Core Academics

Sylvester Elementary (grades 3-5) continues to build on the academic foundation preparation done at the earlier levels of education. In addition to a clear, academically focused curriculum that stresses 21st Century skills, students at Sylvester Elementary are also encouraged to develop and use problem solving skills that may arise in the social domain.

It is the goal of our staff to teach students to do their best, treat others with respect, and take an active role in their education. At this level of public education, state testing becomes an area of focus. All students are administered M-STEP (Michigan Student Educational Test of Progress) and test in the areas of Math and English Language Arts. 5th graders are assessed in Social studies and Science. Various district-level assessments and national assessments are also administered to ensure that students are progressing academically. Sylvester Elementary students, parents, and staff are also encouraged to participate in community and nation-wide events such as; March of Dimes, Kids Heart Challenge, Holiday Care Program, Kindness Crew, and other activities that allow students to develop healthy living habits and take an active role in the community.

Reading Units

  • Reader's Workshop format used to develop independent reading skills at level sufficient to understand grade level content; strong focus on building reading stamina.
  • Making Meaning materials are used to develop the following comprehension strategies; visualizing, wondering/questioning, inferences, understanding text structure, determining important ideas, making connections and summarizing.
  • Social Skill interactions built into the structure of the reading program include; taking turns, appreciating and respecting others ideas, giving reasons to support thoughts and opinions, talking and listening to one another, using prompts to add to others thinking, clarifying questions, reaching agreement, and discussing opinions respectfully.

Writing Units

  • Writer's Workshop format utilizing MAISA units developed by Oakland Schools.
  • Mini-lessons, small group strategy sessions, and conferences with teachers help students to build and expand their writing skills.

Math Learning Center - Bridges

  • Bridges in Mathematics is used in grades 3-5.
  • Bridges focuses on developing students' deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems.
  • Blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration.
  • Taps into the intelligence and strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful.

Project Lead The Way

  • Project Lead The Way used in grades 3-5.
  • Provides a comprehensive approach to STEM Education. Through activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum, PLTW gives students a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning.
  • Students become problem solvers. Students use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. They apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, learning that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes.

Social Studies Units

  • A combination of MAISA Units and Social Studies Alive materials are used to meet grade level content expectations
  • Interactive approach to teaching about community, state and world (history, geography, government, economics) delivered through classroom activities, field trips, and textbooks.
  • Multicultural perspectives and appreciation of diversity bring social studies instruction alive within our classrooms.
  • MAISA Units combine cross-curricular activities to provide more in depth learning opportunities for students.

Safe and Civil Schools

  • All students are entitled to a safe and civil school environment.
  • MIBLSI programming is implemented at Sylvester Elementary.
  • PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) and MTSS (Multi-Tier System of Supports)
  • Effective classroom management procedures.
  • Fosters respect and accountability in all students and improves school climate and culture.
  • Data driven decision making as it relates to behaviors.
  • ROCKS (Respect, Ownership, Compassion, Knowledge, Success) Values