English Language Arts Overview
“We need to recognize that reading ought to change us. Reading ought to lead to thinking that is disrupting, that shakes us up, that makes us wonder, that challenges us. Such thinking sets us on a path to change, if not the world, then at least ourselves.”
-Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, Disrupting Thinking
Letters. Words. Sentences. Ideas. The building blocks of English Language Arts and Reading have the power to engage students in thinking that transcends the classroom setting. A rich, integrated curriculum teaches students more than individual and testable proficiencies; it provides skills for growth as writers, readers, speakers, listeners, viewers, and critical thinkers. From understanding, embracing, or critically reviewing genres of literature written by others to expressing their own oral and written thoughts, students learn the traditions and customs of imparting information in expressive and meaningful ways. At the same time, they obtain the tools necessary for advanced educational pursuits and the constantly evolving workforce.
Our curriculum is developed with The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as the foundation and complies with the Texas Education Code. The English Language Arts and Reading TEKS embody the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking. The standards focus on academic oracy (proficiency in oral expression and comprehension), authentic reading, and reflective writing. All literacy skills are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.
As skills and knowledge are practiced throughout the year, students will continue to apply earlier their learning with greater depth to increasingly complex texts in multiple genres as they become self-directed, critical learners who work collaboratively with others. The language arts classroom is a rich learning environment fueled by diverse literature, engaging writing opportunities, reflective conversations, and technological integration. Students should engage in academic conversations, write, read, and be read to on a daily basis with opportunities for cross-curricular content and student choice.
Literacy extends beyond the walls of our classrooms and state assessments to accomplish a far greater achievement: responsible, productive, and socially contributing citizens.
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