Language Arts and Mathematics: USA Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
Language Arts or the Art of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking is instructed through a balanced literacy approach. Reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling, word study, and handwriting are studied in an integrated style through use of a variety of quality literature. Students work with leveled texts and learn to decode, develop comprehension strategies, and increase their independent reading level at an increasing degree of complexity. Students also focus on non-fiction texts as they acquire the skills to interpret information, research, and question material presented. Writing is focused on engaging students in meaningful context for the purpose of communicating their ideas on paper. Students are guided through modeling, reflecting on model examples, sharing their own work and peer editing the work of others. The 6 +1 Traits provides a consistent framework for student understanding of what good writing looks like through focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation. Students are encouraged to publish their written work in various formats for the genre produced.
Students study mathematics through a focus on the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practices. The practice of ‘Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them’ as well as ‘Attend to precision’ are consistently emphasized as applicable to all areas of mathematical study. Students engage in critical thinking as they ‘Reason abstractly and quantitatively’ and ‘Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others’. Problem solving involves the 'Use of appropriate tools strategically’ and ‘Model with mathematics’. Strategic thinking also requires that students ‘Look for and make use of structure’ while ‘Expressing regularity in repeated reasoning’. These Eight Mathematical Practices, along with the development of the four learner outcomes, forms the backbone for the mathematics curriculum. Students learn through direct instruction, fluency practice, games, math investigations, and collaboration. Study in mathematics requires student generated problems, modeling with manipulatives, group investigations, and classroom discussion. The Common Core Curriculum emphasizes a firm foundation and fluency in addition and subtraction before formalizing the algorithms for multiplication and division. Rational number study follows multiplication and division fluency as students are prepared to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. Measurement, Data, Geometry, Algebraic Thinking, Statistics and Probability are integrated into each grade level with various emphasis.
Science: Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
The Next Generation Science Standards deliver science as both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model and theory building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge. It presents three dimensions that will be combined to form each standard:
Dimension 1: Practices
The practices describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories about the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.
Scientific inquiry involves the formulation of a question that can be answered through investigation, while engineering design involves the formulation of a problem that can be solved through design.
Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts
Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science. They include: Patterns, similarity, and diversity; Cause and effect; Scale, proportion and quantity; Systems and system models; Energy and matter; Structure and function; Stability and change. The Framework emphasizes that these concepts need to be made explicit for students because they provide an organizational schema for interrelating knowledge from various science fields into a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world.
Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas
Disciplinary ideas are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Social Studies: College, Career & Civic Life (C3 Framework)
The goal of social studies education is to develop responsible, informed, and engaged citizens to foster civic, global, historical, geographic, and economic literacy. RAS focuses on content relevant to the region.
NOW MORE THAN EVER, students need the intellectual power to recognize societal problems; ask good questions and develop robust investigations into them; consider possible solutions and consequences; separate evidence-based claims from parochial opinions; and communicate and act upon what they learn. And most importantly, they must possess the capability and commitment to repeat that process as long as is necessary. Young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college, career, and civic life.
Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries - by focusing on inquiry, the standards framework emphasizes the disciplinary concepts and practices that support students as they develop the capacity to know, analyze, explain, and argue about interdisciplinary challenges in our social world.
Applying Disciplinary Concepts and Tools - Young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college career and civic life.
Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence - Helping Students develop a capacity for gathering and evaluating sources and then using evidence in disciplilnary ways
Communicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action - Engagement in civic life requires knowledge and experience; children learn to be citizens by working individually and together as citizens. Active and responsible citizens identify and analyze public problems; deliberate with other people about how to define and address issues; take constructive, collaborative action; reflect on their actions; create and sustain groups; and influence institutions both large and small.
Alignment with Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core State Standards
Reflecting the shared responsibility for literacy learning put forward by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects the C3 Framework fully incorporates and extends the expectations from the Common Core State Standards.
The C3 Framework also recognizes the importance of literacy within the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and acknowledges mathematical practices as they apply to social studies inquiry
World Languages: American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) - Thai & Mandarin
The World Languages currently instructed at RAS include Thai and Mandarin. Communities, Connections, Cultures, Comparisons, and Communication are the focus of the language units. Students do not have to have a prior level of language for study in the World Language Class during the school day. RAS does not yet conduct native level language classes for student’s whose mother tongue is Mandarin or Bahasa Malayu. As RAS develops our World Language program will evolve to include native level classes.
English Language Acquisition: English Language Learner Immersion (WIDA)
English Language Learner (ELL)
WIDA Standards draw on multiple theories and approaches in an effort to describe language use in academic contexts; this is the language that language learners must acquire and negotiate to participate successfully in school.
Language is organized around its communicative purpose.
Language is used within a communicative context.
Language development occurs over time and depends on many factors.
The WIDA Standards are a framework recognizing that second language and literacy skills develop interdependently but at different rates and in different sequences. A variety of individual and environmental factors impact second language acquisition, including age, time in the country, and educational background. Children’s varied experiences and backgrounds in addition to program type, curriculum, and the number and quality of opportunities for learning in and out of school, shape their entry points into language development. Recent research shows that language growth occurs more slowly at intermediate levels of proficiency than at beginning levels.
Arts: National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS)
Imagine - Generate musical ideas for various purposes and contexts.
Plan and Make - Select and develop musical ideas for defined purposes and contexts.
Evaluate and Refine - Evaluate and refine selected musical ideas to create musical work(s) that meet appropriate criteria.
Present - Share creative musical work that conveys intent, demonstrates craftsmanship, and exhibits originality.
Select - Sleect varied musical works to present based on interest, knowledge, technical skill, and context.
Analyze - Analyze the sructure and context of varied musical works and their implications for performance.
Interpret - Develop personal interpretations that consider creators' intent.
Rehearse, Evaluate and Refine - Evaluate and refine personal and ensemble performances, individually or in collaboration with others.
Present - Perform expressively, with appropriate interpretation and technical accuracy, and in a manner appropriate to the audience and context.
Select - Choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context.
Analyze - Analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response.
Interpret - Support interpretations of musical works that reflect creators'/performers' expressive intent.
Evaluate - Support evalusations of musical works and performances based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria.
Connect - Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make music.
Connect - Relate musical ideas and works with varied context to deepen understanding.
Physical Education: National Standards for Physical Education (SHAPE America)
The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.
To pursue a lifetime of healthful physical activity, a physically literate individual:
Has learned the skills necessary to participate in a variety of physical activities.
Knows the implications and the benefits of involvement in various types of physical activities.
Participates regularly in physical activity.
Is physically fit.
Values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.