The Grade School years are pivotal in a young person’s life. Our Lady of the Wayside School 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 each student’s 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 take part in school masses, do service projects at various grade levels, and also participate in a Buddy Program.

Curriculum Resources include: 

  • Sadlier: “Christ in Us” (grades K-5)
  • Our Sunday Visitor: “Allelu” (Preschool)

By incorporating best practice and research-based methods, the literacy curriculum at Our Lady of the Wayside School 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: Variety of picture books and novels throughout grades K-5
  • Comprehension Strategies: Making Meaning by Collaborative Classroom (K-5)
  • Small Group and 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: Being a Writer by Collaborative Classroom (K-5)

The foundation of our mathematics curriculum is rooted in developing critical thinkers and problem solvers who are 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:

  • Bridges in Mathematics by The Math Learning Center (PK-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:

  • Kindergarten
  • 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

Curriculum Resources include:

  • Studies Weekly (K-5)

Following the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), our students explore and experience science concepts through hands-on, collaborative experiences. They use critical thinking and application skills to solve real world problems involving science concepts.

Curriculum Topics based on Big Idea Phenomena that build upon each grade level:

  • Kindergarten: Plants and Animals and their Environments; Forces and Interactions; Weather and Climate
  • 1st grade: How Plants are Alike and Different; Animals and Body Parts; Shadows; Patterns in the Sky
  • 2nd grade: Land and Water on Earth; Properties of Matter; Co-Dependence of Living Things
  • 3rd grade: Forces and Interactions; Plant and Animal Life Cycles; Organisms and their Environment; Weather Around the World
  • 4th grade: Energy; Weathering and Erosion; Earthquakes; Human Body and how we use the body systems
  • 5th grade: Structure and Properties of Matter; Matter and Energy in Ecosystems; Protections of Earth’s Systems; Patterns in the Night Sky

Curriculum Resources include:

  • Twig Science (K-5)

Each classroom has a new SMARTBoard. The teachers use them to project workbook pages, text pages, or read aloud books, as well as to show students how to use classroom apps and appropriate Google searches to questions that arise during discussion times. SMARTBoards in the classrooms allow our teachers to bring classroom lessons into the next generation of technology and learning.

The SMARTBoards are interactive and have a touchscreen so students can be involved in the technology in front of the class while they are learning. 

All K-5 students have their own iPad. They use them differently depending on the age and needs of the students. Teachers can assign math and reading tasks to students individually based on their current ability level. Students’ use of technology includes, but is not limited to: Seesaw and Google Suite for Education (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Classroom, Gmail), plus other apps and web-based programs that are approved by the teachers, such as EpicBooks, IXL and iReady.