K-8 Curriculum Overview
We believe that the foundation of successful schooling is formed during the Kindergarten year through the development of positive attitudes and learning habits. Each child enters Kindergarten with a unique background of experiences. Therefore, the Kindergarten curriculum is designed to support the academic, social, emotional, and physical growth of each student. The instructional program is activity- and language-oriented, providing a secure and accepting environment that motivates each student to use skills when developmentally ready. The enthusiastic teacher plays a key role in providing a variety of experiences designed to nurture and develop each student’s needs and learning styles. School personnel and parents working together will provide for the individual development of the whole child.
District 47’s curriculum has been developed with the support and involvement of all levels of District educational personnel. The new Illinois Learning Standards, which include the Common Core State Standards, provide the framework and are incorporated into all areas of instruction. Teachers use the District’s curriculum guidelines to address state standards according to each student’s individual stages of development. Our teachers value each student’s developmental stage and base instructional decisions and assessment on his or her developmental level. Literacy instruction is cross-curricular and is based on a balanced literacy approach. With our District-developed Units of Study, we focus on foundational skills, literature, informational text, writing, language and speaking/listening skills. Mathematics instruction emphasizes conceptual understanding while building a foundation of basic skills. It focuses on hands-on learning while developing critical-thinking skills. Technology is used as an instructional tool to support and enhance all content areas.
In District 47, middle school includes grades six, seven, and eight. The goal of middle school education is to serve the unique developmental needs of young adolescents, including social, emotional, physical, and academic.
Early adolescence is characterized by dramatic cognitive growth which enables students to think in more abstract and complex ways. The curriculum, exploratory subjects (i.e. foreign language), and extra-curricular activities (sports and clubs) are designed to tap into young adolescents' boundless energy and curiosity. Students learn to understand important concepts, develop essential skills, and apply what they learn to real-world situations.
Middle school students require small learning communities of adults and children in which stable, close, and mutually respectful relationships support students' intellectual and social growth. To that end, our students are grouped in teams where each teacher specializes in one or two subject areas. Students move from class to class throughout the day but each team of teachers is responsible for a limited group of students.