English Language Arts
The Language Arts curriculum empowers all students to meet new, challenging standards of education and to "provide them with lifelong education...that equips them to be lifelong learners." (Fullan, 2006) The curriculum is based on the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association's National Standards.
The various language arts goals include: reading/literature, phonics (grades 1-3), spelling/vocabulary, written language (includes explicit instruction in grammar/usage/mechanics), oral language (includes explicit instruction in listening skills), and handwriting.
Classrooms incorporate a learning environment that values critical thinking, oral, written, and visual communication, and encourage the active participation of the students in the learning process. Instruction engages students in the learning process rather than allowing them to be the passive recipients of information.
The following outlines the essential topics and skills that students accomplish from the Language Arts curriculum.
- Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
- Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions of human experience.
- Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies and their understanding of textual features.
- Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audience and for different purposes.
- Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and used different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of reasons.
- Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique and discuss print and non-print texts.
- Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
- Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
- Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
- Students whose first language is not English must make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum.
- Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.
- Students read, write and listen to learn about God's world and to participate fully in parish and school community life.
- Students use a variety of mediums and methods to communicate and celebrate God's word and to pray.
- Students demonstrate an understanding of the personal choices and moral consequences in literature and apply these to their own lives.