Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) believes that an effective language arts program is critical to the education of each child. Students must develop the skills of reading, writing and communication to succeed in all areas of their education. The following curricula will be used to supplement the Core Knowledge Sequence and support BFA’s emphasis on literacy:
McGraw Hill’s Treasures (grades K-5):
BFA utilizes McGraw Hill's Treasures to educate students in all three language arts components: 1) reading, 2) writing and 3) communicating. Consistent with BFA's focus on the individual student, Treasures contains embedded assessments that are used frequently to place students into flexible ability groups throughout the grade level and ensure that all students are learning the same material, while being challenged on their individual level. Explicit instruction and ample practice ensure students’ growth in reading proficiency and vocabulary. Strong vocabulary skills are correlated to achievement throughout a student’s education. Treasures also introduces strategies for deeper comprehension of text.
Step Up to Writing and 6+1 Traits (grades K-8):
Step Up to Writing focuses on the several processes that operate together for successful writing: planning, translation and revision. Providing explicit, research-based instructional support, the Step Up to Writing strategies lead to increased writing proficiency across all grade levels by: providing a common language across grade levels and content areas; teaching note taking and study skills; increasing critical thinking skills; teaching the writing process; and improving reading comprehension.
6+1 Traits is a program that teaches the seven characteristics of writing in which students need to focus: ideas; organization; voice; word choice; sentence fluency; conventions; and presentations.
Core Knowledge Sequence and Grammar and Writing (grades 6-8):
BFA students in grades six through eight use the Core Knowledge Sequence and Grammar and Writing by Curtis and Hake. Like the Core Knowledge Sequence and Saxon Math, Grammar and Writing uses incremental development and continual review, increasing in depth and complexity as the students progress through the material. As indicated above, BFA middle school students also challenge themselves in writing through the added combination of Step Up to Writing and 6+1 Traits.
Accelerated Reader (grades K-8):
BFA also supplements its literacy program with Accelerated Reader, which is intended to promote individualized reading practice and progress monitoring. This program allows the teacher to guide a student in selecting a book based on the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test, and then the student takes a computerized test that assesses the student’s comprehension of key elements of the book’s content. The teacher can use the reports to guide instruction, monitor student independent reading, and help the student select appropriate reading materials.