Academics » Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum

3K:

Grounded in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework(Open external link), Explorations provide instructional opportunities for 3-K for All teaching staff, children, and families to connect, explore materials, and learn together. Explorations invite engagement in comprehensive, in-depth, play-based learning across domains. Topics and activities in Explorations begin with routines and the classroom community then progress to more abstract ideas throughout the year.

Explorations are grounded in research on developmental expectations as described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF), which outlines the skills, behaviors and concepts programs foster as they engage with our youngest learners. By using the three Explorations as written, programs will support all of the preschool goals included in the framework.

The three Explorations are designed to be implemented in 3-K for All classrooms over the course of the ten-month program year.

 
Pre-K:

The Division of Early Childhood Education has developed a series of interdisciplinary Units of Study for Pre-K for All. This research based resource was created in collaboration with researchers and supports student learning in all domains using developmentally appropriate practice.

English Language Arts:
Grades K-2
 

Wilson Language Training's Fundations (Grades K-2)

  • Emphasizes systematic phonics and study of word structure based on the principles of the Wilson Reading System
  • Teaches skills explicitly and systematically in daily 30-minute lessons (print knowledge, alphabetic awareness, phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling)
  • Instruction is cumulative and scaffolds presented skills
  • Includes both decodable reading passages for students to practice with as well as manipulatives
  • Utilizes assessments to monitor students throughout the program and offers direction for staff to meet individual student needs and provide targeted small-group interventions
  • Provides multiple opportunities for skills application through extensive practice
  • Offers a Home Support Packet to encourage parental involvement
 
 
 
Expeditionary Learning:

A Closer Look at Grades K-2

The Grades K-2 curriculum offers two hours per day of content-based literacy (Module Lessons and K-2 Labs) plus one hour of structured phonics (the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block). Together, these three hours of the curriculum are considered comprehensive, meaning that they explicitly teach and assess all strands and standards of the Common Core English language arts (ELA) standards for each grade level.

Key Features of the K-2 Module Lessons and Labs

  • Designed with the Characteristics of Primary Learners in Mind:  Primary students have unique learning and social needs and our K-2 curriculum is designed based on the research of developmental psychologists and educators such as Lev Vygotsky, Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget. 
  • Emphasis on oral language development: Interactive, conversational immersion in oral language in the early years is critically important for children's literacy development. Module Lessons include an explicit focus on the Speaking and Listening standards and the Labs provide opportunities for students to use content and academic vocabulary to apply oral language skills. 
  • Daily work with rich, complex text and volume of reading: The Module Lessons are built around close read-alouds of complex text. In addition, each day in the Labs begins with storytime--a read-aloud chosen for its relationship to the content or character focus of the Labs. This frequent work with rich text builds comprehension skills, broadens content knowledge, and develops academic vocabulary. 
  • Regular engagement with songs and poems: Almost every day, K-2 students share songs and poems. These serve many functions: They give students cues about transitions from activity to activity, help build a positive classroom community, build fluency, give students opportunities to practice specific language standards, and give students a deep schema for rhythm and syntax. And, they are joyful.  
Grades 3-5

Our Grades 3-5 curriculum honors students' growing capacities to read complex text, write at length and with depth, and explore pressing issues in the world around them. The curriculum comprises two hours of rich content-based literacy instruction per day. The ALL (Additional Language and Literacy)  Block is one hour long and is complementary to module lessons. These two hours of content-based literacy instruction work together to accelerate the achievement of all students

Key Features of the 3-5 Module Lessons and ALL Block

  • Designed with the Developmental Needs of Grades 3-5 Students in Mind: Upper elementary students' growing hunger for independence and mastery as learners make them hungry to put their hard-earned reading and writing skills to work.  The 3-5 curriculum honors students' growing capacity to read complex text, write at length and with depth, and explore pressing issues in the world around them. 
  • Life Science Extensions: There is an optional companion Life Science module that accompanies Module 2 and comprises eight weeks of instruction. 
  • Assessment Opportunities:  In grades 3-5, there are two assessments per unit, which reflects the readiness of students this age to do more independent work and to practice with high-stakes testing formats. 
  • Complementary Instruction: The ALL Block and the Module Lessons are complementary, working together to accelerate the achievement of all students.  During ALL Block, students engage in independent reading, additional practice with complex text, fluency, and GUM (grammar, usage, and mechanics) writing practice and word study/vocabulary.  
Math: