The Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum works collaboratively with Lakeview Technology Academy, Gateway Technical College, University of Wisconsin Parkside, Carthage College and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. The purpose of this school is to create a diverse group of students that are prepared for high school, post-secondary, and career tracks that involve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Technical reading, writing, and literacy will be taught beginning in the primary grades. At KTEC, students will learn about research skills beginning in Kindergarten and continue to add information literacy strategies each year. The Library Media Center Specialist will be a critical team player helping to plan units with the classroom teacher that integrate technology across the curriculum.
KTEC instructional staff will ensure mastery of common core standards through the use of advanced technology tools to enhance student engagement and learning. Some of the technology “tools” students will utilize in order to successfully complete learning tasks are MP3 players, the Internet, digital media devices, graphing calculators, Promethean Boards, and computers.
To address the needs of students, KTEC will use a variety of ways to promote literacy skills. In primary grades, Kindergarten through second, teachers will use traditional shared reading texts. However, student skill practice will be on the computer, using Wright Group’s “Breakthrough to Literacy” program, which allows for individualized practice. Student needs are assessed by the teacher electronically. Students then login into a computer and complete “tailor made” skill activities for 10-20 minute per day. In the same classroom a variety of practice opportunities will be available. Some students may be working on recognizing letter sounds while others practice on improving fluency. This individualized practice ensures that all students make progress toward becoming successful readers.
All students at KTEC will complete regular computerized reading skill assessments. Parents, teachers, and the administrator will receive reports that identify the specific areas of strength and weaknesses in reading for individual students. Teachers and administrators can also analyze these assessments for patterns at a given grade level.
Math concepts at KTEC, at the K-1 level, will be taught utilizing the Everyday Math curriculum. These concepts will be enhanced and extended when technology is brought in to reinforce and “cement” key ideas. For example, students in Kindergarten may be taught “skip counting by 2′s”, but then once mastery is achieved, they may have their skip counting Podcast by the teacher. It will then be attached to the classroom webpage.
To prepare students for a rigorous middle school math program, teachers will complement the Everyday Math Curriculum in grades 2 through 5 with additional practice through a more traditional program. Students will use math manipulatives and technology tools like Spreadsheets, online simulations, and graphing calculators to produce a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. In order to ensure success with the Project Lead the Way curriculum, students at KTEC will take Pre-Algebra in seventh grade and Algebra 1 in eighth grade.
Like with reading, all students at KTEC will complete regular electronic math assessments to identify areas of progress and areas that need attention. Teachers will use a variety of electronic programs such as Accelerated Math and Gold Medal Challenge to monitor student progress and to encourage the development of computation and problem-solving skills. These programs provide
individualized practice so that each student can work on the skills they need to work on.
Students will begin learning about research strategies for social studies in the primary grades. Through a gradual release of responsibility model, students will gain more independence with their research. For example, students will start the process of developing National History Day projects in the third grade and through elementary school will add all of the required elements into their projects. Sixth through eighth grade students will all complete a full project and compete for the right to go on to the regional competition.
Teachers will use simulations and projects to engage students in higher order thinking skills. One example of a simulation that may be used at KTEC is the Wisconsin State Stock Market simulation. In this simulation students engage in “real-time” trading of stocks. Students learn additional research strategies and Spreadsheet technology while becoming more economically literate. Another example of technology enhanced social studies is the use of virtual fieldtrips to places like Colonial Williamsburg.
To develop multicultural literacy, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade will take courses in Spanish language and culture designed to prepare them to enter into second year Spanish in high school. Elementary students will have culture and language lessons at least once a week year round.
The Foss Science kits will be used for science instruction in grades Kindergarten through five. The instruction of the science concepts in these kits will be enhanced with technology rich activities. For example, distance learning opportunities allow experts from all over the country to come into classrooms at KTEC. Through a generous grant from NASA, Project Lead the Way has developed five units on flight and space for the third through fifth grade years. Like the planners of KTEC, NASA believes that middle school and high school are too late to start advanced math, science, and technology education.
While learning Next Generation Science Standards, students in grade 6 through 8 will participate in the Gateway to Technology program from Project Lead the Way. The six current modules of the PLTW middle school program are Energy and the Environment, Design and Modeling, Science of Technology, Magic of Electrons, Automation and Robotics, and Flight and Space.