Stamford American Elementary School Curriculum Guide - page 23

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formal, informal, personal or reflective. It can be informative, persuasive, poetic or in the
form of a story or dialogue.
As motivation and a positive attitude are important factors in learning to read and write, it
is essential that learners view themselves as capable readers and writers, having acquired
a complex set of skills, attitudes, behaviors and expectations related to language.
Visual Communication: Viewing and Presenting
Viewing and presenting are fundamental processes that are powerful and significant in
developing literacy.
Visual images immediately engage viewers, allowing them instant access to data.
Therefore, opportunities are provided to explore the function and construction of images
in order to analyze a wide variety of media. Learning to understand and use different
media expands the sources of information and expressive abilities of students. Presenting
information is an important skill that requires experience and practice.
Language is a major connection between home and school. In the PYP classroom
cooperative activities optimize development of all the languages. Mother tongue
development is actively encouraged and supported.
Language Arts teaching and learning is supplemented by a wide range of materials and
resources including
6 + 1 Traits, Rigby Guided Reading
and
Words Their Way Spelling and
Vocabulary Program
.
Mathematics
Mathematics is not viewed as a fixed body of knowledge to be transmitted, but as a way
of thinking and a language for understanding meaning. To study Mathematics is to inquire
into this language and to learn to think in this way.
Stamford’s Mathematics standards identify the expectations considered essential in our
curriculum. These expectations are arranged into five interwoven strands of knowledge:
• Number
• Pattern and function
• Data handling
• Measurement
• Space and shape
In number and in pattern and function, students inquire into the number system and
its operations, patterns and functions. This is where students become fluent users
of the language of arithmetic as they learn to understand its meanings, symbols and
conventions.
The remaining strands: data handling, measurement and shape and space are the areas
of Mathematics that other disciplines use to research, describe, represent and understand
aspects of their domain. Mathematics provides the models, systems and processes for
handling data, making and comparing measurements, and solving spatial problems.
Cognitive psychologists have described the stages through which children learn
mathematics:
• Constructing meaning
• Transferring meaning into signs and symbols
• Understanding and applying
As they work through these stages, students use certain processes of mathematical
reasoning:
• They use patterns and relationships to analyze the problem situations upon which
they are working
• They make and evaluate their own and each other’s ideas
• They use models, facts, properties and relationships to explain their thinking
• They justify their answers and the processes by which they arrive at solutions
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