Curriculum

We believe that children grow and learn at different rates and that they must be nurtured and supported in a variety of ways.  Children learn best and are able to experience success in programs that are designed to enhance a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.  The K-5 curriculum is consistent throughout the district; however, differences in student needs and learning styles may slightly change the program from room to room.  We have Integrated Co-Taught Rooms at each grade level in addition to Primary and Intermediate MAPS (Multi-age Program and Supports) rooms to support the diverse range of all our learners.  All students are expected to meet the Common Core Learning Standards for English and Language Arts and Math (for more information on the Common Core Learning Standards you can visit http://engageny.org/common-core/).  The variable is the amount of time necessary for each student’s success.  It will take some students less time and some more.  Teachers, students, parents, and staff will work together to maximize student learning.

 

Some brief highlights of our curriculum include:

 

  • The foundation of our curricular programming is a balanced literacy approach to English and the Language Arts.  Our students learn via guided, shared, independent, and oral reading and writing. To foster our students’ appreciation for writing we use the language of “Six Traits” to describe and explore the qualities of good writing: voice, conventions, sentence fluency, ideas, word choice, and organization.  Common Core ELA Modules are implemented at the 5th grade level.
  • Mathematically speaking, we use the Common Core Math Modules created by NY State.  Here is a link to our Dryden K-5 Math website: https://sites.google.com/a/dryden.k12.ny.us/drydenk-5math/
  • Social Studies is integrated into many content areas, but often is paired with our work in writing, speaking, and listening
  • Our learners use a hands on, minds on, inquiry based study in science and health.  Kits, designed to meet New York State Learning Standards, allow students to investigate topics ranging from Ecosystems to Personal Health.
  • Our physical education department provides creative opportunities for our children to achieve health and fitness goals.  Rather than a focus solely on traditional sports, students often find themselves engaged in an adventurous game or cooperative learning activity that promotes wellness.
  • Musically speaking, our students have a range of opportunities.  Each child participates in a primary and intermediate program incorporating many aspects of the Orff-Schulwerk music and movement education curriculum.  Additionally, students may join our Chorus and Cub/Lion Bands to further enrich their experience.  Our community also enjoys many public performances presented by this department.
  • Children at Dryden Elementary are involved in an engaging and enriching art program.  Students have numerous opportunities to tap into their creative side and create pieces that are shared with their peers and the community at large in shows and gallery hangings at local cafes.  This year will see the return of the Elementary Art Show.
  • We have an extensive book selection in a library that was designed to provide children with a warm and enjoyable atmosphere.  This is also connected to our Technology Lab with numerous computer work stations and a smart board room next door.
  • Class sets of iPads on carts are available across the building for the integration of technology and attaining 21st century learning skills.  We have a technology integration teacher, who works collaboratively with classroom teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum and provide professional development.  A model classroom is available for teachers to bring students to and interact with technology and lessons if, for example, their classroom does not have an interactive whiteboard. 
  • Our cafeteria serves a wide range of food that supports healthy initiatives.  On a daily basis, students have access to healthy food in the form of wraps, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Dryden Elementary is very aware of the importance of focusing on the “whole child”.  We know and deeply value the importance of academics and at the same time place a great deal of emphasis on creating a school that exemplifies characteristics of respect, caring, tolerance, and service.