4Elementary SchoolsStatus Report
Neshaminy Elementary Schools Status Report
At the elementary school level, we will review the sequence and timing of the FOSS kits in science and consider more upgrades to them in meeting the NGSS just as we are doing this year with the Materials of the World kit in kindergarten. FOSS representatives reported that their NGSS kits are only ready for 2nd & 3rd grades at this point, and they anticipate having other grades ready by 2016. It may be possible to incorporate an additional kit in K-2 to support overall nature of science development in this inquiry-based approach to teaching/learning. We will investigate other science kits. Carolina Biological has NGSS kits for kindergarten through 5th grade, developed by the Smithsonian--their Science and Technology for Children (STC) kits. http://www.carolinacurriculum.com/STC/Elementary/index.asp
Science Companion Prime is another hands-on learning program developed by the Chicago Science Group. http://www.sciencecompanion.com/
We will investigate ways to integrate more STEM at the elementary level as we move into next year. Engineering is Elementary (EiE) is one program to consider to support engineering literacy for children along with the PLTW Launch elementary program. The Smithsonian’s STC kits have engineering activities within their curriculum materials. These could possibly supplement our FOSS materials. However, working collaboratively with the elementary teachers to teach the existing science FOSS kit program well will benefit students in their integrated science/T&EE learning in grades 1-4 and preparation for the 4th grade science PSSA. Our 4th grade students have demonstrated success on their science PSSA—91% proficient/advanced compared to the state average of 79%.
The Math in Focus instruction will continue to move forward with teachers reviewing the options of chapter sequence that will be most effective in helping students to develop their math skills in a research supported manner while still learning as much of the eligible content as possible prior to their grade level PSSA. We had a math coach collaborate for a week recently and the same coach was here last August, and her suggestions will be reviewed and implemented as appropriate. Teachers will be scheduled for more time to collaborate in their buildings and between buildings. The use of Skype and/or another video communication tool can be used to help facilitate these video collaborations when common time together is limited. Most building librarians and technology support staff as well as tech advocates can provide support with this. Having the Singapore Math approach in the 5th grade will provide opportunities for 6th grade math teachers to be exposed to this approach so that they can respond more effectively to students using bar models and other newer problem solving approaches (after school workshops, peer-observations, in-service day collaboration). They can support these approaches and blend them with the more traditional abstract/algorithmic approaches.
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