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Elementary

The Unionville Chadds-Ford School District is dedicated to implementing a challenging curriculum that supports the district mission and the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.  The best practices and current philosophies of each discipline have been carefully studied by teams of experienced teachers and administrators in order to develop curricular creativity and examine  understandings.  In addition to the study of literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies, elementary students enjoy art, music, physical education, and technology classes.

Instructional methods are designed to acknowledge and appreciate the diverse interests, abilities and learning styles of the young learners in our program.

Subject Areas

Art

The Unionville-Chadds Ford Elementary Visual Arts Curriculum is designed to address Pennsylvania Academic Standards and scaffolds knowledge from grade to grade. The program strives to educate our students in developing a lifelong interest in the visual arts. The foundation of our students’ art education involves participation in creative learning experiences, exposure to cultures, time periods and various art styles. The students will also gain knowledge of how to work with various art media. This curriculum emphasizes creativity, enjoyment and exploration. Preparing children with a well-rounded background and general understanding of fine art in the world around them is the goal of the curriculum.

Through each year of the elementary visual art curriculum, students will build upon their knowledge of the elements and principles of design as well as specific techniques. Projects are designed to strengthen learning across all subject areas. The visual art curriculum will help develop our students’ observational skills, critical thinking, cooperative learning and their ability to approach problems from different perspectives. The program will cultivate creativity and discipline. Success in the visual arts program will lead to greater risk-taking in other subject areas and will help our students build self-esteem that will stimulate and facilitate academic learning.

Health & PE

As Health and Physical Education teachers, our philosophy is to introduce students to the positive aspects of fitness and health so they will become active for a lifetime.

Physical Education

In the Unionville-Chards Ford School District, we believe that the elementary years are a time for experimentation, discovery, and decision-making. Since students will come to class with various abilities, interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses, as teachers, one challenge is to provide every student with activities that will be developmentally appropriate to ensure success.  A safe environment is also essential.  Students will feel that it is all right to make mistakes and try new challenges.  UCFSD Elementary Physical Education programs are partners in the students’ overall education process. 

Over the course of the school year, students will meet two days out of the six day cycle for Physical Education class.  The programs administered are based on the Pennsylvania State Standards and developmental goals and practices.  Our programs are child-centered, success orientated, worthwhile, exciting and fun!

Health

The goal of the UCFSD Elementary Health curriculum is to build students' knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about staying healthy. Students attend Health class as a special area subject once a cycle in grades three, four and five. Topics are aligned with PA Academic Standards and are designed to help students learn about their bodies and develop skills they will use to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime. UCFSD Elementary Health education provides skills-focused instruction that follows a comprehensive, sequential, developmentally appropriate Health education curriculum.

Delivery of lesson content relies heavily on a variety of technologies. Lesson presentations are digitally displayed, rich in multi-media. Many of the units are reinforced and assessed utilizing self-paced instruction in a computer lab environment.

Language Arts

Reading Wonders, published by McGraw Hill Education provides the foundation of our Language Arts program. Wonders is filled with exemplars, award-winners, and other high-interest literary and informational texts that range across many genres, eras, and cultures. As students engage with the Essential Questions, they’re gaining access to complex texts, collaborating with their peers, and becoming accomplished at writing to sources

Library

The Unionville-Chadds Ford Elementary Library program operates in four schools and is a combination of a Fixed Schedule and a Flexible Schedule.  The libraries and their resources are available to students every school day.

Kindergarten through 2nd grade has a fixed class during the 6-day cycle, which is used for literature experiences, information literacy skills and checkout.  These classes may also use the library during open slots for flexible scheduling needs. Classroom teachers have prep time during these classes.

Grades 3-5 have a scheduled checkout period during the 6-day cycle, but information literacy classes and literature experiences are scheduled by the librarian and teacher to meet the needs of the classroom, students. and curriculum.  The librarian is responsible for teaching the information literacy curriculum during classes scheduled in conjunction with the classroom teachers, which may be part of curricular projects.  Each of the 3-5 classrooms completes several shared projects with the library.  Classroom teachers stay with their classes during these lessons: these are not part of their prep time.

The curriculum for the elementary school incorporates literature and information literacy skills, which are based on the Big 6 information literacy model and the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.  Skills are distributed across the grade levels on a scope and sequence document, but the librarian has a good deal of flexibility in choosing how to present material and which literature experiences they choose for each level.  Librarians may work with individuals, small groups or whole classes during a flex-scheduled day.

The elementary library program seeks to develop in students, lifelong learning skills and a love for literature, as well as prepare students to be responsible digital citizens.

Math

The Elementary Math Curriculum is Based on Math In Focus

Why Math in Focus?
 
●      All students are challenged with an increased emphasis on problem solving and thinking skills.
 
●      Math in Focus-Singapore Math has the resources needed to prepare our students to excel in math with the new Pennsylvania Core Standards' expectations.
 
●      Instruction is highly focused and involve more concrete experiences at all levels.
 
●      Students are challenged to solve very difficult problems, requiring them to apply their math skills in novel ways.
 
●      Problem solving and application are well balanced with skill development as basic skills fundamental are emphasized throughout the curriculum.
 
●      This curriculum prepares our students for Algebra when they are ready to take it.
 
●      Singapore students excel in math with this curriculum as measured by international benchmarks.

Music

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Elementary Music Curriculum is designed to align with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities and the Core Standards requirements.  This curriculum meets the developmental needs of Unionville-Chadds Ford students.  All students participate in hands-on experiences through the Orff-Schulwerk methodology.  Students are exposed to music in different cultures, time periods, styles, and languages where they can make connections to the world around them. 

This curriculum accentuates creative learning with a strong foundation in music history and music theory techniques.  It fosters student enthusiasm for music education.  Each step in a student’s progression through elementary school builds upon previous learned materials in a scaffolding manner.  The study of music enhances student growth in many subject areas.  Most recently music technology integration as been introduced at all grade levels. 

Uniquely, all elementary students in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District have an opportunity to perform two times a year.  Third grade students begin a recorder program as a foundation for the elementary instrumental program.  This instrument is used as a teaching tool for basic theory and assists students in making an educated choice in an instrument selection for fourth and fifth grade.  The elementary instrumental curriculum is a comprehensive program that fosters a foundation for the 4-12 instrumental program.  Elementary instrumental students perform challenging pieces from many genres.

Science

The Science curriculum reflects an inquiry-based approach to understanding scientific concepts and methodologies.

Instructional Materials:
Science and Technology for Children
- Scott Foresman Science Resources

Social Studies

The Social Studies Curriculum prepares students to understand the forces that shape the communities, the culture and government both in our country and in the world.

Instructional Materials:
Scott Foresman Social Studies ©2011:
A Social Studies Curriculum by Pearson

Technology

The Elementary IT program focuses on the key skills needed for our students to succeed in today’s technology driven society.  The Technology program is aligned with the Pennsylvania Science and Technology Standards and the National Educational Technology Standards.   The lessons and activities for  K through 5 are developed to enhance student technology concepts and abilities using scaffolding methods and techniques.  Our core curriculum is based around the key areas of Computer Operations and Parts, Word Processing, Mulit-Media Presentations, Internet Use and Safety, and the use of Curriculum Related Software.  These areas provide students with a firm foundation, which is evident in technology projects completed in and out of their classrooms.  Students gain valuable hands on experience using the latest technology, which they can apply to their daily lives.  The skills and concepts learned through the UCFSD Elementary Instructional Technology program foster problem solving and real world skills, which help prepare them for this digital age.

Title 1 Reading Program

All students in the four elementary schools across the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District participate in district-wide screenings to determine their literacy skill levels.  K-2 screenings are completed three times per year using DIBELS* and grades 3-5 screenings are completed twice yearly using the GRADE+.  Children qualify to participate in the district’s Title 1 Reading Support Program based on the results of these screenings and additional assessments. 

Title 1 Reading Support is offered as a supplement to the existing literacy program.  Its purpose is to help students learn reading skills and develop strategies to become independent readers.  In the reading support program, students receive small group instruction focused on reading foundations with a highly qualified reading specialist.  This support does not take the place of classroom reading instruction, but reinforces and supports the existing reading program.

* DIBELS = Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
+ GRADE = Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation