Elementary School: Core Academic Program Summary

Elementary Reading Program: Harcourt-Journeys (K-6) 

Harcourt Journeys is a research-based, developmental reading/language arts program. It is divided into themes to encourage a sense of responsibility for ourselves, our community, and our world. Each student is provided opportunities to develop and expand reading skills through phonics instruction, guided reading strategies, shared reading, intervention strategies, integrated language arts components, and regular assessments.

Fountas & Pinnell’s Leveled Literacy Intervention Program (K–2/3) 

The Leveled Literacy Program is a short-term reading intervention program to assist struggling readers in reading, phonics, writing and word study. The program includes individual assessments to determine each student’s correct instructional level. Via small groups, teachers instruct to grow students to the next instructional level and intervene to target improvement of students’ specific reading challenges; and monitor to effectively use data to intensely drive each student’s incremental progress.

PCI’s SpellRead Reading Intervention Program (3/4–6) 

SpellRead™ is a one-year, small-group reading intervention program that focuses on phonological automaticity and reading fluency while providing explicit comprehension and vocabulary instruction, as well as opportunities for writing. Using a multisensory approach, students learn to recognize and manipulate the 44 English sounds; practice, apply, and transfer their skills using leveled readers and trade books; and write about their reading. SpellRead™’s multisensory approach bridges a student’s sound system and oral language to build automaticity and trains the brain to efficiently process language read for understanding. Once through SpellRead™, your students will have the skills they need to improve overall comprehension, and can confidently advance to more complex texts in all content areas.

Elementary Math Program: Go Math

All recommended Math Programs, materials and resources are aligned with the Pennsylvania Math Standards. They are also integrated with Reading strategies that support the Pennsylvania Reading Standards.

Elementary Science Program: Harcourt Science Program (K-6) 

Harcourt Science is a comprehensive science program for all students from Kindergarten through grade 6.

It embraces the goals and content objectives of the National Science Education Standards and Pennsylvania’s Learning Goals, Academic Expectations and Core Content for Assessment. The foundation of the program lies in a balance of the three domains of science – life science, earth science, and physical science – providing the context for conceptual understanding, scientific inquiry, and applications/connection to science and technology, personal and social perspectives and the history and nature of science. Solid concept development is driven by three important elements of instruction:

investigating through hands-on activities, reading for understanding of science concepts, and linking to additional experiences to provide greater depth of understanding. Woven within every lesson are opportunities to develop skills for lifelong learning such as science process skills and reading, writing, and math skills.

Organization

There are six units at each grade level, offering a balance of Life, Earth, and Physical Science – two Life Science Units, two Earth Science Units and two Physical Science Units. Each lesson follows a consistent learning sequence that gives students the opportunity to Investigate the natural world, Learn About interesting, relevant information, and Link science to mathematics, writing, technology, and other areas of the curriculum.

Student Experiences

Harcourt Science provides students with many opportunities to think and work as scientists. Students conduct scientific investigations, read to learn, write to communicate, and use numbers in meaningful ways. Additional interactive experiences are provided through an array of technology offerings – computer software, videos, and the Internet.

Assessment

Harcourt Science provides a comprehensive, multidimensional assessment program that is aligned with instruction and includes many assessment options – ongoing informal assessment opportunities for each lesson, formal reviews and tests for each chapter, Performance Assessment with scoring rubrics, Portfolio Assessment, and Student Self-Assessment. Like the instruction, the Assessment Program is student-centered, gives students a variety or opportunities to show what they know, and enables teachers to make sound instructional decisions.

Asset Science (K-6 Hands-On Science

ASSET Inc. is an independent non-profit educational reform initiative dedicated to continuously improving the abilities of teachers – and the performance of students – with initial efforts in K-8 science education. Nationally, ASSET is one of eight LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) sites in partnership with the National Science Resources Center, an organization of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies of Science.

ASSET member schools continue to benefit by participating in ASSET’s research and development process, which identifies new and existing materials along with teacher-driven professional development to continuously improve the teaching and learning process, not only in science, but also integrating literacy and math.

In 2006/07, Governor Rendell and the state legislature launched the $10 million Science: It’s Elementary program in 75 school districts to enhance K-6 science education. This initiative encourages hands-on science teaching and learning in elementary school classrooms by providing intensive teacher training and learning modules. ASSET was selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to design and coordinate Science: It’s Elementary based on its decade-long success in southwestern Pennsylvania.

ASSET, Inc. is an inquiry-based, hands-on-minds-on approach to learning Science the way scientists do Science. Wilkinsburg schools use the program in grades K-8. The Science, It’s Elementary! grant program was funded for three years at Turner Elementary.

Education Programs:
  • Reading and Language Arts
  • Grade 6 Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Art
  • Music
  • Band
  • Gym

Elementary Instructional Strategies / Interventions / Programs 

Study Island 
  1. Dream Box
  2. IXL
  3. Education Galaxy
  4. Reading Eggs

The Pennsylvania programs are completely web-based.

  1. Organized into topics covering all of the Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors that are tested on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in grades 3 through 8 and 11.
  2. The academic material is organized in topics which contain a lesson and assessment questions with explanations.
  3. For each subject (math, reading), the students must take a pre-test, complete all content groups covering all the Assessment Anchors, and pass a post-test in order to complete the program.
  4. Teachers have access to a private page where they can view usage statistics and results.
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