Educational Services Division » Curriculum

Curriculum

Elementary Curriculum

An Academic Journey for Your Elementary School Student

Mathematics: Understanding Concepts

Our kindergarten through sixth-grade students focus on understanding concepts and achieving a deeper level of learning in their mathematics studies. They learn to “do math” through situations they might see in their everyday lives, and focus on a smaller number of topics that they will see again as they progress through grade levels.

During kindergarten through second grade, they focus on concepts and skills for addition and subtraction, emphasizing place value.

In third through fifth grade, they will focus on the concepts and skills for multiplication and division of whole numbers and understanding fractions.

By sixth grade, students will also incorporate geometry in solving real-world mathematical problems as well.

 

Science: Cause and Effect

Kindergarten: the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object

First: the crosscutting concepts of patterns; cause and effect; structure and function; and influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

Second: stability and change; the influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

Third: influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

Fourth: cause and effect; energy and matter; systems and system models; interdependence of science, and influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

Fifth: patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky

 

Literacy: Building Blocks

Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy

We use Journeys as the guideline for our literacy curriculum in elementary school. This program allows our teachers to implement an effective reading and literacy method of instruction across a variety of different teaching styles.

Journeys supports the Common Core State Standards into daily classroom instruction through high-quality literature, informational texts, and content that offers our students a wealth of opportunities to learn and fall in love with literature.

Our goal is to ensure all students are highly engaged in literacy and reading comprehension, and that all students are reading fluently by 3rd grade.

 

Health and Physical Education: Starting Good Habits

Health: Our elementary school students learn about what different healthy food options are and why they are good for them. They will be able to identify healthy choices for both snack and meal time, learn the different food groups, and the importance of drinking water.

Fitness: Our younger students will demonstrate motor skills and movement patterns required to perform at a variety of physical activities, based on their age and level of development.

We teach what fitness is and why it is important to improve health and performance. Students participate in activities that are enjoyable and challenging and will be part of moderate to vigorous activity three to four days per week.

 

Social Studies: Introducing Our History

Elementary school students are introduced to the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. We use the classroom as a reflection of our society and teach good sportsmanship and respect for the rights of others.

Students will also learn about historical figures who have shaped the world we live in today, and also the government’s role in both history and the modern day. They will explore the connections they have with the past, and also learn about the story of their home state.

 

Technology: Exposure To Tech

All schools have one or more computer and/or coding labs. We want to ensure that all students are prepared for the 21st century. At each of our schools, students utilize technology to research and build upon their knowledge of the world around them.

The sooner that children are exposed to technology, the easier it will be for them to catch on to new advances and innovations, which will set them up for a successful future in academics and as professionals.

 

Art: Young Artists

Arts programs in elementary school give the first key steps for children as they develop their ability to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in relation to the world around them. Be being exposed to the arts, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to express themselves creatively both verbally and nonverbally.

Teachers always remain sensitive to students’ self-expression and include activities and projects that the students can relate to and are interested in. There should be a balance of student-created work, and art directly curated by the teacher.

 

Music: Young Musicians

In a general music curriculum at the primary level, activities include singing, rhythmic speech, movement, playing of pitched and nonpitched percussion, and the use of instruments, recorders, or keyboards.

Music instruction according to the five strands allows young students to use a variety of instructional resources in exploring music experiences: singing, moving, playing an instrument, listening, responding, and reflecting.

Included among the resources are age-appropriate musical instruments, written literature on music, CDs, computer software, Internet resources, audiotapes, videos, DVDs, and photographs, all of which are often obtained through the school library.

 

World Language: Early Introduction

Our elementary school students who are learning a second language are mostly assessed orally until their writing skills improve and they can be evaluated through written assignments and tests.

Learning a foreign language is very important to our young learners because it can improve their education while also giving them the foundation for personal enrichment, academic achievement, and economic opportunities.

Middle School Curriculum

What Your Middle School Child Can Expect at School

 

Mathematics: Reasoning for the Real World

In middle school, we continue to teach mathematics as a way to solve real-world problems. Our students are expected to be resourceful, reason about numbers, and explain
and defend their solutions and the strategies used to find them.

Middle school students move from arithmetic on to algebra. Their curriculum focuses on ratios and proportional reasoning applied to real-world problems and quantitative relationships.

By the end of sixth grade, students will be fluent with multi-digit division and calculations with multi-digit decimals.

Eighth graders will have an understanding of functions, and will be expected to be fluent with calculations of positive and negative fractions and decimal numbers.

 

Science: Understanding and Explanation

Physical Sciences:
Students will build on the ideas taught during elementary school to explain phenomena related to the physical sciences and also to the life, earth, and space sciences. Students blend the core ideas of physical science with engineering and understand concepts to explain real world phenomena.

Life Science:
Students will focus on four life science core ideas:

  • From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
 

Earth and Space Sciences: Students will continue to learn the three core ideas of Earth and Space Sciences, and also build on elementary school ideas to explain more in-depth phenomena in both earth and space sciences, and also physical sciences.

Engineering: Students will have exposure to engineering design from elementary school, and the goal for middle school is to more precisely define problems and use a more thorough process for finding solutions.

 

Literacy: Analyzing and Critical Thinking

The ELA learning program, Collection, helps our students develop the ability to analyze complicated text, determine evidence, think critically, and clearly express themselves. It also utilizes both digital and print materials to transcend traditional teaching methods that resonates very well with our students.

By using new and modern technology we are more likely to keep our students engaged and interested in the materials they are reading. Students are more likely to retain content when it is combined with media, audio, and visuals.

Collections also provides students the tools they need to use critical thinking and expand their curiosity in order to take on challenging concepts and prepare for high-stakes assessments.

 

Health and Physical Education: Emerging Athletes

Health: Middle school students will be able to identify the short-term and long-term impacts of their nutritional choices and its relationship to health. They will be able to identify the impact of nutrition on disease, and given the tools to make healthy choices.

Fitness: Our students will be able to demonstrate motors skills and movement patterns they need in order to perform a variety of physical activities at a more advanced level. They will learn and understand the relationship between the skills they learn in class and activities outside of class by developing their own team game.

 

Social Studies: Analyzing Our Culture

Middle school students expand their knowledge of history by studying the people and events of ancient civilizations. They will study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years A.D. 500–1789. They will also study the geography of these civilizations that were forming during medieval and early modern times.

Also during middle school students will start to learn about the events that framed the Constitution up to World War I, focusing on the United States’ role in the war. We focus on the cause and effect of the Civil War, as well as the rise of industrialization.

 

Technology: STEM and STEAM

At all levels of their education, our students are exposed to and educated in the latest trends in technology. Our middle school students all have access to computer labs, and technology is incorporated into their academic curriculum as well.

We focus our technology programs around the principles of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), and robotics. We want our students to be excited about technology, and understand all of the opportunity that can come with being educated in it.

 

Art: Emerging Talent

Exploration is an important part of our middle school art curriculum, and it includes all the pillars of the standards-based elementary-level program while adding on new skills. Courses in dance, music, theatre, 13 and the visual arts are offered in order to build upon students’ abilities and knowledge at a higher level than they learned during elementary school.

IUSD art teachers enjoy collaborating with visiting artists as well as local community members to give our students a well-rounded experience in their art program studies.

 

Music: Exploring Ensembles

Music instruction in the middle school continues with general music experiences available to all students and includes elective performance classes in orchestra, band, choir, and other ensembles.

A standards-based program provides instruction for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of student participation. Through singing and playing, students are challenged to develop their performance skills as they receive subject-centered, standards-based music instruction.

 

World Language: Formal Training

Once students enter middle school their world language studies become more extensive and sophisticated than in elementary school. They will be formally tested in the areas of gender, tense, and idiomatic expressions. Students will also be expected to understand how to use the language in real-world situations.

Having this knowledge of additional languages will help out students grow both academically and personally. Being able to communicate with a wider variety of people will foster intellectual growth as well as professional opportunity.

High School 

Preparing Your High School Student for College and Beyond

 

Math: Thinking Like Mathematicians

All IUSD students will be A-G ready using the mathematical practices by the state.

Common Core mathematics is a way to approach teaching so that students develop a mathematical mindset and see math in the world around them.

We are making problem-solvers.

No matter what your objectives, textbook, or grade level, the mathematical practice standards are a guide to good math instruction.

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Attend to precision.
  • Look for and make use of structure.
 

Look for and make use of structure.

 

Science: Further Explanations

Physical Science: High school students will further their understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and physics, and will also encourage an expanded level of study in these subjects during upper-level courses.

Life Science: Students will learn the key concepts of life science, understand science and engineering practices, and do so by referencing concepts learned in earlier grade levels.

Earth and Space Science: In high school students will build on what they have learned in middle school, and be able to more thoroughly explain phenomena central to earth and space sciences, and also life and physical sciences.

Engineering: Engineering design students at the high school level will be able to use analytical and strategic thinking on global issues at the interface of science, society, environment, and technology.

 

Literacy: Preparing for Higher Education

Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The focus of our high school literacy curriculum is to motivate our students for success in college and their future careers. We encourage them to explore all types of content, such as literature, informational text, and topics that they are interested in learning more about.

High school students are expected to analyze, evaluate, and discuss multiple authors, sources, motivations, representations, perspectives, themes and ideas, and interpretations as they read, write, speak, and listen.

The standards are set to build more advanced expectations for our students as they work towards acceptance to a college, and also career readiness by the time they graduate from an IUSD high school.

 

Health and Physical Education: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Health: At the high school level, students are expected to maintain a healthy level of fitness by adjusting their activity levels with their nutrition. Students learn what types of physical activities they enjoy doing most, and incorporate them into their regular routine. They also learn about exercise physiology and the body’s response to different diets and conditioning programs.

Fitness: Students will apply what they learned throughout their previous years of physical fitness to attain advanced knowledge and skills in the physical activity they want to continue after high school. They will also improve their cooperation and leadership skills through physical activity and participating in group sports.

 

Social Studies: The Global View

In high school, students will be learning about the major turning points that have shaped the world we live in today, including the cause and effects of the two world wars. We will learn about the rise of democracy and understand the roots of world issues, specifically in relation to our international relations.

We will keep building on their knowledge and understand global industrialization and the impact of technology on society and culture. Students will be able to compare systems of government to current times, including the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government.

 

Technology: Pathways In Tech

Pathways Program:

  • Robotics
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Engineering Technology
 

Our goal is to have different pathway programs at each of the high schools. Because we have open enrollment, students may select which pathway program they would like at any one of the high schools and attend that high school. We are aiming to spark passion about any of these fields of technology, and provide students with the tools they need to pursue higher education degrees and eventually a career in this field.

 

Art: Advanced Expression

At the high school level, our students will engage in a more rigorous, standards-based curriculum that will allow them to transition from high school to a college or university level, and ultimately their career.

While in high school they will continue their arts training from middle and elementary school by choosing standards-based courses in one or more of the four arts disciplines. Students will dive deeper into the arts by selecting one or two disciplines to focus on, and spend the next couple years expanding and improving upon.

 

Music: Maturing Talents

Standards-based music instruction provides opportunities for students to do in-depth studies in one or more areas of concentration, delve into the meaning and impact of music, and develop life skills and career competencies. At the high school level, instruction prepares students to enter the university music program.

Music instruction provides an opening for students to participate in choral and instrumental ensembles. These classes offer instruction at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels to meet the needs of all students in achieving the standards at the beginning or proficient level or higher.

 

World Language: Understanding and Fluency

High school students will undergo an even more vigorous level of evaluation on their language skills than middle school. They will demonstrate the student has a clear understanding and fluency in tense, phrases, and idioms that don’t directly translate from one language to the other.

Our district values world languages because learning a new linguistic system allows our students to have a more objective view of their own language, how language has such a strong impact on culture and the range of ideas that are expressible in different languages. Having a strong understanding and fluency in other languages supports our students’ academic and professional careers