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Curriculum

Our Own Curriculum

The iLearn Schools curriculum is a robust curriculum that was crafted to address the Common Core State Standards and prepare our students to be competitive in the 21st century. This curriculum, from our high quality kindergarten program through our highest-level high school courses, offers tremendous academic opportunities for our students. Supervisors and teachers work on an ongoing basis to upgrade and align the curriculum to ensure that it is meeting the ever-changing need of today’s learners. The most current curriculum standards that include technology and 21st century learning skills are continually incorporated into the curriculum and in the instructional design of all of our schools.

This strategic integration of technology and the research and evidence based standards offers a framework that will assist students in grades K to 12 in meeting and exceeding the standards. At iLearn Schools, we understand that to succeed in a rapidly evolving world, all learners must have access to content-area information and interactive learning tools. From equipment acquisition to curriculum design and implementation to ongoing teacher professional development, iLearn Schools strives to increase student achievement and enthusiasm for learning through innovative and challenging academic practices.

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Please contact us to find out more about our many education initiatives and customized services.

iLearn Schools Written Curriculum for Math, ELA and Science

Curriculum Math ELA Science
Kindergarten
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12thGrade
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
AP Literature
AP Language
Geometry

(ELA) English Language Arts

ELA Teaching at iLearn Schools

A balanced literacy approach is the core of teaching and learning English Language Arts for students and educators in grades K-8 at iLearn schools. This framework provides students with instruction that will help develop students’ abilities to master the Common Core State Standards of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Balanced literacy is not a prescribed curriculum or program.

Balanced literacy is an approach where the teacher provides and plans for thoughtful, targeted instruction each day to move students towards becoming better readers and writers

There are four components to the balanced literacy approach:

  • Read alouds
  • Word study/skills block
  • Reader’s Workshop
  • Writer’s Workshop
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Teaching and Learning

The iLearn English Language Arts program requires intentional instruction in reading and writing with complex texts across several disciplines and for a variety of purposes.  Instruction will move from teacher modeling to student independent application that is an authentic, hands-on use of the modeled literacy skills. It is expected each component of the balanced literacy approach be present each time a child meets with his or her English Language Arts teacher.  Presented below is each component of the balanced literacy approach and the component’s goal:

 

  • Read Alouds- engage students with a variety of mentor texts, build listening and comprehension skills through discussion before and after reading, help students learn new vocabulary in context, and teacher models effective comprehension strategies by thinking aloud

 

  • Word study/skills block- a comprehensive approach to addressing word recognition, vocabulary, phonics, spelling, and grammar skills.  The majority of the grade level’s Language standards from the Common Core State Standards are addressed during this block.

 

    • The focus in grades specifically around high frequency words, phonological and phonemic awareness, spelling patterns, and letter recognition.

 

    • In the upper middle grades (4-8), students build knowledge specifically around word structure, letter/sound relationships, word-solving actions, and word meaning. In addition, key grade level grammar concepts around sentence fluency and conventions are to be addressed.

 

  • Reader’s workshop- comprised of a mini-lesson linked to one of the Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature or Reading Informational Text, independent reading, shared reading, literacy centers/stations, running records, guided reading, conferencing, and closure.  Engagement with complex texts through a read aloud is highly recommended during a reader’s workshop mini lesson.

 

    • Independent reading- Students are engaging with text on his or her instructional reading level and applying a given skill that was just taught or previously instructed.  The skill can be linked to the Reader’s Workshop mini-lesson objective or the word study/skills block objective.

 

    • Literacy centers/stations- The activities within centers/stations are adaptable in nature, but should serve as reinforcement of reading and language skills being taught or previously taught.  It is believed multiple touches on a given skill will assist in student retention and mastery of the given skill. Centers/stations should provide student with authentic, hands-on learning experiences.
      • Center topics can include but are not limited to: phonics, listening center, poetry center, vocabulary, comprehension skills, word creation, reading/writing the room, grammar skills, writing, revising/editing, literature circles, technology, etc.
      • Literature circles should serve as an environment for students to explore works from various genres together.  All students should engage in conversation around the same text, at a uniform reading level. The circles are run completely by the students, who are given a rotating list of responsibilities and meet regularly and/or conduct book talks. Responsibilities can include but are not limited to:
        • Artful artist uses some form of artwork to represent a significant scene or idea from the reading.
        • Literary luminary points out interesting or important passages within the reading.
        • Discussion director writes questions that will lead to discussion from the group.
        • Capable connector finds connections between the reading material and something outside the text, either to another piece of literature or real world events.
        • Word wizard discusses words in the text that are unusual, interesting, or difficult to understand. 
    • Running records- An assessment of a student’s reading fluency. The assessment is a tool that helps teachers identify patterns in students’ reading behaviors and drives instruction for guided reading sessions.

 

    • Guided reading- Research-based, highly targeted, scaffolded reading instruction that propels all students toward confident, independent reading, fluently and comprehensively, of high quality grade level books across a multitude of literary and informational genres.
      • The following 8 components are at the core of guided reading instruction, adopted from Fontus and Pinnell:
        • End goal is for all students to be reading at comprehensive levels
        • Teacher utilizes high-level, relevant texts consistently to promote individual student progress
        • Lessons increase the amount of independent reading that students do outside of school
        • Direct instruction in fluent reading
        • Lessons provide daily opportunities to expand student vocabulary banks
        • Teaching provides students with multiple phonemic strategies to apply to processing of print.
        • Lessons encourage students to write about reading.
        • Create engagement in and motivation for reading.
      • Comprehension strategies can include but are not limited to: making predictions, fact and opinion, making inferences, drawing conclusions, author’s purpose, main idea/supporting details, context clues, summarizing, paraphrasing, compare/contrast, cause/effect, purpose for reading, making connections, creating mental images, theme, point of view, sequencing, and understanding plot.
      • Guided reading lessons’ goal is to ensure students are reading fluently and comprehending at the given end of year benchmark reading levels described below:
        • Kindergarten-level D
        • 1st Grade- level I
        • 2nd Grade- level N
        • 3rd Grade- level Q
        • 4th Grade- level S
        • 5th Grade- level U
        • 6th Grade- level V
        • 7th Grade- level X
        • 8th Grade- level Z

 

  • Writer’s Workshop- compromised of a mini-lesson, independent writing, and closure.
    • Independent writing is multi-dimensional and should encompass writing stations, guided writing, peer editing/conferencing, and teacher/ student conferencing.
    • The 6+1 traits of writing:
      •  Ideas
      •  Organization
      •  Voice
      •  Word Choice
      •  Sentence Fluency
      •  Conventions
      •  Presentation

 will drive instruction, feedback, and discussion with students in order to improve each child’s writing abilities.  These traits are to be considered the core of iLearn school’s writing approach during writer’s workshop and a common language used to communicate a student’s academic standing when it comes to writing.  Students are to have daily writing experiences and learn to use the writing process for a variety of writing purposes.

    • Student written responses are to be heavily based off of reading complex texts with prompts in alignment with the PARCC PBA Task Foci released in 2014.

 

Classroom Environment

An English Language Arts classroom at iLearn schools is to be a literacy rich environment.  An enriched environment is one that is stimulating, curiosity feeding, capable of answering many questions, a setting that is alive with resources, reflective of real life, and bursting with energy. At the very minimum, ELA classrooms are expected to contain the items within the ELA classroom environment checklist, which includes the following:

  •  Big Ideas, Essential Questions, Daily Lesson Objectives
  •  Language Art Block Schedule
  •  Word walls, anchor charts
  •  Accelerated Reader management system
  •  Student Reading Levels/Data Walls
  •  Children’s work
  •  The 6+1 traits of writing, writing process
  •  Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop expectations
  •  Guided reading and writing conference binders/anecdotal notes
  •  Books, materials, manipulatives

 Access and Equity

 iLearn schools’ English Langauge Arts Program requires that all students have access to a high-quality, individualized ELA curriculum, with effective, best practice instruction from teachers, a mentality of high expectations, and the resources needed to maximize his or her learning potential.

Curriculum

 iLearn schools’ English Language Arts curricula provide a specific outline of skills and mini-lessons to be taught based upon the four components of the balanced literacy approach that are in alignment with the grade level’s Common Core State Standards. Five units comprise the year’s scope of instruction, sculpted after the New Jersey Department of Education’s model curriculum released in 2014.  The curricula ensure daily instruction around reading and writing that is connected directly to the Social Studies curricula and instructional units at iLearn schools.  Seven PARCC focus skills have been identified as non-negotiable to be included in weekly lesson plans.  These skills have been identified as vocabulary in context, close reading strategies, text based evidence discussion/activities, analyzing paired passages, digital analysis, note-taking, and addressing the monthly writing task.

Tools and Technology

 iLearn schools’ English Language Arts program integrates technology that supports content objectives and standards.  Instruction must include elements of digital analysis and response to multiple forms of media. Students are to make use of both Kindles and Google Chromebooks for independent reading conducted in the classroom and at home.  Schoology is to be used as a learning management system for typing final drafts of writing pieces, administering unit-writing benchmarks, keeping digital student portfolios and submitting digital assignments.

Assessment

iLearn schools’ English Language Arts program utilizes the data from multiple assessments to assist teachers in making informed decisions around student instruction—both horizontally and vertically.  A targeted approach to instruction can only be achieved through the time taken to analyze any given data and the planning needed thereafter.  The ELA program’s assessment sources encompass the whole literate child as a reader and writer.  Running records, STAR reading, MAP testing, bi-weekly comprehension benchmarks, and end of unit writing benchmarks are staples in the schools’ assessment program.

Professionalism

iLearn schools’ English Language Arts program holds educators and their colleagues accountable for themselves and one another.  In turn, student success across the schools is the responsibility of the entire ELA team in addition to the school-based administration, the iLearn schools academic team, and other community stakeholders. In addition to student success, continued growth of the schools’ educators is a core value of the English Language Arts program.  For this purpose, teachers will be supported weekly with one-on-one interactions from a content specific ELA coach.  In addition, weekly professional learning community meetings will be held with all grade level teachers from all schools.

 High School ELA

 In preparation for collegiate studies, our literacy mission at iLearn High Schools is to lead our students toward developing and eventually mastering the skills necessary for embarking upon a life of scholarly pursuance. This academic journey entails critically examining textual rhetoric, structurally analyzing word parts and decoding complex vocabulary as it is used in context, discerning between essential and non-essential information in both fiction and non-fiction texts, summarizing lengthy works in succinct yet capturing fashion, acknowledging multiple interpretations through an investigation of subtle nuances in text, and entering scholarly conversation through grounded research and synthesis that effectively conveys outside-the-box or even groundbreaking ideas and thinking.

 Conventional wisdom will constantly be challenged, as the problems our students encounter will require an awareness of the broader picture, again making cross-curricular ties and reinforcement across the disciplines so vital. Other essential elements of English will be: meticulous film study, examination of cinematic effect, text-to-film comparison, dramatized reading, and re-enactment. Overall, it is our goal to create eager, self-driven, life-long learners, who crave the investigation of a literary world, and strive to portray this close reading of text through equally inspired writing.

Mathematics

Math Teaching at iLearn Schools

As iLearn Schools Mathematics Department, our goal is to develop mathematically proficient students. These proficiencies are outlined as “Mathematical Practices” in the Common Core State Standards-CCSS (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010) Creating opportunities for students to become mathematically proficient requires teaching practices that focus on helping students acquire these practices while simultaneously working on creating deep understanding of the content (Bay-Williams and McGatha, 2014)

For the 2014-2015 school year, we decided to revise our mathematics curriculum according to the expectations of the PARCC Model Content Frameworks. Because PARCC Exams will be delivered electronically in New Jersey, we decided to support our curriculum with new online programs for student instruction and assignments.

Under Pearson’s Realize platform that we purchased recently, our teachers and students will have access to rich, CCSS-aligned, engaging content, and embedded assessments with instant data. All mathematics teachers at iLearn Schools will have their own classroom set of Chromebooks. Whenever needed and instructed by their teacher, students will use their digital textbook and supporting materials to prepare for class, draw, type, or write their work using a keyboard; communicate with their teacher electronically and receive guidance and feedback on their assignments. The mathematics programs we will be using are designed for use with interactive whiteboards. Students will have the chance to interact with the content as it is expected of them on the new generation, computer-based assessments.

In the summer of 2014, a group of our mathematics teachers revised the mathematics curriculum. Every unit plan included an interactive pacing guide as shown in the image below:

Every lesson is aligned to the CCSS and the content was prioritized as suggested in the PARCC Model Content Frameworks. Each CCSS is broken down into local standards that are written in student friendly language. Resources needed (print or electronic) are hyperlinked for easy access. For the high school math courses, resources include the applications that are recommended for use with iPads, since we have a one-to-one iPad program at our high school. These resources also include high school-specific resources (such as classroom activities for Geometer’s Sketchpad, TI-nspire, GeoGebra, Desmos...etc.)

With our new curriculum and the textbook program adopted, we are hoping to develop mathematically proficient students.

Science

Science Teaching at iLearn Schools

iLearn Schools Science Program is one we are extremely proud of and expanding every year. We have built our program for our students in all grade levels.

What makes our Science Program a focus at iLearn Schools? We have an intensive, hands-on based learning in each our science classrooms at all levels. We’ve also incorporated technology into our Science Programs to enforce learning the concepts taught. This approach provides our students with a better understanding science at their fingertips.

Programs that are offered at all iLearn Schools are as follows:
  • Summer STEM Camp : offered to 5th to 8th graders at each Middle School Campus
  • Robotics Teams: offered by our IT Department and Science Coaches.
  • Junior FLL (First Lego League) offered to our K-3rd grade students
  • FLL offered to our 4th-8th grade students
  • FTC (First Tech Challenge) offered to our 9th-12th grade students.
  • Science Olympiad Teams at each school level (Elementary, Middle and High School)
  • School Wide Science Fair offered to our Middle-High School Students to qualify for our District Wide Science Fair.
    District Wide Science Fair
  • High School Electives, such as Advanced Research Methods an Environmental Science class where students are mentored by College students pursuing their PhD.
  • Rocketry Club offered to our 8th graders and High School students who will build robots and launch them.