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Elementary Grades


Elementary Grades follow STEM curriculum programs such as Pearson's "Interactive Science" and Project Lead the Way's LAUNCH.

Inspiring. Engaging. Empowering.

Your K-5 students already have the qualities of great designers and innovators. What PLTW Launch does is tap into their exploratory nature, engage them in learning that feels like play, and encourage them to keep discovering – now and for years to come.

PLTW Launch’s 24 interdisciplinary modules bring learning to life. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. And as students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge. 


Science

Science instruction at Forest Heights STEM Academy will utilize Pearson Interactive Science curricula, a standards based, next generation elementary and middle grades program that teaches science topics which are introduced and underscored through three pathways to learning - reading, inquiry, and digital.

Technology
Students in all grades will utilize Learning.com EasyTech online curriculum to gain basic technological literacy. Lessons are appropriate for K through 8th grade students and address topics of mouse basics, keyboarding, internet and email use, word processing, spreadsheets, data management, visual mapping, graphics, presentations, and web design. The curriculum includes activities, lessons, practices, and discussions designed to allow educators to merge technology training and instruction into language arts, math, science, and social studies while encouraging higher-order thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Every Forest Heights STEM Academy student will be provided an electronic device. This 1:1 technology initiative will lead the educational transformation from using technology as an isolated instructional tool to redefine instructional strategies. All K-3rd grade students will be equipped with iPads. The end goal is to increase student achievement as students learn the language of technology, utilize and exhibit 21st Century technology skills.

Engineering
Engineering education at the STEM Academy will center on  LAUNCH elementary component. LAUNCH elementary engineering curriculum teaches the foundational science behind engineering concept and design. Activities and projects lead students through the process of asking questions, exploring ideas, and solving problems.

Engineering is Elementary (EiE), a research-based, standards-driven, classroom-tested curriculum that helps children understand the human-made world around them is an applied engineering experience, corresponds to K-5 topics taught in the science classroom. The EiE curriculum includes stories, lessons, and hands on experiments to teach what engineering is and how it impacts daily life. Through the lessons, students engage in the engineering design process, apply science and mathematics to engineering problems, use creativity and careful thinking to solve problems, envision their own abilities as an engineer, troubleshoot and learn from failure, and understand the central role of materials in engineering solutions.

Math
The math program will be problem-based and rigorous. It will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Students will be challenged to make sense of new mathematical ideas through problem-solving, explorations, and projects. Written and oral communication of mathematics will be a strong focus. Grades K-5: Go Math is the primary resource for grades K-5.

Literacy
The core literacy curriculum incorporates the adopted resources from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys (K-5) and Step Up to Writing (K-8) by Maureen Aumen. These resources are used to provide instructional lessons which are aligned to the CCSS and paced appropriately for each grade level.
The core literacy program is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. Attention will be given to global STEM needs in the Information Age in order to prepare our future workforce and create scientifically literate citizens.

Social Studies
The social studies program will provide authentic learning that will prepare students to identify, understand, and work to solve the challenges facing our diverse nation in an increasingly interdependent world. The curriculum ensures students acquire and learn to use skills, knowledge, and attitudes that provide the foundation for them to become competent and responsible citizens. Grades K-8 integrate content from all the social studies disciplines to include history, economics, geography, and political science. Focusing on the core social studies disciplines, it will include materials drawn from the arts, sciences, and humanities, from current events, from local examples and from students’ lives. The focus for instruction will be on active learning that requires students to work individually and collaboratively, using rich and varied sources, to reach understandings, make decisions, discuss issues and solve problems.

Art and Music
Art and music education at Forest Heights STEM Academy will encompass traditional activities such as choir and band as well as technology-based experiences. All students will gain exposure and experiences to familiarize them with graphic arts and design as applied arts.


Student Support
English Language Learner Support
English Learners enrolled at Forest Heights STEM Academy (K-8) will receive core instruction from ESL endorsed teachers. Teachers will differentiate instruction to match individual student levels of English proficiency (based on English Language Proficiency Assessments). Teachers will ensure that students are meeting and exceeding individualized proficiency goals while meeting the objective of the Forest Heights STEM Academy Program.

Special Education Services
The use of technology in classrooms is proven to be beneficial to students with disabilities. Assistive technology is widespread in schools and through the use of iPads and computers; applications are easily accessed thus allowing teachers to personalize lessons for disabled students and differentiate instruction. Often times, students with disabilities have enhanced technology skills and are drawn to computers and gadgets; therefore having devices in the classroom makes perfect sense.

For students with physical disabilities, technology gives access to learning opportunities previously closed to them. Technology such as e-readers help students turn pages without applying dexterity and voice adaptive Apps help student participate orally during projects and group discovery activities. Technology in the schools can help students with disabilities and all students in problem-solving, discovery, and exploration. The STEM approach and engineering components put emphasis on the process and design of solutions (hands-on step-by-step process). This approach allows students to explore mathematics and science in a more personalized, applicable context, much like the adapted curriculum for disabled students which helps students to develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to all facets of their work and academic lives.