Our past Annual Reports are in an easy-to-read format and are packed with stories about the success of our program.
One reason for SHARP’s success is that our lesson plans are fully integrated into the state-mandated curriculum and used throughout the school year. We do this through a core program we refer to as the 8 Building Blocks of SHARP. We design our program with the elementary teacher foremost in our mind, to make it easy to incorporate our proven teaching tools in their classroom.
Each year, our program ends with the highly anticipated Writing Challenge! The seventh step in our program’s 8 Building Blocks, it is an opportunity for our students to pull together all they have learned – vocabulary, basic themes and ideas – and use the visual arts to produce an original composition that they will see published.
For example, this past year, second grade students were challenged to write a story, poem, or even a comic strip to illustrate what they leaned about weather, water and the environment. Fifth grade students explored the Revolutionary War and finished their year writing about the colonists’ experiences.
When funding is available, the final assignment incorporates carefully selected books, provided to each child (6,800+) for use in school and then take home to build their own personal library and share with their families.
Studies show a direct correlation between the number of children’s books in the home and better test scores. Yet more than half of all low-income families have no books at all for their children. Having a child take home a book of their very own is a tangible, meaningful way to reinforce the lessons of reading and writing SHARP teaches. The following books are used as the core readers at the designated grade levels:
First Grade Science Curriculum: Life Cycle of Plants and Trees; Pollination
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, A Busy Bee: The Story of Bella The Honey Bee by SHARP Literacy, Inc., and Apples by Gail Gibbons.
Second Grade Science Curriculum: Weather, Water and the Environment
A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney and The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Third Grade Social Studies Curriculum: Communities
Friends and Neighbors by Dr. Kenneth Cole, All Around Milwaukee (one of our We Love to Learn Books) and Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Fourth Grade Social Studies Curriculum: Wisconsin
All About Wisconsin (one of our We Love to Learn Books) and Wisconsin Portraits by Martin Hintz
Fifth Grade Curriculum: Building a Nation
Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began by Lucille Recht Penner
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