21st Century education emphasizes students’ education with focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M). Instead of addressing each discipline separately, efforts are being made to highlight the connections among these subject areas and teach in an integrated manner. Approaching these areas through the lens of real world issues would then make the teaching-learning more relevant resulting in improved student motivation and achievement.
In keeping with Al Hammad Academy’s mission and vision, its curriculum is built on STEM literacy towards developing and transferring the learning across disciplines.
Based on Common Core Standards, our English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum offers content area with an integrated approach. Using the skills from reading, writing, speaking and listening from various resources, the students will become independent learners. The program outcomes provide broad standards and the grade –specific standards provide additional specificity. Combining the two would help define skills and understandings for all the students to demonstrate by the end of that grade level. It focuses on the transition from learning to read (in grades K-5) to reading to learn (in grades 6-12). Having been integrated with STEM subjects (more in grade 6 and above), it will prepare students to be proficient in reading and interpreting a variety of informational text across the disciplines independently. Each grade level outcome is a standard and an expectation, not a curriculum.
Demonstrate independence(S) (T) (E) (M)
Build strong content knowledge(S) (T) (E) (M)
Respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose and discipline
Comprehend as well as critique(S) (T) (E) (M)
Value evidence(S) (T) (E) (M)
Use technology and digital media strategically and capably(S) (T) (E) (M)
Come to understanding of other perspectives and cultures
Based on Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCSSM), our Mathematics curriculum offers content area with an integrated approach. Using the National Council of Teaching Mathematics (NCTM) processes of “problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, representation, and connections, coupled with adaptive reasoning, strategic competence, conceptual understanding, procedural, and productive disposition” would help define the essential skills and understandings for all the students to demonstrate by the end of that grade level. The outcomes have a sound correlation with Common Core Standards of English Language Arts and Literacy and Science, Technology and Engineering ensuring a sound knowledge and skill based instruction. Each grade level outcome is a standard and an expectation, not a curriculum.
(S) (T) (E) mentioned where applicable.
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
Reason abstractly and quantitatively (S) (E)
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
Model with mathematics (S) (E)
Use appropriate tools strategically (S) (T) (E)
Attend to precision
Look for and make use of structure
Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) where students develop an understanding in four content areas: Physical Sciences; Life Sciences; Earth and Space Sciences; and Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science. Beginning by recognizing patterns and formulating answers to questions about world around them, to being able to exhibit proficiency in gathering, describing, and using the information thus gathered is the focus of our SCIENCE curriculum. The performance expectations would then help to explain more complex phenomena as they progress to middle and high school.
The NGSS correlate with the Common Core State Standards of English Language Arts and Mathematics (CCSSM) thus allowing the opportunity for science to be an integral part of student’s education. At the same time, it aligns with the pace of learning in all content areas in a consistent manner without outpacing or misaligning the grade-by-grade standards in the CCSS for literacy and the grade-by-grade standards in the CCSSM. Each grade level outcome is a standard and an expectation, not a curriculum.
NGSS has incorporated engagement of students in science and engineering practices and strengthened their understanding of core ideas and interrelationships across grade levels. It will not be taught in isolation. It should be taught within the content area of each discipline, for each grade level.
Following are the 8 practices:
1. Ask questions and define problems
2. Develop and use models
3. Plan and conduct investigations
4. Analyze and interpret data
5. Use mathematical and computational thinking
6. Construct explanations and design solutions
7. Engage in scientific argument from evidence
8. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information
CROSS CUTTING CONCEPTS
The purpose is to help students deepen their understanding of core ideas in following content areas:
1. Physical Sciences
2. Life Sciences
3. Earth and Space Sciences
4. Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science
STRANDS OF PROFICIENCY
Following are the four strands of proficiency that would support students’ learning:
1. Knowing, using, and interpreting scientific explanations of the natural world
2. Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations
3. Understanding the nature and development of scientific knowledge
4. Participating productively in scientific practices and discourse