Curriculum and Student Services
Minimum standards for curriculum by the State of New Hampshire Department of Education require that each elementary school shall provide to all children in attendance a broad and well-balanced elementary school curriculum. The state of New Hampshire follows the Common Core State Standards; (www.corestandards.org)
The Language Arts program includes skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. During the intermediate grades, the focus of the writing program shifts from an emphasis on personal narrative to an emphasis on content area writing. Children will be taught to write simple research reports, and to keep reading response journals. They will also be asked to experiment with the different forms of writing that they are exploring in reading (such as poetry, science fiction and historical fiction).
In Spelling, children in the intermediate grades are expected to apply the spelling strategies that they have been taught with more independence. Proofreading of daily work is emphasized at this level. The formal spelling program has a different focus at each grade level: Grade 3: Vowel patterns, closed and open two syllable words; Grade 4: Irregular vowel patterns, silent letters, two syllable words, prefixes and suffixes; Grade 5: Prefixes and suffixes, Latin roots, multi syllable words.
In Handwriting, the goal of the intermediate program is to create a student who is fluent in cursive writing by the end of grade 5. The third grade program reviews the manuscript form and teaches children the cursive form for each letter. The fourth grade program emphasizes connecting cursive letters. Each term, more daily assignments are expected to be completed in cursive writing. In fifth grade, daily use of cursive writing is expected.
The Reading program emphasizes instruction in comprehension, vocabulary and decoding. While these three skill areas are presented individually, they are inseparable elements of the reading process. To become effective readers, students will read for enjoyment, for information and for critical analysis. They will learn strategies for acquiring, interpreting and applying information. They will respond to their reading through discussion, writing and creative projects.
In third grade, students will read with increasing fluency and independence. They will sustain independent reading for increasing periods of time. They are beginning to select chapter books and to recognize more difficult sound/symbol patterns. The students are refining their thinking skills before, during and after reading as they respond to print. Students will read material related to the Social Studies and Science units they study.
In fourth grade, students will continue to read and comprehend fiction and nonfiction. As they read beyond their known experiences, they begin to use strategies for adapting to unfamiliar subjects, such as historical fiction or regional literature. They are continuing to read nonfiction in order to write simple research reports.
In fifth grade, students are in the process of expanding their literary choices. They are exposed to a variety of themes and genre. With encouragement, they are forming preferences for particular reading materials and are learning to select reading material to meet their curriculum and personal needs. At this stage, they are gaining greater ability to plan and monitor their reading and are able to respond in writing to specific reading related tasks. Students will read both fiction and nonfiction materials. Units of study on syllabication and prefixes and suffixes are taught.
Grade 3 – “People of the United States”
The Social Studies program at grade three introduces students to the cultural heritage of the American people, by focusing on the ethnic groups, which have settled in the United States. Careful attention is paid to the diverse groups who have contributed elements of their culture to what is considered American culture. The course focuses on Native American, African Americans, European Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans. The specific units are Native American, European Immigrants, Black American, and Modern Immigrants.
Grade 4 – “New Hampshire History and Regions of the United States”
In Social Studies, the fourth grade students learn the geographic, economic, governmental and historical importance of their state. They will also become familiar with the unique geographic features that characterize each region of the United States. They will select one state to research in depth. The specific units are New Hampshire History, Regions of the United States and State Reports.
Grade 5 – “American Heritage”
The fifth grade Social Studies curriculum is a chronological study of American History from the Age of European exploration to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the formation of a government. The curriculum combines history, geography, government, and economics to promote students’ knowledge and understanding of early America.
The focus of the elementary science program is on fostering in children an understanding of, an interest in, and an appreciation of the changing world in which they live.
Children will develop basic scientific concepts using a thematic approach. They will read a wide variety of texts within each theme. They will also learn to apply the science skills of process and inquiry in order to solve scientific problems. In addition, health education is an integral component of the 3-5 Science program emphasizing such topics as Systems of the Human Body, Drug/Alcohol education and Personal Safety/Self-Esteem issues. Each grade level includes several major themes for study:
Grade 3: Solar System, Animals/Biomes, Simple Machines, and Health.
Grade 4: Earth Science, Electricity and Magnetism, Heat and Light, Weather, and Health.
Grade 5: Ecology, Plants and Animals, Circulatory and Respiratory Systems, Chemistry, and Health.
The Mathematics curriculum was developed by the SAU 16 Math Committee and is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The program includes instruction in the areas of Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Number and Operations with Fractions, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. The major emphasis of the program is the development of skills and strategies that facilitate problem solving and the practical application of mathematics. Problem solving moves beyond computation and encompasses a variety of skills such as making a table, discovering patterns, drawing a picture or diagram, and using logical reasoning. Each skill-set is taught following a concrete-representational-abstract sequence, allowing students to develop a deep understanding of the material. To comprehensively teach the Mathematics curriculum, teachers utilize materials from the Everyday Math program, IXL, and many other resources including those that support math-fact mastery.
As outlined by the SAU 16 Mathematics Curriculum, and the Common Core State Standards, instructional focus is as follows:
In grade three, instructional time focuses on, but is not limited to, four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplying and dividing within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with a numerator of 1); (3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and (4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.
In grade four, instructional time focuses on, but is not limited to, three critical areas: (1) developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication, and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.
In grade five, instructional time focuses on, but is not limited to, three critical areas: (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions); (2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; (3) developing understanding of volume.
The Lincoln Street School Visual Arts Program is a fine arts program with an emphasis on art history. A holistic approach to learning is employed, honoring multiple intelligences and varied learning styles. Students are submerged in the stories that surround the art - in the hopes that they will come to understand the importance of historical context. This is a process-based program that exposes students to printmaking, painting,drawing, sculpture, photography & collage. Each lesson begins in a sketch journal - where students can both write & draw about their initial ideas before going on to the final piece. They experience the full cycle of the creative process from the beginning thought to the completed artwork. LSS (along with SAU16 as a district) has adopted the National Core Arts Standards as a base for curriculum development. These adopted standards were released by the New Hampshire Department of Education on October 22, 2014. See link below.
Grades three, four and five music classes use an eclectic curriculum. The overall philosophy is “participation by all students through singing, playing, moving, listening, creating and writing”. Students make music their own through songs that help them learn about music and relate what they have learned to their everyday life. Well-known folk songs and songs to commemorate significant events are utilized as well. The Orff method is used at all grade levels. This method teaches music through movement, improvisation, singing and ensemble playing (Xylophones, Glocks and Metallaphones).
Grade three does a great deal of singing. Round singing and partner songs develop student’s ears for music and prepare them for harmony and part-singing in years to come.
Grade four development of part-singing begins with rhythmic chants, ostinatos, partner songs and descants.
Grade five concentrates on 2-3-part harmony. The results of this are seen and heard in chorus performances that occur during the year.
Music reading skills are taught to sharpen visual and aural perception, while reinforcing specific skills such as patterning, sequencing, internalization and interpretation of symbols. Our fifth grade students keep a music theory notebook in which these concepts are noted and used for review purposes.
The classroom teachers are encouraged to utilize the music teacher as a resource to assist with the development of thematic units as well as to support specific curriculum topics.
Grade four and five students also have the opportunity to participate in our Instrumental Music program. A variety of group lessons featuring woodwinds, percussion and brass are offered on a weekly basis. Instrumental students participate in the beginning or fifth grade band as well. A String program is offered before school on a limited basis to interested students in grades four and five.
The elementary physical education curriculum is a progressive developmental program through grades one through five. The major area of emphasis is on maximum participation, purpose and depth of performance changes as they gain in experience and knowledge of each activity. Students are encouraged to explore and understand why one method of throwing for example is more effective than another. They are exposed to many possible ways of achieving success and developing a healthy lifetime attitude for physical activity.
During the course of the year we offer many units from traditional to more cooperative experience. Ball skills (football, softball, basketball and soccer), volleying activities (racquet sports, volleyball), rhythmic (movement, dance, stunts, tumbling), track and field and manipulative (parachute, ropes, hoops, beanbags, etc.) are all part of the curriculum. Fitness is addressed regularly to include balance, strength, coordination, agility, flexibility, and endurance development.
The school library maintains a collection of books, periodicals and audio-visual material for individual and classroom use. While the primary purpose of the school library is to provide resources to support the curriculum, materials are selected, not only to enhance the instructional units, but also to encourage free reading for information and enjoyment.
The purpose of the library program is:
- To assist in the development of research skills.
- To promote the use and understanding of new technology.
- To encourage children in their love of all types of literature.
- To integrate the library program and resources with the curriculum of each grade level.
The library research skills at each grade level are a continuum of learning, which includes locating, selecting, interpreting and using information from library and media sources.
The primary focus of the third grade curriculum in the library is to understand the organization and location of print and non-print materials. The use of call numbers, parts of a book and use of encyclopedias and reference books are also covered.
The fourth grade students will continue to access and use information from reference books and materials, building and reinforcing previous skills. The classification system of library materials is emphasized. Students will be using the on-line card catalog in locating materials by title, author, subject or key word. Students will begin to use atlases and almanacs on a more regular basis.
The fifth grade classes will continue using the Internet for current event topics and for research. Information skills are reinforced throughout the year. Students will perfect research skills using atlases, almanacs and specialized reference books for reports and information.
Lincoln Street School is committed to insuring that all students are prepared to face the technological challenges of the 21st century. Moreover, we believe technology is a powerful tool that can enhance the teaching and learning process. We believe that technology should be used in conjunction with the existing curriculum, as opposed to teaching technology as a separate subject. The specific grade level technology objectives have been established and are being integrated into the core curriculum. It is our vision to continuously look for ways to utilize technology to enhance our overall curriculum.
SAU #16 Special Education programs assure all handicapped individuals a free and appropriate education within the least restrictive educational environment. Under Public Law 94-142, the district is responsible for providing alternative educational programs and/or support services for special needs students between the ages of 3 and 21.
Under NH State Law and Public Law 94-142 a special need or handicapping condition may be one of the following: Intellectual impairment, hearing impaired, speech/language impaired, visually impaired, specific learning disability, seriously emotionally disturbed, orthopedically impaired, severely health impaired. Currently at the elementary school the following special services programs are available: Occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physical therapy, vision services, psychotherapy, resource room for tutorial/support in specific academic areas, intensive learning environment for students needing a total or more comprehensive structured program, developmental preschool (a.m. and p.m. sessions), consultative services.
The Title I Program in the Exeter Schools serves students in grades one through five. Remedial and supplemental assistance in reading and mathematics is provided. The Improvement of self-concept is an integral part of the program for Title I students. Eligibility for Title I is based on a combination of the following:
- Reading and Math level
- Performance on standardized test
- Teacher observations
Once the child is determined eligible for Title I service, he/she is individually evaluated. Goals and objectives are then developed for the student with an eye to coordinating tutorial sessions with the classroom program. Most students are tutored in small groups three to five times each week in 30-minute sessions. Students are evaluated at the end of the school year to assess academic growth.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
The English as a Second Language program in the elementary school is available to meet the language needs of students whose first language is not English and whose lack of fluency in English prevents them from being fully integrated into the regular school program. The program includes instruction to improve both written and oral language fluency and is focused in the Language Arts. Additional instruction in the content areas and math is available if required. The aim of the program is to provide the bilingual child sources of language instruction, which will help him/her, function in the mainstream of the elementary school.
Counseling services are available to students at Lincoln Street School. Students might see a counselor to discuss concerns about school, friends or family. Counselors will listen to students, try to understand their feelings and their concerns and try to help them solve their problems.
Students are referred by parents, teachers or by the students themselves. To determine if counseling is appropriate, the counselor will speak with parents, teachers and the student. Before formal counseling sessions begin, written permission must be given by the parents, and appointments will be arranged for the student. A new referral for counseling evaluation is needed each year. Parents may arrange to talk with a counselor to discuss their child or to ask for counseling for their child by calling the school office.