The English Language Arts Standards define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade. Fundamentally, our students are focused on developing comprehension strategies that will enable them to manipulate grade-level texts of appropriate complexity, and communicate effectively both in writing and in speaking.
Students will anchor their inquiries and responses firmly to the text, whether literary or informational, using increasingly specific and relevant evidence to support their claims and inferences. Students’ analytical skills will extend to identifying main idea/theme, understanding character and plot development, and evaluating the impact of word choice. Additionally, students will identify structural elements in text such as scenes and chapters, distinguish narrative voice, understand the impact of aesthetic elements, and make logical connections. A key component of the ELA Standards is the expectation of appropriately complex text selections. Complexity levels are assessed based upon a variety of indicators including Lexile levels and topics.
The ELA Standards are organized to include the following at each grade level: Reading Literature, Reading for Information, Language, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Reading Fundamentals
Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards, to retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in previous grades, and to work steadily toward meeting the more general expectations described by the Standards. Although the Standards are divided into domains for conceptual clarity, the processes of communication are closely connected. For example the Writing Standards require that students write about what they read. Likewise, Speaking and Listening includes the necessity of presenting findings from research.
CUSD adopted the Houghton Mifflin basal reading series, known as JOURNEYS for K--6 to assist in building the correlation to the AZ College and Career Readiness Standards. In addition, the district has a required reading list in place with the support materials for all students K—6 to provide the level of text complexity as required by new Standards.