Classic Curriculum at Carlson

  • The curriculum in the Chandler Unified School District and at Carlson Elementary is aligned to the Arizona State College and Career Readiness Standards. Performance objectives are identified for each strand and concept and progress is monitored quarterly. In addition to language arts and math objectives, science and social studies are regular parts of the curriculum. 

    Students receive physical education, general music, and library and technology classes on a routine basis.

    Carlson incorporates the Thinking Maps® Language for Learning into all grade levels and across all content areas.  The experts in brain-based research and learning agree on two aspects of brain theory:  the brain is a pattern seeker and the brain is very visual.  Thinking Maps, which are visual patterns for thinking, are therefore well-designed for teaching and learning. Because each map is a visualization of one of the eight thinking process, teachers can take advantage of a strategy that matches the natural learning tendency of the brain. The importance of the maps as concrete pictures of abstract concepts is linked to our ability to learn visually.  Students from kindergarten to sixth grade use the same visual patterns, thus providing familiar patterns for thinking and working with complex ideas and situations. 

  • Art instruction is delivered by volunteer staff through the Art Masterpiece Program.

    Fifth and Sixth grade students can choose to take band, orchestra or general music.

    Students in grades K-4 attend general music class.

    Use the link below to reference the standards and objectives:

  • Math Overview

    All students in grades K-6 use McGraw-Hill My Math textbooks to assist in the understanding of mathematics concepts.  Math and science are often integrated together to bring a stronger relevance to students' understanding.

    Reading Overview

    Download Spalding Behind the Method
    Download Why Spalding Works

    Carlson Elementary uses the Spalding Method as the basis for instruction in literacy. Research on learning to read tells us that reading is a complex process. Research also tells us that children of all ages need systematic and explicit instruction in the core elements and processes of reading to help them develop and use their skills efficiently and accurately.

    The Spalding Method teaches precise speech, legible handwriting, correct spelling, fluent accurate reading and involvement of learning and thinking processes to understand what has been read. Reading instruction is divided into three strands: literary appreciation, text structure, and comprehension—both listening and reading.

    The students use the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Journeys Reading Program as a foundation for reading instruction and literature. In addition, quality children’s literature at a variety of reading levels is used in the classroom for instruction. Accelerated Reader, a self-paced computerized program for checking comprehension, is also available once children are able to read on their on at approximately an end of first grade level.


    Accelerated Reader

    Click here to go to the AR BookFinder website. It will tell you the approximate reading level for the book you have selected.

    Click here for a website that allows you access to your student’s comprehension level and his progress towards meeting his AR goal.

    Accelerated Reader, or AR, is a program that has been commercially developed to help track and guide student reading and understanding. Educators know that to become an excellent reader, one has to really read. AR is a computerized program in use at many CUSD schools including ours. Essentially, students read a book at their own independent reading level. They take a test on computer answering questions about the book.

    It is important to note that the goal in AR is to achieve and maintain an average of 90% or better on quizzes. Averaging 85-- 90% indicates that the student understands the key points of the book, and it motivates the student to read more. Research has shown that 30-minutes of daily reading practice and an average of 90% and higher on AR quizzes produces the most significant gains in reading achievement.

    Students in grades 1—6 STAR test to find their optimal independent reading level. Teachers then establish personal reading goals for the students. Students then work to accomplish a reading goal that is designed to meet their educational needs. The children take a comprehension test on the books they read. This tells us if they are reading “just right” books and can understand what they read.