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Piles of Books

WWA CURRICULUM

As a Core Knowledge School, our primary focus is on providing a sequence of shared knowledge that crosses all
content areas. This ensures that students have the background knowledge that provides a solid foundation for
building instruction. The Core Knowledge Sequence is not a list of facts to be memorized, but a guide for
spiraling curriculum that builds upon each year and encourages a collective understanding of the world. This
includes Language, History, Science, and the Arts.

Character Education and Healthy Learning

In addition to learning about the Core Virtues of Respect, Responsibility, Citizenship, Caring, Trust, and Fairness, we use the 2nd Step Program to help students learn about social and emotional awareness and skills. Each year builds upon previous lessons and teaches students to manage their own feelings and behaviors.

 

Our Bully Prevention Program is Olweus. This program works to create a safe and positive climate throughout the entire school community. The main components are identifying bully behavior, communicating with peers and adults, and building respect.

 

Additionally, BrainWise teaches children and youth essential emotional, social, and cognitive skills through an innovative structured approach called the "10 Wise Ways." Meanwhile, Brain Gym increases learning readiness by preparing the mind and body to accept new information through quick physical brain breaks during the school day.

K-6 Curriculum

Grammar, Writing, and Handwriting

Shurley Grammar is the program we use to teach grammar, sentence structure, and usage with a scaffolded curriculum. The program uses jingles, skill practice, and frameworks to help students with parts of speech, conventions, and punctuation.

 

We teach the organization and excitement of writing with Write Now, Right Now. This curriculum is a set of mini lessons and mentor texts that spiral and teach students about how to add creativity and voice to writing. This program crosses genres and grade levels to ensure consistency in writing in every subject.

 

WWA uses Handwriting without Tears to teach students to form letters first in print, then later in cursive. This program is designed to be interactive and help facilitate student learning through practice.

 

Additionally, students start to incorporate technology and type written work in 3rd grade!

Math

Woodrow Wilson Academy uses Saxon Math as our school-wide math curriculum. With continual review and ongoing cumulative assessments, students will see concepts repeated in multiple ways throughout a year.

 

New parents should keep in mind that mastery is not supposed to come each night, but rather build upon itself over time to create deeper understanding of concepts. This ensures long-term mastery of the concepts.

 

Additionally, Saxon focuses on daily fact review to ensure that students are able to quickly and accurately state their multiplication, division, addition and subtraction facts. Families should expect  homework each night as well as grades based on fact practice, homework, classwork, and assessments.

Reading & Language Arts

In addition to Core Knowledge poetry, stories, vocabulary, sayings and phrases, Woodrow Wilson Academy uses the Wonders curriculum for grades K-6 to develop reading skills. The goal of the program is for students to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.


Through both scientific and historical texts, as well as literary texts, themed units and technology, Wonders has multiple ways for teachers to provide instruction that will best fit their classroom and students. This includes levelized readers, small group centers, and whole group instruction. Phonics and spelling are another important part of the curriculum and spelling tests are given weekly.

 

Spelling homework can also be expected in most grades throughout the week. We ask that students read or are read to each night, as well.

Science & Social Studies

Through hands on projects and experiments, completed both at home and at school, students learn the Core Knowledge sequence of units. Each year builds on previous units and lessons and spirals to reflect developmentally appropriate material for students. In Core Knowledge Social Studies, students learn about the history and cultures of people from around the ancient and modern world, the significance of world religions, geography, and the important people and events of the United States.

 

In Science, students will learn about the human body, botany and zoology, physical sciences, as well as earth and space sciences. FOSS kits help to ensure hands on experiments. Students develop a deep understanding of the world around them through these topics and are assessed on the material covered in class.

Middle School Curriculum

Grammar, Writing, and Handwriting

Write Source is the writing program used in Middle School. It integrates six traits instruction, which includes instruction in ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

 

WWA has a common writing rubric that crosses all grade levels to ensure consistency in our writing program. Each middle school student has a 1:1 ratio with a laptop and, while students are still expected to hand write some assignments, the use of word processing software and cloud based tools means that the classroom is very technologically driven. This helps to prepare students for learning, researching, and writing in the 21st century.

 

Grammar instruction in grades 7-8 utilizes the online program No Red Ink as a primary source of learning and practice. This program features high-interest content, independent learning, and adaptive technology, and allows for small-group and/or individualized instruction when needed.

Reading & Language Arts

In grades 7-8, WWA uses Realms of Gold to teach students all the shorter literary works - poems, stories, essays, speeches and autobiographical excerpts - specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence. Through this program, students continue to learn and apply appropriate reading strategies in order to analyze and evaluate text.

 

Additionally, students listen, read, view and think critically about various novels. Novel units give students an opportunity to explain, defend, and resource texts in multiple formats - essays, short constructed responses, Socratic seminars, journaling, and literature circles. The incorporation of technology in reading is an exciting way we work to engage students.

 

Through video production, visual presentations, website design or photoshop work, students are able to illustrate their understanding of what they have read in a creative way. Students can expect nightly homework as we expect students to read grade appropriate novels and reflect on them through projects and assignments.

Math

Woodrow Wilson Academy uses Saxon Math as our school-wide math curriculum. With continual review and ongoing cumulative assessments, students will see concepts repeated in multiple ways throughout a year.

 

New parents should keep in mind that mastery is not supposed to come each night, but rather build upon itself over time to create deeper understanding of concepts. This ensures long-term mastery of the concepts.

 

Students should expect homework each night as well as grades based on fact practice, homework, classwork, and assessments. For advanced students who take Algebra, we use Holt Algebra 1 while in advanced Geometry we use Glencoe Geometry. These programs provide practice opportunities and visualization of math concepts.

Science & Social Studies

Through hands on projects and experiments, completed both at home and at school, students learn the Core Knowledge sequence of units. Each year builds on previous units and lessons and spirals to reflect developmentally appropriate material for students.

 

In Social Studies, students learn about the history and cultures of people from around the ancient and modern world, the significance of world religions, geography, and the important people and events of the United States. In Science, students will learn about the human body, botany and zoology, physical sciences, as well as earth and space sciences.

 

With our 1:1 student to laptop ratio in Middle School, technology education and use is a vital component to student learning and success in these areas.

Core Knowledge and Common Core

A message from WWA Principal, Carole Bartusiak

Core Knowledge and Common Core are not in direct conflict with each other.  As an administrator, I am thrilled that Common Core is addressing a similar purpose for education, that all students deserve to have a structured, well thought out plan for instruction at every grade level. As a school, we will continue to follow the Core Knowledge curriculum. Yet, the standards addressed in Common Core will be covered as students navigate through their K-8 years at Woodrow Wilson Academy.

Where does the WWA Board of Directors stand on supporting the Common Core State Standards?

The BOD has the best interest of WWA students in mind. The Common Core State Standards (sometimes called “Common Core” or CCSS) is not a curriculum. The CCSS exist as a guideline only. Our curriculum best fits the needs of our students, and it did so before the standards were in place, and it will continue to do so without the need to make drastic changes.

As a Board, we can be confident that WWA is on the right track when it comes to aligning with the Common Core State Standards. No system is perfect, and time will tell how well our students do on the assessments. All of the pieces are there; it will just be a matter of how the tests translate into reality.

We are mindful of how well our students are doing, and we are confident that the curriculum works, but we are aware and flexible enough to see where needs are and to fill those gaps should they become evident.

WWA prides itself in excellence and high standards, regardless of state guidelines and the tests they require.

We need to recognize that we are fortunate to be in this position.

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