Carolina Charter Academy’s Curriculum
Overview of the Core Knowledge Sequence:
What is the Core Knowledge Sequence?
A Coherent, Cumulative, and Content-Specific Curriculum. The idea behind the Core Knowledge Sequence is simple and powerful: knowledge builds on knowledge. For the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, Core Knowledge provides a core curriculum that is coherent, cumulative, and content-specific in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge, grade by grade.
If all of our children are to be fully educated and participate equally in civic life, then we must provide each of them with the shared body of knowledge that makes literacy and communication possible. This concept, central to the Core Knowledge Foundation’s goal of excellence and equity in education, takes shape in the Sequence—a pioneering attempt to outline the specific core of shared knowledge that all children should learn in American schools.
The Core Knowledge Sequence and the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence and Teacher Handbook are detailed outlines of specific content (and skills) taught in English/language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts.
All the most successful educational systems in the world teach a common body of knowledge in the early grades. They do this because as both research and common sense demonstrate, we learn new knowledge by building on what we already know. It is important to begin building foundations of knowledge in the early grades because that is when children are most receptive, and because academic deficiencies in the first six grades can permanently impair the quality of later schooling.
Only by specifying the knowledge children should share can we guarantee equal access to that knowledge. In our current system, disadvantaged children especially suffer from low expectations that translate into watered down curricula. In schools using the Core Knowledge Sequence, however, disadvantaged children, like all children, are exposed to a coherent core of challenging, interesting knowledge. This knowledge not only provides a strong foundation for later learning, but makes up common ground for communication in a diverse society.
Children create understanding by building on what they already know. They learn best when they are offered an engaging, challenging, and content-rich curriculum that builds and grows from year to year. As the heart of a school’s curriculum, the Sequence provides a solid foundation for literacy and learning that promotes academic excellence for all learners, while remaining flexible enough to meet state and local standards. The Sequence is not a list of facts, events, and dates to be memorized. It is a guide to content from grade to grade, designed to encourage steady academic growth and progress as children construct their knowledge and develop literacy and critical thinking skills year after year.
Strong Foundations of Knowledge, Grade by Grade
The result of a lengthy process of research and consensus-building by the Core Knowledge Foundation, the Sequence is distinguished by its breadth and specificity. While most state or district standards and curricula provide general guidelines concerning skills students should obtain and master, they typically offer little help in deciding specific content. The specific content in the Sequence provides a solid foundation on which to build skills instruction. Moreover, because the Sequence builds knowledge systematically year by year, it helps prevent repetition and gaps in instruction that can result from vague curricular guidelines (for example, repeated units on “Pioneer Days” or “Saving the Rain Forest;” or inadequate attention to the Bill of Rights, or to the geography of Africa, etc.).
Overview of Singapore Math:
What is Singapore math?
Singapore math refers to the teaching method and curriculum used in Singapore, a nation that consistently ranks at the top of international assessments of student achievement in math. It’s based on a framework developed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education that emphasizes mastery of concepts through dynamic problem solving and communication.
One of the defining features of Singapore math is visualization. The concrete, pictorial, and abstract method underscores real-world application of math. It takes students from hands-on activities to pictorial representations, and finally to numbers.
When we first introduced the world to Singapore math in the late nineties there was one core series for grades 1-6, Primary Mathematics, that encapsulated the approach. We still offer this series and many other titles that represent this effective method. Almost two decades after bringing Singapore math to the U.S., it has become an established part of math education and comes in many forms. We’re proud to have started the phenomenon! At Singapore Math Inc. we remain true to the essence of the Singapore approach as we add titles to our collection.
Why Singapore math?
Singapore math is a powerful method with proven results. It provides both instant improvement and long-term mastery. Singapore math teaches students the how and why of foundational math through the steady build of concepts and skills with the goal of preparing them for more advanced topics. The approach is known for its focus on depth over memorization and drill work.
Singapore math is about drawing connections, supporting the thinking process, and instilling comprehensive understanding. It encourages perseverance and naturally gives students confidence as they become equipped to solve problems using many different tools.
Assessment & Standards
As a public charter school we are academically accountable to the North Carolina End of Grade(EOG) standards. We also use the NWEA nationally-normed assessments so that we can internally track and respond to our students’ needs as they grow.