CTA Weinberg Curriculum
CTA Math OverviewKindergarten Saxon
Chandler Traditional Academies (CTA) utilize the Saxon Math program as the basis for instruction. Saxon Math is a well-articulated curriculum that challenges students to learn increasingly more sophisticated mathematical ideas as they progress through their studies.
Saxon Math is designed to break down complex concepts into related increments because smaller pieces of information are easier to teach and easier to learn. Saxon systematically distributes the instruction, practice and assessment across each grade level. Practice is continual and assessment is cumulative. The Saxon approach differs from most in that it distributes instruction, practice, and assessment of each skill or concept throughout the year rather than massing these elements (e.g. single chapter on measurement, geometry).
In grades 1—6, students use accelerated math curriculum to meet the grade level standards. Approximately 70% of the math curriculum is at this accelerated level. The remainder of instruction is devoted to securing understanding of problem solving, algorithms, and vocabulary at the grade level as preparation for state AIMS testing. At the Kindergarten level, early math skills and concepts are developed and reinforced throughout the first semester. The students then move to the accelerated level for the remainder of the school year.
CTA Reading Overview
CTA schools use the Spalding Method as the basis for all 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 Journeys Reading Program as a resource for 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.CTA Writing Overview
At all grade levels, students are instructed in both the Writing Process and the Components of Writing. The Spalding Method forms the core of the CTA Writing program. The children are provided with quality literature in their reading lessons to serve as good models for developing strong quality writing. The staff ensures that all students have explicit, sequential, and cumulative teaching of the structures of language (grammar) and daily opportunity to practice what they have learned by writing sentences and compositions.Accelerated Reader
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.
On the CTA campuses, students in grades 2—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.
On the CTA quarterly report card for grades 2—6, you will find your child’s AR goal and his progress towards that goal in percentage terms. In addition, the student’s comprehension mastery will also be reported as a percentage. Above are some websites that you can use to help your child monitor progress towards her reading goal and her level of mastery.
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