Spalding is the basis for an integrated language arts program at the CTA schools. Spalding is a method or style of teaching that allows the teacher to observe the students, plan appropriate instruction and adjust instruction to meet student needs. Spalding uses direct, sequential, and multi-sensory instruction. Active participation of the students is an important part of the program.
There are 3 curriculum components to Spalding: Spelling, Reading and Written Composition. The Spalding philosophy is child-centered with high expectations for quality work. There is a purpose and a meaning for every lesson and the children are encouraged to develop higher-level thinking skills as they learn to spell, read and write.
Spelling involves phonemic awareness, Phonograms with handwriting, development of high-frequency vocabulary and learning the rules and concepts of English.
Written Composition develops an understanding of sentence structures starting at the simplest and moving to the complex. Children learn to apply and use spelling and language rules. Using the writing process, children write stories, reports, essays and more.
Reading is an essential element in which the children learn literary appreciation, discuss the elements of literature, read quality literature, learn about the text structures and author’s purpose and, most importantly, learn to comprehend the different types of text they read.
HMH Journeys ReadingHMH Journeys is the adopted reading text of the Chandler Unified School District as of 2014. HMH Journeys is an excellent companion to the Spalding Program. It is sequential, rooted in building strong reading skills, and utilizes high quality literature and non-fiction for instruction. In addition, it is aligned to the new Arizona College and Career Ready Standards. Teachers also take advantage of CTA-Freedom's extensive collection of children’s trade books to meet individual needs in reading.
Accelerated Reader and Independent Reading
AR is in place at CTA-Freedom. Although our emphasis is from grades 2 on up, K and 1 students who are reading independently are able to take advantage of the AR program of testing comprehension. Personal goals are developed with the children with consideration to their reading rate and level.
At all of the CTA schools, independent reading at home and in school is a requirement. Students track their number of pages read throughout the term and are graded on their progress toward meeting the requirement. Independent reading becomes a part of their overall Reading grade. Students in grades 1 and 2 have a book requirement.
My Math/ Glencoe
My Math (K-4) and Glencoe Math (5-6) curriculum, along with hands-on activities, practice with manipulatives, and other district approved and adopted materials shall be utilized at all grade levels to ensure the mastery of the standards and proficient mathematical practices. The math program is accelerated one year at all grade levels with supplemental materials to ensure mastery of all standards.
Mathematics shall include the mastery and practical application of basic mathematical principles. Students shall understand that mathematical problems have absolute answers and that precision and accuracy are required. Students use higher level thinking skills to solve conceptual problem-solving applications. The use of calculators to complete classwork or homework occurs only when directed by the teacher.
The mathematics basic facts program shall be taught to the mastery level using drill, repetition, and memorization to achieve appropriate accuracy and speed. Grade level year-end goals/expectations are as follows:
Grade 1 (+,-) 30 problems in 1 ½ min.
Grade 2 (+ - x ) 100 problems in 4 min.
Grade 3 (+ - x /)100 problems in 3 ½ min.
Grade 4 (+ - x /) 100 problems in 3 min.
Grade 5 (+ - x /)100 problems in 2 ½ min.
Grade 6 (+ - x /)100 problems in 2 min.
CTA schools follow the same curriculum and use the same materials as all of the other Chandler schools. Harcourt Science was implemented in 2006. The science program is rooted in inquiry and exploration at all levels. The series is designed to help student master the Arizona standards in Science. An important part of the science program is participation in the school science fair held in January/February. Students display individual, group, and class-produced projects at the fair.
Special Subject Areas
Students in K—6 have 2 physical education, 2 music, 1 library and 1 technology/computer classes during the school week. CTA-Freedom also offers 5th and 6th graders band and orchestra.
CTA-Freedom offers a variety of clubs both before and after school. The list of clubs does vary somewhat each year. Here are some of the offerings from past years: Running Club, Battle of the Books Club, Chorus, and Student Council.
CTA schools offer services similar to other Chandler Unified Schools. We currently have a Resource Room for students with learning disabilities, speech and language therapy.