The intent of this Course Description Guide is to provide students and parents with an overview of the core components and grade level content of the elementary educational program in Upper Perkiomen School District.
The elementary curriculum focuses on developing the literacy skills and strategies that students need to be successful during the course of their academic career and beyond. To be proficient in literacy means not only to have the ability to read, write, speak, and listen, but to also have the capacity to apply these skills effectively to communicate, problem-solve, analyze, and think critically about the world in which we live.
Children develop literacy skills long before their first day of Kindergarten. Our customized literacy program is designed to meet students where they are and identify their individual needs, with a focus on developing sound foundational skills. Children start elementary school “learning to read” and the goal is that they leave “reading to learn”. Twenty-first century students need both text and digital literacy skills to be successful in a global market. In order to achieve this end our curriculum and instruction is designed to be strategic, engaging, authentic, and challenging for all learners.
The elementary math program is aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards and those provided by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of basic facts, computation skills and problem solving strategies in relation to five mathematical strands; Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Algebraic Concepts, and Data Analysis and Probability. Students engage in a variety of hands-on, individual, and collaborative activities in order to develop a solid foundation for further mathematics education and use in everyday life. Extensive support and enrichment opportunities are provided to complement the learning styles and development of all learners.
Alignment with the PA Common Core State Standards (PACCSS)
The PA Common Core Standards lay the groundwork for increasing the rigor and expectations for student learning across the state. These standards exist in English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. All children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade will be expected to learn and do more than ever before.
Characteristics of the English/Language Arts PA Common Core Standards:
- A high degree of rigor and student collaboration
- An emphasis on reading; especially non-fiction
- Embedded technology
- Specific speaking and listening skills
- Daily academic writing
- Text complexity
- Text connections
In reading class, students will read text closely, make logical inferences and cite evidence from the text. They will analyze the structure of text, evaluate arguments and interpret words and phrases to gain a deep understanding of the text.
Characteristics of the Math PA Common Core Standards:
The PA Common Core Standards for Math have a dual focus--what the children need to know and do, and to what extent they can do it. There is a shift away from procedures, to children learning to apply their knowledge in meaningful and multiple ways. These standards are focused, coherent and rigorous. Students need to know and do math more deeply and robustly. The PA Common Core Math Standards also include a set of eight (8) Standards of Practice that will guide teaching and learning. They are:
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
Characteristics of the Social Studies PA Common Core Standards:
Based on the new PA Common Core Standards in Social Studies, a link will be created between Reading and Social Studies, and Writing and Social Studies. The purpose is to develop students' knowledge about the world through the use of informational text. Students will be asked to use and interpret text evidence, construct meaning from the text, and support their reasoning with evidence from the text.
Additionally, in Social Studies students will write. They will write from sources, write arguments focused on content, and write informative/explanatory pieces. Most importantly, they will read for information, make assertions, and use evidence from the text to support their assertions.
Characteristics of the Science PA Common Core Standards:
The PA Common Core Standards also generate an important link between Science and Reading, and Science and Writing. Elementary students will engage in focused reading related to science content. They will study text components such as headings, figures, bold words and morphology. The text will get more complex through the grades. They will participate in purposeful reading.