Elementary Curriculum 2023-2024

The elementary curriculum provides for appropriate instruction based upon the state curriculum frameworks and course descriptions and State B.E.S.T. Standards prescribed by the Florida State Department of Education.

Elementary students receive regularly scheduled instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, health, physical education, art and music. Instruction will be focused on ensuring that all students demonstrate mastery of the standards.

Reading

Students progress through a reading curriculum that emphasizes phonemic awareness and decoding skills in its early stages and builds towards the ability to read, comprehend, and interpret prose and poetry of different genres. The curriculum guides students through basic phonics skills starting with identification of syllables and phonemes, blending, decoding (the ability to sound out unfamiliar multisyllabic words to recognition of irregularly spelled words), and fluent reading and strong comprehension skills. Acquisition of an extensive and advanced vocabulary will be emphasized at every level. 

In elementary school, all students participate in a daily, 90-minute block of uninterrupted reading instruction. A 30-minute block for MTSS is also provided daily.

Writing and Language Arts

Writing is a process that includes prewriting, drafting, sharing, revising, editing, and publishing. Alignment with the standards includes writing instruction that is specific and direct in evidence and supporting details. In addition, the curriculum for students in the intermediate grades will include:

  • THE WRITING PROCESS - prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing (This process will be enhanced through individual teacher-student conferencing which will allow teachers to provide students with individualized feedback to improve and enhance their writing);
  • FORMS OF WRITING – the elementary experience includes a broad range including writing to learn, narrative writing, descriptive writing, expository, persuasive, argumentative, and opinion writing. F.A.S.T. writing occurs in grades 4 and 5; therefore, these grade-levels target specific skills appropriate for state requirements.
  • INTEGRATED SKILLS - writer’s craft (ex. pacing, plot, simile, voice, character, etc.);
  • GRAMMAR & USAGE - sentence parts, structure, and type; use of noun, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and other parts of speech;
  • MECHANICS - capitalization, punctuation, indention, abbreviations, spelling and reference resources. Writing rubrics will be provided per the recommendation of the B.E.S.T. Standards.

Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum is designed to enrich the mathematical experiences of students. It builds on fundamental mathematical strands and integrates mathematics into other subject areas. The curriculum is based upon an extensive body of research on how students learn mathematics and provides opportunities for all students to develop mathematical proficiency. Mathematics instruction follows the CSA Approach – Concrete, Semi-Concrete and Abstract – which helps ensure that students understand the concept before applying it.

Science

The elementary science curriculum introduces students to aspects of natural science, including chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy, meteorology, and geology. Students gain acquaintance with the properties of the elements. They study at grade-appropriate levels targeting changes of states of matter, electricity, magnetism, machines and mechanics, and the properties of light and sound. The curriculum includes study of the stars, solar system, planets, and the physical formation and structure of the earth, including the study of minerals and fossils and geological change. Students gain an understanding of seasons, climate, and weather phenomena. STEAM instruction involves students in the design and building process; teaching them safety, collaboration, and organizational skills along the way.

Activities include:

  • 100th Day Today ~ 100 Years Ago – Celebration of 100 days of school and reflection of Famous Scientist 100 years ago.
  • District Science Fair participation
  • Learning is H.O.T- Higher Order Thinking (H.O.T.) is a teaching strategy that requires students to manipulate information taught in the classroom in ways that transform the meanings and interpretations of the material. 
  • Students will have weekly laboratory simulations in the classroom that will serve as the launch pad for analysis and investigation.                          
  • Students will have the academic freedom to pose questions and solutions for problems presented in a scientific setting.
  • The scientific method (wondering) will be the foundation for all scientific inquiries.
  • Young Inventors Convention
  • Go Green – Using Recycled materials in daily activities
  • Participation in District Science competitions
  • Whole-School STEAM Challenges

Social Studies

At each grade level, students are provided opportunities to learn and apply the lessons from the study of history, geography, political science, and economics. Helping students to develop a global perspective and an appreciation of cultures other than their own is also emphasized throughout the instructional program.

Handwriting

Students in grades K-2 learn to print legibly and students in grade 3 and up learn to master cursive handwriting. Handwriting is a proven critical component of overall literacy development. Students through-out all grade levels will be expected to write legibly and will be provided remediation if needed to improve handwriting skills.

Technology

Primary (K - 2) level students:

  • Learn basic computer terms;
  • Become familiar with computer hardware;
  • Learn proper use and care of computer equipment;
  • Learn beginning keyboarding skills and simple file management;
  • Use appropriate school-wide networked programs in a computer lab or the classroom;
  • Use multimedia programs to produce a simple product; 
  • Be exposed to websites on the Internet with teacher use to support curricular content;
  • Be familiar with email through classroom collaborations with other classes or schools;
  • Discuss ethical/legal use of online resources; 
  • Participate in at least one class multimedia project during the year.

Intermediate (3 - 5) level students:

  • Learn intermediate computer terms;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with computer hardware; 
  • Learn proper use and care of equipment;
  • Learn to use computer peripherals and other multi-media hardware;
  • Learn keyboarding skills and file management;
  • Use appropriate school-wide networked programs in a computer lab or the classroom; 
  • Use word processing programs in a real world context to write stories, poems and type reports;
  • Create news reports;
  • Use multimedia-authoring programs to produce a product;
  • Access multimedia and online resources for research; 
  • Use email to collaborate with other students or classes; 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical/legal conduct in using online resources;
  • Complete at least one multimedia project per year (done in a small group, with a partner, or individually, as appropriate).

Physical Education

The goal of elementary physical education program is to provide students with a standard based, balanced, sequential and progressive educational activity program. The program includes basic movement concepts and skills that are age and developmentally appropriate. This leads to the development of motor skills, knowledge and values, which are needed to establish and maintain a healthy and physically active lifestyle. Health is integrated into the Physical Education classes.

The Arts

Visual and performing arts are integrated as part of the curriculum for elementary school students. Students experience art and music classes, at least one time per week.

The school will present shows and displays for parents and community members to share the creativity and talent of students. 

Character Education

Making Ethical Decisions details the six core ethical values that are the foundation of Character Counts. Woven throughout each grade and curriculum are the Six Pillars. They are:

  • Trustworthiness; be honest, don’t deceive, cheat or steal;
  • Respect; treat other with respect, follow the Golden Rule;
  • Responsibility; do what you are supposed to do, persevere;
  • Fairness; play by the rules, take turns and share;
  • Caring; be kind, be compassionate and show you care, express gratitude; and
  • Citizenship; do your share to make your community better, cooperate.

The school implements a school-wide anti-bullying plan designed to raise school and community awareness and involvement.
Bullying is characterized by:

  1. Aggressive behavior or intentional wrong-doing
  2. Repeated incidents carried out over time
  3. An interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power

Integration of Career Paths Throughout the Curriculum

At the elementary level, the main focus of the career path curriculum is for students to learn that school is their first job. Students gain valuable character traits and interpersonal skills such as the importance of punctuality, responsibility, problem solving, and cooperation.

Career awareness activities can make a significant impact on assisting students to recognize a career path in an area they have yet to explore. 

Each year students participate in Career Day. The objective of Career Day is to provide students with a dynamic and tangible experience that facilitates a connection between their academic pursuits and potential professional endeavors in the future.