beethoven. Fifth grade students also practice musical concepts such as singing in two and three parts, complex rhythms, major and minor scales, and participate in the study of church hymns. Dramatic reading is developed and encouraged through the use of Reader's Theater and roles in the Christmas musical. Fifth graders are also sometimes invited to participate with the sixth grade in spring choral competitions and special field trips.
 
*Fifth grade students have the opportunity to join the Northland Honor Choir. Participation is optional. Rehearsals are held two mornings a week before school. Fifth graders are given top priority in Honor Choir membership. Auditions are not usually required but will be used if necessary.
Orchestra (elective)

This program is conducted by the NCS high school orchestra teacher using the Suzuki method. Students may choose between the violin, viola, cello or bass. Students learn to play by ear and progress to actually reading music by the end of the year. Students are given the opportunity to perform at the annual Christmas concert and at the Community Open House. Additional off-campus community service performances are offered. An instrument rental fee applies. Purchase of music books is required as well.
 
Art
Art is integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Bible lessons are taught using student artwork. Seasonal art projects allow students to be creative on a regular basis. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include an opportunity to have their artwork selected for the elementary yearbook cover.
 
Physical Education
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly-qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Students continue to hone large-motor and fine-motor skills through various games and activities.
 
Computer/Technology
Reinforcement of keyboarding skills continues in fifth grade. Students become more adept at using the Microsoft Office suite. Classroom MacBooks for each student, as well as iPads, enhance the learning experience. Students learn to use a variety of educational software, apps, and websites to enhance and supplement the core curriculum.