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ACADEMIC SUPPORT ELA/Literacy grades 6 -12


Welcome to "Reading is Thinking" and "Reading through Writing"

What is it? Welcome to Academic Support ELA [AS ELA] where, as the name suggests, we combine grade level ELA content and personalized skills support. We do a strategy-based curriculum of research-based best practices, and an online Reading/Writing Lab, to best support your child’s ELA/Literacy Common Core and individual literacy needs.

Entitlement/and/or Recommendation to AS: Your son/daughter is entitled to additional content support based upon his/her progress in the previous school year as demonstrated by classroom performance, teacher recommendation, and State assessment data. At HS level, the grade 8 ELA Standardized Test results and any other grade level assessment/s  affect student placement in AS ELA 9. 

At the ELA content level, in all grades, the class makes sure that ELA work is understood and that all assignments meet deadlines. We follow the grade level calendars.

At the skills level, in all grades, this is a student-needs and strategy-based curriculum using teaching/learning strategies and best step-by-step practices to improve Common Core literacy skills. We focus on comprehension strategies through close reading. We connect reading and writing strategies to learn reading-through-writing and writing-through-reading. We do small group work and one-on-one as much as possible in every class. We set quarterly goals-to-mastery for each student. We focus on retaining long-term memory learning. Some of the brain-research-based learning strategies include spaced learning, retrieval practice, cognitive dis-fluency, and interleaving [see my link "Brain Research-Based Learning Strategies"]. We also do HS Regents CC English Exam prep as needed.

In MS and HS, the basic instructional framework is the Balanced Literacy model which centers upon explicit teacher modeling, guided practice (... and then more practice ... ), followed by independent practice on the road of differentiation and individualization. We learn and practice reading strategies,  writing strategies, spelling strategies.

In MS in 2017-2018, to show literacy growth, individual students are assessed 2 times a year using an on-site local diagnostic test in comprehension and writing. As needed, there may be Fountas and Pinnell's Running Records (see the F & P  Reading Level Chart on the sub page to this page) and F & P Word Level tests, and this drives part of the instruction at the letter, word, sentence and text levels. These tests give a student's lexile reading level [see my "Reading Level" link for a table of lexile expectations at the different grade levels at]. The expectation is growth in comprehension, reading level, and writing ability, throughout the year. All classwork, reinforcement, and ongoing quizzes are graded to measure individual progress, and students keep instantaneous charts to plot scores = instant visibility. These scores are used to help students immediately see how they are performing, and these scores also inform all 5-week and Quarterly AS reports. Each student has a list of updated Quarterly reading and writing skills goals that s/he is expected to know and strive to master. We do Quarterly I-I conferences to remind students of their skills goals.

In MS, Independent Reading may be monitored in different ways in different years. This year, ELA 7 is offering response options; ELA 8 requires keeping a written Double Entry Journal which the student writes independently. In AS, we monitor that the independent reading and written entries are being done in a timely way so as not to "crash enter " entries at the end of any Quarter. In AS, we may do a Home Reading Log [HRL] to stay on track with ELA 7 and ELA 8 independent reading requirements. It is a structured monitoring method. A daily/weekly HRL is an important part of tracking growth in the literacy process through independent reading for enjoyment and class work. It helps students to maintain their Accelerated Reader [AR] and/or Independent Reading [IR] requirements in Grades 7 and 8. Parents are encouraged to participate in this activity so that they can monitor their child's reading by signing off on the HRL sheet for the time spent reading. [See ** below]. So, it is also a sequential method of parent monitoring and student self-monitoring. A weekly word study may accompany the HRL and reinforces comprehension at the letter level and word level . Or, we may focus on comprehension using Common Core Learning Standards for Reading Information and Reading Literature via a short 3-question written feedback. Grade 6 students can jumpstart this reading habit and build stamina for their independent reading needs in Grades 7 and 8. Statistics from diverse literacy organizations show that active reading habits through daily reading have shown a downward trend in the last 30 years. We'd like to reverse this trend at the school and at the home level.

                        ** See "HRL NEWS" in the side bar for: 

                                         1. COPY OF HRL TIMESHEET  

                                         2. READER'S WORKSHOP QUESTIONS .