Curriculum and Instruction

 

 

Reading Program

The Success For All (SFA) Reading Program is aligned to the California Common Core Standards. Students are homogeneously grouped according to reading ability and are assessed and re-grouped every eight weeks. The reading textbooks used with the SFA program’s Treasure Hunts are the Pearson’s Reading Street series and core literature.

 

  • Curiosity Corner (TK)

The Success for All (SFA) Curiosity Corner Program provides teachers with well-structured

thematic units aligned with state and national early-learning guidelines. The program includes

detailed instructions and provides many of the materials necessary for implementing a

stimulating, engaging program, as well as training and support for teachers. Students are assessed

every quarter.

 

  • Kinder Corner (Kinder)

 SFA KinderCorner is a research-based kindergarten program that provides children with experiences that prepare them for success in primary grades. KinderCorner fosters the development of children’s language, literacy, math, interpersonal and self-help skills, science, and social studies concepts. The focus on strong oral language skills, a love for reading, phonemic awareness, phonics, and listening comprehension create a solid foundation for reading. Students are assessed every quarter.

 

  • Reading Roots (First Grade)

Reading Roots targets the needs of beginning readers. Reading Roots is a research-based,

beginning reading program that has proven its effectiveness in randomized experimental

research. It provides a strong base for successful reading by providing systematic phonics

instruction supported by decodable stories, as well as instruction in fluency and comprehension.

Reading Roots also fosters students’ love for reading by providing rich literature experiences,

extensive oral language development, and thematically-focused writing instruction. These

objectives are embedded in a fast-paced, engaging, and highly effective instructional process.

Students are assessed and regrouped according to their reading level every quarter to ensure they

are receiving the most focused instruction. In addition, we use Reading Reels. The video skits

and animations promote phonemic awareness. They also help students make the connection

between letters and sounds, learn the word blending/spelling process, develop essential reading

vocabulary and fluency, and become familiar with the cooperative learning routines used in the

SFA kindergarten and first grade reading curriculum, which are designed to increase the

emerging reading skills.

 

  • Reading Wings (2nd-6th grade)

Reading Wings targets the needs of students in grades two through sixth to ensure their growth as

proficient readers. It teaches students comprehension strategies, such as summarization,

clarification, questioning, and prediction, so that students can become

confident, strategic readers. The sophisticated reading skills include vocabulary development,

reading comprehension, fluency, oral language development, and written expression through

both narrative and expository texts. Reading Wings is taught through Targeted Treasure Hunts

used with a variety of novels and basal anthologies. Students are assessed and regrouped every

quarter.

  • Benchmark Advance (6th grade)

We are piloting the Benchmark Advance program. The Benchmark Advance program architecture provides a cohesive framework for the development of content knowledge over time. Engaging, multi-genre reading selections, complex read-alouds, decodable texts, differentiated leveled texts, and reader's theater experiences are integrated into each three-week unit. Students are immersed deeply in the topic, expanding their academic knowledge and vocabulary as they build literacy and English language skills.

 

 

Mathematics

Ready Classroom Mathematics is grounded in our philosophy that all students deserve equitable access to mathematics instruction. The program enables teachers to engage students and provides powerful teaching tools for strengthening conceptual understanding through a teacher-led, discourse-based routine. Ready Classroom Mathematics uses diagnostic data to provide teachers with a clear snapshot of each student’s understanding, allowing them to deliver on-level, intervention, and enrichment instruction.

 

Writing

We are using Thinking Maps and Write from the Beginning to develop proficient

writing. The program includes narrative, opinion, and expository writing instruction for grade

levels K through 6. Through the use of these programs, students become well aware of the

expectations for each grade level and can build upon previously learned strategies for writing.

Using the program consistently throughout the grade levels has become a building block for the

students’ writing and has created greater success on state and local writing tests.

 

English Language Development

English Language Development (ELD) is the foundation by which English Learners build their

academic and social proficiency. Our mission is to provide all English Learners with access to

core curriculum and development of academic language proficiency in order to reclassify and be

college and career ready, in an environment that is culturally and linguistically sensitive to the

community we serve. Our ELD program consist of both Integrated and Designated ELD. We

provide consistent, focused, and integrated instruction that targets the receptive as well as the

expressive aspects of the second language (English). Pacoima Charter School utilizes the National Geographic’s Reach ELD Program and supplement with the Thinking Maps Path to Proficiency program for students who are mastering English.

 

Social Studies

Pacoima Charter School uses the History-Social Science Framework for California Public

Schools as a guide to the eras and civilizations our students study. These standards require

students to not only acquire core knowledge in history and social science, but also to develop the

critical thinking skills that historians and social scientists employ to study the past in its

relationship to the present. Pacoima Charter School will implement a new McGraw Hill’s

IMPACT: California Social Studies in 2018-2019 academic year which is aligned to the new CA

Social studies standards.

 

STEAM

Our students are provided the opportunity to build connections that link science to technology,

engineering, art, math and service learning projects. Science, technology, engineering, and

societal issues are strongly connected to community health, population, natural resources,

environmental quality, natural and human-induced hazards, and other global challenges. We use

the Engineering is Elementary (EIE) curriculum which integrates engineering with science and

improves student understanding of technology. These connections are important. Though people

tend to think of science, engineering, and technology as three separate things, they are actually

closely connected. We are in the process of adopting a new NGSS curriculum which will be in

full implementation in the 2018-2019 academic year. We are piloting various science programs to

determine what is best for our students.

 

Technology Strand

The demands of the 21st Century require that our students possess essential skills in

technology. Technology is used as a tool for improving curriculum and instruction. We believe

that students must have technology infused throughout the curriculum in order to develop the

essential skills necessary to become contributing and productive members of society. We

exercise the use of technology by increasing the expertise of our teachers and expanding our

students’ learning world through the use of the following:

  • Imagine Learning, I-Ready and Think Central are implemented school wide
  • Technology teacher
  • Two full-time technology technicians
  • Robotics Program
  • Computerized assessments provide administrators, teachers, and students with the tools to improve academic performance.
  • One laptop per student in grades 3rd-5th
  • One laptop per every two students in grades 1st and 2nd
  • Interactive white boards and projectors in all classrooms
  • The school library provides an additional thirty computers for a variety of uses: research, intervention, tutoring, etc.
  • The access to network capability in every classroom
  • Parent Square Communication System for more efficient parent communication
  •  A school website
  • Computerized marquee in front of the school.
 

Honors Classes

The Honors Program at Pacoima Charter School will provide gifted and high achieving students

with an accelerated and challenging curriculum. Students who are identified as Gifted or High

Achieving under LAUSD or Pacoima Charter School guidelines will be eligible to participate.

Students will be placed in Honors classrooms where they will be challenged using the Depth and 45 Complexity Framework. The Honors Program is taught by teachers who meet the requirements set forth by Pacoima Charter School Gifted Sub-Committee.