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Brewster Elementary School

Curriculum Differentiation

 

 The Rochester Community Schools curriculum is based on Michigan standards and benchmarks that require the use of higher order thinking skills.  Classroom teachers utilize these benchmarks to challenge their students to think, work, and produce at a meaningful level. The goal of a differentiated classroom is to maximize student growth and individual success. 

Curriculum Differentiation allows teachers to provide a variety of opportunities for learning within the classroom community.  Teachers assess students in order to provide the best possible instruction.  Students engage in many different thinking processes and open-ended activities to learn about a topic. Support and practice is given to students so that they may experience success in an enriched curriculum.

 

Grade 4 – Curriculum Differentiation

 

LITERACY

·         Scholastic Reading Anthologies, Literature Circles, and student-chosen novels:  allow students to engage in meaningful discussions, reflect on character development and author’s purpose, use prediction and inferences within the framework of their instructional reading levels

·         Book reports/book talks: variety of formats such as advertisements, mobiles, book covers and role play

·         Participation in district speech contest based on students’ dream careers

·         D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) – quiet reading time for approximately 20 minutes per day using student-selected books

·         Response Journals:  required for students to respond to Book Club activities or D.E.A.R. books;  students reflections used to analyze characters, plot, theme, author’s purpose, compare and contrast, predict and make inferences

·         Reading assessments given periodically to help determine needs of individual students

·         Whole class and individual group activities

·         Writing contests: opportunity to participate in contests offered by publications and organizations

·         Poetry:  different forms studied and created individually by each student into a personal book of original poems

·         Creative writing using the writing process.

·         Several excellent publications used weekly to give students opportunities to connect their life experiences with the outside world;  reading and writing assignments created using the publications

 

MATHEMATICS

·         Math Pentathlon games used to extend and challenge mathematical thinking;  modifications allow children at all levels to participate

·         Combinations of hands-on, paper and pencil, verbalization and teacher instruction used

·         Problem-solving activities emphasized to extend and refine thinking skills

·         Mad Minutes:  timed drills on multiplication facts

·         Variety of strategies taught and utilized to meet individuals’ learning styles

·         Math Explorations within the journals incorporate problem-solving strategies

·         Logic Problems

 

SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES

·        Internet web hunts used to give students opportunities to learn from variety of sources as well as gain knowledge of how to search the Web for information

·        Power Point presentations created on topic of interest within the curriculum

·        Science Experiments and projects used to enhance hands-on learning activities and individual learning styles

·        Various assignments: interviews, 3D models, speech projects and relief maps

·        Field trips, planned to enhance our curriculum, such as our annual trip to the Capitol and Historical Museum in Lansing

·        Research, write and create visuals about a student-selected activity comparing a State within the Great Lakes Region to a State in the Southwest Region

·        Junior Achievement:  learning about natural, capital and human resources

·        Students create their own businesses utilizing strategies and skills such as economic principles, cooperative teamwork, problem-solving issues and time management

·        Technology is used to enhance research-created topics of interest within curriculum

·        Portfolios kept all year and sent home in June so students have a year-long representation of their work; shows growth over time and makes a nice keepsake;  shared with parents at conferences

·        Technology education project