English language arts and reading (ELAR)

We believe that reading and writing are critical skills central to learning - in school, in the workplace, and in everyday life. While there are many ways to teach reading and writing, we use a comprehensive balanced literacy approach.

Balanced literacy approach

The goal of the balanced literacy approach is to develop students who can read, write, listen and speak with increasing complexity across several disciplines and for a variety of purposes.

Balanced literacy components

There are four components to the balanced literacy approach.

Reading

Students understand the sound structure of words (phonological awareness) and gain skills in phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Writing

Students gain a process of communication that includes techniques and conventions from different contents and genres.

Listening

Students are actively engaged and able to take in and use information as a way to build knowledge and understand the ideas of others.

Speaking

Students are able to communicate ideas and opinions in formal and informal settings for different audiences and purposes.

Resources

For parents/students

Reading Rockets
Provides tips for parents to enjoy reading with their children.

Reading is Fundamental
Provides checkups by age to see how your children are doing in literacy development. Also provides activities and strategies to support children.

US Dept. of Education 
Provides resources for parents encourage reading.

Adolescent Literacy
Offers information and resources to the parents of struggling adolescent readers and writers.

For students

Read Write Think
Provides educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.

Teens Read
Provides reviews, trailers and the most up to date information on all things teens read.

TeenInk 
Ink, a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos and forums.

Young Writers Society
The Young Writers Society is an online social network for young people ages 13+ to share their creative works.

Young Writers Online
An online workshop and forum where young authors can develop their creative writing skills.