A Parent’s Guide to the Curriculum
This publication is organized by school and intended to provide parents with an overview of the District's broad based curriculum. The District is grateful for a high percentage of teacher involvement and parent interest in its curriculum and instruction throughout the grade levels and subject areas.
Included is a list of local and state assessments and administration dates. The District utilizes information in setting school improvement goals, to compare performance with expectations, in considering curricular or instructional refinements, and for more meaningful staff articulation.
The differentiation work in District 35 has been grounded in the foundational work of specialists such as Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. Differentiation is an option for all learners. It is not a program or single strategy, rather it is a way of approaching teaching while being responsive to our students and their learning needs.
Recent work in neuroscience and psychology reveals two findings that are central in our instructional planning. First, we know that brains are malleable. All students are capable of learning and engaging at high levels of academic tasks. Second, the research of Dr. Carol Dweck indicates that teachers who believe firmly in the growth capacity of each learner, and thus stage a classroom which celebrates effort and personal growth, get far better results than teachers who believe some students are smart and others are not (Dweck, 2006).
We ask that our teachers adjust learning activities on the basis of student readiness, content, and preferred learning style as they plan for instruction within our classrooms. The work in formative assessment has been critical to understanding a clearer picture of each child’s learning.
Each Glencoe school student will have numerous opportunities to study issues related to the earth, responsible green citizenship, environmental changes that need long term solutions, cultural affects on the environment, and service learning. Infused within the curriculum are science and social studies topics which inspire projects, activities, and discussions. Activities and clubs at all three buildings encourage creating and implementing solutions to the environment's immediate problems. WE CARE themes have been expanded to include earthly topics that correspond to each monthly theme.
Fine Arts in our Schools
Glencoe educators believe strongly in educating the whole child and reflecting on personal choices. This means we pay special attention to maximizing creative and critical thinking skills.Children are given art and music experiences starting in kindergarten continuing through eighth grade. Through the years, students will develop skills, knowledge, understanding, and attitudes to carry with them through their lives. We believe that our fine arts experiences are vital to the full cognitive, social and emotional development of each child.
• Music in our Schools Curriculum Guide
• Art Elements Progression Document
Modern Language in our Schools
Students in grades K-5 study Spanish. In grade 6, students can choose between continuation with Spanish, or starting a new language with French instruction. The Modern Language team of teachers has written goals and assessments for each grade level based on Illinois state standards for foreign language and the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) national standards. Instruction follows the frameworks set by Gladys C. Lipton, author of Practical Handbook to Elementary Foreign Language Programs.
Social and Emotional Learning: WE CARE
At each school, we will incorporate our monthly We Care themes into our social and emotional learning curriculum. Our students are encouraged to display positive behaviors and show respect for fellow classmates and adults. Each year, we review our rights and responsibilities and share updates through our school news.
• We Care Rights and Responsibilities
• We Care Monthly Themes
• Recommended Book List for Parents
• We Care Book List for South School
Technology Skill Development Chart
Review our core grade level expectations for technology skills. Within each school technology projects are integrated in the curriculum. Grade level teams design integrated projects to provide technology rich experiences for the children.
The Everyday Mathematics Program
Information about the Everyday Mathematics Program is provided in this link that corresponds to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focal Points. We use the Everyday Math curriculum as our core math program in Kindergarten through sixth grade. Mathematics learning goals are the recommended benchmarks for each grade level. The goals are guidelines that have been helpful in our instructional decision-making. Click here to learn more about the research behind the Everyday Mathematics Program.