Academics

Curriculum

“Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.” This Chinese proverb is the inspiration for our instructional program.

Recognizing the importance to maintain strong standards-based content, Woodland (WES) and NMUSD have aligned the curriculum with the state standards. Teachers piloted two state adopted literacy programs for one year, meeting monthly to discuss the effectiveness of student academic success. After working with teachers, administrators, resource specialists and students, NMUSD selected Houghton Mifflin (HM). This program is directly aligned to the California Content Standards. Teachers were then provided a Language Arts pacing plan, which enables them to systemically cover these objectives. Pacing plans are used to guide instruction and ensure that teachers have covered all standards by the conclusion of the year.            

To meet the needs of all learners, each teacher is supplied with HM supplementary materials for “universal access.” Upon entering any classroom at WES, a “focus wall” spotlights the current instruction for language arts. Teachers utilize the HM series to integrate math, science, history-social science, and visual and performing arts. WES uses district, HM theme skills tests, California Summative tests, kindergarten skills tests, and HM Assessment Kit, which includes running records to guide instruction. Students are identified “not yet proficient” based on these assessments, teacher observations and previous teacher recommendations. Quarterly progress reports are shared with parents and teachers of students with special needs, in addition to their annual IEP goals and objectives. Students below benchmark receive additional support, such as preteaching, reteaching, small group and 1:1 instruction, cooperative learning, peer and volunteer tutoring, and differentiated instruction based on learning styles. Teachers preteach by introducing students to new concepts before a whole group is taught. Graphic organizers are used frequently. Teachers re-teach to reinforce previously taught skills. GLAD and SDAIE strategies such as interactive charts, chants, and repetition are used to reinforce skills for students who are visual, second language, and developing learners. In addition, teachers support our English Learners with the Hampton Brown “Into English” series. Through ongoing assessment of all students, those in need of extra assistance, as well as high achieving students, are identified and provided differentiated instruction to meet their needs. These students receive California State Standards with lessons that provide depth and complexity.             

The district also provides teachers with a math pacing plan aligned with the McGraw Hill math series and state and district standards. Teachers follow the pacing plan and assess students three times a year using Math benchmark assessments. These assessments are used to modify and enhance curriculum and instruction. Daily review occurs with “Problem of the Day”, spiral review, and the Mountain Math supplementary materials. Regarding student ability levels, teachers use authentic assessments to plan and implement specific instruction for advanced learners and concrete learning experiences for students challenged by the math content. Woodland teachers are trained in life, physical, and earth sciences using FOSS Kits. Each kit comes complete with teacher guides, video, big books, posters non-consumable, and consumable materials. For physical education our Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) purchased equipment to support the goals and objectives for healthy students. Teachers receive curriculum from the Dairy Council, Colgate, Costa Mesa Water District and Tobacco Use Prevention programs.            

At the heart of Woodland’s technology program our lab consists of twenty-two online computers. Classes meet weekly for standards-based technology lessons. Hearing impaired kindergarten through second grade students, from our sister school Kaiser, join their typical peers to receive computer, library, and music instruction. Our veteran librarian and computer instructor of seventeen years provides a weekly lesson plan and technology standard for each teacher communicating what will be addressed in the computer lab. Many of these lessons are then accessed with the homeroom teacher in the classroom or during afternoon in the computer lab. All classrooms have a minimum of two eMacs with Internet access and networked within the school. Additionally, software programs are available to supplement the core curriculum. Other computer programs, such as Accelerated Reader and Help Me 2 Learn, are available for teachers to manage student language arts skills. After school classes for parents and students are offered to promote 21st century learning skills. Our Computer Technology Coordinator identifies and reviews websites and software to share with staff members. Woodland’s school library houses approximately 18,000 children’s books, as well as carrying approximately fifty videos. There is an entire section devoted to Spanish children’s literature. Books are available at all learning levels; yet with a focus on the emergent reader. The library also includes a professional reference center with current resources. All books and tables are organized so that they are wheelchair accessible. NMUSD and the public libraries collaborate in the development and planning of an annual authors’ festival, where authors visit the schools, share, and discuss the book writing and publishing process. The librarian is also implemental in encouraging summer reading in conjunction with the public libraries. The school library is accessible daily and after school for public use. At Woodland we view school and families as partners in the pursuit of academic excellence.