Welcome Back!

Hamilton Township School District

~The Future is Ours to Build Together~

Volume 1 - September 2017

Welcome Back K-5 Principals, Teachers, & Staff,

We are excited to launch the 2017-2018 school year with a newsletter chock-full of great tips, resources, and a preview of what's to come, to help you get off to a great start!

Remember, our department is here for you all year long, so please reach out to us with any questions along the way!

All the best,

Your Curriculum Team

Remember - your students count on you every day!


Strategies for Developing Effective Talk in Your Classroom!

What's NEW for 2017-2018?

FUNDATIONS in First Grade!

All Hamilton First Grade Classrooms will begin to use Wilson Language's Fundations Program to further develop their phonic and phonemic skills. This initiative was launched last year in all Kindergarten classrooms with fantastic success. By the end of the 16/17 school year, over 85% of our K students were reading on or above grade level according to iReady data. We look forward to building upon this strong foundation provided last year.

Math Expressions 2018

All K-5 students and teachers - general education and special education - have upgraded to the 2018 version of Math Expressions. New this year are Unit Performance Assessments, Vocabulary cards, & Daily Exit Slips. Also, there is a new ThinkCentral platform that has access to a new game for students - Poggles! There is no need to supplement, as you will have student activity books for all K-5 students, manipulatives, and so much more!

BSI is now using 'Moving with Math'!

All BSI and Title I teachers are using a research-based intervention program, Moving with Math, as their core resource for all students. There will be a strong focus on identifying targeted skills & progress monitoring. BSI teachers will receive a full-day workshop on October 9th PD day.

STEAM & Health Classes

Grades 3 - 5 will participate in a weekly STEAM class, which will allow students to become young engineers by using the Design Process and Engineering Habits of Mind in a variety of hands-on experiences.

Grades K-2 will participate in a weekly Health class, along with their Physical Education class. The lessons will give our students the knowledge and skills practice they need to to make healthier choices. Topics covered include: Life Skills, Nutrition, Fitness, Safety, Conflict Resolution/Violence Prevention, and Substance Abuse Prevention.

Next Generation Science Standards

September 2018 brings us the highly anticipated new elementary science standards. Get students to do the work of scientists and engineers as they learn to ask questions, define problems, plan and execute investigations, argue from evidence and solve problems! All of the HTSD science guides have been written to reflect the NGSS (or NJ Student Learning Standards-Science) and are available on our website.

ESL National Geographic Curriculum

The ESL Department is happy to announce the adoption of In the USA a new curriculum by National Geographic for newcomers. This program features lessons on essential language and literacy skills for students who speak zero English. Throughout the lessons, students will develop language, vocabulary, and the basic building blocks of literacy for newly arrived students.

American Sign Language Update

ASL online sessions will continue with grades 4 & 5 and expand to 3rd grade for the students' once a month session. All grade levels will be given lesson plans and resources from the district and Proximity Learning to assist in the process of exposing our students to American Sign Language. Keep an eye out for ASL PD sessions.

Innovative Music Curriculum

The elementary music department is excited to announce the implementation of Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music for this school year. Quaver offers interactive resources to promote learning consistent with higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. This program’s cutting-edge technology and advanced curricula meets and exceeds New Jersey’s music standards, and helps to build a stronger, more effective music program.

Where can I find the tools I need to be successful?

K-5 Math Resource Folder in Google Drive

Hamilton Students are Active Mathematicians - and everything you need for a successful year is right here!

K-5 Science Resource Folder in Google Drive

Shared Science Resources: Under Construction, but feel free to add to it!

Focus Questions for Data Review & Discussion

Explore the following Self-Guided Review of PARCC Results HERE

  1. What are your initial reactions to this data?
  2. What are 2-3 contributing factors that may have impacted this data?
  3. What additional data (if any) is needed as I make decisions to inform my instruction?
  4. What part of this data “stands out” and needs further discussion?
  5. Steps we (as a grade level/dept) need to take are:
  6. Steps I need to take are: ________________________

What other fun tips do you have for me?

Your first 20 days are key to a successful year!

Develop your rituals and routines during your first 20 days, and foster a sense of community and family with your students. Develop a relationship with each child, and provide opportunities for your students to connect with each other. Lesson plans for the first 20 days are available in both the ELA and Math resource folders!

Launch student journals!

Provide students with opportunities to self-assess, monitor, and reflect on their learning by using journals. This tool is simple, yet powerful! Watch as students become active in their own learning process by using metacognitive skills, such as self-reflection and goal setting.

Build Your Students' Schema!

Begin creating experiences to help build your students' background knowledge about the larger world around them! Find a fun blog to follow, such as Baby Fiona from the Cincinnati Zoo provided below!


Notes from Mr. Scotto

Welcome Back to the 2017-2018 School Year!

As you continue to work on your Student Growth Objectives, please keep the following in mind:

  • Take the time to research at least three points of data when developing your scoring plan;
  • Select a curricular area/skill that is essential for success in the class and will assist the student at the next level;
  • Pre-asessment is not always the best solution for SGO development (particularly in content areas at the 6-12 level);
  • Post assessments do not need to be traditional tests; they can be performance tasks with solid, scoring rubrics.
  • And finally......these are growth objectives for students (not teachers); how will you progress monitor your students' growth during the 17/18 SY?

Just some food for thought....

How can I contact the Curriculum Team?