Curriculum & Instruction

Critical Literacy & Seminars in Math

TPES provides a rigorous academic environment for approximately 500 children in Grades K-5. Researched teaching methodologies are used to advance each student to his or her next level of success in all academic areas. Our mission is to provide an environment conducive to student learning where each child feels successful, achieves academically, and thinks critically.

Critical Literacy

The curriculum is a carefully engineered progression of thinking and content understanding. Its interim goals for each of the grade-levels are carefully derived from two distinct sources--the expectations of California state standards for middle-school and high school and the definitions of elite literacy. The study and synthesis of these two distinct sources result in a highly ambitious set of expectations and thinking objectives-one that meets and exceeds Common Core Standards. The interim goals ensure that students make constant and measurable progress toward an overarching objective. The objective is to use both content expertise and productive thinking-dispositions to interpret fiction and masterfully manage informational text in the abstract and conceptual manner that characterizes the highly literate citizen.

The curriculum enables children to make substantial progress towards this goal through a rational and realistic set of gradual progressions.The goals may appear extremely ambitious, but the carefully mapped progress of the curriculum from one strategically constructed understanding to the next places all young children on a trajectory towards truly advanced literacy. This model is based on engaging students in the very active process of moving their natural thinking toward increasingly sophisticated thinking and expression of ideas. Besides laying out and explicating target understandings, the curriculum features classroom examples of students and teachers discussing and deliberating the suggested texts.

Seminars in Math

TPES teachers are supporting in augmenting the delivery of the San Diego Unified Math curriculum, creating true mathematical reasoning and understanding among TPES students.

The teachers at TPES are increasingly focused on raising the computational fluency of TPES students in order to ensure that students meet the level required by Common Core. Problem-centered classrooms also allow students to build on their problem-solving skills and work collaboratively with their peers.

Since the current work at TPES goes beyond the Common Core requirements, teachers are given tools to always be one step ahead of their brightest student. TPES students learn to approach problems from multiple dimensions.

For higher level students who move at a quicker pace, teachers can increase the difficulty level of individual problems. Bonus problems are also given in some classrooms to supplement the lesson being taught. In addition, learning is enhanced by the interaction of students who can offer various solutions to the same problem.

Tips for Parents

Do: Have your child explain how they are thinking about the problem and how they are solving it.

Do: Let them grapple withthe problem.

Do: Ask questions, probe to encourage a deeper understanding and allow student to articulate their solution. How did you know? Can you explain? Can you tell me again?

Do: Share your thinking with them as well.

Don't: Rush to the algorithm.

Don't: Be in a hurry to increase the difficulty level.

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