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Rochester Central Lutheran School


Grades 1-3

In these early grades, instruction is grounded in the basics of “reading, writing, and arithmetic.” A curriculum and objectives that meet or exceed state-level standards is the basis for classroom lessons, and a healthy dose of creative and stimulating learning activities ensures that students develop a love of learning.  

Teacher teaching student to read

Girl reading book

Girl surprised in the classroom


Religion is not just a class at RCLS. Instead, the truths found in Scripture inform the entire curriculum and learning environment. Still, each class sets aside time during the school day for devoted Bible study. Grades 1-3 study Old and New Testament history so that all students have a functional knowledge of this history. Importantly, concepts of faith and character are applied to young students’ life situations, while an appreciation of core doctrines (such as the Trinity) and creeds (such as the Apostles’ Creed) is fostered. Ultimately, this intentional study serves to help children grow in faith in Christ.  

Language Arts

Reading instruction is focused on “word-attack skills,” vocabulary development, and comprehension skills.

  • Phonics instruction takes center stage in these early grades. Early-grade teachers are trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of phonics instruction. The Saxon phonics curriculum is used in the classroom. 
  • Weekly spelling lists accompany phonics lessons.
  • Sight words are also part of the spelling lists and reading instruction.
  • Independent reading and a love of literature is encouraged through structured literature units that include classroom discussion and projects, classroom read-alouds, and the Accelerated Reader program.
  • Students experience the reward and joy of reading through rich texts.
  • Writing focuses on grammar, sentence- and then paragraph-construction, and, starting in 2nd grade, research-based presentations and papers. Teachers employ a classic approach to writing that prioritizes the basic building blocks of the written English language––grammar, proofreading, and the traits of effective writing. Loyola Press English offers ample rigor, practice sessions, and opportunities for application.


Students continue where Kindergarten left off in developing number sense and problem-solving skills.

  • Adding and subtracting one-, two-, and then three-digit numbers; place value; and regrouping are taught and practiced in these grades so that students develop competent computational skills and a strong sense of mathematical operations.
  • Time, money, and basic geometry are also learned in these early grades.
  • Multiplication and division are taught in 3rd grade.

Pearson math materials are used to progressively develop a solid mathematical foundation.  


The science curriculum and instruction are designed to generate an appreciation for the created world. The scientific method and design process are introduced and practiced in these early-elementary years. Content includes matter, the earth’s materials, plants and animals, simple machines, energy, and health and wellness, while supporting STEM activities that include hands-on experiments, technology enhancement, and related reports and projects offer experiential opportunities to study the laws of the physical world.  

Social Studies

Social studies units serve to develop an understanding of communities, past and present: neighborhoods, our country, our continent, and the world. Governments, cultures, historical persons, economies, and formative events and ideas are studied as a means for building a knowledge base of facts and ideas that increasingly inform students’ understanding of social and political worlds.

In addition to these core subjects, 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-grade students receive weekly or biweekly instruction in





   and Physical Education.

Read more about these classes at Whole-child Education.