With high expectations, a high quality curriculum, engaging lessons tailored to student’s individual levels combined with individualized support, students at Chicago STEM Academy will excel. We have decided to follow the Next Generation Science Standards for our science instruction. NGSS will guide teachers in delivering comprehensible science lessons. Science units will be organized according to major Science topic areas such as Astronomy, Meteorology, Plant Structures and Processes, and many more. Language Arts and History will be taught using the Core Knowledge Curriculum (CKLA). Core Knowledge integrates content across subjects by grade level, and builds on previous learning. In addition, CSA will use Singapore Math. Singapore Math provides both instant improvement and long-term mastery. Singapore math teaches students the how and why of foundational math through the steady build of concepts and skills with the goal of preparing students for more advanced topics, all aligned with CCSS. Students will also receive additional instruction in art, music, technology, physical education, and French/Spanish.The instruction at Chi-STEM guides students to ask relevant, intellectual questions and apply their findings to the world around them.
Math and Language Arts instruction is provided in flexible groupings to maximize student performance. To quantify a student rate of improvement or responsiveness to instruction we will use a progress monitoring tool. Evidence from the tool will allow us to regroup students or single out students that need individual support from teachers, Reading or Math Specialists. Diverse Learners will be evaluated by the student support team and provided with additional support per an IEP, or 504 plan.
Our students, teachers and leaders will adopted a culture of developing a growth mindset, seeing failure as an opportunity to grow and not a limit of their abilities. We will use Brainology, a blended learning approach that encourages classroom discussion, reflection, and application of mindset principles.
“Students tackle challenges because they understand that learning takes a lot of effort. They don't give up when things get difficult, because they have strategies to persevere. They take risks, participate in class, and understand that mistakes are normal when people try hard things.”
Teachers: “Teachers reflect on fixed mindset practices they’ve used in the past and learn how to change their own mindsets. They take more risks with lessons, and collaborate with others to get feedback, learn, grow, and improve their practice. They learn how to develop a growth mindset in their students and shift the culture of the classroom.”
Leaders: “Leaders support their teachers’ learning and risk-taking by modeling those behaviors themselves. They are responsive to honest feedback, and seek to build skills by learning from their teachers. They learn to value and praise hard work and effort in their staff, and they in turn work harder to overcome challenges and ensure student success.”