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:
Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) (grades K-5):
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 in order to find success in all areas of their education. Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is a comprehensive, preschool through fifth grade program for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building students’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, global and American history, and the sciences. In the early grades, CKLA focuses on oral language development through carefully sequenced read-alouds as well as systematic instruction in reading and writing skills. In later grades, CKLA continues to advance students’ knowledge and vocabulary through read-alouds and in-depth discussions while also immersing students in complex texts and advanced writing assignments that draw on the academic content they’ve been engaged in since preschool.
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.