Academics » Instructional Programs

Instructional Programs

Our Instructional Programs
Math: enVisionmath 2.0
enVisionmath 2.0 is a program designed to meet the objectives of the CCLS for Mathematics. Lessons begin with context-based situations and progress toward abstract problems. Students receive support as they advance from concrete to abstract content through the use of models and math talk prompts, which is presented throughout the program.
The mathematical content strands are all addressed in enVisionmath 2.0. Each strand is addressed throughout all grade levels of the program. Each grade level builds on and extends concept understanding so that the students approach each new challenge from a firmly established foundation.
Balanced Literacy
Independent reading enables a child to choose their just right leveled book so that he/she can read and feel comfortable with reading. Their level allows the child to read a book they can read with fluency and understanding. The shared reading component is where the children read a text with the teacher. It is usually a big book. This component does not push every child to read and this is also where children can read what they feel comfortable reading. It is usually read numerous times to build on fluency as well.  
One major element of balanced literacy is Guided reading: the teacher works with a small group of students with similar strengths and weaknesses. They focus on a skill or strategy that they might need help with. This program has been developed to address each child's specific needs in order that they reach and exceed the standards in literacy. During guided reading our students are placed in homogeneous groups with other students based on their specific needs, which are individualized for them.
The read aloud is where all the children get to listen to a book that the teacher reads. This book might be above the students reading level. This component allows the child to listen to beautiful literature at a higher level. The same goes for the different components of writing.  
The workshop model is how the lessons are planned and taught. The teacher teaches a skill, strategy or theme to the whole class. Then the children break off into groups to practice what they have just been taught. The teacher walks around conferencing with the children and picking up on their strengths and weaknesses and using what they have learned in planning their future lessons and grouping. Then the class comes back together and shares what they have learned in a whole group.
Reading: Journeys  
Journeys is a K-5 ELA core curriculum that was built expressly for CCLS with the New York City Department of Education.Jounerys combines the requirements of New York City, perfectly aligned content, and strong teacher support into a cohesive program that addresses today's educational priorities. Students will be reading authentic pieces of literature, such as novels, trade books and shorter, related texts of multiple genres. Students will experience close reading of text at appropriate complexities across grades, and engaging in the task of citing text evidence in response to text based questions that are higher-order. 
Journeys provides a Balanced Literacy approach to reading. Balanced Literacy is an approach that provides various levels of support to students, moving them from need, dependent students to independent readers, writers, listeners, and speakers.
Common Core State Standards
The Common Core Learning Standards are divided into four key features. These include Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. These four features are broken down specifically by grade in order to understand what each student is expected to achieve in the classroom.
Reading: Text complexity and growth of comprehension
The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade "staircase" of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level. Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts, considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts. 
Writing: Text types, responding to reading, and research
The Standards acknowledge the fact that whereas some writing skills, such as the ability to plan, revise, edit, and publish, are applicable to many types of writing, other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types: arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Standard 9 stresses the importance of the writing-reading connection by requiring students to draw upon and write about evidence from literary and informational texts. Because of the centrality of writing to most forms of inquiry, research standards are prominently included in this strand, though skills important to research are infused throughout the document.
1. ELA Task - Informational/Persuasive: The students will write an opinion piece on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. The criteria are grade specific. It will be used as the Pre- Benchmark and Post-Benchmark. 
2. Narrative Account: The students will write a narrative to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear sequences.
The criteria are grade specific. 
3. ELA Task Report of Information: The students will write an informational/explanatory text to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. The criteria are grade specific. 
4. ELA Task (Literary): This task will allow you to meet the standard of implementing fifty percent of literary works into your classroom. 
These writing pieces will be replacing the ones that we have done previously. There will be five writing pieces, three of these writing pieces will be used as ELA tasks. 
Speaking and Listening: Flexible Communication and Collaboration
Including but not limited to skills necessary for formal presentations, the Speaking and Listening standards require students to develop a range of broadly useful oral communication and interpersonal skills. Students must learn to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, integrate information from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources, evaluate what they hear, use media and visual displays strategically to help achieve communicative purposes, and adapt speech to context and task.
Language: Conventions, Effective Use, and Vocabulary
The Language standards include the essential "rules" of standard written and spoken English, but they also approach language as a matter of craft and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.
The Framework for Teaching - Charlotte Danielson
The Framework for Teaching is an instrument used in conjunction with the new Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards will have a profound effect on the education that our students will receive. Danielson's Framework emphasizes active, rather than passive, learning by students. In all areas they place a great deal of importance on deep conceptual understanding, thinking and reasoning, and the skill of argumentation (Students take a position and support it with logic and evidence.).
The teaching of Common Core State Standards requires a close reading of text and a greater emphasis on nonfiction works must take place. In mathematics there must be a focus on the principle topics in each grade level, with fluency and skill in the application of mathematical concepts.
The students must be prepared for college and careers. A deep conceptual understanding, for argumentation, and for logical reasoning will be priorities in the classroom. Students will take an active role in their own learning, and they will respectfully challenge the thinking of their classmates. Through the Common Core State Standards and the Framework of Teaching the students will become "intellectually active". The classroom will be a community of learners, in which the students assume a large part of the responsibility of the success of the lesson; they make suggestions, initiate improvements, monitor their own learning against clear standards, and serve as resources to one another. 
Students will be reflecting on themselves as "intellectually active" learners through the use of a self-reflection checklist. This checklist will empower them to take responsibility for their learning.
Student Self Reflection
The below checklist will be utilized in the classroom and students will be graded on the following components.