Standards Based Curricula: The curricula for LFCSA is based on the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), National Core Art Standards, and the California Content Standards in History/Social Science. The pedagogy used to deliver the rigorous standards-based curricula is an arts-integrated, project-based, multi-disciplinary approach, guided by many of the tenants of constructivist learning.
Utilizing the backwards design model, teachers design unit and lessons that attach a theme; generally, a Universal Concept, Social Science or Science theme. Within the theme, CCSS, CA content, NGSS, National Core Arts, Visual and Performing Arts, and Technology standards are integrated into the unit. Teachers work to incorporate standards that are considered essential standards; standards that meet the following criteria:
- Endurance – The knowledge and skills are of greater value that last over time.
- Leverage – The standard provides leverage in learning other standards.
- Readiness – The knowledge and skills are necessary for the next level of learning.
Teachers College Reading & Writing Workshop: is a method of instruction that often requires a paradigm shift, a shift from the teacher making all the choices and telling students what to learn within a text, to students making choices, and through practice and application of skills-based lessons, learning as they read and write. The teaching method allows for student’s to read and write at their own level. The program allows teachers to utilize small group instruction, independent work and customized lessons tailored to each student’s level of learning.
Scottish Storyline Approach: this constructivist, child centered approach of teaching builds on the key principle that learning, to be meaningful, has to be memorable, and that by using a learner’s enthusiasm for story-making, the classroom, the teacher’s role, and learning can be transformed. Storyline is a strategy for developing the curriculum as an integrated whole. It provides an opportunity for active learning and reflection as essential parts of effective learning and teaching.
Cognitive Guided Instruction (CGI) Math: Cognitively Guided Instruction, often abbreviated as CGI, is an approach to teaching mathematics that builds on children’s natural problem-solving strategies. Based on over 20 years of research, CGI identifies specific strategies students use to help teachers understand how students think so that they can guide them toward mathematical understanding.
Context for Learning Mathematics (Elementary School): Math fact drills and endless word problem worksheets are ineffective and meaningless to students. Contexts for Learning Mathematics provides carefully crafted units designed to foster deep understanding in a math workshop environment. Each unit is set in the context of students’ lives, and the teaching and learning of math is thus more engaging and meaningful.
Open Up Resources (Middle School): This top-rated middle school math curriculum is designed to to offer detailed guidance for developing students into mathematical thinkers. Facilitate and assess students’ ability to communicate mathematical thinking verbally, visually, and in writing.
Teacher’s Curriculum Institute History Alive (Middle School): This program transforms middle school social studies class into a multi-faceted learning experience. All units begin with a big idea — Essential Question — and incorporate graphic notetaking, groupwork, and step-by-step discovery. Students are the center of instruction that taps a variety of learning styles, allowing students of all abilities to learn and succeed.
Teacher’s Curriculum Institute Science Alive (Middle School): This is a phenomenon-based curriculum that provides students with real-world problems for students to connect their own experiences. Through investigations, and interactive activities students explore, explain, and make sense of the phenomena. Each and every lesson focuses on at least one Science and Engineering Practice, one Disciplinary Core Idea, and one Crosscutting Concept.