Stewartville Public Schools
Reading, English and Language Arts
2014-2015 District Language Arts Committee Members:
Julie Rupprecht, Rick VandeLoo, Kim Halvorson, Kristen Prescott, Zach Stratton, Anne Palmer, Kate Rislow, Kathy Henderson, Ruth Vining, Dave Honsey, David Dettman, Sheila McNeill
Goal: Stewartville Public Schools will prepare students to share ideas, feelings, and information in various ways. Effective communication techniques taught in Language Arts classes and courses will teach our students to send and receive information in a clear, thoughtful manner and to use related knowledge and contexts to synthesize information into meangingful messages.
In the fall of 2010, the Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum was implemented. This comprehensive reading series prioritizes the five core areas of reading instruction- phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension- across the grades. The new curriculum provides daily opportunities for whole-group, small-group, and independent activities for students. The instruction provides all students access to grade-level text and leveled readers. Weekly stories target new vocabulary and essential reading skills/strategies to guide students' comprehension. Language skills and spelling patterns are taught and are connected to the writing process. Scott Foresman's My Sidewalks curriculum is used as a reading intervention, for students requiring additional instruction and assistance in order to become more successful readers.
Reading 6, 7 and 8
Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 have a full year of reading class. This class focuses on strengthening students' reading skills in all academic areas, and teaching students how to read for specific content, information, and purpose. Classes are differentiated at each grade level, to maximize instructional time and meet the needs of all students. Students also work on developing test-taking strategies, note-taking skills, vocabulary development, and becoming independent readers.
The primary texts used in English 7 are Elements of Literature and Write Source; however, a wide variety of supplemental materials and novels are also used. The course begins with a review of basic sentence requirements, then progresses into techniques for increasing writing sophistication. Speeches are written and delivered, with attention given to script writing, notecards, and voice/posture. Literature selections include fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry- with the focus on generalizing themes to make real-life applications.
The overriding themes in English 8 are courage, respect, fairness, and responsibility. Elements of Literature and Write Source are the primary texts. Students study drama, novels, poetry, and folk tales. In their writing, students focus on word selection, memiors, poetry, and research presentations. Students have opportunities to share their own writings in class, give presentations, and practice good listening skills and notetaking.