Our elementary school instructional program is guided by the belief that good schools nurture a child's intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. In our classroom practice, we engage children in learning experiences that are relevant, purposeful, and challenging. We strive to have children master content knowledge and skills in a learning environment that respects children's developmental needs, interests, learning styles and differences. Recognizing that learning is constantly evolving, we scaffold instruction and assist students in making connections with prior learning. With a strong foundation of learning in place, students are challenged to form new understandings and to create new meaning.
The Pelham Public Schools value a literacy-rich environment across the disciplines that provides all students with authentic opportunities to become independent and lifelong readers, writers, speakers, and critical thinkers. We are committed to helping students grow into empathetic, intellectually curious, and informed global citizens who demonstrate strong and effective communication skills in diverse ways. Our programs and instruction foster student voice and encourage choice in student work to promote students’ engagement and develop their creativity. The Pelham Public Schools recognize that, together, we can build a community of learners who gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them through reading and writing and effectively communicate their unique perspectives for the betterment of our democratic society and interdependent world.
(Vision Statement Adopted by the K-12 District Literacy Committee May 2018)
How We Teach Literacy
In Pelham, we use a balanced literacy approach to K-5 ELA instruction. This approach uses a workshop methodology. The workshop model provides explicit instruction with teacher modeling, followed by guided practice and an opportunity for independent practice. Teachers ongoing assessment of student learning allows for differentiation to support students in whole group, small group or individually. Our program includes:
Reading Workshop: provides opportunities for independent reading, shared reading, guided reading and read aloud
Writing Workshop: provides opportunities for independent writing, shared writing and interactive writing
Word Study: instruction focuses on and develops a curiosity of spelling patterns, word meaning and conventions
The goal is for all student is to develop the habits of lifelong readers and writers.
Our elementary math program is designed to have students master computation skills, develop problem solving strategies, analyze problems, and conjecture and communicate their thinking. This balanced focus is aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards. Our instructional program strives to have students become strong arithmeticians who also have the ability to reason and problem solve like mathematicians.
The elementary science curriculum develops fundamental science concepts, skills and content learning through a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to learning. The program seeks to integrate math, science and technology, wherever possible. Emphasis is placed on the application of science concepts to our everyday world. The elementary science curriculum is divided into three areas: The Living Environment (complex systems and the interdependency of living things with each other and their environment), The Physical Setting (different forms of matter), and The Human Body and Health (body parts, keeping fit and healthy, and movement and control)
The elementary social studies program combines both historical and geographic understandings and civic responsibility. It introduces students to chronological thinking and an historical perspective, including historical analysis, interpretation, research and historical issues. It builds on the concept of community, from the family and Pelham as their local community to the history of New York State, the United States, Canada and Latin America as well as communities around the world. Students engage in a variety of experiences and are encouraged to draw conclusions based on several sources and to compare and contrast various points of view about historical figures and events.
Our library program includes resources and instruction that support and enrich classroom literacy initiatives and guided inquiry. Another goal is the development of information literacy so that all students will have the strategies to access, evaluate and use information effectively and thus become life long readers, writers and thinkers. Students also receive instruction in the system of library organization to find "just right" books that meet their individual reading levels, needs and interests.