English Language Arts Beliefs and Commitments

Because we know/understand that...

  • the goal of literacy instruction is to develop independent life‐long readers and writers
  • ELA is best learned when it is embedded and authentic, not instructed as separate skills
  • ELA curriculum, instruction, and student practice needs a variety of text types and genre available to all
  • all teachers are instructors of literacy in all content areas
  • literate individuals comprehend what they read and communicate ideas in writing and speaking
  • time must be dedicated to developing a literate community
  • the primary focus and responsibility of the school community is to provide a literacy‐rich environment of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • a successful literacy program includes a balance of differentiated instructional methods and a continuum of strategies in reading and writing
  • comprehension is the thinking done before, during and after reading through the use of a variety of strategies
  • students need the opportunity to read at their instructional level every day
  • students need time for self‐selected independent reading, shared reading, and read alouds in a variety of instructional settings and genres are important daily literacy activities
  • writing is a process that communicates the writer’s intended message for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • the ability to succeed in various areas of life has a direct correlation to the ability to process information through reading

Trevor-Wilmot District English-Language Arts Curriculum shall...

  • be based on Common Core Standards, and guidelines set by professional groups such as the NationalCouncil of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association
  • follow a balanced literacy approach
  • include explicit comprehension strategy instruction
  • be based on proven instructional models
  • support the reading-as-thinking paradigm
  • provide rigorous learning opportunities
  • embed formative and summative measures of learning, matching assessment to classroom practice
  • provide structure for reporting on learning growth and achievement
  • provide quality literature in varied genres and include 21st century text sources such as podcasts, digitized images, print on video/TV, primary source documents, etc.
  • focus on communication through reading, writing, listening and speaking

Trevor-Wilmot District Teachers shall…

  • surround readers with opportunity for success
  • instruct at the student’s instructional reading level
  • provide and support students with opportunities to stretch their abilities with complex, challenging texts
  • help all students access a variety of text, providing opportunity for student choice
  • use the Optimal Learning Model to model, think-aloud, share demonstration, guide practice and monitor independent practice
  • focus on readers getting meaning from print; focus on comprehension
  • give explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics in primary grades, along with word analysis, recognition of high frequency words, fluency instruction (expression, accuracy and rate) and language conventions including spelling in all grades
  • hold interactive read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading, and provide time for independent silent reading daily
  • encourage reading at home
  • support readers before reading by activating prior knowledge, setting purpose, and predicting
  • support readers during reading by helping students monitor comprehension and construct meaning
  • support readers after reading by providing opportunity for sharing, applying meaning, and building connections to further reading and writing
  • provide a balance of different kinds of writing
  • provide time to write daily
  • utilize mentor texts to instruct, including student writing
  • provide appropriate and authentic activities
  • explicitly teach how to understand disciplinary materials
  • regularly engage students in activities that improve their ability to communicate through speaking and listening

Trevor-Wilmot District Students shall…

  • have opportunity for choice in their reading and writing
  • practice in reading at his/her independent reading level in school and at home
  • receive instruction at his/her instructional reading level
  • engage in complex text with support
  • use strategies to activate prior knowledge
  • make and test predictions
  • enact many comprehension strategies
  • self-monitor comprehension
  • demonstrate proficiency of reading for meaning, writing, speaking and listening
  • provide evidence of critical thinking
  • write regularly for varied audiences and purposes, in varied genres and styles
  • will regularly engage in activities that improve their ability to communicate through speaking and listening

Literature Review and Research Base