LANGUAGE ARTS PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT
Our philosophy is to create independent readers, competent writers, discriminating viewers, articulate speakers, active listeners and critical thinkers. The practices underlying the teaching of language arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking) at ASA are guided by the MAP Descartes, the Common Core and AERO Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks.
In grades K-2, the goal is to teach students to learn to read and write, and to develop a lifelong love for reading. Students spend 50% of the time learning surface structure systems (letter sound knowledge, phonemic awareness, decoding) and 50% of the time learning deep structure systems (comprehension at the word, sentence and text levels).
In grades 3-5, the goal is centered on helping students read and write to learn, and to develop a lifelong love of reading and writing. Students spend 20% of their time learning the surface structure systems and 80% of their time learning the deep structure systems.
The goal of the secondary language arts department is to encourage all students to think, speak, read and write, analytically, critically, and convincingly. Language Arts courses are based on literature and non-fiction writing because students learn best when exposed to language in context and write best when they are exposed to quality writing throughout various genres. Students gain knowledge about themselves and the communities in which they live through social interaction that requires active listening and participation. Students write best through the writing process. Since language is both written and oral, students should have adequate opportunities to express themselves orally.
Language Arts Essential Agreements:
- Students will read to gain authentic meaning, to be informed, and to perform a task on a daily basis.
- Reading instruction will be a balance of direct instruction, guided instruction and independent learning (Reader’s Workshop model).
- Students will write and teachers will evaluate using 6 + 1 traits of writing once a quarter.
- Students will produce at least one multi-draft piece of writing per quarter.
- Students will use writing as a way of expressing their ideas and/or supporting their opinions at least three times a week.
Speaking and Listening:
- Students will use oral English to express their ideas and support their opinions on a daily basis.
- Students will use oral English to edit and critique each other’s work.
- Students will understand what is said and demonstrate it by paraphrasing, responding appropriately in English and actively participating in class discussions on a daily basis.