Nolan Creek School
Curriculum and Instruction
At Nolan Creek, there will be a curricular focus on essential student understandings that are transferable and gained through highly engaging methods of teacher facilitated student inquiry. Our STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts & Math) design maintains a foundation of meaningful learning activities, individualized student goals, and assessment of understanding that is authentic.
Reading instruction will be aligned to the English Language Arts and Reading TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 110. Reading will remain central to all subjects, with a focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Reading to solve a problem during service learning and leadership development projects will create opportunities for achievement well beyond mastering course standards. High interest topics will lead to an increase in reading for enjoyment while promoting fervor for life-long literacy and learning. Authentic literacy activities will promote reading and writing across genres and subject areas as well. Instructional facilitators will use varied curricula to meet student needs in this area, including programs to supplement instruction and increase student achievement in this area such as iStation and Education City.
Writing instruction will be aligned to the English Language Arts and Reading TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 110. Experiential learning at Nolan Creek will encompass a multitude of varied opportunities for students to write for authentic purposes and audiences while creating products that contribute to the betterment of the community. Students will engage in service learning projects, reflect upon their experiences and impact, and propose improvements through daily writing. Writers will be supported in a print rich environment where they are provided a variety of forms and genres to explore. Students will engage in the recursive process of creating written work and they will have the opportunity to practice interacting with others in response to text. Instructional strategies with match with AVID Elementary Writing to Learn strategies such as interactive journals, learning logs, and summary reflections. Projects will focus on development of ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Handwriting Without Tears will be the primary handwriting curriculum which leads students through the printing and then cursive. The writing curriculum will also focus on weekly instruction in spelling and grammar as part of the writing process.
Math instruction will be aligned to the Mathematics TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 111. At Nolan Creek, implementation of research based instructional strategies and innovative methods of instruction will include the use of 21st century technologies to connect with a variety of external learning environments and resources. Student led inquiry will be strategically supported by instructional facilitators which will allow abstract mathematic concepts to be related to concrete representations of real world problems for students to work collaboratively to solve. Students will be challenged to reason and communicate mathematically while demonstrating calculation fluency, number sense and algebraic reasoning abilities. Academic rigor will be evident as students gain critical thinking and problem solving skills while contributing to the creation of relevant final products. Programs in use to supplement instruction and increase student achievement in this area which may include Compass Learning, Think Through Math, Study Island, and Education City.
Science instruction will be aligned to the Science TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 112. Project based learning and innovative best practices will allow students to gain essential understandings and master course standards within a technology rich learning environment. Students will experience thematically integrated Mathematics and Science units which correlate to the interconnected real world experience of these topics. Community immersion opportunities and experiential learning trips will serve to increase student understanding and ensure skill mastery; while promoting genuine hands-on learning. Curiosity will propel students into facilitated scientific inquiry during which they will explore life, earth and physical sciences in creative ways at Nolan Creek.
Social Studies instruction will be aligned to the Social Studies TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 113. Instructional experiences at Nolan Creek will foster the development of a core set of values and critical personal habits necessary for good citizenship, leadership and success. Service learning projects will encompass opportunities for relating a rewarding experience to mastery of course standards. Naturally embedded mathematics, science, reading, writing and fine arts activities will reinforce cross curricular skill development in authentic settings as well. While maintaining a focus on history, geography, economics, civic/democratic values and culture, students will engage in complex problem solving involving issues relevant to their community.
PE and Health
Physical Education instruction will be aligned to the Physical Education TEKS in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, Chapter 116. Facilitators will utilize the CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Children’s Health) curriculum to guide students in making healthy personal choices and developing lifelong fitness/nutritional habits. Students will experience movement through engaging in a variety of high interest activities. Sports, dance, fitness routines, skill development and fine arts will engage all students in healthy activity while promoting the identification of personal health commitments.
Intervention and Enrichment
Best practices and research based intervention strategies will be used to meet the individual needs of all students while addressing remediation and acceleration. Data driven intervention programs that incorporate adaptive assessment and a personalized learning plan will be implemented at Nolan Creek. Online programs such as Compass Learning, Think Through Math, iStation, Education City, Study Island will contribute to a highly effective tailored plan for increased student achievement.
Multidisciplinary enrichment opportunities at Nolan Creek will fascinate and engage students while encouraging them to delve deeper into high interest areas. Students will benefit from novel experiences and have opportunities to hone their talents in areas such as technology, music, art, and theatre. Service learning and leadership development will remain at the core of instructional experiences successfully preparing students for future academic endeavors and ultimately to enter society as prosperous citizens and change agents in the 21st century.