Challenge Charter School is proud to have been the first official Core Knowledge® school in the State of Arizona. Core Knowledge® is “engaging, challenging, and content-rich” at the appropriate developmental level, and integrated across disciplines for a foundation that “promotes academic excellence for all learners, while remaining flexible enough” to meet individual needs.
The Core Knowledge® sequence has been aligned to ensure mastery of all state standards and reaches far beyond them to create an even larger base of knowledge for your child. At CCS, content is aligned across subjects creating thematic units that allow children at all developmental levels to make connections that make the learning relevant and fun. The arts are integrated, as is the Core Virtues® character education program.
A Core Knowledge® classroom is inherently advanced due to the content and cross-curricular connections. It also provides many opportunities to go a “mile deep” and make deeper connections for children who benefit from an additional challenge. Differentiation is frequent at CCS for all levels of learners and small groups and intervention are incorporated for students needing additional time on task to master a subject, as well as those needing an extension to stay challenged. The name “Challenge” comes from the philosophy that each child should be challenged at their level daily at school.
Some of the other many benefits of choosing a Core Knowledge® school include:
- Provides a broad base of knowledge and a rich vocabulary
- Motivates students to learn and creates a strong desire to learn more
- Provides the knowledge necessary for higher levels of learning and helps build confidence
- Provides a strong foundation of knowledge for success in high school and beyond
- Provides a clear outline of what children are expected to learn in school
- Encourages parents to participate in their children’s education both at home and in school
- Provides opportunities for community members to help obtain and provide instructional resources.
The Four S’s Of Core Knowledge Are:
Many people say that knowledge is changing so fast that what students learn today will soon be outdated. While current events and technology are constantly changing, there is nevertheless a body of lasting knowledge that should form the core of a Kindergarten-Grade 8 curriculum. Such solid knowledge includes, for example, the basic principles of constitutional government, important events of world history, essential elements of mathematics and of oral and written expression, widely acknowledged masterpieces of art and music, and stories and poems passed down from generation to generation.
Knowledge builds on knowledge. Children learn new knowledge by building on what they already know. Only a school system that clearly defines the knowledge and skills required to participate in each successive grade can be excellent and fair for all students. For this reason, the Core Knowledge Sequence provides a clear outline of content to be learned grade by grade. This sequential building of knowledge not only helps ensure that children enter each new grade ready to learn, but also helps prevent the many repetitions and gaps that characterize much current schooling (repeated units, for example, on pioneer days or the rain forest, but little or no attention to the Bill of Rights, or to adding fractions with unlike denominators).
A typical state or district curriculum says, “Students will demonstrate knowledge of people, events, ideas, and movements that contributed to the development of the United States.” But which people and events? What ideas and movements? In contrast, the Core Knowledge Sequence is distinguished by its specificity. By clearly specifying important knowledge in language arts, history and geography, math, science, and the fine arts, the Core Knowledge Sequence presents a practical answer to the question, “What do our children need to know?”
Literacy depends on shared knowledge. To be literate means, in part, to be familiar with a broad range of knowledge taken for granted by speakers and writers. For example, when sportscasters refer to an upset victory as “David knocking off Goliath,” or when reporters refer to a “threatened presidential veto,” they are assuming that their audience shares certain knowledge. One goal of the Core Knowledge Foundation is to provide all children, regardless of background, with the shared knowledge they need to be included in our national literate culture.
We encourage you to visit www.coreknowledge.org to review detailed information about the Core Knowledge® sequence as well as to find other helpful resources to use at home to partner you’re your child’s classroom curriculum.
Due to the very hands-on nature of CCS and the constant differentiation in the classroom, not all classroom activities can be “made up” when school is missed.
CCS classrooms are fluid environments constantly responding to the needs of the students as they arise and grabbing each “teachable” moment to ensure our mission of keeping each child “challenged” at their level daily.
Tech Smart Kids Coding
This partnership will take math instruction to the next level as well as problem solving, logic, sequencing/order of operations, and computer science.
Computer science is a primary driver of the U.S. economy, yet it does not (yet) play a significant role in K-12 education.” -EdSurgeNewsResearch shows that computer science’s role in the economy continues to grow exponentially, but the limited K-12 programs only expose kids to the concepts, not immerse them. We have found the perfect curriculum to immerse them years before most will even be exposed giving CCS kids yet another early advantage!
“Wow. This code provides a visual learning opportunity that exposes kids to my 4th grade math standards two years early.”
-Mrs. Anderson, CCS 4th Grade Teacher and Certified Coding Instructor
This fun, unique, and integrated curriculum has interchangeable views of SkyLark block and Python code and can be differentiated for any ability level. All CCS kids will become proficient Python coders (an employable skill) by the end of 6th grade! Talk about Leading the Class as they begin middle school!
The CCS team has devoted significant time and consideration to the research behind coding instruction benefits and to finding just the right fit and best available program to align with the school’s consistent mission and emphasis in science and technology integrated with the content-rich Core Knowledge® curriculum, therefore, the school has been recommending students to visit Sites such as famed which can provide them the best science help, as their science tutors have a lot of expertise.
Using a custom schedule, instruction will be delivered two times a week as recommended for any foreign language and provide strong foundations through group instruction, guided exercises, independent and team based projects in 2nd grade and above. Kindergarten and 1st grade will continue to be exposed to coding basics and activities as part of their computer science foundation classes with CCS Technology Teacher and Certified Coding Instructor, Mrs. Dismukes, and the use of mind programming techniques from sites as https://www.subconsciousmindpowertechniques.com/best-subconscious-mind-reprogramming/ to help students learn faster and achieve their goals.
TechSmart Kids is engaging and incredibly FUN! CCS kids’ imagination will be ignited and they are going to LOVE getting to know and developing the animated cast of characters as they progress and code their way through the engaging “Land of Aetherial.”
“Aetherial is addicting and I cannot believe I am learning while I am having this much fun!” – Principal Miller and Certified Coding Instructor
Principal Miller and 10 other CCS team members became Certified Coding Instructors during an intensive training program this summer and are ready to challenge and excite our kids with this new opportunity. Watch for continued and frequent communication about the TechSmart Kids implementation at CCS. We can’t wait to see our Eagles soon and we know they are UP to the TechSmart Kids CHALLENGE!
“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the year 2020, there will be one million more computer science jobs than graduates prepared for these jobs.”–EdSurge
“It’s been shown that learning to code can help you do better in other subjects that you’re studying or learning. Within programming, you learn how to break down a problem into individual steps and to use a language that the computer understands to logically create a working program.” – Careerfoundry.com
Challenge Charter School has been using the Core Virtues© as our character education program since its inception in 2003. This program is a practical, non-sectarian approach to character education for Kindergarten thru 6th grade. This literature based program has as its goal the cultivation of character through the promotion of basic moral, civic, and intellectual virtues. It emphasizes such “core virtues” as: respect, responsibility, diligence, honesty, generosity, perseverance, courage, faithfulness, compassion, openness to inquiry, and humility in the face of facts. It seeks to help children fall in love with the good and cultivate a vocabulary of virtue. This program was developed looking for the common ground and shunning controversial social or political agendas. As with the Core Knowledge Sequence© itself, this program seeks to put something solid, sequenced, and specific into the hands of American teacher’s.
Core Virtues© is integrated in grade and age appropriate ways across the curriculum daily. We encourage you to visit www.corevirtues.net to review detailed information about the Core Virtues program as well as to find other helpful resources to use at home.
Challenge Charter School also uses many formal and informal positive recognition awards and programs that provide our students many opportunities to celebrate good choices, outstanding academic and social performance on campus, and their citizenship and kindness.