Dundee Elementary's curriculum is determined, at each grade level, by the requirements of both our state and nation. It is the job of both the school and teacher to provide educational materials, innovative lessons, and up-to-date curriclum that meet the needs of our students.
This will be our second year using the National Geographic reading program. We are excited that this series offers whole group, small group, and even independent opportunities. It also allows for the students to read their own leveled books and progress at their own pace. There is an incredible online component that you'll want to utilize at home with your child as well, as it's a great support as well as a report of your child's progress!
Students are "progress monitored" 3 times a year to gain a better understanding of their needs. We also have a 50-minute-a-day Title 1 support system, where a paraprofessional assists the classroom teacher, allowing more students' needs to be met. This will be accomplished using a Daily 5 environment (read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work, and work on writing).
We will be using a variety of reading structures this year: whole group modeling, small group guided strategy lessons, read alouds, independent, and leveled literature circles. We will concentrate on a variety of comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and vocabulary skills that enable your child to become independent and analytic al readers at any reading level. Dundee Elementary also takes pride in implementing their Accelerated Reading program for all students. This rewarding program allows students to read appropriate leveled books that help them progress at their own pace. The key with AR is that the students choose books of THEIR OWN liking, which makes them apt to READ MORE. Every child will have an appropriate and specific point goal to meet every marking period. The accomplishment of these goals will be a portion of your child's reading grade, so be prepared to read just about EVERY NIGHT!
We utilize " Write by Design" to provide structured writing and consistency from one grade to another (K-12). In addition, our National Geographic reading program provides daily opportunities for the kids to express their ideas in written form. Every two weeks brings us a writing "project" which allows us to utilize their entire writing process: brainstorm, prewrite, first draft, revise, edit, and publish. Marcia Freeman's Craft Plus Writing program also helps me bring grade specific lessons that help support skills aligned with national common core standards.
A writer's workshop environment, modeling known exemplary writing, will provide students self-paced, independent growth and success throughout the school year. To keep parents in the loop, there will be responsive writing coming home in the form of a reading log every Monday. This will allow the students to practice their classroom writing skills at home. Expository, narrative, and persuasive writings will be emphasized using our K-12 Writing With Design organizers. For writing mechanics, Daily Language Review (DLR) will also be an emphasis this year. Finally, variety of poetry, play writing, letters, biographies, and speeches will be integrated into this curriculum as well.
Please visit the "resource" tab above for websites that will help support your Child's Learning!
An Everyday Math series was adopted during the 2011-2012 school year, and boy has it made a remarkable difference in the foundational knowledge of our students! The curriculum focus is centered around differentiating instruction based on the needs of our students as well as a spiraling curriculum model. This means that skills are presented multiple times in the year and are expected to be mastered to different degrees and at different grade levels. No more geometry in September and fractions in May.............a little ALL OVER is what works! It's important for you to know that ALL math worksheets, parent notes, resources, online games, etc. are located through the Everyday Math website found in the RESOURCES tab above. Regular technology supplements are provided in computer class as well as the general education classroom. In addition, Title 1 services, where a paraprofessional assists the teacher in the classroom, will support students who need extra assistance. This will often take place during centers or practice and apply time.
Grades K-5 uses a hands-on kit-based program through National Geographic, which began just last year. This new program is aligned to both our state and national curriculum (Next Generation Science Standards), along with our reading series. NGSS really focuses on being observant, working together, and then developing and designing solutions using math and technology. Your third grader will experience many lessons, activities, and experiments throughout all of the branches of science: physical, earth, and biological. Along with the kit based program, we utilize mini units that follow Michigan's Heath Model: bullying, nutrition, drug awareness, safety, etc. Kids and teachers love the kits, but parents are sometimes a little nervous. There is no book, but if you are interested, there is an online version of what we're using that you may choose to access. Much of our time will be spent on making a hypothesis, following a procedure, recording observations, drawing conclusions, and then analyzing errors within the investigation. This process is very important for the success of your child in upcoming years. Most of the work will be done in the form of group work with science journals.
Every grade uses a variety of resources in order to cover the Michigan State GLCEs and benchmarks. Both third and fourth graders utilize texts centered around the study of Michigan as well as a fourth grade Social Studies Alive. Mini-Society is also an educational tool we use, that often takes on a life of its own, as the kids discover difficult economic and civic related skills and concepts. Third graders really focus most of their year studying the Michigan area before it became a state. Lastly, our entire elementary builds yearly upon the use and understanding of the American Core Democratic Values.