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Elementary Course Descriptions

ELA Course Descriptions

K

Instruction in kindergarten is focused on developing foundational skills that prepare students for later learning in all content areas, including English language arts. In kindergarten, students learn beginning skills to comprehend and analyze what they are reading. They begin to develop writing skills by using a combination of drawing, dictation, and writing to express opinions, relate an event, or provide information. Kindergarten students develop skills in speaking and listening through discussions with peers and adults. In both writing and speaking, students learn the conventions of English. In kindergarten, students learn academic language in context while reading, writing, listening, and engaging in discussions about books and grade-level topics.

1st

By the end of first grade, students will read proficiently at grade level and have the ability to decode and recognize increasingly complex words accurately and fluently. Students increase their academic and content-specific vocabulary by reading a variety of literature and informational text. Students further develop their communication skills as they engage with peers and adults in collaborative conversations that provide additional opportunities to express their ideas and experiences. As first-grade students learn to write for different purposes, they apply their growing knowledge of language structures and conventions. In order to master the first-grade English language arts content, students will practice decoding skills. To develop comprehension skills, students will have exposure to a variety of high-quality literature and informational texts.

2nd

In second grade, fluency, comprehension, and analysis are the focus of reading instruction. Students ask and answer clarifying questions about text (e.g., who, what, why), use the features of text (e.g., headings, bold typeface) to locate key ideas and understandings in informational text, and consider the author’s purpose as they analyze text. Students use strategies to better comprehend their readings in all content areas. For example, they compare and contrast different versions of the same story from different cultures. Students write compositions by using correct English conventions. They learn to use reference materials to locate information for their writing and reporting. Students improve the organization and content of their compositions. Students develop initial skills in editing and revising text at this grade level. Students in second grade learn to give and follow multiple-step directions, provide descriptive details when telling stories or recounting events, and structure their oral presentations in a logical sequence. Students learn new vocabulary and academic language as they read and speak about grade level texts and topics. They use their knowledge of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words.

3rd

In third grade, increased emphasis is placed on vocabulary acquisition, comprehension strategies, text analysis, language conventions, and types of writing. Third-grade students learn to use context as a way to connect texts and experiences. They learn to refer to information in the text when asking and answering questions about texts they have read. They apply analysis strategies to determine the theme or central message of text. They learn about subject and verb agreement and verb tenses and use that knowledge to write and speak in correct, complete sentences. As students learn more English language conventions and acquire new vocabulary, they practice them in their writing assignments.

4th

Students in fourth grade read a wide range of literature in different genres and reflecting different cultures and times. They study in greater depth the structural elements of poems, prose, and dramas than in previous years and learn to summarize text in a concise manner. As they analyze informational text, students consider its overall structure and organization, the differences between first- and secondhand accounts, and how the author uses evidence to support points in the text. There is more focus on academic language and domain-specific vocabulary, which supports reading and listening comprehension, writing, and speaking. Students' writing becomes more sophisticated to include consideration of audience, purpose, and writing type. They learn to use technology to find information, interact and collaborate with others, and produce and publish writing. Students participate in collaborative discussions on fourth-grade topics and texts, paraphrase information presented in diverse media and formats, and deliver presentations. They learn the conventions of standard English grammar and usage to support their writing and speaking.

5th

Fifth-grade students read a wide range of materials, including literature from different times and cultures and informational text on grade-level topics in all subject areas. They practice the foundational reading skills learned in previous grades to read accurately and fluently, but the emphasis in fifth grade is on students’ comprehension of complex narrative and informational texts. Students read two or more texts on a topic and use a variety of comprehension strategies to compare, contrast, and integrate information from the texts. They analyze how structure, point of view, visual elements, and figurative language contribute to the meaning or tone of texts. In their writing, students learn to group related information logically; use words, phrases, and clauses to link opinions to reasons and to connect ideas to related ideas; and use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop the story line or characters. Students engage in the writing process. Students conduct research projects that provide them with practice in gathering information, using print and digital sources, and summarizing information. Students engage effectively in collaborative discussions on fifth-grade topics and texts, identify and analyze logical fallacies in speakers’ presentations or from media sources, and learn to deliver speeches in which they state an opinion and support it with a logical sequence of evidence. To support their writing and speaking, they learn the conventions of standard English grammar and usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling, such as using commas and quotations to set off dialogue. Students learn to use print and digital reference materials in all fifth-grade content areas.

 

Math Course Descriptions

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K

In kindergarten, instructional time focuses on two critical areas: (1) representing and comparing whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; and (2) describing shapes and space. Learning time in kindergarten will be most focused on developing students' number sense in support of early steps in addition and subtraction.

1st

In grade one, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understandings of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole-number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as different and repeating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

2nd

In grade two, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) extending understanding of base-ten notation; (2) building fluency with addition and subtraction; (3) using standard units of measure; and (4) describing and analyzing shapes. Students also work toward fluency with addition and subtraction within 20 using mental strategies and within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and the relationship between addition and subtraction. By the end of grade two, students will know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

3rd

In grade three, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of multiplication and division, as well as strategies for multiplication and division within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with a numerator of 1); (3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and (4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes. Students also work toward fluency with addition and subtraction within 1000 and multiplication and division within 100. By the end of grade three, students will know all products of two one-digit numbers from memory.

3MA

In math acceleration grade three, instructional time will focus on six critical areas: (1) developing understanding of multiplication and division, as well as strategies for multiplication and division within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with a numerator of 1); (3) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence and the addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators; (4) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; (5) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes; and (6) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry. Students will be introduced to multi-digit multiplication and division to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends. Students will also work toward fluency with addition and subtraction within 1000 and multiplication and division within 100. By the end of math acceleration grade three, students will know all products of two one-digit numbers from memory.

4th

In grade four, instructional time will focus on three critical areas: (1) developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; and (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry. Students will also work toward fluency in addition and subtraction within 1,000,000 using the standard algorithm.

4MA

In math acceleration grade four, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) continuing to develop understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication and develop understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) extending division to two-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place-value system, developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole-number and decimal operations; (3) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions and developing understanding of the multiplication of two fractions and of fractions by whole numbers; (4) and developing understanding of volume. By the end of the year, students will also fluently add and subtract within 1,000,000 using the standard algorithm and multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

5th

In grade five, instructional time will focus on three critical areas: (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions); (2) extending division to two-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place-value system, developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole-number and decimal operations; and (3) developing understanding of volume. By the end of the year, students will also fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

5MA

In math acceleration grade five, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) connecting ratio, rate, and percentage to whole-number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) developing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion ofnumberto the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking. By the end of the year, students also work toward fluency with multi-digit division and multi-digit decimal operations.

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