Language Arts

Our language arts program is designed to develop active, life-long readers, thinkers and learners who choose to read in and out of school for a variety of purposes. Research over the past 20 years has expanded our definition of a “good” reader. The recognition that reading is a thinking and problem-solving process, not an automatic response to print, has influenced instruction significantly. The process is variable and the reader must be prepared to use a wide range of strategies to meet each situation. Skilled readers adjust the way that they read depending on the complexity of the text, their familiarity with the topic and their purpose for reading.

Kindergarten - 4th Grade
  • Students are immersed in authentic fiction and nonfiction read-aloud texts as they learn to read, write, and verbally express their ideas
  • Students learn to comprehend and self-monitor texts through guided group discussions, small group practice, and individualized conferences
  • Students read, think, respond, question, and reread to clarify or extend their thinking as they interact with texts
  • Students develop at their pace through guided lessons and individual conferring
  • Kindergarten through 2nd-grade uses differentiated small group reading instruction that focuses on word study, comprehension, spelling, and skills, coupled with independent literacy stations to extend these skills
  • Students acquire high-utility vocabulary words through engaging activities encountered through read-aloud texts
  • Daily writing is taught through a workshop model, guided by read-alouds of different genres where students listen, respond, and exchange ideas
  • Through shared writing, peer editing, and individualized conferring, students gain immediate feedback to grow as writers
  • Skills and conventions are explicitly taught and applied through editing and revising skills to effectively communicate their ideas in writing
  • Social-emotional learning skills are intentionally taught and practiced through collaborative learning structures where students learn to respectfully exchange ideas
5th-8th Grade

The middle school language arts program consists of a variety of reading, writing, listening, and speaking components that foster the integration of communication, research skills, and teamwork. These components include a variety of literacy activities that progress from teacher directed, to guided practice, to independent learning, and are woven into the classroom setting to create an environment that leads students to become independent readers, writers, and thinkers.

The middle school language arts program consists of a literature class and a writing class. The literature class includes reading, literary analysis and response, as well as speaking and listening skills. Reading instruction continues to focus on mastering the skills that stronger readers need in order to use reading as a tool for learning as well as a means of relaxation and entertainment. The writing class incorporates direct writing instruction of specific genres, grammar, and vocabulary along with student choice in Writer’s Workshop. Students learn to write and speak about topics they deeply understand with supporting evidence.