Curriculum

About GIA Curriculum:

The School provides English, Math, Social Studies, Science and History and Geography courses with an Green Curriculum Component for Planned Learning Serving Grades K-8.

A:  The Current Approach: The current approach is to follow the curricular tools and the and Ohio’s New Learning Standards which we call “anchor standards”  These standards show the specific learning outcomes and clear goals for each student.  Information on the new standards can be found at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-New-Learning-Standards/Ohios-New-Learning-Standards. 

READING:  The school utilizes the New Ohio Learning Standards as the basis for what is to be taught on a regular basis. Through the curriculum mapping process, the school has been able to identify specific gaps within the curriculum. Through the curriculum mapping process,  teachers and support staff have come together to create a curriculum map for all grade levels for reading, math, science and social studies.

iStock_000018683862MediumHigh quality reading instruction is provided in every classroom during a daily ninety (90) minute reading block and reading instruction will be differentiated based on the needs of individual students. Reading instruction for students in grades K-3 focuses  primarily on acquiring skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Whereas reading instruction in the primary grades emphasizes learning to read, reading in the intermediate grades emphasizes reading to learn. Skills in the upper grades will include the use of, but not be limited to context clues, main idea, cause and effect, fact vs. opinion, etc.

All reading instruction is aligned with the New Ohio Learning Standards. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt series, Journeys, is being utilized as a primary curriculum resource.  The Journeys online tools are  utilized on a daily basis by our teachers in order to integrate high quality materials within each lesson. The online tools provide a toolbox of information, vetted resources, and interactive tools that helps educators effectively implement the teaching standards. In order to support the School’s educational model, the stories, materials, and resources provided by the publisher are be rearranged to support grade level themes.  Leveled readers are interwoven into instruction during the project portions of the day, and the supporting lessons that go along with the units (such as the word study skills, fluency instruction, oral language, shared reading, and reading/writing workshops) are be included as mini-lessons to be used to support and enhance the work students are completing as part of their overall projects. We believe that by infusing literature instruction into real world scenarios, students will become more engaged in and retain their instruction more effectively.  Students are supported with strategies such as the use of authentic books and texts related to the student’s project, theme, or interests; leveled readers appropriate to the student’s reading ability; vocabulary development; and emphasis on reading as an active process using analytical and critical thinking skills.

READING: TEXT COMPLEXITY AND THE GROWTH OF COMPREHENSION

The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Our “Standard 10” defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level. Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts, considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts.

WRITING:

TEXT TYPES, RESPONDING TO READING, AND RESEARCH

The Standards acknowledge the fact that whereas some writing skills, such as the ability to plan, revise, edit, and publish, are applicable to many types of writing, other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types: arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Our “Standard 9” stresses the importance of the writing-reading connection by requiring students to draw upon and write about evidence from literary and informational texts. Because of the centrality of writing to most forms of inquiry, research standards are prominently included in this strand, though skills important to research are infused throughout the document.

SPEAKING AND LISTENING

FLEXIBLE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

These are the skills necessary for formal presentations, the Speaking and Listening standards require students to develop a range of broadly useful oral communication and interpersonal skills. Students must learn to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, integrate information from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources, evaluate what they hear, use media and visual displays strategically to help achieve communicative purposes, and adapt speech to context and task.

LANGUAGE

CONVENTIONS, EFFECTIVE USE, AND VOCABULARY

The Language standards include the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English, but they also approach language as a matter of craft and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.

 

MATH

The school utilizes the New Ohio Learning Standards as the basis for what is to be taught on a regular basis.

The mathematical practices connected to the new learning standards are described below.  They are: Make sense of problems and perseveres in solving them, Reason abstractly and quantitatively, Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, Modeling with mathematics, Use appropriate tools strategically, Attend to precision, Look for and make use of structure and Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.  Each are applied across grades K-8 and supported by our Go Math tools that include teacher and student resources as well as online tools.

Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.  Students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need.

Students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem.

Students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches reason abstractly and quantitatively.

Students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to de-contextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents—and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.  Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose.

Students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and—if there is a flaw in an argument—explain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.

Students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community.

Students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose Use appropriate tools strategically.

Students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. Students are sufficiently familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools might be helpful, recognizing both the insight to be gained and their limitations.  They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data.

Students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.

SOCIAL STUDIES

The school believes in working to ensure a high quality education in the Humanities and Arts. By the end of their K-8 education, students should have mastered the following strands.

HISTORY

Students use materials drawn from the diversity of human experience to analyze and interpret significant events, patterns and themes in the history of Ohio, the United States and the world.

GEOGRAPHY

Students use knowledge of geographic locations, patterns and processes to show the interrelationship between the physical environment and human activity, and to explain the interactions that occur in an increasingly interdependent world. Students use knowledge of perspectives, practices and products of cultural, ethnic and social groups to analyze the impact of their commonality and diversity within local, national, regional and global settings.

GOVERNMENT

Students use knowledge of the purposes, structures and processes of political systems at the local, state, national and international levels to understand that people create systems of government as structures of power and authority to provide order, maintain stability and promote the general welfare. They use knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in order to examine and evaluate civic ideals and to participate in community life and the American democratic system.

ECONOMICS

Students use economic reasoning skills and knowledge of major economic concepts, issues and systems in order to make informed choices as producers, consumers, savers, investors, workers and citizens in an interdependent world. As a result, Social Studies and Science instruction will be an integral part of the academic program and will be the driving force behind many of the project based themes that the school will utilize.   Our primary resource for middle school social studies is the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt online and workbook tools associated with: Eastern Hemisphere, World History and United States History.

SCIENCE

The school believes in focusing on the guiding principles of science.  Coupled with the grade level learning standards, our primary tool is the online Science Fusion program provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  We focus on Science Inquiry and Application, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science and Life Science.  We couple our Science outcomes with our Green Curriculum.

Scientific Inquiry

There is no science without inquiry. Scientific inquiry is a way of knowing and a process of doing science. It is the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world.4 Teachers need to model scientific inquiry by teaching with inquiry.

21st Century Skills:

21st century skills are integral to the science standards and curriculum development revision documents. They are an essential part of the model curriculum component through the incorporation and integration of scientific inquiry, science skills and process and technological and engineering design. As enumerated by Am. Sub. H.B. 1, these skills include: creativity and innovation; critical thinking, problem solving and communication; information, media and technological literacy; personal management, productivity, accountability, leadership and responsibility; and interdisciplinary, project-based, real-world learning opportunities.

Technological Design

Technological design is a problem or project based way of applying creativity, science, engineering and mathematics to meet a human need or want. Modern science is an integrated endeavor. Technological design integrates learning by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics and fosters 21st Century Skills

Technology and Engineering

Technology modifies the natural world through innovative processes, systems, structures and devices to extend human abilities. Engineering is design under constraint that develops and applies technology to satisfy human needs and wants. Technology and engineering, coupled with the knowledge and methods derived from science and mathematics, profoundly influence the quality of life.

The GIA Green Curriculum

The core of the curriculum is to provide lessons plans and project based activities to 1)  get students to grasp the science of global warming and the current and impending impacts of climate change.  2) for students to have a clear understanding of how their health and ecosystem health are interrelated and 3) for students to understand the ecological principles underlying how life works on Earth
Our Green Curriculum will: integrate 3 essential themes:

ecological ethics as the foundation of the curriculum model

global warming and renewable energy as the overarching focus

environmental and ecosystem health as the backdrop to everything we teach
At the end of each year and relative to subjects taught, students to have a clear understanding of how their health and ecosystem health are

Interrelated and also understand the ecological principles underlying how life works on Earth
Specific Learning outcomes:

K- 3 the learning outcome and vital focus will be on NATURE BONDING

Grades 4 -6 learning outcome is to understand ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES

Grades 6-8 the learning outcome is to focus on ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS

Lastly, sustainable development is taught throughout all the areas to all students

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION- The School had a physical education curriculum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMART GOALS

1) GIA’s Reading Goal is to increase student scores on STARS Assessments in reading by showing a 50% Rate of Growth measure from the fall assessment to the winter assessment test and to show a 50% rate of growth from the winter Assessment to the spring Assessment. The overall goal is to show a minimum of %100 rate of growth on the STARS assessment as a whole group in each grade.

2) GIA’s Math Goal is to increase student scores on STARS Assessments in Math by showing a 50% Rate of Growth measure from the fall assessment to the winter assessment test and to show a 50% rate of growth from the winter Assessment to the spring Assessment. The overall goal is to show a minimum of %100 rate of growth on the STARS assessment as a whole group in each grade.

 

3) GIA’s Non-Academic Goal is to have at least 50% of the parents and/or families will participate in School leadership and decision making through the use of  school leadership groups and use of surveys.