At Skycrest, our teachers are dedicated to the success of every student. The curriculum at our school is based on the Florida B.E.S.T Standards. On February 12, 2020, the state’s Department of Education adopted the Florida Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards, a new system for measuring student development. These rigorous standards, which heavily focus on mathematics and English language arts skills, are designed to prepare students for success in college and beyond. For more information visit: https://www.fldoe.org/standardsreview/.
Reading & Writing Program:
The Pinellas County Reading and Language Arts core instructional design incorporates the integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Teachers provide literacy instruction based on the Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards to build knowledge-rich curricula that will nurture students by immersing them in the study of great works of literature, history, and the arts. These standards emphasize that literacy is not achievable merely through a skills-based approach to reading comprehension. During the Language Arts block, students engage in authentic literature, including titles from the B.E.S.T. and Civics suggested reading lists. Students build strength and stamina in writing by creating writing over both short- and long-periods of time about a variety of topics and texts. Students will engage in various writing instruction centered around the three types of writing: narrative, expository, and opinion/argumentative. Additionally, they will learn elaboration techniques, grammar, and the revising and editing process to become well-rounded authors.
Language Arts Daily Components:
- Word Study - Explicit and meaningful instruction in phonics and other principles of how words are constructed.
- Close-In Study of Grade Level Complex Text – Teachers read text aloud, share the reading, and use multi-media to engage students in the reading and rereading of grade level text.
- Explicit Reading Instruction – Students are taught reading skills and strategies and given the chance to apply those skills and strategies in many ways: independent practice, with the guidance of the teacher, practice with peers, and through reflection.
- Explicit Writing Instruction – Students are taught critical writing skills and given time to practice those skills independently, with the guidance of the teacher, and with their peers.
- Vocabulary Instruction – Academic and domain-specific vocabulary words are taught in the context of reading and writing.
K-12 reading instruction aligns with Florida's Revised Formula for Success
Skycrest utilizes many reading programs such as: Jan Richardson Guided Reading, Literacy Footprints, Nemours, and LLI. Students also gain reading skills by the computer program IStation.
Social Studies is integrated into the reading and writing lessons.
Elementary Mathematics Grades K-5 use the textbook series Ready Mathematics, published by Curriculum Associates. In addition, teachers have various supplemental materials that are used for planning and delivering instruction to meet diverse needs and learning styles of all students.
Ready Mathematics helps teachers create a rich classroom environment in which students at all levels become active, real-world problem solvers. Through teacher-led instruction, students develop mathematical reasoning, engage in discourse, and build strong mathematical habits. The program’s instructional framework supports educators as they strengthen their teaching practices and facilitates meaningful discourse that encourages all learners. Ready Mathematics:
The Dreambox math computer program is used in all elementary schools as a supplement to the core. Students can access Dreambox at home through Clever.Science Program:The elementary science program in Pinellas County Schools is designed to provide a quality science program for all students. The ability to think scientifically is a skill our students will need every day of their lives. Scientific thinking skills have become essential survival skills for all Americans. Science understanding and ability also enhance the capability of all students to hold meaningful and productive jobs in the future.Effective science learning enables our students to connect and apply science concepts and processes to everyday events. In Pinellas County, students learn science by being actively engaged in the following ways.
- Encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of mathematics concepts through the embedded Standards for Mathematical Practice.
- Builds on students’ prior knowledge with lessons that make connections within and across grade levels and directly address the major focus of the grade.
- Provides differentiated math lessons for all learners.
- Ready Mathematics provides additional features for supporting English Learners such as:
- English Language Development guidelines on scaffolding language use during instruction to benefit students at different levels of English proficiency.
- Language routines that integrate language and mathematics.
- Concept development activities that allow students of varying mathematical and English language abilities to build on familiar concepts.
- Promote engagement and access: Ensure English Learners acquire content knowledge while also acquiring language through culturally responsive grade-level content.
- Integrate strategic scaffolds: Provide the right amount of scaffolded support to help English Learners build on their knowledge to achieve independence.
- Support academic language development: Offer multiple opportunities for English Learners to acquire and use language that moves toward complexity.
• Quantitative and qualitative observations
• Investigation of thoughtful questions
• Design and conduct experiments and other types of investigations
• Collect and organize data
• Make logical predictions and offer reasonable explanations
• Explore possible conclusions
• Communicate their understanding
The elementary science program uses the 5 E's Instructional Science Model which includes a comprehensive alignment to the NGSSS (Next Generation Sunshine State Standards). The 5E Science Instructional Model integrates opportunities for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and content literacy aligned activities within each 5E lesson. SEAMS (Students Engaged in Authentic Math and Science) is another STEM initiative in our district for all elementary students.Skycrest students have hands-on learning through Science Labs.