Elementary School

The Grade School years are pivotal in a young person’s life. Our Lady of the Wayside provides an environment that is nurturing and encouraging where students are eager to excel. OLW grade school students are closely guided by caring teachers who know each student well and treasure the students’ unique abilities. In this loving, faith-filled environment, students develop the skills, values, confidence, character, and compassion necessary for future success. The Catholic faith and love for God are woven into every aspect of education at OLW.

Religion: Faith and service are integral to the learning environment at Wayside.  Students learn about Catholic doctrine, prayers, sacraments and Church history in their classes.  Learning about our faith does not stop within the classroom.  Students participate in school masses, do service projects at various grade levels, and also participate in a Buddy Program with different class.

Curriculum Resources include:

  • Sadlier: “We Believe” (grades 1-5)

Literacy: By incorporating best practice and research-based methods, the literacy curriculum at Our Lady of the Wayside reflects the fundamentals of Balanced Literacy.  Balanced Literacy utilizes Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Word Walls, Shared Writing, and Writers Workshop to best meet every learner’s strengths and needs by individualizing instruction.  Developmentally appropriate instruction focuses on decoding, fluency and comprehension while incorporating word study and grammar.

Curriculum Resources Include:

  • Shared Reading: MacMillan/McGraw Hill Treasures (grades 1-3) and a variety of novel studies (grades 4-5)
  • Guided Reading: Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments and an extensive leveled library of fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Spelling/Word Study: Words Their Way (a developmental spelling and word study program being piloted in Grades 1, 3, 5)
  • Writing: Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study

Math: The foundation of our mathematics curriculum is rooted in developing critical thinkers and problem solvers learning to communicate and reason mathematically. Instruction incorporates a variety of manipulatives and real world applications. In the elementary grades, instruction focuses on number sense, patterns and sequencing, operations, fact fluency, measurement, spatial understanding and mathematical reasoning.

Curriculum Resources include:

  • MacMillan McGraw- Hill: “Math Connects” (grades 1-5)

Social Studies: Integrated in-depth units promoting inquiry, research and hands-on application to develop globally, culturally, and historically aware citizens encompass our Social Studies Curriculum.

Curriculum Topics include:

  • 1st grade: Communities, America and World Cultures
  • 2nd grade: Geography, Economics and Pioneers
  • 3rd grade: Native Americans, Government, and Chicago/Illinois
  • 4th grade: Regions of the US and Westward Expansion
  • 5th grade: Explorers, Colonial America and the American Revolution

Science: Exploration and experiential learning are at the core of our Science curriculum.  Students act as scientists as they deepen their knowledge of the world around us.

Curriculum Topics include:

  • 1st grade: Matter, Environment, and Plants
  • 2nd grade: Weather, Magnets and Habitats
  • 3rd grade: Human Body, Space and Sound/Light
  • 4th grade: Rocks/Minerals, Electricity, and Classifying Living Things
  • 5th grade: Engineering, Systems of Living Things, and Populations/Ecosystems

Curriculum Resources include:

  • Houghton Mifflin HarCourt: “Science Fusion” (grades 4-5)