English and Communication Arts
Grade 6 Language Arts and Advanced Language Arts have been developed for students to involve themselves in a study of literature within a total language arts program. The goals of the course will be to develop critical thinking, inquiry, reading, research, technology,and writing skills.In order to provide instruction and structure that assists students through the physical and emotional changes during the middle school years, the Language Arts and Advanced Language Arts programs incorporate a variety of learning experiences; such as engaging group activities, projects, and shared inquiry. Rich in opportunities for skill development, the Grade 6 Language Arts and Advanced LanguageArts programs concentrate on proficiency in critical reading, vocabulary development, written expression, listening, and oral communication.
Grade 7 Language Arts and Advanced Language Arts provide an integrated approach to language instruction which incorporates meaningful language experiences. During such experiences, the students will be engaged in authentic tasks that emphasize both process and content. In keeping with recommendations of the National Council of Teachers ofEnglish and the Modern Language Association, skills are stressed as part of an overall process, not as ends in themselves. The goals of the course are to develop critical thinking and problem-solving,reading,writing and research skills.
In order to provide instruction and structure that recognizes the varied learning styles of seventh grade students, this program incorporates diverse learning experiences such as group activities,cross-curricular projects and discussions. The Grade 7 Language Arts and AdvancedLanguage Arts programs provide opportunities for students to become independent readers, writers and thinkers. The proficiencies focus on analytical and critical reading, vocabulary development, written expression, research, listening and oral communication. Critical thinking skills are infused throughout the program
Grade 8 Language Arts and Language Arts Pre-honors have been developed for students to involve themselves in a thematic study of literature within a comprehensive language arts program. The goals of the course will be to develop vocabulary, critical thinking, active reading,research and writing skills and to prepare students for the NJASK 8 as well as heighten the adolescents' awareness of the universal human experience through exposure to a variety of literary genres. The Grade 8Language Arts course is a preparation for the high school English program. The Grade 8 Language Arts Pre-honors course is the initial preparation for the high school English honors program.In order to provide instruction and structure that assists students through the physical and emotional changes that occur during these years, theLanguage Arts and Pre-honors program incorporates a variety of learning experiences such as group activities, projects and discussions. Rich in opportunities for skill development, the Grade 8 Language Arts andLanguage Arts Pre-honors program concentrates on proficiency in analytic and critical reading, vocabulary development, written expression,research, listening and oral communication. Critical thinking skills are infused throughout the program.
Reading Writing Workshop Grades 6 - 8
The growth of students' writing proficiencies and reading capabilities is enhanced when these skills are integrated in the workshop environment through a well balanced program. In view of the complexity of the reading/writing process, and individual differences in students,it is essential that the reading/writing curriculum be broad and varied. While incorporating different writing experiences, the program also provides an exposure to a variety of literary genres. The broad-based curriculum allows for both self selected independent work and whole classroom instruction, while meeting the specific needs of students.
Computer technology plays an important role in the reading writing workshop. It enhances the quality of written work and allows greater opportunity for students to learn specific revision skills. Student data disks are prepared with numerous models of student text so that revision strategies can be practiced without using instructional time for text typing. The computers also provide opportunities for individual and whole class "publishing," an ultimate goal for student writers in their effort to reach a wider audience.
The workshop approach is based upon the research and experience of several prominent language arts educators, including that of Nancie Atwell as presented in the Middle. Atwell's approach to reading and writing development is student-centered. Students develop skills in a workshop environment which values and nurtures the students' ability to self select reading titles and writing topics under the guidance of the teacher. Students are encouraged to work with their own ideas and revise their work rigorously as they respond to constructive criticism from teachers and peers.
There are many components in a successful workshop classroom. "Status of the Class" allows the teacher to keep accurate records of individual progress. The "Mini-Lesson" gives the teacher the opportunity to either introduce an idea or reinforce a skill. A variety of conference strategies allows the author to receive feedback from the teacher as well as from peers. "Group Share" encourages student authors to expose their writing to broader audience. Class sessions are carefully designed to give students opportunities to experience all of these workshop elements.