Language Arts Program
The school’s balanced literacy program integrates writing, reading, handwriting, spelling, speaking and listening. Teachers engage in professional development on an ongoing basis to improve techniques and methods in Language Arts that include training in Guided Reading and Writer's Workshop. Individual student needs are met through flexible reading groups and with the support of Academic Support teachers. The following provides an overview of our Language Arts programs.
We use a standardized instrument to help identify and then offer interventions to students in the emerging phase of reading development in kindergarten through second grade. By using Aims Web we are able to pinpoint areas of reading literacy where children need assistance. At the primary level we are working on skills that involve phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken language is made up of a series of small sounds, or phonemes, an understanding that is fundamental to making the connection between the sounds of spoken language and the letters of written language. Research indicates that a child's level of phonemic awareness is one of the best predictors of success in learning to read. Academic Support teachers work with small groups of students who show deficiencies in the various areas of phonemic awareness on a revolving basis. We administer the Aims Web several times per year to all students K-2. Student groups are formed based on those results, offered interventions, progress-monitored and then continue services or are released as they master these skills. Different groups of children receive services systematically throughout the year based on their individual results.
The Fundations Program from Wilson Reading is being implemented on a regular basis in kindergarten, first and second grades as a component of the Language Arts program. The program focuses on sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency and spelling.