• Department Overview and Philosophy

     

    Grade 6: Language Arts: Reading and Writing

    Grade 6 introduces middle school students to the study of language arts on a secondary level with emphasis on increasing students’ understanding and appreciation of literature and informational texts.   Reading instruction follows a balanced literacy approach through a number of strategies and techniques in Reading Workshop. These include read-alouds/alongs, shared reading, independent reading, small group strategy instruction, one-to-one conferencing, and partnership or book club discussions.  At this level, students will read and analyze more complex works of fiction including poetry and short stories. In addition, students will read and analyze more complex informational texts.

    Students will develop their ability to write creatively, critically, and argumentatively. Writing Workshop mirrors the same structure of Reading Workshop through strategies including mini-lessons, shared writing, small group strategy instruction, and one-to-one conferencing.  An emphasis is placed on the use of mentor texts while encouraging student immersion, independence, voice, and choice.The sixth grade program continues to teach spelling and grammatical skills, but the emphasis is on students’ ability to transfer these skills to their own writing.

     

    Grade 7:  Language Arts:  Reading and Writing

    LANGUAGE ARTS: Reading

    The seventh grade Language Arts/Literacy program encompasses reading literature and informational text and speaking and listening.   Reading instruction follows a balanced literacy approach through a number of strategies and techniques in Reading Workshop. These include read-alouds/alongs, shared reading, independent reading, small group strategy instruction, one-to-one conferencing, and partnership or book club discussions. Reading Workshop provides students with the necessary tools to communicate orally and read and comprehend print. This course is integrated with the Language Arts writing course that students are also required to take this year.

    LANGUAGE ARTS: Writing

    The Language Arts program during the seventh grade expands the sixth grade program in the areas of writing by crafting narrative, informational, and opinion pieces and enhancing language skills including spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. In addition, students are required to write both creatively and critically.  More sophisticated modes of writing are introduced, including the argumentative essay, the memoir and the explanatory/informative essay. Furthermore, students will begin more concentrated work on writing style, literary analysis, and persuasive speech preparation. Writing Workshop mirrors the same structure of Reading Workshop through strategies including mini-lessons, shared writing, small group strategy instruction, and one-to-one conferencing.  An emphasis is placed on the use of mentor texts while encouraging student immersion, independence, voice, and choice. Writing Workshop provides students with the necessary tools to write with clarity and purpose for a variety of audiences. This course is integrated with the Language Arts reading course that students are also required to take this year.

    Grade 8: English/English Advanced and Writing

    Language Arts: Reading

    This course offers students the opportunity to explore more complex literature with an emphasis on a deep understanding of the work as evidenced in oral discussion and written analysis.  Reading instruction follows a balanced literacy approach through a number of strategies and techniques in Reading Workshop. These include read-alouds/alongs, shared reading, independent reading, small group strategy instruction, one-to-one conferencing, and book club discussions.  Students will learn how to cite textual evidence to support inferences drawn from the text. Vocabulary, syntax and principles of good writing continue to be studied and emphasized in the course. Traditional and project-based assessments are derived from the works studied in class and are frequently connected to other subject areas.   This course is integrated with the Language Arts writing course that students are also required to take this year.

     

    Language Arts: Reading Advanced

    This course mirrors the description of the aforementioned Reading course, yet it focuses more intensely on critical and complex literary genres. Discussion will synthesize information from the various texts and connect ideas to other disciplines such as history and science.  This course is integrated with the Language Arts Writing Advanced course that students are also required to take this year. Criteria for consideration for entry into Language Arts: Reading Advanced includes but is not limited to the following: assessment scores, cumulative class average, teacher recommendation, and success in previous class.

     

    Language Arts: Writing

    This writing-intensive course is designed to prepare the student for high school-level writing. Students will write in various modes of rhetoric while reading and analyzing both published and student-written mentor texts; they will develop various types of expository essays that expand their proficiency in writing. The skills of brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing are emphasized, and students are encouraged to develop their own styles that reflect their individuality.  Students will be required to learn proper MLA format and use it effectively in both critical and research-based essays. Writing Workshop mirrors the same structure of Reading Workshop through strategies including mini-lessons, shared writing, small group strategy instruction, and one-to-one conferencing emphasizing immersion, independence, voice, and choice.  Writing Workshop provides students with the necessary tools to write with clarity and purpose for a variety of audiences.  This course is integrated with the Language Arts Reading course that students are also required to take this year.

     

    Language Arts: Writing Advanced

    This course mirrors the description of the aforementioned Writing course, yet it focuses more intensely on critical and analytical writing.  This course is integrated with the Language Arts Reading Advanced course that students are also required to take this year. Criteria for consideration for entry into Language Arts: Writing Advanced includes but is not limited to the following: assessment scores, cumulative class average, teacher recommendation, and success in previous class.