Curriculum Update August 2016
Collegium adopted the Eureka Math program for our Elementary and Middle School students.
Eureka Math is a standards-based program that relies on engaging hands-on activities for students to help them develop a deep understanding of mathematical relationships, problem-solving skills, and fluency, accuracy, and speed with basic mathematical facts and functions.
Teachers participated in Eureka Math training this summer and they are so excited to share what they have learned with your children.
For Reading and Writing instruction, we’ve adopted the Units of Study For Teaching Reading and Units of Study for Teaching Writing programs, developed by Lucy Calkins from Teachers College at Columbia University.
While these programs have been around for over 30 years, they were recently revised to align with the new standards for English Language Arts. This summer, our teachers participated in professional development training focused on these programs. Instead of a textbook approach to learning reading and writing, these programs focus on individualized instruction for students, using a workshop model.
Teachers will teach whole class mini-lessons, then spend the majority of class time in individual and small group conferences with students to help them set goals for their own growth, and improve their skills in reading and writing.
Our teachers and students are eager to dive into the new classroom libraries purchased for all K-5 classrooms! We love that our students will have the opportunity to choose books that are not only a “just right fit” for their reading levels, but are also of interest to them. Our teachers are grateful for the opportunity to share some of their favorite books with their classes.
Since we are taking a more individualized approach to teaching reading and writing, we no longer need to group students based on ability. The Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop models are best implemented in heterogeneously mixed classrooms and so our K-5 English Language Arts classes are no longer leveled.
The Eureka Math and Units of Study in Reading and Writing programs require more instructional time than previously allotted in students' schedules. As a result, some changes were made to our academic schedules to accommodate the need for increased time in Math and English Language Arts.
We took a careful look at the content we teach in Spanish for grades K-12. Our Spanish teachers identified overlap from one grade to the next, especially in the Elementary grades. They then worked over the summer to thoroughly review and revise the content we teach in each grade level, with an increased focus on conversational Spanish from kindergarten all the way through Middle School.
Even though the amount of time our students spend in Spanish classes was reduced, we are confident that they will still be able to progress at the rate needed to be successful in High School Spanish and - for some - Advanced Placement Spanish.
In our High School, we’ve added a new elective called Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), through the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program. This course illuminates the opportunities related to understanding manufacturing today. At the same time, it teaches students about manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation. Additionally, students can earn a virtual manufacturing badge recognized by the National Manufacturing Badge system, through the successful completion of this course.
This year, High School students are expanding the horizons of the school day by taking Virtual High School courses like Forensic Science and Biochemistry, as well as other exciting options. The opportunity to take online courses prepares students for the rigors of college life where online learning is more frequently required.
In Middle School, we added the PLTW elective course Design and Modeling. Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They will work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks.
The students in this course will use Autodesk® design software to create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.
We are pleased to announce we purchased a class set of Google Expedition virtual reality field trip kits for students in our Elementary grades. Last year, some of our students and teachers had the opportunity to field test this product with a team from Google, and they absolutely loved it!
We’re excited for the many connections we can make across the content areas as students discover new places from the comfort of their classrooms!
Collegium is pleased to announce that we have been invited to partner with Temple University as they seek to strengthen the field of education. Temple University professors and researchers will be working in conjunction with our faculty to share the latest research on how students learn, gather information about today’s classrooms, and implement proven strategies.
The first research project we will participate in involves taking a closer look at the link between students’ estimation abilities and their overall mathematical achievement. Some of our seventh grade students will take part in this study during their regularly scheduled math classes.
We look forward to many more opportunities like this as the school year progresses!