At Plank North we use a balanced literacy approach to develop independent, proficient readers. Reading is taught across content areas using a variety of instructional techniques including small, flexible guided reading groups. Our writing curriculum includes Handwriting without Tears for primary students and we incorporate the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop into the writing block for all students.
The Webster Central School District uses a Math Expressions resource specifically designed to meet the Common Core State Standards in math. Investigation units and technology use supplement our math instruction.
The Enrichment Program is an important part of the overall program for students at Plank North. Differentiated instruction is the foundation of enrichment in Webster. Instruction is differentiated through varied grouping, varied instructional materials and varied assignments for all students.
Plank North teachers use a variety of formative and summative assessments on a daily basis to inform their instruction to meet student need. We participate in district wide diagnostic testing including the DRA, AIMSWeb, SAT and NWEA. Our students in grade 3-5 also take the NYS exams in ELA, math, and science.
Our teachers are dedicated to continuous instructional improvement. We utilize Professional Learning Communities to set goals and share resources. Teachers also attended a variety of local, state and national workshops in order to improve their practice.
Re-Teach & Enrich: The vast majority of students learn through the quality first instruction of their classroom teachers which is differentiated to provide an appropriate level of rigor. Classroom teachers are constantly assessing the performance of their students and adjusting instruction as needed. There will be times when students require a review of key instructional content or can benefit from extension and enrichment. We are providing two 30-minute blocks, called Re-Teach & Enrich, to address these needs. One 30-minute block will be devoted to Literacy and the other to Mathematics. Teachers at each grade level are encouraged to mix their students, based on student learning needs, during these blocks to provide either review or enrichment of curriculum. For example, groups of students might go to one room for a review of math problem-solving while another student group travels to a different classroom to develop speed and accuracy with subtraction facts. The Re-Teach & Enrich blocks also provide classroom teachers the opportunity to extend and enrich the curriculum for students who are ready to explore curriculum components to a deeper level. Teachers in the grade level can work with the Enrichment Specialists when developing the plans for this instruction.