St. Gabriel offers a number of special courses designed to enrich our students' core education, including Art, Music, Library, Physical Education, Spanish, and Technology and classes. Each special class follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study curriculum as well as the Charlotte Diocesan curriculum. Teachers for these classes publish a quarterly newsletter to update parents and families on current activities and areas of focus.
Please visit our specials pages below to check out what we're working on this quarter!
The art curriculum builds and expands each year as each student progresses from kindergarten through fifth grade. The art curriculum is based on art elements (color, value, line, shape, and texture) and art principles (repetition, proportion, rhythm, and emphasis). Students learn to use many media. The program strives to foster each student’s creativity and originality.Kindergarten through third grade classes meet once a week for 45 minutes; fourth grade and fifth grade classes meet once a week for one hour.
The St. Gabriel School Library/ Media Center provides all students with a multi-purpose educational and research environment that encourages the enjoyment of reading and develops the skills necessary to be successful in the academic programs offered at the school. Concurrently, state and regional standardized testing and accreditation requirements are met.
The library is divided into three sections. The “Story Time” area contains the picture book collection and provides a bright and pleasant section of the library where the librarian, her assistant, and parents can read and introduce the joys of reading to our younger students.
The classroom area is driven by SMARTBoard technology that facilitates the librarian’s ability to provide students with the information and literacy skills that adhere to North Carolina State guidelines and allows for the development of independent learning.
The librarian, an ALA and North Carolina State certified librarian, collaborates with the classroom teachers so that the lessons provided in the library enhance and reinforce the classroom curriculum. In addition to curriculum enrichment, research, reference and report writing skills are also taught.
The St. Gabriel Library/Media Center also houses a fourteen thousand volume collection of up-to-date early elementary, biography, reference, and extensive fiction and non-fiction titles, including classic works of children’s authors. Student periodicals are available along with an online subscription to World Book Web. The Accelerated Reader program is also offered at St. Gabriel and “AR” quizzes are available on all six of the Library/Media Center’s computers.
Each class at St. Gabriel receives at least one period of instruction in the library per week. When story time and instruction are completed the students are encouraged to browse the book collection and borrow books to take home. The library is fully automated, and the electronic card catalog allows the students to browse the collection independently or with help and encouragement from the librarian and her assistant, who are always available for support.
At St. Gabriel Catholic School, every child will participate in activities designed to address the Diocesan curriculum which correlates with the North Carolina State Standards:
• Singing, alone and with others using a varied repertoire of music.
• Performing instruments, alone and with others.
• Improvising melodies, making variations and accompaniments to music.
• Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
• Reading and notating music.
• Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
• Evaluating music and music performances.
• Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
• Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Through active musical participation, students will learn to understand elements of music such as melody, rhythm, tempo, texture, tone color, and dynamics. All K-5 students will have performance opportunities during the school year.
Units to be taught will be posted on the Music website each quarter. You will also find important dates and information regarding performances.
Third Graders will learn to play the recorder and can find helpful hints on the Music site to enhance their note reading and performance.
The students of St. Gabriel School have Physical Education (PE) twice a week. Kindergarten – 3rd grade come for 45 minutes twice a week and the 4th and 5th grade classes come for 1 hour twice a week.
The K-2 program concentrates on basic movement and eye-hand, eye-foot coordination. Skipping, hopping, throwing and kicking are some of the locomotor skills that are worked on in PE. Body and space awareness, manipulative skills, rhythms and creative activities are also incorporated into the program. Social interaction, following directions, sportsmanship, teamwork and fitness are taught using low organizational games. Square dancing, hockey, bowling, T-ball, and soccer are some of the sports that are introduced.
The 3rd-5th grade program both individual and team sports are covered and modified games are played. Some of those sports are basketball, soccer, hockey, Tseg Ball, Tchuck Ball, badminton, flag football, volleyball, square dancing and Ultimate Frisbee. Physical fitness is also stressed and the Presidential Physical Fitness Test is administered twice a year.
Bienvenidos to Spanish class at St. Gabriel School. The Spanish curriculum provides once a week exposure to a foreign language for all grades from kindergarten through fifth grade.
The curriculum is based on vocabulary, cultural awareness, speaking, reading, and writing skills at each grade level taking into consideration the different levels of competency among the students. Kindergarten through third grade classes meet once a week for 45 minutes; fourth grade and fifth grade classes meet once a week for one hour.
Activities such as games, songs, dances, and instructional media are used to keep the students interested. The Spanish program also exposes the students to bilingual reading books and stories, as well as providing Spanish/English books in the library for students to check out.
In keeping with Catholic religious tradition at St. Gabriel School, the Spanish class incorporates Catholic prayers, feast days, holidays, and traditions as part of the Spanish class activities.
Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day, December 12, is celebrated every year with a bilingual school mass where third, fourth, and fifth graders help with active participation during the Mass. The students participate in the readings, the parade of flags from Spanish speaking countries, and the retelling of the story of Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. The entire school sings Spanish songs to honor the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas.
Hispanic American awareness is highlighted during the Hispanic American month every year from mid-September to mid-October. At Christmas, students learn about similar as well as different traditions. Students study the “carnival” season which precedes Lent or “cuaresma”. And of course, the students enjoy Cinco de Mayo, or the battle of Puebla, which marks the Mexican defeat of the French Army.
Spanish is fun! There is always a “fiesta” waiting to happen!
At St. Gabriel Catholic School we feel that an essential part of a child’s education involves the understanding and effective use of modern technology to enhance learning and build lifelong skills. Grades K through 3 are allotted a 45 minute schedulded period to spend in our state of the art computer lab and grades 4 and 5 are allotted a 1 hour period. Our lab is equipped with thirty-one personal computers, providing each student his or her own workstation. The lab at St. Gabriel is also equipped with one of our many SMARTBoard Interactive Whiteboards.
In the lab, students are involved in a number of activities that help to prepare for life in a technologically driven society. All grades are taught the physical parts of a computer, proper care and use, and Internet Safety practices.
Students in grades 4 and 5 are heavily involved in the use of productivity software with Microsoft Office. They learn to work independently with WORD, Excel, Publisher, and Power Point. They also spend a significant portion of their time on keyboarding proficiency. Grades 2 and 3 are introduced to many of the Microsoft Office applications and begin using these independantly and in small groups. They are also introduced to keyboarding proficiency practice. Grades K and 1 use a lot of interactive software applications to supplement what they are learning in their classrooms!
A fundamental part of our computer program involves accessing the internet. For safety purposes, internet access on our network is fire-walled and content-screened in order to protect the students from stumbling on content that is not appropriate. Students use the internet for research as well as a variety of online interactive games.