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Language Arts

The emphasis of our elementary language arts curriculum focuses on fostering independent thinkers and writers. Our curriculum includes: Literacy Place, Reader’s Theater, Visualizing and Verbalizing, phoneme sequencing programs, symbol imagery for fluency of sight words, spelling instruction, Handwriting without Tears, and direct writing instruction. Students are provided with multimodal tools such as white boards, chart paper, graphic organizers, and word banks. Students are exposed to a variety of purposes such as descriptive, narrative, informative, and expository writing. Students are guided by our skilled staff through the writing process to effectively brainstorm, organize, write rough drafts, edit, revise, and publish their ideas. Using rubrics and checklists, students engage in peer editing and obtain valuable feedback from their classmates as well as classroom staff. Our goal is to teach students to expand their vocabulary as they use descriptive language to communicate effectively.

The elementary reading program strives to give our students a strong foundation in reading. Our team goal is to foster a passion for reading so that our students enjoy reading both in and out of the classroom. Our students are assessed and placed into groups where our skilled staff can target each student’s individual areas of need. Students work to increase their fluency and reading comprehension as they focus on areas such as: phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, spelling, vocabulary, morphology, grammar, listening, speaking and writing. To promote growth in these areas we use the following research based instructional programs: Language!, Voyager, SRA, and Read Naturally. For students advanced in reading the Junior Great Books program and classic novels are explored with an emphasis on critical thinking and personal interpretation. By targeting the various strands of reading in small group settings students can carry over vital skills to important content areas.

Kindergarten
In Kindergarten, students learn about letters, words, and sounds. They learn to read simple sentences and identify basic facts and ideas about what they have read, heard, and viewed. They learn to write words and simple, legible sentences. Students also listen and respond to oral communication.

1st Grade
In 1st grade, students learn the basic features of reading. They select letter patterns and learn how to translate them into spoken language by using phonics, syllabication, and word parts. They apply this knowledge to achieve fluent oral and silent reading. Students read and respond to a wide variety of significant works of children’s literature. They distinguish between the structural features of the text and the literary terms or elements (e.g., theme, plot, setting, characters). Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea and describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. They speak in a manner that guides the listener to understand important ideas by using proper phrasing, pitch, and modulation.

2nd Grade
In 2nd grade, students learn the basic features of reading. They select letter patterns and learn how to translate them into spoken language by using phonics, syllabication, and word parts. They apply this knowledge to achieve fluent oral and silent reading. Students read and respond to a wide variety of significant works of children’s literature. They write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. They speak in a manner that guides the listener to understand important ideas by using proper phrasing, pitch, and modulation.

3rd Grade
In 3rd grade, students understand the basic features of reading. They select letter patterns and know how to translate them into spoken language by using phonics, syllabication, and word parts. They apply this knowledge to achieve fluent oral and silent reading. Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing shows they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing successive versions). Students listen critically and respond appropriately to oral communication. They speak in a manner that guides the listener to understand important ideas by using proper phrasing, pitch, and modulation.

4th Grade
In 4th grade, students use appropriate strategies when reading for different purposes (e.g., full comprehension, location of information, personal enjoyment). They make and confirm predictions about text by using prior knowledge and ideas presented in the text itself, including illustrations, titles, topic sentences, important words, and foreshadowing clues. They describe the structural differences of various imaginative forms of literature, including fantasies, fables, myths, legends, and fairy tales. Their multi-paragraph compositions show they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing successive versions). Students deliver brief recitations and oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests that are organized around a coherent thesis statement.

5th Grade
In 5th grade, students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature. They begin to find ways to clarify the ideas and make connections between literary works. Identify and analyze the characteristics of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction and explain the appropriateness of the literary forms chosen by an author for a specific purpose. Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits the students’ awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication of others.

6th Grade
In 6th grade, students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They critique the credibility of characterization and the degree to which a plot is contrived or realistic. Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts. Student writing demonstrates a command of research, organizational, and drafting strategies. Students deliver well-organized formal presentations and evaluate the oral communications of others.

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