•  What is English Language Arts?

    • English Language Arts is a category that includes several components of learning:  reading, writing, language, listening & speaking, and many more!

    • As students move up in the grades, eventually, ELA becomes one grade, but at the 5th grade level, it is still broken into two grades on the report card:  Reading and Writing.  

      • The Reading grade will be made up of all reading-related tasks.  Reading comprehension, vocabulary work, literary responses, etc. all make up the reading grade.

      • The Writing grade will include written pieces, language/grammar tasks, spelling tasks, handwriting/cursive, speaking & listening, etc.  

    • Keep reading below to find out what kinds of work we will do in each of these areas this year!

     

    Reading & "Into Reading"

    • The "Into Reading" program is our new district-adopted reading curriculum.  Each selection within this curriculum focuses on reading comprehension strategies, skills, vocabulary, and text-based writing.  All selections in this program have science or social studies connections, and we will spend time investigating these paired texts.  

    • This program has several types of assessments to determine whether or not a student has mastered the intended skills and concepts.  There are short 5-question selection quizzes (that directly relate to the reading done in class), end-of-selection "fresh read" assessments (that test the same skills using a new/unfamilar text, allowing a student to apply their learning to a new piece of literature), and end-of-module assessments (that wrap the whole module up and allow students to demonstrate all they have learned during that unit of study).

    • To encourage a reading-writing connection, the majority of the writing we do will be related to themes and concepts present within the reading.  This allows for a thematic approach to writing rather than isolated writing tasks that are difficult to connect.  At the beginning of the year, all writing is guided and modeled, and as the year progresses, students gradually write longer and more independent pieces using the skills they have mastered along the way.

    • The "Into Reading" program has a consumable book for each student - they can highlight, underline, write in the margins, etc.  We will also have online access to the book for homework and review purposes as needed.

    • Articles related to calendar events as well as science and social studies topics will also be used throughout the year.  This allows for a truly thematic approach to learning. For example, when students are learning about simple machines in Science, we might also be doing reading and writing tasks related to inventors, simple machines, etc.

    • Sometimes, we spend as little as a day working on a topic or skill and other times we spend a week or more.  It depends on the content, topic, readiness of the students, and whether or not we need deeper practice. 

    • Students should ALWAYS have a book, whether they are learning at school or at home.  There are many great digital options for when a "real" book might be challenging to find.  For those looking for some new book ideas, check out this website with a list of great book ideas for 5th graders - https://bookriot.com/books-for-5th-graders/

     

    Writing

    • Writing will be integrated throughout all content classes, and the Writing grade on the report card will be made up of writing done in a Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Math classrooms.

    • In the reading rotations, students will be writing narratives (both personal and creative), literary reflections and responses, friendly and business letters, and a variety of other writing tasks.

    • Convention skills will be taught using a daily spiral review of language skills.   Conventions includes spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar & usage, etc. 

       

    Spelling

    • In 5th grade, students are expected to demonstrate the ability to "spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed" across all subject areas (AZCCR 5.L.2e).  Additionally, students will "apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills" in order to spell correctly (AZCCR 5.RF.3).  While the newly-revised district report card does not have a separate letter grade designated for Spelling, grades for Spelling will still be recorded under the ELA (English Language Arts) section of the report card within Writing.  

    • In the Reading class, for example, students will be expected to spell names of stories, characters, and vocabulary words correctly, as these are generally given within a text or listed on the handout/assignment/assessment.  Additionally, students will be expected to spell words correctly that are posted around the classroom (such as those on word walls, posters, and/or charts). Incorrectly spelling words that are given within a text, listed on a handout, or posted around the room may result in a loss of points, depending on the assignment.

     

    Handwriting, Cursive, and Typing

    • Students are expected to write legibly at all times.  If we cannot read it, we cannot grade it.  Therefore, if work is submitted with difficult-to-read handwriting, students might be encouraged to redo the task in order for it to be legible.  Depending on the nature of the assignment, it is possible that the grade will be reduced due to the lack of readability.

    • Arizona ELA standards include a cursive handwriting component.  Students will learn to "read and write cursive letters, upper and lower case" as well as to "transcribe ideas legibly and fluently with appropriate spacing and indentation" (AZCCR 5.WF.1).   Since cursive was introduced and taught in both 3rd and 4th grade, cursive at the 5th grade will be a review/refresher using weekly practice sheets.

    • Typing is also a grade level standard.  Students are expected to "demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills in order to complete a writing task" (AZCCR 5.W.6).  We will be using Google Typing Club to track typing progress as well as other "on-demand" typing tasks that will gauge WPM typing speed.