School Wide Curriculum & Instruction at Forest Hills Global Elementary School
At Forest Hills Global Elementary School students receive a high quality, equitable, global education from our highly qualified staff. Our focus each day is to provide opportunities for students to “Explore the World, and Be the Change” as they work toward mastery of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
At FHGES, all students are taught different types of thinking on different levels of thinking in all subject areas. Students learn how to represent their different types of thinking on “Thinking Maps”. Each map represents a particular type of thinking and provides a visual representation of the thinking that can be used in sharing ideas through speaking and in developing written responses.
English/Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction:
Forest Hills Global’s Culture of Reading is a balanced approach to instilling a love of reading in all of our students. During the daily ELA block of instruction, teachers offer engaging opportunities for students to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to master grade level NC ELA Standards in whole group, small group, and independent settings. Teachers are implementing a Reader’s Workshop approach to teaching our readers with Schoolwide Units. Reader’s Workshop begins with a whole group Interactive Read Aloud or Mini-lesson followed by independent and partnership reading time to apply the strategy modeled in the lesson. While students read independently or with a partner, teachers confer with individual readers to support them in developing reading strategies and set reading goals. Teachers also work with students in small guided reading groups and strategy groups. Our classroom libraries are sorted by genre/subgenre and by level so that students are able to easily choose books that interest them and are “good fit books” for them. Books from our media center and classroom libraries provide our readers with opportunities to practice reading strategies, build knowledge and vocabulary, and enjoy quality literature.
The K-2 phonics instruction is a daily part of our balanced reading approach. K-1 students are instructed with whole group phonics lessons through Wilson Fundations Wilson Language Website (Fundations) and 2nd graders receive phonics instruction with whole group and small group lessons through EL’s Foundations EL Foundations Website. The phonics skills learned during this part of the K-2 ELA block are applied to reading instruction with decodable texts and leveled readers.
Mathmatics Curriculum and Instruction
At FHGES, teachers work to build a classroom community where each student is valued as a mathematician and is encouraged to share their ideas for problem solving. Students are taught to use the 8 Mathematical Practices as they work to solve problems and develop this growth mindset.
Students at FHGES are taught mathematics through the C-P-A model.Teachers begin teaching mathematics concepts through a Concrete approach using manipulatives so that students learn through teacher modeling and show their understanding through their own modeling. Students will move to demonstrating their understanding with Pictorial representations and finally to the Abstract using equations/algorithms. Most mathematical learning in K-4 is spent building an understanding of mathematics and basic algorithms are taught in grades 4-5. This approach to learning mathematics ensures that each student truly understands the math and doesn’t rely on “tricks” and memorization to solve problems.
Our school-wide Problem Solving Model in grades 2-5 is WEDS. This problem solving framework requires students to determine What they know from the problem presented, make an Estimation, Design at least 2 ways to solve the problem (bar model is usually one method used), and finally to Solve the problem. This framework ensures that students understand the problem and that their answer is reasonable. Students in K-1 use problem solving mats to show their problem solving strategies which include number bonds, five/ten frame, drawings, and number lines.
Our approach to teaching mathematics is supported in our use of Ready Math Curriculum which emphasizes conceptual understanding through reasoning, modeling, and discussion and develops students’ procedural fluency. This curriculum leads to student mastery of the NC Mathematics Standards.Teachers help students develop their math esteem, their belief in themselves as a mathematician and an understanding that their mistakes will lead to deeper learning.
We also use iReady Math which is a blended curriculum that allows students to work on their individual learning path online through instruction of standards based on the data collected from the student’s diagnostic assessment. Teachers support this online learning by conferencing with students about their online performance in one on one and small group settings. Students can access their iReady account from home using their username and password.
Students receive these mathematics opportunities for learning during their daily math block which includes whole group math instruction, small group math instruction, and small group and independent station activities. Daily Number Sense Fluency protocols are included in mathematics instruction each day to build students’ flexibility with numbers. Students are involved in Number Talks with classmates at least 3 times each week to share their understanding of how numbers work and mental strategies that they use to solve equations. K-2 students also work to build subitizing skills with Dot Cards and Tens Frames.
Science and Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction
Teachers provide inquiry based instruction which allows students to share and research questions that will lead to investigations and community service projects that provide answers to the the units’ Essential Questions. Science kits that include materials for scientific investigations are provided by the county. As a global school, teachers share current events and global issues/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that connect to the standards being taught. We believe in using our instructional time to develop global citizens that will impact our world in a positive way.