To help align our curriculum with the Common Core Standards, our school have adopted Journeys published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as our new Language Arts Curriculum. Our report cards K-4 have been revised to reflect our transition to the Common Core Standards in the area of Language Arts. The report card is based on the following key skills as they are appropriate for the various grade levels:
|Concepts of Print||
Shows students the skills in knowing how print “works”. In learning to read, students need to understand concepts such as the difference between letters and numbers; that text is read left to right; the relationship between letters, words and sentences; and that print represents spoken language. “Concept of Print Assessment” is given to students in Kindergarten.
The ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words. It is the understanding that words are a collection of sounds. It is an auditory skill and does not rely on print. Phonological awareness is a strong predictor of success with phonics and decoding. The progression of this skill is assessed in Kindergarten through Unit Assessments.
Students learn to recognize that letters stand for sounds and those sounds are put together to form words. Each Lesson and Unit Assessment measures students’ progression toward these skills.
Being able to read without the need to sound out each word is essential so that the reader’s attention can be focused on the meaning and the message of a text. Reading fluency is assessed periodically and measured against benchmarks for both reading accuracy and rate.
|High Frequency Words||
Words that appear most often in the English language. It is helpful for students to recognize these words instantly, so that they do not need to decode them every time they are encountered in print. Students are assessed in being able to identify these words periodically, as they appear in Kindergarten and 1st Grade lessons.
A fundamental skill for learning to read. A student’s ability to identify letters of the alphabet is necessary for them to be able to match them to sounds for reading and writing. In Kindergarten, students are assessed in both accuracy and fluency of identifying upper and lower case letters.
The working knowledge that students have of words, their meanings, and their uses across different contexts, both in reading and in writing. This critical literacy skill is assessed in both Lesson and Unit Assessments.
Representing the words in our language should not be left to the memorization of weekly spelling tests, but to learning the system that organizes how our language is represented in print. Spelling instruction follows a progression of learning these skills and is assessed through words that match the specific skills along this progression.
Reading comprehension can be defined as “intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader”. Lesson and Unit Assessments tests a student’s ability to use both the strategies and skills that are taught in each lesson as students interact with a variety of reading passages in each lesson.
The process through which people communicate thoughts and ideas. It involves not only an understanding of print, but also how to organize it effectively to reach a desired purpose. Writing is an important part of literacy instruction and assessed in regard to focus, support, organization, word choice, voice, conventions and sentence fluency.
|Grammar||The set of rules that govern how our language working in speaking, reading and writing. These rules are taught in a progression in literacy lessons and are assessed on Lesson and Unit Assessment as they are applied to communication Grades 1-4.|