PS/IS 276 Curriculum
Children are the center of all our decisions and actions. In everything we do, we reflect on how we can best teach each child. All children need different kinds of acceleration and support that can be thoughtfully provided in a "general" education classroom. Using a workshop model approach to teaching allows teachers to monitor and plan instruction for children at multiple ability levels. We build small group work and independent study into the curriculum and provide students with multiple ways to engage in the content they are learning and to practice the skills they are acquiring.
At PS/IS 276 we believe that literacy involves a complex set of processes that we use to understand our world and to communicate our thinking across content areas through oral and written language and, at times, other media as well. Being literate also means being informed
Our goal is to help our students build a solid foundation of conceptual knowledge and the process skills needed to use mathematics effectively. We use a variety of assessment tools to understand student learning and then draw upon multiple resources to help our students attain the mathematical knowledge they need in each grade to be successful in future years. We recognize that not all children learn the same way and at the same pace so teachers draw upon a range of tools to help all students achieve grade-level benchmarks and beyond as appropriate.
At PS/IS 276 we support curiosity about the world as we teach science skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking. We use the city and state requirements for science as well as national science standards to teach content (the ideas and information in science) and the process (the scientific habits of mind) of science. Whenever possible, we will be working with science experts to help us craft learning experiences that nurture critical and investigative habits of mind as well as build the content needed for future science learning. All science learning at our school begins with hands-on experiences including observations, experiments, and field trips, that are enriched through reading literature on the topic.
Social Studies Curriculum
In social studies, we examine a variety of primary sources including artifacts, images, and texts. An emphasis in all of our social studies work is to learn from multiple sources of information. We also work to create links between geography, history, and cultural studies. While the bulk of the recommended curriculum sequence in New York State focuses on local and US history, we also nurture a larger global perspective. We feel strongly that our students should develop a sense of the diversity and interconnectedness of the larger world.
Field experiences are an integral part of both science and social studies. New York City offers a wealth of opportunities for site-based learning -- from museums and zoos to parks and other science and cultural institutions -- that we take advantage of.
We are proud to offer a strong Spanish language program for our students. Spanish is one of the top six languages of the world and is an integral language of communication at the UN.
The curriculum is integrated with classroom studies and spirals through fifth grade. Starting in first grade, students in elementary school have Spanish twice a week where they learn Spanish as a foreign language. We continue our study of Spanish as a foreign language in middle school. All sixth and seventh grades are programmed to take Spanish. In eighth grade, students can opt to take Advanced Spanish which culminates in the NYCDOE high school Spanish proficiency exam. This allows students to test out of Spanish 1 in high school.
Our building has two dedicated art rooms. Students have art with an art teacher each week. They work in a variety of media and create two and three-dimensional artworks. Art history and art appreciation are important parts of our art curriculum. Students study famous artists and their works to learn about line, color, texture, and how to talk about art. They then use this knowledge and these visual images to help them explore art-making on their own. Additionally, the art teacher works with classroom teachers to integrate art into what students are learning in the classroom. In middle school, our curriculum shifts to a more student-directed studio space. Students continue to build artistic skills and concepts and to apply them to the creation of their own work.
Using Orff, Solfege, and other techniques, students learn music skills such as tone, color, and pitch and learn to read music. As in art, the music teacher works with the classroom teacher to integrate music into classroom studies. Our second graders partner with Carnegie Hall on the Musical Explorers program. In third grade, students begin to apply their knowledge of reading music to playing the recorder. Their ensemble work in third grade is built upon in upper grades as students try out different instruments and voice and perform together in band and chorus.
Our school’s library performs many roles in our community. Its repertoire ranges from the more traditional act serving as a place where the pursuit of knowledge and literacy skills/interests are supported, to more trailblazing goals such as serving as a hub for ideation, creation, and invention. We are proud of the FabLab and Maker Space that finds its home in our library where students learn to explore different materials, crafts, woodworking, and technical design (3D printing). Most importantly, we strive for the library to be a safe and welcoming place for all our students.
Our focus as educators is to create a school climate that accommodates and supports each student. As a community, we are interested in the thoughts, ideas and feelings of all community members. We know that in order to secure the safety and learning of all learners, we must teach respect and responsibility through the creation of a climate of trust, responsibility and fairness.
We strongly believe in the importance of developing healthy life habits. These include nurturing enjoyment of physical activity and building teamwork and good sportsmanship. Students have PE every week and recess every day. We have two gyms in our building (a regulation size gym and a small gym) as well as an outdoor play space. We partner with Manhattan Youth for our middle school intermural afterschool sports program. Our students participate in soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, ping pong, track and field, cross country, baseball, and softball.