Curriculum & Instruction
Anderson School has adopted the following curriculums:
- Math in grades K-8
- ELA in grades K-5
- Science in grades K-8
- Social Emotional Curriculum in grades K-5 based on Second Step curriculum
- The rest of the teaching is based upon Montana State standards with teachers implementing their own created curriculums to meet published standards. The K-12 Montana Content Standards can be found here
Families reserve the right to request teacher qualifications. For more information, please reference the flyer here.
We understand the importance of creating a literate society with the goal of students loving to read, write, and become lifelong learners. Reading/English Language Arts curriculum content at Anderson School is based on the Montana English Language Arts Standards. Anderson School currently uses Journeys by Houghton Mifflin for our Reading/English Language Arts instruction in grades K-5. Teachers in grades K-2 also utilize Haggerty for phonemic awareness instruction. Students in grades 2 through 6 also complete a variety of book clubs and novel studies throughout the school year. These novels from all genres are chosen to teach different standards and often integrate into the Science or Social Studies curriculum. Students receive approximately 90 minutes of Reading/English Language Arts instruction daily. After a Science of Reading Professional Development, our curriculum committee is in the adoption process for a new English Language Arts program for grades K-5, to begin in the fall of 2023.
Students receive instruction in a whole class setting, small groups, partner work and individualized instruction for approximately sixty minutes daily. Various instructional techniques from centers to think, pair, and share to choral reading are utilized by Anderson staff during their instruction.
Students spend approximately thirty minutes per day on writing as an individual class, but writing is taught across all curriculum areas. During writing instruction, students work to create narrative, persuasive, informational essays. They also respond to a variety of prompts created by the teacher. The writing process is instructed for all writing assignments so students understand the importance of drafting, editing, and publishing their work either by hand or using their Chromebook.
Anderson utilizes FastBridge by Illuminate Education for our benchmark screening three times per year: fall, winter, and spring. Students in kindergarten and first grade take the Early Reading test. Students in grades 1-6 take the aReading Computer Adaptive Test. Students in grades 1-6 are also administered the CBM oral reading fluency test in a one-on-one setting with an adult. Teachers, the administrator, and our student intervention coordinator discuss the data from the Early Reading, aReading and CBM fluency tests at our Teacher Team Meetings, which occur after each benchmark period. Data driven goals are developed by teachers at these meetings to help improve and guide their instruction for the next benchmark period. Student interventions are also reviewed and adjusted at these meetings to best meet individual student needs. Anderson students also engage in both formative and summative assessments as part of their Reading/English Language Arts curriculum. The assessments are used by staff to gauge progress toward proficiency on Montana grade level common core standards.
Creating students who are confident mathematicians is a priority at Anderson. Mathematics curriculum content at Anderson School is based upon the Montana Mathematics Standards. Anderson students in kindergarten through 5th grade are instructed in a whole class setting utilizing the Illustrative Math curriculum. Anderson School district adopted new math curriculums in the spring of 2021. Our 6th grade students are instructed using the Carnegie Math curriculum, which is the same curriculum used with our 7th and 8th grade students. Anderson students receive about 75 minutes of instruction daily in mathematics. Since we are a one-to-one Chromebook school, applications such as IXL and XtraMath are used to enforce skills taught within the classroom. Students are taught in a whole group setting with various techniques like turn and talk, and hands on manipulatives are utilized to facilitate understanding. Students also engage in small groups, partner work, math stations, and individualized practice during their math instruction to help reinforce concepts.
Anderson utilizes FastBridge by Illuminate Education for our benchmark screening three times per year: fall, winter, and spring. Students in Kindergarten and 1st grade take the Early Math test. Students in grades 1-6 take the aMath Computer Adaptive Test. Students in grades 1-6 are also administered a math fact fluency assessment a few times a year to help determine progress on math fact mastery. Teachers, the administrator, and our student intervention coordinator discuss the data from Early Math, aMath and fluency assessments at our Teacher Team Meetings, which occur after each benchmark period. Teachers develop data driven goals at these meetings to help improve their instruction. Student interventions are also reviewed and adjusted at these meetings to best meet individual student needs. Formative and summative assessments from the math curriculum are completed by students and reviewed by staff as well. This helps determine the students progress towards proficiency on the Montana math grade level common core standards.
Science curriculum content at Anderson School is based upon the Montana Science Standards. These are based on the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). Anderson utilizes the Amplify curriculum to have students work towards proficiency in the science standards. Teachers also supplement with Mystery Science and other outside resources. In 5th and 6th grades, teachers rotate students with one staff member teaching Science and the other teaching Social Studies, allowing more expertise in these areas with the content standards. The curriculum is taught for the whole class but students work in small groups or with partners to engage in the various activities that are part of the curriculum. Students keep science notebooks to share their understanding of what is being taught. They participate in a variety of hands-on activities to engage in the scientific process. Students also complete various individual and group Science projects that they share with their classmates and the rest of the school.
The superintendent coordinates an annual STEAM Week in the spring where students are further exposed to various Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math activities to enhance their interest and exposure in these areas. We go on field trips, have speakers, and artists in residence come in to conduct lessons. The week culminates in our annual cereal dominoes, where over 400 cereal boxes were donated to the local food bank after being set in a school wide dominoes run.
Anderson students have the opportunity and our staff are encouraged to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings by taking part in active field trips. This includes partnering with the Montana Outdoor Science School for activities. Hiking, downhill skiing, and cross country skiing occur annually through all grade levels. We are then able to use our local area to further enhance student’s understanding of science objectives.
The Social Studies/History/Civic Learning curriculum content at Anderson School is based upon the Montana Standards that were recently revised by the state. Every grade level incorporates Social Studies instruction in their classrooms at least twice per week for thirty minutes. In grades 5 and 6, teachers switch students with one staff member teaching Science and the other teaching Social Studies, allowing more expertise in these areas and with the content standards. Social Studies instruction is also integrated through the Reading/Language Arts curriculum through various novel students of both historical fiction and nonfiction books.
Students also participate in active research projects to help their understanding of both United States and World History. These presentations often involve research utilizing primary sources and non fiction texts to help students have a further understanding of the topics being studied. Students utilize Google Slides and other technology to help share their understanding of the topic they have studied.
Article X of the Montana Constitution and our Montana State Standards require Indian Education for All for all schools across the state. We conduct training for teachers and provide professional development for teachers in this area. This helps staff members instruct students on the cultural and historical information regarding our tribal neighbors within our state as part of our Social Studies curriculum.
Music is an important part of every Anderson student’s education. Music is taught by a certified music teacher. Right from the start, kindergarteners are becoming musically literate. Vocal performance is a constant, as they sing through musical games and learn how to sight read written notation. By 5th grade, all students have chosen an instrument and sing in choir. Anderson musicians are well rounded and possess a broad musical appreciation. They graduate Anderson having studied and performed a wide array of music from many cultures. In addition to the classical masters, jazz, and rhythms from around the world, current pop songs, jazz, blue grass, and rock and roll reverberates through our hallways. We are always working to be the best we can be, refining our musical skills through persistence and practice. Anderson school concerts and musicals are consistently of the highest caliber and are thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.
Students also participate in visual arts every other week in grades K-4 with a certified art teacher. This is made possible from our Anderson Parent Council. Grades 5 and 6 receive art for a trimester three days a week as one of their three rotations. Students’ incredible visual art work can be seen throughout the hallways of Anderson School.
Physical Education/Health Enhancement
Anderson’s Health Enhancement (H.E.) Program is dedicated to preparing students to live self-directed, responsible, physically active, healthy lifestyles. The program is taught by a certified Health Enhancement teacher. Anderson’s H.E. class aims to actively develop, maintain, and improve student health as well as an awareness of society’s critical health issues. Health Enhancement is a comprehensive program that combines the traditional disciplines of “health” and “physical education” in a more balanced program with students learning both in the gymnasium and in the classroom. Health enhancement develops the skills and behaviors necessary for students to become healthy, productive citizens who take personal responsibility for their own well-being as well as social responsibility for the health of their community. H.E. is offered to grades K-8th grades several times a week. K-4th grades have H.E. 60 minutes a week, 5th grade attends 90 minutes a week, 6th grade attends 120 minutes a week, and 7-8th grades attends 192 minutes a week. H.E. is one of the students favorite classes as they work on not only learning to control their bodies, and how to live a healthy lifestyle but how to demonstrate proper sportsmanship with their peers.
Anderson School offers Spanish to students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. We are one of the only schools within the state of Montana who provides a foreign language for students in grades K-5. Students in Kindergarten through 4th grade meet for Spanish class twice a week for 30 minutes while 5th and 6th grades have Spanish class 45 minutes, three times a week for one trimester as part of their rotations.
At the beginning of each year or trimester, depending on the circumstance of when students are beginning their course, basic conversational phrases are taught and/or reviewed. The basis for the remaining curriculum is built around stories and visual content whether that be short videos or powerpoints or other means. The goal is to provide students with meaningful context and comprehensible input. Depending on the age, students develop proficiency through the repetition of frequently used verbs, reading or viewing materials and lots of speaking practice. Many of the stories facilitate the introduction of culture in Spanish speaking countries as well as a means to teach about geography, music and socioeconomic issues, among other topics. Many Anderson students have the opportunity to take Spanish II when they start high school.
The Library Learning Commons is located in the heart of Anderson School’s community, surrounded by the cafeteria, music room, gymnasium, and classrooms. The area was recently renovated thanks to a $70,000 capital campaign by our parent council.
Kindergarten through 8th grade students attend library media classes once a week for 35 to 50 minutes per class. Library lessons are guided by state and national library standards and include literature-rich activities centered around diverse titles and authors, with digital literacy skills woven throughout. Library is taught by a certified librarian. The framework for lessons within the library include group discussions and collaborative, hands-on activities.
5th and 6th grade students also complete one trimester of technology education each year, which includes keyboarding practice, digital citizenship lessons, beginning coding skills, hands-on computer hardware lessons, and a project-based exploration of programs within Google Workspace. Giving students opportunities to interact with these programs will equip them with valuable tools and skills for future education and career endeavors.
Anderson School offers additional opportunities for students to utilize the library which builds a positive perception of the learning commons while cultivating positive student and staff engagement with the space. In addition to regular library classes, students are encouraged to visit the library for occasional recesses, additional book check-outs, after school clubs, and during teacher-librarian lesson collaborations.