Our Curriculum

The Arts

Art is an integral component of every curricular aspect of Longfellow School. The school community believes teaching art enhances the creative, emotional and intellectual growth of each child. While they explore their world through a variety of mediums and experiences, children celebrate diversity of expression. We find that utilizing arts during instruction provides students opportunities for problem solving, self-expression, risk taking, and community involvement. The teaching of content through arts provides new challenges for those already considered successful in school and can also reach students who may not otherwise be reached. Students connect to themselves and each other while exploring creativity within a supportive setting.

ArtWorks

ArtWorks is Longfellow's self-supporting arts program. Each spring Longfellow's ArtWorks Festival highlights the talents and triumphs of each child's artistic accomplishments. This family-oriented celebration includes dinner, children's activities, music, and dance. ArtWorks also holds a live auction, silent auction, and Artful Donations for students' individual works during the festival. The money raised from the festival funds visual and performing arts experiences for all students throughout the year, including:

  • Visual art residencies
  • Drama
  • Theater
  • Dance
  • Poetry
  • Drumming
  • Art shows and exhibits at school and in the community
  • A permanent collection of children's art
  • High quality art materials and equipment
  • Fifth graders’ major building enhancement project
  • Continuing staff education to support art experiences in the classroom

Thank you for your interest in Longfellow’s ArtWorks. For additional information or to get involved in classroom projects, residencies, or the spring festival, please e-mail Nancy Planalp or call 406.522.6150 or visit the ArtWorks tab in the left hand column.

Math

Longfellow students are provided rich, engaging opportunities to explore math concepts through real-world experiences. Longfellow uses Everyday Math as the core of its math instruction. Students have opportunities to expand their math skills through a variety of engaging activities and extensions in math.

Reading & Writing

At Longfellow School, we believe reading and writing are two parts of an integrated learning process. They go hand in hand.

Reading instruction at Longfellow encompasses phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The essence of reading is to gain meaning from text. Children learn to read by reading. Maximum growth occurs when students read at their instructional level. At this level, readers use reading strategies and need some teacher support. All grades focus on the following reading comprehension strategies:

  • Making Connections
  • Asking Questions
  • Visualizing
  • Predicting and Inferring
  • Determining Important Ideas
  • Summarizing/Synthesizing

The essence of writing is to communicate ideas in written form. Children learn to write by writing. Longfellow teaches and assesses writing through the 6+1 Traits of Writing.

  • Ideas - the heart of the message
  • Organization - the internal structure
  • Voice - the heart and soul, the feeling
  • Sentence Fluency - rhythm and flow
  • Conventions - spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Presentation - pleasing to the eye

Longfellow believes that reading and writing happen in every area of the curriculum. There is a school-wide commitment to keeping reading and writing alive, joyous, and relevant. We make use of community and parent volunteers through the CAP, and America Reads programs so that all Longfellow Children gain the skills and abilities to be be proficient readers.

Science

The opportunity to study the natural world is an integral part of Longfellow’s approach to science. Students engage in a variety of inquiry based science investigations both inside and outside of the classroom. Inquiry based learning is emphasized across the curriculum. Students have regular opportunities to explore curriculum issues outside of the classroom through neighborhood “Journey’s” and science-focused field days. In addition, students are encouraged to engage in creative problem solving as they participate in a variety of science contests throughout the year and an annual Science Fair in February.

Technology

In order for students to feel comfortable with the tools of the Information Age, they need access to computers and related technology. As of 2010, Longfellow has tech tools to support student learning that include:

  • A computer lab with 20 eMac computers, printers, scanners, LCD projectors and digital cameras;
  • An LCD projector and Digital Presenter in each classroom and the library
  • A mobile computer cart with 24 Mac laptop computers and laser printer
  • Highspeed, wireless Internet capability throughout the building
  • District level Tech Support team
  • Staff members committed to using technology as a teaching and a learning tool for their students

Children begin using the lab in kindergarten, progressing to more challenging activities through the 5th grade. Technology standards and assessment results guide the work of our staff in this area. Longfellow has many different types of applications from skill building programs to word processing and multimedia programs. All families are asked to complete an Acceptable Use Agreement before the students access online information. Lab classes integrate computer skills with classroom curriculum.

The Longfellow Community and the Longfellow Parent Association have helped to provide the school with technology upgrades through fund raisers and donations on a regular basis.

Examples of technology integrations into classroom instruction can be found through the links below

  • Ms. Crawford - Montana Wildlife
  • Mr. Wallace - Presidential Podcasts
  • Wetlands Festival

    Longfellow’s Wetlands Festival is an opportunity for students to explore and learn about the nature and characteristics of wetlands. During September, the wetlands serve as a thread of study that culminates in the day long festival. The entire school participates at one of three different wetlands sites. Over thirty Montana State University education students, Bozeman area scientists, and scores of parent volunteers lead students through a wide variety of outdoor science activities. Students gain an appreciation of some of the environmental issues facing the Gallatin Valley and its valuable wetlands. The Wetlands Festival is supported by Montana Water Course, International Project Wet, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State University, The Federation of Flyfishers, Ducks Unlimited, Bozeman Public Schools, the City of Bozeman and other area businesses.