Pre K - Grade 4
Literacy instruction begins in PreK-3 with environmental print, letter and number recognition, acting out stories, rhyming and finger plays. As students progress, reading comprehension strategies include predicting, questioning, visualizing, connecting, inferring, monitoring, summarizing, synthesizing and evaluating. These strategies are first modeled and then practiced and applied during guided reading groups, mini lessons, conferencing, and authentic reading at the student’s individual level.
Daily reading and writing include journaling, buddy reading, read-aloud and silent reading. In addition, teacher-guided word work includes instruction in phonics, phonemic awareness, and structural analysis. All facets of the language arts program including reading, writing, listening, spelling and speaking are taught within thematically based units.
The primary goal of the Academy’s middle school English/Language Arts program is for students to develop skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing. The curriculum is based on current research and is aligned with the Diocesan Curriculum and the Common Core Standards.
Classes are departmentalized and students are grouped heterogeneously. Since students may arrive with different levels of awareness and ability, coursework is designed not only to develop a mastery of specific skills, but also to inspire and challenge. A lifelong appreciation of reading and the ability to convey ideas clearly is the goal. The program focuses on the development of critical, creative, and logical thinking skills.
In the English/Language Arts (ELA) double period block. All aspects of language arts are integrated. Reading comprehension strategies include: predicting, questioning, visualizing, connecting, inferring, monitoring, summarizing, synthesizing and evaluating. A literature anthology is used and supplemented by trade books, while literacy magazines add diversity.
The schools use in innovative web-based writing program called My Access to provide a diagnostic of writing skills. The program provides immediate assessment to students, which guides them towards independent mastery. Meanwhile, teachers are able to gauge comprehension of the desired skill and differentiate as needed.
The curriculum addresses a broad range of genres including, but not limited to, narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive. Then requirement to keep lab notebooks, write lab reports, or perform research in the other disciplines teaches students to become better readers, thinkers and writers while demonstrating the importance of the language arts outside of the ELA classroom. In all cases, writing is taught as a process: prewriting, organizing, writing, revising, and rewriting.