MPCSD Adopted Curriculum and Programs
Math Expressions (MX) - Our K-5 adopted math program is Math Expressions by Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt. Through drawings, conceptual language, inquiry, and real-world examples, MX helps students make sense of mathematics. Math Expressions includes an online component called Personal Math Trainer which teachers may use to supplement instruction in the classroom.
Math Expressions author, Dr. Karen Fuson, is Professor Emerita of Learning Sciences for the School of Education and Social Policy, as well as the Department of Psychology, at Northwestern University. Dr. Fuson's research is highly regarded in the field of elementary mathematics for her involvement in the Common Core and the Common Core Learning Progressions and notably for spearheading the Children's Math Worlds (CMW) Research Project, a 10-year study of how to effectively teach students math from an early age.
Big Ideas - Our middle school math program is Big Ideas by Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell. The program balances conceptual understanding with procedural fluency, as research shows that students benefit from equal exposure to discovery learning and scaffolded instruction. This program provides students with the opportunity to explore, question, explain and persevere as they seek to answer Essential Questions that encourage abstract thought. Real-life applications are utilized throughout the program and the Mathematical Practices are woven into every chapter. The lessons in Big Ideas give students the opportunity to develop procedural fluency and to use clear, precise mathematical language. These lessons also give teachers opportunities to use class discussion, flexible grouping, and other delivery methods in their classrooms.
DreamBox - MPCSD students and teachers K-5 have Dreambox accounts to support personalization and student learning in the classroom and at home. Dreambox is available in English and Spanish and is an adaptive, game-like environment that provides teachers with real-time data and provides students with just-right problems.
SVMI - MPCSD is proud to be a member of SVMI, the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative, a comprehensive effort to improve mathematics instruction and student learning. The Initiative is based on high-performance expectations, ongoing professional development, examining student work, and improved math instruction.
5th grade and compacted math classes - MPCSD 5TH GRADE COMMON CORE MATH
- Multiple pieces of student assessment data are considered with respect to 5th-grade math course placement. All 4th-grade students are given an end of year assessment to measure mastery of fourth grade standards in mathematics and the SBAC. These assessments, along with teacher observations, are used to determine course placement.
- Our goal is to provide every child with an engaging, supportive and challenging environment for learning mathematics. There are two possible course options for 5th-grade students: 5th Grade Common Core Math and 5/6A Compacted Common Core Math. Both courses fully cover the depth and rigor of the 5th grade Common Core Standards and demand a disciplined approach to learning both at home and at school. The compacted course includes all of the 5th grade standards and an additional one-third of 6th Grade Common Core State Standards. Students in the 5/6A Compacted Common Core course will be learning and mastering content at an accelerated pace. The pacing and demands of this course will necessitate a heavier homework load.
- Both our 5th grade Common Core and our Compacted Common Core 5/6A course provide students with the opportunity to be on track for graduating high school prepared for college readiness. Regardless of math placement in 5th grade, MPCSD has designed multiple entry points for students at Hillview to either accelerate their learning or continue with the Common Core Mathematics pathway throughout their tenure in middle school.
HILLVIEW MATH PATHWAYS
- CLICK HERE for access to Hillview Middle School Math Pathways and Placement information.
With the Common Core State Standards, the MPCSD Leadership team developed a new model for "compaction" of courses maintaining our past practice of single and double acceleration. "Compaction" is a term we use to explain that students in accelerated classes must address more standards in a shorter time than was intended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Science (this hyperlink goes to the site)
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are designed to provide teachers and students with a new model for science learning. Students will focus less on memorization and more on designing and conducting experiments. Science class will incorporate engineering practices and crosscutting concepts along with the science content. For more information please click here.
Hillview Middle School is currently transitioning all science classes to be NGSS compliant. Currently, the sixth graders have full NGSS curriculum, and seventh and eighth grades are moving to NGSS based on individual units. Science content has moved from some grade levels, and to ensure that all MPCSD graduates have a complete science education, 7th, and 8th grade are in the process of transition while keeping each child's whole science education in mind.
Oak Knoll, Encinal, and Laurel schools are beginning the transition to NGSS. We have a Science Teacher Leader group dedicated to ensuring the model that is chosen for the elementary schools is the best model for our exceptional school sites. We are currently using Mystery Science, FOSS, and material from NGSS at NSTA to help guide best practice in our bridge to NGSS.
(Rest of links are on the live site for science)
English Language Arts
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
The mission of TCRWP is to guide children to enjoy reading and writing as they hone their individual literacy skills. The curriculum is research-based with the most current and developed methods for teaching reading and writing. The goals of the TC curriculum are met through working directly with students, teachers, and school leaders. Teachers College believes strongly in the power of choice and a commitment to joyous, purposeful, lifelong literacy. The TCWRP curriculum uses assessments and learning progressions to increase students’ progress and is adaptable to each student’s literacy needs.
The MPCSD elementary schools have been actively involved with TCWRP for the last six years. We have sent several teachers to New York for week-long intensive training in reading and writing. MPCSD has been offering summer homegrown institutes led by TCRWP staff developers. We have also had onsite coaching in various capacities for the last six years. This year each elementary site will have ten days of onsite coaching as well as continual support from MPCSD’s ELA TOSA.
Words Their Way
Words Their Way is a developmental phonics, spelling, and vocabulary program. It is meant to be a part of a balanced literacy plan which includes fluency, comprehension, and writing. It is intended to be an open-ended individual process which is guided by assessments. Words Their Way focuses on patterns and rules so that students’ understandings and knowledge of these patterns are transferable to their reading and writing. Words Their Way is based on the belief that if students can learn the correct phonetic awareness, vocabulary, and spelling patterns and rules, they can use this in their authentic reading and writing. “Becoming fully literate is absolutely dependent on fast, accurate recognition of words and their meanings in texts and fast, accurate production of words in writing so that readers and writers can focus their attention on making meaning. Understanding of phonics and spelling patterns, high-frequency word recognition, decoding strategies, and insight into word meanings are among the attributes that form the basis of written word knowledge” (Words Their Way, p. 3). The words study time is spent constructing students’ own knowledge of spelling patterns through word sorts, word hunts, and games. Students have chances to work individually, with partners, and with small groups.
At MPCSD we have adopted Words Their Way for our Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students. In Kindergarten and First grade, word study curriculum will be a mix of Words Their Way and Fountas and Pinnell. In 2nd through 5th grade, word study curriculum will come from Words Their Way and Vocabulary Their Way.
Fountas and Pinnell Word Study System
Through the Fountas and Pinnell Word Study System, students will experience a systematic exploration of letters, sounds, and words. They will also learn how oral and written language “work.” This system provides a comprehensive map of the knowledge students develop on their way to becoming word solvers and readers and writers. Students learn the literacy behaviors and decision-making skills to become effective readers and writers. This word study system includes the nine areas of learning for letters, sounds, and words that children develop over time:
- Early Literacy Concepts
- Phonological Awareness
- Letter Knowledge
- Letter-Sound Relationships
- Spelling Patterns
- High-Frequency Words
- Word Meaning/Vocabulary
- Word Structure
- Word-Solving Actions
Six Plus One Traits of Writing
The Six Plus One Traits teaches writing by focusing on Voice, Ideas, Presentation, Conventions, Organization, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency. This a way of modeling, teaching, and assessing the instruction of writing. The program creates a common vocabulary for teachers to use while guiding students through the writing process. It develops consistency amongst the middle school grades and allows students to focus on one or more elements of writing at a time. Six Plus One Traits also prioritizes feedback and assessment for student writing. The “Plus One” is the presentation of writing that students are also encouraged to think about.
“The new Framework emphasizes the development of student content knowledge, discipline-specific inquiry, student literacy, and citizenship. In the grade-level course descriptions, for example, content is organized around student-centered questions of significance and includes discipline-specific support for student reading, writing, and oral discourse, aligned to the ELD standards. For more details on each of these areas, check out our “Shifting Instruction” blog.” The California History and Social Science Project
Simply put, the new Framework is vastly different from previous versions, and it offers both a conceptual model and concrete examples to help your students. Here’s what you need to know:
Discipline-Specific Inquiry. Like the Common Core State Standards and C3 Framework, the new Framework encourages teachers to organize their instruction around questions of significance for students to explore and, after analyzing relevant evidence, develop their own interpretations. By employing disciplinary tools to deepen content knowledge, student critical thinking and literacy will also be improved. Like the ELA/ELD Framework, the new HSS Framework includes a variety of grade-level specific classroom examples to support student inquiry.
- Expanded Content. As many have rightly pointed out, the new Framework is a lot longer than it has been in the past. One main reason for this is that there is substantially more content in this version. For example, content was added on a variety of different topics in response to recent legislation (such as the FAIR Act), to incorporate the latest historiography (such as a more connected and less regional approach to world history), and to integrate public comment (such as an expanded section on Korean Comfort Women).
- Student Literacy. In order to understand and be successful in their study of history, geography, economics, and government, students must be able to comprehend what they read, write clearly and persuasively, and communicate with each other and adults. These disciplinary demands align with the literacy expectations outlined in the Common Core and English Language Development Standards, and the new Framework offers strategies to integrate content and literacy instruction. For example, in the 8th Grade chapter on nineteenth-century U.S. History, there is a detailed example of how history and ELD teachers can work together to examine the writing of Frederick Douglass to both better understand the abolitionist movement and improve student reading comprehension.
- Citizenship. Although previous iterations of the Framework also included significant attention to developing student understanding of our democratic system of governance, this version extends that work by offering concrete examples of how schools can teach how our government works, as well as support student participation in civic discourse and promote public service. The Framework provides opportunities for students to marshal the lessons they’ve learned in history-social science classes to improve their local communities. In the 4th grade chapter, for example, students explore primary sources on a variety of Californians in order to develop their own answer to the question, “How did this person contribute to the state?”
In MPCSD, teachers integrate educational technology tools and programs to enhance and deepen student learning at all grade levels and in all subject areas. Our teachers also use Common Sense Media’s digital citizenship lessons to empower our students to be safe and responsible digital citizens as they use these tools at school and at home.
Our K-5 classrooms use iPads, Chromebooks, and/or laptops to engage students in tasks that deepen critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication in their core academic work. Our middle school is a 1:1 iPad school, with students using digital tools on their iPads to manage their own learning, complete assignments, collaborate with peers and track progress. Our teachers also tap into technology tools to personalize learning and better meet the needs of each child.
Data and Assessments
Illuminate Education data platform allows teachers and administrators to make data-informed instruction a reality. For the first time, we are able to utilize students’ achievement data in real time across the district. This real-time data allows us to monitor growth over time for individuals, deduce trends across schools, and district-wide to accelerate the learning of all students and close achievement gaps. MPCSD users can access Illuminate here to enter student data, deliver assessment, or view achievement reports. The Illuminate Dashboard contains several favorites to popular assessments and screencast tutorials for data entry.
Evidence-Based Progress Report
MPCSD utilizes evidence-based progress reports to communicate to families what students know and are able to do each trimester. Progress is reported against key grade-level learning targets and expectations instead of a single letter grade for an entire subject area. Students in grade Kinder through fifth receive a score based on a four-point scale, where 3 indicates that the grade level expectation is met. This system helps provide a greater level of detail for parents and students regarding the student's progress. To support students through vertical alignment, no letter grades are given in grades K-5.
While grades K-3 have been using standards-based reporting for several years, this model has been newly adopted for implementation at the fourth and fifth-grade levels. The design of the 4th and 5th-grade progress report was guided by international experts, based on accepted best-practices in assessment, and is the result of two years of extensive research and thoughtful planning by teachers and administrators. In 2016-2017 a team of fourth and fifth-grade teacher representatives piloted the standards-based progress report. The team received extremely positive feedback from a vast majority of parents, students, teachers, and administrators. As a result, in 2017-2018 the progress report use was implemented district-wide.
Research shows that students learn more effectively with evidence-based feedback and standards-based grading. Sound grading practices associated with evidence-based grades and reporting eliminate compliance grades and focus on students’ ability to perform against grade level standards. This work is consistent with the growth mindset philosophy embraced by MPCSD community. Click here to review the Parent Guides K-3 & 4-5, progress reports, and FAQs.
Illuminate Progress Report Tutorials
All Kinder through fifth-grade progress reports are constructed in Illuminate. The 2017-2018 academic year marks the first time MPCSD has had progress reports for our Spanish Immersion Program and English K-5. Additionally, all K-5 progress reports are available in Spanish and English!
Using Illuminate for progress reports has many advantages. DRA and SRI scores are automatically fed into the progress report, we can print and access historical reports, and in the future, we can link Gradebooks to automatically populate student grades.
Elementary Benchmark Assessments
MPCSD’s Strategic Directions, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and assessment authorities like Rick Stiggins all call out the inextricable connection between increased student outcomes and a balanced assessment system, effective programming, and strategic teaching. As such, MPCSD is working to construct a balanced assessment system that meets the needs of all stakeholders. (Click here to access the current Assessment Calendar complete with dates and links.) The data collected from these assessments serves multiple purposes and informs instructional decisions at many levels.
Benchmark assessments are administered three times a year in conjunction with the trimester calendar. While these assessments can serve as one data point to help inform progress reports, the primary function of the benchmark assessments is to determine which students are making adequate progress towards the end of year learning targets with enough time to strategically respond and ensure success.
At present, MPCSD measures reading growth using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2) for K-2 students and the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) for 3-5. Writing development is assessed using TCWRP On-Demand writing assessments K-5. Math assessments for elementary grades are under construction with the expectation for full implementation by 2018-2019.
SOCIAL SCIENCE (K-5 2006, 6-8 2018)
REFLECTIONS, CALIFORNIA SERIES
by Hartcourt School Publishers: Social Studies
HISTORY ALIVE! THE ANCIENT WORLD
by Teachers Curriculum Institute
HISTORY ALIVE! THE MEDIEVAL WORLD & BEYOND
by Teachers Curriculum Institute
US HISTORY AMERICAN STORIES: BEGINNINGS TO WW1
by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC-CENGAGE LEARNING
CALIFORNIA MATH EXPRESSIONS
by Houghton Mifflin
BIG IDEAS MATH COMMON CORE ADVANCED 1
by Houghton Mifflin
BIG IDEAS MATH COMMON CORE
by Houghton Mifflin
BIG IDEAS MATH COMMON CORE ADVANCED 2
by Houghton Mifflin
ALGEBRA 1: BIG IDEAS MATH COMMON CORE ALGEBRA 1 - HS
by Houghton Mifflin
GEOMETRY: DISCOVERING GEOMETRY
by Key Curriculum Press
Readers and Writers Workshop (2016)
Teacher's College, Columbia University
Words Their Way (2017)
Fountas and Pinnell Word Study (2017)
by Committee for Children
SKILLS FOR GROWING
SKILLS FOR ADOLESCENCE
ML EN ESPANOL! LEVEL 1A, 1B, 1 & 2 (2004)
by McDougal Littell
BIEN DIT! 1A, 1B, 1 & 2 (2017)
by Houghton Mifflin
SCIENCE (K-8 2007)
WOOD 7 PAPER
SOLIDS & LIQUIDS
PLANTS & ANIMALS
AIR & WEATHER
PEBBLES, SAND & SILT
BALANCE & MOTION
INSECTS & PLANTS
STRUCTURES OF LIFE
SUN, MOON & STARS
MATTER & ENERGY
MAGNETISM & ELECTRICITY
MIXTURES & SOLUTIONS
SCIENCE EXPLORER: FOCUS ON EARTH SCIENCE
by Pearson Prentice Hall
SCIENCE EXPLORER: FOCUS ON LIFE SCIENCE
by Pearson Prentice Hall
SCIENCE EXPLORER: FOCUS ON PHYSICAL SCIENCE
by Pearson Prentice Hall
English 3D (2016)
by Houghton Mifflin