Curriculum and Instructional Focus

Maury teachers are responsible for designing and implementing learning activities to reinforce and challenge students of varying abilities through small and whole group instruction. They nurture critical thinking, promote the value of personal and civic responsibility, and foster positive social interaction.

In the classroom and special subjects—art, health and physical education, library/media center, music, science, and world language (known as “specials”)—our curriculum offers opportunities to develop positive self-esteem, responsible personal conduct, cooperative citizenship, and an appreciation for our multicultural society.

For Kindergarten through Grade 5, Maury teachers may use different or multiple curriculum models in certain subject areas; all must adhere to the Common Core State Standards or other state-approved standards. In the PK3 and PK4 classes, Creative Curriculum is utilized across the content areas. Curriculum map for the 2017–2018 school year.

Reading

Reading instruction emphasizes the teaching of reading as a thinking process. Therefore, every effort is made to ensure that reading is interwoven into the flow of events throughout the day, in addition to time provided daily for formal reading instruction. All classrooms have a comprehensive classroom library. At Maury, the Reader’s Workshop model (Teachers College, Columbia University) is integrated throughout the curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 5. Both Fundations and Words Their Way emphasize word knowledge. Maury has a reading resource teacher, who will facilitate intervention groups to assist students struggling with reading.

Writing

Maury implements the Writer’s Workshop model (Teachers College, Columbia University). Our teachers devote a minimum of 30–45 minutes, 4–5 times a week (depending on grade levels) to provide instruction in writing. The units of study include the writing of personal narratives, essays, character studies, poetry, and memoirs. The writing block begins with a mini-lesson in which teachers offer ten minutes of direct and explicit instruction. After this, students work in highly structured yet responsive environments to draft and revise their writing in ways that incorporate the instruction they received. Teachers, meanwhile, confer with their students individually and in small groups.

Some of the special events related to reading and writing throughout the year are the Book Character Costume Parade at the end of October, Literacy Night in December, Book Fairs in the Fall and Spring, and the Spelling Bee for Grades 3–5 in January.

Mathematics

The elementary-level mathematics program involves understanding mathematical concepts and structures, learning computation skills, and applying mathematics in real world situations. Maury implements the Singapore Math curriculum, which uses a three-step learning process to teach math concepts: concrete, pictorial, and abstract. In the concrete step, students engage in hands-on learning experiences using concrete objects such as chips, dice, or paper clips. This is followed by drawing pictorial representations of mathematical concepts, like dots, bars, or lines. Students then solve mathematical problems in an abstract way by using numbers and symbols. Maury also uses the Eureka Math curriculum, which presents math in a logical progression from year to year, and is well aligned the Common Core Standards.

In addition, students in Grades 3–5 are encouraged to try out for Mathademics, a fun, team-based competition, that will be held in March.

Social Studies

Adapted from the California and Massachusetts frameworks, the DCPS standards strike a balance between U.S. and world history, and incorporate the four major disciplines of the social sciences: history, geography, economics, and politics/government. Special annual events like Black History Month in February incorporate social studies into other areas of learning, through reading, writing, art, and music.

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