English Language Arts
Dr. Karen Ames, Supervisor
Jessica Loux, Department Chairperson
Fifth grade teacher, Lisa Ruggiero from Warnsdorfer Elementary School welcomed her readers “virtually,” by engaging the students in a discussion about the importance of caring, perseverance and sense of humor in the read aloud, A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnell. In the story, the main character realizes that everything doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be good! Ruggiero emphasized the fact that life gets messy-it’s not perfect, but you must work through it and go on. This lesson lends itself perfectly for our new upcoming school year by reminding students to try their best, take a deep breath, and persevere on in new experiences.
Fourth Grade teacher, Ms. Rackmil reads “We’re All Wonders” to her hybrid and virtual students.
About the English Language Arts Program
The goal of the language arts / English program is to develop students’ ability to communicate effectively for varied purposes and audiences. Effective communication is probably the single most important attribute of self-sufficiency, academic and career success—and it is based on the integrated components of reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking.
East Brunswick’s kindergarten and first grade programs build upon the language skills and knowledge that children acquire before they begin formal academic instruction. Kindergarten and first grade teachers initiate formal communications processes and skills through natural language experience. For example, children begin by speaking their stories or thoughts to an adult who transcribes them into standard, written English. Children, in turn, read to their peers who listen and provide oral responses. As children progress, they take over the translation process for themselves, practicing increasingly close approximation of standard English form and content.
In the higher grades, the program continues to develop the processes of writing, reading, speaking and listening through an integrated approach to the language arts (ILA). This includes instruction in the underlying support skills. For example, in the writing component, students write regularly, in a variety of modes and for a variety of audiences. They practice a process for their writing in which they learn strategies for prewriting and revising, as well as skills for critical thinking such as analysis, synthesis, problem-solving and evaluation.
Reading and writing about literature and language become increasingly important as students develop the sophisticated skills of analysis and interpretation. By the time they complete their senior year, students have read and discussed significant works of American, British, and world literature as well as many works of non-fiction. They have learned to express themselves in many rhetorical modes and to conduct independent research through a sequential research process that is introduced in the third grade and continues through twelfth grade.
In addition to the required courses in English, the junior high and high school offer several electives: mythology, creative writing, journalism, public speaking, Shakespeare and philosophy. Two advanced placement courses are also available for qualified students.
All students in grades 2, 6 and 7 complete the iReady diagnostic screening tool three times a year (October, February and May). The iReady Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit a student’s performance. Its purpose is not to give a score or grade but instead to help determine targeted academic goals for each student. Students requiring additional support may also use iReady Instruction so the student can practice targeted skills at an appropriate pace.
MyOn Digital Library
Classroom libraries featuring a wide array of titles that span multiple genres and reading levels are the backbone of a successful balanced literacy program that supports independent reading by our students. Our goal is to encourage our students to become voracious readers, and therefore it is crucial that they have access to books in the classroom and at home. Along with their teachers, they can select new books to read! We will provide our students with access to text through several online digital platforms including MYON and MYON NEWS. We invite you to preview the many titles and features of our digital resources and become partners in our reading community!
Renaissance myON® Reader is a student-centered, personalized literacy environment that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. East Brunswick Public Schools is proud to bring this service to our teachers and students. Please review the videos below for an introduction to MyON reader.