English Language Arts (ELA)
The Reading/English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum includes daily lessons in phonics, reading, grammar, writing and spelling. In kindergarten to third grade, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys is followed. The fourth and fifth grade utilizes McGraw-Hill Education Wonders with Voyages in English, Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop, Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary and Triumph Learning Performance Coach as additional resources. The mechanics of writing is an essential part of the curriculum from kindergarten to eighth grade, as well as, the development of oral and listening skills.
The methods used to assist our PreK-4 through second grade emergent readers include whole group instruction with their classroom teachers, and whole and small group instruction with our reading specialist.
Third to fifth grade students are taught to apply critical thinking skills to their reading. Students are encouraged to analyze and respond to what has been discovered through reading fiction and nonfiction selections, such as folk tales, articles, poetry and drama. The curriculum standards begin to focus on the distinction between literal versus non-literal language, inference, character analysis, citing references, determining the main idea and comparing and contrasting. Through mini lessons, think-pair-share, graphic organizers, iPad applications, book reports and author studies, the students explore the world of literature.
In sixth to eighth grade, a love of reading is fostered through the exploration of various genres in either an on-level or accelerated ELA class. Greater emphasis is placed on the writing process as a tool for students to establish a personal voice when analyzing two or more texts, supporting an argument or creating a narrative.