Pitsco Education understands the importance of reading, and have built in strong reading components to the redesigned elementary coursework. Within the Pitsco Education Missions, students are asked to do many different activities that incorporate reading and literacy. Students have to read aloud, complete reading comprehension activities, speak and listen within their team, acquire new vocabulary, and use their writing skills.
Almost daily in their Missions, students are asked to read and gather information from informational texts (nonfiction books).
With the advent of the national ELA standards, literacy is significantly emphasized. The reading required of students in the Missions helps address these standards.
READING IN MISSIONS
- Each interval consists of a Briefing that contains science content that students read.
- Every title uses unique grade-level-appropriate books.
- The optional Reading Connections address multiple standards under the Informational Text and Literature sections.
WRITING IN MISSIONS
- Students write answers to Briefing questions and conclusion questions.
- In some Missions, students will write fictional stories about their Exploration activity.
- The optional Writing Connection utilizes a research topic for the students to write a complete paper.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING IN MISSIONS
- Students use reciprocal reading comprehension strategies that focus on collaboration.
- Students work together in defined roles to collaborate to complete a Mission.
LANGUAGE IN MISSIONS
- There are two vocabulary words in each Briefing. Students write these definitions in their Mission Journal.
- The Connection contains the 10 vocabulary words and five activities to help students learn the words.
- The Connection contains eight topics for research, information on a famous person or group, and two open-ended questions.
- Students are assessed on their understanding of the concepts they’ve read and discussed. Students are tested on their understanding of the Briefing content and vocabulary words.
- This serves as a proof of learning where students write their responses, answer questions, and record information.
- The teacher can assess the Mission Journals using the grading rubric and by grading the use of conventions of Standard English.
Not bad for a STEM curriculum, right? Adding the R (Reading) and A (Arts) elements pay off for elementary students, both know and later in their academic careers. The interdisciplinary nature of the Missions allows for the reinforcement and application of reading, writing, and literacy within the teaching of science curriculum. The Pitsco Missions provide cross-curricular connections and makes the R in STREAM an integral part in the student experience.