The reading curriculum will include strategies for students reading at grade level or higher, as well as for students who are reading below grade level. It is expected that students will master reading, writing, and verbal skills through continuous infusion of reading skills in all subject areas. Science and Social Studies non-fiction text will be used to teach reading skills and strategies. Lessons will be based on broad topics covering the reading process, literary analysis, the writing process, communication, information and media literacy.
Teachers will focus instruction on the 5 Big Ideas identified by the National Reading Panel: Phonetic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Students will read a variety of text at their level to practice comprehension skills and strategies. Students will also be monitored to ensure their positive response to instruction in the classroom.
The writing process will be taught- and all students will be required to write- on a daily basis across the curriculum. Ongoing writing strategies such as prewriting, drafting, revising, editing for language conventions, and publishing will help develop effective writers and enhance student performance on state writing assessments. Writing will also be stressed throughout the curriculum by incorporating projects such as daily journal entries and academic notebooks. The use of technology in the writing process will further enhance the students’ ability to publish their work. Writing before, during, and after the main story selection from the school's adopted text will provide systematic, explicit writing instruction and ample practice in spelling, grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Students will also
participate in school-wide structured writing assessments. This writing
assessment, called the "Pinecrest Writer,” will allow students to
gain experience for the writing proficiency exam. In addition, these
quarterly assessments will provide teachers with feedback to guide their
By the end of the school year, students will have achieved a year's worth of learning by mastering the objectives and concepts aligned to the Nevada Academic Content Standards in Reading and Language Arts. The school will also include a strong language arts component with teachers using oral book lectures, poetry readings, roundtable discussions of novels, and creative and individualized writing instruction.
The mathematics curriculum will be aligned with NCTM Principles and Nevada Academic Content Standards for Mathematics by grade level for grades K-8. Mathematics activities will also include mental math, math stories, math games, and competitions.
The math programs selected in grade K-8 were specifically selected due to their philosophy of inquiry and the mathematical explanations required of all students. The curriculum is designed to support students and help them learn that they can be mathematical thinkers. There is an emphasis on reasoning and problem solving in all grades. Students will focus on computational fluency with whole numbers as a main goal in the elementary grades. Students will also have extensive work in the mathematical areas of rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and algebra. Math games are used as a tool for students to experience mathematics in fun and engaging activities. Ongoing assessments will be utilized to ensure students understand core mathematical concepts and enrichment/remediation will be provided to meet the needs of all learners.
The science curriculum will prepare students to achieve the Next Generation Science Standards by incorporating a hands-on approach to learning of the central science themes: physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, engineering, technology, and application of science. Students will be immersed in non-fiction text to connect other content areas into science. Additionally, students will participate in hands-on science experiments while keeping science journals to extend their learning.
The social studies curriculum includes the study of related knowledge and modes of inquiry selected from history, the humanities, and the social sciences, including anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. Thematic units will integrate the various subjects and address key areas of social studies in alignment with Nevada Academic Content Standards. Character Education components (respect, honesty, responsibility, self-control, tolerance, kindness, citizenship and cooperation) will be emphasized individually through thematic lessons and group projects.
Social Studies education will promote loyalty, love of country and community, and will prepare students to participate intelligently in public affairs. The curriculum will allow students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand current political and social issues. Social studies education will provide students with an understanding of the democratic principles and ideals upon which good citizenship is founded and an understanding of the world beyond their borders.