Learning at SCOPE
The Balanced Literacy Approach
Our Language Arts curriculum centers around Lucy Calkin's Units of Study for teaching Reading and Writing. It is grounded in the balanced literacy approach, which teaches children to read and write using a variety of different learning and grouping opportunities. Students read and write in large amounts on a daily basis, with varying levels of support. Tasks are modeled by the teacher, supported by the teacher or completed independently with the teacher as a guide. In addition to the Reading and Writing Workshops below, students receive daily instruction in Word Study (phonics/spelling), interactive read-alouds and shared reading and writing.
Our Reading Workshop approach teaches key reading behaviors and deep comprehension strategies using a predictable structure with direct reading instruction and time for student practice. Every day, the Workshop consists of:
- a mini-lesson on a specific reading skill or strategy.
- an independent reading time when students read independently, with a partner at their reading level or one-on-one with teachers.
- a "share" time when students present their hard work to their peers.
In addition to one-on-one conferences during Reading Workshop, students meet in small groups with teachers to work on specific strategies to become better readers. The Workshop provides students with the instruction they need to improve how they decode or read words, building their comprehension of stories and their love of reading!
Our Writing Workshop is a rigorous curriculum that gives students the chance to develop strong writing skills, which will arm them with unbelievable power as readers, thinkers and makers of meaning. Every day, our students attend the Writing Workshop, where they learn new writing strategies and practice ones that have already been introduced. The daily Workshop consists of:
- a short lesson focused on a single topic
- guided practice-learners try out what they have learned and share
- independent writing,learners write! Drafting and revising writing in ways that incorporate the day’s instruction.
- an individual or small group conference with the teacher for guidance.
- a chance to follow-up with an ‘After the Workshop’ share, giving and receiving feedback from others.
By creating an inviting environment with an abundance of supplies and giving students the freedom to write about what matters to them, young authors love to write.
Our Math Workshop encourages students to be mathematicians who investigate the big ideas of mathematics from Day 1. Our Eureka Math curriculum connects math to the real world in ways that take the fear out of math and build student confidence-helping students achieve true understanding lesson by lesson and year after year. Curiosity and engagement are hallmarks of our teaching. Throughout our daily Math Workshops, students:
- use manipulatives and visual representations to explore attributes of objects, likenesses and differences, the baseline for all problem solving.
- focus on deep understanding of small numbers, which enables them to work with larger numbers and develops number sense which is critically important.
- discover shapes and space in their environment, applying their knowledge of attributes to measure width, length, weight and capacity.
- play math games and solve puzzles reinforcing that math is fun!
Our students pursue mathematics with positive attitudes because they believe everyone can and must do mathematics.
Innovation STEAM/PBL Time
Our school follows the Buck Institute's Gold Standard for High Quality PBL. Children learn best when curriculum comes to life. Hands-on, integrated, project based learning allows children to connect to big ideas and attach real world meaning to what they are learning. Children participating in project based learning delve deeply into topics of study and are encouraged to ask questions, find answers and take ownership of their learning. Learners will work individually and collaboratively on projects to build character and can make a difference, allowing them to develop respect and compassion for individuals, our community and the global community.
Our Innovation STEAM/PBL Time is room to play, have fun and learn by researching and making things. Students share, photograph, write about, draw and discuss what they wonder, research and create. They learn how to find and develop ideas, problem solve, collaborate, share and show off what they've made. We believe that a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) integrated with literacy and social studies is essential for learners to become innovative, creative problem solvers.