Curriculum and Instruction
Central Elementary provides its diverse student population a variety of educational programs that complement our core curriculum. Teachers use content area and differentiated instruction to accomplish the best possible student outcome through the use of curriculum maps with foundations in the Indiana College and Career Ready Standards which are available online at www.doe.in.gov. Teachers participate in ongoing alignment school curriculum maps with Indiana State standards during summer work sessions. The resulting curriculum maps are placed on the corporation shared drive for teachers to access and print.
The master schedule at Central Elementary provides an uninterrupted block of time for literacy and math instruction at each grade level as well as adequate time for Science and Social Studies. Each grade level has a designated time set aside for intentional writing instruction. Central’s educational programming is summarized as follows:
Reading: Classroom teachers are required to provide 90 minutes of reading each day. All teachers use research based best instructional practices to provide students with the strategies necessary to ensure educational success. General education instruction is anchored in a reading textbook and classroom sets of engaging books . Many Central teachers use the Daily 5 framework to deliver their reading and writing instruction. Teachers are trained in Lindamood Bell LIPS, Seeing Stars, and Visualizing and Verbalizing programs to assist in teaching students who struggle learning how to read. Central’s library provides students with an ample selection of authentic literature. The Accelerated Reading program used schoolwide by students, promoting daily reading and comprehension checks. The program enables teachers to track and steer student progress. Additionally, we have a schoolwide reading challenge and an annual literacy night. The literacy night usually falls in the middle of our schoolwide Readathon These programs challenge students to read at home and celebrate reaching their goals. This year the school will read, The World According to Humphrey as a One School, One Book experience.
Writing: This year writing is a focus at Central Elementary. Teachers have used a variety of programs such as 6 Traits and RACE to help their students become better writers. This year teachers are focusing not only on writing stamina, but on utilizing technology as a writing tool.
Math: Central’s math program uses many hands-on, drill, and practice activities to facilitate strong math application and computation skills. The EnVision math program also has a strong problem solving component that builds each year and helps students learn how to explain their answers. To support math fact fluency we use a program called Rocket Math in all our grades.This year, we plan to continue our schoolwide Math Fact Challenge.
Special Education and English Language Learner Programs: Differentiated instruction is based on individual student needs with specific teaching to assist struggling students. Instruction is based on best practices, push-in and pull-out programming, supported by a variety of literacy and math materials. All instruction through Special Education and English Language Learner services are in addition to core-classroom instruction in the general education classroom.
Exceptional Learners: The QuEST Track has a menu of services for academically advanced students. Identified students in grades 1-5 are placed in classrooms with other exceptional learners and receive advanced skill instruction. At the beginning of second semester in Kindergarten, we identify those students who need additional enrichment during team time. These students work with our HA licensed kindergarten teacher.
The QuEST Tract consists of a high ability curriculum map for ELA and Math identified students. Students access advanced reading instruction through accelerated IDOE novel units of study, designed tasks centered on higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and level 3 and 4 DOK questioning, and advanced vocabulary curriculum through the Caesar’s English program.
In math, third grade students identified for the math QuEST program access an enriched 3rd grade math curriculum with exposure to limited 4th grade standards. Students are expected to master and excel in critical thinking and advanced problem solving. Identified 4th and 5th grade students are clustered into accelerated math classes. Accelerated 4th grade students complete both the 4th and 5th grade math curriculum. Identified accelerated 5th grade math students complete 6th grade and part of 7th grade math curriculum. Students are taught advanced problem solving exercises and participate in flexible learning groups..
Fine Arts Programs: Instruction is provided in physical education, computer science, art, music, and library science throughout the school year. Indiana Academic Standards give curriculum guidance to the teachers as they enrich student learning through exposure to these important additional curriculum areas.
Response to Intervention: Students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in the Response to Intervention that provides daily support beyond core instruction. to improve student learning is provided through researched curriculum, computer programs, and small group instruction for students below benchmark in reading and math. Selection for intervention is based on student achievement data gathered throughout the school year. Students that are below identified benchmarks for reading, math follow remedial plans designed to assist students in closing the achievement gap.