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Curriculum Guide 2016-2017
Index
Literacy
P.S./I.S. 78Q students will be meeting the Common Core Learning standards using the ReadyGEN (Grades K-5) and Expeditionary Learning (Grades 6-8) Programs. Both programs define what students need to know in order to be college- and career-ready.
ReadyGEN: Grades K-5
  • Engages students with complex text and its academic language through the use of units of study designed around text sets at each grade level.
  • Asks students to extract and employ evidence from text, and use text sets to understand evidence within and across texts to support writing to sources.
  • Builds content knowledge through theme based units of study that balance literary and informational text; exposes students to narrative, informative, and opinion/argument writing so that they can successfully cite evidence in all genres through Writing Workshop.
Expeditionary Learning- Grades 6-8
  • Curriculum is built on rich and compelling topics that are supported by great books and worthy informational texts.
  • Daily lessons are written at a level of detail that helps teachers envision and implement key instructional routines, such as scaffolding students toward high quality writing, or conferring with students to push them to cite evidence from text.
  • Challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities, resulting in higher achievement and greater engagement in schools.
Writing
As the year progresses, your child will learn to write in a variety of genres. Students in grades K-2 will write about fiction, non-fiction, poetry, letter writing, and project based writing. Students in grades 3-7 -students will write essays, realistic fiction, poetry, and memoir. Students will learn a variety of strategies to draw upon during each stage of the writing process. During the year, the students will be taught the conventions of good writing, which includes punctuation, grammar, and strategies for accurate spelling.
Students' writing will be celebrated throughout the year.
Reading
The students will learn to be better readers throughout the year by learning strategies and skills that good readers use while reading. The students will be assessed using the Teachers’ College Reading Assessment to identify their independent reading level. Each day student participates in Reading Workshop. Reading Workshop begins with a mini-lesson in which the students learn a strategy to assist them in becoming stronger readers. During workshop time, teachers confer with students individually and in small groups. As the teacher conferences with the students, they are learning new ways to become a better reader.
As the year begins, the children will learn habits to aide them in becoming independent readers. Throughout the year they will be introduced to a variety of genres. Students will be exposed to fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. As the year progresses we will celebrate the great work they do as readers.
Word Study
K-2 will be using the Fundations Language Arts Program. This program is a phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling program. Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling. Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are practiced during story time activities.
Students in grades 3-8 will be assessed in their word study knowledge using the Words Their Way program. The word study activities are based upon each student’s developmental level. The program supports spelling, vocabulary, and phonics activities.
Read Aloud
Teacher reads aloud books at the children’s appropriate level. Read Aloud supports the work that we do during Reading and Writing Workshop. Children are actively engaged in the text and participate in partner conversations about the book. Read Aloud supports vocabulary enrichment and accountable talk.
Mathematics
P.S./I.S. 78Q students will be meeting the Common Core Learning standards using the GO Math! (Grades K-5) and Connected Math Program 3 Gr. 6-8 Programs. Both programs define what students need to know in order to be college- and career-ready.
GO Math!-Grades K-5
  • Supports the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
  • Emphasizes the critical areas and depth of understanding through interactive lessons, research based instructional approaches, best practices from around the world, and differentiated instructional resources to ensure success for all students.
Connected Math Program 3 (CMP3)-Grades 6-8
  • Engages students in active, personalized learning.
  • Inquiry-based learning to the next level. New digital tools engage students while driving conceptual understanding, procedural skill, and real-world applications.
  • Aligns to the Common Core State Standards and prepares students for college and careers.
  • A research-proven instructional approach.
Science
All students receive science instruction. The curriculum is primarily hands-on with additional supplemental literature.
The topics are as follows:

Kindergarten
Trees through the Seasons
Exploring Properties
Animals
1st Grade Animal Diversity
Properties of Matter
Weather and Seasons
2nd Grade
Earth Materials
Forces and Motion
Plant Diversity
3rd Grade Matter
Energy
Simple Machines
Plant and Animal Adaptations
4th Grade Animals and Plants in Their Environments
Electricity and Magnetism
Properties of Water
Interactions of Air, Water, and Land
5th Grade Variables
Earth Science and Landforms
Food and Nutrition
Exploring Ecosystems
6th Grade Simple and Complex Machines
Weather
Diversity of Life
Interdependence
7th Grade

Geology
Interactions between Matter and Energy
Dynamic Equilibrium: The Human Animal
Dynamic Equilibrium: Other Organisms

8th Grade Life Science
Physical Science
Earth Science
Social Studies

All children receive Social Studies instruction. The units for social studies change throughout the year.
K-8 Program: Passport to Social Studies

The following information outlines what will be taught during the months of September through October 2016:

Kindergarten Theme: Self and Others
Unit 1: My School and School Community
Grade 1 Theme: My Family and Other Families:  Now and Long Ago
Unit 1: Family and Community Are Important
Grade 2 Theme: My Community and other U.S. Communities
Unit 1: Our Community’s Geography
Grade 3 Theme: World Communities:  Now and Long Ago
Unit 1: Introduction to World Geography and World Communities
Grade 4 Theme: Geography
Unit 1: Native Americans: Geography of New York State
Grade 5 Theme: The Western Hemisphere
Unit 1: Geography and Early Societies of the Western Hemisphere
Grade 6 Theme: The Eastern Hemisphere
Unit 1: Geography of the Eastern Hemisphere
Grade 7

Theme: United States and New York State History
Unit1: Native Americans, Early Encounters and Colonial Development

Grade 8 Theme: The United States and New York State History
Unit1: Reconstruction
Music

All P.S./I.S. 78Q students receive instruction in music twice per week.

Kindergarten through grade two follows the Music and the Brain curriculum, a piano and general music program designed to demonstrate the link between early musical instruction and cognitive ability.

Students in grades 2 through 8 and their families can take part in the popular Family Ukulele Orchestra, which meets after school.

Beginning in grade 3, students are exposed to traditional band and orchestra instruments and begin to learn the recorder.  Grade 2 through grade 8 students are able to audition for the chorus.  Students expand upon the skills that they have been developing through ensemble play.
Our middle school students expand further on the foundation built in the lower grades in concert band.

A focus of the overall music curriculum is creation through, and employing, musical techniques and methods.  Students develop their skills of musical reasoning and decision-making through activities such as improvisation, song writing and composition. Central to this is the Little Kids Rock method and approach, which is a contemporary music program built on a language acquisition model of music pedagogy and uses culturally relevant music while encouraging children to communicate and improvise using music as their language. The program was developed in consideration of language acquisition theory as well as traditional music education methods like Orff and Dalcroze. Little Kids Rock methods are designed to make instrumentation accessible and satisfying in the same way that the Suzuki method of violin instruction is structured and also incorporates many elements of the Kodaly and Orff methods, with a modern twist.  Children build on the skills developed in the early grades through a natural progression based on the theory of language acquisition.  Emphasis is given to development of personal expression to music and musical literacy.

Visual arts

The arts curriculum for the our school follows the New York City Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. The art curriculum encompasses the five strands of Arts Learning: Arts Learning, Literacy in the Arts, Making Connections, Community and Cultural Resources, Careers and Lifelong Learning. Students discover art movements, explore places, and learn about the people and cultures of the world.

Arts residencies

Children in grades K-7 have the opportunity to work with professional artists brought to our school through an arts residency collaboration.

Physical Education
During physical education class students will engage in a variety of movement-based activities to enrich their overall health. Some of the topics included are team and individual sport skills, transfer of weight and balance, cooperative games, adventure education, chase and flee, and group problem solving. Focus is on sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate. Each day the students complete a set of exercises which can easily be implemented at home to promote healthy living. Students will participate in the Fitness Gram, which is a nationwide assessment of the child’s overall health. Students also learn about health and nutrition. They learn a muscle and bone of the month, discuss nutrition and label reading, and speak about stress management. Students are always encouraged to stay active and healthy at home.
Interventions

During the school day, children work in small groups on their instructional levels in an effort to build and reinforce reading and writing stamina, reading comprehension and vocabulary development.  They work individually as needed one on one with an intervention teacher.

Instructional practices and/or programs include:
  • Instructional practices and/or programs include:
    • Guided reading-strategy lessons
    • Fundations K-2-Word Study
    • Words Their Way-3-7
    • GO Math! Games
    • Differentiated math instruction
Technology
Computers and technology are incorporated into daily lessons in the classroom and library. Students are exposed to laptops, iPads, SMARTBoards, video conferencing and many different types of software to enrich their learning in all content areas.



The view from P.S./I.S. 78Q.