Grade Level: Elementary School
In this course, students receive structured lessons in the language arts, a discipline that includes literature and comprehension, writing skills, vocabulary, spelling, and handwriting. The purpose of these lessons is to increase reading comprehension, develop fundamental skills in oral and written communication, build vocabulary, and promote a lifelong interest in reading. This course addresses current thinking in assessment standards. • Literature and Comprehension: In this program, students will read a variety of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The reading selections in each unit share a common theme, topic, or genre. The accompanying lessons will develop students’ literal and inferential comprehension skills. Students will read selections from the provided materials and then work online to analyze and examine the selections in more depth. They will work offline to further evaluate the work, make connections among works and the broader world, and apply the skills that they have learned in written assignments and creative projects. Students will also select books that they want to read from a list that is provided and analyze those works. In Critical Skills Practice units, students will practice important test-taking skills by reading passages and answering multiple-choice questions about what they have read. These questions are similar to those found on common standardized assessments and state tests. • Handwriting: Students will further develop their handwriting skills through Handwriting Without Tears. In Semester 1, students will work in the Cursive Handwriting book. In Semester 2, students will practice cursive on their own as they complete assigned work in other language arts programs. • Spelling: The first lesson of a unit introduces new spelling words. In the second and third lessons, you and your students work together to practice the spelling words introduced in the first lesson. These first three lessons are offline. The fourth lesson in each unit is an online review activity. Finally, the fifth lesson consists of an offline Unit Checkpoint that checks students’ mastery of the spelling words. Students will master the spelling skills needed to read and write proficiently. • Vocabulary: Vocabulary exposes students to a wide variety of words. Students will learn, review, and practice words online. These short lessons are entirely online. In the first 8 lessons of each unit, students will study 3 sets of related words. Lesson 9 of each unit is a review of all the words. Lesson 10 is always a Unit Checkpoint, testing students on all the words they studied. • Writing Skills: Writing Skills units combine online and offline activities to teach students about grammar, usage, and mechanics, as well as how to plan, write, revise, proofread, and publish various forms of writing. For example, in Unit 4, students will learn about combining sentences and strategies for writing a personal story. Most units end with an assessment on language skills, along with rubrics and sample papers to help evaluate students’ writing. There are also Critical Skills Practice units that help students apply their knowledge of language, vocabulary, spelling, and writing strategies to answer questions similar to those on standardized tests, including planning and writing a response to a prompt.