Elementary Language Arts Program
Standards / Courses of Study: The RELA courses of study meet the Pennsylvania standards. They are a direct link between the standards and the grade specific curriculum. Staff development related to meeting these standards is an ongoing training process for our teachers. Principals, curriculum supervisors, and master teachers direct this training.
Elementary Language Arts
Writing: The elementary language arts program emphasizes purposeful writing: to tell stories, to present information, to persuade/argue, and to entertain. Students begin writing in kindergarten, even before they can read, by drawing and using phonetic spelling. In elementary school, students are expected to write every day. They write frequently in writing workshops, practice all types of writing, receive feedback from their classmates, conference with their teachers, and learn editing and revising skills.
Students publish and celebrate their pieces in their Writer's Notebook, iPad, or laptop. In addition, students also use writing as a tool for learning content in all subject areas: to respond to literature, to analyze scientific information, to problem solve in mathematics, and/or to support a point of view in social studies.
The myView and myPerspectives programs provide resources to support our RELA curriculum for grades K–6. The program combines the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening by integrating literacy skills grounded in research. The program has two goals: to teach students the connections between reading and writing and to inspire creativity. We want students to learn from the world around them and let their own stories unfold. Teachers use trade books for to immerse students in various genres and teach students how to use the characteristics of that type of writing in their own writing.
Information Skills: Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Students will be able to use the library and its available resources to
- Determine the extent of information needed
- Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
Language Use: Instruction in the other language arts skills is embedded in application. Speaking and listening skills are taught and then applied in both informal group discussion and public speaking situations. Our district scope and sequence of language skills introduces students to the formal structure of English and highlights grammatical skills to be emphasized each year.
Spelling: Kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers use the Reading Horizons program to teach spelling. All classrooms teachers in third through fifth grade use the the myView program to teach spelling. Finally, systematic handwriting instruction rounds out the language arts program.
Assessment: Assessment in the language arts includes a variety of instruments: written pieces, end-of-year skills tests, PSSA tests, portfolio prompts, and performance assessments. The culminating sixth grade performance assessment task also targets the language arts program. It requires that students develop a research question, conduct research, create a product that demonstrates their findings, deliver it orally to an assessment panel, and self-evaluate their performance.