Elementary Reading/Language Arts Curriculum
The Washington County Public Schools elementary reading/language arts framework integrates the five components of a balanced literacy program into reading and writing. Teachers begin in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to lay the foundation of these components, which include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. As the student continues through his/her academic career, emphasis is placed on engaging the learner in independent reading for both purpose and pleasure. These reading skills and strategies are taught in formats such as read-alouds, interactive read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, Message Time Plus, and interactive spelling and word study.
The emphasis of writing is also incorporated into the language arts framework, which includes teaching the processes, the skills of writing, the traits of effective writing, the characteristics of the different writing genres, and eventually, independent writing. It is important to remember that reading and writing develop along parallel paths. Because of this, integration of reading and writing into all other subject areas is possible.
Students will be able to:
- Follow directions to perform a task.
- Recognize, discuss, and retell elements of stories and poems.
- Recall information, make predictions, and answer questions.
- Identify and recognize most uppercase and lower case letters and associate sounds to letters.
- Identify words beginning with same sounds.
- Expand word choice to communicate and relate experiences.
- Understand concepts of print (track words, identify parts of a book, and coordinate one-to-one matching of spoken
- words to written words).
- Write simple sentences
- Combine sounds and word parts to form words.
- Read grade-level text with expression.
- Learn reading strategies used before, during, and after reading text.
- Write independently using simple and compound sentences.
- Apply letter-sound relationship to print.
- Explore multiple meaning words through text.
- Utilize reading strategies to read text accurately and with expression.
- Use the writing process to write independently for a variety of purposes.
- Utilize context cues, phonics skills, prefixes, and suffixes to read and determine meaning of words.
- Acquire new vocabulary through reading and context clues.
- Read grade-level text for different literary purposes.
- Use the writing process to develop multiple paragraphs.
- Use knowledge of word parts and root words to determine meaning and relationships.
- Read grade-level-appropriate text fluently for comprehension.
- Utilize cues to draw conclusions, infer relationships, identify theme and story elements, and recognize cause and effect.
- Use the writing process to effectively write for a variety of purposes and genres.
- Use text strategies to acquire and expand vocabulary through reading a variety of different genres.
- Make predictions and apply reading concepts and ideas to new situations.
- Utilize correct capitalization, punctuation, language use, and spelling when writing different genres.
- Apply research skills to investigate, communicate, and present in both oral and written form.
To meet the requirements of the Reading/Language Arts Curriculum, Washington County will use Maryland’s Voluntary State Curriculum and the Houghton Mifflin Reading Program. Houghton Mifflin Reading provides a comprehensive approach in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students learn and apply reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills and processes for authentic purposes that directly relate to their lives. Assessments and standards of performance assist teachers to meet the instructional needs of individual students. Books on various levels and other resources that support literacy are available in all elementary schools.