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     Council Rock School District

    Elementary Language Arts Program

     

    The need for effective communication is more important than ever before. The Council Rock educational community is committed to developing the potential of each student in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and researching. We believe that social, academic, and vocational success is greatly influenced by a student’s ability to use these processes competently in all curriculum areas and in the world outside of school. Students meet the Council Rock standards by:

    • becoming competent readers, writers, and thinkers
    • reading independently
    • composing orally and in writing
    • listening, speaking, and viewing competently, critically, and creatively
    • researching effectively
    • building on their background of experience and relating it to new information

     

    The language arts program in Council Rock strives to provide for your children a Reading/English/Language Arts program that is engaging, interesting, motivating, process– and product-oriented and which gives them opportunities to experience success. It encourages students to:

    • illustrate competence by demonstrating what they know, understand, and are able to do
    • share responsibility for their own learning
    • work in collaborative groups as well as independently
    • make connections/insights both in and outside of school regarding reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and researching in all subject areas
    • self-assess and self-reflect on their work in order to achieve at increasing levels of competence
     

    The Elementary Grades

    At the primary level (grades K-3) our emphasis is on providing each child with a broad foundation of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and researching. Exposing young children to a variety of materials helps them to gain the understanding that communication processes are used throughout life. Students learn skills and strategies as a means to an end. For example, invented, or “first try” spelling is a means by which children practice their phonics skills. This process of “sounding out” the spellings of words in their initial drafts frees students to express their thoughts and ideas without consequence regarding mechanical errors. They work with materials that are developmentally appropriate for specific children as well as in whole-class settings.
     
    As students are more developmentally ready in the intermediate grades (4-6), familiar skills and strategies become refined and diversified as more are added to their repertoire. These skills and strategies are taught through a variety of materials, including Houghton Mifflin materials, novels, and supplemental materials that support a balanced literacy approach.
     
    Children in grades K-6 have opportunities to work in whole class, small group, and individual settings. They are expected to read from a variety of literature for multiple purposes and write on a daily basis in a variety of forms.

    Your child will also learn to communicate effectively through participation in discussions and decision-making processes,  reacting and responding to literature, and asking and answering meaningful questions.

    The personal involvement of each individual student in the learning process is the most important element of effective instruction in the elementary grades.  Frequent drafting of written pieces in various forms, conferencing with peers and/or the teacher, reading a variety of materials and genres, responding to reading and writing in various ways, word processing as well as using computers for retrieving information and verbalization all help your child to become more adept at communicating effectively. Active involvement in the learning process is essential for students to gain the most success in the reading/English/language arts program in Council Rock School District.

     

    You Can Help Your Child Succeed

    Reading: Modeling good reading habits is a very important part of what you can do at home.

    • Make home reading time an on-going special part of the day.
    • Your child can read to you, you can read to him/her, or all can read silently. 
    • Share and discuss what was read and what thoughts each of you has.

     

    You may find some of these questions helpful to get a discussion going: 

    • How does the story make you feel? Why? 
    • What is the story saying? Why do you think so?
    • What does this story mean to you?
    • Did you like this story? Why or why not?

     

    Writing: Children need a purpose for writing for it to “feel” real. Some real purposes might be:

    • write notes back and forth with your child
    • write thank you notes when appropriate
    • write letters to friends and relatives
    • keep a diary (you write as your child dictates, if necessary)
    • allow your child to sound out unknown words (spelling will improve with time)
    • discuss and invent stories aloud (oral composing is important) 

     

    Speaking, Listening and Viewing: Be a good model of speaking and listening to your child.

    • include him/her in family discussions
    • encourage him/her to speak in sentences
    • require full attention when you speak (and return the courtesy to your child when (s)he speaks)
    • require your child to follow your directions (without repetition)
    • watch tv with your child and discuss the shows
    • screen questionable tv shows
    • be aware of inappropriate Internet sites

    Researching: Help your child with questions by researching answers in books, reference materials, and/or on the Internet.