LANGUAGE ARTS In order to engage students in a positive, challenging environment, Holy Name Parish School has implemented a variety of programs—including The Investigators Club, Pearson’s Reading Streets, and the Collins Writing Program—to enhance our language arts curriculum. From the earliest grades, oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, and decodable text are the precursors to oral vocabulary, reading vocabulary, academic vocabulary, informational text, literature, and writing. Listening, blending, and decoding contribute to the phonics skills that are applied to texts. Students are exposed to authentic literature and engaging topics with a balance between fiction and non-fiction passages in support of the Massachusetts Common Core State Standards. The opportunity to explore many different genres begins in Kindergarten with the introduction of flip charts, big books, videos, and poetry. Content literature, including science and social studies, is present throughout the grades. Through scaffold instruction, students are guided in comprehension and critical thinking. Small groups, independent practice, and partner reading allow for differentiated instruction along with varied material and engaging interactive resources. Writing is an integral part of the language arts program as students write in response to reading. Through the grades, students develop opinion products, informative products, narratives, and poetry. At each grade level, research projects are prepared as developmentally appropriate. Listening and speaking skills prepare students for college and career readiness. Formative and summative assessments allow students to display their ability to transfer skills to varied reading selections. Assessments also guide the teacher in curriculum planning and development. The spiraling approach of the Massachusetts Common Core State Standards assures that skills are revisited and developed at higher levels. The language arts curriculum creates an awareness of literature, current events, cultural awareness, and the ability to make connections between literature and life.