Student presenter

Please contact the school counselor at 317-915-4260 for the most recent tutoring list. Tutoring lists will only be provided to families of students currently enrolled in the Hamilton Southeastern Schools.

Core Curriculum

Teachers' blue print for instructional planning is determined by the Indiana College and Career Readiness Standards. These new standards are the result of a process designed to create high-quality, rigorous standards for all students and align with the Hamilton Southeastern 21 Best Practices Approach (referred to as HSE21) developed by the district.

Reading, Writing and Language Arts curriculum follows the Balanced Literacy Framework including Word Work, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Reading for Research and Writing across genres. Teachers plan curriculum with the Workshop structure where the model mini lesson connects to previous lessons, has a lean teaching point, active engagement and a group share that closes the lesson and links new learning to future lessons. The core curriculum resources include Units By Design (developed by teachers across the district approved by the HSEA Teacher's Association) for reading and writing. The design team approved and adopted Literacy By Design's Rigby Leveled Text in order to enrich and remediate readers of all levels. In order to determine that instruction is resulting in student growth and learning, teachers administer the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark assessment which determines current reading levels taking accuracy, fluency, and comprehension in to consideration. Teachers supplement for word study and vocabulary development alongside Being a Writer that helps teachers coach students to write with conviction and purpose, for multiple audiences, and to demonstrate their understanding.

Curriculum for mathematics follows the Balanced Math Framework including problem solving, number work, fluency and maintenance, inspecting equations. Teachers plan for Balanced Math with the Workshop structure similar to literacy including a mini lesson. The current design team is actively looking at options for an upcoming adoption in mathematics at the elementary level including digital resources. Currently, teachers supplement with EnVision Math in partner with Pearson as a digital tool. Dr. Ryan Flessner from Butler University has partnered with GES to align Indiana's College and Career Readiness Standards with the Balanced Math Approach to empower students and teachers to shift instruction and learning from procedural understanding to demonstrating conceptual understanding with multiple strategies.

Response to Instruction:

In order to meet the needs for all students that qualify for high ability services in reading and/or mathematics, GES teachers utilize resources to create depth of knowledge with strategic questioning and writing about reading with text evidence.

To meet the needs of students who struggle in a subject, GES teachers use the information gained from Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessments to determine a matching Leveled Literacy Intervention set of lessons to implement. This intensive small-group is designed to bring children quickly up to grade-level competency and offers opportunities for teachers to work side by side students and coach individual needs. Lexia CORE5 and Reading Mastery/Corrective Reading are other support options for teachers in need of supporting students with delays that require re-teaching or an alternate pacing of instruction.

Mathematics interventions include Do The Math, Moby Max, and Front Row. Do The Math offers hands on exploration with math manipulatives and a literature including math concepts within the text. Moby Max and Front Row require digital placement assessments in order to find out what skills students have mastered and build a series of questions that will allow exploration with mathematical thinking to fill in missing concepts and foundational skills usually pertaining with number sense.

Science and Social Studies: inquiry instructional blocks allow teachers flexibility with student centered approaches such as choice, inquiry driven opportunities, collaborative situations, and evidence based learning that results in transfer of learning through application. Houghton Mifflin's Science Fusion curriculum develops critical thinking skills that prepare students for future workplace situations. Teachers are offered choice with curriculum supplements to support social studies curriculum such as StoryWorks, Time for Kids, and National Geographics. The 1:1 Initiative approaching fall of 2016 has led teachers to explore digital resources now and shift traditional lessons to open ended inquiry opportunities with the end product unknown. Teachers are using devices as a tool to amplify instruction to help students produce evidence of their learning.

Specials Curriculum

Students study Music/Performing Arts, Physical Education, Visual Arts, and Media/Library including technology. They have different classes each day and attend each class three times over a period of two weeks.

In music class, students learn to read, play, create, and improvise music with voice and different instruments including the recorder. Students also learn how to listen to and evaluate music by learning larger works and discussing the composers and their styles of their music.

There are many opportunities for our students to perform and share what they are learning in class. All students participate in two grade-level musical productions presented to our school family. The students also participate in and help to plan a Veterans Day program where our choir sings, students write and read essays and poems, and Scouts participate in the Flag Ceremony. Veterans and our community are invited to attend our program. Students can also participate in Talent Shows and Choir Concerts.

Students learn, listen to, and discuss music that enhances other subjects in their home-room classes. For example, as the students learn about Fairy Tales, they are also hearing music written about fairy tales. As students learn about famous Hoosiers, they research famous Hoosier musicians. Teachers collaborate to give these opportunities to our children.

Our Physical Education Department helps students to set individual goals and increase their own fitness levels. The use of Fitness Gram assesses increased fitness levels throughout the year in the categories of Cardiovascular Fitness, Flexibility, Muscular Endurance, and Responsible Behavior. Our third and fourth grade students are encouraged to join the Running Club which meets twice each week and trains our students to participate in local running events and increases individual fitness levels. All of our students participate in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart events. These programs allow the students to participate in community service while enhancing the curriculum with heart-related activities. Our students also participate in an all-school Field Day with fun games and healthy snacks.

Our Visual Arts Department focuses on art processes and self- expression. All projects have a foundation of art elements, while tying in artists, art movements, arts of world cultures and/or cross curricular subjects. Geist students have many ways to display their art work at school, online and through art shows. An Artist of the Week is chosen each week, and the students’ artwork is displayed in a frame in the school. Almost all student artwork is uploaded to the web gallery on Artsonia.com. Third and fourth graders photograph their own work for uploading, as well as write artist statements. Artsonia allows students to share their artwork at home and with extended family. Over 150 pieces of artwork by Geist students are displayed in our district-wide art show each year. Geist Elementary was delighted to host two Artists in Residence. The stained glass artist incorporated our students’ drawings of Indiana wildlife in the finished windows installed in our library. The second artist created clay vessels that were then covered in textured medallions by students and staff. The finished vessels were glazed and installed on our patio. Students have created a chandelier inspired by artist Dale Chihuly. This piece has been permanently installed in the center of the building. Students have also learned about Chinese New Year and have collaboratively worked to create a large dragon that is also on display as it continues to grow.

Our Media Center/Technology departments have many resources. We have an iPad cart with 30 iPads for checkout for teachers. Each grade level and special areas have their own set of six iPads to rotate amongst teachers. We also have 30 laptops, 100 electronic books, 20 periodic subscriptions, 10,000 print volumes and online databases. Our library has a computerized circulation system which shows an average of 1,166 resources circulated each week. The library has recently added almost 200 titles particularly chosen to promote social and cultural diversity. We also have a professional library containing titles for growth and development. Teachers also make full use of their computer lab time to work on projects and research. Our Media Center is an open concept facility with classroom teachers responsible for checkout. This allows our library media specialist to push into the classrooms to assist with inquiry work including, presentations, partner teaching, technology use, and small groups. This additional expert in the classroom improves our ability to engage students in their learning.