Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a call to take another leap forward in our efforts toward ensuring that all of our students graduate from high school College and Career Ready. The movement to develop the CCSS was initiated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers with the aim of creating a set of common learning expectations for mathematics and for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. The Hawaii Department of Education began its implementation of the CCSS in SY 2012-2013 with grades K-2 and 11-12, and transitioning to full implementation in all grade levels in SY 2013-2014. As teachers work together to design learning opportunities that genuinely promote student achievement of the CCSS, the Standards Implementation Process model is a useful schema to help us focus on the instructional and assessment practices that are compelled by the CCSS.
Click below for a parent guide to CCSS:.
Language Arts encompasses reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, word recognition skills, literature studies, writing, and composition (including spelling and grammar), and speaking and listening skills. Our efforts at content improvement focus on the implementation of an early intervention program for at-risk students based on successful strategies of the Reading Recovery Program. This year we are implementing the state curriculum of Reading Wonders along with other programs such as i-Ready, Achieve3000, Wordly Wise, Daybooks, MyAccess, and The Write Tools help to guide us.
Click below for tips on helping your child become a fluent reader.
Mathematics is comprised of the following skill areas: operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations base ten, number and operations frctions, measurement and data, geormetry. Math is integrated in the content areas through writing, creating word problems, art, solving real-life problems, compiling and presenting data in science, social studies, and other content areas. The unique features of our math curriculum include using a hands-on developmental approach to learning and a variety of strategies to help all students learn. The course that best exemplifies our efforts at content improvement is problem solving. Through the development of critical thinking processes and solving real-life problems, students’ skills with word problems are enhanced. This year we are implementing the state curriculum of Stepping Stones (K-5) and Go Math (6) along with other programs such as i-Ready, and MS Math.
Science essential components are: science as inquiry, habits of mind, living organisms, matter and its interactions, forces of nature, motion, energy, forces that shape Earth, ecology, space and astronomy, and technology. The unique feature of our science curriculum is an activity-based program, which provides many hands-on explorations, enabling our students to construct science concepts through inquiry and investigation. Our program emphasizes science thinking processes such as observing, measuring, classifying, interpreting data, experimenting, controlling variables, hypothesizing, and drawing conclusions; as well as critical thinking processes involved in concept formation, decision making, research/inquiry, and problem solving. Students utilize the step-by-step scientific process approach to problem solving, which consists of the following: statement of problem, hypothesis, materials needed, procedure, results, and conclusion. Major themes connect science concepts together. These concepts are also linked to curricular areas--literature, math, social studies, music/art, and health. Students participate actively in science projects, robotics, and interactive web-based technology programs. Our best efforts at content improvement are the focus on student-generated projects, which have been strengthened through curriculum fairs.
Social Studies’ interdisciplinary and inquiry approach to learning in a collaborative environment supports our best efforts to improve teaching and foster active learning. By using the interdisciplinary approach, we can more easily incorporate the multiple intelligences into our curriculum. Intellectual stimulation, high level of motivation, active involvement, and meaningfulness of an inquiry-based approach is systemic. Our collaborative learning environment through partnership and group work increase students’ academic achievement, foster more active involvement in the learning task and develop critical thinking skills.
Visual and Performance Arts
The Arts include exploration of varied art forms—performing arts, (chorus, drama, opera, puppetry) and visual arts, and their uses to express ideas and feelings. Every student participates in grade-level drama productions and dance instruction. The fine arts are integrated in all the content areas, especially in language arts, math, and social studies. Our best efforts toward improving content in the arts curriculum is the contracting of services from professional artists in the community, as well as seeking voluntary expertise (parents, teachers, community resources).
Our Hawaiian Studies language program encompasses cultural awareness and appreciation, comprehension (listening and reading), and production (speaking).