Curriculum Areas

Curriculum Overview

Assessments

In the elementary program students are assessed using a variety of instruments in order to determine flexible groupings. Three times a year students are benchmarked using MAP (Measures of Academic Progress/Reading and Math). Some students may also participate in the Aimsweb Assessment depending on the student’s need. Reading levels are determined for students in grades K-5 using Fountas & Pinnell. Per state requirements, students in grades 3-6 participate in the PSSA.

Literacy

In the AGCS elementary program we feel literacy is the key to accessing all learning. Classroom teachers utilize a blend of programs and materials to instruct students in reading and writing. Harcourt Storytown is used as the core program of instruction and addresses the 5 components of literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. This program provides 3 levels of materials and texts to ensure that the needs of all students are met. As student progress into upper elementary, the reading instruction transitions away from a prescribed program and focuses more on literature-based instruction tied to student reading levels. K-4 students have access to RAZ-Kids. With RAZ Kids, students can practice reading anytime, anywhere-at home, on the go, and even during the summer! Teachers are able to give assignments and track student progress. The “RAZ Rocket”gets students excited about reading!

Writing

Being a Writer is used in grades K-6. Being a Writer focuses on the writing process while instructing through mentor texts. A large portion of the writers workshop involves student writing and conferencing.

Spelling

K-1: Students are instructed the multisensory, structured language program Fundations. Fundations is a facet of the Wilson approach to reading instruction.2-5: Students receive spelling instruction through a word study approach. Word study uses categorization sorts and activities that encourage word play and manipulation to help students explore word patterns and internalize spelling rules. ‚Äč

Math

At AGCS it is our goal to create strong mathematical problem solvers who have the knowledge to manipulate numbers and understand mathematical relationships. In K-2 this goal is addressed through hands-on, real world experiences using Math in Focus. Math in Focus uses the Singapore approach to math instruction by focusing on the concrete-pictorial-abstract learning progression. In grades 3-6 Pearson GO Math! is the core component of mathematics instruction. Go Math lends itself to differentiated instruction and a strong alignment to the PA Core Standards. All grades K-6 utilize differentiated small group instruction that helps teacher to meet each student at his or her own level. K-6 students also have access to a web-based math fluency program, Reflex Math, that encourages over learning of basic math facts in an effort to establish automaticity in computation.

*Math in Focus will be rolled out to the upper elementary division over the course of the next two years.


Science

ASSET science is the program of choice for students in grades K-2. The ASSET program is designed to help classroom teachers and their students meet and exceed the PA Standards. What makes ASSET truly revolutionary is the way its curriculum focuses directly on what students need to know to meet those standards. Its professional development empowers teachers, providing the techniques and tools that turn scientific lessons into tangible, exciting concepts that students can touch, see, inquire about, and understand. This program provides students with hands-on and minds-on opportunities to explore and experiment with scientific concepts. Some sample units are: Senses, Push/Pull/Go, and Plants(K), Weather, Insects and Solids and Liquids(1st), Soil, Balancing/Weighing and Changes(2nd). The 3-5 science program is implemented using Discovery Education. Discovery Education is a inquiry-based curriculum that gives our students and staff online access to the most up to date scientific information. Sample units include

In addition AGCS has become committed to educating our students in Environmental Science and Sustainability. First and second grade students are participating in an exploratory STEM program through Asset by constructing windmills and building-like structures. In grades 3-6 STEM is addressed through an Environmental Science special and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) special class that each occur once per week. Sample topics include: designing ziplines, creating solar ovens and building a water wheel. We are pleased to have partnered with Project Lead the Way who serves as the program of study for our STEM classes.

Social Studies

AGCS elementary students receive social studies instruction within the Core Knowledge framework. This program utilizes a spiral approach to introduce and build upon national and world-wide historical and political topics. The spiraling approach of the program enables us to introduce complex and engaging topics during the early years of education. Some sample topics are Native Americans (K), Ancient Egypt (1st), Immigration and Citizenship (2nd), Map Skills (3rd) American Revolution (4th), Civil War (5th), and Ancient Greece/Rome(6th.)

Technology

Technology plays a very important role in the classroom today and can be used to teach important concepts in almost every subject area. It is imperative that teachers become comfortable with many forms of technology. We are excited to announce that 100% of our classrooms in grades K-6 have a Smartboard. Teachers are creating lessons that are more interesting, motivating and engaging for our students.

In grades 3-6 these skills continue to be addressed in a more content-integrated fashion as students use classroom computers. Students have access to Chromebooks on a daily basis as a way to collaborate with their peers and teachers. Students in the upper elementary program are utilizing the Google Platform for both in and out of school projects. These students are also given email addresses to better communicate with their peers and staff. **Students only have access to email students and staff with an @agcharter.org email address. Email is controlled and monitored.

RtII (Response to Intervention and Instruction)

Any student not scoring at benchmark on MAP and/or Aimsweb assessments is considered for intervention in the RTII (Response to Instruction and Intervention) process. Students may receive intensive supplemental instruction in literacy and/or math components through research based interventions such as Explode the Code, Read Naturally, Reflex Math, Just Words and Fundations, to name a few. For additional information about the RtII process please refer to the following link: Pattan Parent Guide

Tutoring Services

If you are looking for a tutor for your child, consider one of our AGCS teachers. Click the link below for a list of teachers who are available for hire for tutoring sessions.

Tutoring Services Teacher List