Our environmental integrated curriculum breaks down traditional barriers between subjects and makes learning more meaningful to students.
We teach interdisciplinary units around environmental themes with which
our students can identify. This permits interrelationships and interactions
with the knowledge and skills from all content areas.
PCCS Curriculum Update May 2013:
During the summer of 2012, teacher teams took on three large projects:
- Writing Integrated Environmental Units;
- Aligning the Math Common Core (Constructing Teacher Syllabi and pacing guides); and
- Updating Curriculum Overviews
Integrated units were completed by the following teams: Kindergarten, 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th grade, and 7th grade and taught during the school year. Our math curriculum was aligned with the Common Core Math Standards and teachers actively taught the new sequence and reinforced the new standards. A majority of the content was placed in each grade level overview with each grade level still needing environmental additions, and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned to PCCS Language Arts Curriculum (reading, writing, speaking and listening), as the spring 2012 Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) given in March contained a portion of the questions related to the CCSS.
During the 2012-2013 school year, the staff used Early Release Days and In-Service Days to align our curriculum and teaching practices to the CCSS English Language Arts. The primary focus this year in curriculum development was the completion of the English Language Arts (ELA) identifying, prioritization, and pacing standards with the common core.
There were two other smaller goals:
- Use a common writing assessment method and rubric at all grades 2nd through 8th using local writing prompts; and
- Reformat the 7th and 8th grade Culminating Project (CP) while integrating grade level standards. Throughout the year, teachers fine-tuned their use of their grade writing rubric, and collected data in the area of writing.
Prairie Crossing Charter School staff will continue to use the Early Release and In-Service Days during the 2013-2014 school year as grade bands to work on curriculum goals. The summer will find us getting to know the new Next Generation Science Standards and implementing a new school-wide positive behavior program (PBIS). Professional development will also revolve around the sustainable schoolyard curriculum, refining our implementation of service learning and working on integrated, constructivist teaching methods such as problem-based learning.
Kathleen Lynch, Director of Student Services, Curriculum & Professional Development