Literacy and English
The beauty and power of the written and spoken word are fostered to promote the joy of reading and writing.
Moreover, students are encouraged to express feelings, ideas, experiences, and questions clearly with purpose and tell stories in sequential order with understanding. Critical-thinking strategies are invigorated and explicitly modeled by activating schema, generating. predictions, questioning, making connections, and learning to recognize inferences.
This is achieved through an integrative approach along these overarching topics:
- Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
- Literary Response and Analysis
- Genre Studies
- The Writing Process
- Written and Oral Writing Conventions
- Listening and Speaking Strategies and Applications
Students learn to communicate orally to a variety of audiences for different purposes; read widely for meaning; engage in the reading process to decode, comprehend, evaluate, and appreciate texts; and use the writing process to create organized compositions with a developed style. Students understand that clear speaking enhances communication, reading involves thinking and constructing meaning, and writing is a powerful vehicle to communicate and share information.
Initially, phonetic spelling is encouraged to promote assurance of encoding skills. High-frequency and sight words are introduced on classroom word walls as students move toward conventional spelling. During this process, students are given tools to expand their understandings of conventional spelling via instruction in morphology, etymology, and phonology. Students explore author studies, poetry, fiction, and expository texts as well as read across genres as they navigate the world of literacy through both imaginative play and real-world exploration. By way of the story, letters, procedural, persuasive, opinion, informational, and research writing, students incorporate the concepts they learn to communicate with various audiences.
Fluency instruction and practice enables students to experience well-orchestrated reading. During guided reading, students practice decoding unfamiliar texts by tracking print, using illustrations, and creating meaning, as they develop and refine a repertoire of strategies. The self-selection of independent good fit books within a diversity of literature and informational texts is encouraged.
Middle school is all about opening a world of possibilities, being creative, and becoming an agile thinker.
The goal for English students is to continue to grow as effective, thoughtful, and capable communicators. who will understand a wide variety of texts of multiple genres, language, and literature.
Alta Vista English content is centered around the important role language plays in literature and in the skill of expressing one’s self in written and spoken word. Each course integrates and develops strategies for active and clear reading, writing, and listening, while honing in on critical thinking and analytical skills. All courses are designed to build on literary skills that students will need to successfully participate in today’s complex and challenging information-based society.
- The Paper Chase
- Hero’s Journey
- Writing for Change
- Into the Future