Elementary Curriculum

Elementary school students doing school work

PK-4 Elementary Education

Preschool

The Marshalltown CSD is pleased to be part of the statewide voluntary preschool program. The district houses the program at all elementary buildings and with community partners to foster the love of learning for as many children as possible.

Morning & Afternoon Classes – Five Days a week

  • Children must be 4 years old before Sept. 15. The MCSD Preschool program is fully inclusive. Children with Special Education needs attend with their typical peers. All teachers are certified in Early Childhood and Special Education. Paraeducators, Speech-Language Pathologists and others provide on-site support.

  • Breakfast is provided for morning classes. Preschool classes also participate in the fruit and vegetable program through the school district.  The program follows the same calendar as Marshalltown schools, with a few exceptions. Transportation offered.

  • Curriculum:

    • Social Emotional:  Each day the Preschool students have opportunities to build social skills through small and large group activities and interest area choices.  Time is built into the daily schedule for outdoor or indoor large motor play, depending on weather.

    • Literacy:  Creative Curriculum lessons are planned to provide whole group and small group learning opportunities to build essential pre-literacy skills.

    • Math:  Preschool students have the opportunity to experience and learn from math lessons linked to the Creative Curriculum Studies and STMath.  Teachers provide students with direct instruction that have follow-up lessons in small groups and through online STMath activities.

    • Science:  Inquiry-based learning through a combination of Pint Size Science and Creative Curriculum lessons enable the students to explore scientific concepts.

    • Instruction Provided by:  Preschool Classroom Teachers

    • Relevant Training:  Teachers have had professional development in Creative Curriculum, STMath, extended literacy activities and Pint Size Science.

    • No registration fee and no monthly tuition will be charged.  

    • The preschool school calendar will mirror the district school calendar.

    • Call 641-754-1000 or more information.

Marshall County Resource Guide

Hoglan Elementary Principal Amy Williams working with a preschool student

Hoglan Elementary Principal Amy Williams working with a preschool student

Transitional Kindergarten

The transition to full-day school is a huge step for every child, and the Marshalltown CSD offers Transitional Kindergarten (TK) as a bridge between preschool and full-day kindergarten. MCSD teachers use a standard process which includes social, emotional and academic data, as well as the child’s date of birth, to select students to be invited to participate in TK.

What is TK?

  • TK gives children another year to develop physically, socially, emotionally, and academically before entering full-day kindergarten.

  • TK promotes self-confidence and independence in children.

  • TK serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten.

  • TK gives children personalized schooling as they begin their academic careers.

  • Call 641-754-1000 or more information.

K- 4 Math

Instruction provided by: Classroom teachers 

Relevant training: Our classroom teachers have had professional development around the Iowa Core Math Standards and been provided professional development by Go Math! and ST Math trainers as well.

Curricular Resources: 

  • Go Math! for core classroom math instruction 

  • ST Math:  a language-free supplemental digital resource that students work through at an individualized pace.

Assessments: 

  • District-wide classroom assessments tied to the Iowa Core standards

  • FAST aMath assessment

  • Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress

K-4 Literacy

Instruction provided by: Classroom teachers

Relevant training: Our K-4 classroom teachers have had professional development around the Iowa Core Literacy Standards and their core curricular materials.  Our K-2 classroom teachers have been provided professional development by Really Great Reading trainers as well.

Curricular Resources: 

  • Amplify CKLA for core classroom literacy instruction .

  • Really Great Reading for supplemental phonological awareness and phonics instruction

  • Amplify Reading as a supplemental digital resource that students work through at an individualized pace

Assessments: 

  • Classroom level curricular assessments provided by Amplify

  • FAST earlyReading, aReading and CBM-R assessments

  • Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress

Fourth graders at Franklin Elementary School receiving end of year awards

Fourth graders at Franklin Elementary School receiving end of year awards

K-4 Science

Instruction provided by: Classroom teachers

Relevant training: Our classroom teachers have had professional development around the Iowa Core Science Standards and Mystery Science curriculum.

Curricular Resources: 

  • Mystery Science for core classroom science instruction 

Assessments: 

  • Classroom level “Mystery” assessments

  • Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress at grades 5, 8, and 10

Social Studies

Instruction provided by: Classroom teachers

Relevant training: Our classroom teachers will have professional development around the newly released Iowa Core Social Studies Standards during the 2019-2020 school year.

Curricular Resources: 

  • We are currently using teacher-created units for our social studies instruction.

  • Community volunteers deliver Junior Achievement curriculum focused on workplace readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.

Assessments: 

  • Instruction provided by: Classroom teachers

  • Curricular Resources: 

  • We are currently using teacher-created units for our social studies instruction.

  • Community volunteers deliver Junior Achievement curriculum focused on workplace readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.

  • Assessments: 

  • Classroom level unit assessments

STEM/PLTW Launch

Instruction provided by: Teacher Librarians

Relevant training: Teacher Librarians are certified PLTW Launch teachers after participating in a two-day training session.

Curricular Resources: 

  • One PLTW Launch module per grade level taught by Teacher Librarians focuses on the computer science pathway.

Assessments: 

  • Classroom level PLTW assessments

Music

Instruction provided by:  K-4 music teachers

Music Standards- General Music Standards 

Curriculum:

  • The music curriculum is guided by the music performance standards grouped under the artistic processes of: Creating, Performing and Responding.  

  • Students in grades kindergarten through fourth experience instruction centered around songs, rhythm patterns, instrument study, movement to folk music and developing listening skills.  The teachers incorporate literature in the music classroom, the Orff instruments to develop proper playing techniques, and activities including the introduction of recorders in fourth grade.

  • One of the music standards is performing.  All students share their talents with families, friends and communities in performances in their buildings or at the MHS/Community Auditorium.

Physical Education

Instruction provided by:  K-4 PE teachers

PE Standards – SHAPE America

Curriculum:

  • Marshalltown School District Physical Education will empower physical learners with the skills, knowledge, and healthy mindset to pursue lifelong fitness.

MOVE – CONNECT – LEARN

  • Healthy kids learn better. Physical activity can help students be healthier but more and more research is showing that physical activity may also impact academic achievement. Physical activity wakes up the brain, improves behavior and increases concentration.  One of the goals of the Physical Education program is for students to celebrate physical literacy, which is the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life. 

  • The students in grades K-4 experience PE class twice in the six day cycle.  The PE department uses the Spark curriculum to meet the PE standards. Students start with space awareness and movement. They focus on large motor skills activities in games, ball skills and, movement activities.  They support fitness by learning how their bodies move, stretching and building endurance in fitness assessments. Small motor skills are practiced with cup stacking and rhythm and movement are taught with the Drum Fit program. The students use heart monitors to check their levels of activity and to try and increase their movement.  PE instructors also provide part of the health curriculum with focuses on food and nutrition and keeping the body healthy through activity.

  • One of the most important skills learned in the physical education program is the social aspect.  The students learn cooperation, teamwork. best effort and positive attitudes along with a growth mindset. An active life can enhance the student’s social and emotional learning.  Being physically active can release endorphins which can alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, and frustration to name a few.  Body control and personal and team success can boost positive energy and confidence.

Fisher Elementary students enjoying P.E. class

Fisher Elementary students enjoying P.E. class

Art

Instruction provided by:  K-4 Art teachers

Art Standards- Visual Arts Standards

Curriculum:

  • Art Mission Statement: The Marshalltown Art Department works together to grow a well-rounded student who has the ability to do multiple tasks with skill, creatively solve problems, empathize and relate to others around them.

  • Artistic Processes are the cognitive and physical actions by which arts learning and making are realized. National Core Arts Standards are based on the artistic processes of Creating; Presenting; Responding; and Connecting.

  • All students in the Marshalltown Community School District have the opportunities to grow through art experiences starting in kindergarten.  All students receive art instruction through grade 8 and students at the high school have a selection of electives to continue their exploration.  

  • At the K-8 levels, students not only create their art, but they learn about famous artists and try and create from the inspiration of another artist, they display and curate works to see commonalities in themes and they learn to reflect on their work in order to improve their learning.  Students are introduced to many media including paint, pastels, clay, printmaking, pencil and ink. As student increase their knowledge and skill during the intermediate and middle school years, they add complexity and different techniques to their creation. 

Library Services/Technology

Instruction provided by:  Teacher Librarians/Media Specialists

Library Standards –Iowa School Library Standards

Curriculum:

  • Mission Statement:  We develop students and staff who become effective users of information and embrace a love of reading and literature through personalized learning experiences. 

  •  The Marshalltown Community School District Libraries follow a curriculum aligned with the American Association of School Librarians, the National Education Technology Standards, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Iowa Core Curriculum.

  • All schools offer a fully staffed and full-service library with a  teacher librarian who is uniquely prepared and strategically positioned to:

    • teach students to think critically and independently to construct new understandings and insights from varied information sources.

    • lead and embrace the integration of technology to enhance learning.

    • connect communities of learners in virtual and physical spaces.

    • collaborate with the school community to design and enact rigorous learning experiences and participate as positive digital citizens.

    • maximize access to quality print and digital resources.

    • champion and support the reading life of students.

    • nurture curiosity to develop in students a passion for learning for life.

  • Teacher Librarians enhance the student literacy and technology experiences.  Each school maintains a library with print and digital resources and maintains websites with online resources for inquiry and research.  Students are also introduced to information literacy, digital citizenship and Project Lead the Way coding in their library experiences starting as early as kindergarten. Various additional activities such as Battle of the Books, Lit over Lunch, and Poetry Out Loud and a positive relationship with the Marshalltown Public Library provide students additional opportunities to explore reading as a lifelong passion.  

A Woodbury Elementary student working on an online assignment.

A Woodbury Elementary student working on an online assignment.

Technology

Students in the district use various forms of technology.  The district is one on one with Chromebooks for students in grades PK through 12.  The district uses the Google Suite of products to promote communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking skills.  Coding is introduced at the elementary levels and continues at all grade levels through middle school.