As a STEAM magnet school, we specialize in providing student unique STEAM lessons integrated into their curriculum. Besides integrated STEAM lessons in the classroom, Cypress Ridge is home to the Orlando's One and only PITSCO STREAM Mission Lab. The STREAM Mission lab will serve students in grades 3-5. Cypress Ridge will also be the first school in Orlando to provide all K-2 students with computer coding, utilizing the Kubo Robotics Curriculum. Last, we are home to the Discovery Science Center, a field trip center for Lake County students.
The faculty of Cypress Ridge is all in with integrating the Engineering Design Process throughout the year. Every grade level has piloted an Engineering is Elementary (EiE) unit. In each unit, students read a story in which the characters face an engineering problem in their region. Our students work through possible solutions to the problem (such as building a bridge, a windmill, or an electronic water trough sensor) before learning how the professionals solved it. Each grade also participates in STEM Block at least once during the year. In STEM Block, explore multiple problem solving and teamwork activities. In many classes, engineering is integrated into core subjects. (For example, the second graders read a story about a birthday party, then used measurement and engineering skills to design a gift box for the party guests.) There are also engineering learning opportunities after school with LEGO Club, Robotics Club, and Engineering Club.
The arts are an important part of elementary education. Music, drama, graphic design, and fine arts are infused into core curriculum. The enrichment team infuses Wonderful Wednesday lessons with the arts as well.
Developing problem solving skills and problem solving stamina is an essential part of our math curriculum. Peer collaboration plays an important part in engaging students in meaningful math conversations as they use their skills to solve problems. Students are provided with and are encouraged to use math manipulatives that enable them to concretely discover and prove math concepts. In addition, students at all grade levels work to build the mastery of basic math facts for that level. Much of our math curriculum is reinforced by the use of various math software programs such as iReady.
Science instruction encompasses life, physical, and earth/space sciences with an emphasis on hands-on learning. Children learn and put into practice peer collaboration, while working through the scientific process. Many teachers utilize AIMS (Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science), which enrich the education of students through hands-on activities that integrate mathematics, science and other disciplines. We also staff a Science Enrichment Lab to stimulate our students’ interest while teaching key science concepts and skills. Each spring, to culminate the school year, CRES hosts its annual Celebration of Learning. Students and teachers create an interactive teaching display including technology, writing, art, and projects based on either the Life, Earth, Environmental sciences, and/or Engineering. Fifth grade has also holds their science fair at this time.
Reading is vital to all aspects of curriculum and life. Our instruction utilizes a phonetic approach to teaching reading in which children use a multi-sensory approach to learn the 44 sounds and the 154 ways to spell those sounds in the English language. In grades K-2, we concentrate on the basic alphabetic code and the advanced alphabetic code. In grades 3-5, we build on this by teaching the construction of multi-syllable words. In addition, significant time is spent teaching students how to gather information from the text read in order to fully understand the meaning and message within the text. Children in all grades read a variety of materials from different genres, and their reading is often integrated across the curriculum.
Practicing reading is critical and time is allocated during the day for students to read independently. Teachers use the Accelerated Reader program as one tool to provide quick checks of a child's comprehension after reading a book. Students answer multiple-choice questions on a computer. The computer then handles all scoring and record-keeping automatically and provides immediate feedback to both students and teachers and even parents. Students accumulate points for each test they pass. They read and test with two goals in mind: first, to achieve and maintain an overall average comprehension score of 85% or better, and second, to earn a designated number of points every 9 weeks. Awards are given when students achieve both these goals. Click here to access the CRES AR list. Click Cypress Ridge, then AR Quiz List. Fill in any of the search boxes, then click "Get My List."
Writing/ Language Arts
Composing ideas on paper (or computer) is another necessary life skill, and to do so effectively requires the mastery of many skills. Writing includes a 2-part knowledge base. One is grammar and conventions. Without these, a piece of writing might either be illegible or make no sense to the reader. The other is the ability to convey the message or content of one's ideas in such a way that it is appealing or informative to the audience of readers. Reading and writing are very closely linked: students use their knowledge of main idea, details, vocabulary, characterization, and many more to compose pieces of writing that persuade, inform, and give narration.
Social Studies begins in kindergarten with "My Family and My School". As the students' world view expands, so does the curriculum growing to my city, my state, and my nation. Many Social Studies lessons are integrated with English/ Language Arts. Students read both fiction and non-fiction passages, novels, and essays, write to respond to literature, while learning important historical and social studies content.