Ben Franklin Academy 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 find success in all areas of their education. The following curricula will be used to supplement the Core Knowledge Sequence and support Ben Franklin Academy’s emphasis on literacy:
McGraw Hill’s Treasures (grades K-6):
The Academy will utilize Treasures to educate students in all three language arts components: 1) reading, 2) writing, and 3) communicating. Consistent with Ben Franklin Academy’s focus on the individual student, Treasures contains embedded assessments that will be 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-6):
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.
Word Masters (grades 3-8):
Ben Franklin Academy will increase its students’ word comprehension and logical abilities through use of the Word Masters Challenge. This program challenges students to solve analogies based on word relationships. It encourages students to think both analytically and metaphorically.
Prentice Hall Literature (grades 7-8):
Prentice Hall Literature develops and reinforces skills through an easy-to-follow, three-part chapter organization: 1) writing (guided writing instruction walks students through each step of the writing process); 2) grammar, usage and mechanics (comprehensive instruction, practice and application ensure skills mastery); and 3) academic and workplace skills (drills help students develop test-taking skills, as well as real-world workplace competencies).
Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop Series (grades 7-8):
The Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop Series is designed to systematically increase students’ vocabulary and to improve vocabulary-building skills while preparing them for the vocabulary strand of standardized tests. Some of the key features of this series include: word lists of 300+ key words per grade level; proven and effective five-step approach to instruction; excellent preparation for standardized tests, such as the SAT, with strong correlations between words; and practice in types and formats of exercises found on the SAT, including analogies.
Accelerated Reader (grades K-8):
The Academy will also supplement 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.