Our Beliefs For Growing Learners
The “Our Beliefs for Growing Learners” banner (left) continues to highlight the Eisenhower Staff’s beliefs for growing learners. We’ve talked about these areas many times over the course of the last several years. These beliefs are the expectations we hold for ourselves because this is what works best for students. As you read through them please understand these are the expectations we've set for ourselves. If you feel your child isn’t receiving these opportunities please do not hesitate to call your child’s teacher or me.
Proud of Our Academic Philosophy
๏ Instruction and Supports For All Children:
We are extremely proud of how individualized, timely, and focused instruction is for all learners at Eisenhower. Through classroom and resource teacher collaboration and the use of sound and proven educational strategies during instruction, we are able to clearly and quickly identify concepts children are or are not grasping and understanding. Our focus is geared toward assessing and addressing student learning on a daily basis with a thought process of, "Did they learn it?" as opposed to "Did we teach it?". We do not wait until after the unit or chapter test to see if a child acquired a concept. Every day, during every lesson, Eisenhower teachers are assessing children and organizing instruction based on this data. Because we know our students’ learning needs better than ever, it is only natural for the next step in the process to be to use the detailed knowledge of each child to provide more individualized challenges or supports to help them continue their growth as successful learners. The key is to provide these timely supports or challenges so children do not experience any gaps in their learning. The bottom line is EVERY child is getting a very individualized education because of these exceptional practices. EVERY child is receiving some type of individualized instruction or support. Academic supports come in many different sizes and shapes. We understand and do our best to avoid making a child feel singled out. No longer is the school day one where a child comes in the morning, goes to his/her homeroom, only sees one teacher the entire day, and returns home. Your child may see three or four different teachers during their school day. Throughout the day homeroom teachers team with other classroom teachers and resource teachers to provide the most individualized instruction possible to benefit your child. Children are in and out of the classroom all day. Most of the time it is in the form of small groups going here or there. There should be NO perception of the slow group, high group, this group, that group, only our excitement of thoroughly understanding and being able to address individual learning needs of children. These groups change throughout the year depending on the particular learning needs of each child. Gone is the “norm” of the teacher in front of the classroom teaching the entire group of children. Today, the new “norm” entails teachers instructing smaller groups of children based on individual needs. (Please reinforce to your child that EVERY student is different and receives instruction based on their strengths and weaknesses as a learner.)
๏ Flexible Grouping:
In both math and reading we group students based on their learning needs. For reading each grade varies. Depending on the specific grade, students are regrouped within the classroom or by grade level, while in math students are regrouped by the grade level.
In reading, children are “leveled” on an on-going basis, meaning students are assessed continuously and placed in groups accordingly. In math, students take a pretest for every chapter. In addition to the pretest information, teachers take into account a student’s rate of acquisition and prior classroom performance when grouping children. One of the benefits of flexible grouping is the ability to move students in and out of groups as their learning necessitates. Most importantly, instruction is based on where they are as learners and allows for the instruction to best fit the needs of each student and maximize academic growth. Both forms of flexible grouping, in classroom and in grade level, allow students to receive individualized instruction based on their learning needs, which translates into your child receiving a personalized education.
๏ Eisenhower Power:
When your son or daughter comes home from a fantastic day at Eisenhower perhaps you’ll hear about something called Eisenhower Power. This valuable program is a student-named program designed to provide additional support to help students achieve increased success in the classroom. Eisenhower Power allows children to receive specific grade level support in various curricular areas. Program participation is based on on-going, day-to-day teacher assessments, and student progress toward district learning objectives. We are very proud to be able to provide such an effective, timely, and focused program that is truly a great benefit for children. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your child’s teacher.
๏ Culture of Learning
Students should experience rich student-centered learning opportunities. We recognize state and standardized testing are a reality and must be addressed, but our belief is if we are able to successfully deliver instruction based on where each student is as a learner, students will grow as learners and test results will take care of themselves without our teachers creating or adapting our curriculum to specifically teach to the test.
If you have any questions or thoughts you would like to ask or share, please do not hesitate to call me or your child's teacher.
Principal, Eisenhower Elementary School
Supervisor of Elementary Education, USCSD