Curriculum

Common Core State Standards
 
With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), District 34 has taken strategic, purposeful steps to design critical revisions to our Mathematic and English Language Arts Literacy Standards programs to support the teaching and learning of these standards. Building on the best of existing state standards, the Common Core State Standards provide clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career and life. The standards clearly demonstrate what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every parent and teacher can understand and support their learning.
 
The standards are:
  1. Research and evidence based
  2. Clear, understandable and consistent
  3. Aligned with college and career expectations
  4. Based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
  5. Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
  6. Informed by other top-performing countries to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society
According to the best available evidence, the mastery of each standard is essential for success in college, career, and life in today’s global economy.  The standards focus on core concepts and procedures starting in the early grades, which gives teachers the time needed to teach them, and gives students the time needed to master them.  The standards draw on the most important international models, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including educators from kindergarten through college, state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, parents and students, and members of the public.  Because their design and content have been refined through successive drafts and numerous rounds of state feedback, the standards represent a synthesis of the best elements of standards-related work in all states and other countries to date.
 
While the standards set grade-specific goals, they do not define how the standards should be taught or which materials should be used to support students. The Illinois State Board of Education and District 34 recognize that there will need to be a range of supports in place to ensure that all students, including those with special needs and English language learners, can master the standards. 
 
No set of grade-specific standards can fully reflect the great variety of abilities, needs, learning rates, and achievement levels of students in any given classroom. Importantly, the standards provide clear signposts along the way to the goal of college and career readiness for all students.
To learn more about Common Core please visit the following link- Common Core
 

Art

District 34 believes that children communicate ideas through the art they create, which is influenced by the art that they see, cultural traditions, and the environment. The Visual Arts curriculum helps us to understand different world views including traditions, values, and history. Through their visual arts experiences, students explore the arts of various cultures.

Children have different learning styles. To meet the needs of the individual and address a variety of learning styles, the delivery methods of our Visual Arts program consider and activate the Multiple Intelligences of our students. Visual Art addresses a variety of learning styles simultaneously. Through project-based learning, hands-on discovery, and self-reflection, students make vital aesthetic and academic connections.

Considering that students learn in a variety of ways, a student’s visual art experience is essential for their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. By building upon students’ prior knowledge to solve new problems, and making relevant connections with other subject areas, students develop higher order thinking skills. These opportunities to work individually and collaboratively in both student and teacher- directed activities, help promote a child’s social skills on a personalized level.


Drama

All Pleasant Ridge students receive an hour of drama per week. The District 34 drama curriculum was developed based on state and national standards. In drama class, students work on the skills of:

  • Cooperation 
  • Concentration 
  • Imagination 
  • Transformation 
  • Imitation

Students work on these skills all while using the three tools of drama which include the mind, body and voice. One of the most exciting experiences students have in drama is creating performances in small groups and sharing them with their classmates. All students also have the opportunity to participate in a grade-level performance which they will present for the school and community. Third grade recreates stories and composes music to accompany their performance. In fourth grade students perform a musical as the culminating project for their study of theater jobs and the elements of a musical. Finally, in fifth grade they incorporate all of their acting, scriptwriting and composing skills as they create movies based on stories the students wrote in drama class.


General Music

The District 34 Music Curriculum is based on the nine National Standards for Arts Education, and reflects the three Illinois State Goals for Music. Singing, playing instruments, moving to music and creating music enable students to acquire musical skills, knowledge and concepts. Brain research shows these skills enhance learning in other curricular areas. The General Music Program in District 34 is an integral part of the curriculum at every school. The study of music provides students with the skills necessary to use their minds creatively as well as intellectually. As advocates for the Arts, the District 34 Music Staff is committed to instill within each student an understanding, appreciation and love for music.


Instrumental Music

In Glenview School District 34, students begin their Instrumental Music opportunities formally in third grade through instruction for playing a recorder. All students participate in this process. In fourth grade and fifth grade, children have the opportunity to participate in Band and Orchestra, both at the beginning and advanced levels. Students participate in one group rehearsal per week and one individual lesson per week. Beginning Band and Orchestra rehearsals currently occur during the lunch period. Advanced Band rehearsals currently occur before the school day. Lessons occur on an individual basis throughout the school days. Band and Orchestra are graded contents and attendance is required.


Life Skills

The District 34 Life Skills program provides an instructional base for students to explore issues related to the Human Body, Basic Health, and Social-Emotional Growth. As part of this program, the District has adopted the Harcourt Health and Fitness series as a resource. Instruction in these areas is facilitated by a variety of service providers including the classroom teacher, PE teacher, Drama teacher, Social Worker, and the Fire Department.


Mathematics

Glenview School District 34 employs a spiral based problem-solving and experiential mathematics instructional program. In the spring of 2014, the district renewed its commitment to the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project- Everyday Mathematics as its’ primary instructional resource. Children spend 60 minutes a day on mathematics instructional activities, mostly from Everyday Mathematics, with some supplementation for computation skills.
 
Regular and Advanced Mathematics
 
We will continue to have two programs for math placements, a Regular Math Program and an Advanced Math Program.  However, students in grades 4-5 will now be learning the same set of grade level standards (for their grade) in both programs.  The Advanced Program for grades 4-5 will not accelerate, but the teacher will differentiate the assessments and the instructional delivery of the standards for these students.  These are students who often score in the 96th percentile and higher on the MAP assessments and regularly exhibit a variety of mathematical thinking skills and behaviors that require a different approach to learning new standards.  Regardless of the program, all students are expected to master the standards for their grade level by the end of the year.  
Children are selected on a criterion basis, and may be identified as early as the end of their 3rd grade school year. District 34 begins the Advanced Program during the 4th grade school year. Participation in the program is done on an annual basis.

Physical Education

Students at Pleasant Ridge enjoy 30 minutes of physical education everyday. During PE classes, students work in three main areas. The first is their overall physical fitness, which includes muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. The second area of focus has to do with skill development and the ability to fully participate in all activities. Finally, students problem solve and learn to work together in order to achieve common goals and grow as responsible leaders.


Reading

The Common Core Standards establish guidelines for English Language Arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Because students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards promote the literacy skills and concepts required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines. The District utilizes a comprehensive reading approach to build children’s capacity to read, develop critical thinking skills, and build comprehension techniques. Teachers utilize a range of novels, short stories, and basal-based reading materials to build these skills. Instruction is designed to weave Independent Reading, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, and Word Study strategies into a mosaic of learning activities.


Science

The goal of the District 34 Science curriculum was developed to assure that all students are scientifically literate and have a unique personalized understanding of the scientific method. The District 34 curriculum will:

  • Allow students to develop inquiry skills and view science as an interdisciplinary study applicable to society. 
  • Closely align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS website
  • Allow students to use various methods of investigation, such as: observation, comparison, experimentation, and mathematical manipulation of data. 
  • Teach science content through inquiry and experiences. 
  • Allow students to demonstrate an application of their knowledge. 
  • Allow the students to analyze the world using scientific concepts, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. 
  • Provide a balance between earth, life, and physical sciences. 
  • Apply the scientific laws, processes, and technology to real-world problems. 
  • Provide the skills to critically read and analyze scientific documents (literature, data laboratories, etc.) 
  • Provide students with a working vocabulary of the natural and physical sciences. 
  • Continue to adjust and modify the curriculum according to District needs. 
  • Become more involved with community resources 

Our overall goal is to implement an instructional program which enhances scientific literacy among students and provide teachers with appropriate materials and understanding.


Social Studies

Glenview School District integrates Social Studies into each child’s learning experience. In general, 3rd grade students study Native Americans and Cities. Our 4th grade students investigate the regions of the United States. Fifth grade students learn about the history of the United States. At the 4th and 5th grade level, the District has a common resource, the Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Series.


Writing

Writer’s workshop serves as the primary model for teaching writing and occurs daily. It includes the following components:
 
Guided Writing: Guided writing is a structure teachers use to provide differentiated instruction. The majority of guided writing takes place in an individual conference setting. Small flexible groups may be formed based on students’ needs, experiences, and achievement related to a particular teaching point. Guided writing provides an opportunity to develop and practice writing strategies at their instructional levels.
 
Independent Writing: Independent writing provides students with the opportunity to practice writing. Students will be given the opportunity to take various pieces through the recursive writing process at their individual paces. During this time the teacher will be facilitating guided writing.