The English Language Arts curriculum at South Buffalo Charter School is aligned to the New York state Common Core Leaning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy (CCLS) and is delivered with a variety of resources and engaging instruction.
SBCS had adopted the New York State ELA Curriculum for grades K-2 which is made up of three components: the Listening and Learning strand, the Skills strand(from the Core Knowledge Language Arts-New York Edition) and Guided Reading and Accountable Independent Reading.
The Listening and Learning strand lessons, comprised of teacher read-alouds, class discussion, vocabulary work, and extension activities, build on the research finding that students’ listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension throughout elementary school. These read-alouds and exercises are organized in 11 to 12 domains (units) per grade. Each domain is dedicated to a particular topic, and the class stays focused on that topic or theme for 10 to 15 days of instruction. The domains build on each other within and across grades.
The Skillsstrand teaches reading and writing. Children practice blending (reading) and segmenting (spelling) using the sound spellings they have learned through a synthetic phonics approach. Handwriting, spelling, and the writing process are also presented in the Skills strand.
Guided Reading and Accountable Independent Reading (GRAIR) is additional literacy time within the school day where teachers can work with students in developmentally appropriate groupings to meet their individual needs. This is an opportunity for the favorite traditional read aloud work,literacy based centers, and immersion in text, where teachers can facilitate student choice from existing leveled libraries based on interest, availability, and readability. The purpose of this time is to build independent, interested, and capable readers.
New York State ELA Curriculum Modules for Grades 3-12
SBCS has adopted the New York State Grades 3-8 ELA curriculum which includes six modules that focus on reading, writing, listening, and speaking in response to high-quality texts. Each module, which was created through Expeditionary Learning, is intended to last a quarter of a school year. The modules will sequence and scaffold content that is aligned to the CCLS for ELA & Literacy. Modules may include several units and each unit may include a set of sequenced, coherent progressions of learning experiences that build knowledge and understanding of major concepts.They will also include daily lesson plans, guiding questions, recommended texts, scaffolding strategies, examples of proficient student work, and other classroom resources. Teachers in grades 3-8 are also using the Guided Reading and Accountable Independent Reading.
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