Lanuage Arts (Reading)
Students are expected to accomplish the following State of Illinois Goals in reading:
- Read with understanding and fluency
- Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas
Through reading instruction students learn the skills and strategies to comprehend literature as well as written material in all subject areas. The aims are to develop an appreciation for reading as a life-long skill and to enable students to independently read different kinds of books with understanding.
Children of different ability levels are appropriately challenged and supported. In the junior high program students use reading as an important skill to learn new information. The skills and strategies necessary for effective reading are taught and reinforced during the study of literature and the other school subjects, such as science, social science and math. The focus of reading instruction in Grades 6, 7 and 8 is to refine the ability to read for specific purposes and to use higher-level reading strategies to improve comprehension. Students are also encouraged to read for enjoyment by pursuing their individual interests.
Language Arts (Writing, Speaking, Listening)
In addition to reading, instruction in language arts addresses the development of other communication skills: writing, listening and speaking. Students are expected to accomplish the following State of Illinois Goals:
- Write to communicate for a variety of purposes
- Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations
- Use the language arts to acquire, assess, and communicate information
Junior high students refine their writing skills in a variety of writing formats: creative, narrative, expository, and persuasive. The skills taught in reading foster growth in writing; many of the writing activities are in response to the literature that the students read.
The Illinois Writing Rubric is used as a framework for teaching and evaluating writing. The rubric requires students to understand the concepts of focus, support, organization, conventions, and integration in written essays.
Teachers structure activities to develop and practice effective listening and oral communication skills during the study of all subject areas, such as science, math and social science. Continued growth in written and oral communication prepare students for future academic success and give students the tools for independence.