Our classroom goal is to create a learning environment that is centered at the intersection between the Yocha Dehe Core Values and the Common Core Standards for elementary education. To work towards this goal we begin each day with the Yocha Dehe Student Pledge, first in Patwin and then in English. We often follow the pledge with a Patwin song.
The language sets the tone for the day’s schedule. The students spend nearly five hours per week studying Patwin Language and Culture. The class also has a Native American Studies component that focuses on Native American Innovations from people all across the Americas and throughout the thousands of years that we have lived in this hemisphere. This gives the student a solid foundation to understand how their unique history as a people fits into the larger fabric of Native Nations throughout the hemisphere.
· The math program is anchored by Excel math, a curriculum that uses an incremental approach with plenty of review and addresses the math standards. It stresses conceptual understanding and practical application. In addition to Excel math, the students work with SuccessMaker Math, an instructional software that delivers personalized instruction while addressing the individuals learning needs quickly and efficiently through embedded assessments.
· For the Language Arts curriculum, students study from the Houghton Mifflin texts and SuccessMaker Language Arts, a personalized software program. The writing workbook, Getting to the Core of Writing, helps teachers incorporate writing instruction in the classroom as an essential element of literacy development while implementing best practices.
· The Foss science program (a research-based science curriculum developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley) centers on hands-on activities. The program design is based on learning progressions that provide students with opportunities to investigate core ideas in science in increasingly complex ways over time.
· The Lindamood-Bell program focuses on the development of language processing skills so everyone can learn to his or her potential. It is critical that an individual is able to efficiently process information, either by listening or reading. We focus on the development of processing skills. These skills are necessary for independence and self-correction.
· The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum makes handwriting joyful for students and their teachers. The earlier we teach children to master handwriting, the more likely they are to succeed in school. Students develop the important skills they need to print words, sentences and paragraphs.
· Accelerated Reader is a software tool that assesses a student’s reading level, suggests titles of books at that level and then assesses whether a student has completed and comprehended the book by asking a series of questions. The software provides information to students regarding reading rates, amount of reading and other factors related to reading.