CURRICULUM

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project School

Reading – Students will engage in the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project Units of Study for reading. It is an authentic literature based program designed to build reading fluency, comprehension, and text to life connections where characters come alive and life lessons taught. Students will use shared texts to learn specific reading strategies /skills and will have the opportunity to practice new knowledge in their own leveled texts. Assessments will be used to help students target individual reading goals, as well as help students in need of review or enrichment.   We strongly believe in student voice and choice as well as in our children’s independence and leadership.  Using the TCRWP workshop model we provide multiple opportunities for students to present their perspectives based in data and debate the ideas that seminars and Socratic Inquiry circles provide to lift the level of thinking to higher order thinking levels – synthesis, comparative analysis, and evaluation 

Writing – The Writing Workshop model, as developed by the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, will be used daily in our classrooms. Our students will work on mastering the writing process to write a variety of genres. Some of the units of study include narrative writing, fairy tales, and authors as mentors, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Exposing the students to different genres of writing will help them to become more confident in their writing abilities.  The main purpose of writing is to convey a message to the reader. Writers often share many ideas in their articles and it is up to the reader to define based on reasons and details the supporting arguments for the writer point of view. 

Math – TERC MATH is a comprehensive Grade K-5 program with a focus for developing mathematical thinking and reasoning. Our national Next Generation Standards as well as the NYSED State Standards and NCTM Curriculum Focal Points align to the mathematical strategies and skills embedded in TERC: Numbers, Data and Space program. TERC MATH emphasizes Essential Questions and Big Ideas with depth of understanding as the goal.  Interactive lessons utilize research based instructional approaches and differentiated instructional resources to ensure success for all students.   In addition to TERC MATH our students will work with supplemental programs:  Exemplars, Engage NY, IXL Math, and Dream Box.  Our goal for our students is that they will think critically like mathematicians, share their ideas and work collaboratively to problem solve the issue presented in 21st Century learning.  

Social Studies/Science – Our Social studies and Science curricula is taught through the New York City Scope and Sequence, Next Generation National Standards and Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.  

In Social Studies our students use PASSPORT and Civics for All.  Both program provide multiple opportunities for students to explore cultures, traditions, and the bonds that tie people together. We believe in participating in our Global community. Our Fifth Grade students research the Aztec, Mayan and Inca civilizations and using MINECRAFT and student led seminars create the villages, customs, traditions, governments for these ancient societies.  We look for the impact in our student’s conversations as they share ideas in comparative analysis of past, present and future themes 

   Science 

                                    “Play is the highest form of creativity” 

                                                                                      Albert Einstein 

                                                      WE ARE A MAKER SCHOOL!   

A school where wonder, creativity, exploration and design inspires our students, staff and families.  We have a Maker Lab where students work on 3-D activities, using printers and pens to build their ideas. Our Maker Faire has create homemade roller coasters, automatic dog feeding stations and robots that can speak….all the handiwork of our children who have no limits just their imagination.  If you travel our hallways you will find LEGO bulletin boards where our children build only limited by their imagination 

If you visit you can see their concept of a 21st Century city….20 years from now they will be our engineers, architects and inventors…..it begins here in elementary school with a deep belief in the ability for every child to soar if we give them the wings to do so…..so say “YES” and let the magic happen. 

We have a Robotic/Engineering Lab where our students program their ‘bots’ using strings and arrays…..it’s amazing when that student is six-years-old!   

We have a Hydroponic Lab where our children learn about sustainable food sources and ways to plant/grow food when the land is infertile.  We partner with SUNWORKS and our children and families love the workshops that are provided.  Our Parent Coordinator, Deborah Francisco, reached out to WEILL CORNELL Healthy Nutrition workshops where our families can participate in a 10 week nutrition course, receive a certificate and at each workshop share a meal that they learned to make….it’s a way for people to form friendships over a good meal that they created. 

In all of our labs, essential questions and student posed questions are explored using an inquiry and project based approach to support and facilitate each of the grade specific topics.  Trade books are used to teach and reinforce grade appropriate concepts, research, and geography skills.  In addition, students are encouraged to read information text and other literature independently to deepen their understanding of Social Studies and Science concepts.   

Next Generation Learning Standards 

All P.S. 176 lessons are NGSS aligned moving into Next Generation. For more information, please visit: 

http://www.nysed.gov/next-generation-learning-standards 

http://www.engageny.org 

http://www.parenttoolkit.com/ 

http://www.pta.org/NGLS 

THE ARTS 

There is no greater gift to share than that of music, dance, theater, and visual arts. It is our humanity that is laid bare and lifted-up in joy, as artists inspire us toward a greater good.  It links people globally as they share their culture, their ideas, and their talents with all of us and unites us in a common bond of respect, trust, laughter, and love when we listen to Chopin, or Mozart or catch West Side Story in a London theater, or watch Misty Copeland dance at Lincoln Center. Art invades the essence of our being and makes us one….makes us better people, too. 

String Orchestra 

Farida Ardashva teaches both violin and cello to our children starting at our Kindergarten 

Band 

Bhinda Keidel teaches our band and within our band is a jazz component that she adores and kids love. 

Music 

Robert Steel and Benny Amar teach our music program, traditional songs as well as how read music and all of our students learn how to play the recorder 

Dance Studio 

Megan Grippo is our Dance teacher, and the Dance studio is filled with belly laughs are our students have a go with hip-hop, ballet, jazz, folk dancing 

Visual Arts 

Beatriz Maldonado teaches our Visual Arts programs.  This year we are over the moon as one of our students Milani, won the New York State Poster Contest for Missing Children. As you walk our hallways you will see illustrations hung by our children as artists….we value their work….we value their voice.  

ARTS Partnership 

Inside Broadway 

NYC Ballet at Lincoln Center 

Guggenheim Museum 

Marquis Studios 

Whitney Museum 

Metropolitan Museum 

Technology 

We are a high- tech Title 1 Elementary School serving 1150 student, Kindergarten to Fifth Grade.  All classrooms have Smartboards, document cameras, ipads and laptops that students access each and every day.  We use technology to enrich our teaching and learning knowing that 21st Century jobs require a different type of application and thinking….it’s all about the impact of the job.  It’s the same here at our school, it’s about impact.  The questions we ask are simple;  “How does what our student have learned make our lives and community richer?”   “Why do we think this….where is the evidence?”

We work with students around the world on global issues, researching, sharing ideas, and information on how we can sustain our planet and feed our families. 

We were selected to pilot INTEL’s new program SKILLS FOR INNOVATION.  We developed cross-graded student groups, knowing that personalized learning is key to differentiation and that students are motivated by their passions. What do they like?  What do they want to explore?  

Well, it has taught a powerful lesson that when given a problem to solve and new software that they had no exposure to our students were able to collaborate, problem solve, create, and design using the program, PYTHON. 

As all of this was taking place in our classrooms, our teachers discovered some hiccups with the Python program and reached out to share the information with the program design team.   You might wonder, what were the students working on?  They had to build a ‘bot’ that could talk….our Fourth and Fifth pilot cross-graded students were able to do this. 

We have hosted Teacher teams from Holland, South Africa, the USA as part of our mentor program for the Division of Instructional and Informational Technology (DITT) and Teachers College Reading and Writing program. 

Suzanne Kelly is a DITT Teacher Leaders and works with Stephen Amachee, our tech hardware/software in house expert to provide multiple support for our students, colleagues, and families.  Check out our OTTER LAB as it teaches both students and parents the” How To’s” for Near Pod, FlipGrid and Jamboards as well as how to upload your homework for your teacher to review each night. 

Kerry Hynes is our Maker Lab specialist and also a National Geographic Teaching Fellow.  It is here in our Maker Lab that our students think about real issues and begin to wonder about solutions. 

We have a Jamboard in our Maker Lab which provides the ability for our children to talk to multiple groups of students via a global platform. 

Each year, we host a MAKER FAIRE, part country fair and part science fair, this day is a day of celebration as our Makers put on a terrific show sharing their projects and learning new ideas along the way.  

Technology, interwoven into all aspects of our professional learning community to enrich and enhance the deeper thinking dives that we elicit from our students – 21st Century teaching and learning.   When asked what do we do best?, ” I often share that we teach our children to think.”