Special Needs Services
Assessments & Standards
Only by specifying the knowledge children should share can we guarantee equal access to that knowledge. In our current system, disadvantaged children especially suffer from low expectations that translate into watered-down curricula. In schools using the Core Knowledge Sequence, however, disadvantaged children, like all children, are exposed to a coherent core of challenging, interesting knowledge. This knowledge not only provides a solid foundation for later learning but makes up the common ground for communication in a diverse society.
Children create understanding by building on what they already know. They learn best when they are offered an engaging, challenging, and content-rich curriculum that builds and grows from year to year. As the heart of a school’s curriculum, the Sequence provides a solid foundation for literacy and learning that promotes academic excellence for all learners, while remaining flexible enough to meet state and local standards. The Sequence is not a list of facts, events, and dates to be memorized. It is a guide to content from grade to grade, designed to encourage steady academic growth and progress as children construct their knowledge and develop literacy and critical thinking skills year after year.
The result of a lengthy process of research and consensus-building by the Core Knowledge Foundation, the Sequence is distinguished by its breadth and specificity. While most state or district standards and curricula provide general guidelines concerning skills students should obtain and master, they typically offer little help in deciding specific content. The specific content in the Sequence provides a solid foundation on which to build skills instruction. Moreover, because the Sequence builds knowledge systematically year by year, it helps prevent repetition and gaps in instruction that can result from vague curricular guidelines (for example, repeated units on “Pioneer Days” or “Saving the Rain Forest;” or inadequate attention to the Bill of Rights, or to the geography of Africa, etc.).
The Singapore math method is focused on mastery, which is achieved through intentional sequencing of concepts. Some of the key features of the approach include the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) progression, number bonds, bar modeling,and mental math.
At Pine Springs we use the Ready Curriculum from Curriculum Associates to teach the Singapore math strategies.