Welcome to the Kyrene Family ELA Resource Page
Our Teaching & Learning Department is happy to share information about the Arizona 2016 ELA Standards, ELA instruction & curriculum resources in Kyrene.
Arizona ELA Guide for Parents
The Arizona Department of Education created this informative video for families about the Arizona ELA Standards in grades K-12. The video provides clear information about the skills students are developing at each grade.
Kyrene's Systematic Approach to ELA Curriculum
In 2017, Dr. David Steiner, Executive Director at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, conducted a research report on curriculum. Here are the key findings of his work:
- Curriculum is a critical factor in student academic success.
- Comprehensive, content-rich curriculum is a common feature of academically high-performing countries.
- The cumulative impact of high-quality curriculum can be significant and matters most to achievement in the upper grades.
Our ELA curriculum in Kyrene aligns to these principles. You can read more about Kyrene's systematic approach to ELA instruction here.
Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA)
CKLA is our adopted K-5 ELA curriculum that progressively builds knowledge and skills from grade to grade. In grades K-2, one hour a day is spent in explicit foundational skills instruction (phonological awareness, sound-spelling relationships, handwriting, reading decodable text, fluency and writing about text). This is so students will gain the ability to recognize and write words with automaticity. Another hour is spend on building background knowledge and vocabulary through listening to complex text and discussing it. This produces the language comprehension necessary to understand all text in the short and long term. Students in grades 3-5 capitalize upon the strong foundation built in K-2 by reading, writing and discussing text that develops their understanding of the world. Our intermediate students spend 4-6 weeks on their curricular units as sustained study of a topic in the arts, history or science promotes strong reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.
- CKLA Program information for families
- Easy reading to learn how children learn to read
- Research base for CKLA
- CKLA Detailed program guide
myPerspectives is the primary core curricular resource for grades 6-8. Like our K-5 curriculum, 6-8 students read and discuss texts around a central topic that build student knowledge throughout the course of the year. All texts within a unit are related and link back to the overarching essential question. Students spend 6-8 weeks reading a collection of texts, as well as an anchor novel that fosters critical thinking about the unit theme(s). Each unit culminates with a performance task that requires application of skills and knowledge from reading, writing, language, speaking, and listening.
How to help your student at home
2) Ask your student's teacher for the current unit's parent letter. There are letters for each unit and activities that support learning at home.
3) Make sure you have read and reviewed all of the information posted on this website. This should help you determine the quality of resources you come across.
5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension (from Kyrene's Curriculum Connections blog)
- Talk to students about what they are learning about in school.
All Kyrene students are reading, discussing, and writing about a specific topic in their ELA classrooms. Here is a list of the ELA units of study for grades K-8. Ask students what they have learned about the topic; you will find yourself amazed about how much they know. This will foster vocabulary development, which is closely tied to reading comprehension.
- Find connected text/media to the topics taught in class and discuss the ideas learned.
Use the Kyrene ELA units of study list to visit the library to find books related to the topics students are learning. Watching videos allows students to understand new information from a different medium. Discovery Education, BrainPop, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and PBS are great places to start. Even YouTube has many informative, student-friendly videos that are rich in content knowledge. Once you have found print and digital material to learn from, talk to the student about what was learned. Chances are that adults will learn something new as well!
- Do research about a topic the student is interested in.
Additional reading and research does not have to be limited to what students are learning in school. Talk to the student about what interests them. Have the student brainstorm questions that they want to learn more about. Visit the library or search the internet and help them find answers to those questions. Have conversations about the information they are finding.
- Listen to audiobooks that are slightly more difficult than what a student could read themselves.
We have known for a while now that a child’s listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension until they are about 13 years old (Sticht & James, 1984). This means that children can listen to more difficult texts than what they would be able to read independently. We need to take advantage of this strength by allowing students to listen to harder texts; this will support them in their vocabulary development, as well as their reading fluency, another factor that influences strong reading comprehension.
- Find a book the student is interested in and read it with them.
It is important to encourage our children to read outside of school, so start with the topics and stories that interest them. To support their thinking and vocabulary, read the book with them. This will make the reading more enjoyable for the child as well as support the critical thinking necessary for strong comprehension of all texts.