Language Arts Literacy
The balanced Language Arts Literacy curriculum includes Guided Reading/Literature Study Reading, Self-Selected Reading, Word Study and Writing.
In Guided Reading, teachers select the materials for children to read, along with a purpose for reading that is based on that student’s individual developmental needs. The teacher then guides them to use specific reading strategies for that material and purpose. Teachers provide guidance in a variety of whole class, small group and partner formats. Reading levels are continuously assessed through the administration of the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) and the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI). Materials and resources used include, but are not limited to, Rigby, Wright and Scholastic.
In Literature Study Reading, teachers and students choose novels or trade books which incorporate themes that are included in Social Studies, Character Development and Social Issues. PLC takes a transdisciplinary approach to teaching strategies that enhances reading comprehension. Many of the materials used are Caldecott and Newberry Winners.
Self-Selected Reading, as a component of the balanced literacy program, allows students to make choices about what they want to read. Students are able to choose books on their independent reading level and books that are of interest to them. Opportunities are provided, using a workshop structure, for children to share and respond to what they have read. Teachers conference with students about their books.
In Word Study, students learn to read and spell high-frequency words, and learn the patterns that allow them to decode and spell. Students practice new and old words daily by looking at them, saying them, chanting the letters, writing the words and self-correcting the words with the teacher. This program incorporates portions of the Sitton Program and Patricia Cunningham Big Word Resources. For students in grades 7 and 8, vocabulary development is taught through novel studies.
Writing includes both self-selected writing, in which students choose their topics, and teacher-focused writing, in which students learn how to write particular forms on specific topics. Students practice brainstorming strategies continuously throughout the year. Students are taught to use the writing process to improve their first drafts. All writing occurs during a workshop structure.
Utilizing a diverse combination of pedagogy including a variety of materials and pragmatic instruction. Math at Pineland Learning Center is centered on the individual needs and success of each student through an on-going formative assessment-based approach. Course curricular, New Jersey Student Learning Standards-focused instruction is primarily divided into two distinct intensities for students K-8: Elementary and Middle.
Elementary (Grades K-5): In Elementary Mathematics, students build their understanding of the base ten system and focus on understanding number relationships. They become fluent in writing and renaming numbers in a variety of ways. Students become fluent with single-digit addition and subtraction facts and develop addition and subtraction procedures for two-digit numbers. Students tell time on different types of clocks, as well as identify coins and determine the value of collections of coins. Students make predictions and answer questions about data as they apply their growing understanding of numbers and the operations of addition and subtraction. They understand the process of measuring length and progress from measuring with objects to the more practical skill of measuring length with standard units and tools. During the elementary years, special attention is given to the specific learning needs of individual students. Early intervention is a priority for our youngest students as we focus on the appropriate accommodations and modifications that will most benefit and lead to the social, emotional, and academic success of each child.
Middle (Grades 6-8): Middle school mathematics is based on New Jersey Student Learning Standards. It explores algebraic and geometric concepts utilizing real-world applications to enhance the development of each concept. The curricular algebra strand is the primary focus of these courses and includes topics such as linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of equations, factoring expressions, and the introduction of quadratic functions and their graphs. Students explore the concept of functions and begin their analysis of slope. Within the curricular geometry strand, foundational concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem, distance, and transformations are introduced. Students also investigate probability, proportional reasoning applications, and data analysis within the curricular statistics strand. Pineland Learning Center’s Middle School Mathematics offers students the opportunity to explore intricate and involved mathematical concepts by adapting each lesson to the needs of the learner utilizing real-world hands on experiences. Discussions are rooted in prior knowledge and modified in a way that builds upon the confidence of each student.
Science (Grades K-8)
Science is an enterprise made active by our human capacity to think. Students’ scientific knowledge advances when they observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate new information into an established order. Thus, the scientific enterprise is both what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process). The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. At Pineland Learning Center, we utilize hands-on learning experiences and pedagogical materials such as the TCI program, created to engage students in the scientific process as they explore the natural world around them. Students learn new concepts and develop critical thinking skills through our hands-on, active learning program, which is experiment and experience based. Modules aligned with life science, physical science, earth science, scientific reasoning and technology, and earth and space science are combined at Pineland Learning Center to create an engaging, motivating STEM infused program for all K-8 students.
PLC utilizes the Social Studies Alive! Program for Kindergarten to grade 4, and the History Alive! Program for grades 5 to 8. The units of study include: Me and My World, My School and Family, My Community, My Community and Beyond, Regions of Our Country, America’s Past, and Ancient World, as developed by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. This program is interactive and includes multiple intelligence teaching strategies and assessments. Learn more at www.teachtci.com.