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ELA & Social Studies Resources

Students in Kindergarten through Fifth grades receive 120 minutes of ELA instruction daily. A structured literacy approach is used at John Lewis ES for English Language Arts. This approach is to provide students with opportunities to engage in a wide variety of texts, writing opportunities and speaking and listening activities and to differentiate learning experiences to meet the literacy needs of all students. The components of the literacy block include: 

  • Foundational Skills

  • Reading, Research and Writing

  • Small Group Literacy

Common Core ELA Standards can be found here.

Foundational Literacy Curriculum: Heggerty and Fundations 

With Heggerty, students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade receive daily phonemic awareness instruction. All activities are auditory and include the skills aligned to the Common Core State Standards, such as: 

  • Rhyming 

  • Identifying sounds in words 

  • Adding, deleting, and substituting phonemes (or syllables, words, etc.) 

  • Blending and segmenting phonemes  

 

Fundations is a systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting program that is facilitated in our kindergarten to second grade classrooms. Fundations is taught in the whole-class setting, but can also be taught in a small group or 1:1 setting, for students who may require additional time for learning in these areas. 

Key features of this program include the following, and are presented from Unit to Unit and year to year: 

  • Letter formation: using scripted language of “sky line, plane line, grass line, worm line” 

  • Phonics: word study with common spelling patterns, and advanced word study with less common spelling patterns 

  • Irregular (trick) word instruction (for both reading and spelling) 

  • Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension strategies

  • Written composition (spelling and handwriting) 

 

Reading, Research, and Writing: Passport to Learning

Passport to Learning is our DCPS ELA Curriculum. The year is divided into comprehensive segments that utilize different books following a similar theme. At John Lewis, K-5 students engage in units of study with an inquiry approach to learning skills aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and gain deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Students also participate in authentic experiences and field trips that support the units.  

 

Small Group Literacy 

The bulk of instructional time is spent doing small group literacy activities. Students receive explicit, targeted instruction in small groups based on children's observed and assessed needs in specific aspects of literacy development including decoding, vocabulary, comprehension skills, and more. During this component of the literacy block, students also engage independent literacy activities to support reading and writing skills previously taught. Students rotate through workstations such as Independent Reading, Writing, and Word Work,  Students put skills into practice through games and authentic practice activities, such as building words, writing letters to a friend, reading a familiar book, or using one of our computer-based programs (K-5 students use iReady Reading, and 3rd-5th grade students also use NewsELA). 

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Social Studies

Like in ELA, K-5 students engage in social studies learning through an inquiry lens, learning skills aligned to the DC Social Studies standards (civics, history, economics, and geography) and gain deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Students in K-2 participate in social studies lessons 2-3 times per week, and students in grades 3-5 participate in social studies lessons daily for 30 minutes.

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