English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5
The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.
Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:
- Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
- Independent reading
- Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
- Read Aloud
Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary
Heggerty (K-1) Phonemic Awareness & Phonics
- Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
- Independent writing
- Small group instruction
Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation
Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts. Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts. Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.
The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing: narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft. Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.
Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program. Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.
Kindergarten Curriculum Overview
Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Kindergarten students will develop a lifelong love of literacy. Students begin by learning a purpose for reading and writing while building foundational skills.
When reading, children will develop concepts of print and phonemic awareness. Students will begin with gaining meaning by critically thinking as they look closely at pictures. They will continue to focus on meaning as they learn how to read words fluently by decoding words.
When writing, students will draw, label and write books and stories about themselves and topics they are interested in. Reading and writing units are aligned with mentor texts. Kindergartners study meaning in illustrations, persuasive, storytelling, and informational units during the year.
To provide systematic and explicit instruction in word knowledge, we use a program called Fundations. Kindergartners learn letter/sound symbol, word structures (vowels, consonants, blends, digraphs), syllables and vowel sounds to help them spell. Kindergartners build high frequency/sight word banks, practice reading with expression and learn to write simple sentences.
Some of what your kindergartner will be learning is broken down into four reading and writing unit:
- The Journey to Meaning: Students learn how to independently convey their ideas, including drawings, using the writing process. Students learn to zoom in and look closely at photographs and illustrations for information about the story. Then use a story voice to tell their own story.
- The Power to Persuade: Students learn to form opinions about the world around them and express by telling what they like, dislike, know and do not know. Students learn to choose books by sharing topics and authors they like to read.
- The Shape of Story: Students use a story voice to tell stories including all elements, such as characters, setting, problem, and solution; then work to stretch their story out across pages. Students read nursery rhymes and other favorite stories while identifying story elements.
- The Road to Knowledge: Students read a variety of informational texts. Students choose a topic of interest to research; then students will create an informational poster to inform others on their topic.
- Use basic text features to read.
- Use strategies that help them search for meaning, using critical thinking skills to look for picture clues, work on fluency, and convey meaning.
- Retell, ask and answer questions about key details of texts.
- Write an opinion or preference about a book.
- Take part in classroom discourse (learn to listen to others, build on others ideas, etc.).
Pequenakonck Elementary School has adopted the hands-on and minds-on K-5 Math Curriculum, enVisionmath2.0, as the instructional resource to use within our math workshop model. Students explore grade level concepts with engaging materials, manipulatives, videos, online access and interdisciplinary activities that support student learning. The program is organized to promote focus and coherence each day. Assessments provide meaningful feedback to support student learning. The comprehensive program focuses on Common Core Clusters, develops understanding, and most importantly, connects mathematical content and processes. Learning is also supported through small group and collaborative activities. The four major domains include: Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry.
- 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 (including ten frames, rekenreks, and bead strings)
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
Some of what your kindergartner will be learning includes:
- Counting to 100 from any given number
- Understanding the relationship between numbers and quantity
- Fluently adding and subtracting within 5
- Composing and decomposing within 19 to show tens and ones
- Solving addition and subtraction word problems, and adding and subtracting within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem
- Representing and interpreting data
- Analyzing and comparing two and three dimensional shapes
We use BOCES as our instructional resource for teaching social studies. "Getting to Know Myself and Others" is an integrated Kindergarten Social Studies/English Language Arts curriculum developed by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Curriculum Council and the BOCES Curriculum staff. The National Social Studies Themes, Social Studies Key Ideas and Content Understandings, and the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies were used as a framework for unit development. Kindergartners learn about the following topics:
- Myself and Others: Students learn that each person is unique and different. Students recognize that families can be similar and different.
- How Can I Be a Good Citizen?: Students learn to show respect and kindness. Students learn what it looks like to be a good citizen in their classrooms and school.
- Understanding Needs and Wants: Students learn the differences between wants and needs. Students understand that they need others to fulfill their needs and wants.
We use Science 21 as our instructional resource for teaching science. The science program is an inquiry based program. Kindergartners use critical and creative thinking skills as well as problem solving skills to learn about the following topics of study:
- Exploring the Weather: Students use their senses and observations to make predictions about the weather. Students will use tools of meteorologists to explore temperature and describe weather patterns.
- Exploring Forces and Motion: Students investigate how forces, or pushes and pulls, are needed to move object. Students use models to observe objects in motion and the relationship among forces, strength, and direction.
- Animals, Plants and their Environment: Students use observations to describe what living things need to survive. Students understand how living things can change their environment to meet their needs.
Our health program, The Great Body Shop, promotes behaviors to better health. Students study topics at every level. All students study growth and development, nutrition, safety, illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, personal safety, family life, and community health.
Kindergartners will study the following topics:
- How to Stay Safe
- The Five Senses
- Adventure in Food
- The Family Team
- My Body is Special
- Going to the Doctor and Dentist
- No Drugs, No Way!
- Getting Sick
- Keeping Clean and Healthy
- Every Day Play