The All Saints Catholic Academy Reading/Language Arts program meets both the Archdiocese of Newark Guidelines and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Developing effective communication skills in speaking, reading and writing are the ultimate objections of the program.
The Early Childhood and Kindergarten programs set the stage for success. At this level, students are provided opportunities for Phonemic Awareness in developing the skills necessary to communicate effectively. Through listening activities the students learn to identify sounds spoken in words. In Phonics students learn to recognize the relationship between the written letters and the spoken sounds. The students develop the ability to decode words, build a working vocabulary and use words to communicate effectively. Most importantly students learn to derive meaning and comprehend what they read. The final touches are added when the students hear and decode words creating their own written expressions and begin developing their writing skills.
The Macmillan Reading/Language Arts 2009 series that is currently used in Kindergarten through grade six builds on what the students learned previously. This new program is innovative. It incorporates resources for Differential Instruction. The text and leveled readers are both interesting and diverse. The Literacy stations use a variety of cross-curricular activities where the students have the opportunity to share ideas and talents. We have an excellent resource in technology with Smart Boards and computers with interactive software at our disposal in every classroom in grades one through eight.
The seventh and eighth grade Language Arts curriculum integrates the language arts skills into a program where students are immersed in rich literary texts, writing and grammar. During the study of literature, students develop an understanding of a variety of literary terms such as point of view, inference, context clues, characterization and foreshadowing. Students learn to create summaries, identify main ideas and compare and contrast story elements with a plethora of literary genres including short stories, poetry, news articles and dramatic plays. Every trimester, students are also assigned an independent novel study that includes the production of a written or oral report. In addition, students read and discuss full-length novels as a class. Critical thinking skills are consistently being reinforces during the course of study. The writing aspect of the Language Arts curriculum focuses on the five stages of writing; prewriting, drafting, proofreading, and, finally, publishing. Correspondingly, the writing program is designed to encourage students to apply their knowledge and understanding of conventions and appropriate use of grammar.
It is our collective goal to prepare our students to communicate well in our 21st century world.