Lower School Adopts New Language Arts Curriculum

The Lower School is off to a great start with a new language arts curriculum, Scott Foresman’s Reading Street.

We continue to be committed to providing our students with the highest quality English Language Arts program and are excited that with this new program, our Reading Series, Spelling program, and Writing instruction, will be seamlessly linked.

In the past,  teachers were teaching spelling from one series, grammar from another, and reading from still another. The change to Reading Street makes the entire curriculum cohesive and organized, linking all learning together.

There are many practical examples of how that will work in the classroom.  Here are just a few:

·         Second graders learning about contractions in grammar will see connections in reading and spelling as well.

·         First graders learning to read words with the short ‘a’ sound will now be given spelling words that connect directly to the phonics skill being taught during that unit.

·         Students at all levels will be reading the same “anchor text”, but the teachers can easily differentiate the lessons for each student.  This makes the same writing, grammar and phonics/spelling skills accessible to all learners.

·         As the students learn the information, skills build upon one another and are tackled in a systematic way. This gives teachers the opportunity to consistently work on skills with students and connect to all areas of learning.

·         An advanced reader will benefit from enriched reading passages and more complicated vocabulary.

·         A beginning reader will benefit from more high frequency words and decoding strategies.

Another major potential advantage to the Reading Street program is the link to technology. Over the course of time, students will eventually have their own online account which parents will be able to log into to access the leveled readers and homework from their child’s account.  They will also be able to view the unit of study for the week and keep track of the skills their child is learning. This will help our parents be more active participants in their child’s education.

At the Berman Hebrew Academy, we have always worked hard to ensure that instruction in all academic areas is differentiated for all of our bright and talented students as well as those who struggle in one academic area or more. With Reading Street, we are excited to support and challenge all learners.

Reading Street is just the latest innovation in the Lower School curriculum.  The successful integration of Singapore Math in 2013 has changed the way math is taught, and has already shown to improve students’ ability to visualize and manipulate math operations through an active thinking process and pictorial modeling.

With the Singapore math program, students are provided with the necessary learning experiences beginning with the concrete and pictorial stages of understanding, followed by the abstract stage.  These elements enable them to learn mathematics operations and internalize the concepts in a meaningful way.

We look forward to seeing our students achieve new levels of success with the help of the Reading Street curriculum.

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