WHIN takes a balanced literacy approach and will use EL Education’s K-5 English Language Arts curriculum, which is a comprehensive, standards-based core literacy program that engages teachers and students through compelling, real-world content.
Each day, students engage in rigorous and joyful literacy learning at WHIN. The core literacy program will be EL Education’s K-5 English Language Arts curriculum. The program rests on the following three academic pillars: Mastery of Skills, Habits of Character, and High-quality Student Work. Additionally, the ELA program has the following key, rigorous features:
At WHIN, students receive 120-150 minutes of literacy instruction daily that incorporates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and foundational skills instruction. Each unit centers around a compelling topic, and students engage in project-based learning, integrating all of their literacy skills. Here are the major components of the the literacy program.
To ensure all our students are reaching English Language Arts benchmarks, track progress, and differentiate for student needs, students will be tested in their reading skills four times a year using the Strategic Teaching and Evaluation of Progress (STEP) assessment. STEP is a research-based assessment developed by the University of Chicago. STEP assesses children’s literacy skills and provides key data to teachers to develop students’ reading development through a 13-level system toward reading proficiency. This assessment is administered individually to students, and typical growth of three steps is expected within a school year.
In the EL ELA curriculum, each module comprises of three units with unit assessments. The unit assessments provide teachers with information on how to best meet students’ needs. At the end of a module, there is a summative performance task, in which students apply their learning to a new context and share their learning with the rest of the class.
Teachers use observational checklists that correlate to the skills and standards to gauge student understanding during lessons. Moreover, student work and snapshot assessments from lessons are additional pieces of information that grade teams and the DCI use to analyze student understanding and target whole group, small group, or individual instruction.