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Curriculum


Standards-Based, Outcome-Based Learning

Academic standards, or learning outcomes, are the foundation of the ISY curriculum, and through these standards, teachers identify the skills, knowledge, processes and understandings that are taught and assessed. Instruction is built upon rich, scaffolded learning experiences that facilitate student attainment of the standards, and instructional resources are aligned to learning experiences. The ISY adopted standards provide coherent learning progressions beginning in Pre-Kindergarten continuing through to Grade 12, and they communicate to students, parents, teachers, and administrators what students are expected to learn in each subject area and at each grade level.

Standards alone do not form a curriculum—a curriculum is comprised of all facets of the instructional and assessment process including diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments, learning activities, resources, and classroom environments that support learning.

The subject areas for which ISY has adopted internationally recognized academic standards are: mathematics, English language arts, social studies, science, world languages, physical education, library, health and wellness, visual arts, music, drama, film, and technology.

Each subject’s standards are organized by strands (also known as domains or categories) which describe the major components of the subject. Each strand has a set of standards which describe the skills, knowledge, and understandings students are to demonstrate by the time they finish high school. Standards are typically few in number and broad in scope. Further, for each standard, there are grade level indicators, which are grade-level points of reference that are specific descriptions of knowledge, skill, or understanding.


ISY Expected Schoolwide Learner Results (ESLRs)

Embedded in all learning at ISY are the following learning outcomes combined with the IB Learner Profile traits that all students should know, understand and/or be able to do upon graduation from ISY.

ISY students will become:

Global Citizens

Who...

  • Are environmentally aware and active (Caring)
  • Contribute to the welfare of the world community (Caring)
  • Respect the dignity and worth of others (Principled, Open-minded)
  • Manifest the virtues of honesty and integrity (Principled)
  • Understand and appreciate the values, traditions, and perspectives of others (Open-minded)

ISY Adopted Standards

English Language Arts

English Language Arts

The English Language Arts’ curriculum (Pre-kindergarten through Grade 10) at ISY is based on the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. These standards “are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.” They are organized according to the following domains: reading (literature and informational), reading foundations, writing, listening and speaking, and language. The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts expect that:

Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of the human experience.

  • Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes. Writing types include argument, informational, narrative and research.
  • Students use speaking, listening, and information literacy to accomplish specific purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
  • Students apply knowledge of English language structures, English language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

Source: The AERO Framework for English Language Arts (2012) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers (2010)

For a complete listing of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards click here.

For more information about the Common Core English Language Arts Standards, visit: www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy.


Mathematics

Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum is built upon the Common Core Standards for Mathematics. The development of these standards began with research-based learning progressions detailing what is known today about how students’ mathematical knowledge, skill, and understanding develop over time. They emphasize conceptual understanding of key ideas. Further, this set of standards support the following qualities:

Focus and coherence: Fewer standards allow for narrowing and deepening the scope and sequence of concepts and skills.

Fluency: Students are expected to have speed and accuracy with simple calculations.

Understanding: Students are expected to be able to explain and justify mathematical statements and concepts.

Application: Students are expected to use math in various contexts and choose the appropriate concept for application.

Mathematical Practices: A set of aims that strive to develop mathematical processes and proficiencies in students are comprised of the following:

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Source: The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers (2010)

To see the complete set of Common Core math standards click here.

For more information about the Common Core Mathematics Standards, visit: www.corestandards.org/Math.

Science

Science

ISY is gradually transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Grades kindergarten through three continue to use the AERO (American Education Reaches Out) standards for science. AERO is an Office of Overseas School sponsored organization that has developed standards with international schools in mind. The AERO science standards aim for all students to be:

    • Knowledgeable about the important concepts and theories of the three major branches of scientific study: earth, life, and physical sciences
    • Able to think scientifically and use scientific knowledge to make decisions about real-world problems
    • Able to construct new knowledge for themselves through research, reading, and discussion
    • Familiar with the natural world, and respectful of its unity, diversity, and fragility
    • Able to make informed judgments on statements and debates claiming to have a scientific basis
    • Able to reflect in an informed way on the role of science in human affairs

Meanwhile, Grades 4-10 are using the NGSS standards, and the lower elementary grades will gradually transition to these standards in the years to come. Developed by the joint efforts of the National Academy of Sciences, Achieve, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Teachers Association, the Next Generation Science Standards emphasize the following aims and objectives:

  • To reflect the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the real world
  • Provide a coherent progression of knowledge that gives students the opportunity to learn complex material aimed at overall scientific literacy with instruction focused on a core set of ideas
  • To focus on a thorough understanding of content as well as application of content
  • By integrating engineering and technology into the standards, students have the opportunity to apply their scientific knowledge to the solutions of practical problems

  • In the longer term, to motivate students to continue study of science and engineering to address major world challenges

Sources: AERO Science K-8 and High School Standards with Progression/Performance Indicators (2011) and the Next Generation Science Standards: “APPENDIX A – Conceptual Shifts in the Next Generation Science Standards NGSS” (2013)

To view the AERO science standards, click here. To view the NGSS science standards, click here.

    For further information regarding the AERO and NGSS science standards, visit: www.projectaero.org/aero or www.nextgenscience.org.

    Social Studies

    Social Studies

    ISY follows the AERO standards for social studies. These standards reflect Project AERO’s mission of supporting schools around the world that are independent and international. As a result, the standards are largely free of historically specific information and are built on the following assumptions: that social studies curriculum and instruction should focus on (1) skills and concepts than content (as traditionally understood, such as names, dates, battles, etc.), (2) issues and questions of contemporary relevance to students, and (3) approaches that get students to understand and question how the traditional construction of knowledge reinforces the existing social order. The social studies standards focus on eight big ideas—standards—for learning:

    Standard 1 (Time, Continuity, and Change) Students will understand patterns of change and continuity, relationships between people and events through time, and various interpretations of these relationships.

    Standard 2 (Connections and Conflict) Students will understand causes and effects of interaction among societies, including trade, systems of international exchange, war, and diplomacy.

    Standard 3 (Geography) Students will understand the interactions and relationship between human societies and their physical environment.

    Standard 4 (Culture) Students will understand cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among societies.

    Standard 5 (Society and Identity) Students will understand social systems and structures and how these influence individual.

    Standard 6 (Government) Students will understand why societies create and adopt systems of governance and how they address human needs, rights, responsibilities and citizenship.

    Standard 7 (Production, Distribution, and Consumption) Students will understand fundamental economic principles and ways in which economies are shaped by geographic and human factors.

    Standard 8 (Science, Technology, and Society) Students will understand how societies have influenced and been influenced by scientific developments and technological developments.

    Source: AERO Social Studies Curriculum Framework K-12 Standards And Performance Indicators (2011)

    To view the AERO Social Studies Standards click here.

    For further information regarding the AERO social studies standards, visit: www.projectaero.org/aero.

    Visual Arts

    Visual Arts

    The visual arts curriculum is based on the AERO Visual Arts Standards. The visual arts standards were developed with the following vision in mind: “Visual art is a bridge we cross to deeper understanding of attributes that are intrinsic to humans, such as imagination and the instinct to create. We believe that the need for expression in the visual arts is basic to all people and common to all cultures and times. Therefore, understanding and capacity in visual art is essential to being an educated person.” The standards communicate what is most essential that students should know and be able to do in the visual arts. Below are the four overarching standards representing the AERO Visual Arts Standards:

    1. Creating Art: Students will use the creative processes and the language of art to communicate through a variety of media and techniques.

    2. Historical and Cultural Context: Students will understand how art has shaped and preserved history and culture.

    3. Perception and Evaluation: Using the language of art, students will critically analyze, derive meaning from, and evaluate artwork.

    4. Connections: Students will make connections between art, personal experience, and the world.

    Source: AERO Visual Arts Standards 2007

    To view the AERO Visual Arts Standards, click here.

    For more information regarding the AERO Visual Arts Standards, visit: http://projectaero.org/AEROplus/arts/index.htm

    Physical Education

    Physical Education

    The physical education program and curriculum at ISY are based on the California Standards for Physical Education. The following physical education standards represent the essential skills and knowledge that all students need to maintain a physically active, healthy lifestyle:

    Standard 1: Students demonstrate the motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.

    Standard 2: Students demonstrate knowledge of movement concepts, principles, and strategies that apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.

    Standard 3: Students assess and maintain a level of physical fitness to improve health and performance.

    Standard 4: Students demonstrate knowledge of physical fitness concepts, principles, and strategies to improve health and performance.

    Standard 5: Students demonstrate and utilize knowledge of psychological and sociological concepts, principles, and strategies that apply to the learning and performance of physical activity.

    Source: Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (2005).

    To view and read more about the California Physical Education Standards, click here.

    Drama, Film and Music

    Music

    In grades Kindergarten through 12, ISY utilizes the Ohio Music Standards (Ohio Department of Education, 2012). These standards emphasize and are organized into three cognitive and creative learning processes: perceiving, knowing, and creating; producing and performing; and responding and reflecting.

    Within the realm of Perceiving, Knowing, and Creating (observing, listening, discriminating, etc.): “…Students develop an understanding of sensory experience, respond to its aesthetics, derive meaning from it, and comprehend its place in life and community. They develop perceptual skills which improves their ability to perform creative tasks.” (from the “Framework Description for the Ohio Fine Arts Learning Standards”). This area of the standards for music also provides a background, or repertoire, of ideas from which students draw upon and create music.

    The Producing and Performing aspects of the standards refer to generating, using, and mastering music skills. This area of the music standards focus on students engaging in the creative process to explore, experiment, and produce works of music while developing discipline and persistence to gain competency and accomplishment at increasing levels of difficulty.

    Responding and Reflecting, as an area of focus of the music standards, sees students reflecting on their own musical performance, and that of others, to progress and improve. Evaluating, analyzing, and interpreting music and musical performance are also endeavors of this sphere of the music standards to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of music.

    Source: “Framework Description for the Ohio Fine Arts Learning Standards” (2012)

    To view the Ohio Music Standards, click here.

    To learn more about the Ohio music standards, visit: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-New-Learning-Standards/Fine-Arts

    Drama

    ISY adopted its own set of drama standards that are derived from a combination of U.S. and Australian based organizations. They encompass drama processes and elements that promote discovery and invention of creative performances that broaden an individual’s perspective of the world. Through the ISY Drama Standards, students acquire skills to manipulate dramatic elements, engineer and enact imagined situations, and reflect on social issues, world concepts and all facets of the human condition.

    The overarching drama concepts and anchor standards are as follows:

    Creating Drama

    • Students experiment and manipulate the elements of drama through improvisational and rehearsal activities.
    • Students develop a performance through a playbuilding process.
    • Students create and develop a dramatic performance using a range of texts.
    • Students cooperatively produce a dramatic work with an ensemble.

    Performing Drama

    • Students engage an audience through voice, movement and focus.
    • Students use space, blocking, proxemics and status to engage an audience.
    • Students use space, blocking, proxemics and status to engage an audience.

    Appreciating Drama:

    • Students analyze a dramatic performance through the forms and conventions of drama.
    • Students investigate the social and historical context of drama and theatre.
    • Students reflect on and analysis their own work and the work of others.

    To view the standards in their entirety, click here.

    To learn more about the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, please visit: http://www.nationalartsstandards.org/

    Film

    The ISY film standards are unique to ISY, but are inspired by the National Film Study Standards. These standards promote students to become informed critics of the moving image and to produce film art. The standards engage students in viewing films analytically and critically enabling students to develop a thorough knowledge of filmmaking.

    • Film Analysis: Students develop a vocabulary for interpreting the production values of film. Students analyze preproduction elements of composition, design and narrative structures and post production elements of editing and sound.
    • Film Production: Students understand auteur theory and produce films acting in various production roles. Students explore the filmmaking process of pre-production, production and postproduction.
    • Historical and Cultural Context: Students understand how society and culture can be reflected in films. Students research and analyze the ways in which historical events and social issues influence a film’s making.

    Source: National Film Standards/The Film Foundation (2004)

    To view and learn more about the ISY Film Standards, click here.

    World Languages

    World Languages

    Our Mandarin and French programs (World Languages B) follow the American Council for Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) Readiness Standards for World Languages (2015) and the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Learning (2013). Each of these documents outline outcomes for students learning an additional language and are part of a coordinated system. The Readiness Standards for World Languages provide a broad set of overarching standards while the Can-Do Statements for Learning are progress indicators specific to communication and reflect a continuum of language learning.

    There are five overarching standards for language learning:

    1. Communication: Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.

    2. Cultures: Interact with cultural competence and understanding.

    3. Connections: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations.

    4. Comparisons: Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.

    5. Communities: Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

    The communication standards group learning according to these three described modes of communication:

    Interpersonal: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions. (unrehearsed conversational language)

    Interpretive: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics. (listening, reading, and viewing comprehension)

    Presentational: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers. (rehearsed writing and speaking for an audience)

    Source: World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2015) and the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Learning (2013)

    To view the ACTFL World Readiness Standards click here. To view the Can-Do Statements for Learning, click here.

    To learn more about ACTFL standards and Can-Do Statements, visit: http://www.actfl.org/

    Library

    Library

    The ISY library follows the California Library Standards for Students, which place a particular emphasis on information literacy. These student outcomes promote accessing, evaluating, using, and integrating information and ideas found in print, media, and digital resources. The standards are organized into four overarching domains:

    1. Students access information: Students will access information by applying knowledge of the organization of libraries, print materials, digital media, and other sources.

    2. Students evaluate information: Students will evaluate and analyze information to determine what is appropriate to address the scope of inquiry.

    3. Students use information: Students will organize, synthesize, create, and communicate information.

    4. Students integrate information literacy into all areas of learning: The student will independently pursue information to become a lifelong learner.

    Source: California School Library Standards for Students Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (California Department of Education, 2010)

    To view and read more about the California Library Standards for Students, click here.

    Computer Technology

    Computer Technology

    ISY uses the International Standards for Technology Education (ISTE). The ISTE standards are the standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and are widely recognized and adopted worldwide. There are six overarching technology standards:

    • Creativity and Innovation:Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
    • Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
    • Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
    • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
    • Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
    • Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

    Source: ISTE Standards for Technology (2007)

    For more information about the ISTE technology standards, visit: www.iste.org/standards.

    Health and Wellness

    Health and Wellness

    The standards for Health and Wellness were adopted from Washington State—Washington State K-12 Health and Fitness Learning Standards (2008)—and were developed with the intent to help students understand how to achieve and maintain good health and well being for a lifetime. The health standards are organized into four domains: fitness and nutrition, foundations of health, health influences, and individual health analysis and planning. The broad accompanying standards for each domain are as follows:

    Fitness and Nutrition: Students understand the relationship of nutrition and food nutrients to body composition and physical performance.

    Foundations of Health: Students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain a healthy life by recognizing dimensions of health and stages of growth and development, by reducing health risks, and by living safely.

    Health Influences: Students analyze and evaluate the impact of real-life influences on health: They understand how family, culture, and environmental factors affect personal health, they evaluate health and fitness information, and they evaluate the impact of social skills on health.

    Individual Health Analysis and Planning: Students effectively analyze personal information to develop and monitor individualized health and fitness plans.

    Source: Washington State K-12 Health and Fitness Learning Standards (2008)

    To view and learn more about the Washington Health and Fitness Learning Standards, click here.

    English as an Additional Language

    English as an Additional Language

    The English as an Additional Language program at ISY builds its curriculum upon the California English Language Development Standards (2012). These standards are aligned to the Common Core English Standards to help English language learners develop their skills alongside the expectations put forth in the mainstream English classroom. The standards, are organized by three stages of language development with expectations outlined at each grade level. This organization represents English language development as a continuum of increasing proficiency. The levels are Emerging, Expanding, and Bridging. Expectations are further defined and identified by:

    Three Modes of Communication:

    • Collaborative (engagement in dialogue with others)
    • Interpretive (comprehension and analysis of written and spoken texts)
    • Productive (creation of oral presentations and written texts)

    And two dimensions of Knowledge of Language:

    • Metalinguistic Awareness: The extent of language awareness and self‐monitoring students have at the level
    • Accuracy of Production: The extent of accuracy in production ELs can be expected to exhibit at the level

    Source: “Overview of the California English Language Development Standards and Proficiency Level Descriptors” (2012)

    To view the “Overview of the California English Language Development Standards and Proficiency Level Descriptors”, click here.

    To view individual grade level expectations for EAL, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/eldstandards.asp#St...

    Successful Communicators

    Who...

    • Demonstrate the skills of effective collaboration (Communicators)
    • Use appropriate technology as a tool to convey ideas (Communicators)
    • Write, speak, read and listen with purpose (Communicators)
    • Are multi-lingual (Communicators)

    Complex Thinkers & Creators

    Who...

    • Gather, analyze and process information from a variety of sources (Thinkers)
    • Are effective and creative problem-solvers (Thinkers)
    • Are effective decision-makers (Thinkers)
    • Pursue inquiry and curiosity within learning (Inquirers)
    • Build a foundation of knowledge and apply understandings to new situations (Knowledgeable)

    Lifelong Learners

    Who...

    • Take responsibility for their learning (Reflective)
    • Value all types of learning: academic, social, athletic, aesthetic and emotional (Balanced)
    • Have the confidence to take on new challenges (Risk-takers)
    • Give thoughtful consideration to their own learning (Reflective)
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