1664 Benson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11214
PS 748 Curriculum
PS 748 has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. We utilize project-based learning in all grades, Kindergarten through Grade 5, to demonstrate the relationship and connection between content areas. Since the school's inception in 2010, we pride ourselves in writing our own curriculum that is derived from essential questions that guide units of study that are aligned to the Common Core. In addition to interdisciplinary units of study, we also practice departmental teaching in grades 3-5 where teachers teach literacy and social studies or math and science.
All lessons are taught through the workshop model where teachers begin with a high level of support and then gradually release the responsibility to students through guided lessons with independence as the goal. In all early childhood classrooms, students are immersed in a 150 minute literacy block. During this time, students engage in shared reading and writing, guided reading and writing, independent reading and writing and word study. A balanced literacy approach is at the core of our curriculum where we engage all students including students with disabilities and English Native Language learners in daily reading, writing, listening and speaking activities. Our literacy curriculum uses the Common Core Standards to guide us in selecting best practice from programs such as Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Month by Month Phonics and through research based literature such as Spelling K-8 by Diane Snowball and Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller.
Together with our teachers, we have developed a standards-based curriculum that is rooted in investigation. As a resource we have selected the best practices from researched based programs such as TERC Investigations in Numbers, Data and Space and experts in the field such as Marilyn Burns to offer students a creative and rigorous mathematics education. Our students do not have an isolated social studies or science period, rather, the social studies and science content and concepts are infused into the literacy and math blocks. Typical of our curriculum are authentic experiences such as neighborhood and community studies that include walking trips that examine the architecture in our community, adopting the tree outside the school to investigate how it is an integral part of our ecosystem and through a study of matter, students made candles that were later presented to senior citizens in our community at a local nursing home.
In Grades 3 - 5, our school leadership team agreed that teachers should have an in depth knowledge and understanding of the content and standard in each of the disciplines. This led to the decision to have content specific teachers in grades 3-5. Through the workshop model, social studies is integrated into the literacy block and science is integrated into the math block. Our literacy curriculum is derived from Teachers College Reading Writing Project (TCRWP), content specific units of study including historical fiction, biography and social issues. The goal of our math curriculum is to develop a repertoire of problem solving strategies, using the Common Core Learning Standards as its foundation. We have successfully integrated aspects of TERC, Math in the City, Engage NY modules and Lucy West's Metamorphosis Math. Similarly with Science, teachers design a curriculum that is standards based and encompass scientific inquiry and engineering design. Programs such as Engineering is Elementary and LEGO robotics lead students to engage in projects such as designing hand pollinators, windmills and marvelous machines.
Teachers plan around three essential questions for the year, which set high standards and develop critical thinking skills around topics such as developing empathy toward others and deepening the understanding of world communities to become better global citizens. We also study testing as a genre and pull resources from Engage NY to support the development of test taking skills and strategies in our curriculum. Civic learning and nurturing global citizens is at the forefront of education at PS 748, The Brooklyn School for Global Scholars. Each year, every grade is expected to perform at least one community outreach initiative. We have established relationships with Reaching Out Community Services, a neighborhood food pantry, where we host several food drives a year. We host a coat and gift giving drive in partnership with the CAMBA women and children's shelter. Our largest civic learning project is with Rely for Life where we come together as a school community, which is launched at our dance festival fund raiser and culminates at a borough-wide celebration to raise money for the American Cancer Society.