Curriculum

Literacy Curriculum Overview
At Southwest Baltimore Charter School we follow the EL Education (ELA) curriculum for Literacy. The curriculum combines rigorous, standards-aligned content with effective instructional practice, bringing together the "what" and "how" of Common Core success. According to EL Education, the ‘curriculum is written by teachers, for teachers and is designed to engage teachers and students in active learning every day.

The ELA curriculum addresses a full year of English Language Arts instruction in four modules and covers 160 days of instruction across a school year, developed down to the level of daily lessons.   The curriculum consists of ‘Four modules.  Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. Each module progresses in a standard sequence:

1. Building Background Knowledge (Unit 1),
2. Extended Reading and Research (Unit 2), and
3. Extended Writing (Unit 3).

Each module comes with books - not textbooks or anthologies - which have been carefully selected and vetted by the authors of the Common Core as the best books for teaching grade-level content. These central texts are supported by a list of recommended texts-books, articles, and primary source documents that balance literary and informational texts at appropriate levels of complexity. Th
The ELA Curriculum is geared toward "empowering teachers to enable their students to achieve more than they think possible."  The curriculum can be accessed by clicking on the following link http://commoncoresuccess.eleducation.org

Math Curriculum Overview
Grades K through 6 Math classes use enVision math 2.0 to guide their instruction. The goal of enVison math 2.0 is to promote student understanding through problem-based teaching and learning. The program is organized to help students focus on clusters of Common Core priorities within a grade. Math content is developed with focus, coherence, and rigor.  SBCS 7th and 8th Grades, in preparation for High School, use the CMP.3 Math Program. An overview of the enVisonmath 2.0  Math Curriculum:
http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PS2s92&acornRdt=1&DCSext....

Expedition  Curriculum Overview
The SBCS Expedition Curriculum is very eclectic.  We begin with the Maryland State curriculum and bring it to life with topics of local and regional significance. Using Common Core Standards as a base, we weave together a balanced literacy model with compelling social studies and science content that engage and inspire our K- 8 graders.  Teachers within grade-level teams have the autonomy to choose and develop compelling topics within our EL curriculum map's framework.

During Expeditions, classes investigate multiple case studies of given topics in order to draw conclusions about historical patterns, discover how the natural world works, and find commonalities among subjects of study. Within each expedition, students engage in fieldwork throughout the local community, invite experts in various fields to visit classrooms, and work to produce high quality products associated with each expedition.  We celebrate and model depth over breadth in our curriculum map. While we may not cover every civilization that has blossomed and faded over the course of time, those we study are tackled with purpose and our students are well prepared to make connections, draw conclusions, and relate their study to our present day world.  Students are challenged to become experts in areas of particular interest, create high quality products, and share their work with the greater community at our Culminating Events and school-wide meetings.

 

Literacy and math standards are purposefully woven into science and social Expeditions.  We believe that this connection fosters long-term learning of useful skills and meaningful content.  Content is linked to real world topics with a commitment to knowing contextualized learning that increases student motivation and builds cross-curricular understanding.

Cultural Arts Curriculum Overview
Cultural Arts are an integral part of the SBCS curriculum. Students have ample opportunities to explore their interests and talents in visual arts and dance classes, to attend professional performances and exhibits at Baltimore cultural institutions, and to participate in arts residencies throughout the year.   Performances and exhibitions of student work are a highlight of every Culminatin Event and of our annual Celebration of the Arts.

SBCS fitness and adventure classes are designed to offer a variety of sports and fitness options to students from yoga to lacross.  Our  growing outdoor education program gives students a strong appreciation for the natural world, a respect for the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the will to nurture and protect our planet.