Language Arts Curriculum
The Seton language arts curriculum is aligned with Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core for Language Arts. Teachers use a variety of resources to implement these standards. In grades kindergarten through 6th, students use textbooks from the Houghton Mifflin Reading and English Series. In 7th and 8th grades, students use textbooks from the Glencoe Literature Series and Voyages English Series.
Seton Catholic School's language arts program integrates the five components of a balanced literacy program into reading and writing. Teachers begin in our preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten programs to lay the foundation of the components, which include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. As the student continues through their academic career, emphasis is placed on engaging the learner in independent reading for both purpose and pleasure. These reading skills and strategies are taught in formats such as whole and small group instruction, read-alouds, guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, spelling, and word study.
Teachers use language arts formative assessment regularly in order to monitor individual student's progress. This allows the teacher to identify the language arts strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. The teacher can ascertain the student's needs and focus on providing instructional strategies to help the student in the growth process and in attaining their goals.
Teachers use a variety of language arts resources and programs to enhance the language arts curriculum. Students use interactive programs Accelerated Reader 360, Raz-Kids, Vocababulary.com, and Flocabulary depending on their class.
Students in kindergarten through 8th grade are using the Accelerated Reader 360 online program. Highly popular and successful for over 25 years, Accelerated Reader 360 is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice. Accelerated Reader 360 monitors the progress of each student's reading level, suggests titles of books at that level, and then assesses the student's reading comprehension. To learn the specifics about Accelerated Reader 360, please see link: Accelerated Reader.
An emphasis on writing is also incorporated into our language arts framework, which includes teaching the processes, the skills of writing, the traits of effective writing, the characteristics of the different writing genres, and eventually, independent writing. Teachers instruct our students using the 6+1 Writing Traits model. This is a specific framework for teaching writing at all levels, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 8th grade. The teachers allow time regularly each week for both formal and free writing.
It is important to remember that reading and writing develop along parallel paths. Because of this, integration of reading and writing into all other subject areas is possible.
A reading resource teacher on staff is available to provide reading intervention services as needed.
Seton also offers the English Language Learner (ELL) program for children whose first language is not English. These students acquire practical academic vocabulary and comprehension skills with emphasis on reading and writing. To learn the specifics about the English Language Learner (ELL) program, please see link: English Language Learner Program (ELL)
Seton is currently following the Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core for Language Arts and we are achieving the goal of each student's reading and writing skills improving. We feel the language arts curriculum and programs help improve the student's reading and writing performance, and aid them using these skills in daily activities. The Seton language arts curriculum and programs are an opportunity for all our students to succeed in reading and writing at Seton and in our world.