The Lower School at First Baptist Academy equips students with the abilities and skills they need to grow and develop in school and in life. Through our curriculum and experiential approach, students are challenged academically, creatively, socially, and spiritually. First Baptist Academy integrates the Bible into all curriculum to foster an environment where students can grow a foundation of faith. Classroom technology is integrated and used daily to enhance learning. Leadership and enrichment opportunities are abundant and encourage students to begin discovering and enjoying their God given talents.
Bridge Kindergarten encourages each child's development in an environment focused on Biblical integration. Students will use Bob Jones curriculum for math and phonics, as well as supplemental Neuhaus curriculum for reading readiness, STEMscopes science, and Handwriting Without Tears. It will offer an academic step up from PreK4 short of the full load of Kindergarten.
"Bridge Kindergarten is a unique opportunity that FBA offers in order to enhance social, emotional, and cognitive growth prior to Kindergarten. Students are exposed to a wide variety of hands-on and active learning experiences. I am also proud and thrilled to say we will be one of the first classes this next year to have an Activ Panel in our classroom! This new cutting edge technology will better allow for student collaboration, as well as developmentally appropriate technology integration."
-Laura Redman, Bridge Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten offers fun and engaging thematic units that incorporate science, social studies, art, math, and language arts. Problem solving skills are at the heart of these thematic units and at the heart of the Math in Focus curriculum, which offers kindergartners a concrete-pictoral-abstract learning progression. Literacy instruction is comprehensive and includes phonological awareness, scientific spelling, hand writing, oral vocabulary building, and listening comprehension. The Bible and its truths are a central part of classroom life.
"I love kindergarten because the kids come in bright eyed and eager to learn. Everything is new to them, they're like sponges soaking in everything they see and hear. Kindergarten is about trying new things, being creative, learning, and exploration. I like to make learning fun in kindergarten while teaching them everything they need to build a solid foundation academically. The best part is when you see that sparkle in a child's eyes when they learn to read for the first time. After 23 years of teaching, I still get excited every time I see that sparkle. That's when I know I've made a difference."
-Thao Edwards, Kindergarten Teacher
First Grade gives students an academic experience steeped in exploring, creating, and learning. Skilled teachers instruct students using such respected curriculums as STEMscope science and Math In Focus, an authentic Singapore Math program emphasizing problem solving. Guided reading and literacy centers are important elements of an academically robust language arts approach. Our school is enthusiastically Christian and teachers integrate the Bible and its truths into daily lessons.
"First Grade students come through the doors with contagious energy and excitement, and as teachers, we get to take those eager learners and work hand-in-hand with them to lay a strong educational foundation. From special events – like First Grade Historical Americans Day – to the everyday – like using candy and toothpicks to respond to a STEM challenge, we strive to teach in an engaging, learner-centered way. Lower School is a such special place to teach and learn!"
-Chris Ann Grotzinger, First Grade Teacher
Second Grade classrooms offer authentic learning with enthusiasm and energy. Students are encouraged to explore and create in a collaborative classroom environment including literacy centers and language arts instruction. Teachers make a point to know each student well and to offer individualized challenge. Math In Focus and STEMScopes science curriculums emphasize problem solving skills in a real-world context. The Bible and its truths are integrated into the classroom daily.
"I absolutely love teaching second grade. At this age, students are becoming more independent academically, but they still have a love for their teachers. Second graders get so excited learning about new concepts and experimenting with ideas of how the world around them works. They also start to understand and internalize just how much God loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with each of us. They see how God works through each of our lives and how we need to share His incredible love with others."
-Manette Pierce, Second Grade Teacher
Third Grade curriculum is characterized by inquiry-based investigative learning. Problem solving skills are developed in science study and with Math In Focus, an authentic Singapore Math program. Third grade students have fully transitioned from learning to reading to learn, but emphasis is still placed on language arts instruction. Through on-campus activities and off-campus field trips, students are given opportunity to discover how their knowledge has real-world application. Biblical truth is integrated into daily lessons.
"Third grade is a very transitional year for the kids. While they are still innocent and eager to please their teacher, you start seeing them grow up. I love third graders because they are at an age where they start to teach me so much while I am teaching them and I love getting to see them develop their sense of humor!"
-Emily Viladot, Third Grade Teacher
Fourth Grade leads FBA's Lower School and student academics and activities reflect the challenge needed for successful transition into Middle School. Classrooms and teachers are warm and supportive, but students are assuming more ownership of their academic progress. Novel studies and vocabulary development are important elements of language arts study. Experiments in the STEMscopes science curriculum enhance learning. Math In Focus develops students' ability to problem solve and to monitor their own thinking. Biblical truth is enthusiastically shared and consistently integrated into instruction.
"I love fourth grade because it is a mix of the students becoming more independent while still relying on their teacher. They are striving to do well and feel accomplished when they learn and conquer their academics. I love how the students are so curious and full of questions, and how energetic and lively they are. It has been so much fun to teach in the small group environment at FBA because it gives me personal one-on-one time with each student but also as a whole class!"
-Madison Zabel, Fourth Grade Teacher