Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment



WRITING.  ‚ÄčWriting instruction is provided through a Writers' Workshop model.  Students participate in mini-lessons and conferences to learn and practice new writing concepts.  The writing process is a key focus for students as they create writing pieces in different modes.  Ralston utilizes the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for core instruction in kindergarten to sixth grade.  For handwriting, the Zaner-Bloser program is utilized to each manuscript (kindergarten to second grade) and cursive (third grade).

READING.  Reading instruction is provided through research based instructional strategies that focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies.  Grade level reading concepts are primarily taught in a whole group setting in conjunction with small group instruction that is tailored to meet the needs of the small group of students.  Ralston primarily utilizes Storytown for kindergarten to sixth grade, with the Ashlock templates to support phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary development.  In kindergarten to sixth grade, myOn, a web-based program which provides text at a students level, is used to supplement core materials. 

MATH.  Math instruction focuses on developing students understanding of numbers, algebra, geometry, and data.  These concepts are taught through building conceptual knowledge of concepts with opportunities to apply practice opportunities through multiple methods.  Ralston primarily utilizes Math Expressions in kindergarten to fifth grade and Holt Math for sixth grade core instruction.  In conjunction with the core curriculum, Reflex Math is a web-based program used in first to sixth grade for students to increase their fact fluency.

SCIENCE.  Science instruction is provided through problem-based learning that focuses on engaging, exploring, explaining, elaborating, and evaluating science concepts.  Physical, Earth & Space, and Life Science are explored through the science block.  Interactive Science is used in first to sixth grade for core instruction.

SOCIAL STUDIES.  Social Studies builds students engagement in their civic responsibilities at the local, state, and national level, utilize economic reasoning, and develop their geographic and historical knowledge that may connect to current societal issues.  Each grade level or grade-band focuses on a specific area related to these overall standards. 
Grade Level Social Studies Focus
 Kindergarten Self
1st Grade Family
2nd Grade  Neighborhood
3rd Grade  Community
 4th Grade Nebraska
5th Grade  United States
6th Grade  United States/World



DANIELSON FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHING.  Ralston Public Schools has adopted the Danielson Framework for Teaching.  The instructional framework has been developed based on research based instructional strategies that support student learning.  The Danielson Framework for teaching focuses on 4 Domains:  Planning & Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities.  This instructional framework provides our team with common language for collaboration and enhancement of professional practices to support our students diverse learning needs.  

STANDARDS.  Ralston Public Schools focuses on instruction of the Nebraska State Standards at all grade levels.  Assessment of priority standards is utilized to help monitor student progress in developing their understanding of the standards or identifying if a student has mastered the standards throughout the year across the district.  At the end of each year, students in third to sixth grade take the Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) Assessment, a state mandated assessment of how students are performing on the standards.

NWEA MAP Assessment.  Ralston Public Schools utilizes the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment in kindergarten to sixth grade three times a year.  The MAP assessment adapts to a students individual level of learning based on responses to each question.  For more information check out the parent guides available in English and Spanish under the Quick Link section below.

  Ralston Public Schools provides quarterly elementary report cards that focus on students knowledge of the standards across the content areas.  For more information about grading & reporting see the Quick Link section below.

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