English Language Arts in the Elementary Schools

English Language Arts

The aim of our elementary literacy program is to ensure students experience numerous opportunities to develop their capacity for deep, critical thinking as well as excellent listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in all disciplines. Our English language arts program is anchored in the standards of the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, which includes the Common Core Standards. 

Reading instruction includes phonemic awareness; letter and word learning; word study (including phonics, spelling and vocabulary); text reading, including a range of strategies for maintaining fluency, solving unknown words, and literal and inferential comprehension. 

Writing instruction provides students the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes and to use a variety of text types. Writing skills and strategies focus on structure, elaboration and craft, and language conventions. As students proceed up the grades the skills and strategies transfer and build to ensure that all students see themselves as skilled authors.

As part of the reader’s and writers workshop students read and write frequently and routinely, and in many settings: independently, with a partner, during small group work with the teacher or peers, and during whole group instruction. 

Writing instruction begins in kindergarten and is instrumental all along the way in helping children grow as readers, too. As students progress, they learn to write with clarity and focus, expanding their ideas with sufficient detail. They are expected to employ a writing process which includes choice of topic, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Inquiry, research, and report writing are in evidence at every grade. In both reading and writing students are routinely exposed to many aspects of the writer’s craft, by way of example and inspiration.

Technology is integrated into literacy in ways that appropriately support the overall reading and writing instruction.