At PES our curriculum is aligned to our RSU 5 partner schools and state standards. All areas are designed to build foundational skills while developing higher level thinking. The learning environment is shaped to ensure that teachers are able to differentiate instruction so students will be able to reach their full potentials. Here are some specifics about the various subject areas.
Readers' Workshop in grades K-5 provides a structure to meet all readers at their levels and encourage authentic and engaging experiences. Teachers provide a balanced literacy approach addressing comprehension, decoding, and fluency using both fiction and nonfiction.
Students use experience and mentor text to craft informational, narrative, and opinion writing in writing workshop using Lucy Calkins' Units of Study Curriculum. In each unit of study there are opportunities to go from drafting to revising and editing. Each unit ends with a celebration of a finished piece. Teachers document evidence of student progress using on-demand pieces at the beginning and end of each unit. Teachers use the Handwriting Without Tears penmanship program and in grades 3-5 teach keyboarding to increase writing fluency.
Our teachers assess students' knowledge of spelling patterns three times a year using the Developmental Spelling Inventory and work samples. Spelling skills tend to progress through stages. Teachers use their assessment information to design appropriate spelling and vocabulary instruction using a variety of materials including the Words Their Way resource materials.
Our math curriculum is taught using the Everyday Mathematics program. Teachers use assessment information to differentiate instruction and report student progress on standards after each unit. A copy of goals for each grade level is located at http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/about/program_goals/.
Science and Social Studies
This year our teachers are piloting Stemscope Science units which weave engineering practices into content studies. Social Studies is taught through thematic units tied to the Maine Learning Results.
Students enjoy daily specials that provide enrichment and connect to learning opportunities in the classroom. Students have two physical education classes each week. Beginning in kindergarten, all students have a weekly art class and a technology class. Students grades pre-k through fifth grade have library and music each week. A primary and intermediate chorus class prepares students for our two concerts. Students in grades 4 and 5 have the opportunity to learn a band instrument. Classroom guidance is provided through mini-units.