Preschool students will be introduced to early print concepts, oral language, and phonics. They will be singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes and doing finger-plays to help develop early literacy skills. Preschool students will learn to recognize both upper and lowercase letters and their corresponding sounds. Students will retell stories and make captions for their drawings. They will develop their fine motor skills while drawing self portraits, tracing their name and letters while being encouraged to use their imagination. We will develop our listening skills by following two-step directions. Students will develop comprehension skills by answering questions about theme-based stories. Students are introduced to some literary authors including Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The children will develop a lifelong love of language and the written word.
Students gain essential skills necessary for the development of a solid foundation in reading and writing. Emphasis is placed upon the identification of the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet and their corresponding sounds. Oral language is promoted by the development of listening skills, sequencing, syllabication, and the recognition of rhyming words. Students explore the attributes of a book, the purpose of an author and illustrator, and strategies for comprehension and fluency. In addition to the recognition of the vowels and their corresponding sounds, students begin to articulate consonant-vowel-consonant words through the identification of beginning, middle, and end sounds. Students also explore high frequency sight words from the Dolch Pre-Primer list. Becoming proficient in the basic strokes of handwriting allow students to form letters, numbers, and symbols. Print awareness prepares students for reading and writing through the exploration of directionality from left to right. In preparation for written expression, students learn to draw or label pictures to communicate meaning. Junior kindergarten prepares students to become successful readers and writers by learning a plethora of new skills and vocabulary words.
In kindergarten, students further their phonetic, comprehension, fluency, grammar, and writing skills. Students begin the year reviewing consonants, short vowel sounds, and forming word families. By the end of the year, students will have mastered the kindergarten phonics program including long vowel patterns, consonant digraphs, blends, and various other phonics skills. Students build reading and writing foundational skills such as decoding text through picture books, read-alouds, independent reading time, and story writing. Guided reading groups allow teachers to meet students where they are in their literacy development and progress in reading levels. Students will also be introduced to story elements through a variety of fiction and nonfiction books while learning the process of re-telling and summarizing. Kindergarten provides a solid foundation in order for students to be successful readers and writers.
Students in first grade become confident at reading and comprehension by listening to the teacher read, guided reading, shared reading, and independent reading with leveled books. A love of reading is developed during our fairy tale and author studies. The children have opportunities to show off their speaking skills through reader’s theater, reciting and performing poems, retelling and summarizing stories, and reading buddies. Students learn phonics, spelling, sight words, and decoding skills during word study time. This is accomplished with Words Their Way and other engaging interactive activities. Students explore the writing process through journal writing and reading response journals. First graders also create class stories and books.
Second grade uses guided reading to promote comprehension, reading fluency, decoding skills, and to build phonics. It also promotes vocabulary development. Writing focuses on cursive handwriting and spelling. It consists of planning, drafting, writing, editing, and revising various types of paragraphs (descriptive, persuasive, explanatory, expository, narrative) letters, and story creation. Shurley language encourages the learning of punctuation, parts of speech, and classifying sentences. Second graders participate in class discussions, recite poems, journal readings, act out stories and plays, Reader's Theater, and present at assembly. They practice listening skills during read alouds, actively engaging with their peers, and following directions.
Third grade students participate in guided reading and novel studies. The focus of third grade reading places emphasis on skills including reading comprehension, main idea, summarizing, inferencing, and compare and contrast. Students also learn to interpret textual connections such as text to text, text to self, and text to world. Students also learn to reflect on what they read, identifying with characters, exploring plot and identifying themes. Students in third grade utilize a daily writing journal that broadens their exposure to different types of writing styles. Students gain experience spelling, editing, using correct grammar and expanding vocabulary. Students in third grade gain experience with public speaking through research reports, presentations, and school assemblies and performances. Third graders also develop valuable listening skills that allow for engaging in group discussions with teachers and peers.
Students engage in novel studies and guided reading. There is emphasis on reading comprehension including identifying main ideas, interpreting text, predicting outcomes, summarizing events, making inferences, empathizing with characters, drawing conclusions. Students in fourth grade write daily. They begin to understand the steps in the writing process and learn to self-evaluate their writing. Greek and Latin roots are introduced at this level. Students engage in daily spelling activities on the fifth grade level. . Everyone participates in group discussions, present oral reports, read alouds, and have the opportunity to present at school assemblies. Listening skills are key as they develop interpretive skills through dictated materials, listening to teachers & peers read aloud, evaluate oral reports, and participate in group discussions.
In 5th grade Language Arts classes, teachers utilize a variety of techniques to enrich the English/language arts curriculum. An emphasis is placed on reading comprehension skills through advanced novel studies in a variety of genres. Critical thinking skills are stressed in order for students to internalize main idea, recall facts, to sequence, to draw conclusions, to inference, and to summarize. Students are taught to read and assess writing using rubrics as a guide. Students write on a daily basis across all curriculum areas, and use the writing process (pre-write, write, revise/edit, final product) in order to produce quality pieces. We employ the customized writing program from "Teaching Writing: Structure and Style by the Institute for Excellence in Writing." Vocabulary instruction includes the study of Greek and Latin stems as well as embedded vocabulary within the novel studies. The Shurley English textbook for grammar, usage and mechanics is used to supplement basic grammar skills. The speaking/listening Language Arts strand is incorporated through oral presentations, research reports, book reports, poetry recitation, dramatization, and assembly presentations. Students engage in class discussions as they listen to dramatic readings of plays and poetry. Education beyond the classroom is encouraged, as students engage in a variety of field trips that give purpose and meaning to the Language Arts curriculum. These include visits to The Barter Theater and East Hill Cemetery.
Sixth grade grammar is taught using Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar. Students will learn and explore the eight parts of speech. Included in this study will be helping and linking verbs, transitive and intransitive verbs, natural and inverted sentences, direct and indirect objects, possessive nouns, subject, object, and possessive pronouns, and predicate nouns and adjectives.
Seventh grade grammar is taught using Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar Silver. The class is a more in-depth study of the eight parts of speech, independent and subordinate clauses, phrases, the four types of sentence structure (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex), verb usage, pronoun usage, agreement, usages problems, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence diagramming.
Eighth grade grammar is taught using Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar Gold. The class is a more in-depth study of the eight parts of speech, independent and subordinate clauses, phrases, the four types of sentence structure (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex), verb usage, pronoun usage, agreement, usages problems, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence diagramming.
Sixth grade literature concentrates on vocabulary, elements of plot, comprehension skills, and responding to literature. Prentice-Hall Literature Bronze is used in addition to novels. Students will study elements of a short story, poetry, and novels.
Seventh grade literature concentrates on vocabulary, elements of plot, comprehension skills, and responding to literature. Prentice-Hall Literature Silver is used in addition to novels. Students will study elements of a short story, poetry, and novels
Eighth grade literature concentrates on vocabulary, elements of plot, comprehension skills, and responding to literature. Prentice-Hall Literature Gold is used in addition to novels. Students will study elements of a short story, poetry, and novels and delve deeper into the comprehension.
Students will also write using different genres of writing. Students will concentrate on writing a 5-paragraph essay in a variety of styles. These will include expository, narrative, argumentative, cause and effect, descriptive, and letter and journal writing.