Language Arts is an integral component of the Primary School curriculum and encompasses the many areas associated with both oral and written communication; including writing, speaking, listening, grammar, phonics, handwriting and reading. The Primary Schools utilize the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s Treasures program, which is built upon a foundation of research supporting the “No Child Left Behind” requirements. Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Text Comprehension are explicitly and systematically taught. Daily reading experiences are given through Big Books for shared reading, Decodable Readers for young readers, leveled books for differentiated instruction, trade books for extended reading, and a Read Aloud Anthology for listening experiences. Components of shared, guided, and independent reading are all built into the program. The Handwriting Without Tears program is utilized at all Primary School grade levels.
LISTENING AND SPEAKING
Listening and speaking are two skills necessary for successfully taking in information and communicating thoughts and ideas to others.
READING is bringing meaning to the printed or written word. Reading is continually developing and refining literacy. Literacy begins with an understanding that the printed word has meaning, that letters and sounds form words, and words communicate thoughts and ideas in a left to right and top to bottom progression. These and other skills such as sequencing of events, character development, understanding main ideas, and making predictions all help the student grow and comprehend as a reader. Reading
Our Language Arts instruction includes:
· Concepts of Print
· Phonemic Awareness
· Phonics, Decoding and Structural Analysis
· Literary Response/Analysis
· Nonfiction Skills
Pre-Reading: The child is becoming aware that print conveys a meaning, but does not yet realize that a group of letters can form a word.
Emergent: The child is aware that print conveys a message, and is developing a simple sight vocabulary. They may read simple sentences.
Early Reader: The child is reading known and predictable books with growing confidence, but still needs support with new and unfamiliar texts.
Moderately Fluent: The child is well launched on reading but still needs to return to familiar books. At the same time the child is beginning to explore new kinds of books independently. The child is beginning to read silently.
Fluent: The child is a capable reader who now approaches familiar books with confidence, but still needs support with unfamiliar materials. The child is beginning to draw inferences from books and stories read independently. The child chooses to read independently. The child is able to complete self-selected books independently.
Extending: The child is an avid independent reader who is making choices from a wide range of material. The child is able to appreciate nuances and subtleties in text.
Pre-Writing: The child begins to use scribble writing but still primarily relies on pictures to convey meaning. Some random letters are recognizable.
Emergent: The child begins to see himself/herself as a writer. Both pictures and print are used to convey meaning. Prints with upper-case letters. The child begins to use beginning and ending consonants to make words.
Early Writer: At this stage the child begins to read back his/her own writing. Spacing between words begins to emerge. The writer uses beginning, middle and ending sounds to make words. The child begins to write noun-verb phrases and experiments with capitals and end marks.
Developing: At this stage the child is able to write pieces that he/she and others can read. The writer is writing recognizable short sentences about observations and experiences with some descriptive words. The child uses phonetic spelling to write independently. Revising is beginning by adding details to an idea. Editing for punctuation with guidance is beginning.
Transitional: The writer now begins to consider an audience and write with a central idea. The writer revises by adding description and details. Capitals and periods are used independently. The child is able to edit for punctuation and spelling with guidance.
Extending: The child is an avid independent writer who initiates his/her own writing in both fiction and non-fiction. The child is able to independently edit for punctuation and spelling. The writer is able to revisit a piece of writing over a period of time.