K-8 Learning Expectations
The Public Schools of Brookline shares its K-12 curriculum through our K-8 Learning Expectations and 9-12 Course Syllabi.
Learning Expectations are the K-8 curriculum guidelines for all content areas (ex: Math, Performing Arts, etc.). They answer these questions for parents, teachers, and students:
- What will students know and be able to do?
- How will students demonstrate their learning?
The Brookline Learning Expectations have been developed by teams of teachers, led by curriculum coordinators, and are based on state and national standards. They meet or exceed the rigorous Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (which are based on the Common Core). They are continually reviewed and updated. For Mathematics and English Languages Arts, we currently use the state frameworks as our Learning Expectations.
Our curriculum units and instructional materials are developed and identified to support all students in meeting the Learning Expectations. This is an on-going process. Units of study are constantly being revised and/or replaced as new units are developed that better incorporate new content, materials, assessments and technology. Inter-disciplinary work is supported as we work to provide the highest quality curriculum and instruction to every student.
Content area information is provided below with links to the most current Learning Expectations.
English Language Arts (ELA)
ELA currently uses the 2011 MA Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy, which are based on the Common Core State Standards, as the Brookline Learning Expectations. A link to the 2011 MA Curriculum Frameworks is provided below.
Brookline’s K-8 Literacy Initiative, begun during the 2010-2011 school year, has provided a strong foundation with which to meet the demands of the new MA Frameworks. The literacy initiative, like the Frameworks, emphasizes reading and writing in both fiction and non-fiction. There is also an emphasis on exploring literacy in the content areas of science and social studies. In addition, to meet the text complexity demands of the Frameworks, the Brookline initiative focuses on providing students access to a wide range of challenging texts across all grade levels.
Mathematics currently uses the 2011 MA Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics, which are based on the Common Core State Standards, as the Brookline Learning Expectations. The MA State Standards, by grade level, are linked below.
Educational Technology and Libraries
Educational Technology and Library Department is currently guided by the Massachusetts Recommended Standards for preK -Grade 12 Information Literacy Skills (2009) as published by the Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) and the Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations (2008), which are aligned with the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Both the Massachusetts technology standards and the national technology standards are currently scheduled for a refresh during 2015-2016 school year.
Elementary World Language
The K-6 World Language program is in its 8th year of implementation, with the first cohort of students to have completed full WL instruction currently in grade 7. Curriculum development continues in grades 6-8 for an articulated K-8 sequence of language learning, both for continuing languages, K-8, and beginning languages, 6-8. The ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages are our guiding learning standards in grades K-8.
English Language Learners
As a member of the WIDA (World-class Instructional Design and Assessment) consortium, Massachusetts has recently adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards and CAN DO Descriptors. Brookline will use these documents across grades K-12 to advance the academic language development and academic achievement for our linguistically diverse students.
In the K-8 Performing Arts program students participate in the four elements of the National Core Arts Standards – Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding to, and Connecting with music. Through general music class students sing, move to music, listen to and learn about the cultural and historical contexts of music of many cultures, learn how to read and write music notation, and create their own compositions. In third grade, all students study recorder, and starting in fourth grade every student studies a band or string instrument. Students in fifth through eighth grades have the opportunity to continue on these instruments in Band or Orchestra, or choose another option including Chorus, Music Production (using computer music technology), or Guitar/Ukulele. Music is essential to all people’s lives and all Brookline students learn to become independent musicians.
The Brookline Learning Expectations in Physical Education align with SHAPE America’s National Standards which define what a student should know and be able to do as a result of a quality physical education program. Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity.
The K-8 Science Learning Expectations are currently being revised to meet and exceed the January 2013 MA draft revised Science, Technology and Engineering standards, which are expected to be finalized in 2016. The new standards will focus on integrating science practices and engineering into science content, as well as integrating science with other content areas. Brookline has been focusing on these areas, in addition to the use of science notebooks and focus on Nature of Science (Who are scientists? How do they work?), for several years (ahead of the implementation of the standards).
The K-8 Social Studies Learning Expectations are based on the 2003 MA History/Social Science Framework. In designing our SS LE’s the 2009-10 Learning Expectations Revision team also consulted national standards documents by such professional organizations as the Center for Civic Education, Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning, and Social Studies exemplary frameworks from other states, cities, and regional districts. Our Learning Expectations address the four strands of Social Studies, history, geography, economics, and civics at every grade level. They also guide student development of thinking and organizational skills through the grades.
The Visual Arts Learning Expectations are presented in three categories of goals, thinking/understanding, making/developing craft and reflecting/processing. These three areas of thinking happen simultaneously in the creative process and develop the higher order thinking skills essential to all learning and key to developing craftsmanship and an artistic practice
Brookline Visual Arts Learning Expectations are experienced through challenges that recognize the developmental stage of children’s physical and mental growth and student curiosities. Content of the art experiences is often derived from the curriculums of other areas of study and evidence of student Learning is measured by demonstrated growth within the thinking/understanding skills, the making/developing craft skills and the reflecting/processing goals at each level.