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English Language Arts

Research shows a direct relationship between the amount of reading and reading achievement. Forest Hills believes that students who are skilled in reading, critical thinking and communication will thrive in college and careers. Therefore, students develop their knowledge in these areas by writing in a variety of formats and reading an array of texts. Students read purposefully and listen attentively to deepen their understanding of content. From kindergarten through graduation, students are active learners and creators who participate in regular reading and writing activities that enhance their vocabulary.

Forest Hills English language arts (ELA) teachers engage students in listening, speaking, reading, writing, sharing and publishing activities that include digital tools. By utilizing technology, students enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening and language skills. Students also become self-motivated learners who are able to seek out and use resources to assist them in learning.

According to the National Council of Teachers of English, “literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy.”

Instructional Practices

In Forest Hills elementary ELA classrooms, a Gradual Release of Responsibility Model is used as the framework for instruction. Instruction is based on the following sequence:

Explicit Teaching

The teacher demonstrates, models and explains the focus of the lesson, skill or concept.

Guided Instruction

Students are supported each day by the teacher in small groups according to their personal reading level.

Collaborative Learning

Students work with peers in small groups or with partners to practice skills and support each other in learning. This is the first step in students beginning to direct their own learning.

Independent Learning

Students have dedicated time each day for independent reading of self-selected texts that help push their reading skills forward. Teachers implement accountability measures to ensure students are reading and comprehending material.

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