English Language Arts
Philosophy of English Language Arts Education
Township of Ocean Schools
The building blocks of the English Language Arts—phonics, reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar—are the means through which people learn to communicate with one another and, indeed, the world at large. These facets of communication allow us to receive information, to respond to it by applying both logical and creative thought, and to express our ideas in many varied formats, including verbal, nonverbal, and written forms. Literacy, as defined by the State of New Jersey Department of Education, is “. . . a way to acquire knowledge for thinking and communicating; it is more than the acquisition of a specific, predetermined set of skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. Literacy is also recognizing and understanding one’s own purposes for thinking and communicating (through print or nonprint, verbal or nonverbal means) and being able to use one’s own resources to achieve those purposes.”
Within this document, the areas of reading, writing, foundational skills, speaking, listening, and grammar are addressed at each grade level, meeting the standards set forth by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. Because the English Language Arts are so highly integrated and interdependent, a balanced approach to instruction is therefore required. Characteristically, the development of literacy skills is highly spiraled, i.e., introduced, developed, and reinforced. Once introduced, most skills are repeatedly revisited within that grade level. They are reinforced in successive grade levels with increasing rigor and in greater depth. Thus, a Scope and Sequence has been developed to coincide with the K - 5 English Language Arts curriculum to aid the teacher in meeting the English Language Arts goals and objectives set forth by the Township of Ocean School District in alignment with the Common Core State Standards.
Because every learner is an individual with specialized educational needs, the Township of Ocean School District endeavors to present its rigorous curriculum through the application of differentiated instructional strategies. Direct and explicit instruction as well as the application of research-based instructional strategies, such as cooperative learning techniques, teacher and peer modeling, and the regular implementation of formative authentic assessments are fostered.