Curriculum: Grades K-4
Collegium Charter School’s curriculum adheres to the PA Core Standards and the PA Academic Standards. Our goal is to increase student achievement through collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. Collegium offers a challenging and comprehensive curriculum in the core providing a rigorous and relevant educational foundation for all learners. CCS possesses an unwavering commitment to a diverse learning experience for all learners through the courses we offer beyond our core content. These include the Arts, Spanish Language, Music, Physical Education/Health, Technology, and STEM-based Innovation Labs. We focus on providing excellent academic opportunities that are balanced with special area disciplines.
English Language Arts: Grades K-2
Collegium’s EL Education Language Arts curriculum prides itself on building each student’s capacity for three dimensions of high achievement: mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality work. EL Education’s vision for public school is a place where students of all backgrounds and identities have the power to exceed the highest standards—as scholars and as community members.
The curriculum is broken up into four modules that last approximately 6-8 weeks long. Each module consists of two one-hour blocks of content-based literacy (Module Lessons and K-2 Labs) and the third hour of structured phonics (K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block). Together, these three hours of curriculum teach and formally assess all strands of the Language Arts standards for each grade level. Students get to dive deep into real-world cross-curricular content related to social studies and science using rich quality fiction and non-fiction text.
- Balanced literacy approach- this curriculum provides phonics, comprehension, & writing
- A “language dive” to analyze new vocabulary is always offered
- Skills block that can be differentiated by spelling microphases to apply in small groups
- Many opportunities to make connections (Text to self, world, text)
- Focus on communication skills (Speaking, listening)
- Caters to all types of learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
- Multi-sensory including songs, movement, and opportunities for deeper discussions
- Sets routines for more meaningful connections
- Intervention time to enrich and remediate
- Hands-on labs to extend the learning experience
- Assessments that allow for teachers to consistently check in on student growth
- “Habits of Character” are directly taught to help students develop good learning habits.
- Total participation techniques are used to engage all students
- Each module sets a clear purpose for learning with daily learning targets shared with the children
- Equity, every child gets what they need alongside access to high-level curriculum
English Language Arts: Grades 3 and 4
Collegium uses the EL Ed ELA curriculum which allows for student interactions with the text and peers during Modules. Third and fourth grade easily make connections to real-life situations and family cultural connections through literacy analysis. With increased leadership opportunities, students communicate and collaborate with their peers, assist younger students, and participate in building-wide events. They all take part in numerous critical thinking projects that are student-driven. Our students explore real-world content while building their habits of character. They explore creative thinking strategies while collaborating and constructing new ideas. Students move away from Skills Block and into All Block which allows students to reflect and grow collaboratively and independently with their learning.
- Encouraging student-led discussion and collaboration
- Small group work with differentiation
- Rigorous activities with compelling real-world content
- Growth mindset and building grit
- Cross-curricular with Social Studies and Science
- Equal access to grade level materials
- Project-based learning through peer collaboration
- Technology-based literacy instruction for 21st-century learning
- Teaching equity through diverse literacy
- Common core aligned assessments
- Vertically aligned content that builds from grade level to grade level
- Collaboration and communication with peers
- Develop positive character and ethics through Social-Emotional learning
- Repetitive guiding questions and learning targets
Math: Grades K-2
Numbers should add up to more than a right answer. They should inspire aha moments and joyful connections. That’s why Eureka Math is the most widely used mathematics program in the United States and is used right here at Collegium. Our revolutionized math education is setting a new standard for rigor, coherence, and focus in the classroom so students gain a deeper understanding of the why behind the numbers, all while making math more enjoyable to learn and teach. Collegium has taken Eureka and implements it using the Math Workshop model to meet the needs of all learners. Our universal screeners then assist with using data to know how to individualize instruction for each and every student.
- Spiral curriculum (everything circles back)
- Rigorous instruction with opportunities for the students to think critically
- Built-in differentiated instruction to meet student needs
- Focus on key concepts that build over time
- Flexible grouping used to meet the needs of each child. Kids can move between groups within a module as needed. There is no need to wait until the end of a module.
- Math workshop model allows for collaboration between students
- Math workshop model allows for students to explore math ideas as learning
- Hands-on use of math manipulatives
- Daily fluency activities using both hands-on activities and paper/pencil practice
- Higher-order thinking
- Many strategies for solving math problems
- Daily self-reflection on work
- Quick checks for understanding using exit tickets
- Concrete, pictorial, abstract progression
- Incorporates word problems each day
Math: Grades 3 and 4
Collegium’s Eureka Math Program implemented through the Math Workshop model, allows for us to provide a plethora of strategies that students can use to solve various math problems and select the strategies that better suit their needs. We incorporate all different kinds of learning and multiple intelligences during each lesson with a focus on mathematical practices. Encouraging a lot of interactions and making connections to Real World and Career guided use, increases our students’ understanding of how math applies to them. We utilize Math Talks/Talk Moves to build conversations and build upon an understanding of strategies. Each teacher provides differentiated instruction/high interest/interactive activities and games to scaffold learning.
- Integrated technology
- Rigorous activities
- Parental Resources/Involvement – aid support at home
- Enhances student agency – student-centered learning
- Student Collaboration with reasoning and multiple intelligences
- Carefully sequenced mathematical progressions building on concepts
- In-depth Professional development, learning materials, and a community of support continues to grow our staff in their craft of instruction
- Create student Mathematicians
- Differentiated activities meet the various student needs through a workshop model with small group instruction
- Intervention time, in addition to regular Math class, provides additional review, reinforcement, and enrichment to our students
- Students are assessed formatively and summatively frequently and flexible groups are created based on student abilities
- Collegium teacher-designed common core aligned assessments
- Assessments and programming annually adjusted based on student performance and data collection
Our Science program in K-4 fosters student engagement through real-life experiences and experiments. Created by National Geographic, each year students are exposed to Concepts of Life, Physical and Earth and Space Science with vast resources and material in hand to explore each unit. Collegium’s backwards design units end with standards-based common assessments which are annually adjusted based on student performance and data collection.
- Cengage as Core/El Ed as supplement
- Interactive lesson plans and materials for real-world connections
- Allows for discovery within the topics through experiments and leveled reading material
- Encouraging imaginative thinking based in scientific discovery
- Grades 3-4 attend virtual reality field trips
Designed by Collegium, our K-4 Social Studies curriculum was generated with the idea of celebrating cultures and diversity. EL Ed from our core ELA curriculum is also utilized by integrating the two subjects and ensuring we enhance all standards.
- Grade teams make instruction come alive in with hands-on project-based learning
- Opportunities for students to learn from each other with equity and justice in the forefront
- Collegium teacher-designed common assessments and common core concept
Courses Beyond Core
The Spanish Department strives to inspire every child to learn a second language and prepare them to start a journey as long-lasting learners of Spanish. We want to prepare each student for a better future as they use language to become active citizens in their careers, communities, and future endeavors.
- Students do Circle Time, Story Time, Art Time, and Portfolio Activities. Language concepts are introduced in Circle Time—all in Spanish—through songs, games, and lesson activities.
- In Story Time the teacher reads an authentic children’s Spanish storybook—engaging students’ imagination and reinforcing language concepts.
- In Art Time students complete an art project which gives them a hands-on, practical application of language concepts. During Art Time the teacher engages students one-on-one and converses with them in Spanish about what they’re working on—further reinforcing language concepts.
- Students then practice language concepts and independent reading and writing with the portfolio activities.
STEM Innovation Lab
We are the only public school offering weekly STEM for grades K-4 throughout Chester County!!! Technology is all around us. Students will work as individuals and as groups to experience ways in which technological knowledge and processes contribute to effective designs and solutions to technological problems. These strategies will be intertwined with our STEM program addressing all ISTE standards.
STEM education at Collegium Charter School provides learning experiences where academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons in which students can apply concepts learned in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to the world around them. We remove the barriers of race and gender to provide students with equal opportunities for learning in these subject areas. Through their experiences, students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills which they can apply to any occupation they choose.
Art is an opportunity for self-expression, development of multiple abilities, decision-making, risk-taking, and inventiveness. Art activities are designed to boost creativity and encourage all students to open up their imaginations and explore how art can enrich their lives and help them make connections to the world around them in a fun and relaxing environment.
At Collegium, we value music because it is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change and impact the way children feel, think and act. We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious music curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, that ignites curiosity and prepares students for future learning and life skills.
Our Physical Education as well as our Health curriculum are standards aligned which provides continuous student growth within each grade level. Students will be introduced to team oriented activities and strategies while maining their awareness of their own physical space. . In addition, critical thinking exercises are incorporated which promote positive outcomes through peer cooperation and communication. Students also learn healthy habits and positive decision making to not only improve themselves but the community in which they live.
A 2011 meta-analysis found that students participating in SEL programs showed significant gains in social-emotional skills, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as academic achievement. Since social-emotional learning (SEL) is recognized as a key ingredient for school and life success, Collegium ensures that we embed our techniques throughout the entire school day.
Therefore K-4 provides morning Class Circles using a Responsive Classroom format (https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/) approach daily. We then take our lessons from the Second Step (http://www.secondstep.org/) curriculum and embed them throughout the academic day to ensure specific gains produced by SEL programs are intentionally impacting student achievement. Educators at Collegium acknowledge the benefits of SEL in our school and agree that teaching students social-emotional skills is a necessary and valuable component of their education which is why it is also integrated into our school-wide PBIS program.
Furthermore, our English Language Arts program K-4 includes an entire dimension of student achievement with a focus on character. Three areas are consistently addressed and intertwined in their ELA blocks for each and every student.
Work to become effective learners: develop the mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration)
Work to become ethical people: treat others well and stand up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion)
Contribute to a better world: put their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service)
- Class Circles daily
- Responsive Classroom Framework
- Second Step Program lessons
- Mindfulness activities
- Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) for all students
- ELA character education dimension
- EL Ed Science and Social Studies Habits of Character