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Curriculum

Our teachers collaborate and in consult with the county curriculum specialists to ensure that our curriculum materials cover the Florida Sunshine State Standards. Whenever possible, we incorporate the arts into the basic curriculum, and teachers have the freedom to develop and expand units to meet the needs of their students.

Overview

Reading: We use the Four Blocks Reading model and The Daily Five for grades K through 2, using Open Court reading materials. Third through Fifth grades use the Junior Great Books series, supplemented by the Rewards Reading Program for older students still experiencing reading difficulties. The Accelerated Reader program is available for students who wish to use it. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Reading unit.

Math: The Everyday Mathematics series is used school-wide. Our teachers have found that the combination of manipulatives and extensive verbal explanation presented by this series is suited to many different types of learners and covers all the standards. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Mathematics unit.

Science: We use the same textbooks series as the district, Harcourt Science. Our teachers supplement this series with innovative and fun "hands on" science experiments. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Science unit.

Social Studies: Again, the basic textbook series we use is the same as the county. The Harcourt Social Studies series is used as a base for some units, as a supplement to others. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Social Studies unit.

Civics: We use a variety of resoures to present civics as part of our reading and social studies curriculum.  We also use "Social Studies Weekly", a newspaper format presenting current events.

Language Arts: Creative writing is the basis of our writing curriculum, and unit journals are used throughout the grades. Daily practice in language mechanics and grammar are accompanied by independent writing assignments. In addition, Technical Writing skills are introduced in the first grade, culminating in expository and narrative units in the fourth grade. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Language Arts unit.

Drama: Our drama program is the cornerstone of our Character Education curriculum. It requires firm commitment from our students, parents, and staff. The fall term culminates in a school-wide production involving collaboration between classes, development of production skills, and application of drama techniques. This production showcases our fifth grade class, who share major roles and responsibilities associated with the play. Past plays have included Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Carnival of the Animals, and Annie. The spring term focuses on works chosen and produced by the students, which are then presented by individual classes to the school and parents. Works range from student-written material to Macbeth. In both productions, attitude, commitment, cooperation, willingness to support others, and individual student interests determine the level of participation. We have found that as the the year evolves, the children set their own high expectations, and meet them every time! An after-school drama club is available to first through fifth graders who wish to expand their drama studies. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Language Arts unit and Arts in Reading unit, both using drama.

Music: Music is evident in many areas of our curriculum. All of our first through fifth graders play recorders and learn how to read music. Classroom teachers include music to enhance social studies skills and literature units by involving students as listeners and participants. In addition, all students have formal music classes twice a week, focusing on technique, theory, and music history. Our school-wide fall play is usually a musical, and the music is learned by the entire school. An after-school supplementary band program is available to fourth and fifth graders. An after-school chorus club is offered to students in grades 1 through 5.

Dance: Dance instruction provided at Expressions provides opportunities to develop physical skills and memory enhancement. Social skills and cooperation are developed in student collaboration. All areas of dance are covered, including the ever popular tap and hip-hop units. Our school-wide fall play is usually a musical, and dance numbers are incorporated into the plays. Click here for a sample of an Arts in Poetry unit using dance.

Visual Arts: Our teachers incorporate visual art into the core curriculum whenever possible. In particular, social studies units contain many opportunities for the students to produce drawings, paintings, sculpture, pottery, and to build architectural models. Once a week, students participate in a formal art class, which includes art techniques and art history.

Physical Education / Health: Essentially, our dance program is our physical education program. In addition, all classes participate daily in the We Count! walking program which uses pedometers to track student participation and progress. Health topics are covered in P.E. and in classroom science units.

Spanish: All children participate in a weekly Spanish Exposure class. These classes are an exciting mix of games, songs, conversation, and fun in Spanish. These classes are supplemented by other teachers who have many Spanish resources that they may incorporate into other units. Some examples are Spanish songs, Spanish calendars and Spanish versions of literature used in language arts units.