Core Knowledge Curriculum

The Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence uses the Core Knowledge curriculum in grades K-8. We have selected this curriculum to provide content standards, which will guide coherent instruction from grade to grade, encouraging steady academic progress as children build their knowledge and skills from one year to the next. Specific content covers a broad, liberal arts spectrum that is integrated throughout the daily schedule in creative, intentional ways. The Core Knowledge sequence is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science and the fine arts. Spanish is also required at both our campuses. These content standards form the core of our curriculum and provide a solid, coherent foundation of learning.

Core Knowledge provides a research-based, teacher-tested curriculum that engages scholar in diverse historical, scientific, and cultural content. The curriculum is carefully organized so that topics across subject areas build on one another to broaden and deepen scholars’ knowledge and skills. This wide array of subject matter enables strong reading comprehension and critical thinking – the keys to educational success.

Core Knowledge is based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, Jr. He has explained his research and ideas in several widely acclaimed books. Core Knowledge is carefully organized and systematic, yet it leaves room for teacher and scholar creativity. Grade by grade, our approach prevents the repetition or omission of important content, and creates a foundation for interdisciplinary explorations.

Although current events and technology change constantly, there is a body of lasting knowledge and skills that is essential for advanced studies. We teach that content in a coherent, logically ordered manner to maximize learning and make it enjoyable. The more children know, the faster they learn.

Core Knowledge Language Arts Program

Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is a comprehensive, preschool through fifth grade program for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building scholars’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, global and American history, and the sciences. In the early grades, CKLA focuses on oral language development through carefully sequenced read-alouds as well as systematic instruction in reading and writing skills. In later grades, CKLA continues to advance scholars’ knowledge and vocabulary through read-alouds and in-depth discussions while also immersing scholars in complex texts and advanced writing assignments that draw on the academic content they’ve been engaged in since kindergarten.

Grades K–3

CKLA K–3 is broken into two strands — a Skills strand and a Listening & Learning strand so that children can master sounds and letters for fluent decoding and encoding during one part of the day and then have additional time to build the knowledge, language, and vocabulary that are essential for strong reading comprehension. 

Grades 4-5

CKLA 4–5 draws on scholars’ mastery of the basics as they tackle advanced grammar, morphology, spelling, and vocabulary while also being immersed in academic texts and engaged in rigorous writing across multiple genres.

Guided Reading

Guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of scholars who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts. Texts offer challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but are easy enough for scholars to read with fluency. Teachers choose selections based upon monitoring a scholars' reading levels. 

Teachers select books that scholars can read with about 90% accuracy. This allows scholars to understand and enjoy reading through utilizing their own strategies, supported by teacher instruction. Scholars focus on meaning but use problem-solving techniques to figure out words they don’t know, deal with difficult sentence structure and understand concepts or ideas they have never before encountered in print.

Eureka Math

Eureka Math is a Pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 curriculum used at CCSE, developed by Great Minds. The writers of Eureka Math researched the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, their progressions and criteria to create a logical and engaging trilogy. The curriculum is comprised of three different segments: A Story of Units (Grades PK-5), A Story of Ratios (Grades 6-8), and A Story of Functions (Grades 9-12). This curriculum aligns with the key shifts in mathematics by having a greater focus on fewer topics, linking topics across grade levels and increasing rigor.

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IXL Math

IXL Math provides scholars with more practice in and out of the classroom. There is unlimited practice of over 7,000 skills attached to grade level standards. It is a fun support tool for our Tier 1 instruction. IXL is a great resource to help your child excel. Grades 2-8 are assigned two (2) skills per week, which count towards their grades. On a monthly basis, the administrators at CCSE recognize the top 10 scholars within each grade level for their mastery of skills.

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i-Ready is a tool CCSE is using to help bridge the math gap during our RTI2 time. It is a blend of online differentiated, personalized instruction and teacher small group instruction. Every scholar will have growth measures based on their performance on the diagnostics, providing a more personalized expectation of growth. This learning support tool is also accessible at home.

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