K-5 STEM’s Vision: To advance successful, curious, caring, creative learners.
Project Based Learning (PBL): In PBL, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Projects, which can last from days to months, incorporate all subject areas, and help students develop their creativity and practice collaboration, communication & critical thinking.
Common Core Standards (CCS): 45 states have adopted these standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The standards are broken down by grade in K-8 and by content in high school (i.e. algebra, statistics, functions). The State of Washington plans full implementation of the Common Core Standards in the 2014-2015 school year.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): The new science standards, based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council, are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. Our state has formally adopted these standards.
Full Option Science System (FOSS): The science curriculum of K-5 STEM and Seattle Public Schools. FOSS kits are stand-alone, multi-lesson science units that contain hands-on activities and integrate reading, writing and mathematics. At STEM, teachers are using FOSS kits as the starting point for other projects, often expanding far beyond the scope of the included curriculum.
Engineering is Elementary (EIE): An elementary level engineering and technology curriculum that integrates with science topics and uses a project based learning model. Like the FOSS kits, EIE is a starting point for integrated projects in our classrooms.
Math in Focus: Adopted by SPS for all elementary schools in spring 2014, Math in Focus is the U.S. version of Singapore Math, which K-5 STEM has used the past two years.
Math in Focus:
uses a Concrete > Pictorial > Abstract approach
- encourages active thinking process, communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving
- develops the foundation students will need for more advanced mathematics
- emphasizes mental math and the model drawing approach
At K-5 STEM, students will learn the bulk of their math skills through Math in Focus curriculum, and math skills will be further practiced in the context of projects.
Readers and Writers Workshop: Developed by the Columbia Teachers College and adopted by many SPS elementary schools, this is a pedagogical approach to literacy instruction which addresses critical thinking skills in reading and writing both fiction and nonfiction. STEM staff will be integrating principles of this approach into PBL, including leveled reading.
Physical Education: Children will learn the Seattle School District’s P.E. curriculum called Five for Life. Five for Life stands for Endurance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility, and Body Composition. In addition, children will learn about cooperation, community, and teamwork in P.E. Team-related activities will teach students how to get along with their classmates/peers, verbal/non-verbal communication, and how to be part of a community of learners.
Our Curriculum in Action: