Desert Heights introduced our new reading program SRA Imagine It!, formally known as SRA Open Court, in the 2009-2010 school year, beginning in pre-kindergarten. Imagine It! is a comprehensive, core reading program that addresses the five key elements of literacy: phonemic awareness, explicit and systematic phonics instruction, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Imagine It! includes instruction in reading, language arts, spelling, grammar, writing, and penmanship. With SRA Imagine It!, students not only “acquire the skills, knowledge, and strategies they need to become skilled readers and writers …they understand the meaning and purpose of what they are learning” (“What is Imagine It!: Benefits”, 2007). For additional information, or to view the At Home link, please visit www.imagineitreading.com.
Desert Heights has also adopted the newest edition, the 3rd edition, of the Saxon Math program, in the 2009-2010 school year. The Saxon Math program has been a part of the Desert Heights instructional process for the past five years. “Saxon Math is a comprehensive, core math program that offers hands-on and enrichment activities, problem-solving and performance tasks for all grade-levels. The new textbooks include more support for English Language Learners, ways to differentiate instruction, and open-ended questions for students to practice justifying their reasoning and to illustrate that they have learned the necessary skills and concepts…Using Saxon Math, students work toward mastery in three ways: by reviewing, maintaining and building upon previously learned skills; through direct, explicit instruction of new content, mathematical thinking and vocabulary; and by applying, reinforcing and demonstrating cumulative learning” (McCann, 1). For additional information, please visit www.saxonpublishers.hmhco.com.
Desert Heights continues to utilize Houghton-Mifflin’s Discovery Works Science program. Discovery Works Science combines content-rich resources to help students to develop a concrete understanding of challenging abstract concepts. Hands-on activities enable students to inquire, investigate, and develop real-world connections. Parents and students may find Discovery Works Science Internet Field Trips and Computer Centers at www.eduplace.com/science/dw.
Desert Heights continues to utilize Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s Friends and Neighbors social studies program. Friends and Neighbors is an activity-based social studies program that encourages citizenship through hands-on activities that teach the importance of membership in a family, classroom, and community. For more information and student/parent resources, such as virtual field trips, please visit: www.macmillanmh.com/socialstudies/2003-5/student/AZpickbook.html