Fairview is an ESL resource school. This means that students still acquiring the English language receive pull-out services from a trained resource teacher for approximately 45 minutes a day. The resource teachers works with the classroom teacher to best meet the needs of the English language learner. In addition, all English language learners are assessed at the beginning and end of each school year to measure growth. The ESL programs require two Native Language Tutors (paraprofessionals) to support our ESL students within the classroom. Our ESL Teachers and Native Language Tutors help to support our bilingual families and students that are part of the Fairview Elementary School community.
The teachers at Fairview follow the DPS reading/writing curriculum. The Elementary Literacy Program supports the reading and writing development of ECE–fifth grade students in Denver Public Schools. It is a three- to three-and-half-hour block that includes reading workshop, writing workshop, skills block, and English-language development for second-language learners.
Each instructional block is organized in a workshop format with time for whole group instruction, small group support for guided practice, and independent work time. Each block has rituals and routines, artifacts, and resources to support classroom practices.
This curriculum is research-based. The reading and writing programs use on-going assessments of each student to individualize reading instruction. The classrooms also focus on specific skills and themes to build a community of readers and writers. Diagnostic reading tests and informal inventories contribute to the learning plans that the teachers use to meet each child’s individual needs, as well as class learning goals.
Learning to read and write requires practice. It is important that all students read at home—with parents, to parents, and independently.
Expeditionary Learning curricula includes six modules that focus on reading, writing, listening, and speaking in response to high-quality texts. Each module is intended to last a quarter of a school year; the addition of two extra modules allows for teacher choice throughout the year. The modules will sequence and scaffold content that is aligned to the CCLS for ELA & Literacy and the PARCC Frameworks. Each module will culminate in an end-of-module performance task, aligned to the PARCC Frameworks, which can provide information to educators on whether students in their classrooms are achieving the standards. Modules may include several units and each unit may include a set of sequenced, coherent progressions of learning experiences that build knowledge and understanding of major concepts. They will also include daily lesson plans, guiding questions, recommended texts, scaffolding strategies, examples of proficient student work, and other classroom resources.
The curriculum used by our school is called “Everyday Math”. Everyday Mathematics is a research-based curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP). UCSMP was founded in 1983 during a time of growing consensus that our nation was not providing its students with an adequate mathematical education. The goal of this ongoing project is to produce practical materials teachers can use to significantly improve the mathematics education for all school children.
Everyday Mathematics was developed with support from the National Science Foundation and meets the United States Department of Education’s standards for quality, research-based programs. Everyday Mathematics builds on children’s intuitive and concrete knowledge base, gradually helping children gain an understanding of the abstract and symbolic.
Curriculum modules in mathematics are marked by in-depth focus on fewer topics. They integrate the CCLS, rigorous classroom reasoning, extended classroom time devoted to practice and reflection through extensive problem sets, and high expectations for mastery. The time required to complete a curriculum module will depend on the scope and difficulty of the mathematical content that is the focus of the module (first priority cluster area for a given grade level). For example, the curriculum module relating to Grade 3 multiplication and division introduces initial ideas of multiplication and division in a brief period at the start of the year, continues to develop strategies and problem solving throughout the year, and includes materials to be used throughout the year for helping students reach fluency by the end of the year with single-digit multiplication and related division.
Connecting the Standards for Mathematical Practice to the Standards for Mathematical Content
The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe ways in which developing student practitioners of the discipline of mathematics increasingly ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise throughout the elementary, middle and high school years. Designers of curricula, assessments, and professional development should all attend to the need to connect the mathematical practices to mathematical content in mathematics instruction.
The Standards for Mathematical Content are a balanced combination of procedure and understanding. Expectations that begin with the word “understand” are often especially good opportunities to connect the practices to the content. Students who lack understanding of a topic may rely on procedures too heavily. Without a flexible base from which to work, they may be less likely to consider analogous problems, represent problems coherently, justify conclusions, apply the mathematics to practical situations, use technology mindfully to work with the mathematics, explain the mathematics accurately to other students, step back for an overview, or deviate from a known procedure to find a shortcut. In short, a lack of understanding effectively prevents a student from engaging in the mathematical practices.
These subjects are taught in accordance with the DPS expectations for these subjects at each grade level. Field trips and enrichment classes enhance this curriculum. The Science Fair offers a culminating activity of classroom instruction and projects in grades three through five.