At the intermediate level, Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are departmentalized.
In Religion, the teachers focus on the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Sacraments and the history of Christianity. Special attention is given to the origins of the Church. Lectionary is taught once a week.
Reading, Grammar, and writing are integrated into the Language Arts curriculum. Literature based texts are used in Reading to reinforce skills, such as finding a main idea, comprehension, vocabulary development and spelling. Novels and short stories are used to supplement the text and provide exposure to classical and modern literature.
In Grammar and writing, there is particular emphasis on descriptive, persuasive and comparative writing, as well as research.
For Mathematics, students are groupedaccording to ability.Whole number operations, numeration, fractions and decimals are taught on each level. Basic geometry and algebraic concepts are introduced and developed. Math journaling and problems of the day have been introduced. Different methods of problem solving and critical thinking are taught.
Notre Dame is currently in partnership with the Palisades Park Public School in the “Include” Grant. Students will improve academic achievementin Math by effectively using educational technology.
Teachers are currently attending workshopsin the Universal Design for Learningby IDE Corp. of Ramsey, NJ, and with Rutgers University to provide professional developmentin the area of Technology and Math. The UDL concept uses differentiated learning in conjunction with technology, including the use of the Internet and a Smartboard.
Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade teachers are in the process of being trained in the Universal Design for Learning. This teaching concept uses differentiated learning in conjunction with technology, including the use of the Internet and a Smartboard.
In Science, students use inquiry-based activities and experiments, along with an up-to-date textbook series to discover concepts in Life, Earth and Physical Science. Topics include life processes, biodiversity, earth resources, ecosystems, matter,energy and astronomy. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic nature of the physical world.
Students explore the world around them in Social Studies. Emphasis is placed on the history of New Jersey and the United States, along with our North American neighbors, world civilizations, geography and current events.
In order to accommodate student’s needs, class participation, tests and quizzes, oral presentations and projects are used to assess achievement.