BELLEFONTE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
English Language Arts
Curriculum and Instruction Philosophy
We, the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and community of the Bellefonte Area School District, have a vision for each student in our district to become a fully literate person. People are considered to be literate if they are able to read, write, use information to solve problems, and communicate at levels of proficiency necessary to function as productive members of society.
Our children face great challenges to succeed in a rapidly changing society. Students’ futures depend upon their abilities to master fundamental reading and writing skills, as well as develop complex problem-solving and critical thinking skills. A comprehensive literacy approach ensures that students are equipped with the literacy skills that enable them to become lifelong learners.
The Bellefonte Area School District believes that, within the reach of their individual gifts and challenges, all students, at all grade levels, will demonstrate the following English Language Arts skills:
Students will develop the foundational skills needed by proficient readers in order to comprehend text
Students will read, understand, and respond to information text
Students will read, understand, and respond to works of literature
Students will read critically in all content areas, focusing on close and careful reading
in order to learn from text
Students will develop the skills of informational, argumentative, and narrative writing
as well as the ability to engage in evidence-based analysis of text and research
Students will write from sources, using evidence from text to inform or make an argument
Students will express ideas in a variety of situations and will critically listen to the
expression of others
Characteristics of a Quality Language Arts Curriculum
Curriculum, instruction and assessments focus on student development of deep conceptual understandings.
Provides a continuum for learning that systematically spirals literacy competencies, concepts and understandings beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade 12 (graduation).
Aligns with the PA Common Core Academic Standards for English Language Arts.
Employs a comprehensive literacy approach for teaching and learning, helping learners construct meaning through reading, writing, listening, viewing, and/or speaking, to access and communicate information effectively.
Utilizes technology to promote active student engagement and acquisition of 21st century literacy skills (think critically & make judgments, communication skills, solve complex problems, creative thinking, initiative & self-direction, collaboration skills, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy, leadership & responsibility, productivity & accountability).
Addresses the needs of diverse learners by providing effective direct and indirect instruction and opportunities for varied and multiple practice with frequent, meaningful feedback.
Promotes the transfer of reading, writing, research, speaking, viewing and listening skills to the content areas and real life situations.
Provides opportunities for students to make personal and world connections to text when reading, discussing text, and when writing.
Engages learners in meaningful, rigorous, authentic, and relevant literacy instruction in comprehension, vocabulary, text discussion, and writing.
Emphasizes the reading, discussion, and writing of informational text.
Provides opportunities for students to develop and utilize metacognitive and self-assessment strategies for monitoring their own literacy learning and progress.
Provides varied and ongoing assessment data as a foundation for informing instruction.
Includes explicit teaching of reading and writing competencies using evidence-based instructional methods, including the explicit teaching of vocabulary using multiple strategies/evidence-based instructional methods.
Writing occurs routinely and frequently for varied purposes, including process writing.
Conventions of standard English are taught within the context of reading, writing, and speaking instruction.
Guarantees high quality literacy learning through evidence-based programming, effective instruction, and formative assessments, in every classroom, every day, for every student.