HPS Elementary Curriculum Updates

Fall 2023

2023-2024 Curriculum Initiatives

Welcome back elementary students, staff and families! The following elementary curriculum newsletter outlines district progress towards strategic initiatives, as we continue to evolve and strengthen K-5 curriculum and instruction. We are looking forward to an enriching year of learning and growing!

NEW Elementary Reading Program

This fall, HPS staff will be implementing a new elementary reading program, HMH Into Reading, an evidence-based program, grounded in the science of reading principles. The program has received top-ratings on Ed Reports and the DESE Curate sites, which provide analysis of program quality, accessibility, and impact on student learning. Many thanks to the HPS classroom teachers who volunteered to pilot the program last winter and spring, and for the leadership of the ELA and reading staff for their coordination efforts.

K-5 Writing Program

Writing initiatives in kindergarten and Grade 1 will include new resources to support the writing process. K and Grade 1 students will start the year with a focus on handwriting: forming print letters and developing pencil grip, posture, and fine motor skills. In kindergarten, the Kid Writing program will support students' growing knowledge of phonics, spelling and the alphabet as they author their own stories. A new Personal Narrative unit will support Grade 1 teachers as they guide students to write stories from their lives. Empowering Writers lessons will be introduced later in the fall to create a cohesive writing curriculum for all students in K-5. Groups of teachers worked this summer to organize their grade level writing tasks so they integrate with the new reading program, science and social studies topics and grade level projects. Write on!

iReady Diagnostic & iReady myPath

This year, elementary educators across the district will continue to use iReady diagnostic assessments and the iReady myPath personalized learning platform to support K-5 math and Gr. 3-5 reading instruction. iReady assessments are one component of the suite of district data used to analyze individual strengths and areas for growth, inform instructional grouping in our multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), and monitor student progress.

New Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum

This year, Grade 5 teachers will be piloting new social studies units aligned to the recently revised Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. The Grade 5 curriculum continues to focus on United States History, beginning with the colonial period and concluding with a new unit on the Civil War, slavery and the 20th century civil rights movement. In order to address these new standards, fifth grade teachers will participate in grant-funded professional development and pilot a new curriculum called Investigating History. Investigating History is a set of open-source social studies materials developed in partnership between MA DESE, Primary Source, and other leading scholars. The curriculum is inquiry-based and aligned to updated Massachusetts social studies standards.

World Language Updates

The World Language Department is working to develop and pilot new units aligned to the Massachusetts World Language Frameworks, published in 2021. In addition to developing students' language proficiency, the new frameworks link the use of a second language with the development of cultural competence. Through exploration of Spanish language and culture, students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for people around the world, exploring what we have in common with speakers of other languages and what we can learn from one another. The new frameworks also focus on social and emotional growth, through an exploration of students' identities, similarities, and differences.

Fine Arts--Music Notes

The HPS Fine Arts department, in partnership with the Kids in Action program, will continue to offer after school strings lessons for students in Grades 3 and 4 this year. The classes will consist of beginner group lessons of approximately 10 students each for 45 minutes. The curriculum will build upon the foundational concepts of music and provide exposure to stringed instruments prior to formal in-school strings offerings in Grade 5.

Spotlight on Grade 5 Field Science

In addition to daily science lessons with their classroom teacher, Grade 5 students also meet once per six-day cycle with our district elementary science specialist for Field Science. Field Science is a hands-on, experiential course, in which students conduct investigations that reinforce life, Earth, and physical science standards in the 5th grade curriculum, explore local ecosystems, and cultivate a deeper curiosity of the natural world. In a typical class, students might investigate water samples from the Weir River and Hingham Harbor, design water filters, make shadow clocks, use microscopes to observe the diversity of life, or explore their school's nature trail.
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Kathryn (Katie) Roberts

Assistant Superintendent

Hingham Public Schools