Curriculum is made up of three components: Learning targets often referred to as standards (what students learn), assessment (methods for determining if they are learning), and instruction (how we ensure learning occurs). What follows is a brief description of what District 2 students are offered. A detailed listing of grade level learning targets can be found at www.bsd2.org.
Grades 3-5 and middle school students are given the opportunity to develop and refine their vocal skills through participation in a mixed chorus. Public performances are scheduled during the school year.
Students in Kindergarten-8th Grade are taught by fine arts specialists who extend student knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for the various art forms.
In Kindergarten, music is used to support student literacy development, build social interaction, and coordinate movement skills. In Grade 1-8, students are given opportunities to listen, improvise, compose, and perform music.
In visual arts (Grades K-8), students are taught drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, and various types of media.
English Language Arts and Literacy
The way we taught students in the past simply does not prepare them for the higher demands of college and careers today and in the future. In English language arts and literacy, this means three major changes. Students will continue reading and writing. But in addition to stories and literature, they will read more texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas including science and social studies. They will read more challenging texts and be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read. There is also an increased emphasis on building a strong vocabulary so that students can read and understand challenging material.
Elementary students in grades 3-5 can participate in a voluntary after-school Spanish program according to established entrance criteria. Students in Grades 6-8 may choose foreign language as an elective.
Parents/guardians shall be provided the opportunity to preview all materials used for instructional purposes on AIDS, family life instruction, sex abuse, anabolic steroids or organ/tissue transplantation. Parents/guardians shall be given at least five days written notice before instruction on avoiding sex abuse begins.
No student shall be required to take or participate in any class or course on AIDS, family life instruction, sex abuse, or organ/tissue transplantation, if his or her parent/guardian submits a written objection to the Building Principal. Refusal to take or participate in any such course or program shall not be reason for disciplinary action or academic penalty.
A band program is provided for students in 5th-8th Grades. Band gives students an opportunity to develop, enrich, and refine instrumental performing skills. Public performances are part of the program.
Grades 4 and 5 have opportunities to participate in Chorus, hand chimes, Orff Club and Music Makers.
In mathematics, teachers now concentrate on teaching a more focused set of major math concepts and skills. This will allow students time to master key math concepts and skills in a more organized way throughout the year and from one grade to the next. Teachers use rich and challenging math content to engage students in solving real-world problems and to reason logically in order to inspire greater interest in mathematics.
Physical education is taught in a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases students' knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle. Unless otherwise exempted, all students are required to engage daily during the school day in a physical education course. Health and safety are also studied.
Illinois' current science standards became effective in February 2014 and are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards focus on the big ideas in science and emphasize the common practices that scientists use every day, such as planning investigations, developing models, and designing solutions. The NGSS encourage students to learn the processes of science in a deep, meaningful way through firsthand investigative experiences, instead of just memorizing facts for a test.
Hands-on experimentation and instruction are used to give students scientific knowledge and skills in the areas of earth, life, and physical science. Safety goggles and eye wash stations are provided in the classrooms where the hands-on experiments are conducted.
Learning experiences in history, geography, and economics are provided to children in the District 2 social science program. Children study citizenship, community, cultures, freedom and justice, government, human rights, and natural and human resources. In addition, all schools shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on Constitution Day, each September 17, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week. The curriculum also includes a unit of instruction on the Holocaust and crimes of genocide, including the Nazi atrocities of 1933-1945, Armenian Genocide, the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and more recent atrocities in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. In all schools, the curriculum includes a unit of instruction on the history, struggles, and contributions of women and a unit of instruction on Black History, including the history of the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the vestiges of slavery in this country, as well as the struggles and contributions of African-Americans.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math
7th and 8th grades students will experience geometry through real world applications, small group collaboration, and technology in our Math Lab course.
7th - Greetings and basic conversational Spanish, people descriptions, daily activities, sports, food and restaurants, Latin American countries and culture.
8th - Discover the Hispanic culture through virtual trips to Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, vocabulary and phrases related to activities at home, sports, going on vacation, purchasing food at restaurants, and shopping at the mall.
7th - Discover the evolution of "Pop" music, exploring how music has changed and evolved into current pop music.
8th - Compose songs and music and create rhythms using instruments, iPads and additional electronics.
Applied Math and Robotics
6th - Students will learn the basic concepts of programming, computational thinking, and apply mathematical logic to solve problems involving robots.
7th - Students will learn intermediate concepts of programming while using mathematics and computational thinking to solve problems that model real life scenarios.
8th - Students will learn higher level concepts of programming and apply their learning to solve problems with their robots. Students must reason abstractly and identify patterns to better understand systems and develop solutions to problems based on evidence and data.
7th - Apply the scientific process to forensic analysis through exposure to fictional crime scenarios and hands-on labs.
8th - Explore real world science through hands-on activities.
7th - Conduct art research and create an artifact or image. Learn how to read a painting based on the elements of art.
8th - Learn how to develop techniques: water color, 2-Dimensional art, and illusion of depth.
The goal of STEM Lab is to foster a learning environment in which students are guided to produce original ideas, objects, and structures according to certain specifications using concepts and skills from math, science, and technology. STEM Lab is meant to empower students with the tools, resources and freedom necessary to grow their capacity for creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. Each grade level has a theme and mini-units that are unique to their grade level.
- 6th grade - STEM Overview and Gaming
- 7th grade - The Environment
- 8th grade - Physics