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Instructional Programs

Art

All elementary students receive one 40-minute period of art instruction per six-day cycle.  Instruction concentrates on age-appropriate levels of the skills of color, shape, line, texture, and form through a variety of media.  An appreciation of art and artists through the ages is also fostered.

Music

The District offers a comprehensive music program in grades K-4.  Students participate in general music class:

  • Kindergarten – Grade 2, once per four-day cycle
  • Grades 3-4, once per four-day cycle for general music and one chorus

General Music Class Activities

  • Students will participate in several activities for each class: singing, listening, creating, reading, and writing music.
  • Discussions, which may include content, composer, background, and style of all music presented.
  • Correlation to other arts or sciences when appropriate.
  • Listening sessions accenting objectives in chosen songs.
  • Involvement of students, whenever possible, through creative movement, singing or instrument playing (Orff, rhythm instruments, and recorders).

Choral Music Program Goals

All third- and fourth-grade students are required to participate in chorus.  The study of choral singing in an ensemble setting promotes human growth and development in five vital areas: intellectual, emotional, physical, aesthetic/creative, and personal.

Instrumental Music Program Goals

Students may elect to participate in band or orchestra at the beginning of fourth grade. The study of an instrument both individually and in an ensemble setting promotes human growth and development in five vital areas: intellectual, emotional, kinesthetic, aesthetic/creative, and personal.

Library Media

The Library Media Program at Park Avenue Elementary School introduces students to the finest in children’s literature, while, at the same time, seeks to develop those basic skills of inquiry and analysis that are essential to the well-rounded individual.

Students have an opportunity to regularly visit the library with their class where they are given the opportunity to borrow books.  In addition, the librarian works with the classroom teacher and students are also introduced to the literature and/or information resources appropriate for their level.

The library is always available to students who need further help selecting reading material or finding information using our various print and electron resources.

Parents can help make their child’s library experience even more rewarding by helping the children in the following ways:

  • Show interest in your child’s library books — research shows that the single most important factor in learning to read is being read to regularly from a young age.  Help your child learn to love books by sharing those he/she has brought home.
  • Help your child remember what day his/her class visits the library — with some help your child will learn to become responsible for returning his/her books on “library day.”
  • Help your child find a special place to keep library books — by finding a safe spot for the books, they are less likely to become lost or damaged.

Computer

We have built a library of software that aids teachers in all subject areas. Classroom computers are maintained and kept in working order.  We also provide teachers appropriate software to be used in the classroom.

Physical Education

Our primary goal is to teach every child, from the physically gifted to the physically challenged, how and why they should keep themselves healthy and fit.  In our Physical Education Program, we provide learning experiences which are developmentally appropriate and will teach children how to be physically active in ways that increase physical competence and self esteem.  We achieve this by:

  1. Our physical education curriculum includes a balance of skills, concepts, game activities, rhythms, and gymnastic experiences designed to enhance the cognitive, affective, and physical development of every child.
  2. We provide experiences that encourage children to question, integrate, analyze, apply cognitive concepts, and gain a wide multi-cultural view of the world.
  3. Throughout the year we teach activities that allow children the opportunity to work together to improve their emerging social and cooperation skills.  These activities also help children develop a positive self-concept.
  4. The New York State Physical Fitness Test is used as part of the process of helping children understand, improve, and/or maintain their physical fitness.
  5. Children are taught exercises that can keep the body in proper alignment, thereby, allowing the muscles to lengthen without placing stress and strain on the surrounding joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Some things that parents/guardians can do to help us achieve our goals are:

  1. Make sure your child is prepared to participate with appropriate footwear, loose, but not baggy clothing, protective eye wear, and no jewelry for safety purposes.
  2. Encourage your child to at least attempt the activities on a given day.  When it is absolutely necessary to dismiss your child from physical education, please list specific activities that your  child can participate in, as it is against New York State regulations for a child to not attend a   physical education class.
  3. Attend as many sporting events as possible with your child.  It is very difficult for a child to grasp the whole picture of a sporting event, or how all of the small pieces fit together to make up the whole without visualizing it.

Science Program

Scientific attitudes and inquiry are emphasized and many lessons are supported through projects, software, CD ROM, and technology.  An annual Science Fair is held to promote an understanding of the scientific method and phenomenon.

EiE (Engineering is Elementary) and Stemscopes curriculum and instruction are designed to enhance project-based learning initiatives within Science, Teachnology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math.

Social Studies

The Social Studies Curriculum for the elementary student encourages interdisciplinary learning organized around five perspectives:  social, political, economics, geographic, and historic.  The key concepts include:

  • Change as basic in things, event, and ideas.
  • Citizenship as members in a community with expected behaviors and responsibilities.
  • Culture as a way of living that a society develops to meet its needs.
  • Empathy as the ability to understand others.
  • Environment related to natural and created surroundings.
  • Identity as an awareness of attitudes and capabilities.
  • Interdependence related to reliance and connections with others.
  • Scarcity based upon needs and wants.
  • Technology as related to tools and methods in developing resources.

The district builds citizenship skills and a multicultural awareness in our students by including activities, information, and experiences about racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic diversity.

The Social Studies Program initially focuses on helping the students develop awareness of themselves as growing and changing individuals and the need to develop social interaction skills.  Students explore roles and responsibilities within families, schools, rural, urban, and suburban communities as well as global communities.

Interdisciplinary planning and instruction is encouraged to develop connections in learning rather than isolated fragments.

Mathematics Program

Students use the Pearson/Scott Foresman enVision Math in grades K-4. In addition to developing basic number concepts and skills, these series offer remedial and enrichment materials as well as problem solving activities for students at all levels.

A formal testing program is an integral and on-going part of these series.  Chapter and quarterly tests are given throughout the year to assess individual student progress. Upon completion of each level, a comprehensive test of skills administered to all students in grade 1 and above.

English Language Arts (ELA)

The Warwick Valley Central School District follows a balanced literacy approach in the instruction of reading and writing. Based on the importance of literacy instruction in the younger years, students will receive 120 minutes of ELA instruction and practice daily. Our work with students is built on the foundation of guiding them to find their own identity as readers and writers. While the students will learn reading and writing skills within the contexts of various genres, they will have many opportunities to make their own choices about their reading and writing lives. Students will choose independent reading books from classroom libraries and the library media center based on their interests and strengths. Students will also be able to choose topics and story ideas that are important to them when writing within different genres. Reading and writing lessons will be taught using the workshop model. Students will be assessed in a variety of ways including daily informal classroom observations, the work in their readers and writers notebooks and through summative assessments. Our primary reading assessment tool is the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System.