ICS plans to use the Core Knowledge sequence as our primary instructional framework for literature, history and geography. The Core Knowledge sequence also integrates science, music and art into the children’s day.

In grades k-2 we will use research-based phonics programs such as Fundaitons and Just Words to help our students master letter-sound correspondence, word recognition, spelling, and other steps on the pathway to becoming independent readers.

For math instruction ICS plans to use Jump Math which follows a program of guided discovery that balances concrete and symbolic learning.

Jump has been used in elementary schools in Ontario with impressive results and is the subject of an ongoing New York trial overseen by Johns Hopkins University at two schools in Brooklyn and two in the Bronx; the trial is slated to expand to 40 schools this fall. By the fall of 2013 Jump’s developers will have aligned their curriculum to the Common Core State Standards.

We will use technology smartly, where it helps teachers to assess reliably how and when our students are learning. Many experts think technology is a promising aide for developing math fact fluency.  ICS is reviewing programs like ST Math and Reasoning Mind that would complement (not replace) teacher-led math instruction.

We will begin teaching Spanish in kindergarten and hope to add other foreign languages as part of our extended day program, working in coordination with our parent community.

ICS views recess and gym as subjects equal in value to math or geography, for the opportunities they provide our students to negotiate, collaborate and understand.

To see how ICS hopes to accomplish this, take a look at a typical class schedule.

The plan below is for Kindergarten. (click to enlarge)

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  • Literacy is vocabulary, spelling and phonics work
  • Reading is read-alouds/independent reading  
  • Centers are creative play, block play, dress up, etc. In classroom
  • Intervention/Enrichment is small group work to allow pull out for English Language Learners and children with special education plans (IEPs); classroom teachers provide enrichment and/or support for others as student needs dictate.

We will work with our parent community to design a series of enrichment activities for students to take place on Tuesday afternoons, when our teachers will set aside time for their professional development.

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